Engraver William Say was born at Lakeham, Norwich; the son of a land steward. He was raised by an aunt after both his parents died before he was six. In 1788 he moved to London and, from 1791, studied under engraver James Ward. Say became one of the first engravers to work on a steel, rather than copper. After engraving portraits of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester in 1807, he was appointed their official engraver. Say also engraved works for J. M. W. Turner’s series ‘The Rivers of England’ (1823-27) and Sir John Ross’s ‘Narrative of a Second Voyage’ (1835). In total he published 335 prints, an almost complete set of which were presented to the British Museum by his son in 1852. Say died at home in Weymouth Street, Westminster, aged 66.
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