Richard Westmacott (the elder)

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Richard Westmacott (the elder) (17471808) was an 18th-century monumental sculptor and the beginning of a dynasty of one of Britain's most important sculpting families. He also specialised in fireplace design for England's grand country houses.



He was educated at Brasenose College, Oxford.[ citation needed ]

He married Sarah Vardy, daughter of John Vardy, architect, and had thirteen children by her. He also had an affair with a widow, Susan Molloy, landlady of the "Bull and Horns" public house in Fulham and had at least one child by her also. [1]

Sadly his life-style outstripped his income and he was declared bankrupt in 1803. It is likely that he was thereafter supported by his by then successful son Richard.

He died in relative poverty in 1808.


His sons include: George Westmacott (c. 1770 – 1827); Thomas Westmacott (architect) (c. 1775 – 1798); Sir Richard Westmacott (1775–1856) RA (the most successful and prodigious sculptor of the family); Henry Westmacott (sculptor) (1784–1861); Charles Molloy Westmacott, illegitimate son (1782–1868) (an author who dabbled in sculpture).

His grandsons included: James Sherwood Westmacott (1823–1900) (sculptor); and Richard Westmacott (the younger) (1799–1872) (sculptor).


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  1. Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660–1851, Rupert Gunnis