Record

RecordTypePerson
Person NameWoodward; George Murgatroyd (1765-1809); of London and Stanton by Dale, artist and writer
SurnameWoodward
ForenamesGeorge Murgatroyd
Epithetof London and Stanton by Dale, artist and writer
Dates1765-1809
Gender_IdentityMale
ActivityGeorge Murgatroyd Woodward was baptised in Hackney, London, in 1767, but grew up in Stanton by Dale, where his father, William, was land agent to Earl Stanhope of Chevening. William Woodward was required to travel frequently in the course of his work as he was also responsible for overseeing the Earl's estates at Holsworthy in Devon, and Hoggeston in Buckinghamshire. Until 1787 the family also had a house in London, first at 115 High Holborn, then from 1783, at 30 Carey Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields. As early as 1782 Woodward was helping his father with his work, carrying letters, and running errands. By 1787 he was working on the Earl's estates in Buckinghamshire, overseeing the unsuccessful prospecting for coal. He resigned his position with Earl Stanhope in 1791, embarking on his career as caricaturist. He died on 5 November 1809 at the Brown Bear Tavern, Bow Street, Covent Garden. He was buried at St Paul's Covent Garden, and the burial records give his age at the time of death as 45. Woodward's artistic talents were apparently evident at a young age, according to his father 'he used to draw before he could speak plain'. His earliest drawings are mostly humorous scenes of everyday life, and caricature portraits. Between 1782 and 1787 he drew a series of portraits of actors in Shakespearean roles, as well as a number of depictions of the earliest balloon flights. Woodward's first prints were published at the family's London home in Lincoln's Inn Fields in 1785. By the time he resigned from his position with Earl Stanhope in 1791, he had already produced work for several London publishers, notably Holland and Fores. Because he was untrained as an artist, Woodward always relied on other artists to transfer his designs on to copperplates for printing. In the 1790s he collaborated with the young artist Richard Newton on a number of prints for the publisher William Holland. There are no examples of that work in the collection, but there many examples of the work he did in conjunction with Thomas Rowlandson for the publisher Rudolph Ackermann. This work includes several humorous series such as the 'Horse Accomplishments' and 'Journals' and 'Prayers', and also a collection of decorative borders. From 1807 Woodward began producing designs for Tegg's 'Caricature Magazine'. The quality of these prints is far lower than that of those published by Ackermann, and the subject matter is often somewhat coarser. Woodward also collaborated frequently with Isaac Cruikshank, father of the famous Victorian caricaturist George Cruikshank. As well as an artist, Woodward was also a writer, and he wrote and illustrated a number of humorous works.

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