George Walter Thornbury

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George Walter Thornbury (13 November 1828, London – 11 June 1876, London) was an English author. He was the son of a London solicitor, reared by his aunt and educated by her husband, Reverend Barton Bouchier.[1] A journalist by profession, he also wrote verse, novels, art criticism and popular historical and topographical sketches. He began his career in 1845 with contributions to Bristol Journal and wrote later mainly for the Athenaeum. He is said to have died in a lunatic asylum.


His first major work was Lays and legends of the New World (1851). It followed a history of the Buccaneers, Monarchs of the Main, (1855), Shakspeare's England during the reign of Elizabeth (1856, 2 Vols.) and Art and nature at home and abroad (1856, 2 Vols.). His Old and New London: a Narrative of its History, its People, and its Places was first published in 2 volumes in 1872, and in an undated edition of 1878 in 6 volumes, the last four being by Edward Walford.[2] Many of these works are available online in full text from the Internet Archive Digital Library.


  • Songs of Cavaliers and Roundheads (1857)
  • Two centuries of song (1867)
  • Historical and legendary ballads and songs (1875)


  • Every man his own trumpeter (1858)
  • Icebound (1861)
  • True as steel (1863, 3 Vols.)
  • Wildfire (1864)
  • Tales for the marines (1865)
  • Haunted London (1865) Full text from the Internet Archive Digital Library.[3][4][5]
  • Greatheart (1866)
  • The vicar's courtship (1869)
  • Old stories retold (1869)

Nonfiction writing[edit]

  • Life in Spain (1859)
  • Turkish life and character (1860)
  • British Artists from Hogarth to Turner (1861, 2 Vols.)
  • Life of J. M. W. Turner (1861) Full text from the Internet Archive Digital Library.[6]
  • Tour round England (1870, 2 Vols.)
  • Criss cross journeys (1873, 2 Vols.)
  • Old and new London (1873–74, 2 Vols.). Full text available from the Internet Archive Digital Library[7][8]


  1. ^ A book of recollections, Volume 1, John Cordy Jeaffreson, p. 89, (London 1894).
  2. ^ M. Clare Loughlin-Chow, ‘Thornbury, (George) Walter (1828–1876)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 3 Jan 2015
  3. ^
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External links[edit]


This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainWood, James, ed. (1907). "article name needed". The Nuttall Encyclopædia. London and New York: Frederick Warne.