George Cruikshank

Eliza Cruikshank

Eliza Cruikshank
Eliza Cruikshank as Young Woman

Eliza Cruikshank (maiden name: Widdison) (1807-1890) was the second wife of George Cruikshank. Eliza and George were married on October 16, 1827 when she was approximately 20 years old.

Eliza and George Cruikshank lived all their lives on Hampstead Road, in North London. They were a picture of mid Victorian stability, Her husband was a successful artist, politically and socially conservative, and fervent crusader against alcohol consumption.

When her husband died, Eliza discovered to her horror that Cruikshank had fathered 11 children with his former servant, Adellee Atree, who lived just a few houses over from the Cruikshanks. To cover up any scandal, the housekeeper/mistress pretended to be married and even assumed a fictitious name of Mrs. Archibold.

Eliza bequeathed a substantial collection numbering several thousands of her husband's prints, lithographs and other artworks to the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.