Mossop, William (DNB00)

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MOSSOP, WILLIAM (1751–1804), medallist, was born in 1751 in Mary's Parish, Dublin. His father, a Roman catholic named Browne, died when he was young, and his mother, on her second marriage to W. Mossop, a relative of Henry Mossop [q. v.] the actor, changed his name to Mossop in order to procure him admission to the Dublin Bluecoat School, a protestant institution. On leaving this school about 1765 Mossop was apprenticed to Stone, a die-sinker, who made seal-dies for the Linen Board. On Stone's death through intemperance Mossop contributed to the support of the family, and continued to work for the Linen Board till 1781, when he lost his employment on a change of management. In 1784, and afterwards, he lived at 13 Essex Quay, Dublin, describing his occupation as that of 'letter-cutter and die-sinker.' A chance purchase of a collection of medals turned his attention to medallic work, and in 1782 he produced his first medal, that of Ryder the actor. He was encouraged by Henry Quin, M.D., of Dublin. In 1793 he was employed by the firm Camac, Kyan, & Camac to superintend their private mint, and in making the dies for the 'Camac' halfpenny tokens. The failure of the firm cost him his appointment and involved him in pecuniary losses, and in 1797 he returned to his business as a private die-sinker. Besides designing medals, Mossop prepared the dies of numerous seals of various public bodies in Ireland. He also engraved a few compositions in cornelian and ivory. He died in Dublin in 1804, after a few hours' illness, from paralysis and apoplexy, aged 53. Mossop married (about 1781?), and had a family. William Stephen Mossop [q. v.] the medallist was his son.

Before cutting the steel die for his medals Mossop made a large model in wax. Some of the dies passed into the possession of Mr. J. Woodhouse, medallist, of Dublin. The following are the chief medals produced by Mossop : Thomas Ryder, 1782, signed w. m.; Right Hon. John and Mrs. Beresford, 1788, signed w. mossop; Henry Quin, signed w. mossop; David La Touche, 1785 (?); William Alexander, 1785; William Deane, 1785 (?); Edmund Sexton, viscount Pery (Lord Pery paid forty guineas for this medal, Mossop having asked only twenty); Cunningham prize medal of Royal Irish Academy (with portrait of Lord Charlemont, who gave Mossop access to his library and collection of coins and medals); Down Corporation of Horse Breeders, about 1787; Primate Robinson, Lord Rokeby, about 1789; medals given at the commencements, Trinity College, Dublin, about 1793; medal of the Friendly Brothers of St. Patrick; Dr. Barrett's school medal; Tyrone regiment, 1797 (?); Bantry Bay medal; Order of Orange and Blue (badge); Orange Association, 1798; Hon. Henry St. George Cole; Dublin Masonic School medal; College Historical Society, Dublin University; Mossop's medal, about 1801; Dublin Society medal, about 1802; medals of the Farming Society of Ireland; Navan Farming Society, 1802 (?); Irish Ordnance medal. Mossop, like his son, was an able medallist. His works are usually signed Mossop.

[The best account of Mossop is that given in the Medallists of Ireland and their Work, by Dr. William Frazer, of Dublin.]

W. W.