Shenton, Henry Chawner (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 52
Shenton, Henry Chawner

by Freeman Marius O'Donoghue
Contains subarticles Henry Chawner Shenton (1825–1846) & William Kernot Shenton (1836–1877)

SHENTON, HENRY CHAWNER (1803–1866), engraver, was born at Winchester in 1803, and became a pupil of Charles Warren [q. v.], one of whose daughters he married. He was at first employed upon small book illustrations, from designs by Stothard, Uwins, Westall, Corbould, and others, some of which he exhibited with the Society of British Artists between 1825 and 1832. Subsequently he executed some good plates on a larger scale, including ‘The Stray Kitten,’ after W. Collins, and ‘The Hermit,’ after A. Fraser. For Finden's ‘Gallery of British Art’ he engraved ‘A Day's Sport in the Highlands,’ after A. Cooper, and ‘The Loan of a Bite,’ after Mulready. Shenton's best-known plates are the three published by the Art Union of London: ‘The Tired Huntsman,’ after C. Landseer, 1840; ‘The Clemency of Cœur de Lion,’ after R. Crosse, 1857; and ‘A Labour of Love,’ after J. R. Dicksee, 1863; the last he was unable to finish on account of the failure of his eyesight. He also executed for the Art Union a set of outlines of incidents in English history, from designs by various artists, issued in 1847. Shenton was one of the last survivors of the able band of engravers in the pure line manner who flourished during the first half of this century. He died suddenly at Camden Town on 15 Sept. 1866.

Henry Chawner Shenton (1825–1846), his eldest son, studied in the schools of the Royal Academy and at Rome, and was trained as a sculptor by William Behnes [q. v.] He exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1843 a group of Christ and Mary; in 1844 at the Westminster Hall competition, a colossal group of ‘The Burial of the Princes in the Tower;’ and in 1845, also at Westminster Hall, a statue of Cranmer. These were works of the highest promise, and gained much admiration; but the artist's career was cut short, after a brief illness, on 7 Feb. 1846.

His brother, William Kernot Shenton (1836–1877), born in June 1836, also became a sculptor and exhibited medallion portraits at the Royal Academy from 1857 to 1871. He for a time taught drawing and modelling in the art school at the Crystal Palace, and died on 19 April 1877 (Art Journal, 1878).

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Art Journal, 1866; Art Union, 1846; Athenæum, 1846, p. 72.]

F. M. O'D.