Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue
Mary Thornycroft (née Francis) (1809-1895), Sculptor; wife of Thomas Thornycroft; daughter of John Francis
She was described as possessing ‘handsome, cultured and highly intelligent features’ and a character that was sweet and ‘gentle, yet with latent courage in righteousness’.  According to her grandson, the poet Siegfried Sassoon, she was ‘the most distinguished sculptress of her time’ and ‘someone to be looked up to as well as loved … in addition to being a gracious and beautiful old lady in a white shawl, she was a woman of strong character and rich humanity whose favourite fireside reading was in Hudibras and Tristram Shandy’. 
Dr Jan Marsh
Footnotesback to top
Referencesback to topDarling-Glinski 2004
Darling-Glinski, F., ‘The Privilege of Patronage: Mary Thornycroft and the Sculptural Aesthetic’, Sculpture Journal, vol.11, 2004, pp.55–68.
Friedman et al. 1993
Friedman, T., and others, The Alliance of Sculpture and Architecture: Hamo Thornycroft, John Belcher and the Institute of Chartered Accountants Building, Leeds, 1993.
Hurtado, S.H., ‘Going Public: Self-Promotion Strategies Employed by “First Wave” Victorian Women Sculptors’, Sculpture Journal, vol.13, 2005, pp.18–31.
Maas, J., The Victorian Art World in Photographs, London, 1984.
McCracken, P., ‘Sculptor Mary Thornycroft and her Artist Children’,Woman’s Art Journal, Fall 1996, pp.3–8.
Manning, E., Marble & Bronze: The Art and Life of Hamo Thornycroft, London, 1982.
Mason, M., ‘Work, work, work! Hamo Thornycroft and the Makers of Building’, Sculpture Journal, vol.10, 2003, pp.51–66.
PCF (Leeds) 2004
Public Catalogue Foundation, Oil Paintings in Public Ownership in West Yorkshire: Leeds, London, 2004.
Proctor, N., ‘Thornycroft, Mary (1809–1895)’, ODNB, Oxford, 2004.
Stephens, F.G., ‘The late Mrs Mary Thornycroft’, Magazine of Art, June 1895, pp.305–7.