Boydell, John (1719-1804), English engraver, and publisher of prints. Although of no mean power himself as an engraver, it is as the patron and encourager of the English print trade, which he found in a languishing state, and made it his business to revive - that he is chiefly known. He had engraved 96 plates in illustration of Shakspeare, from paintings which he commissioned the first painters of the day to provide. He also illustrated Hume's History of England with 196 plates. This work of art swallowed up his fortune, and landed him in considerable difficulties. He was Lord Mayor of London in 1790.