Cooke, William John (DNB00)

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COOKE, WILLIAM JOHN (1797–1865), line engraver, was born in Dublin 11 April 1797, but came to England with his parents when only a year old. He was placed under the tuition of his uncle, George Cooke, the engraver, and in 1826 he received from the Society of Arts a gold medal for the great improvements which he made in engraving upon steel. He was employed upon the annuals, Stanfield's ‘Coast Scenery,’ Daniell's ‘Oriental Annual,’ and other illustrated publications of that day; but upon their decline about 1840 he left England and settled at Darmstadt, where he died 6 April 1865. His best plates are those after Turner of ‘Nottingham’ and ‘Plymouth’ in the ‘Views in England and Wales,’ ‘Newark Castle’ in Scott's ‘Poetical Works.’ Besides these he engraved ‘The Thames at Mortlake,’ also after Turner, ‘Calais Pier,’ after David Cox, for the ‘Gallery of the Society of Painters in Water Colours,’ and ‘Returned from his Travels, or the Travelled Monkey,’ after Sir Edwin Landseer.

[Bryan's Dict. of Painters and Engravers, ed. Graves, 1886; information from Mrs. Cooke.]

R. E. G.