Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Dudley, Howard

DUDLEY, HOWARD (1820–1864), wood engraver, was the only son of George Dudley of Tipperary, and Sarah, daughter of Nathaniel Cove, coal merchant, of Salisbury Square, Fleet Street, London. He lost his father at an early age, and removed with his mother to Easebourne, near Midhurst, Sussex. Here he devoted his holiday time to the history and antiquities of the neighbourhood, and when only fourteen years of age determined to illustrate these in print. Setting up a small printing-press of his own he produced in 1835 a small volume entitled ‘Juvenile Researches, or a Description of some of the Principal Towns in the Western Part of Sussex and the Borders of Hants, interspersed with various pieces of Poetry by a Sister, and illustrated by numerous wood-engravings executed by the Author.’ Dudley set the types himself, and without any teaching engraved the numerous illustrations. These, though very rough, show great taste, and are very remarkable for an artist of so tender an age. He printed it one page at a time, and his sister, Miss M. A. Dudley, supplied the poetry. This little volume met with so much success that Dudley was encouraged to reprint it in a slightly enlarged form, and in 1836 to publish another similar volume, entitled ‘The History and Antiquities of Horsham,’ containing thirty woodcuts and four lithographic views, all executed by himself. He made collections for a quarto volume entitled ‘The History and Antiquities of Midhurst,’ to be illustrated with 150 woodcuts and lithographic drawings; but having now adopted the profession of a wood engraver, and obtained sufficient employment, he was unable to carry it out. From 1845 to 1852 he resided and exercised his art in Edinburgh, but eventually returned to London, where he died in Holford Square, Pentonville, 4 July 1864, aged 44. He married, in Edinburgh, Jane Ellen, second daughter of Alexander Young, but left no family.

[Gent. Mag. 3rd ser. xviii. (1865) 101; Lower's Worthies of Sussex (ed. 1865); Brit. Mus. Cat.]

L. C.