Josiah Wood Whymper was born in Ipswich; the son of a brewer and town councillor. At 15 his apprenticeship to a stonemason was terminated following a near-fatal accident. In 1829 he moved to London and studied watercolour painting, before setting up a wood-engraving business in Lambeth with his brother, Ebenezzar. The brothers received numerous commissions to illustrate books and journals. In 1837 he married watercolourist and illustrator Elizabeth Whitworth Claridge, with whom he had eleven children. His son, Edward, later took over the wood-engraving businesses. He exhibited watercolours at the New Watercolour Society, Society of British Artists, Royal Academy and Royal Institute of Painters in Oil-Colours. He died in Haslemere aged 89.
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