Biography of James Basire 1730-1802

Vesta Monumenta. Plate 1.7: Engraving of Waltham Cross [Map]

Plate 1.7 of Vetusta Monumenta depicts the Waltham Cross, one of the twelve monuments that Edward I ordered to be built between 1291 and 1294 to commemorate the funeral procession of Queen Eleanor. The print documents the early preservation efforts of the Society of Antiquaries of London. The cross was re-engraved by James Basire Sr. after Jacob Schnebbelie for the third volume of Vetusta Monumenta (Plate 3.16), where it appears with two more of the Eleanor Crosses. Engraving by George Vertue (age 37) after William Stukeley (age 33). 490 x 301 mm. Published by the Society of Antiquaries of London in 1721. Current location: Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, UK.

In 1730 James Basire was born to Isaac Basire (age 25).

Vesta Monumenta. 1753. Plate 2.23. Richmond Palace [Map]. Engraved by James Basire Sr. (age 23).

Vesta Monumenta. 1753. Plate 2.25. Palace of Placentia, Greenwich [Map]. Engraving by James Basire (age 23) after George Vertue (age 69).

Vesta Monumenta. 1763. Plate 2.20. Two silver arm rings and three bronze horns from Ireland, a fifteenth-century buckler from Wales, and a Viking Age brooch from the Western Isles of Scotland. Engraving by James Basire Sr. (age 33) after his own drawings.

Vesta Monumenta. 1765. Plate 2.26. East Window of St Margaret's Church, Westminster [Map]. A sixteenth-century Flemish-inspired stained-glass window produced in Holland and shipped to England around 1526. Known now as the "Great East Window at St Margaret's Church, Westminster," its three central lights show the Crucifixion, and its two outer lights feature portraits of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. The window was first installed in the Church of Waltham Abbey, and then moved to New Hall, Essex during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The window was installed in St. Margaret's in 1758. Engraving by James Basire (age 35) after George Vertue.

Vesta Monumenta. 1765. Plate 2.24. Nonsuch Palace [Map]. Engraved by James Basire Sr. (age 35).

Vesta Monumenta. 1765. Plate 2.21. Bronze statuette, 22 1/4 inches high, believed in the eighteenth century to be of ancient origin. It was acquired by Thomas Hollis (age 44) in Italy in 1753 and exhibited at a meeting of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 1758, after which Hollis donated the drawings here reproduced. Engravings by James Basire Sr. (age 35) after drawings by Giovanni Battista Cipriani.

Thomas Hollis: On 14 Apr 1720 he was born. In 1757 Thomas Hollis was elected Fellow of the Royal Society. On 01 Jan 1774 he died.

On 24 Aug 1768 [his father] Isaac Basire (age 63) died.

On 04 Aug 1772 William Blake was apprenticed to James Basire (age 42) for seven years.

Vesta Monumenta. 1780. Plate 2.38. Fountain dedicated to the memory of Joan of Arc in Rouen, France [Map], Normandy. The fountain was erected in 1525 at what was believed to be the site of Joan's execution in 1431. Engraving by James Basire Sr. (age 50) after a drawing made in France, possibly by Louis-Jean Allais, under the direction of Jean-Baptiste Descamps.

Vesta Monumenta. 1780. Plates 2.29, 2.30 and 2.31. Effigy of Aveline Forz 6th Countess Albemarle and Lancaster. Engravings by James Basire, Sr. (age 50) after his own drawings, or possibly those of his apprentice, William Blake.

Vesta Monumenta. 1786. Plates 2.39 and 2.40. Twelfth-century baptismal font in Winchester Cathedral [Map]. Carved of a blue-black limestone commonly known as "Tournai marble," the north and east sides of this font depict eight birds and a mammal, and the south and west sides present hagiographical scenes from the life of St. Nicholas of Myra (also known as "Saint Nick" or Santa Claus). Engravings by James Basire Sr. (age 56) after John Carter.

Around 1795 George Cooke (age 14) was apprenticed to James Basire (age 65).

In 1802 James Basire (age 72) died.

Ancestors of James Basire 1730-1802

GrandFather: Jacques or James Basire

Father: Isaac Basire

GrandMother: Magdelaine Lair

James Basire