Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Austin, William (1721-1820)

AUSTIN, WILLIAM (1721–1820), engraver and draftsman, was born in London in 1721. He was a pupil of George Bickham; but after having engraved a few plates, chiefly landscapes of no great merit, he relinqilished the practice of the art, and devoted the remainder of his life to teaching drawing, first in London and afterwards in Brighton. Among his engravings are four plates of the 'Ruins of Ancient Rome,' after Pannini, four plates of the 'Ruins of Palmyra,' six 'Sea-pieces,' after Van Goyen, and 'The Four Times of the Day,' views in Holland after Waterloo, Ruisdael, Van Goyen, and Van der Neer. He likewise engraved with Paul Sandby, Vivares, and others, some views of 'Windsor Park' and 'Virginia Water,' and also published in 1781 a series of thirty plates, slightly etched from drawings by Andrea Locatelli, entitled 'A Specimen of Sketching Landscapes.' He for some time kept a print-shop, and published some political caricatures, which were mostly directed against the French, and in support of the administration of Charles James Fox. Six of these, 'French Spies attacked by British Bees,' and others, were engraved by himself in 1780. He died at Brighton 11 May 1820, at the advanced age of ninety-nine.

[Ottley's Notices of Engravers, 1831; Gent. Mag. 1820, i. 476.]

R. E. G.