William Hincks, Portrait Painter and Engraver

(fl. 1773-1797)

Portrait Painter and Engraver

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Was born in Waterford, and in early life was apprenticed to a blacksmith. Self-taught as an artist, his name first appears in 1773, when he was living in York Street, Dublin, and was an exhibitor of portraits in crayons at the Society of Artists in William Street. He made similar contributions the following year; and in 1775, his address being then 67 Exchequer Street, he sent five works in oils and five in chalks. In 1777 he was at 63 George's Street, and exhibited six portraits, including one of "A Siberian Cat, in possession of Lady St. George." He made his last appearance as an exhibitor in Dublin in 1780, when he contributed to the Society of Artists portraits in oil and also miniatures. In the same year he went to London, and one of his first works on his arrival was a series of illustrations designed for an edition of "Tristram Shandy." In 1781 he sent a crayon portrait to the Royal Academy, and continued to exhibit there at intervals until 1797, his contributions being mostly miniatures.

When in Ireland he made a series of drawings representing the progress of the linen manufacture. These he engraved in stipple and published in London in 1782. The series consists of twelve plates, each plate measuring 13 ½ by 16 ½ inches, and represents the various processes used in the linen manufacture in the north of Ireland, from the sowing of the flax to the packing for exportation of the finished article at the Linen Hall in Dublin. The whole series was issued in an oblong folio volume. The set was republished in 1791 by R. Pollard, Spafields, London. The twelve plates are:

View near Scarva, Co. Down, representing Ploughing, Sowing the Flax Seed and Harrowing.

View near Hillsborough, representing Pulling the Flax, Stooking or putting it up to dry, Ripling and Boging or Burying it in water.

View in Co. Louth: taking the Flax out of the Bog, spreading it to dry, stoving, beetling and breaking it.

Method of Beetling, Scutching and Hackling the Flax.

A Scutch Mill, with the method of Breaking the Flax with grooved rollers, etc.

Spinning, Reeling with the Clock Reel and Boiling the Yarn.

Winding, Warping with a new improved Warping Mill and Weaving.

Brown Linen Market, Banbridge, Co. Down: the Weavers holding up their Pieces of Linen to View, the Bleachers elevated on Forms examining its quality.

View of all the Machinery of a Bleach Mill.

View of a Bleach Green, Co. of Down, shewing the methods of Wet and Dry Bleaching, etc.

View of a Lapping Room, with the Measuring, Crisping or Folding the Cloth in Lengths.

View of the Linen Hall, Dublin, with the Boxes and Bales ready for Exportation.

Besides the plates of the linen manufacture, Hincks did a number of other engravings, mostly after his own drawings. Among them are:

Phillip Astley standing on a Charger presented to him by Lord Heathfield.

Joseph Borulaski, the Polish Dwarf. Engraved in 1788 and prefixed to his "Memoirs."

Carlo Antonio Delpini, clown, as Pierrot in "Aladdin." Stipple.

Rev. Daniel De Crasto, stipple, 1790.

The Loss of the "Anastasia," showing the rescue of Lieutenant Drummond, R.N., by means of a bullock. Line, 22 by 15 inches.

Thomas Hussey, Bishop of Waterford; after T. Collopy (q.v.).

Louis XVI bidding farewell to his Family.

W. Shipley, projector of the Society of Arts. Engraved from life, and prefixed to the "Transactions " of the Society.

Duke of York, stipple, 1787.

The Increasing grandeur of the British Nation. Allegorical print, folio; designed and engraved by W. Hincks, and published by him, 4th June, 1787, at 25 Great Portland Street, Cavendish Square.

Free Trade; Hibernia, attended by her brave Volunteers, exhibiting her commercial Freedom.

Hincks was living in London in 1797, and probably died in or soon after that year.

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