HEMSLEY, William

c.1818 - 1906

William Hemsley was born at Little Chelea, now West Brompton, London around 1818, eldest son of William Whitfield Hemsley (12 September 1796-December 1867), an architect, and his wife Caroline Amelia née Jones (16 July 1797-January 1872) who died at 3 Caversham Street, Chelsea. Young William was educated at a preparatory school in Brighton and, as a teenager, developed an interest in art. He began to train in his father's architect profession and found employment as a drawing clerk in the office of architect John Crake (c.1811-1859) but decided to take up painting professionally. An artist specialising in genre paintings who lived most of his life in London, although he travelled to Germany and Holland. In 1841 he was living at Camera Square, Chelsea and by 1851, a 32-year-old 'artist in painting', living at Marlborough Street, Chelsea, London with a 30-year-old wife Arabella née Barnard (27 March 1821-1876), who was born at Berrow, Somerset and their two children, 3-year-old Cornelius Henry and 1 year old Alice Lucy, both born at Chelsea. In 1861 they were living at 13 Hereford Square, Kensington with a further son and daughter, and after his wife's death in 1876 William went to live at Ashburnham House, 499 Kings Road, Chelsea. Hemsley began to exhibit and was elected to the Society of British Artists (later the Royal Society of British Artists) in 1859 and was later a Vice-President. He also exhibited at the Royal Academy; Liverpool Walker Art Gallery; Manchester City Art Gallery and at the Suffolk Fine Arts Association held at Ipswich in 1850 'Sunday Morning'. Various dates have been given for William Hemsley's death but in 1891, he was a 73-year-old artist in oil & watercolour, living at Bexley House, Queens Road, Wimbledon, Kingston, Surrey with his 36-year-old son Walter and his family, and where he died on the 24 November 1906, aged 89, and buried in Old Brompton Cemetery, Chelsea.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from 5 Marlborough Street, Chelsea
1849 57 Young Shrimpers

from 4 Ashburnham Gardens, West Chelsea
1877 1398 Granny's Lesson

Works by This Artist