MEZZOTINTS
by Joseph Sympson Jnr

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More on this dismasted ship.

Philip Bearcroft, 1697-1761, was educated at Charterhouse and Magdalen Hall, Oxford. He was appointed preacher to the Charterhouse in 1724, Chaplain to the King in 1738, Secretary to the Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts in 1739, and Master of the Charterhouse from 1753-1761. What the initials S.T.P. stand for has yet to be discovered. Wikipedia now tells me this: S.T.P. Sanctae Theologiae Professor ("Professor of Sacred Theology"). Useful to know. Biographical details provided by Grosvenor Prints.

Joseph Sympson Jnr (c 1705?-1736) produced at least one green mezzotint after Monamy. Untitled, it depicts a burning ship. This print later appeared with van de Velde's name substituted for Monamy, and Houston's for Sympson. In A Catalogue of Engravers, 1798, Walpole informs us that "Mr Houston died August 4, 1775". The elegant author also tells us, p 105, that "Joseph Simpson was very low in his profession ... till, having studied in the academy, he was employed by Tillemans on a plate of Newmarket, to which he was permitted to put his name, and which, though it did not please the painter, served to make Simpson known. He had a son of both his names, of whom he had conceived extraordinary hopes, but who died in 1736 without having attained much excellence." Houston gave the same treatment to another plate by Sympson Jnr, a storm, after van de Velde, although van de Velde's name was retained. Clearly, Houston didn't mind putting his name to Sympson's work, with or without permission. He must have considered Sympson's excellence to have been at least sufficient.


P.Monamy pinxt Josephus Sympson Junr Fecit
Sold at Js Sympson's, at the Dove in Russell Court in Drury Lane.


"very low in his profession ..... a son of both his names ..... died in 1736 without having attained much excellence"

Bully for you, Horace, you knew how to dish it out.

Mezzotints after Monamy
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