Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hopper, Thomas

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

HOPPER, THOMAS (1776–1856), architect and surveyor, born 6 July 1776 at Rochester, was the son of a surveyor in that town, and educated in his father's office. He acquired considerable artistic knowledge by his own efforts. He was employed by Mr. Walsh Porter to make some alterations in Craven Cottage, Fulham. These attracted the notice of the Prince Regent, who commissioned him to make alterations at Carlton House, including the building of the Gothic conservatory. Hopper, as ‘Thomas Hopper, junior,’ exhibited designs for this at the Royal Academy in 1807. This patronage soon brought Hopper many commissions from the nobility and gentry. Among the mansions built or altered by him were Slane Castle and Gosford Castle in Ireland; Penrhyn Castle, Margam, and Kinmel in Wales; Dunmow Lodge, Danbury Place, Wyvenhoe Place, and others in Essex; Leigh Court, near Bristol; Rood Ashton in Wiltshire, and many others. A design for the alteration of Dunkeld Palace was not carried out. Hopper built the Essex county gaol at Springfield, and was surveyor of the county for forty years. In London he built Arthur's Club in St. James's Street, the Atlas Fire Office in Cheapside, St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington (as honorary architect), &c. In 1820 he competed unsuccessfully for the erection of the General Post Office, and afterwards for the rebuilding of the Royal Exchange and the Houses of Parliament. He published his designs for both the latter competitions, and asserted that some features of his design for the Royal Exchange had been appropriated by Sir Robert Smirke. Hopper declined an offer of knighthood from George IV. He died at Bayswater Hill 11 Aug. 1856, in his eightieth year.

[Dict. of Architecture; Builder, xiv. 481; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists.]

L. C.