Show Summary Details

Page of
PRINTED FROM Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single article in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

Richmond, Thomaslocked

  • Albert Nicholson
  • , revised by V. Remington

Richmond, Thomas (1771–1837), miniature painter, was born at Kew, Surrey, on 28 March 1771, the younger son of Thomas Richmond (1740–1794), originally from Bawtry, Yorkshire. His father was groom of the stables to the duke of Gloucester and proprietor of the Coach and Horses inn at Kew, and his mother, Ann Bone, was a cousin of the miniature painter George Engleheart (1750–1829). Thomas Richmond consequently became Engleheart's pupil and also studied at St Martin's Lane Academy, London. He exhibited miniatures at the Royal Academy from 1795 to 1829, many of them in a style close to that of Engleheart but somewhat coarser. He practised from a studio at 42 Half Moon Street, Mayfair, Westminster, from 1800 to 1829 but also worked for a time from Portsmouth, and he appears to have established a large clientele of naval and army officers. As well as painting miniatures from life he also appears to have made copies after portraits by Richard Cosway and Engleheart, possibly for the royal family. He also copied in miniature many of the portraits by Sir Joshua Reynolds in royal collections. Although his miniatures were denigrated by the critic G. C. Williamson at the beginning of the twentieth century (Williamson, 2.37), they have been more favourably assessed in recent years, and he has been classed as 'a good artist who drew with strength and vitality' (Foskett, 627).

Richmond married, some time before 1802, Ann Coram (1772–1860), with whom he had two sons who both became artists. The elder, Thomas Richmond jun. (1802–1874), was a portrait painter in oils and watercolours who practised in Sheffield and London, exhibiting at the Royal Academy and the Society of British Artists from 1822 to 1860. He visited Rome with his brother George in 1840 and there made John Ruskin's acquaintance. The younger, George Richmond (1809–1896), was a highly successful portrait painter in miniature, oils, watercolours, and crayons and was the father of the artist Sir William Blake Richmond (1842–1921).

Thomas Richmond died in London on 15 November 1837 and was buried in Paddington churchyard, near the grave of the actress Sarah Siddons. He was survived by his wife.


  • private information (1896)
  • Exhibition of miniatures by George Engleheart, J. C. D. Engleheart and Thomas Richmond (1929), 7 [exhibition catalogue, V&A]
  • S. Edwards, Miniatures at Kenwood: the Draper gift (1997), 188
  • D. Foskett, Miniatures: dictionary and guide (1987), 311, 313, 373, 627
  • B. S. Long, British miniaturists (1929), 362
  • L. R. Schidlof, The miniature in Europe in the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, 2 (1964), 674
  • G. C. Williamson, The history of portrait miniatures, 2 (1904), 37


  • T. Richmond, portrait, 1802; Sothebys, 28 Feb 1991, lot 349
A. Graves, , 8 vols. (1905–6), repr. (1970), repr. (1972)