BENOIST, ANTHONY (ANTOINE) (1721?-1770) — London & Paris
Draughtsman, drawing-master, etcher and engraver. Engraved Plan of the royal gardens of Richmond [Kew Gardens] ca.1750. Also designed and engraved the title-page and dedication leaf to Andrew Dury (see BME 2011), “A new general and universal atlas containing forty five maps” 1761, etc. Principally known for portraits, views, satires, military subjects, illustrations, etc.
Traditionally said to have been been born in 1721, although in all probability somewhat earlier, at Tracy-le-Mont, near Compiègne, in northern France, the son of Jean-Isaac Benoist, one of a family of Picardy artists. Brought to England by Claude du Bosc (see BME 2011) in or before 1736. He was working in Paris in 1741, but was once more in London by 1742 and became the first to engrave a depiction of a cricket match in 1743. He returned to France 1744-1747 during the Anglo-French hostilities, but spent the remainder of his career in London. He was presumably related to the William John Frederick Benoist, watch-engraver, of Little Russell Street, Bloomsbury, who married in London in 1732, fled his debts in 1741, but then surrendered to the Keeper of the Fleet Prison in 1745, although the connection remains unclear. Anthony Benoist was buried at St. James, Paddington, 2 Aug 1770. His will dated 16 Jul 1770 and proved 28
Sep 1770, NA PROB 11/960, was witnessed by the engravers Pierre Charles Canot (see BME 2011) and Victor Marie Picot. It noted his origins in Tracy-le-Mont, appointed François Vivares, the noted engraver, and David Girard his executors, made a bequest of twelve guineas to Marianne Catherine Macdonald, and left two thirds of his estate to a sister, also Marianne, with the remaining third to either or both of two half-sisters, Benoist evidently being uncertain of either their names or their number.
At his lodgings at Mr. Jordan’s, a grocer, north east corner of Compton Street, Soho — 1742
At Mr. Mason’s next door to the Golden Ball in the Haymarket
Opposite Long’s Court in St. Martin’s Lane — 1763
Parish of St. Giles in the Fields — 1770
Adams. Alexander. BM. Bryan. Clayton. COPAC. Hake. LG. NA. ODNB. Strutt.