Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Blore, Edward

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BLORE, EDWARD (1787–1879), architect and artist, was born at Derby on 13 Sept. 1787, and was the eldest son of Thomas Blore, author of the ‘History of Rutland’ [q. v.] At an early age he began to display great fondness for architecture, and a facility in sketching; and whilst still a young man was employed on the illustrations for the 'History of Rutland,' the second part of which was published in 1811. During the next few years he was engaged in making the sketches of York and Peterborough for Britton's 'English Cathedrals,' and in executing the architectural designs for Surtees's 'History and Antiquities of Durham,' and for other county histories. In 1816 Blore made the acquaintance of Sir Walter Scott, who was at that time anxious to find some one who could fully enter into his views for building a new house in Abbotsford in the Gothic style. At Scott's request Blore made a hasty sketch there and then, and was at once authorised by him to carry out the designs for the exterior of the building. Blore's intimacy with Scott also led to his being employed along with Turner and other artists upon Scott's publication, 'The Provincial Antiquities and Picturesque Scenery of Scotland.' Of this work Blore acted as manager, at the same time contributing all the architectural drawings. In 1824 he published his interesting volume, entitled 'The Monumental Remains of Noble and Eminent Persons.' During this time Blore was also devoting himself to the task of stimulating the newly awakened taste for Gothic architecture, and was in constant correspondence with Rickman, the well-known writer on Gothic, who seems to have much valued Blore's early instruction. At this period of the Gothic revival Blore had comparatively little opportunity for carrying out any specially remarkable designs for ecclesiastical buildings. One of his largest undertakings was in connection with Peterborough Cathedral, the present organ-screen and choir-fittings of which were from his designs. The monument to W. Hilton, R.A., in Lincoln Cathedral, and the font in the Royal Savoy Chapel, were likewise designed by him, and he was also entrusted with the restoration of Glasgow Cathedral, of Merton College Chapel, and of other buildings of the same kind.

Blore's practice as an architect soon became extremely extensive. Among his more important works may be mentioned the restoration of the hall, chapel, and library of Lambeth Palace, and the rebuilding of its residential portion; the building from his designs of Prince Woronzow's palace of Aloupka in the Crimea; Corehouse, Scotland; Crum Castle, Ireland; Worsley Hall, Lancashire; Thicket Priory, Yorkshire; Moreton Hall, Cheshire; the Pitt Press, Cambridge; Castle Hill, Devonshire; the government buildings, Sydney, New South Wales, &c. Blore held the appointment of special architect to King William IV and to Queen Victoria during the earlier part of her reign. In this capacity he was employed to carry out various works at Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace, and to complete the erection of Buckingham Palace, which had been begun by Nash. He also for many years filled the post of architect at Westminster Abbey, being succeeded by Sir Gilbert Scott at the time of his retirement from his profession. His death took place in London on 4 Sept. 1879. He was a fellow of the Royal Society, of the Society of Antiquaries, and one of the founders of the Royal Archæological Institute; he also held the honorary degree of D.C.L., conferred by the university of Oxford in 1834. He married in 1819, and had a family of two sons, the Rev. E. W. Blore, senior fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge (d. 1885), and the Rev. G. J. Blore, D.D., head-master of the King's School, Canterbury, and two daughters. As an evidence of his remarkable powers as a draughtsman, and of his unremitting labour for more than seventy years, he has left behind him no less than forty-eight volumes, as well as smaller sketch-books, containing nearly five thousand beautifully finished drawings. Of these drawings, which are now in the possession of his daughter, Mrs. Keyser, about one thousand portray the more interesting specimens of English and Scotch ecclesiastical architecture; there are also drawings of more than six hundred monuments and representations of 'almost every example of ancient castellated and domestic architecture remaining in England.'

[Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries, 1880, viii. 347–52; Builder for 13 Sept. 1879, p. 1019; information derived from Charles Keyser, Esq., F.S.A.; Lockhart's Life of Scott.]

W. W.