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William Westall and Richard Westall Collection of Papers and Correspondence: Finding Aid
mssHM 54281-54318, HM 63286  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note on Richard Westall
  • Biographical Note on William Westall
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing: Subjects
  • Indexing: Added Entries
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: William Westall and Richard Westall Collection of Papers and Correspondence
    Dates (inclusive): 1805-1836
    Collection Number: mssHM 54281-54318, HM 63286
    Creator: Westall, William, 1781-1850.
    Extent: 39 letters + one manuscript volume and a folder of ephemera in 1 box
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2129
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains 39 items of English artists and brothers William Westall (1781-1850), an illustrator of topographical works, and Richard Westall (1765-1836), a painter, book illustrator, and instructor of painting and drawing to the Princess Victoria.
    Language: English.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. William Westall and Richard Westall Collection of Papers and Correspondence, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Correspondence and ephemera was purchased from Cesi Kellinger, February 1, 1984, and the manuscript volume was donated by Mr. Edwards H. Metcalf, June 15, 1992.

    Cataloging Decisions

    1. The cataloging of this collection was begun by Sara S. Hodson in 1984 and completed by Gayle M. Barkley in 2002. It was decided not to replace the blue colored folders in order to render the names in standard authorized form; however, the names have been rendered consistently in this finding aid according to current standard authorized forms.

    Biographical Note on Richard Westall

    Richard Westall (1765-1836) was born in Hertford, England, in 1765 and, while living in London, worked as an apprentice to an heraldic engraver; in the evenings he studied art and was able to exhibit a portrait-drawing at the Royal Academy in 1784. He continued to paint, both in watercolor and oils, but his main occupation was as a prolific illustrator of books. When his large historical oil paintings did not sell he abandoned the medium and concentrated on book illustrating and painting watercolors, which, according to the Dictionary of National Biography, was his best medium. Toward the end of his life he was an instructor of painting and drawing to the Princess Victoria. Richard Westall never married and lived most of his life in London; he died there on December 4, 1836.

    Biographical Note on William Westall

    William Westall (1781-1850) was born in Hertford, England, in 1781 and was the younger brother of Richard Westall (1765-1836). He was taught drawing by his brother and in 1801, at the age of eighteen, began a series of voyages throughout Australia, China, India, Madeira, and Jamaica. When he returned to England in 1807 he began to paint pictures from the drawings he made on his journeys. These paintings were only moderately successful and he eventually began to gain employment as an illustrator of topographical works for various publishers; though he continued to paint and exhibit at the Royal Academy, he became best known for his topographical illustrations. He married Ann Sedgwick in 1820 and moved to St. John’s Wood where he lived for most of the remainder of his life and where he died in 1850.


    Dictionary of National Biography, vol. XX, Oxford University Press, 1921-1922 (p. 1258-1261).

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains correspondence, documents, engravings, and ephemera of the Westall brothers assembled at the Huntington Library. The papers consist of 38 letters, one bound manuscript volume, and one folder of ephemera. Included are the correspondence of William and Richard Westall, a bound volume of Richard Westall's illustrations, and printed pieces and photograph reproductions of various and paintings and illustrations. The incoming correspondence of William Westall includes letters from Sir John Carr, William Bernard Cooke, and others. 18 letters are signed "W. Stevens, Sedbergh, Westmoreland, England." There are six letters by Richard Westwall, written between 1811 and 1836, including two letters addressed to his brother. Also included is a statement of account for Richard Westall (1829). Also included is a letter by James William Inman to a "M. Parrington." (1811). The collection also contains a the bound manuscript volume titled Westall’s Illustrations of Bryon’s Works, with Suitable Extras, and a Brief Memoir, with 31 printed illustrative plates drawn by Richard Westall and engraved by various artists.


    The collection is organized in one box and consists of correspondence arranged alphabetically by author, the manuscript volume, and the folder of ephemera.

    Indexing: Subjects

    • Westall, Richard, 1765-1836. In M---- Colnaghi, Statement of account for Richard Westall, (1829, Nov. 14), London (England). HM 54285.
    • Westall, Richard, 1765-1836. In William Davies, [List of pictures returned to Richard?
    • Westall], (1826, July 5). HM 54287.
    • Westall, William, 1781-1850. In James Williams Inman, 1776-1859, letter to M---- Parrington, (1811, Aug. 9). HM 54289.

    Indexing: Added Entries

    • Drawings. In William Singer, letter to William Westall, 1781-1850, (1830, Aug. 25), St. Bees (Cumberland, England). HM 64292.
    • Westall, Richard, 1765-1836. Addressee for Webster Gordon, (1805, Sep. 19). HM 54288.
    • Westall, William, 1781-1850. Addressee for Margaret Willes Beaumont, fl. 1778, (1820). HM 54281-54282.
    • Westall, William, 1781-1850. Addressee for Sarah Black (1810, Aug. 21). HM 54283.
    • Westall, William, 1781-1850. Addressee for Sir John Carr, 1772-1832, (1819, Nov. 15), [London (England)]. HM 54284.
    • Westall, William, 1781-1850. Addressee for William Bernard Cooke, 1778-1855, (1811, Dec. 30). HM 54286.
    • Westall, William, 1781-1850. Addressee for Charles Lane, (1812, June 21), Arundel (Sussex, England). HM 54290.
    • Westall, William, 1781-1850. Addressee for R---- Page, (1806, Jan. 24). HM 54291.
    • Westall, William, 1781-1850. Addressee for William Singer, (1830, Aug. 25), St. Bees (Cumberland, England). HM 54292.
    • Westall, William, 1781-1850. Addressee for W---- Stevens, (1812 - 1819), Sedbergh (Westmoreland, England). HM 54293-54310.
    • Westall, William, 1781-1850. Addressee for Richard Westall, 1765-1836, (1820), London (England). HM 54314-54315.
    • Westall, William, 1781-1850. Addressee for Charles Tilton?, (1830, Mar. 24). HM 54318.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


    Byron, George Gordon Byron, Baron, 1788-1824. Works.
    Westall, Richard, 1765-1836 -- Archives.
    Westall, William, 1781-1850 -- Archives.
    Artists -- Great Britain -- Correspondence.


    Book illustrations -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
    Drawings -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
    Engravings -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
    Letters (correspondence) -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
    Manuscripts -- Great Britain -- 19th century.

    Additional Contributors

    Carr, John, Sir, 1772-1832.
    Cooke, William Bernard, 1778-1855.
    Inman, James, 1776-1859.
    Westall, Richard, 1765-1836, correspondent.