Bartlett, William Henry (DNB00)

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BARTLETT, WILLIAM HENRY (1809–1854), topographical draughtsman, was born in Kentish Town, London, on 26 March 1809. In 1823 he was articled to John Britton, the architect, who sent him into Essex, Kent, Bedfordshire, Wiltshire, and other parts of England, to sketch and study from nature. He was afterwards employed in making drawings at Bristol, Gloucester, and Hereford for Britton's ‘Cathedral Antiquities of England,’ 1814–32, and his skill in landscape and scenic effects induced Britton to undertake his ‘Picturesque Antiquities of English Cities,’ which appeared in 1828–30, for which Bartlett made a number of elaborate drawings in various parts of England. He next visited the principal countries of Europe, and afterwards travelled in the East, exploring Turkey, Greece, Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and the Arabian desert, for the first time in 1834–5, again in 1842–5, and a third time in 1853. Above a thousand of the drawings which he brought home with him from these tours were engraved and published with descriptive text by Dr. Beattie, who accompanied the artist in some of his voyages and travels, and by others. They formed volumes upon ‘Switzerland,’ 1836; ‘Syria and the Holy Land,’ 1836–8; ‘Holland and Belgium,’ 1837; ‘The Waldenses,’ 1838; ‘Beauties of the Bosphorus,’ 1840; and ‘The Danube,’ 1844. He also made four voyages to the United States and Canada between the years 1836 and 1852, the fruits of which appeared in ‘American Scenery,’ 1840, and ‘Canadian Scenery,’ 1842, with text by N. P. Willis. He contributed also, wholly or in part, the illustrations to Wright's ‘Essex,’ 1831–5, Beattie's ‘Scotland,’ 1838, and Willis and Coyne's ‘Ireland,’ 1842, and used his pencil and his pen with equal skill in the production of the following well-known books: ‘Walks about Jerusalem,’ 1844; ‘Forty Days in the Desert,’ 1848; ‘The Nile-Boat, or Glimpses of Egypt,’ 1849; ‘Gleanings on the Overland Route,’ 1851; ‘Footsteps of Our Lord and His Apostles in Syria, Greece, and Italy,’ 1851; ‘Pictures from Sicily,’ 1853; ‘The Pilgrim Fathers,’ 1853. His last work, ‘Jerusalem Revisited’ (1855), was in the press when the artist died. He edited Sharpe's ‘London Magazine’ from March 1849 to June 1852. Bartlett died on board the French steamer ‘Egyptus,’ on his homeward voyage from the East between Malta and Marseilles, 13 Sept. 1854, and was buried at sea. His drawings were sold by auction by Messrs. Southgate and Barrett in the following year.

[Notice by John Britton in Art Journal, 1855, pp. 24–6, reprinted privately, 1855, 16mo; Beattie's Brief Memoir of William Henry Bartlett, 1855, 4to, with portrait.]

R. E. G.