|oil painting 1845|
Dr. Simeon Shaw, occupied in his day, no obscure position, and exercised no feeble influence, as a teacher of youth, as a citizen, as a literary and scientific man. Characterized by great diligence and perseverance; he is placed amongst the educational benefactors of his age. Thus said the obituary of Dr. Simeon Shaw.
Born in 1785 at Salford, Lancashire, England, both his parents would pass away while he was still a child, his mother at age three and his father at age twelve. His father's trustees were in charge of providing him with an education, so it seem happened. However in the early 1900s he relocated to the pottery district of Staffordshire.
|A young Simeon|
Simeon was educated, however details of this are not known. He was known as a doctor of law, and the letter L.L.D. appeared after his name starting in 1823. This type of degree was often honorary and conferred for outstanding work or service.
During the course of his writing career Simeon wrote at least eleven books. His first book "The Grammar of the English Language" was published in 1811. Perhaps his most popular was "History of the Staffordshire Potteries" published in 1820. He also wrote "Nature Displayed" which delved into many sciences. This was a six volume collection. he also was writing a history of Stoke on Trent, which was being published in a serial in a magazine. This was taken over by John Ward who was helping him with gathering material.
It has been mentioned that he had a photographic memory. (Mrs. Bott, a descendant)
Even with his abilities Simeon was not immune to financial difficulties. In 1820 he spent some time in debtor's prison. It was only through a sponsor who paid off his debts that he was released. He indebtedness was likely to his self publishing of his first book, and owing the printer.
Towards the end of his life he was subject to some type of mental disorder. He referred to this as a "swimming in the head." He was afflicted with the disease as early as 1848, and it persisted for the rest of his life. He was eventually confined to a mental institution where he would pass away in 1859 just short of his 74th birthday.