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Overton, John (1640-1708?) (DNB00)


OVERTON, JOHN (1640–1708?), printseller, was the principal vendor of mezzotints of his day. Noble thinks he was connected with Robert Scot, the bookseller, of Little Britain. His shop was at ‘the White Horse without Newgate,’ London, where he succeeded Peter Stent and an elder John Overton, and where he was followed by Henry Overton, probably his son, who published many mezzotint portraits, some with E. Cooper. Towards the end of his life Henry Overton was in partnership with I. Hoole. Another member of the family was Philip Overton, who brought out mezzotint portraits down to a period subsequent to 1750 at the Golden Buck, near St. Dunstan's Church, opposite Fetter Lane, in Fleet Street, London, where he was succeeded by M. Overton, and afterwards by Robert Sayer. Both Henry and Philip Overton were benefactors to William Bowyer on the occasion of the fire at his printing-office, on 30 Jan. 1712 (Nichols, Lit. Anecd. i. 62).

A portrait of John Overton, in wig and bands, ‘ætatis suæ 68, A.D. 1708,’ is described by J. Chaloner Smith, who states that his address ‘is to be found on many works of the times of Charles II, James II, and William III, some being after states of the line engravings by the elder Faithorne’ (British Mezzotinto Portraits, 1884, iv. 1699–1700).

[Notes and Queries, 6th ser. ii. 347, 414, 498; Noble's Biographical History of England, 1806, iii. 428–30; Gay's Trivia, ii. 488–9; North's Life of John North, 1826, iii. 290–3.]

H. R. T.