John Metcalf, also known as Blind Jack of Knaresborough, led a remarkable life. Smallpox, contracted at the age of six, left Jack completely blind but this did not hamper him in any way. By the age of nine Jack was able to find his way around Knaresborough and later worked as a guide for the districts of Harrogate and York. Employed as a fiddle player he entertained at The Granby Inn, where he fell in love with the daughter of the landlord, Christopher Benson. Her parents, not thinking Jack was a steady enough character, wanted Dorothy (Dolly) to marry a shoemaker, Anthony Dickinson. Dolly expressed her fears to Jack on the eve of her wedding. That night, Jack collected her from the entertainment laid on by Dickinson and they eloped, riding just twelve miles out of Harrogate to be united.
Dolly's unworn wedding gloves contain secret messages to Jack - 'Matters may not end as some folks wish they should' and 'Give me thy hand Jack, skin for skin, it's all done'. The curving bands of Braille are in the style of wedding gloves from the period but also allude to Jack's later occupation as a roadbuilder. The corsage is made up of tiny hand crafted paper Globe Amaranth, a token of unfading love.
Glove length 42 cm