Wyon, Thomas (1767-1830) (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 63
Wyon, Thomas (1767-1830)

by Warwick William Wroth
Contains subarticle George Wyon (d. 1796).

WYON, THOMAS, the elder (1767–1830), chief engraver of the seals, born in 1767, was the eldest of the four sons of George Wyon, the other sons being Peter, father of William Wyon [q. v.], George, and James.

George Wyon (d. 1796), the father of Thomas, was son of George Wyon, a silver-chaser, who was born at Cologne, and came to England in the suite of George I; he deserves commemoration as the ancestor of a talented race of medallists and seal engravers. The younger George was apprenticed to a goldsmith, and about 1775 was engaged by Matthew Boulton [q. v.] in the manufacture of articles of cornelian at Soho, near Birmingham. He was designer and modeller to the Silver Plate Company there, with which Boulton was also connected. The silver cup presented to John Wilkes in 1772 was embossed with the assassination of Julius Cæsar from a cast by George Wyon (reproduced in Gent. Mag. 1774, p. 457; cf. Nichols, Lit. Anecd. ix. 478). In 1780 he was residing at 79 Lichfield Street, Birmingham, but by 1785 he had removed to 2 Temple Street. He died in 1796 at Birmingham, where he had for many years carried on business as a die-engraver and chaser.

Thomas Wyon, about 1796, went into business in Birmingham with his brother Peter as a general die-engraver. They resided at Lionel Street in 1797. He engraved many dies for tokens, especially part of the Coventry series of buildings. From 1800 he carried on business in London, and on 30 Sept. 1816 was appointed chief engraver of the seals. He died on 18 Oct. 1830 in Nassau Street, London. He was the father of Thomas Wyon the younger [q. v.], of Benjamin Wyon [q. v.], and of Edward William Wyon, sculptor and modeller.

[Information kindly given by Mr. R. B. Prosser, and by the librarian of the Birmingham Central Free Library; Wyon's Great Seals, p. 190; Carlisle's Memoir of William Wyon; Numismatic Journal, ii. 12; Sharp's Catalogue of the Chetwynd Collection, p. v; on the Wyon family, see also local notes and queries in the Birmingham Weekly Post for 1885, Nos. 1773, 1783, 1791, 1805, 1815, 1819.]

W. W.