Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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THOMAS , THOMAS HENRY ( Arlunydd Penygarn ; 1839 - 1915 ), artist , etc.;

b. 31 March 1839 at the Baptist College , Pontypool , son of Thomas Thomas ( 1805 - 1851 ) (q.v.) , and his wife, Mary David , Cardiff . He was educated at home and at an academy kept by Dr. Bompas in Bristol before he entered the Bristol School of Art , whence he went ( 1858 ) to Carey's Art School , London , and to the Royal Academy Schools ; he later went to Paris , Rome , etc. At Rome he came to know John Gibson (q.v.) and Penry Williams (q.v.) . He returned to London in 1861 , settled down as a painter , and m. in 1866 . In London he devoted himself chiefly to portraiture , design, and book illustration . He also did some work for the Graphic and The Daily Graphic , going as special artist for these journals to Canada in 1884 for British Association meetings. His father having retired to Cardiff , T. H. Thomas also ultimately settled down in that town. Henceforth he became closely associated with Welsh life — the national eisteddfod , the Royal Cambrian Academy (of which he was one of the first promoters), the Cardiff Naturalists' Society (he was a particularly active member in this society, becoming its president in 1888 ), etc. The geology, archaeology, and folk-lore of Wales , the study of Pontypool and Usk japan ware , the Cardiff library and museum , etc. — these were a few of his varied interests; for further details see the manuscripts listed below. He d. 5th July, 1915 .


  • ‘Memoir’(by Sir John Ballinger ) in Cardiff Naturalists' Society: Report and Transactions , xlviii, 1915 , contains a ‘List of Papers,’etc., contributed by T. H. T. to the Cardiff Naturalists' Society: Report and Transactions and to other publications;
  • NLW MSS 3122-7, 6358-60, 6995-7.


Sir William Llewelyn Davies, M.A., LL.D., F.S.A. (1887-1952), Aberystwyth

Corrections and additions:

THOMAS , THOMAS HENRY (‘ Arlunydd Penygarn ’; DWB , 967).

There are further collections of his MSS. lodged at the Museum of Welsh Life , St. Fagans: 688, 741, 2435/1-395, 2492/1-2, 2591/1-24, 2810 and 3617/1-132 . In the main they reflect his interest in the National Eisteddfod (especially the Gorsedd of Bards ), heraldry and folklore .


Arwyn Lloyd Hughes, Llandaf

Published date: 1959