Thomas Wales Lee

Thomas Wales Lee
Thomas Wales Lee, advertisement for W. Clark’s ordinary hoof dressing for morning work, ca.1865. © The Trustees of the British Museum. Museum No. 1982, U.836.

LEE, Thomas Wales (1833-1910) — London

Artist, printer & lithographer. Produced Military topographical view of the strongholds of Lombardy 1859 — with Alfred Concanen; T. W. Lee’s view of the seat of war: showing the Rhine, France, Prussia and surrounding countries 1870. Known especially for music covers, theatrical posters, etc.

Born in London 5 May 1833 and baptised at All Souls Marylebone, 26 May 1833 — the son of William Lee, cabinet-maker (later a house-agent and auctioneer), and his wife Mary, of Cleveland Street. He married Maria Reeve (1835-1929), the daughter of an innkeeper, 28 Jul 1860, at St. Mary Newington. A partnership as lithographers in Frith Street, Soho, with the famous Alfred Concanen as “Concanen & Lee”, later “Concanen, Lee & Siebe”, with the addition of Henry Herapath Siebe (1832-1887), was dissolved 25 Feb 1865. Lee then set up independently, soon advertising for a stone grainer — “a strong active young man to make himself generally useful” (Clerkenwell News, 29 Sep 1865). In 1869-1870 he was advertising himself as a “theatrical lithographer” — “Theatrical show cards, posters, portraits, etc. … Lithographer to the Theatres Royal, Drury-lane, Lyceum, Princess’s, Olympic, Adelphi, St. James’s, Queen’s, Prince of Wales, Royalty, Surrey, Sadler’s Wells, Astley’s, Royal Alfred, New Standard; Christy Minstrels; Canterbury, Oxford, and Royal Music Halls; and nearly all the provincial theatres and music halls. Studio and printing works — Grosvenor Mews, Bond-street, London W. Designs, sketches, and estimates sent to any part of the world” (The Era, 5 Dec 1869). He was sued over a copyright infringement by William Thomas Stannard in 1870 (papers in National Archives). After their marriage, he and his wife had moved to Clapham and by 1871 had two daughters and a son — Lee at that time employing three men and four boys. He went bankrupt in 1873 and needed to effect a liquidation by arrangement or composition with his creditors, but he was also by this time a “well known and much respected mason”, producing a vellum testimonial for a masonic lodge in West Croydon in 1875 (Croydon Advertiser, 13 Mar 1875). By 1881, Lee was employed as the manager of a tavern in Delamere Crescent, Paddington, living on the premises with his wife, two sons and two daughters. Ten years later, he was recorded as a licensed victualler in Westminster, but by 1895 was once more a lithographic artist, working on his own account. He died 8 Jul 1910 and probate was granted to his widow Maria 20 Aug 1910 — his effects stated at £141.14s.8d.

— 37 Manor Street, Clapham (home) — 1861-1874
12 Frith Street, Soho — 1865
65A Castle Street, Oxford Street — 1865
Grosvenor Mews, Bond Street — 1866-1875
Between 77 & 78 Lower Grosvenor Street, Bond Street — 1867
61 High Street, Bloomsbury — 1875
— 22 Middleton Road, Battersea Rise (home) — 1879
44 Wardour Street, Soho
Delamere Crescent, Paddington — 1881
2 York Street, Westminster — 1889-1891
9 Argyll Street — 1894
— 23 Manor Street, Clapham (home) — 1894
139 Oxford Street — 1895
13 Westcroft Square, Hammersmith — 1900-1906
— 64 Chiswick Lane (home) — 1910

BL (Evanion). BM. BNA. Census 1841, 1861-1901. COPAC. LG. NA. Tooley. V&A.

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