Product images of Bill Waters, sailor and celebrated London street entertainer
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Manufactured in the UK
All products are printed in the UK, using the latest digital presses and a giclée printmaking process.
We only use premium branded inks, and colours are independently verified to last between 100 and 200 years.
Bill Waters, sailor and celebrated London street entertainer
Bill Waters (c.1778-1823) was born in America during the War of Independence. He was a sailor and lost his right leg as a result of falling from the topsail yard of the Ganymede. Unable to serve at sea, he became a famous London street entertainer and was often to be seen busking with his fiddle to support his family. Waters featured in Pierce Egan's 'Life in London' (1820-1821) and was one of the characters illustrated by George Cruikshank. Indeed, Waters appeared in several Cruikshank cartoons, including 'The New Union Club'. When Egan's book was adapted into a play and performed at the Adelphi Theatre, Waters - who had been busking outside - was invited on stage to play himself. He repeated the performance at the Caledonian Theatre in Edinburgh. Waters ended his days in St Giles's Workhouse, having fallen ill and been forced to pawn his fiddle. He was elected 'king of the beggars' shortly before his death.
Sir David Wilkie
- Image reference: F5915
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Michael Graham-Stewart Slavery Collection. Acquired with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund