Bickham, George (d.1769) (DNB00)

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BICKHAM, GEORGE, the elder (d. 1769), writing-master and engraver, was born about the end of the seventeenth century, He was the most celebrated penman of his time, and published in 1743 a folio volume entitled 'The Universal Penman . . . exemplified in all the useful and ornamental branches of modern Penmanship, &c.; the whole embellished with 200 beautiful decorations for the amusement of the curious.' He also practised engraving, but his productions in this department had little merit. He engraved Rubens's 'Peace and War' and 'Golden and Silver Ages;' 'Philosophy,' a large plate from his own design; a few portraits, including those of Sir Isaac Newton, Bishop Blackall, Stephen Duck the poet, and George Shelly, John Clark, and Robert More, writing-masters; the plates to 'British Monarchy, or a new Chorographical Description of all the Dominions subject to the King of Great Britain,' 1748; and those to 'The Beauties of Stow,' 1763. Bickham was a member of the Free Society of Artists, and exhibited with them from 1701 to 1765. His stock-in-trade, plates, &c., were sold by auction in May 1767, and he died at Richmond in 1769.

[Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting (Wornum). p. 969; Strutt's Biog. Dict, of Engravers (1785); Bryan's Dictionary of Painters and Engravers (ed. Graves). 1885; Redgrave's Dictionary of Artists (1878); MS. notes in British Museum.]

L. F.