1818 - 1908

Hamlet Watling

Hamlet Watling was born at the Old Grammar School, Kelsale, Saxmundham, Suffolk on 24 July 1818, second son of Henry Watling (c1792-April 1858), the local schoolmaster for over forty years, and his wife Phillis née Newson, who married at Worlingwoth, Suffolk on 13 [?] 1815, Hamletís sibling brothers were all teachers including Edwin at Cheltenham College with Walter and Lewellen assistant masters at Banbury. Hamlet was educated by his father and at the age of eight took his first lessons from a colouring book 'Flowers, Fruits and Shells' and at the age of 16 in 1834, became a drawing teacher at Aldeburgh, subsequently teaching at Woodbridge, Cavendish, and Ipswich, before opening his own school at Wangford, all in Suffolk. He married firstly at Wangford-by-Southwold on 26 February 1842, Sarah Ann Wales (1818-1876), only daughter of Collings Wales, grocer and draper of Wangford and they had an only son Hamlet Henry (born 1842). Hamlet married secondly, when of the Guildhall, Earl Stonham, at St Nicholas Church, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk on 25 April 1878, Mrs Anne Lawrence (1826-22 March 1908) of Britannia Terrace, Great Yarmouth. A prolific artist in pencil and, whilst making a sketch of a chest in Southwold church, local lawyer and archaeologist Jonathan Robert Gooding (1822-1886) gave him a commission to make various drawing in Southwold church and he later received a similar commission from Revd Samuel Blois Turner (1805-1882) at Elmham, Suffolk and some of these drawings were used in Sucklingís 'History of Suffolk'. In 1849, Hamlet went to live at St James Street, Westleton, Suffolk where he remained until 1855 when appointed master, in the gift of Pembroke College, Cambridge, of the endowed school at Earl Stonham, Suffolk, where he remained until 1888, when he retired to Ipswich. Hamlet Watling died at Derby Villas, 41 Pearce Road, Ipswich on 1 April 1908, in his 90th year. His drawings were mostly accompanied by profuse notes and his architectural drawings were fully accurate being purchased by the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Ipswich Museum, and many others. In his retirement he spent most of his time making copies of his drawings and records for sale. At one time he had accumulated a huge amount of material for which the Ipswich Museum failed to come to terms with him for their purchase, and a few years before his death he disposed of much material to various purchasers. A contributor to Suffolk Institute of Archaeology, Journal of the British Archaeological Association, and the Archaeological Journal. (Copsey - Suffolk Authors 1800-1900 - Ipswich 2002).

Works by This Artist