Through his friendship with Thomas Shotter Boys (1803-1874), Callow met and came under the influence of Richard Parkes Bonington (1802-1828) during the early 1830s. After taking over Shotter Boys's studio in 1834, Callow began a series of sketching tours. On 6 June 1836, William Callow left his studio in Paris and set off on his most ambitious walking tour to date, a two month journey around the south of France. Three weeks after he set off Callow arrived in Angoulême on the 26 June 1836. In his journal of the 27 he notes: 'In the interesting old town are some towers remaining of an old castle, and the ancient cathedral has some curious sculptures on the exterior'.