SWAN, Thompson [Tom]

1863 - 1947

Born in Cumberland Square, Lowestoft on 16 July 1863, eldest son of John Thompson Swan, a fisherman, and his wife Rachel née Hovell, who married at Lowestoft in 1853. In 1871 a 7 year old scholar living at Cumberland Square with his parents, 40 year old John and 36 year old Rachel with four siblings, Elizabeth A. 9, Arthur J. 5, Alice L. 3 and newly born Rachel J.. In 1881 an 18 year old 'boy' on the 'Kingfisher' out of Lowestoft and he married at Lowestoft in 1889, Elizabeth Swann (born 1869) and they went to live at 2 Cumberland Street, Lowestoft. One of the many 'Pierhead Painters', amateur artists who painted fishing vessels for members of the crew, they had to work quickly to sell the picture to one of the crew, before or after sailing. On retiring from the sea he kept the Old Commodore Tavern in Gorleston, selling his paintings over the bar usually painted on paper mounted on card using both body-colour and transparent watercolour reinforced with a bold inked-in line. In 1911, when Thompson was at sea, Elizabeth was living at 38 May Road, Lowestoft with five of six surviving children and in 1939 were still living at 38 May Road, Lowestoft. He died at Lowestoft, Suffolk in 1947.




Works by This Painter