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Poet Iohn Saxy upon his Yew-Tree Novr 1729

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Poet Iohn Saxy upon his Yew-Tree Novr 1729
  • Description

    A broadside on an ancient Yew tree in Harlington; with an engraving by Wigley showing a very old yew tree, its trunk surrounded by a wooden seat, and its crown topiarised into a geometric tower surmounted by a weathercock, next to the tree two men standing; with engraved title and a poem in two columns by John Saxy, originally composed in November 1729. (n.p.: 1770)


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1770
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 349 millimetres
    • Width: 250 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        "Engraved by James Wigley in Poppings [sic] Court Fleet-Street, London"
        "Revived by William Cottrel, Clerk, 1770."
  • Curator's comments

    The poem was composed in 1729 by John Saxy, apparently a parish clerk at Harlington (Middlesex). An inscription in the plate states "Revived by William Cottrel, Clerk, 1770" - it is unclear whether this refers to the poem or the whole plate. Cottrel, who may have been a successor of Saxy, is here not treated as publisher.

    Today, Harlington is close to Heathrow Airport. The Yew Tree still exists, though non-topiarised; it is considered to be more than 900 years old. The historical tree has been employed as an argument against the planned extension of the airport.

    Allen Meredith, "The Sacred Yew", 1994.


  • Location

    Not on display (Broadsides British 1770 Imp)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Associated places

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number



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Object reference number: PPA110956

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