Samuel Williams (engraver)
Samuel Williams (1788–1853) was an English draughtsman and wood engraver.
Williams was born at Colchester, on 23 February 1788. He was apprenticed to the Colchester printer J. Marsden, but taught himself to draw and engrave on wood, and adopted engraving as his profession. He established himself in Colchester, then in 1819 settled in London.
In the early part of his life Williams also painted miniatures, and a few oil pictures. He became known as a wood engraver, a specialist in landscapes. Also having a facility in design, he used his own drawings for a high proportion of his cuts. His first patron was Benjamin Crosby the publisher, for whom he illustrated a work on natural history in 1810.
From his own designs, Williams produced the illustrations to:
- Charles Whittingham's edition of Robinson Crusoe, 1822;
- Mary Trimmer, Natural History, 1823–4;
- The British Stage, 1826 and following years;
- Scott's Bible, 1833–4;
- The Olio, a weekly magazine, 1828–33;
- William Hone, Every-Day Book, 1825–7;
- Charlotte Guest, Mabinogion, 1838;
- James Thomson, The Seasons, 1841;
- Prideaux John Selby, A History of British Forest Trees Indigenous and Introduced, 1842; and
- Thomas Miller, Pictures of Country Life, 1847.
Cuts from the designs of others are in:
- Jeremiah Holmes Wiffen's edition of Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered, 1823;
- John Gibson Lockhart, Spanish Ballads, 1840;
- the Abbotsford edition of the Waverley Novels, 1842;
- William Scrope, Deer-stalking, 1846;
- Franz Theodor Kugler, Handbook of Painting; and
- Henry Hart Milman, Horace, 1849.
Williams left four sons, and they all practised wood engraving with success. Thomas Williams (fl. 1830), his younger brother, was his pupil, and a wood engraver who worked only from the designs of others. His engravings are to be found in James Northcote's Artist's Book of Fables 1828; and John Martin and Richard Westall's Bible Illustrations, 1833.
- Lee, Sidney, ed. (1900). "Williams, Samuel". Dictionary of National Biography. 61. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- American Antiquarian Society Members Directory
- Avery-Quash, Susanna. "Williams family". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/72918. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Lee, Sidney, ed. (1900). "Williams, Samuel". Dictionary of National Biography. 61. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
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