William Harvey (artist)

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1835 woodcut by Harvey portraying the killing of King Edward the Martyr

William Harvey (13 July 1796 – 1866) was an English engraver and designer.

Born at Newcastle upon Tyne, Harvey was the son of a bath-keeper. At the age of 14, he was apprenticed to Thomas Bewick, and became one of his favorite pupils. Bewick describes him as one "who both as an engraver & designer, stands preeminent" at his day (Memoir, p. 200). He engraved many blocks for Bewick's Aesop's Fables (1818).

Harvey moved to London in 1817, studying drawing with Benjamin Haydon, and anatomy with Charles Bell. In 1821, he engraved for Haydon on wood, in imitation of copper-plate, the large block of the Assassination of L. S. Dentatus. This was probably the then most ambitious block which had been cut in England.

Harvey switched to design, after the death of John Thurston, the then leading wood designer in London. One of his earliest works is his illustrations for Alexander Henderson's History of Ancient and Modern Wines in 1824.

His masterpieces are his illustrations to Northcote's Fables (1823–33) and to E. W. Lane's The Arabian Nights' Entertainments (1838–40).

Harvey is buried in Richmond Cemetery.[1]


  1. Meller, Hugh; Parsons, Brian (2011). London Cemeteries: An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer (fifth ed.). Stroud, Gloucestershire: The History Press. pp. 290–294. ISBN 9780752461830.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Bewick, Thomas (1975). A Memoir of Thomas Bewick. Edited with an introduction by Iain Bain. London; New York: Oxford University Press.
  •  Stephen, Leslie; Lee, Sidney, eds. (1891). [https%3A%2F%2Fen.wikisource.org%2Fwiki%2FHarvey%2C_William_%281796-1866%29_%28DNB00%29 "Harvey, William (1796-1866)" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). Dictionary of National Biography. 25. London: Smith, Elder & Co.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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