George Hillyard Swinstead was the fourth son of the painter Charles Swinstead. Like his father he also painted portraits and coastal landscape scenes.
He entered the Royal Academy School in 1881 and in 1882 he exhibited for the first time at the Royal Academy with his painting titled ‘By Appointment’. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1905 to 1919, the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours in 1908 and from 1877 he exhibited at the Royal Society of British Artists.
Although for many years his principle work consisted of portraits and genre paintings, he also devoted much time to coastal scenes and latterly exhibited little else.
Swinstead belonged to the Painter Stainers Company and was author of My Old World Garden and How I Made it in a London Suburb. The Sheffield Art Gallery holds Swinstead’s work ‘When Trumpets call, then Homes are Broken’, this work was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1883.