Egley, William (DNB00)

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EGLEY, WILLIAM (1798–1870), miniature painter, was born at Doncaster in 1798. Shortly after the boy's birth his father removed to Nottingham, and became confidential agent to the Walkers of Eastwood. The gift of a box of colours which William received in early youth strengthened his desire to be a painter. But the father destined both him and his brother Thomas for the trade of bookselling. They were received intothe house of Darton, the publisher, Holborn Hill, London; but while Thomas pursued this calling to the end of his life, William, by chance visits to the exhibitions in Somerset House, cultivated and stimulated his love of painting. Without any professional teaching he succeeded in finishing two pictures, the portraits of Colonel Ogleby and of Yates, the actor, whhich were received and exhibited by the Royal Academy in 1824. From that time until the year before his death he was a constant exhibitor, sending in all to the Royal Academy 160 miniatures, to the British Institution two pictures, and to the Suffolk Street Gallery six. He was very successful in portraying children, with whom his genial temper made him a great favourite. He died in London on 19 March 1870, aged 72. He was twice happily married, and by his first wife left a son, William Maw Egley, who is a painter of historical subjects and a regular exhibitor.

[Art Journal, 1870, p. 303; Graves's Dict. of Artists, p. 76.]

R. H.