According to each census, William Casley was born at Mullion and it appears likely that he was born towards the end of 1852. Although born at Mullion his family appear to have strong links with St Just in Penwith for in 1861 he is to be found living with his grandparents, William and Celia Casley on their farm at St Just. It is not clear who his parents were.
He was living in Penzance, as a boarder with the Wallis family in 1881 and described as an artist, and in the parish of Landewednack in 1891 (Census) at age 37 as a lodger in the home of the Triggs family and registered as an 'artist from Mullion'. Later in 1891 he married Harriet Ellen Richards in Truro.
According to a statement by his grandson, found on the internet, he had tuition from Walter Langley who gave him one of his own watercolours of a fisherwoman.
At the Opening of the Newlyn Art Gallery in1895 he showed and sold The Lizard Headland, a watercolour of a Cornish coastal scene .
In 1901 he and his family were living at 7 Beacon Terrace, The Lizard and he was still at The Lizard in 1911 when his daughter was a pupil boarding at Truro High School.
Cornish Times of June 23 1910 reported that W Casley, artist at the Lizard, was summoned to court for committing an assault, but no details are known. Over one hundred watercolours have passed through the sale and auction rooms since 1991, some of them bearing the same titles related to paintings of Mount's Bay, the Lizard, Kynance and Land's End.
In 1912, his sending-in address moved to Liverpool and he continued to exhibit. Some of his work may be viewed at Lanhydrock in Cornwall, where the landing outside the principal bedrooms display a collection. His son, Leonard CASLEY, also painted landscapes and exhibited from Pentreath on the Lizard in 1924 at Birmingham.
It is possible that he died in 1918 as a registration in the Helston District which includes The Lizard records the death of a William Casley aged 65.
Painter in watercolour of coastal scenes, rocks, cliffs, coves and landscapes
works and access
Works include: Rocky Foreshore; St Michael's Mount; The Cliffs near Land's End; The Lizard Headland (1895)
Exhibited 1891 - 1912
NWS (1 coastal scene) 1891
NAG Opening (painting sold) 1895
Walker, Liverpool (3)
Green (1995) Artists at Home (p3)
Hardie (1995) 100 Years/ Diary;
Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall;
Johnson & Greutzner (1975) Dictionary of British Artists
Wood (1995) Victorian Painters