HUBAND, WILCOCKS

(b. 1776, d. 1834)

Amateur Etcher

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Was born in Dublin in 1776, the son of Joseph Huband, a barrister, and his wife Catherine, daughter of George Reynolds of Crumlin. He entered Trinity College at the age of 16 in 1792, graduated in 1797 and in the same year entered the Inner Temple. After two years' stay in London he returned to Dublin and was called to the Bar in 1800. In 1806 he was appointed a Commissioner of Bankrupts. He was a man of letters and intimate with the leading literary and dramatic celebrities of his day. While in Trinity College he made some attempts at etching; afterwards, during his residence in London from 1797 to 1799, he took lessons in drawing, and he improved his knowledge of art during a tour on the Continent in 1802.

He was author of an "Essay upon Taste and Judgment in the Fine Arts," and in 1810 produced his "Critical and Familiar Notices on the Art of Etching upon Copper," which he printed and bound with his own hands, and illustrated with etchings done by himself. Of this book, a small quarto, twenty-five copies only were printed, which the author presented to his friends. One copy he presented to Trinity College and another to the Royal Dublin Society who, in thanking him for the gift, referred to "the varied genius it displays in the originality of its design, the critical elegance of its composition, and the masterly execution of its plates." Miss Edgeworth, in return for a copy presented to her by the author, sent him a complete set of her works; and so highly was the book esteemed and so eagerly sought after as a rarity, that a pipe of port was once refused for a copy. The book contains six etchings; but two or three others are sometimes found inserted inside the covers. Huband was also the author of a "Dictionary of English Participles," an "Essay on English Orthography," and "The Prompter, or Cursory Hints to Young Actors, a didactic Poem," published in 1810 and again in 1827 and 1831. The first edition was anonymous; the subsequent ones bore the pseudonym "David Lyddall."

Huband died in England in 1834, and was buried at Bath. He had a son, GEORGE JOSEPH HUBAND, known during his childhood as "Joseph," who as a boy evinced a taste for art. In 1822 at the age of 13, he laid before the Dublin Society a small book of comic sketches etched by himself, for which, on the 7th March, the Society presented him with a silver medal. These etchings were signed J. H. He did not however follow up art, but, as a note in the Dublin Society's "Proceedings" tells us, "discontinued the practice of drawing, from an apprehension that its allurements might possibly seduce him from more important studies." He subsequently entered the army and was a captain in the 8th Hussars. A portrait of him belongs to his son, the Rev. H. R. Huband, of Ipsley Lodge, near Farnham, Surrey, who also has the silver medal presented by the Dublin Society, and the copper plates of Wilcocks Huband's etchings.

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