Charles Catton (1728 – August 28, 1798) was one of the founding members of the Royal Academy of Arts. He lived at nearby 4 Gate Street. He was born in Norwich, Norfolk, and is said to have been one of 35 children that his father had from two marriages. On moving to London he studied drawing at St Martin’s Lane Academy, the forerunner to the Royal Academy, organised by William Hogarth in 1735. He became well known for his landscapes and paintings of animals, though what really brought him acclaim was as a coach painter (he eventually became royal coach painter to George III) and his innovation of depicting the figures on coats of arms with a resemblance to nature. His son, Charles Catton, was also a painter and lived in Gate Street for a time. The street was developed in the early 18thCentury, and was at first part of Eagle Street which still exists. John Strype described it in 1720 as “a street of a good length… pretty broad, and better built than inhabited.” It was bisected by an extension of the A40 in the 20thCentury, and its western section so-named in 1965. Catton is buried in Bloomsbury cemetery.
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