William Kilburn was the son of a Dublin architect and was an apprentice to a calico printer, but spent his spare time engraving and sketching. He moved to London after his father's death where he became a prolific and brillant textile designer. I am smitten with Kilburn's fine line work and choice of colours. What a tremendous designer/artist.
Kilburn was also the chief petitioner in March 1787, requesting for design copyright protection in the textile industry. At that time Kilburn was a calico printer at Wallington in Surrey. Ralph Yates, who was a London warehouseman, regularly sold Kilburn's designs to the firm of Peel & Co., who would copy the design and produce a cheaper fabric that appeared in shops within a few days. Sound familiar? I wish a similar law would be inforced in the US to protect designers today. I hate to hear of talented designers not being recognized for their work.
Many of Kilburn's works are available for viewing at The Victoria and Albert Museum.