Thomas Brock

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Thomas Brock

Sir Thomas Brock.jpg
Born1 March 1847
Died22 August 1922(1922-08-22) (aged 75)
London, England
Resting place Mayfield, East Sussex
Alma mater
  • School of Design, Worcester
  • Royal Academy Schools
Known forSculpture, coin design

Sir Thomas Brock KCB RA (1 March 1847 22 August 1922) was an English sculptor and medallist, notable for the creation of several large public sculptures and monuments in Britain and abroad in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. [1] [2] His most famous work is the Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace, London. [2] Other commissions included the redesign of the effigy of Queen Victoria on British coinage, the massive bronze equestrian statue of Edward, the Black Prince, in City Square, Leeds and the completion of the statue of Prince Albert on the Albert Memorial. [3] [4]



Brock was born on 1 March 1847 in Worcester. [2] He was the only son of a painter and decorator and attended the Government School of Design in Worcester, after which he undertook an apprenticeship in modelling at the Worcester Royal Porcelain Works. [5] In 1866 he became a pupil of the sculptor John Henry Foley and also enrolled in the Royal Academy Schools, where he won a gold medal for sculpture in 1869. [5] [6] He met and befriended Frederic, Lord Leighton, whose emphasis on realism and naturalism in sculpture led Brock to become part of the New Sculpture movement and to develop his talent for sympathetic and realistic portraiture. [4] After Foley's sudden death in 1874, Brock finished several of his commissions, including the monument to Daniel O'Connell in Dublin and a large bronze equestrian statue of Lord Canning for Kolkata. [5] [7] [8] It was his completion of Foley's statue of Prince Albert for the Albert Memorial which first brought Brock to prominence and secured his position as an establishment sculptor. [7] [6] [9]

Brock was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1883 and became a full member in 1891. [6] He was a founding member, and the first president, of the Society of British Sculptors. [10]

Thomas Brock in his studio, 1889 Thomas Brock in Studio.jpg
Thomas Brock in his studio, 1889

Brock's group The Moment of Peril (now in the garden of Leighton House) was followed by The Genius of Poetry, at the Carlsberg Brewery in Copenhagen. A plaster model for Eve was shown at the Royal Academy in 1898; a marble version (1900) is in the collection of the Tate and Brock also cast some smaller bronze replicas and other imaginative works that mark his development. [11] His portrait works include busts, such as those of Lord Leighton and Queen Victoria, statues, such as Sir Richard Owen and Henry Philpott, bishop of Worcester, and sepulchral monuments such as that of Lord Leighton in St Paul's Cathedral. [1] [6] [10]

Brock made statues of Victoria to celebrate her golden and diamond jubilees and also designed the depiction of her "veiled" or "widowed" head, used on all gold, silver and bronze coinage between 1893 and 1901. [10]

In 1901 Brock won the commission to make a colossal equestrian statue of Edward the Black Prince for Leeds City Square. The same year, he was given perhaps his most significant commission, the vast multi-figure Imperial Memorial to Queen Victoria, to be erected in front of Buckingham Palace. [9] The unveiling of this memorial took place on 16 May 1911, [12] and according to legend King George V was so moved by the excellence of the memorial that he called for a sword and knighted Brock on the spot. [9] In any event, it was on the same day that the Lord Chamberlain’s Office notified The London Gazette that the king had ordered that Brock be appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath. [13]

From 1914 to 1919 Brock returned to the post of president of the Society of British Sculptors. [10]

Brock married in 1869 and had eight children. He died in London on 22 August 1922 and is buried at Mayfield, East Sussex. [4]

Public monuments


ImageTitle / subjectLocation and
DateTypeMaterialDimensionsDesignation Wikidata Notes
Statue of Richard Baxter, Kidderminster - - 1021441.jpg
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Richard Baxter St Mary's, Kidderminster 1875Statue on pedestalMarble and graniteGrade IIOriginally in the Bull Ring, Kidderminster and moved to its present site in March 1967. [14] [15] [16] [17]
Sefton Park - the Rathbone statue - - 1709148.jpg
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William Rathbone V Sefton Park, Liverpool1877Statue on pedestal with plaquesPortland stone & bronzeGrade II Q26333129 Statue by John Henry Foley, pedestal by Brock [18]
Moment of Peril by Thomas Brock - Copenhagen - DSC07914.JPG
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A Moment of Peril Rosenborg Castle Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark1880Sculpture groupBronze Q57542450 Replica of the original in the gardens of the Leighton House Museum in London. [19]
Robert Raikes Statue in the Victoria Embankment Gardens.jpg
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Statue of Robert Raikes Victoria Embankment Gardens, London1880Statue on pedestalBronze and stoneGrade II Q19967451 [20] [21] [22]
Sir Rowland Hill statue, Kidderminster - DSCF0924.JPG
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Sir Rowland Hill Vicar Street, Kidderminster 1881Statue on circular pedestalMarble and graniteGrade II Q26392153 [17] [23] [24] [25]
Richard Temple, Bhau Daji Museum 01.JPG Sir Richard Temple, 1st Baronet Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai1884StatueMarbleMoved in 1965 from north end of Oval, Mumbai [8]
Bust of Longfellow, Poets' Corner.jpg
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey, London1884BustMarble [10] [4] [26]
Bust of William Menelaus, National Museum Cardiff 01.jpg
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William Menelaus National Museum Cardiff 1884BustMarble72.4cm [27]
Colin Minton Campbell statue, Stoke (2).JPG
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Colin Minton Campbell London Road, Stoke-on-Trent 1887Statue on pedestalBronze and stone5.05m high [17] [28]
Queen Victoria statue, Worcester, England - DSCF0777.JPG
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Queen Victoria Shire Hall, Worcester 1887Statue on pedestalMarble and graniteGrade II Q26669257 [17] [29]
Henry Bartle Frere statue, Victoria Embankment Gardens 20170803 112917 (49450331417).jpg
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Statue of Henry Bartle Frere Whitehall Gardens, London1888Statue on pedestalBronze and granite3.4m tallGrade II Q21286428 [20] [30] [22] [6]


ImageTitle / subjectLocation and
DateTypeMaterialDimensionsDesignation Wikidata Notes
Victoria RI.jpg
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Queen Victoria Houses of Parliament, Cape Town, South Africa1890Statue on pedestalGranite pedestal Q20614583
Ac.oconnell.jpg Daniel O'Connell St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne, AustraliaErected 1891Statue on pedestalBronze [31]
Bishop Henry Philpott 1807 - 1892 - - 486922.jpg
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Bishop Henry Philpott Worcester Cathedral 1892Seated statue on pedestalMarble and stone [10] [32] [33]
Tomb of Lord Arthur Charles Hervey in Wells Cathedral.JPG Lord Arthur Hervey Wells Cathedral post-1894Chest tomb with effigy & puttiMarble and stoneGrade I [10] [34]
A catalogue of portraits, paintings and sculpture at the Natural History Museum, London (1995) (20395929710).jpg Richard Owen Natural History Museum, London 1896Statue on pedestalBronze and marble [10] [35]
Fountain Theatre Royal Drury Lane.jpg
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Memorial to Sir Augustus Harris Catherine St. facade of Theatre Royal, Drury Lane 1897Wall mounted drinking fountain and sculptureGranite and bronzeGrade IMemorial architect: Sidney R. J. Smith [36]
Lord Merthyr statue in Merthyr Tydfil.jpg
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William Lewis, 1st Baron Merthyr Upper Thomas Street, Merthyr Tydfil 1898Statue on pedestalBronze and graniteGrade II Q29489929 [17] [37]
Thomas Hughes statue.jpg Thomas Hughes Rugby School 1899Statue on pedestal [38]


ImageTitle / subjectLocation and
DateTypeMaterialDimensionsDesignation Wikidata Notes
Statue of Queen Victoria - - 1189730.jpg
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Queen Victoria Victoria Square, Birmingham 1901, recast 1951Statue on pedestalBronze and stone Q47460184 Recast by William Bloye from Brock's original marble statue in 1951 [39]
Statue of Queen Victoria, Grand Avenue, Hove (NHLE Code 1187555) (September 2018) (Close-up).JPG
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Statue of Queen Victoria Grand Avenue, Hove Unveiled 1901Statue on pedestalBronze and marbleGrade II Q26482744 [17] [40] [41]
Lord Leighton memorial, St Paul's Cathedral 03.jpg
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Lord Frederic Leighton memorial St Paul's Cathedral, London1902Effigy on pedestal & plinth with supporting figuresBronze and coloured marbles [42]
Queen Victoria statue (geograph 3154437).jpg
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Queen Victoria Carlton House Terrace, LondonUnveiled 1902, relocated 1971StatueMarble1.9m tall Q19927909 [20]
Queen Victoria Monument, Victoria Park, Bitts Park - - 838257.jpg
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Queen Victoria Bitts Park, Carlisle 1902Statue on pedestal & stepsBronze and graniteGrade II Q26513391 [43] [44]
Royal Scots Fusiliers memorialBurns Statue Square, Ayr 1902Statue on pedestalBronze and graniteCategory B Q17834558 [45] [46]
Black prince leeds.jpg
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Edward, the Black Prince Leeds City Square 1903Equestrian statue on pedestalBronze and graniteGrade II* Q17533834 [17] [47] [6]
Queen Victoria Monument.jpg
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Queen Victoria Belfast City Hall.1903Statue on pedestal and steps with sculpturesMarble, Portland stone, bronzeGrade A Q17778520 [48] [49]
Edward James Harland Belfast.jpg
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Edward James Harland Belfast City Hall 1903Statue on pedestalStone Q17778453 [50]
Gladstone statue Liverpool 2.jpg
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William Ewart Gladstone St John's Gardens, Liverpool1904Statue on pedestal, relief panel with 2 statues at baseBronzeGrade II Q26333153 [17] [51]
Statue of William Gladstone, Westminster Abbey 02.jpg
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William Ewart GladstoneNorth transept, Westminster Abbey, London1904Statue on pedestalMarble [4] [52] [53]
Statue of John Everett Millais by Thomas Brock 2011 02.jpg
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Sir John Everett Millais Tate Britain, London1905Statue on pedestalBronze and Portland stone6.7m tallGrade II Q27080819 [20] [54] [55]
Bust of Sir Henry Tate, Brixton in March 2011 01.jpg
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Sir Henry Tate Brixton Oval, London1905Bust on pedestalBronze and stoneGrade II Q27087718 [17] [56]
Q Victoria in bangalore.JPG
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Statue of Queen Victoria Queen's Park, Bangalore 1906Statue on pedestalMarble and sandstone Q22116770 [8] [57]
Statue of Queen Victoria, Brisbane 06.jpg
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Queen Victoria Queens Gardens, Brisbane, Australia1906Statue on pedestalBronze and stone [58]
Brigiadier General John Nicholson statue - - 942349.jpg
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General John Nicholson Royal School Dungannon, County Tyrone 1906Statue on pedestalBronze and stoneGrade B+ Q17861889 Originally erected in Kolkata, moved to Delhi then relocated to Dungannon in 1960. [59] [60] [61] [8]


ImageTitle / subjectLocation and
DateTypeMaterialDimensionsDesignation Wikidata Notes
Statue of Henry Irving, London in 2015.JPG
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Statue of Sir Henry Irving Charing Cross Road, London1910Statue on pedestalBronze and Portland stoneGrade II Q18162015 [20] [62]
Bust of Edward VII in the British Museum.jpg Edward VII King Edward VII Galleries, British Museum 1911BustGilded bronze77cm by 78.3cmMarble copy in Buckingham Palace [63]
Victoria Memorial, The Mall, London.jpg
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Victoria Memorial, London The Mall, London Unveiled 1911, completed 1924Sculpture on pillar with statues and fountainsMarble, bronze, Portland stoneGrade I Q1333411 [20] [17] [64] [6] [65]
Lord Merthyr Thomas Brock by Aberdare Blog.jpg
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William Lewis, 1st Baron Merthyr Aberdare Park, Aberdare 1913Statue on pedestalBronze and graniteGrade II Q29489480 [66]
Navigation by Sir Thomas Brock, Admiralty Arch, London.jpg Navigation Admiralty Arch, London1908–1913Wall-mounted statuePortland stoneGrade I [67]
Gunnery sculpture on Admirality Arch.JPG Gunnery Admiralty Arch, London1908–1913Wall-mounted statuePortland stoneGrade I [67] [68]
Statue of Captain Cook, The Mall SW1.JPG
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Statue of Captain James Cook The Mall, London 1914Statue on pedestalBronze and Portland stoneGrade II Q17514442 [17] [20] [69] [70]
Lord Lister memorial, Westminster Abbey.jpg Joseph Lister Westminster Abbey, London1915Portrait medallionMarble [4]
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Edward VII Queen's Park, Toronto 1919Equestrian statue on pedestalBronze and stoneOriginally erected in Delhi, India, relocated to Canada in 1969 as a gift of the government of India. [71] [8]

1920 and later

ImageTitle / subjectLocation and
DateTypeMaterialDimensionsDesignation Wikidata Notes
Titanic Memorial Belfast.jpg
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Titanic Memorial, Belfast Belfast City Hall 1920Statue group on pedestalStone Q7809806 [49]
King Edward VII monument, Sydney (3365870229).jpg
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Edward VII Macquarie Street, Sydney, Australia1921Equestrian statue on pedestalBronze and stoneBrock won the commission in 1915, but the work was not finished and delivered until 1921. [72]
Queen Victoria's statue inside the memorial in Kolkata.jpg
More images
Queen Victoria Victoria Memorial, Kolkata, India1921Statue on pedestalMarble Q92360284 Completed 1917, unveiled 1921 [8] [73] [74]
Charles Grant Seely monument Gatcombe.jpg Captain Charles Grant Seely St Olave's Church, Gatcombe, Isle of Wight.1922Sculpture on box tombMarble and stone Q93239404 Brock's final completed work. [75] [76]
Memorial To Lord Lister-Portland Place.jpg
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Memorial to Joseph Lister Portland Place, London1924Bust on column with sculpturesBronze and graniteGrade II Q21541736 [77]
War Memorial, Queen's University, Belfast - - 717244.jpg
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War memorial Queen's University, Belfast 1924Statue group on pedestalBronze and granite Q66459168 [78]
Statue of Robert Raikes, Gloucester.jpg
More images
Robert Raikes Gloucester 1930Statue on pedestalBronze and stoneA copy of Brock's 1880 statue in London [17] [79]

Other works

See also

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Further reading

Preceded by Coins of the pound sterling
Obverse sculptor

Succeeded by