John Thomas (sculptor)

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John Thomas
John Thomas sculptor.jpg
John Thomas in 1847, aged 34
Born1813 Edit this on Wikidata
Died9 April 1862 Edit this on Wikidata (aged 48–49)
London Edit this on Wikidata
Rachel by John Thomas, 1856, Victoria and Albert Museum
One of four Lions sculpted by John Thomas that stand at each corner of the Britannia Bridge crossing the Menai Strait

John Thomas (1813–1862) was a British sculptor and architect, who worked on Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Westminster.


John Thomas was born in Chalford, Gloucestershire. Apprenticed to a stonemason after being left an orphan, he later went to Birmingham where his elder brother William was an architect (and who later moved to Canada to continue his career). He was noticed by Charles Barry who immediately employed John Thomas as a stone and wood carver on Birmingham Grammar School (now demolished), his first collaboration with Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin.

Barry later appointed him the Supervising Carver on the Palace of Westminster in London, on which he is responsible for all the figures of English kings and queens.


Thomas's work 'Charity' was shown at the Great Exhibition of 1851, and then adapted to form a memorial in Christ Church, Chalford, to his brother Richard who died in 1852. His final work was the colossal statue of William Shakespeare displayed at the 1862 International Exhibition. A dispute over its placement hastened his death in April 1862, and he was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery, London. His massive (30 ft. high and 40 ft (12 m). in diameter) majolica fountain, also on display at the 1862 exhibition, was placed outside the V&A Museum of Childhood until it was demolished in 1926.

Other works[edit]

Works as an architect[edit]

Picture gallery[edit]


  1. ^ Sussex Advertiser, Tuesday 28 January 1851 p6 col2-3, The Grand opening ball at the Pavilion
  2. ^ "Bristol High Cross", The Gentleman's Magazine, 37: 21–24, January 1852
  3. ^ Historic England. "TOWN HALL, Leeds (1255772)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  4. ^ "Nooks and Corners". Private Eye magazine (1525). London, England: Pressdram Ltd. 16 July 2020. p. 23. Retrieved 1 July 2020.


External links[edit]