Benjamin Clayton—II, Engraver

(b. 1786, d. 1862)


From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Second son of Benjamin Clayton (I), was born in 1786 and baptized at St. John's Church on 18th November of that year. He worked chiefly as a wood-engraver, contributing to the "Dublin Penny Journal" and other works published in Dublin. A wood-cut by him of "Wood Quay and the N.E. Suburbs" is in Hardiman's "History of Galway," 1820; and in "The Freeman's Journal" of 4th October, 1820, is a wood-cut of "The Interior of the House of Lords as prepared for the Trial of Queen Caroline," probably the first illustration in a Dublin daily paper other than small advertisement cuts. He tried his hand at almost every form of engraving, but though he worked hard he never attained to much distinction in his profession. He invented a new method of printing on textile fabrics which he endeavoured to have adopted by the trade in Manchester, and showed a model in the London Exhibition of 1851.

Towards the end of 1841 he went to London, where his son Benjamin had preceded him, and found work with W. S. Johnson and with Dean & Son, who published a series of seven small drawing-books designed and engraved by him. In 1856 he returned to Dublin and worked chiefly for his son-in-law, J. Le Petit, the print-seller and publisher. He died at Ashtown, Co. Dublin, on 17th November, 1862, aged 76. He married in 1808, while residing with his father in Ryder's Row, Eleanor Creathorne, of Baltinglass, who survived him and died on 12th January, 1868. By her he was father of Benjamin Clayton III and two other sons—Robert, who showed some talent as an engraver but died young about 1833; and Jeffrey Creathorne, who worked as an engraver in London, Paris and Birmingham with indifferent success and died in 1892. Benjamin had also three daughters—Mary Anne, born in 1818, who married Joseph Le Petit, the print-seller; Caroline, Mrs. Millard (q.v.), and Martha, who married a draughtsman on the Ordnance Survey named Dalgleish and died in 1911.

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