1863 - 1947

Thompson Swan was born at Cumberland Square, Lowestoft on 16 July 1863, eldest son of Thompson John Swan (1830-1884), a fisherman, and his wife Rachel née Hovell (1836-1902), who married at Lowestoft on 22 November 1853. In 1871, Tom as he was known, was a 7-year-old scholar, living at Cumberland Square with his parents, 40-year-old John and 36-year-old Rachel with four siblings, Elizabeth Ann 9, Arthur James 5, Alice Louisa 3 and newly born Rachel Jane, they had a least three more children and in 1881 his parents were still at the same address. However, in 1881, Tom was an 18-year-old 'boy' on the 'Kingfisher' out of Lowestoft. He married at Lowestoft in 1889, Elizabeth Swann (born 6 October 1869) and they went to live at 2 Cumberland Street, Lowestoft. One of the many 'Pierhead Painters', amateur artists who painted fishing vessels for members of the crew, they had to work quickly to sell the picture to one of the crew, before or after sailing. On retiring from the sea, Tom kept the 'Old Commodore Tavern' in Gorleston, selling his paintings over the bar, usually painted on paper mounted on card using both body-colour and transparent watercolour reinforced with a bold inked-in line. In 1911, when Tom was at sea, Elizabeth was living at 38 May Road, Lowestoft with five of six surviving children and in 1939 were still living at 38 May Road, Lowestoft. Thompson Swan died at Lowestoft, Suffolk in 1947.

Works by This Artist