William Marshall (Biographical details)

William Marshall (printmaker; British; Male; 1617 c. born - 1649 died)

Also known as

Marshall, William


Engraver. Three children are documented as being baptised between December 1634 and October 1638 (PQ 2014 p.178). He himself was buried in September 1649. Otherwise information has to be deduced from his engravings. His 254 prints make him by far the most prolific engraver of the Caroline era. Half his prints are portraits, and the rest are mainly titlepages. He engraved two sets of allegorical figures, the Four Complexions (ie Temperaments: set at Wolfegg) and the Four Elements, and one plate for a broadsheet, Heraclitus dream of 1642. To Hind's list can now be added a newly discovered set of emblems: see Peter Daly and M.Silcox, 'William Marshall's emblems rediscovered', English Literary Renaissance, XIX 1989.
Marshall's most studied work is his frontispiece to the 'Eikon Basilike', the work of royalist pious propaganda purporting to be written by Charles I that came out very soon after his execution (Hind III.148.154). This has been studied in a separate monograph by F.F.Madan, 'A new bibliography of the Eikon Basilike', 1950, who has listed fifty-seven variant printings of the book. So large was the demand that Marshall had to re-engrave his plate seven times over, and an eighth version was engraved by Robert Vaughan after Marshall's design..


Hind III pp.102-192 (254 nos)
Lois Potter, 'Secret rites and secret writing, Royalist literature 1641-60', Cambridge 1989