Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Faithorne, William (1656-1701?)

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FAITHORNE, WILLIAM, the younger (1656–1701?), mezzotint engraver, born in London in 1656, was the eldest son of William Faithorne the elder [q. v.] According to Walpole he was negligent, and fell into ‘distresses which afflicted his father, and obliged him to work for booksellers;’ but Chaloner Smith remarks that this assertion cannot be true, for his father died in 1691, and as the younger man's prints reach far into Queen Anne's reign they could not possibly have been executed before his father's death; moreover his earlier pieces are inscribed ‘W. Faithorne, junior,’ and it is presumable that when the remainder were published he was ‘junior’ no longer. The exact year of his death is unknown; he was, it is said, buried in St. Martin's Churchyard, from the house of ‘Mr. Will. Copper in Half Moon Street, Covent Garden.’ Forty-three plates are known to have been engraved by him. Among these are: Anne of Denmark, when princess; Anne, when queen of England, after Dahl; Charles I; Charles II, after Ehrenstrahl; John Dryden, after Closterman; Prince Eugene, after Pfeffer; Lady Grace Gethin, after Dickson; Sir Richard Haddock, after Closterman; the Impeached Lords, four ovals, on one sheet, with titles under each: William, earl of Portland; Edward, earl of Orford; John, lord Somers; Charles, lord Halifax; John Moore, after Kneller; Mary, princess of Orange, after Hanneman; Frederick I of Prussia; Frederick, duke of Schomberg, after Dahl; Thomas Shadwell, after Kerseboom; three portraits of William III, after Kneller; James Thynne, and Sophia Dorothea of Zelle, after Kerseboom.

[J. Chaloner Smith's British Mezzotinto Portraits, pt. ii. p. 461; Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting in England, iii. 917; and manuscript notes in the British Museum.]

L. F.