Boyne, John (DNB00)


BOYNE, JOHN (d. 1810), water-colour painter, caricaturist, and engraver, was born in county Down, Ireland, between 1750 and 1759. His father was originally a joiner by trade, but afterwards held for many years an appointment at the victualling office at Deptford. Boyne was brought to England when about nine years of age, and subsequently articled to William Byrne, the landscape-engraver. His master dying just at the expiration of his apprenticeship, he made an attempt to carry on the business himself, but being idle and dissipated in his habits, he was unsuccessful. He then joined a company of strolling actors near Chelmsford, where he enacted some of Shakespeare's characters, and assisted in a farce called 'Christmas;' but soon wearying of this mode of life, he returned to London in 1781, and took to the business of pearl-setting, being employed by a Mr. Flower, of Chichester Rents, Chancery Lane. Later on we find him in the capacity of a master in a drawing school, first in Holborn, and afterwards in Gloucester Street, Queen Square, where Holmes and Heaphy were his pupils. Boyne died at his house in Pentonville on 22 June 1810. His most important artistic productions were heads from Shakespeare's plays, spiritedly drawn and tinted; also 'Assignation, a Sketch to the Memory of the Duke of Bedford;' 'The Muck Worm,' and 'The Glow Worm.' His 'Meeting of Connoisseurs,' now in the South Kensington Museum, was engraved in stipple by T. Williamson. He published 'A Letter to Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Esq., on his late proceedings as a Member of the Society of the Freedom of the Press.'

[Magazine of the Fine Arts, iii. 222; Redgrave's Dictionary of Artists of the English School, London, 1878, 8vo.]

L. F.