Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Huggins, William John

HUGGINS, WILLIAM JOHN (1781–1845), marine-painter, born in 1781, began life as a sailor in the service of the East India Company. During his voyages he made many drawings of ships and landscapes in China and elsewhere. He eventually settled in Leadenhall Street, near the East India House, and practised his art as a profession, being specially employed to make drawings of ships in the company's service. In 1817 he exhibited a picture in the Royal Academy, and continued to exhibit occasionally up to his death. From his nautical knowledge his pictures had some repute as portraits of ships, but were weak in colouring and general composition. Some of them were engraved. Huggins was marine-painter to George IV and to William IV: for the latter he painted three large pictures of the battle of Trafalgar, two of which are at Hampton Court and one in St. James's Palace. He died in Leadenhall Street on 19 May 1845.

[Gent. Mag. new ser. 1815, xxiv. 93; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Royal Acad. Catalogues.]

L. C.