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Stow, James (DNB00)

STOW, JAMES (fl. 1790–1820), engraver, born near Maidstone about 1770, was son of a labourer. At the age of thirteen he engraved a plate from Murillo's ‘St. John and the Lamb,’ which showed such precocious talent that, with funds provided by gentlemen in the neighbourhood, he was articled to William Woollett [q. v.] After Woollett's death in 1785 he completed his apprenticeship with William Sharp [q. v.] Stow worked entirely in the line manner, and engraved many of the plates for Boydell's ‘Shakespeare’ (small series), Bowyer's edition of Hume's ‘History of England,’ Macklin's ‘Bible,’ Du Roveray's edition of ‘Pope's Homer,’ George Perfect Harding's series of portraits of the ‘Deans of Westminster,’ and other fine publications. His most important single plates were ‘The Three Women at the Sepulchre,’ after Benjamin West, which he issued himself; and a portrait of Lord Frederick Campbell, after Edridge. His latest employment was upon the illustrations to Wilkinson's ‘Londina Illustrata,’ 1811–23. Falling into intemperate habits, Stow died in obscurity and poverty.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Dodd's manuscript History of Engravers in Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 33405; Notes and Queries, 6th ser. iv. 427, 521.]

F. M. O'D.