- Also known as
primary name: Darly, Matthew
other name: Darly & Edwards
other name: Darly, Matthias
- individual; printmaker; publisher/printer; British; Male
- Life dates
- 1749: Duke's Court, St Martin's Lane (Worms and Baynton-Williams)
1753: Northumberland Court (ditto)
1750s: the Acorn, facing Hungerford, Strand (D,2.3238)
1756: At the Golden Acorn, opposite Hungerford Market, Strand (Worms and Baynton-Williams)
1757: facing Little Suffolk Street, Hedge Lane (1868,0808.4063 - this is likely to have been the address of a collaborator rather than of Darly himself)
1758: Acorn, Fleet Market, Ludgate Hill (1868,0808.4114; possibly a 'fake address')
1759: Cheapside (BM Satires 3687 and 3691)
1760: The Acorn, corner of Friday Street, Cheapside (according to Heal's note on mount of Heal,59.50, Darly published "A New Book of Cielings" from this address in 1760)
c.1760 The Golden Acorn, Long Acre, near St Martin's Lane (2011,7084.68; this address was given at the baptism of the Darlys' first child in 1761)
1762: the Acorn, Ryder's Court, Cranbourn Alley (Worms and Baynton-Williams)
1765: Corner of Ryder's Court, Cranbourne Alley, Leicester Fields (Worms and Baynton-Williams)
1766: Castle Street, Leicester Fields (Worms and Baynton-Williams)
1766: facing New Round Court the Strand (this refers to the same house as the two entries below. The Darly's announced their move in the Daily Advertiser for 24 June 1766)
late 1760s: 39 Opposite New Round Court in the Strand (Heal,100.27+)
1766-80: 39 Strand, on the corner of Buckingham Street, London (Worms and Baynton-Williams)
- Matthias, also known as Matthew. Engraver, printseller, drawing master. Exhibited with the Society of Artists in 1765-68 and 1771 under the section headed ‘Designs, Architecture ....’ which led to him being described mistakenly as ‘Architect’ in Graves, 'The Society of Artists of Great Britain, 1760-1791, the Free Society of Artists, 1761-1783: a complete dictionary ....' ; the description has been followed by some later writers; the suggestion that Darly designed furniture was effectively refuted by F. Kimball and E. Donnell, ‘The Creators of the Chippendale Style’, Metropolitan Museum Studies, Vol. 1, No. 2 (May, 1929), 128-30.
Son of Thomas Darly of Westminster. Apprenticed in the Clockmakers' Company to Umfraville Sampson in 1735; free 1759. 1752, seems to have taken William Darling (q.v.) as an apprentice, and between 1760 and 1778; took ten apprentices in the Clockmakers' Company. 1749, one of several printsellers subject to legal examination for selling prints mocking the Duke of Cumberland; mention a wife in his defence - this may have been Elizabeth Harold whom he actually married a year later in a clandestine ceremony on 15 April 1750. 28 October 1759, married Mary Salmon (q.v.). Children: Mary, baptised 4 May 1761, St Martin-in-the-Fields; Mattina, baptised 9 April 1764, St Anne, Soho; Matthias, baptised 20 February 1766, St Anne, Soho (qq.v.); William, baptised 12 September 1767, St Martin-in-the-Fields; Ann, baptised 13 April 1770.
In 1750s worked with Chippendale, and engraved most of the plates for the 'Director'; c. 1754-57 in partnership with George Edwards (q.v.). In the 1770s he and Mary developed the fashion for caricatures in their very successful six-volume 'Macaroni' series..
Died 25 January 1780 at his house in the Strand; prints published by 'M. Darly' in 1780 and 1781 have therefore been given to Mary Darly..
Trade cards give details of the range of work undertaken, and changing addresses before 1766 when they moved to 39 Strand.:
D,2.3238 – ‘The Manufactory for Paper Hangings, Painted or Printed from Copper Plates or Wood, By Matts. Darly, Painter, Engraver & Paper Stainer. Wholesale & Retail at the Lowest Prices. At the Acorn facing Hungerford, Strand. Cielings [sic], Pannels [sic], Staircases, Chimney Boards, &c. Neatly fitted up either with Paintings or Stainings, in the Modern, Gothic or Chinese Tastes for Town or Country; & large Allowance for Ready Money. N.B. Paper for Exportation And Sketches, Or Designs for Gentlemen's Different Fancies. Letters Post paid Duly Answerd [sic]. Engraving in all its Branches. Viz. Visiting Tickets, Coats of Arms, Seals, Book Plates, Frontispieces, Shopkeepers Bills &c. In greater Variety & Cheaper than at any other Shop in Town.’ On the verso is a bill-head stating 'Bought of Matthias Darly Painter & Engraver ...'
1869,1224.603.1040 - 'Darly, Engraver / the Acorn facing Hungerford Strand'. In a later state (Heal.59.49) the address is changed to 'the Corner of Ryders Court, Cranborn Alley, near Leicester Fields.’
2011,7084.68 - ’Prints & Paintings, for Ornamenting Rooms, Halls, Staircase, Chimneys &c. by Matthias Darly at the Golden Acorn, Long Acre near St Martins Lane, London. Visiting Tickets Engrav’d, & Printed, Coats of Arms, on Gold, Silver, & Copper; Shop Plates, & Bills of Parcels in the Gothic, Chinese, & Modern Tastes. Seals in Stone, or Metal & Drawings Made for Gentlemen and Ladies, Agreeable to their own fancy. Likewise for Artificers of any kind, at the most Reasonable Rates. NB an Evening Drawing School’.
Heal,59.50 - ‘Matthias Darly Engraver, The Corner of Seymour Court, Chandois Street. Engraves all Sorts of Coats of Arms on Gold, Silver, Copper &c. Shop Bills, Tobacco Marks & Bills of Parcels, at the lowest Prices. NB. Coats of Arms Painted on Vellum & Engraved on Seals.’ Heal's annotations on mount read: ‘Matthias Darly was at this address 1780-1791 (London Directories)' - the latter date must refer to Matthias Darly junior (q.v.) .
A broadside c.1776 advertises 'Copper plates prepared for ladies and gentlemans etching, engraving, metzotinto, with all sorts of material for do. viz. fine etching ground, needles, gravers, scrapers.'
Heal,100.27+ (billhead) - 'Bought of Matthias Darly Engraver in General and Printseller, 39 Opposite New Round Court in the Strand.' Heal's annotations on mount similar to above.
- ODNB (by Tim Clayton)
Harriet J. Stroomberg, 'Matthew en Mary Darly: Graveurs, uitgevers en verkopers van prenten in London 1748-1781' in Die Boekenwereld 13 (1996-97), pp. 229-241
L. Worms and A. Baynton-Williams, British Map Engravers
Sheila O'Connell, 'Mary Darly, Fun Merchant and Caricaturist' in 'Female Printmakers, Printsellers and Publishers in the Eighteenth Century: The Imprint of Women', ed. C. Martinez and C. Roman, forthcoming 2023.