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

WILLEMENT, THOMAS (1786–1871), heraldic writer and artist in stained glass, born in 1786, obtained the appointment of heraldic artist to George IV, and on 17 May 1832 was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. Subsequently he was styled artist in stained glass to Queen Victoria, and for many years he carried on business at 25 Green Street, Grosvenor Square. To him modern glass-painters are, to a considerable extent, indebted for the revival of their art. In 1845 he purchased the estates at Davington, near Faversham, Kent, containing the freehold land, church, and donative. He died at Davington Priory on 10 March 1871. His wife Katharine, daughter of Thomas Griffith, died 4 Aug. 1852, aged 56, and was buried in Davington church (Archæol. Cantiana, xxii. 285).

His works are: 1. ‘Regal Heraldry: the Armorial Insignia of the Kings and Queens of England, from coeval authorities,’ London, 1821, 4to (cf. ib. xxii. 190, 194, xxiii. 124). 2. ‘Heraldic Notices of Canterbury Cathedral; with Genealogical and Topographical Notes. To which is added a chronological list of the Archbishops of Canterbury, with the Blazon of their respective Arms,’ London, 1827, 4to. 3. ‘Fac Simile of a contemporary Roll, with the Names and the Arms of the Sovereign, and of the Spiritual and Temporal Peers who sat in the Parliament held at Westminster A.D. 1515,’ London, 1829. Only fifty-one copies printed. Index issued separately. 4. ‘A Roll of Arms of the Reign of Richard the Second,’ London, 1834, 4to. Twenty-five copies printed. 5. ‘A Concise Account of the principal Works in Stained Glass that have been executed by Thomas Willement,’ privately printed, London, 1840, 4to. 6. ‘An Account of the Restorations of the Collegiate Chapel of St. George, Windsor. With some Particulars of the Heraldic Ornaments of that Edifice,’ London, 1844, 4to. 7. ‘Historical Sketch of the Parish of Davington, in the county of Kent, and of the Priory there,’ with plates, London, 1862, 4to (cf. ib. xxii. 190 sqq.) 8. ‘Heraldic Antiquities: a Collection of original Drawings of Charges, Arrangements of Early Examples, &c., with numerous engravings of Coats of Arms, Fac Similes of Stained Glass, and Tracings of Early Brasses’ [London, 1865], fol. He also contributed to ‘Archæologia’ and to ‘Archæologia Cantiana,’ and his ‘heraldic collections, manuscripts and other valuable books’ are at Davington priory (ib. vol. xxi. p. xlii).

[Athenæum, 25 March 1871, p. 375; Kent Herald, 23 March 1871, p. 7, col. 6; London Directory, 1852, p. 1066; Lowndes's Bibl. Man. ed. Bohn; Martin's Privately Printed Books, 1854, pp. 378, 489; Moule's Bibl. Heraldica, pp. 291, 555; Notes and Queries, 4th ser. vii. 246; Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries, 2nd ser. v. 145.]

T. C.