William Byrne (engraver)

Donnington Castle in 1778, engraved by William Byrne

William Byrne (1743–1805) was an English engraver.


Byrne was born in London in 1743. After studying some time under his uncle, an artist little known, he went to Paris, where he became a pupil of Aliamet, and afterwards of Wille.[1] As well as making individual plates, he worked with Thomas Hearne on the Antiquities of Great Britain, which they jointly published in 1786.

He died in London in 1805 and was buried in Old St. Pancras churchyard. He was the father of painters John Byrne[1] and his second daughter Mary Green.[2] Landscape engraver John Landseer was his pupil.[3] His daughters Anne Francis (1775-1837), the eldest sibling and Letitia, the third, were also artists.[4]


His works are considerable; the following are the most deserving of notice:

  • Villa Madama: after R. Wilson (Society of Arts medal, 1765).
  • Antiquities of Britain, VOL.1; from drawings by Thomas Hearne (1786).
  • Antiquities of Britain, VOL.2; from drawings by Thomas Hearne (1807).
  • Views of the Lakes of Cumberland and Westmoreland; after Farrington.
  • Scenery of Italy; after the fine designs of Francis Smith.
  • Apollo watching the Flocks of King Admetus; after Filippo Lauri; the companion to Woollett's print of Diana and Actaeon.
  • The Flight into Egypt; a landscape; after Domenichino.
  • Evening; a landscape; after Claude Lorrain.
  • Abraham and Lot quitting Egypt; after Zuccarelli; the figures by Bartolozzi.
  • A Sea-piece; after Vernet.
  • Evening; after Both; the landscape by Byrne, the figures by Bartolozzi.
  • Two Views of Leuben, in Saxony; after Dietrich.
  • The Death of Captain Cook; the figures by Bartolozzi.
  • The Falls of Niagara; after R. Wilson.
  • Engraving for Britannia depicta


  1. ^ a b   One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainBryan, Michael (1886). "Byrne, William". In Graves, Robert Edmund (ed.). Bryan's Dictionary of Painters and Engravers (A–K). I (3rd ed.). London: George Bell & Sons.
  2. ^ Cust, L. H.; Sunderland, John (reviewer) (January 2008) [2004]. "Green, James (1771–1834)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/11387. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ Stephens, Frederic G. (1880). Sir Edwin Landseer. London: Sampson Low, Marston. p. 2.
  4. ^ Gay, Sara, Byrne entries in The Dictionary of British Women Artists, 2009, Casemate Publishers, ISBN 0718830849, 9780718830847, google books

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