Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Chatto, William Andrew

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CHATTO, WILLIAM ANDREW (1799–1864), miscellaneous writer, only son of William Chatto, a merchant who died at Gibraltar in 1804, was born at Newcastle-on-Tyne on 17 April 1799. After a good education at a grammar school in the north, he entered into mercantile pursuits. and about 1830 acquired the business of his cousin, a wholesale tea-dealer, in Eastcheap, London. In 1834 he relinquished business to devote himself to literature, his first publibation being ‘Scenes and Recollections of Fly-fishing in Northumberland, Cumberland. and Westmoreland. by Stephen Oliver the younger, of Aldwark in Com. Ebor.,’ London. 1831. The following year he published ‘Rambles in Northumberland and on the Scottish Border by Stephen Oliver,’ and in 1836 ‘The Angler’s Souvenir, by P[ayne] Fisher, Esq., assisted by several eminent piscatory characters, with Illustrations by Beckwith and Topham,’ 2nd ed. 1871. His other works are: ‘A Treatise on Wood Engraving, historical and practical,’ with 300 illustrations by John Jackson, 1830, 2nd ed. 1861, 3rd ed. 1877; ‘A Third Preface to a Treatise on Wood Engraving,' 1839; ‘History and Art of Wood Engraving,’ 1848: ‘Gems of Wood Engraving from the “Illustrated London News,” ’ 1848: ‘Views of Ports and Harbours on the English Coast, engraved by W. and E. Finden, the text. by W. A. C.,’ London, 1838, 2nd ed. 1874; ‘A Paper:—of Tobacco,’ by ‘Joseph Fume,’ with illustrations by ‘Phiz,’ London, 1830: ‘Love Letters of Hester Lynch Piozzi to W. A. Conway,’ 1843; and ‘Facts and Speculations on the Origin and History of Playing Cards,’ 1848. He also wrote ‘The Old English Squire,' a song by Stephen Oliver, the music by W. Blake, illustrated by H. K. Browne (‘Phiz’), 1838. He was editor in 1830-4l of the ‘New Sporting Magazine,’ and in 1844 projected a penny daily comic illustrated paper entitled: ‘Puck, a journalette of Fun.’ For this paper which he edited with considerable skill, he secured the services of several able contributors, including Tom Taylor, afterwards editor of ‘Punch,’ but it was found that there was not sufficient demand for a daily comic paper, and it had only a brief existence. In 1839 Chatto was elected an honorary member of the Antiquarian Society of Newcastle-on-Tyne. He died in the Charterhouse, 28 Feb. 1864, and was buried in Highgate cemetery. His epitaph, by his lifelong friend, Tom Taylor, describes him as a ‘true-hearted and upright man.’ By his with, Margaret, daughter of Luke Birch of Cornhill, London, he had five sons (of whom the third, Andrew, became a member of the publishing firm of Messrs. Chatto & Windus) and three daughters.

[Gent. Mag. 3rd ser. xvi. 538; information from Mr. Andrew Chatto, of Messrs. Chatto & Windus; Brit. Mus. Cat]

T. F. H.