|Died||22 May 1743
his house Whitehall
Archer spent his youth at Umberslade Hall in Tanworth-in-Arden in Warwickshire, the youngest son of Thomas Archer, a country gentleman, Parliamentary Colonel, and Member of Parliament, and Ann Leigh, daughter of the London haberdasher, Richard Leigh. The exact date of Archer's birth is unknown, but can be inferred from the two documentary sources that mention his age. One is an entry in the Oxford University register recording his matriculation at Trinity College on 12 June 1686, aged 17; the other, his epitaph, survives in the parish church of Hale, Hampshire. If these records are accurate, he must have been born between 12 June 1668 and 22 May 1669. Thomas is the only one of the Archer children not to have his birth recorded in the Tamworth-in-Arden parish register, which suggests he may have been born elsewhere. He attended Trinity College, Oxford, from which he matriculated on 12 June 1686. After leaving university he went on a Grand Tour, spending four years abroad and was influenced by the work of Bernini and Borromini.
Archer's churches include St John's, Smith Square, Westminster, St Paul's, Deptford and St Philip, Birmingham, now Birmingham Cathedral. St John's and St Paul's were both built for the Commission for Building Fifty New Churches. John Summerson said these two buildings "represent the most advanced Baroque style ever attempted in England". According to the minutes of the Commissioners, Archer also "improved" Hawksmoor's designs for St Alfege's at Greenwich, although the nature of the improvements, or whether they were implemented, is unknown.
Archer's secular works included Roehampton House in Surrey, Welford Park in Berkshire, and the Cascade House and the west front and broadly bowed pilastered north front at Chatsworth House. In 1709–11 Archer designed a Baroque garden pavilion for Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Kent at Wrest Park, Silsoe, Bedfordshire. After 1712 Archer designed Hurstbourne Priors in Hampshire for John Wallop (later Earl of Portsmouth).
He was a founding governor of the Foundling Hospital in London in 1739, but was not involved in the construction of the resulting building, completed circa 1750. The architect for that project was Theodore Jacobsen.
- Chatsworth House, North front, Derbyshire, circa 1705
- Heythrop Hall, Oxfordshire, circa 1705
- St Philip's, Birmingham, 1708–1715
- Garden pavilion, Wrest Park, Bedfordshire, 1709–1711
- Roehampton House, Surrey, 1712
- Cliveden House, Service pavilions and the quadrant colonnades, Buckinghamshire
- Hurstbourne Priors, Hampshire, 1712
- St John’s, Smith Square, London, 1713–1728
- St. Paul's, Deptford, 1712–1730
- Hale Park, Hampshire, 1715
- St Mary’s Church, additions, Hale, Hampshire, 1717
- Harcourt House, Cavendish Square, London, 1722
- Hale Park, the house Archer designed for himself.
- Welford Park, remodelling of house, Berkshire, 1700
- Chicheley Hall, Buckinghamshire, circa 1703
- Parish church, chancel, Chicheley, 1708
- Addiscombe House, Croydon, Surrey, circa 1703
- Monmouth House, Soho Square, London, 1703
- Russell House, King Street, Covent Garden, London, circa 1704
- Cascade House, Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, 1705
- Hill House, Cain Hill, Wrest Park, Bedfordshire, circa 1710, demolished
- Bramham Park, Yorkshire, circa 1710
- Kingston Maurward, Dorset, 1717–1720
- Marlow Place, Buckinghamshire, 1720
- Chettle House, Dorset, circa 1730
- Monument to Susannah Thomas, Hampton Church, Middlesex, circa 1731
- Archer Memorial, St Mary’s Church, Hale, Hampshire
- Thomas Archer (his father) monument, St Mary Magdalene Church, Tanworth-in-Arden, Warwickshire
Thomas Archer's garden pavilion at Wrest Park, 2007
- The Little London Directory of 1677: the oldest printed list of the merchants and bankers of London. Edited by John Camden Hotton, 1863. A reprint of A Collection of the Names of Merchants living in and about the City of London, 11 October 1677, under license from Roger L'Estrange. Richard Leigh and his wife Mary had six children, of which Ann was the eldest. The family lived in the parish of St. Helen's Bishopgate. Ann married Thomas Archer, the architect's father in 1649 in the parish of St. Peter-le-Poor.
- Joseph Foster, Alumni Oxonienses: The Members of the University of Oxford, 1500–1714 (Oxford: James Parker & Co., 189 1). Marcus Whiffen, Thomas Archer, vol. 3 (London: Art and Technics, 1950). Marcus Whiffen, Thomas Archer, architect of the English baroque, [New ed.] ed. (Los Angeles: Hennessey & Ingalls, 1973).
- page 10, Thomas Archer Architect of the English Baroque, Marcus Whiffen, 1973, Art and Technics
- Downes, Kerry (1987) [first published 1970]. Hawksmoor. World of Art. London: Thames and Hudson. pp. 110–11. Downes suggests the use of the giant order of pilasters around the church may have been Archer's idea.
- "The Puzzle of St Mary's Church – Hale". Judith Leigh.
- Andor Gomme, ‘Archer, Thomas (1668/9–1743)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (Oxford University Press, September 2004; online edn, January 2008) , accessed 8 November 2008.
- Whiffen, Marcus:Thomas Archer: Architect of the English Baroque,
Hennessey & Ingalls, Santa Monica 1973, ISBN 0-912158-23-9
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