Humphrey, William (DNB00)

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HUMPHREY, WILLIAM (1740?–1810?), engraver and printseller, born about 1740, began life as an engraver. In 1765 he obtained a premium from the Society of Arts for a mezzotint engraving of a portrait of Rembrandt by himself. He engraved portraits in mezzotint, after R. E. Pine; that of John Sturt, the engraver, after William Faithorne; of Colonel Richard King, after Kneller; of Sir William Mannock, after S. Cooper; of Madame Du Barry, from a drawing by B. Wilson, and others. He also etched a few small portraits, and engraved in stipple `Cupid and Psyche' and `Beauty and Time,' from his own drawings, and `The Nativity of Christ,' after J. S. Copley. Later in life Humphrey devoted himself almost entirely to printselling, and made numerous journeys to Holland and elsewhere on the continent, especially collecting English portraits. He became the chief agent for the great private collections of portraits, &c., made about this time. At one time he took C. H. Hodges [q.v.], the engraver, to Amsterdam, where Hodges established himself as an engraver and printseller, and subsequently presented to Humphrey an engraving by himself of Humphrey's portrait, from a drawing by Baron Imhoff. Humphrey, according to a trade-card engraved for him by Bartolozzi, was residing in 1785 at 227 Strand. He died probably about 1810, and apparently in pecuniary difficulties.

[Dodd's manuscript Hist. of English Engravers (Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 33402); J. Chaloner Smith's Brit. Mezzotint Portraits; Caulfield's Calcographiana.]

L. C.