Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Chantrey, Sir Francis Legatt, sculptor, was born in 1781 at Jordanthorpe, Derbyshire. The son of a carpenter, who died while Chantrey was only 12, leaving his widow in poor circumstances, he was in 1797 apprenticed for seven years to a Sheffield carver and gilder. In 1802 he was able to cancel his indentures and to work for himself as a portrait painter. In 1805, after a short time at the schools of the Royal Academy, London, he was commissioned to execute a bust of the Rev. J. Wilkinson for the parish church of Sheffield; other commissions followed, and in 1807, having married a lady of means, his struggle with poverty was ended. In 1808 he succeeded in the competition for the statue of George III. for the Guildhall, and henceforth the best work of his time fell to his lot. Becoming in 1816 an associate, he was elected a member of the Royal Academy two years later and knighted in 1835. His greatest work is the Sleeping Children, a statue group in Lichfield cathedral. Amongst the celebrities whose lineaments he chiseled were Watt, Wordsworth, Scott, Sir Joseph Banks, Pitt, Wellington, George IV., etc. In 1841 he died, bequeathing to the Royal Academy a capital sum worth £3,009 a year wherewith to buy the works of British artists. This is known as the "Chantrey Bequest," and many works have already been acquired with it. Chantrey excelled in his busts, his complete figures and equestrian statues exhibiting many defects.