Thomas Hart F.S.A

Louisa Fisher Hallamore
14th December 2014
Thomas Hart FSA portrait


Born 1830 in Crowan, Cornwall and christened 31 Jan 1830

The Family moved to Falmouth, Cornwall before the 1841 census

Parents, Thomas Hart, foreman for many years at W. Broad & Sons, timber and wine merchant in Falmouth and Mary Hart, daughter of Richard Trezise, farmer, and seine-owner (Fishing Boat) of Porthleven.

He showed artistic instinct from an early age

1851 Census shows him as a Artist Living with his Parents at 34 Killigrew Street, Falmouth, Cornwall

1861 Census shows him as a Artist in Landscape and Portraiture at 7 Upper Berkeley Place Falmouth

1873 Post Office Directory shows him at 9 Berkeley Vale Falmouth and Polbrean on the Lizard

Thomas Hart FSA married Louisa Hallamore in 1862 in Falmouth, Cornwall. Initially they set up home in Plymouth where Thomas had one of the very first photographic studios at 10 Flora Place, Union Road, Plymouth. It looks like Louisa travelled back to Falmouth for the births of Herbert and Horace as both of their births are registered there.

Around 1865-1866 Thomas and Louisa moved to Polbrean House on the Lizard Point, Marie Louise Hart’s birth, in 1866, is registered in Landwednack and this is the same for the rest of the children, In total Thomas and Louisa had 11 children

Thomas has made a good living from the photography and selling his paintings as these two adverts show

Western Morning News Monday 21 March 1870

WANTED, NURSEMAID, between 20 and 30, for young children. Honesty, cleanliness, good temper, and early rising Indispensable. Good character required.—Apply to Mrs. Hart, Polbrean-villa, Lizard

The Cornish Telegraph Wednesday 06 September 1871

Wanted GOOD plain cook, to share the house work, and housemaid, to take occasional charge of children. Apply to Mrs. Hart, the Lizard.


View His Work

Thomas worked as the Drawing master  from about 1858 to 1966

Self Portrait By Thomas Hart 

First exhibited at the Cornwall Polytechnic Society in 1856

Quote from the Royal Cornwall Gazette – Friday 19 September 1856

Mr. Hart also exhibited a photographic portrait of himself, about 20 inches by 15— said to be the largest size portrait which, as yet, has been transferred from a photograph and then painted in oil ; through we understand he is enabled to take portraits in similar style, of life size.


Illustrated London News 26th April 1862 Page 429

ON the morning of Saturday week (as reported in our last Number) a
fire occurred at Falmouth, commencing, it is thought, on the premises
of Mr. Rawlings, a grocer, in High-street. Owing to a fresh easterly
wind and dry weather prevailing both sides of this narrow street
became rapidly involved in flames, and the fire could not be effectually
checked until eight o’clock, and only then by pulling down three
houses, after fifteen or sixteen had been consumed in the main street and
a great many others in Britton’s-yard, in the rear, towards the sea.
Happily, no lives were lost; but, in addition to the families and inmates
of the houses in High-street, embracing about thirty shopkeepers of
various trades, fully 120 men, women, and children of the poorer
classes were driven in the dead of the night from their beds, many
unable to save anything beyond the clothes they escaped in. The property in stock and furniture rescued is not great, owing to the rapid-
progress of the flames; and it is calculated the total loss cannot be
reckoned at less than £25,000. It is due to the inhabitants of Falmouth
to say that they acted with the most praiseworthy alacrity in rendering
assistance to the sufferers under this E. calamity. Our Engraving,
showing the ruins after the fire, is from a sketch by Mr. T, Hart, of
Berkeley-place, Falmouth.

 Thomas opperated a Photographers Business at

                              16 George Street, Plymouth, in 1862

                              21 George Street, Plymouth, in 1863

                             10 Flora Place, Union Street, Plymouth, in 1864

Printed on the 30th Jan 1862

Flora Place is the terrace of houses on the right, Thomas’s studio was in the corner house

Below are a selection of Photographs in the Carte De Visite format that Thomas produced at his studios in Plymouth





Mrs Gwatkin the Niece of Sir Joshua Reynolds

Western Times Tuesday 30-3-1869

                                                                      THE FETES OF EASTER WEEK.

                                                                  THE LIFE-BOAT BAZAAR EXETER

                                                                               Royal Public Rooms.


Much valuable bazaar stock had been gathered by Mrs Hartley, or the produce of her own untiring industry. The works of art among them were valuable and striking, comprising a Rescue by the “Mary Hartley” lifeboat at Dundee, painted by Thomas Hart, Esq., F.S.A., an artist of renown, with several watercolour illustrations of Tennyson by the same pencil

Cornishman – Thursday 14 November 1878

We (Western Daily Mercury) have pleasure in stating that Mr Hart of the Lizard, who a year or two since passed some time in Rome, and brought home many works of great interest, recently sold one of his Roman pictures for £315. ( £ 26,215, in 2018 ) This is very encouraging. He had previously spent years upon our western coasts, and had painted many of the Cornish lions. It is gratifying to see our Western men establishing a name for work done far, far away.

Cornishman – Thursday 06 May 1880


Fine Arts.—Mr Thomas Hart, of the Lizard, has two drawings in the Grosvenor Gallery, London. one a moorland sunset, .entitled “The Day’s Work Done;” the other ” Morning after a Gale”—a grey drawing in Mr Hart’s best style, with heavy ground sea and men clearing the wreck. They were selected Sir Coutts Lindsay..

Cornishman Thursday 12-4-1883

                                                      A Narrow ESCAPE OF A WELL KNOWN CORNISH ARTIST.

Mr Thomas Hart, the well-known Lizard artist, met with a serious accident and narrow escape for his life on Thursday last. He was driving on the Helston road, when about two miles from the Lizard, he overtook uncovered wain, the carcasses of eight or 10 pigs. Knowing that many horses (particularly his own) have a great dislike to slaughtered pigs and the smell of blood, the coachman alighted, and tried to lead the horse (which was a very valuable one) quietly past. On getting abreast of the wain, however, the horse suddenly reared, planted its fore legs on the top of hedge, and threw the coachman with considerable violence on the ground. Mr Hart retained his hold of the reins, and the horse being unable to drag the carriage over the hedge fell back suddenly into the ditch. Before the animal could rise into the road Mr Hart and the coachman managed to hold its head, and had partially succeeded in removing the harness, when getting its head free, it regained its footing and dashed off at tremendous pace. The unloosened harness then got entangled between its feet and threw it to the ground, with violence that it slid along the road for about 13 yards, receiving such severe cuts in its knees as to render for ever unfit for carriage work. Luckily the coachman was unhurt, and Mr Hart escaped with a few bruises and a cut hand, but received a severe shock to the nervous system. The horse was quite a favourite with the children, and was often fed by them with fruit and sweets

Cornishman – Thursday 22 November 1900

COVERACK. Has again been successful in the pilchard fishery this reason. About a month ago the seine had good haul and Friday the second sharing took place, and Mr Hart, of the Lizard, presented each man with a sovereign. The kind gift was highly appreciated.

Cornishman Thursday 7-9-1916

                                                              THE LATE MR. THOMAS HART.

 Mr Thomas Hart, whose death at the Lizard announced this week, was born at Falmouth, father Thomas Hart, many years foreman to W. Broad and Sons, timber and wine merchants of that borough, and his mother was Mary, the daughter ; Richard Trezize, farmer, and seine-owner of Porthleven. Early life he showed artistic instincts, and he attained considerable eminence as painter in water-colours, his works being hung at the Royal Academy and the Grosvenor and other London galleries. He was particularly fortunate in finding attractive subjects that suited his style the Lizard district and Coverack and Mullion at time when the beauties of form and colour of the Cornish coast were not nearly so well-known as now. There is doubt that his picture of Kynance Cove, and of the bold cliffs known as the Rill, did much to attract artists and others to the county. Among purchasers of his works were the Earl of Northbrook, Viscountess Baring, the late Lord St. Levan, Dowager Lady Louisa Ashburton, Lady Elizabeth Biddulph, Dean Alford, Rev. “Henry Boyd, D.D., principal Hertford College; Dr. Wilberforce, and Viscount Clifden. For very many years Mr Hart’s contribution was an important feature the art section of the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society’s Exhibition, and on more than one occasion won its silver medal. Several summers had a studio Norway, and his transcripts of the bold rock coast and grand waterfalls, found ready purchasers among tourists. The Society of Antiquaries made him a Fellow in recognition of his ready help afforded to all in search of the pre-historic remains in the district. Early in his artistic career he made his home the Lizard, so as to able to study the coast in all seasons and weather, and he took an active part the life of the community. He was hon. sec. of the Landewednack School, 1872-82 and for several years a lay representative at the Diocesan Conferences for the parishes of Landewednack, Grade, and Ruan Miner. He also had much do with the Lizard Reading-room. In 1862 he married Louise Fisher, a daughter of Alfred and Jane Hallamore, late of Penzance. By whom had seven children: Herbert Passingham, Horace Percival, Marie Louise, Sydney Ernest, Claude Montague (who inherited of his father’s talent), Tracy Douglas, and Beatrice Leaf.

Thomas was layed to rest in St Winwalloe Churchyard, Landewednack, The Lizard, Cornwall 

The Pictures of the grave below are by kind permission of Mr Brian E Hart, Canada

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