Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Tempest, Pierce

TEMPEST, PIERCE (1653–1717), printseller, born at Tong, Yorkshire, in July 1653, was the sixth son of Henry Tempest of Tong by his wife, Mary Bushall, and brother of Sir John Tempest, first baronet. It is said that he was a pupil and assistant of Wenceslaus Hollar [q. v.], and some of the prints which bear his name as the publisher have been assumed to be his own work; but there is no actual evidence that he ever practised engraving. Establishing himself in the Strand as a book and print seller about 1680, Tempest issued some sets of plates of birds and beasts etched by Francis Place and John Griffier from drawings by Francis Barlow; a few mezzotint portraits by Place and others, chiefly of royal personages; and a translation of C. Ripa's ‘Iconologia,’ 1709. But he is best known by the celebrated ‘Cryes of the City of London,’ which he published in 1711, a series of seventy-four portraits, from drawings by Marcellus Laroon the elder [q. v.], of itinerant dealers and other remarkable characters who at that time frequented the streets of the metropolis; the plates were probably all engraved by John Savage (fl. 1690–1700) [q. v.], whose name appears upon one of them. Tempest died on 1 April 1717, and was buried at St. Paul's, Covent Garden, London. There is a mezzotint portrait of him by Place, after G. Heemskerk, with the motto ‘Cavete vobis principes,’ and the figure of a nonconformist minister in the ‘Cryes’ is said to represent him.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Chaloner Smith's British Mezzotinto Portraits; Dodd's manuscript Hist. of Engravers in Brit. Mus. (Addit. MS. 33406); information from Major Tempest of Broughton Hall.]

F. M. O'D.