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Thomas Britton (1644-1714), Known as 'The musical small-coal man'

Sitter in 8 portraits
A successful small-coal (charcoal) merchant in Clerkenwell, in 1678 Britton established the weekly concert series for which he is chiefly remembered. The concert series ran for thirty-six years and was the longest-lasting in the late seventeenth century. It was patronised by many in high society, and had some of the greatest performers of the day taking part. Britton converted the loft over his coal house in Clerkenwell into a music room complete with many instruments, including a harpsichord and a tiny organ, on which George Frideric Handel was said to have played. Britton also interested himself in chemistry and the occult sciences; he formed a large collection of books relating to these subjects.

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Thomas Britton

by John Wollaston
oil on canvas, 1703
On display at Handel House Museum, London
NPG 523


Thomas Britton

by Thomas Johnson, after John Wollaston
mezzotint, (1703)
NPG D32154


Thomas Britton

by John Simon, after John Wollaston
mezzotint, (1703)
NPG D817


Thomas Britton

by Thomas Johnson, after John Wollaston
mezzotint, (1703)
NPG D19690


Thomas Britton

by Charles Grignion, after John Wollaston
line engraving, published 1776
NPG D1109


Thomas Britton

after Unknown artist
line engraving, published 1777
NPG D27354


Thomas Britton

by T. Maddocks, after John Wollaston
stipple engraving, published 1819
NPG D27353


Thomas Britton

by and published by John Simon, published by Philip Overton, after John Wollaston
mezzotint, (1703)
NPG D18787



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