Edward Gilbert Hester was born in Hammersmith, Middlesex; the son of a schoolmaster. He initially worked as a line and aquatint engraver but his later reputation was based on mezzotints. In 1865 he married Annie Cotton; with whom he had seven children. They lived in Chiswick and then Hammersmith, before moving to Pre Mill House, St Albans, by 1891. That year Annie died. Hester was remarried two years later to Sarah Rider and moved to London Road, St Albans, with four of his children. During his career he exhibited twelve engravings at the Royal Academy, London. His works were mostly engraved after contemporary artists, including T. Lawrence, J. E. Millais, M. Stone E. Long and N. Paton. His son, Richard Wallace Hester, was also an engraver.
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