Samuel Howitt is thought to have been born to a Quaker family from Nottinghamshire. He is first recorded living in Chigwell, Essex. He was keen sportsman, engaging in hunting, riding and angling, and also a self-taught amateur artist until financial difficulties led him to turn professional. After this he worked as a painter, etcher and illustrator of animal and sporting subjects. He exhibited at the Incorporated Society of Artists and Royal Academy and illustrated many sporting and zoological books. In 1779 he married the sister of the Thomas Rowlandson, whose work influenced him. Samuel and Elizabeth had three children. He lived in London almost continually from 1793, but for a brief period in Richmond, Yorkshire. He died in Somers Town.
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