Sir Thomas Lawrence, PRA, family papers and correspondence

RA Collection: Archive

Archive context

Showing item 38 of 73 in this group

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Sir Thomas Lawrence, PRA, family papers and correspondence





Extent & medium

301 items

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Historical Background

The early family life of Sir Thomas Lawrence is fairly well documented. A myth of the young prodigy was propagated during his lifetime and has endured. This group of papers bears relation to the life of Lawrence but is principally concerned with the dealings of his immediate family. Thomas Lawrence Sr. and his wife Lucy (nee Read) produced five children that survived to adulthood. Their eldest son, Andrew, was brought up into the church. He was a chaplain in the Royal Navy during the Revolutionary Wars (1792-99) and served under Admirals Calmedy, Sir H. Parker, Lords Nelson and Collingwood and Sir Robert Calder. On his retirement from sea he became Curate of Long Parish in Hampshire. He died in 1821 at the Naval Hospital, Haslar. William Read Lawrence entered the army. He attained the rank of major in the 72nd regiment and died in 1818. Neither brother married. Lucy Lawrence married a Mr. John Meredith, a solicitor of Birmingham, she died in 1813. Anne, born in 1766, married the Rev. Richard R. Bloxam, or Bloxham, rector of Brincklow, Vicar of Bulkington, Warwickshire and the second master of Rugby School. Both Thomas Sr. and Lucy Sr. died in 1797. The youngest child was Sir Thomas Lawrence.

Content Description

The papers illustrate several interests and preoccupations of the family and more specifically Anne Bloxam. It is possible that the separate elements of the group originate from different sources. However the close links to the Lawrence and Bloxam families suggest the papers were at one time in the hands of Anne Bloxam. The career and correspondence of Andrew Lawrence is well represented, as is an interest in a history and genealogy of the Lawrence/Read families. An element of Sir Thomas's correspondence is present, but for the most part Lawrence is present only posthumously through his executor, Keightley, and the labours of F.C. Lewis the engraver. Of particular note are the inventories of the possessions of Thomas Lawrence, drawn up by Keightley, his executor.


Internal evidence suggests the bulk of material started in Rugby with Anne Bloxam. The custodial history subsequent to this is unknown.

Acquisition Details

This group comprises manuscripts collected by Kenneth Garlick during his work on Sir Thomas Lawrence. Mr. Garlick donated the papers to the Royal Academy of Arts on 2nd June 1997.


The papers were arranged by Kenneth Garlick as an element of his studies of Lawrence, this arrangement has been adhered to.

Physical Characteristics

All the material was conserved professionally while in the possession of Kenneth Garlick.