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John moved with his family to Newcastle in 1803, where he became an apprentice coach builder at the age of 14. In 1804, whilst in Newcastle, John’s father, Fenwick, told him, “Come with me John, I have found a gentleman who can teach you everything, a celebrated Frenchman”. This was a turning point in John’s career, as he became the pupil of Boniface Musso, the father of the celebrated enamel painter, Charles Muss. In 1806 he travelled to London to work for Charles Muss in the china painting industry.