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The Linda Lear Collection of John R. Cawood Cartoons

Identifier: MS-005

Content Description

The collection contains the artworks, correspondence, and biographical materials of John Cawood. The artwork consists of original watercolor cartoon books and bookmarks featuring Duffus, Cawood's terrier. These works, inspired by Beatrix Potter, were given as gifts to family and close friends. Also included are biographical materials, including tributes to Cawood after his death, correspondence to Linda Lear, auction materials, and drafts of introductions to the auction from Linda Lear.


  • 2000-2016


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Biographical / Historical

John Reed Cawood (1942-2016) was a solicitor and respected authority on Beatrix Potter. A collector of Beatrix Potter first editions and other Potter materials, he was a prominent member of the Beatrix Potter Society.

John Cawood was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1942. Throughout his youth, his family would vacation in the Lake District which he loved. His interest in Beatrix Potter can be traced to these trips. After graduating school, he began work as a solicitor with Sinton and Co in Newcastle. He worked there for his entire forty year career. He became a partner and specialized in wills and family law. He had three children, Matt, Lucie, and James, with his wife Valerie. Cawood began collecting Beatrix Potter in 1972. David Steedman, an old friend and third generation antiquarian bookseller, sold Cawood a first edition copy of the Tale of Mrs. Tiggy Winkle. This began Cawood’s growth as a bibliophile and the development of his collection of Potter books and paper works. He joined the Beatrix Potter Society in 1991, and became a Trustee in 2002. An active member, he contributed articles to the Beatrix Potter Society Journal and Newsletter and presented at conferences held by the society.

In 2002, he retired from Sinton and Co and moved permanently with his wife to the Lake District. In addition to his work with the Beatrix Potter Society, he was also a member of the Keswick Community Housing Trust, a group that provides affordable housing in Keswick. On July 28, 2016, he sold his Beatrix Pottter collection at auction through the Dreweatts and Bloomsbury Auction house. On August 15, 2016, he died at the age of 73 in Keswick.


0.5 Linear Feet (1 half document box.)

Language of Materials



This collection contains the cartoons of John Cawood, collector and prominent member of the Beatrix Potter Society.


This collection is organized alphabetically.

Inventory of the The Linda Lear Collection of John R. Cawood Cartoons
Rose Oliveira
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Linda Lear Center for Special Collections and Archives Repository

Connecticut College
270 Mohegan Ave
New London CT 06320 United States