Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hardwick, Thomas

1345515Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 24 — Hardwick, Thomas1890Bertha Porter

HARDWICK, THOMAS (1752–1829), architect, born in 1752, was son of Thomas Hardwick of New Brentford, Middlesex, who resided on the family property, and carried on first the business of a mason and builder, and subsequently that of an architect. Hardwick became a pupil of Sir William Chambers, and under him worked at the construction of Somerset House. In 1768 he obtained the first silver medal offered by the Royal Academy in the class of architecture. He began to exhibit architectural drawings in the Academy in 1772, and continued exhibiting till 1805. From 1777 to 1779 he studied for his profession abroad, chiefly in Rome. A volume of his drawings, made at this time, is in the library of the Royal Institute of British Architects. In 1787 he designed the church of St. Mary the Virgin at Wanstead, Essex (Grecian); the building was commenced 13 July 1787, and completed in 1790. The elevation was in the Academy in 1791 (plans and elevations in Stieglitz, Plans et Dessins, 1800, plates liii. liv.) In 1788 he superintended repairs to the church of St. Paul, Covent Garden (Tuscan), said to have been designed by Inigo Jones, and reconstructed the rustic gateways (imitated from Palladio) in stone. The church was destroyed by fire, 17 Sept. 1795. Hardwick directed the rebuilding, adhering to the original design as closely as circumstances would permit (elevation, section, and plan in Britton and Pugin, Edifices of London, i. 114; roof in Nicholson, Dict. of Architecture, art. 'Roof,' plate vi. fig. 2). About 1790 he erected St. James's Chapel, Pentonville (view engraved); in 1790–1 he examined and reported on the state of the old church of St. Bartholomew the Great, and by some judicious repairs was enabled to preserve the old structure. He presented three beautifully executed drawings of it from measurement to the Society of Antiquaries. In 1792 he designed the chapel, with cemetery attached, in the Hampstead Road for the parish of St. James, Westminster. A drawing was in the Academy in 1793. In 1802 he prepared plans for a new gaol for co. Galway on the model of Gloucester Gaol. The gaol was considered one of the most complete in the kingdom. A drawing was in the Academy in 1803. In 1809 he designed St. Pancras Workhouse, King's Road, Camden Town, and in 1814 St. John's Chapel (Basilican), Park Road, St. John's Wood, with cemetery attached. On 5 July 1813 the first stone was laid of a chapel of ease (Grecian) between High Street and the Marylebone Road, and the building proceeded with, after designs by Hardwick. When nearly completed it was decided to convert it into a parochial church for Marylebone; considerable alterations had in consequence to be made in the original design, and the Corinthian portico on the north front and other architectural decorations were added. The church was consecrated 4 Feb. 1817. A drawing of it by Hardwick's son Philip was in the Academy in 1818 (plan and elevation in Britton and Pugin, Public Buildings of London, i. 179; plate in Clarke, Architectures Ecclesiastica Londini, p. 79). In 1823 he restored the small church of St. Bartholomew the Less within the hospital precincts. In 1825 he completed Christ Church, Marylebone. A view of the interior by Philip Hardwick was in the Academy in 1826.

Hardwick's professional appointments included the post of architect to St. Bartholomew's Hospital (1808), and that of resident architect (then called clerk of the works) at Hampton Court Palace, conferred upon him by George III under the royal sign-manual (1810). Both these posts he held till his death. His practice as a surveyor was very extensive. He was elected F.S.A. 25 Jan. 1781, and on 20 Jan. 1785 communicated 'Observations on the Remains of the Amphitheatre of Flavius Vespasian (Colosseum) at Rome as it was in 1777.' The manuscript is in the Soane Museum. To illustrate his paper, he exhibited a model made from his 'own actual measurement and inspection,' by Giovanni Algieri. For the preparation of the study Hardwick had received permission to excavate. The model was presented to the British Museum by his son Philip in 1851. He was an original member of the Architects' Club in 1791. J. W. M. Turner, R.A., was in Hardwick's office for a time studying architecture, but was advised by him to abandon his notion of becoming an architect, and to devote himself to landscape-painting. Hardwick died 16 Jan. 1829 at 55 Berners Street, aged 77, and was buried in the family vault in St. Lawrence churchyard, Brentford. He wrote a memoir of Sir William Chambers, of which twenty-five copies were printed in 1825. It was published in Chambers's 'Civil Architecture,' 1825 (edited by G. Gwilt); again in 1860 (as supplement to the 'Building News'); and a third time in 1862 (edited by W. H. Leeds). Hardwick's younger son Philip is separately noticed.

John Hardwick (1791-1875), the eldest son, was a fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, from 1808 to 1822 (B.C.L. 1815, and D.C.L. 1830); was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn on 28 June 1816; in 1821 became stipendiary magistrate at the Lambeth police court; was transferred to Great Marlborough Street in 1841, and retired on a pension in March 1856. His decisions were remarkably clear. He was popular on the bench, and noted for his courtesy and linguistic attainments. He was elected F.R.S. on 5 April 1838.

[Authorities quoted in the text; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Dict. of Architecture; Cunningham's Handbook for London, 1850; Godwin's Churches of London; Wright's Essex, ii. 504; Graves's Dict. of Artists; Royal Academy Catalogues, 1772-1826; Britton and Pugin's Public Buildings of London, i. 113-17, 173-9; Hardiman's Galway, pp. 302-3; List of Soc. Antiq. Lond.; Archæologia, vii. 369-73; Cat. of Library of Sir John Soane's Museum; Gent. Mag. 1829, i. 92; Cat. of Drawings, &c., in R.I.B.A.; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Law Times, 12 June 1875, p. 127; Solicitors' Journal, 19 June 1875, p. 634; Illustrated London News, 9 Oct. 1847, p. 236, with portrait; Times, 3 June 1875, p. 12.]

B. P.