Matthew Darly (Biographical details)

Matthew Darly (publisher/printer; printmaker; British; Male; c.1720 - 1780)

Also known as

Darly, Matthew; Darly, Matthias; Darly & Edwards


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) 1758: Acorn, Fleet Market, Ludgate Hill (1868,0808.4114) 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) 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 1766-78: 39 Strand, on the corner of Buckingham Street, London (Worms and Baynton-Williams) late 1760s: 39 Opposite New Round Court in the Strand (Heal,100.27+) 1780: 159 Fleet Street (this must be the address of Mary or Matthias Darly after Matthew's death in January 1780) 1780-91 The Corner of Seymour Court, Chandois Street (Heal, 59.50; dates from Heal's notes on the mount; this must be the address of Matthias Darly, junior)


Matthew or Matthias. Caricaturist, printseller and ornamental engraver. Apprenticed to the clockmaker Umfraville Sampson in 1735, and took four apprentices himself between 1752 and 1778 (see Worms and Baynton-Williams). Was evidently married by 1749 when he stated that his wife had sold satires on the Duke of Cumberland; 15 April 1750, married Elizabeth Harold; 28 October 1759, married Mary Salmon (q.v.). Children: Mary, baptised 4 May 1761, St Martin-in-the-Fields; Mattina, baptised 9 April1764, St Anne, Soho; Matthias, baptised 20 February 1766, St Anne, Soho (apprenticed 1780); William, baptised 12 September 1767, St Martin-in-the-Fields; Ann, baptised 13 April 1770. Died 25 January 1780 at his house in the Strand (notice in Whitehall Evening Post, information from Tim Clayton, 2017); prints published by 'M. Darly' in 1781.
In 1750s worked with Chippendale, and engraved most of the plates for the 'Director'; 1755-57 in partnership with the ornithologist George Edwards (q.v.; information from David Alexander, 2014); in the early 1760s published many political prints, from the mid-1760s satires were only social. Many prints of this period have a publication line that read ‘M.Darly’ and it is not clear whether Matthew or Mary was responsible; for simplicity, these are all entered under his name as publisher.
Trade cards give details of the range of work undertaken and a number of addresses in the areas around Charing Cross and St Martin's Lane (publication lines on some prints, give addresses in the City of London):
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 ...'
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.59.49 - ‘Darly, Engraver, the Corner of Ryders Court, Cranborn Alley, near Leicester Fields.’ (this may be Mary Darly's card as she traded from that address)
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) & at various other addresses between 1760 & 1792. M. Darly published 'A New Book of Cielings' [sic] at The Acorn, corner of Friday St, Cheapside, in 1760. Compare large photograph in A.H. Collection of his trade-card (wallpaper makers). 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


DNB (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