Ref Number: 00284
Ref Number: 00284
George Brannon was born in Ireland in 1784, and the next thing we know about him is that he was married in Alverstoke near Gosport on March 17, 1812. George was almost entirely self-educated but became one of the most prominent engravers of his time. In his obituary (likely penned by his son Philip), it is mentioned that in his early years as an artist, he displayed great awareness and skill as he progressed through his apprenticeship with the masters. He went on to become an accomplished artist in both water and oil, in addition to possessing a keen eye for architecture.
Over the course of the following years, nine new additions were added to the Brannon family of which only six actually survived to maturation, which was in those days fairly common. Their two most well-known offspring were Alfred and Philip, who both followed in their father’s footsteps by becoming renowned artists, engravers, architects, civil engineers, and inventors.
The precise date of the families’ relocation to the island is undocumented, but the preface of Raymond Turley’s 1831 publication “1831 Vectis Scenery” suggests that they had been established there for approximately 18 to 20 years.
It is believed they moved to the island around 1809 and settled in the “Landscape Cottage” on Wotton Common. Here he began engraving and publishing the magnificent engravings of the Island that we recognise today.
By 1824, the family business was well-established, and he had developed a style and realistic sharpness that elevated his technique to the level of the masters he had studied. They produced engravings of the Island as well as other nearby cities, including Southampton.
George Brannon retired at the age of 83, after which he dabbled in publishing and speculative construction, as well as promoting the “Reform Bill” with great zeal, which he was ecstatic to see passed, according to his son Philip at the time. In addition to this, he occasionally drew a few engravings. He passed away on March 23, 1860.
Both sons Alfred and Philip continued to run the business, Philip went on to become an inventor but fell on hard times over the following years on several occasions. Later, George’s descendant became one of the founding members of the continuously operating Isle of Wight County Press.