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 27th 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'.