William Joy was born in Greta Yarmouth, Norfolk. His father was a guard on the Great Yarmouth to Ipswich mail coach. His younger brother, John Cantiloe Joy, was also a marine painter and the two were known as the brothers Joy. Both brothers attended Mr Wright’s Southtown Academy in Great Yarmouth, before moving to London together in about 1830, under the patronage of the Earl of Abergavenny. In London they were successful in gaining commissions from naval patrons and sometimes worked together on compositions. William exhibited his work at the Royal Academy, the British Institution and the Society of British Artists. The two brothers moved to Chichester late in their careers, where they died within a short time of each other.
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