Thomson, James (1788-1850) (DNB00)

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THOMSON, JAMES (1788–1850), engraver, was baptised on 5 May 1788 at Mitford, Northumberland, where his father, James Thomson, afterwards vicar of Ormesby, Yorkshire, was then acting as curate. Showing a taste for art, he was sent to London to be articled to an engraver named Mackenzie, and on the voyage from Shields was nine weeks at sea. After completing his apprenticeship with Mackenzie, he worked for two years under Anthony Cardon [q. v.], and then established himself independently. He became an accomplished engraver in the dot and stipple style, devoting himself almost exclusively to portraits, and was largely engaged upon important illustrated works, including Lodge's ‘Portraits of Illustrious Personages,’ Fisher's ‘National Portrait Gallery,’ Walpole's ‘Anecdotes of Painting,’ Heath's ‘Book of Beauty,’ Mrs. Mee's ‘Gallery of Beauties,’ the ‘Keepsake,’ the ‘Court Magazine,’ and ‘Ancient Marbles in the British Museum.’ Thomson's principal single plates are the portraits of Mrs. Storey, after Lawrence, 1826; Lady Burghersh and her sisters, after Lawrence, 1827; John Wesley, after Jackson, 1828; Charles James Blomfield, bishop of London, after Richmond, 1847; the queen riding with Lord Melbourne, after Sir Francis Grant; Prince Albert, after Sir William Charles Ross; and Louis-Philippe and his queen, a pair, after E. Dubufe, 1850. He died at his house in Albany Street, London, on 27 Sept. 1850. By his wife, whose maiden name was Lloyd, he had two daughters, one of whom, Ann, married Frederick Goodall, R.A.

[Ottley's Dict. of Painters and Engravers; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Gent. Mag. 1850, ii. 558; Mitford Parish Register.]

F. M. O'D.