Thomas Tyers

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Thomas Tyers Thomas Tyers Hall.jpg
Thomas Tyers

Thomas Tyers (1726–1787) was an English playboy and dilettante author.



He was the eldest son of Jonathan Tyers, proprietor of Vauxhall Gardens in south London. He matriculated at Pembroke College, Oxford, on 13 December 1738, graduating B.A. 1742, and M.A. (from Exeter College) 1745. He was called to the bar at the Inner Temple in 1757. [1]

Jonathan Tyers Proprietor of Vauxhall Gardens in London

Jonathan Tyers became the proprietor of New Spring Gardens, later known as Vauxhall Gardens, a popular pleasure garden in Kennington, London. Opened in 1661, it was situated on the south bank of the River Thames on a site almost opposite the present-day Tate Britain.

Vauxhall Gardens former garden on the south bank of the river Thames in London, UK

Vauxhall Gardens was a pleasure garden in Kennington, London, England, on the south bank of the River Thames.

Pembroke College, Oxford constituent college of the University of Oxford

Pembroke College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England, located in Pembroke Square. The college was founded in 1624 by King James I of England, using in part the endowment of merchant Thomas Tesdale, and was named after William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke, Lord Chamberlain and then-Chancellor of the University.

On his father's death in 1767, Tyers became joint manager of Vauxhall Gardens with his brother Jonathan. His father had left him well off, and according to James Boswell in his Life of Samuel Johnson he "ran about the world with a pleasant carelessness". He was a favourite with Samuel Johnson, who used to call him Tom Tyers, and confessed that Tyers always told him something that he did not know before; it was he who said of Johnson that he always talked as if he were talking on oath. [1]

James Boswell 18th-century Scottish lawyer, diarist, and author

James Boswell, 9th Laird of Auchinleck, was a Scottish biographer, diarist, and lawyer, born in Edinburgh. He is best known for his biography of his friend and older contemporary, the English writer Samuel Johnson, which is commonly said to be the greatest biography written in the English language. A great mass of his diaries, letters and private papers were recovered in the 1920s to 50s, and their ongoing publication has transformed his reputation.

<i>Life of Samuel Johnson</i> biography by Boswell

The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. (1791) by James Boswell is a biography of English writer Dr. Samuel Johnson. The work was from the beginning a critical and popular success, and represents a landmark in the development of the modern genre of biography. It is notable for its extensive reports of Johnson's conversation. Many have claimed it as the greatest biography written in English, but some modern critics object that the work cannot be considered a proper biography. Boswell's personal acquaintance with his subject began in 1763, when Johnson was 54 years old, and Boswell covered the entirety of Johnson's life by means of additional research. The biography takes many critical liberties with Johnson's life, as Boswell makes various changes to Johnson's quotations and even censors many comments. Nonetheless, the book is valued as both an important source of information on Johnson and his times, as well as an important work of literature.

Samuel Johnson English poet, biographer, essayist, and lexicographer

Samuel Johnson, often referred to as Dr. Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, playwright, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor, and lexicographer. He was a devout Anglican. Politically, he was a committed Tory. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography describes Johnson as "arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history". He is the subject of James Boswell's The Life of Samuel Johnson, described by Walter Jackson Bate as "the most famous single work of biographical art in the whole of literature".

Tyers had a villa at Ashtead, near Epsom in Surrey, and London apartments in Southampton Street, Covent Garden, and he used to drive around between them. He sold his share in Vauxhall Gardens in 1785, leaving the management to his brother Jonathan. He died at Ashtead, after a lingering illness, on 1 February 1787, in his sixty-first year. He was unmarried. [1]

Ashtead village in the United Kingdom

Ashtead is a village in the Metropolitan Green Belt of Surrey, England and has a railway station on secondary routes to Horsham and Guildford, formerly the Portsmouth Main Line. It is separated from Leatherhead by the M25, and from Epsom by Ashtead Common and Langley Vale. Its district council is Mole Valley. Ashtead is on the eastern slopes of the Mole Gap of the North Downs and is on the A24 where it is a single carriageway as is generally the case within the M25 motorway. Ashtead has a large two-part conservation area, including the mansion Ashtead Park House. Amenities include parks, outlying woodland trails and a high street with convenience shopping, cafés and restaurants, a football club and a cricket club.

Epsom Town in Surrey, England

Epsom is a market town in Surrey, England, 13.7 miles (22.0 km) south-west of London, between Ashtead and Ewell. The town straddles chalk downland and the upper Thanet Formation. Epsom Downs Racecourse holds The Derby, now a generic name for sports competitions in English-speaking countries. The town also gives its name to Epsom salts, originally extracted from mineral waters there.

Surrey County of England

Surrey is a county in South East England which borders Kent to the east, West Sussex to the south, Hampshire to the west, Berkshire to the north-west, and Greater London to the north-east.

Vauxhall Gardens by Thomas Rowlandson; the central figure behind the tree may be Thomas Tyers Thomas Rowlandson - Vaux-Hall - Dr. Johnson, Oliver Goldsmith, Mary Robinson, et al.jpg
Vauxhall Gardens by Thomas Rowlandson; the central figure behind the tree may be Thomas Tyers


Tyers published: [1]

A Biographical Sketch of Dr Samuel Johnson was written by Thomas Tyers for The Gentleman's Magazine's December 1784 issue. The work was written immediately after the death of Samuel Johnson and is the first postmortem biographical work on the author. The first full length biography was written by John Hawkins and titled Life of Samuel Johnson.

<i>The Gentlemans Magazine</i> London periodical

The Gentleman's Magazine was a monthly magazine founded in London, England, by Edward Cave in January 1731. It ran uninterrupted for almost 200 years, until 1922. It was the first to use the term magazine for a periodical. Samuel Johnson's first regular employment as a writer was with The Gentleman's Magazine.

He wrote the words of many songs sung at Vauxhall, and contributed an account of the gardens to John Nichols's History and Antiquities of the Parish of Lambeth. [1]

John Nichols (printer) English printer, author and antiquarian

John Nichols was an English printer, author and antiquary. He is remembered as an influential editor of the Gentleman's Magazine for nearly 40 years; author of a monumental county history of Leicestershire; author of two compendia of biographical material relating to his literary contemporaries; and as one of the agents behind the first complete publication of Domesday Book in 1783.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Lee, Sidney, ed. (1899). "Tyers, Thomas"  . Dictionary of National Biography . 57. London: Smith, Elder & Co.


Wikisource-logo.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain :  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1899). "Tyers, Thomas". Dictionary of National Biography . 57. London: Smith, Elder & Co.

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Sidney Lee 19th/20th-century English biographer and critic

Sir Sidney Lee was an English biographer, writer and critic.

<i>Dictionary of National Biography</i> Multi-volume reference work

The Dictionary of National Biography (DNB) is a standard work of reference on notable figures from British history, published since 1885. The updated Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) was published on 23 September 2004 in 60 volumes and online, with 50,113 biographical articles covering 54,922 lives.

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