|Joseph Witham was a merchant seaman from Sussex, England. After spending seven years at sea, he moved ashore in Liverpool around 1874 to establish a successful career as a marine artist. He is best known for his paintings of ships engaged in the Liverpool Pilot service and a large portion of them feature steamers. He also produced several larger, more ambitious portraits of sailing ships. His success was based on a strong following among the British shipping fraternity. For a time he was listed as painting from the same studio address as his contemporary Samuel Walters.