When Alexander Gilchrist’s monumental biography of William Blake was first published in 1863, Thomas Hartley Cromek was confronted with startling accusations about his father. Gilchrist portrayed Robert Hartley Cromek as a second-rate engraver who turned to speculating on “the talents of others.”1 Gilchrist accused him specifically of stealing Blake’s copyright to the Grave designs (p. 202) and of out-maneuvering Blake by commissioning a painting and engraving of the Canterbury Pilgrims after Blake had begun his own (p. 203). Cromek made much from the venture; Blake virtually nothing from his. Gilchrist also asserted that Cromek had deprived Robert Burns’ widow of payment after collecting and publishing his manuscripts (p. 235), and he repeated Peter Cunningham’s charge that Cromek stole from Sir Walter Scott a Ben Jonson letter to Drummond of Hawthornden (p. 238). His catalog of adjectives for Cromek includes “slippery,” “unscrupulous,” “wily,” “treacherous,” “shifty,” and “predacious.” In short, Gilchrist described Cromek as a rapacious exploiter whose only interest was personal gain at the cost of others, in particular, Blake.