JOHNSON, Isaac

c.1754 - 1835

Baptised at Pettistree, Woodbridge, Suffolk on 27 January 1754, son of John Johnson (1722-1780), a surveyor, and his wife Mary (1716-1800), daughter of Samuel and Mary Nichols of Sutton, Suffolk. Probably trained by his father at Alderton and probably working with him until John’s death in 1780. He moved to Woodbridge about 1784 and married at St Peter Parmentergate, Norwich on 20 April 1786, Elizabeth Maxwell (1761-1813) of Norwich. They had eleven children, six being baptised at Quay Presbyterian Chapel, Woodbridge between 1788-96, but only five of the children reached maturity. His account book for 1791-96 still survives and shows that he had 165 clients and over the five years his surveying fees amounted to £1,069. He also received £116 for his drawings of all sorts. the 'Suffolk Chronicle' of 23 January 1813 notes ‘Sunday last, in a decline, Mrs. Johnson, wife of Mr. Johnson, land-surveyor of Woodbridge’ when Isaac moved to a new address in Cumberland Street. Four years later on 17 October 1817, at St Mary’s church, Woodbridge, Isaac married again, Miss Mary Fisher (born 1791) of Woodbridge when they took a house in The Thorofare later moving to Market Hill where Mary had a milliner’s and dressmaker’s shop. Isaac was on business in Aldeburgh when he died on 27 July 1835.
The 'Gentleman’s Magazine' noted December 1835:-
‘He was a very fine and neat draughtsman and had drawn all the churches and various other antiquities of Suffolk, several sets of which he disposed of to persons of antiquarian taste. He was attacked with apoplexy in the open fields where he remained more than a day incapable of moving; and having been found and taken to a house did not long survive.’
Ten days after his death Mary had sold his business to Benjamin Moulton (1808-1883) who had gone into partnership with Robert Cana, previously trading as Cana and Moulton. Moulton also auctioned in 1835 most of Johnson’s remaining property. (John Blatchly 'Isaac Johnson of Woodbridge. Georgian Surveyor and Artist' 2014.)




Works by This Painter