Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Sherwin, William (fl.1670-1710)

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SHERWIN, WILLIAM (fl. 1670–1710), engraver, son of William Sherwin (1607–1687?) [q. v.] , the nonconformist divine, was born at Wallington, Hertfordshire, of which place his father was rector, about 1645. Between 1670 and 1711 he engraved in the line manner a number of portraits, of which the best have considerable merit, and all are interesting on account of their scarcity and their subjects. These comprise large plates of Charles II, Queen Catherine, Prince Rupert, Lord Gerard of Brandon, the Duchess of Cleveland, and Slingsby Bethell; and various small ones prefixed to books. He engraved the title to Reynolds's ‘Triumphes of God's Revenge against Murder,’ 1670, several of the plates in Sandford's ‘History of the Coronation of James II,’ 1687, and the portraits of Dr. William Sermon [q. v.], prefixed to his works. Sherwin was one of the first workers in mezzotint, being instructed in the practice by Prince Rupert, to whom he dedicated a pair of large portraits of Charles II and his queen engraved in that method; the former of these bears the date 1669, the earliest found on an English mezzotint. Among his other mezzotint plates are portraits of the Duke of Albemarle, Elizabeth Cavendish, duchess of Albemarle, Adrian Beverland, and several royal personages. Sherwin seems to have worked mainly from his own drawings. On his print of his father, dated 1672, he styles himself engraver to the king by patent. He married Elizabeth Pride, great-niece and ward of George Monck, duke of Albemarle, whose heir-at-law she eventually became, and there exists a pedigree of the Moncks of Potheridge engraved by Sherwin expressly to show his wife's claim to that position. He is supposed to have died about 1714.

[Strutt's Dict of Engravers; Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting, ed. Dallaway and Wornum; J. Chaloner Smith's British Mezzotinto Portraits; Dodd's manuscript Hist. of Engravers in Brit. Museum (Add. MS. 33404).]

F. M. O'D.