DAVY, Henry

1793 - 1865

Henry Davy

Born The Poplars, now Birketts Farm, on Westhall Common, near Halesworth, Suffolk on 30 May 1793, fifth son and youngest child of farmer Thomas Davy (1747-1813), and his second wife Sarah (1751-1831), eldest daughter of William Gibson, surgeon of Carlton Colville and Willingham Hall, Beccles, Suffolk. Apprenticed to a grocer at Halesworth but had a leaning for drawing and was apprenticed to John Sell Cotman at Great Yarmouth. He exhibited at the Norwich Society of Artists from an address at Beccles, Suffolk 1817-1819 and after working with, and on completion of his apprenticeship in 1819, he continued his training under George Cooke in London. He then moved to Bury St Edmund’s offering to teach drawing and from 1820, he again exhibited at the Norwich Society of Artist until 1823 when he had returned to Southwold. He married at St Peter’s church, Ipswich on 30 November 1824, Sarah, daughter of Southwold bookseller James Bardwell and his wife Sarah (Critten). He announced the following year that he had established a public library & reading room in West Green, Southwold and was also an art master, librarian & engraver. In 1829 he moved to Ipswich as artist & etcher and published and sold his prints from 16 Globe Street (now St George’s Street) Ipswich but was soon in financial difficulty when in April 1833 Robert Deck, printer on the Cornhill of his two main works, auctioned some of Davy’s furniture and books to pay himself and other creditors. A founder member of the Ipswich Society of Professional & Amateur Artists from 1832 and from his home he continued to take in pupils and concentrated on his etching of Suffolk scenes with which he was relatively successful. He exhibited at the Suffolk Fine Arts Association exhibition at the New Lecture Hall of the Mechanics' Institution in August 1850 watercolours 'Helmingham Hall', 'View Looking down the Orwell Road to Freston Tower', and 'Freston Tower, looking towards Ipswich'. He died of a heart attack at Ipswich on 8 February 1865 and is buried in Ipswich cemetery and there is a joint memorial in St Matthew’s church. By his wife Sarah, who died on 26 April 1854, aged 52 he had sixteen children but only six survived to adulthood, Henry George Gibson [q.v.]; Ellen born 20 May 1828; Frederick [q.v.]; Thomas born 11 March 1838; Clara born 11 May 1839 and died 3 October 1889 and Edward born 22 September 1846 who was living at 34 Rectory Road, Ipswich in 1910 and died in 1923.




Works by This Painter