William Henry Brooke was the son of Henry Brooke(1738-1806), a Dublin-born historical painter, and grandson of Robert Brooke (fl. circa 1748), a portrait painter from Co.Cavan. William first practised as a portrait painter in Duke Street, Adelphi, exhibiting occasionally at the RA from 1810-1826 and the RHA from 1827-1846. He later concentrated most of his energies on illustration work for such volumes as Keightley’s Greek and Roman Mythology, Ryland’s History of Waterford and Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Strickland is unusually savage in his description of Brooke’s drawings as “witless and vulgar”, but Anne Crookshank and the Knight of Glin found his work to be charming.