15 May 1789

Agreement signed between Thomas Girtin and Edward Dayes (1763–1804) (The National Archives (IR1/33).

Girtin signs indentures as an apprentice to ‘Edwd Days St Martins in the Fields Middx painter … to serve 7 years’. A dividend of £31 10s is paid to the master. Girtin, aged fourteen years and three months, would therefore have become a master in May 1796 if he had completed his term.

12 June 1789

Edward Dayes (1763–1804) pays 15s 9d duty on the fee (Register of Duties Paid for Apprentices’ Indentures 1710–1811). He lives at 75 Long Acre, Covent Garden, with his wife, Sarah.

Summer 1789

James Moore (1762–99), Girtin’s future patron, tours Yorkshire and Warwickshire, producing many of the sketches that the artist will subsequently copy.

August 1789

Edward Dayes (1763–1804) visits the Lake District. Some of the sketches he makes are copied by Thomas Girtin for his earliest watercolours.