Wills Brothers

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The Wills Brothers, also known as W.J. & T. Wills, consisting of William John (born c.1826 in Islington, London) and Thomas Wills (born c.1835 in St. Pancras, London) were a firm of sculptor brothers[1] who were noted for their sculpture and modelling work between 1857 and 1895. Annual exhibitors at the Royal Academy until 1884, they were best known for their designs of drinking fountains, and were employed by the Metropolitan Free Drinking Fountain Association and Coalbrookdale Company.[2] They were noted for their cast-iron work in particular, made by the Coalbrookdale Company.[3] In 1859 they were commissioned to design the "People's Fountain" for the Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council, costing £114 in total. of which £80 was for the sculpture, and completed in 1860.[3] The 1.18m statue on a 93cm high pedestal was relocated in 1866 to Bolton Park (later renamed Queen's Park). [3] However, in 1978 the statue was vandalised beyond repair and it was replaced on the pedestal with an inferior statue of a woman depicted pouring water from a jug.[3] The brothers were also well known for their statues of notable figures. Notable works include Richard Cobden in Camden (1866-68); Sir Humphry Davy in Penzance (1872); Lord Mayo in Cockermouth (1875); G.L. Ashworth in Rochdale (1877); Sir Thomas White in Coventry (1883); Henry Edwards in Weymouth (1886); and William III at New Quay, Torbay (1889).[2]


  1. ^ Ward-Jackson, Philip (2003). Public sculpture of the city of London. Liverpool University Press. p. 484. ISBN 978-0-85323-967-3. Retrieved 14 December 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Wills Brothers". Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951. Retrieved 14 December 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d Wyke, Terry J.; Cocks, Harry (2004). Public Sculpture Of Greater Manchester. Liverpool University Press. p. 215. ISBN 978-0-85323-567-5. Retrieved 14 December 2012.