William James WEBB


According to Jennie Shelley, his great great grandniece who lives in New Zealand, Webb was born William James Webb on 13 July 1830 at Redruth, Cornwall, and baptized on the 23rd of that month at St Austell, Cornwall. One of eight children, he was the son of Rev Samuel Webb (Wesleyan minister) and Sarah. Webb married Besse[?] sometime before 1871, and they had 2 children, Wilfred and Ethel.  He was living on the Isle of Wight in 1856, and in the 1901 census William (aged 70) and his wife Besse (aged 52) were living at 4 Marlborough Rd, Ealing, Middlesex, his occupation described as Artist. 

His brother Samuel WEBB was a pottery manufacturer in Stoke on Trent (Webb and Walters, also Webb and Co), and William's mother came from generations of pottery manufacturers.  Webb himself illustrated many Bible stories for children and poetry books. William's son Wilfred Mark WEBB OBE wrote books on nature study, which his father illustrated. Wilfred wrote Heritage of Dress, and two volumes of Eton Nature Study (text books for Eton College). William's illustrations of insects in the text books are in very great detail, and some of his pictures can be found on the internet: his picture The Collared Thief can be found on many poster sites. Art.com lists many of his paintings that have come up for auction. "He must have done over 30 painting in his lifetime. Somewhere in NZ there is an original painting done by William J Webbe of two of my relatives. The painting has been damaged in a fire, but myself and many of my relatives have copies of it."