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Charles Henry Chapman (1879-1972)


Charles Henry Chapman (1879-1972)

A prolific and popular illustrator and cartoonist, Charles Henry Chapman is best known for his work on boys’ stories, in magazines such as The Magnet, and especially those involving that immortal schoolboy, Billy Bunter.

Charles Henry Chapman was born in Thetford, Norfolk, on 1 April 1879, one of the three sons of an engineer on the staff of Charles Burrell & Co, makers of farming equipment. Educated at Thetford Grammar School from 1889, he moved with his family to Reading, Berkshire, in his early teens, and there attended Kendrick Boys’ School. He showed an early aptitude for art, winning the school drawing prizes and founding and illustrating its magazine,
The Kendrick Comet, to which his brother, Walter George, also contributed. He then went on to study at Reading School of Art under the ornithological artist, Allen W Seaby, among others.

In 1898, Chapman began to train as an architectural draughtsman with Anthony Fox, a Basingstoke architect, spending his spare time drawing cartoons. He had his first drawing published in
The Captain at the turn of the century, and then in numerous other comics, including Chips, Comic Cuts and Marvel.

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