BIOGRAPHY: William Ridgway

William Ridgway, whose surname is sometimes also written as Ridgeway, was born in 1830. Not much is known about the man, but what with the Charles Heath school of engraving being at the height of its popularity when Ridgway grew up, it is more than likely that he attended.

Ridgway’s first known feat is an engraving of Holman Hunt’s newly painted ‘the Light of the World’, in 1854.

It is thought he worked as a freelancer.

When London printer Perkins & Bacon were asked to produce a new definitive for St. Vincent in 1880, they entrusted the engraving job to Ridgway. He finished his work within a month.

However, most of Ridgway’s stamp work seems to be for surface-printed issues, such as the early Sarawak stamps printed by Maclure, Macdonald & Co, and the 1879 Perkins Bacon tender essays. This is interesting for it is not often that an artist is as fluent in engraving for both recess and surface printing.

When his second wife suddenly died when he was 69, Ridgway never really recovered and he passed passed away in late January/early February 1900. At the time, he would still have been active engraving banknotes and cheques for the various London printing firms.

You will find William Ridgway's database HERE.