THURLOW, Thomas

1813 - 1899

Baptised at North Entrance, Saxmundham, Suffolk on 26 December 1813, son of John Thurlow, builder & stonemason, and his wife Rebecca née Wells, who married at Saxmundham on 28 December 1812. According to family tradition, he attended 'Mr. Farrows School for Young Gentlemen in North Entrance Saxmundham' and although there is no record of a Mr Farrow, there is a schoolmaster by the name of Owen Haxell in Pigot's National Directory for 1830 and he is recalled in a colourful autobiographical memoir by Thomas Thurlow:- 'About this time a School of a better class was opened in the Town by Mr. O. Hassell[sic] to which I was sent...The Boys called him Custards-but he was a good master for all that, and was the same school which was attended by Henry Bright [q.v.], and Newson Garrett, who built Snape Maltings, was a school friend. As a teenager he would turn his hand to most things, such as wood and plaster carving, polishing stones, and even made a violin, succeeding at the second attempt'. At the age of 23 he left home for London where he was engaged by the London Marble Works, a monument manufacturer in Regent Street and during his spare time he took lessons in oil painting, something he pursued throughout his life, some of his paintings are in the Moot Hall, Aldeburgh. Thurlow returned to Suffolk first opening a business in Halesworth and then settling back at Saxmundham in 1839. He married at Saxmundham in 1845 Harriet/Hannah Havers and in 1851 a 37 year old sculptor and stone mason, living at East Side, Thoroughfare, Saxmundham with his 27 year old wife and 3 year old daughter Ellen Maria. They were still there in 1871 but the address is given as High Street and remained there until at least 1891. During his lifetime, Thurlow completed many works for local people and various churches, including a memorial to Sir Charles Blois of Cockfield Hall in Yoxford Church, a life-size statue of Samuel Clouting in Kelsale Church, a marble bust of Richard Garrett III in Leiston Church, a bust of the poet George Crabbe in Aldeburgh Church and a commission from William Long of Hurts Hall to carve a rose and spray for the entrance to his mansion. As well as paid works, he exhibited widely including at the Royal Academy and in August 1850 he exhibited at the Suffolk Fine Art Association held in the New Lecture Hall of the Mechanics' Institute in Ipswich, two sculptures 'Cupid Sleeping' and 'Model of Charity' and in 1881 he exhibited at Ipswich Fine Art Club including in 1881 ‘Study of a Head’ and continued to exhibit until his death. Active in local affairs as Secretary and manager of the Saxmundham Gas Works, an Overseer for the Parish making and collecting the Rates, also the town Surveyor including supervising the building of Gurneys bank in Market Place and in 1847 acquired the License for Photography for the County of Suffolk which he practised for a time. He is reported to have given 'Penny Readings' in the Market Hall reciting from Dickens to packed audiences. He exhibited at the Ipswich Art Club from Saxmundham in 1883 'Old Pidney in the Look-out'. He died at Saxmundham in 1899, aged 86 and his wife died the following year aged 76.









Works by This Painter