Carter, Ellen (DNB00)

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CARTER, ELLEN (1762–1815), artist and book illustrator, was the daughter of Walter Vavasour of Weston in Yorkshire, and Ellen his wife, daughter of Edward Elmsall of Thornhill in the same county. She was born in 1762, and baptised at St. Olave's Church, York, on 16 May of that year. At an early age, though a protestant, she was placed in a convent at Rouen, with which her family had been connected for some generations. Though strongly affected by the surrounding influence of the Roman catholic religion, she never actually forsook her own religion, and after her return to her native country became well known for her piety and devotion to her church. In November 1787 she was married at Thornhill to the Rev. John Carter, then curate of that place, afterwards head-master of Lincoln grammar school, and incumbent of St. Swithin's in the same city. Mrs. Carter was devoted to artistic pursuits, and particularly excelled in drawing the human figure. She drew illustrations for the ‘Archæologia,’ the ‘Gentleman's Magazine,’ and other similar works. A print was published from a design by her, entitled ‘The Gardener's Girl,’ intended as a companion to Thomas Barker's ‘Woodboy.’ Her drawings are frequently met with in private collections. Her devotion to her art told on a constitution that was never strong, and the untimely death of her eldest son in the Peninsula gave her a shock from which she never recovered. She died on 22 Sept. 1815, and was buried in the churchyard of St. Peter's in the East Gate, Lincoln.

[Gent. Mag. 1815, lxxxv. 374; Redgrave's Dict. of English Artists; Foster's Yorkshire Pedigrees; information from Rev. A. R. Maddison.]

L. C.