Who were these women? How many GBP did Bewick get for this etching? And who was this ”Swedish servant”?

Sigrid and Anna

Matthew Consett followed his habit of spelling any Swedish word or name as he heard it.

Therefore the etching by Bewick is called Sighre and Aniha, if we read directly on the work; museum mistakenly twisted it into Singhre and Aniha. Well, the Swedish name Sigrid at the time generally was pronounce Segri, Sigri or Sigre.. So that is no mystery. Anna is more tricky. Anna is Anna, but on dialect – and add to that her mother and mother’s parents with a Dalecarlian past, could have pronounces it ”Arnna”. Like in this below:

Next thing is: How do we know these are the actual Anna and Sigrid?
Well; since exactly those two, Anna and Sigrid Jönsdotter at Gävle Castle a Saturday early in July, 1st or 8th. get a passport  They are thoroughly recorded in the parish of Njutånger since their later childhood days. Earlier on they grew up close to Lake Sördellen. They grew up in fishing environments; and their father got employed ass a parish Saami already around 1750. They had an older sister.

And we might also ask why they persistently were called ”the Lapland girls”?
Well, that’s where people do suppose Sami girls or women to live, right?
But these ladies lived 700 km from Jokkmokk, a great portion south of the very midst of Sweden.

And what do we know of their parents and other ancestors? Actually not so much about her father. But most likely he is a typical coastal Saami from Medelpad area. Motheris more evidently investigated genealogically; her parents were extensive nomads. Mother with s Central Jämtland origin; father is a typical coastal forest Saami – Jonas Larsson. Their maternal grandmother, was a name-sake to Sigrid.

Why were they in North Durham and Northumberland? Due to a a bet by Baron Liddell (with an acteur which the story never has revealed). He was supposed to bring home two ”Lapland girls” and two reindeers.  he got away back home with two young Saami women, a ”Swedish (male) servant”, who actually always must have been Anders Larsson, a  Saami merchant. And six Helsingian reindeers. At least six animals enetered the deck of Captain Forhergill’s Gottenburg Merchant ship. We might guess the sixth already died or got sick during the long wait for right wind, between July 29 and Aug 12.

Bewick got a lousy pay for this painting job.
More on him later!


 Painting of an older Bewick by James Ramsay. Uppermost we see the British Museum-original of Sigrid and Anna by Bewick 1786. )c) British Museum. – Link here:


You can read more on this (sofar only in Swedish; but we do plan to make an English edition!) in Saepmie Times.
LINK: http://en.calameo.com/books/005245564ee872bdaddb0

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Peter Ericson November 9, 2017


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