St George with the Dragon on the Nave of the Chapel of the Trinity, Stratford upon Avon


In 1804 a scheme of wall paintings were discovered during restoration works in the Guild Chapel at Stratford-upon-Avon. They depicted scenes such as the Legend of the Discovery of the True Cross, the Last Judgement, Saint George slaying a Dragon, the Dance of Death and the martyrdom of Saint Thomas Beckett. Thomas Fisher, an English antiquary, produced coloured drawings of the frescos when they were discovered and published them in 1807.Two years later he re-issued these plates along with facsimiles of original documents he had found during further investigations. Though it was Fisher’s intention to publish letterpress with all his plates, a stipulation of the 1818 Copyright Act regarding legal deposit requirements prevented him from doing so. He got around this by publishing his research in an 1835 edition of the Gentleman’s Magazine, then edited by the antiquary and publisher John Gough Nichols. Two years after Fisher’s death Nichols reprinted a luxury edition of the original plates, finally with letterpress, and featuring new engravings and facsimiles of previously unpublished material.

Full title:
Ancient allegorical, historical, and legendary paintings, in fresco, discovered in ... 1804, on the walls of the chapel of the Trinity, belonging to the Gilde of the Holy Cross, at Stratford-upon-Avon, in Warwickshire, from drawings, made at the time of their discovery, by Thomas Fisher ... Also, a view and plan of the chapel, a view of New Place, the residence of William Shakespeare, facsimiles of various grants and indulgences to the gilde, with representations of one hundred and fifty ancient seals appended to them ... Described by John Gough Nichols
1838, London
John Gough Nichols
Coloured Lithograph
Thomas Fisher, John Gough Nichols
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library
1701.b.23., plate XVII

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The Nichols family and their press (1777–1873)

Article by:
Julian Pooley

For three generations the Nichols family was central to topographical research and publication. Julian Pooley explores how as editors of the Gentleman’s Magazine, printers of county histories, collectors of manuscripts and founder members of historical societies, John Nichols (1745–1826), John Bowyer Nichols (1779–1863) and John Gough Nichols (1806–1873) were integral to the antiquarian community during a century of change.