Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Howe, James

HOWE, JAMES (1780–1836), animal painter, was born 30 Aug. 1780 at Skirling in Peeblesshire, where his father, William Howe, was minister from 1765 till his death 10 Dec. 1796. After attending the parish school Howe was apprenticed to a house-painter at Edinburgh, but employed his time in painting panoramic exhibitions, devoting himself especially to animals. Howe obtained a great reputation for his skill in drawing horses and cattle, and was employed in drawing portraits of well-known animals for a series of illustrations of British domestic animals, published by the Highland Society of Scotland to stimulate breeding. He was also commissioned by Sir John Sinclair to draw examples of various breeds of cattle. A set of fourteen engravings of horses from drawings by Howe were published and, for the most part, engraved by W. H. Lizars [q. v.], at Edinburgh in 1824, and a series of forty-five similar engravings of horses and cattle was published in 1832. Howe came once to London to paint the horses of the royal stud, but resided principally at Edinburgh, where he was a frequent exhibitor at the Edinburgh exhibitions, Royal Institution, and Royal Scottish Academy from 1808 to the time of his death. In 1815 he visited the field of Waterloo, and painted a picture of the battle, which he exhibited at the Royal Academy in London in 1816. Howe died at Edinburgh, 11 July 1836.

[Anderson's Scottish Nation; Jos. Irving's Book of Scotsmen; Bryan's Dict. of Painters and Engravers, ed. R. E. Graves; information from Mr. J. M. Gray.]

L. C.