Theresa Thornycroft

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Theresa Thornycroft
Spouse(s)Alfred Ezra Sassoon
Children3, including Siegfried Sassoon
Parent(s) Thomas Thornycroft
Mary Francis

Theresa Thornycroft (1853 July 1947) [1] was an English sculptor and painter.



Born Theresa Georgina Thornycroft, she was a member of the inventive and artistic branch of the Thornycroft family. Her father was sculptor and engineer Thomas Thornycroft (18151885) and her mother, sculptor Mary Francis, who worked under both her maiden name and her married name (18141895). [2] Theresa's brother Sir Hamo Thornycroft RA, sisters Alyce Thornycroft and Helen Thornycroft were artists, her brother Sir John Isaac Thornycroft was the founder of the Thornycroft shipbuilding company. [2] and her niece was the naval architect Blanche Thornycroft. [3]

A gifted artist, she exhibited her paintings at the Royal Academy of Arts in London before she turned twenty-two. [4]

She married Alfred Ezra Sassoon (18611895) of the Jewish Sassoon family. [2] [5] Because she was Anglo-Catholic, he was disinherited by the Sassoon family for marrying her. [5] They had three sons:

In 1890, Alfred left Theresa, apparently infatuated with the American writer, Julia Constance Fletcher; [6] he continued to see the children occasionally until his death, aged 33, in 1895, in East Sussex, from tuberculosis, [7] [8] and she continued to live in the village of Matfield in Kent, and was immortalised in the memoirs of her son Siegfried.

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  1. Jean Moorcroft Wilson, Siegfried Sassoon: The Journey from the Trenches: a biography (1918-1967) (London: Routledge, 2003). ISBN   0-7156-2971-9. p301
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 The Peerage
  3. Harcourt, Keith (2019). "Thornycroft, Blanche Coules (1873–1950), naval architect". doi:10.1093/odnb/9780198614128.013.110232. ISBN   9780198614128 . Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  4. John Bremer, C.S. Lewis, Poetry, and the Great War 1914-1918, Lexington Books, 2012, p. 160
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 The Siegfried Sassoon Collection
  6. Max Egremont (22 May 2014). Siegfried Sassoon: A Biography. Pan Macmillan. p. 10. ISBN   978-1-4472-3478-4.
  7. General Register Office: registers of deaths in the Eastbourne district, vol. 2b, page 48
  8. Beatrice Potter, "re: Lady Isabella Somerset," message to Darryl Roger Lundy, 30 November 2005. Hereinafter cited as "re: Isabella Somerset."