Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Bewick, Robert Elliot

BEWICK, ROBERT ELLIOT (1788–1849), wood engraver, was the only son of Thomas Bewick [q. v.]. He was born on 26 April 1788, and was brought up to his father's business. In 1812 he became Thomas Bewick's partner. He designed with great care, and, as an engraver, was laboriously minute and accurate, but seems never to have developed the latent talent which his father believed him to possess (Memoir, p. 250). He assisted Thomas Bewick in the 'Fables of Æsop,' 1818, and in the illustrations and vignettes for the projected 'History of British Fishes,' which occupied his latter days. Some specimens of these are given in the 'Memoir.' One of them, 'The Maigre,' is engraved on copper by 'R. E. Bewick;' and Miss Bewick states (Memoir, p. 289) that her brother left behind him some 'fifty highly finished and accurately coloured drawings of fishes from nature,' together with some descriptive text, which he had prepared for the same never completed work. These drawings now form part of the Bewick bequest to the British Museum. Robert Bewick died unmarried 27 July 1849, and is buried in Ovingham churchyard.

[Memoir of Thomas Bewick, &c.]

A. D.