On his death in 1748, Thomson was buried in St Mary's Church, Richmond, near his London home. His monument in Westminster Abbey, erected fourteen years after his death, was funded by a subscription edition of his works organised by his friend Patrick Murdoch (writer), and published by Andrew Millar (bookseller) in 1762. The profits from this work were donated to fund the monument which was executed following a large number of alternative designs by Adam. The executed monument follows the design shown in drawing 11, albeit with slightly different brackets, and showing the figure of Thomson in middle age, rather than in youth as in several of Adam's designs. It was carved by Michael Henry Spang (d1762), and remains in situ beside the monument to William Shakespeare in the south transept of Westminster Abbey. The monument depicts the seated figure of Thomson in antique dress, with a book, and the cap of Liberty, seated on a pedestal which is ornamented with the seasons in relief, and with a putto to one side.
A.T. Bolton, The architecture of Robert and James Adam, 1922, Volume II, Index pp. 51, 89; D. King, The complete works of Robert & James Adam and unbuilt Adam, 2001, Volume I, pp. 363, 365, Volume II, p. 266; S. Bradley, and N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: London 6: Westminster, 2003, p. 168
Frances Sands, 2012
Sir John Soane's collection includes some 30,000 architectural, design and topographical drawings which is a very important resource for scholars worldwide. His was the first architect’s collection to attempt to preserve the best in design for the architectural profession in the future, and it did so by assembling as exemplars surviving drawings by great Renaissance masters and by the leading architects in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries and his near contemporaries such as Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam and George Dance the Younger. These drawings sit side by side with 9,000 drawings in Soane’s own hand or those of the pupils in his office, covering his early work as a student, his time in Italy and the drawings produced in the course of his architectural practice from 1780 until the 1830s.
Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).
Contents of Westminster Abbey, London: Monument to James Thomson, commissioned by Patrick Murdoch and Andrew Millar, 1762, executed (11)
- Preliminary designs and designs for a funerary monument, 1762, unexecuted (10)
- Design for a funerary monument, 1762, executed with minor alterations (1)