George Housman Thomas

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George Housman Thomas (London December 17, 1824 – Boulogne-sur-Mer July 21, 1868), was an English engraver, illustrator and Victorian era painter.


G H. Thomas: Andrea Aguyar riding behind Garibaldi, "Illustrated London News", July 21, 1849

He was born in London in 1824 and after an apprenticeship there to a wood engraver, George Bonner, he began work in Paris, first as an engraver, then as a draughtsman on wood. In 1846 he went to the United States to illustrate a New York City paper, and remained there about two years. During this time he obtained a commission from the government of the United States to design banknotes. His health compelled him to return to Europe, and he went to Italy.

He was present at the siege of Rome by the French in 1849, and sent sketches of the siege to the Illustrated London News. After spending two years in Italy he returned to England.

Thomas resided at the boroughs of Kingston and Surbiton till illness caused his removal to Boulogne-sur-Mer, where he died on 21 July 1868. A collection of his works was exhibited in Bond Street in June 1869, and his sketches and studies were sold at Christie's in July 1872.


About 1850 Thomas produced a set of woodcuts for Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. He also illustrated other books, including Longfellow's The Song of Hiawatha, Foxe's Book of Martyrs, and Trollope's Last Chronicle of Barset.

Thomas exhibited his first picture, St. Anthony's Day at Rome, at the British Institution in 1851. Garibaldi at Rome, painted from sketches made in 1849, was exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in 1854, and attracted much attention. His next picture was Ball at the Camp, Boulogne, 1856.

Thomas obtained the patronage of Queen Victoria, and painted the following pictures by her majesty's command:

All these were exhibited at the Royal Academy in the years named. His other exhibits, military or domestic subjects, included Rotten Row (1862).

Book illustrations[edit]


  1. ^ a b New version (1888), from Uncle Tom's Cabin & American culture (University of Virginia)



External links[edit]