Ford, Michael (DNB00)

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FORD, MICHAEL (d. 1758?), mezzotint engraver, was a native of Dublin, and a pupil of John Brooks, the mezzotint engraver [q. v.] When Brooks quitted Ireland about 1747, Ford set up as his successor at a shop on Cork Hill. He engraved a number of portraits in mezzotint, which on account of their scarcity are highly valued by collectors . Among them were James, earl of Barrymore, after Ottway; Maria Gunning, countess of Coventry, after F. Cotes; George II, after Hudson; William, earl of Harrington, after Du Pan; Richard St. George, after Slaughter; and William III, after Kneller. He also painted portraits, and engraved some himself, viz. Henry Boyle, speaker of the House of Commons in Ireland, Henry Singleton, lord chief justice of Ireland, and a double portrait of William III and Field-marshal Schomberg, the heads being copied from Kneller. Ford's address as publisher appears on some of the mezzotint engravings by Andrew Miller [q. v.] and James MacArdell [q. v.] With the former he seems to have been in rivalry, as they engraved the same subjects, notably Hogarth's full-length portrait of Gustavus Hamilton, viscount Boyne, in which Ford's print seems to be the earlier of the two. It is probable that Ford visited London, but this is not certain. On 28 Oct. 1758 the ship Dublin Trader, Captain White, left Parkgate for Dublin, and was never heard of again; she carried 70,000l. in money and 80,000l. in goods, and numerous passengers, among whom were Edward, fifth earl of Drogheda, and his son, Theophilus Cibber [q. v.], and others. There are grounds for supposing that Ford was also among the passengers.

[Chaloner Smith's Brit. Mezzotinto Portraits; J. T. Gilbert's Hist. of Dublin, vol. ii.]

L. C.