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Thomas Churchyard (1798-1865)


Thomas Churchyard (1798-1865)

Often mistaken for those of John Constable, the Suffolk landscapes of Thomas Churchyard are as fresh and lyrical as any of the period.

Thomas Churchyard was born in Melton, Suffolk on 22 January 1798, the only child of a cattle dealer, grazier and butcher. He was educated
at Queen Elizabeth’s Free Grammar School in Dedham, Essex, and articled to a firm of solicitors at Halesworth, north of Woodbridge,
Suffolk. By 1822, he was established as an attorney in Woodbridge, and would develop a reputation for being ‘liberal and humane’ (Denis
Thomas, in Matthew and Harrison 2004, vol 11, p 690), though would devote most of his energy to painting.

Marrying in January 1825, Churchyard and his wife rented 29 Well Street (now called Seckford Street), Woodbridge. During the following
fifteen years, they had two sons and seven daughters, most of the daughters showing a talent for art.

An early admirer and collector of paintings by members of the Norwich School, Churchyard was particularly influenced by John Crome, and
made convincing copies of his works, as well as those by John Constable. In 1831, he exhibited his first landscapes at the Norfolk and Suffolk
Institution, in Norwich, and was elected an honorary member.

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Subject Category

British Counties & Regions
East Anglia (1)

Landscapes
Villages (1)

Still Life