|William G. Yorke was born at Saint John, in the Canadian Maritime province of New Brunswick. A trained shipwright, and merchant seaman, he was also an exceptional painter of ship portraits. After setting up a studio in Liverpool around 1855, he developed a strong following with the maritime community, including a significant clientele from America. Some confusion exists about the spelling of his name, as he signed his paintings "York", without the “e” between 1861 and 1870, but always included the final "e" after 1870. In 1871 he immigrated to America where he specialized in yacht and ship portraiture assisted by his young wife Mary. In later years they lived and painted aboard a small boat that served as a floating studio. After William sustained an injury in a boating accident in 1882, Mary became more and more involved in the artist's output. She is believed to have produced paintings with his signature even before his death, around 1893. During his last years, the Yorkes lived and continued their artistic careers in a modest house on an island in Brooklyn’s Erie Basin that was accessible only by boat. William G. York(e) is the father of noted Liverpool ship portraitist William Howard Yorke (1847-1921).