Noble, William Bonneau (DNB00)

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NOBLE, WILLIAM BONNEAU (1780–1831), landscape painter in water-colours, born in London on 13 Sept. 1780, was youngest son of Edward Noble, author of ‘Elements of Linear Perspective,’ and brother of Samuel and of George Noble, both of whom are separately noticed. His mother was sister of William Noble (of a different family), a well-known drawing-master, who succeeded to the practice of his father-in-law, Jacob Bonneau [q. v.], and died in 1805. Young Noble began life as a teacher of drawing, and for some years met with success, but being ambitious of obtaining a higher position in his profession, he spent two successive summers in Wales, and made many beautiful sketches of its scenery. Several water-colour paintings from his sketches were sent to the Royal Academy, and in 1809 three of these, a ‘View of Machynlleth, North Wales,’ ‘Montgomery Castle,’ and a ‘View near Dolgelly,’ were hung. Next year, however, his drawings were rejected, and although he had two views of Charlton and Bexley, in Kent, in the exhibition of 1811, he never recovered from what he regarded as an indignity. Being disappointed in love at the same time, he took to dissipated courses, and in November 1825 he made a desperate but unsuccessful attempt upon his life in a fit of delirium. He died of a decline in Somers Town, London, on 14 Sept. 1831. Noble left in manuscript a long poem entitled ‘The Artist.’

[Memorial notice by his brother, the Rev. Samuel Noble, in Gent. Mag. 1831, ii. 374; Royal Academy Exhibition Catalogues, 1809–1811.]

R. E. G.