Henry Lockey Hill, often confused with his father Lockey Hill, was born in London in 1774. His father’s work was generally of a low, commercial quality, supplied to various music shops in London, but Henry Lockey studied with his uncle Joseph (II), a much more distinguished maker. He worked for John Betts, then the leading violin dealer in England, between about 1806 and 1810. Following his father’s death in 1796, he returned to the family workshop in Southwark, and produced some very fine instruments, generally copies of Stradivari, very skilfully made, and some in highly convincing ‘antique’ style. Some of the best work to come out of the Betts workshop has been attributed to him, and there is no question that he was one of the best craftsmen working in London in that period. His son William Ebsworth Hill went on to found the distinguished firm of W.E. Hill & Sons in 1880. He himself died in 1835.
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