Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Watson, Thomas (1743-1781)

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WATSON, THOMAS (1743–1781), engraver, was born in London in 1743, and articled to an engraver on plate. He executed some good stipple prints, which include portraits of Mrs. Sheridan as St. Cecilia, and Elizabeth Beauclerk as Una, both after Reynolds, and portraits of Mrs. Crewe and Mrs. Wilbraham, after Daniel Gardner; but he specially excelled in mezzotint, working from pictures by Reynolds, Dance, West, Gardner, Willison, Rembrandt, Correggio, and others. His portraits, after Reynolds, of Lady Bampfylde, Lady Melbourne, Mrs. Crewe as St. Geneviève, Lady Townshend and her sisters, and the ‘Strawberry Girl,’ are brilliant examples of the art, and proofs of them are now greatly prized. He also executed a set of six fine plates of Lely's ‘Windsor Beauties,’ now at Hampton Court. Watson for a time carried on business as a printseller in New Bond Street, and in 1778 entered into partnership with William Dickinson (1746–1823) [q. v.] He died and was buried at Bristol in 1781.

[J. Chaloner Smith's British Mezzotinto Portraits; Le Blanc's Manuel de l'Amateur d'Estampes; Thomas Watson, James Watson, and Elizabeth Judkins, by Gordon Goodwin, 1904.]

F. M. O'D.