The home of the Cartophilic Society of Great Britain

E J Newbegin –

E J Newbegin –

with grateful thanks to Mr. G. Hoare

This firm was founded in 1807, and their cards issued approximately 100 years later between 1900 and 1908. They were based at the Eagle Works in the High Street in Sunderland. And they were large enough to also commercially overprint postage stamps – have a look at

The earliest listing of them within a cartophilic work (or at least that we know of) is in June 1950 in Col. Bagnall’s Catalogue of British Cigarette Card Issues 1888 – 1919, where a price was given for odds of the Actors etc from 70/- to 200/- each, and for the Songs from 60/- to 180/-

Our featured “Card of the Day” comes from one of those sets, it is N518-050, black and white photographic Actors & Actresses, Etc (A) (1901) The handbook from the above work lists the cards, because the set was un-numbered. All but one had a caption though. In that book, this set was listed as being of forty-four cards, but it is now a set of fifty.

N518-300 : 20 B&W Cricketers Series (1902) H29, this being the set also issued by Baker, Charlesworth & Austin, Faulkner, Gabriel, and Rutter, plus as an an anonymous version. Titled series. All these issues were in 1901-1902. The Rutter version, or a type card anyway was sold at Tooveys, you can see it at
It has also since been discovered that this set was issued by Glass, and that the anonymous version comes in two types, one with a series title and number at the top as on the card we link to, the other having the caption within the picture. So far the only two “caption” cards show Grace and Jessup. Unless you can add more?

N518-800 : Well Known Proverbs (1900)  also issued by the Welsh manufacturer T.E. Jones in the same year. It is a titled  series, (top) with “Edwd. J Newbegin / Estd. 1907” at the bottom, at least on the card examined. Cards are colour, unnumbered and listed in the handbook. Originally 6 cards were known, one more was discovered in the 1950s, and the total is now twelve. You can see a type card at

N518-850 : Well Known Songs (1900) H300 a titled  series, (top) with “Edwd. J Newbegin / Estd. 1907” at the bottom, at least on the card examined, very similar to the Proverbs above. Cards are also numbered but they are still listed in the handbook. Fronts are in colour. Originally eighteen cards were known, but the set is now believed to stand at twenty five. You can see one of those at

In the intervening five years between the publication of the BCCI volume two, covering 1920-1940 cards, another find was recorded namely two cards (3 and 6) from the black and white set of N518-100 “Actresses HAGG A” (1900) also issued by Baker, Gabriel, Glass, and Hill in 1900 and in an anonymous plain back version. You can see the Baker version at

Two more subjects had also been discovered for the Actors set, “Viola Allen” and “The Brothers Billy”, who were not a theatrical duo, but a pair of very handsome bull terriers.

Also discovered after the 1950s were:

N518-700 Russo Japanese Series (1904) Un/19 again also issued by Glass as well as Muratti and in an anonymous version. The Muratti version was sold at Tooveys a while ago, you can see a sample card at


N518-500 a single advertisement card issued in 1900 in various colours, reddish brown, purple, or green, showing Mabel Love. (1900) Mabel Love was a very popular theatrical star, it is not known how she became involved with the firm, but they named a brand of their cigarettes after her, “Sweet Mabel Love”, and used her portrait on their paperwork, as you can see at!image/image.jpg?&width=640

You can see the original Mabel Love and read a short biography at

Other brands included Winsome Wench, Old Tom, and Clan Fell Scotch Snuff, which you can see an advertisement for at

And you can see tins of Golden Eagle and Navy Cut at

The end of Newbegin came through Robert and John Sinclair, who founded a tobacco company in Newcastle-on-Tyne. In 1885 their partnership was over, but it was not the end of the brothers’ involvement with tobacco, as both started new companies, John Sinclair Ltd at Barneys Tobacco Works, Bath Lane, Newcastle-on-Tyne (later taken over by Carreras) – and Robert Sinclair Tobacco Co. Ltd at Blenheim Street Newcastle-on-Tyne, who took over P. Mouat, also of Newcastle-on-Tyne (whose only issue was “Colonial Troops” in 1900), and Newbegin, then joined Imperial Tobacco in the 1930s

In an interesting aside, we kept coming across a tobacconist from Norwich, also called Newbegin. We dont know if he is connected but he seems a fascinating individual, who you can read about at

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