Born in 1785, Henry Alken was the son and pupil of Samuel Alken Sr. and became a prolific painter of sporting works, including hunting, coaching, racing and steeplechasing scenes.
He is best known today for perhaps one of the most collected series of sporting prints of all time, The Midnight Steeplechase or The First Steeplechase On Record, which was published by Ackermann.
Henry Alken worked in both oil and watercolour, and also made a living as an etcher. He wrote the book National Sports of Great Britain and his work was frequently copied by his son, Henry Jr.
Henry Alken died in 1851.