Reynolds had a varied career as an artist and engraver, but also as an architect and landscape gardener for several patrons in Bedfordshire and Leicestershire.
He was from London and studied at the Royal Academy Schools, where he was particularly trained in engraving and mezzotint. He began his engraving career engraving the works of popular artists for mass production during the mid 1790s and by the late 1790s was also exhibiting oil paintings and watercolours at the Royal Academy and Royal Institution in London. Later he exhibited in France at the Paris Salon.
In the early 1800s he became Engraver to King George III and also drawing master to the King’s daughters, but turned down other court posts and a knighthood.
His son, also called Samuel William, and daughter Frances were also artists and engravers.