Brannon George, Mr
Born: 1784
Died: 03/23/1860

The Brannons

Little is known of George Brannon’s early life, born in Ireland in 1784 the next we here of him is that he was married on the 17th March 1812 at Alverstoke near Gosport. George himself was almost totally self-educated but went on to become one of the foremost engravers of his time. In his early years as an artist it has been noted in his obituary (probably written by his son Philip) that he that showed great awareness and ability learning from the masters as he moved forward in his apprenticeship. He later went on to become an accomplished artist in both water and oil as well as well as having a wonderful architectural eye. 

Over the course of the following years, nine new additions were added to the Brannon family of which only six actually survived to maturity, which was in those days fairly common. Their two most well known children were Alfred and Philip, who both followed in their father’s footsteps becoming not only extremely good artists and engravers but also architects, civil engineers and inventors.

The actual date of the families move to the Island is not documented as such but certain publications in 1831 do suggest they had been ensconced for around 18 to 20 years or so, as the preface of “1831 Vectis Scenery “ as researched  by Raymond Turley suggests this as so.

It is thus thought they moved to the Island around about c1809, and took up residence in “Landscape Cottage “on Wotton Common. Here he began his life’s work engraving and publishing the wonderful engravings of the Island we know so well today.

By 1824 the family business was fairly well established and by 1824 had a attained a style that produced and lifelike sharpness that lifted his technique to that of the masters he had studied. They produced not only engravings of the Island but of other local towns and cities including Southampton.

At the age of 83 George Brannon retired, he then dabbled in publishing and some speculative building, as well as supporting the promotion of the “Reform Bill” with a great passion, which he was most pleased to see adopted according to his Son Philip at the time.. In addition to this he still on the odd occasion sketched the odd engraving or two. He died on the 23rd March 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 coming years on several occasions.  Latterly George’s grandson went on to become one of the founding members of the Isle of Wight County Press which is still running today.