Thomas Ivory

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For his contemporary, the Irish architect of the same name, see Thomas Ivory (Irish architect).

Thomas Ivory (1709–1779) was an English builder and architect, active in Norwich.

Life[edit]

Octagon Unitarian Chapel, Norwich.

Ivory was born in 1709. His early years and education remain obscure. His earliest recorded large commission was in his capacity as a builder and timber merchant at Thrigby Hall in 1735.[1] He bought the freedom of Norwich in 1745 and was appointed carpenter the Great Hospital in the city in 1751.[2] In May 1750 he had put his house in the parish of St Martin-at-Oak for sale. He then leased a piece of land on the west forecourt of the Great Hospital on which he built a substantial residence for himself, into which he moved in 1756.[1] It is now known as St Helen's House. He went on to build the Assembly House (1754), the neighbouring theatre (1757, since destroyed),[3] the Methodist meeting-house in Bishopsgate Street (1752–3), [4] the Octagon Chapel in Colegate (1754–6) and the artillery barracks (1771). He was also responsible for various houses in the city.[3]

Between 1767 and 1779, along with two members of his family, his son William and his nephew John Ivory,[5] he built a new range at Blickling Hall, closing in the open courtyard in a style sympathetic to the existing Jacobean house.[2]

In addition to work as a builder and architect, Ivory carried on an extensive trade importing timber, with his own yard in Bishopsgate.[4] He also operated the Norwich Theatre,[4] and is recorded as having obtained a licence for his company of actors, the Norwich Company of Comedians, to perform in Norwich in 1768.[6]

Ivory died at Norwich on 28 August 1779[6] and was buried in Norwich Cathedral, where he is commemorated by a wall monument made by his nephew John Ivory.[4] In his will he is described as ‘builder and timber merchant.[6]

Family[edit]

Ivory married Hannah Lacey (d.1787) on 22 December 1735 . They had two sons: William, who assisted his father as an architect, and died in King Edward VI Almshouses, Saffron Walden, on 11 December 1837, aged 90,[6] and Thomas, who emigrated to India,[4] where he worked in the revenue office at Fort William.[6] They also had a daughter, Sarah.[4]

Works[edit]

  • His own house at the Great Hospital, Norwich (1752), now known as St Helen's House.[3]
  • Norwich Theatre (1757). Destroyed.[3]
  • Methodist meeting-house in Bishopsgate Street, Norwich (1752–3), [4] later known as the "Tabernacle". Demolished 1953.[1]
  • Assembly House, Norwich (1754). There is evidence that the interiors of the Assembly House were by the Cambridge academic James Burrough.[7]
  • Octagon Chapel, Colegate, Norwich (1754–6).[3]
  • Houses at 29-35 Surrey Street (1761-2) and 25-27 Surrey Street (c1771). The later pair of houses have been demolished.[1]
  • Artillery barracks, Norwich (1771). [3] Now known as Ivory House .[1]
  • Additions to Blickling Hall, Norfolk (1767–79).[2]
  • St Catherine's House, All Saints Green, Norwich, possibly completed by his son, William Ivory.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Thomas Ivory, Architect 1709 - 1779". NorwichHEART. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Pevsner 1962, p. 97.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Pevsner 1962, p. 64.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Maddison 2004.
  5. ^ Pevsner 1962; their relation to Ivory given by Maddison 2004
  6. ^ a b c d e Porter 1891.
  7. ^ Pevsner 1962, p. 261.

Sources[edit]

  • Maddison, John (2004). "Ivory, Thomas (1709–1779)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  • Pevsner, Nikolaus (1962). Norwich and North-East Norfolk. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin. 
Attribution

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainPorter, Bertha (1892). "Ivory, Thomas (1709-1779)". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 29. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 83–84.