George Townsend (1813-1894) was an Exeter artist, well known for paintings and engravings of local scenes throughout the South West of England, of civic events and of marine subjects. He was the local artist for the Illustrated London News. His detailed sketches were copied by engravers and published by Henry Besley, a bookseller and printer with premises in Discovery House, South Street, Exeter. Townsend’s engravings illustrated Besley’s ‘Views in Devonshire’ published in 1861 and many other prints of his views were produced by this publisher. Besleys was a family business well known for producing local directories, route plans and descriptions of the sights to be seen from the newly built railway lines. At his death he was described as ‘a good and gentle soul’.
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