Randolph Caldecott, an English artist and illustrator, was born at 150 Bridge Street in Chester, England, on March 22, 1846. He was the third child of John Caldecott and Mary Dinah Brookes. Randolph had a brother, Alfred, and a sister, Sophia.
At the age of 26 Randolph quit his job, working at a bank, and moved to London, supporting himself entirely through his artwork. Within two years he was successfully working on commission as a magazine illustrator for The Graphic, Punch, and other magazines. In 1878 Randolph had two books, The House Jack Built and The Diverting History of John Gilpin, published for Christmas. They were such a success, that Randolph produced two new books each year, for Christmas, through 1885.
Randolph became engaged to Marian H. Brind in 1879 and they were married a year later. They had no children. While Randolph and Marian were on a trip to the United States in 1886, Randolph became ill and died on February 12th in St. Augustine, Florida. He was not quite 40 years old.
Randolph Caldecott is best remembered for his ageless illustrating contributions to children's literature in the nineteenth century. He is also remembered through the Caldecott Medal, which is rewarded for excellence in children's book illustrations. It was established by Mr. Frederic G. Melcher in 1938.