GRIFFITHS, William Thompson

1833 - 1909

W T Griffiths

William Thompson Griffiths was baptised at St Peter’s church, Liverpool on 30 December 1833, son of John Griffiths, a plasterer, and his wife Margaret née Lloyd (1797-1872), who married at Liverpool in 1828, a sibling sister Phebe Margaret was baptised at the same time, she died in 1847. In 1851, William was an 18-year-old artist living at 31 Gill Street, Liverpool with his parents 53-year-old John, now a builder, and 53-year-old Margaret and three sibling sisters and two Thompson visitors, Mary 30 and Betty 38. William studied at the Royal Academy Schools and the South Kensington Schools. After 12 months as head of the Art at Great Yarmouth Grammar School, in late 1858 he moved to Ipswich as Head of Ipswich School of Art then based at the Assembly Rooms in Northgate Street. During his time as Head, the school forged links with the School of Science becoming the Ipswich School of Science and Art and had their base at the new Museum building in the High Street from 1881, and Griffiths was to remain Head until 1906, only retiring because of illness. He was also Teacher of Drawing at the High School, Bury St Edmund's at 61 Abbeygate Street. Students at the Ipswich Art School during Griffith’s leadership included Walter Batley, Frederick George Cotman, William Symonds and Emmeline Rope. William exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1878 and was a member of Ipswich Fine Art Club 1875-1909 and exhibited in 1881 from Russell Road, Ipswich, ‘Beddruthen, Cornwall’, 'Scarborough Castle, North Side', 'New Quay, Cornwall' and 'Evening Shadows', in 1882 an oil 'On the Llugwy, N. Wales', in 1883 an oil 'The Fairy Glen, North Wales' and a drawing 'On the North Coast, Cornwall', in 1884 'Silent and Sunny' and 'On the Lugwy, N. Wales' and continued to exhibit regularly, mostly views in Cornwall and Wales and in 1889 showing at the Woodbridge Art Exhibition at the Assembly Room at the Bull Hotel, Woodbridge three oil paintings. He married at Stepney Meeting House, Mile End Old Town, London on 3 August 1870, Katherine [Kate] Ann Bow (1845-17 April 1915), second daughter of George Butchart of Bow. In 1881, as Master of the Government School of Art, was living at Royal Villa, Russell Road, Ipswich with his 35-year-old wife Katherine, of North Shields, Co. Durham and his two daughters, Kate 9 and Stella 5, both born at Ipswich, and they kept two indoor servants. In 1891, headmaster school of science, living at Fernley House, Crescent Road, Ipswich but ten years later had moved to 2 Gosfield Villa, Tomline Road, Felixstowe but William Thompson Griffiths died back at 20 Russell Road, Ipswich on 29 June 1909 and his wife died at Anglesea, Wales in 1915.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from Russell Road, Ipswich
1878 1878 A Bit of Old Yarmouth

Works by This Artist