William Hogarth & Jane Thornhill, 1728
St. Paul's, Covent Garden, London

William Hogarth's Marriage Allegation,1728.

Transcript of William Hogarth's Marriage Licence Allegation
from the Office of the Vicar-General

20th March 1728

On which day appeared personally William
Hogarth of the parish St Pauls
Covent Garden in the County of Middx
aged above twenty five years and a
Batchellor and alleged that he
intendeth to marry with Jane
Thornhill of the Same parish and
County aged above Twenty One Years
and a Spinster

The original records of the Vicar-General are held at Lambeth Palace Library, in London.  A full set of allegations are available on microfilm originally produced by the LDS (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) and copies may also be viewed at LDS Family History Centers.

William Hogarth was born in London, 1697, and studied at St. Martin's Lane Academy.  In 1729, he married Jane, the daughter of artist and decorator James Thornhill.

Hogarth had taught himself to paint and was impressed by the work of Thornhill, creator of the fine baroque painted decorations in the dome of St. Paul's and at Greenwich.  The influence of pieces such as these drove Hogarth to seek artistic success and although he already had his own business as an engraver he enrolled at Vanderbank's Academy of Art in St. Martin's Lane, later attending Thornhill's private art school in James Street, Covent Garden, where he met Jane Thornhill, his master's only daughter, to whom he proposed marriage.  Thornhill was not best pleased with the match, to put it mildly, believing that Hogarth wouldn't be able to support the girl.

So what's a guy to do?  The couple eloped in 1729, Hogarth became pretty good at painting and the rest is history.

NB.  Direct descendants of William Hogarth are advised that there were no offspring from this lasting union.