Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Wyatt, Thomas Henry

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WYATT, THOMAS HENRY (1807–1880), architect, born at Loughlin House, co. Roscommon, on 9 May 1807, was the eldest son of Matthew Wyatt, police magistrate for Lambeth, by his wife Anne, sister of Sir Thomas Lawrence [q. v.] (Gent. Mag. 1835, ii. 445). Sir Matthew Digby Wyatt [q. v.] was his youngest brother. In preparation for a mercantile career he was sent to Malta, but on returning to England an evident liking for architecture led to his being placed in the office of Philip Charles Hardwick [q. v.], who shortly confided to him the superintendence of some warehouses at St. Katherine's Docks, which he was erecting in collaboration with Thomas Telford [q. v.], the engineer. On leaving Hardwick in 1832 to begin practice on his own account he secured the appointment of district surveyor for Hackney, a post which he resigned in 1861.

In 1838, so greatly had his practice prospered under a number of patrons, among whom were the Duke of Beaufort, the Earl of Denbigh, and Sidney Herbert, that he took as partner David Brandon, with whom during a connection of thirteen years he designed the assize courts at Cambridge, Brecon, and Usk, the Wilts and Bucks lunatic asylums, and many private residences.

At the close of this partnership he worked independently until about 1860, when he had the assistance of his son Matthew. His finest building was the exchange at Liverpool; the church at Wilton was an ambitious essay in Lombardic architecture, and one of the earliest modern buildings in which mosaic decoration was attempted in this country. The Knightsbridge barracks were among his most important undertakings, and, if they are rather imposing than beautiful, can at least be considered an honest and capable solution of a difficult problem. In collaboration with Sir Matthew Digby Wyatt he designed the garrison chapel at Woolwich. As honorary architect to the Athenæum he made important additions to the club-house, and he is also represented in London by the Adelphi Theatre, by extensive additions to the Consumption Hospital at Brompton, and by the mansion erected for Sir Dudley Marjoribanks in Park Lane. As an acknowledged authority on hospital construction he was appointed honorary architect to the Middlesex Hospital, consulting architect to the lunacy commissioners, and designed the Stockwell Fever Hospital and two hospitals at Malta. He held the post of consulting architect to the Incorporated Church Building Society and to the Salisbury Diocesan Society, and was connected as designer or restorer with more than 150 churches. Not only did Wyatt hold an honourable position in the Royal Institute of British Architects, of which he was president from 1870 to 1873, and gold medallist in 1873, but he was also an associate (admitted 1845) of the Institution of Civil Engineers, serving on the council in 1848, and acting as honorary architect for the reconstruction of premises carried out in 1847, and again in 1868.

Though failing health precluded full practice in his later years, Wyatt continued to participate actively in his profession almost to the date of his death, which took place at his residence, 77 Great Russell Street, London, on 5 Aug. 1880. He was buried at the church of Weston Patrick, near Basingstoke, which he had rebuilt partly at his own expense.

Though not an artist of great originality, Wyatt was a scholarly worker, with a good knowledge of various styles. He designed with readiness on either Classic or Gothic lines, was a good sketcher, an able planner, clear-headed in business, and to many of his clients a valued friend. He took an active part in the formation of the Architects' Benevolent Society.

[Architectural Publication Society's Dict.; Proc. of Institution of Civil Engineers, vol. lxiii. 1880–1, pt. i.; Times, 12 Aug. 1880; Builder, 14 Aug. 1880, xxxix. 230, where list of works is given; Trans. of Royal Inst. of British Architects, 1879–80, p. 230.]

P. W.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.286
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

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189 ii 9-7 f.e Wyatt, Thomas Henry: for Anne, sister of Sir Thomas . . . ii. 445). read Anne daughter of George Hillier of Devizes.