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John Evan Thomas, was born in Castle Street, Brecon, in 1810. He was the eldest son of John Thomas, and Jane (Evans) his wife. Having adopted sculpture as his profession, he studied in London, under Sir Francis Chantrey, and afterwards on the continent. After commencing the practice of his art in 1834 at London, he soon attained celebrity, and was honoured with the patronage of the Queen.

He is the first Welsh sculptor to establish a significant career largely through Welsh patronage, producing statues of the 2nd Marquess of Londonderry (Westminster Abbey), the 2nd Marquess of Bute (Cardiff city centre) and the Prince Consort (Tenby). He also sculpted subjects from Welsh history, contributing a mediaeval statue of William, Earl of Pembroke for Pugin’s scheme for the rebuilt House of Lords in 1848.

Abergavenny Eisteddfod

A prize of not less than seventy guineas will be given for the best model in plaster, illustrative of Cambro British history, the subjects are mentioned in the prospectus. Amongst the subscribers to this prize we read the names of the Lord Bishop of St. David's, who subscribes ten guineas. Similar sums are given by Lord James Stuart, Lady Hall, Miss Webb, J. Jones, Esq., Llanarth, and the late esteemed Dwarkanauth Tagore, who has left twenty pounds for this prize.

Welsh Memorial to the Prince Consort. 07/07/1865

Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands honoured Mr. Evan Thomas, the celebrated Welsh sculptor, with her presence on Tuesday last to see the magnificent statue executed by him, now nearly completed, of H.R.H. Prince Albert, for the Welsh memorial. Her Majesty graciously expressed her satisfaction at the likeness and execution of this fine work of art. The Queen was accompanied by his Excellency Baron Bruton, the Marquis of Westminster, Lord Llanover, and a numerous suite. Her Majesty inspected the same day the Consumption Hospital at Brompton. The splendid statue of the late Prince Consort, erected on the Castle Hill, Tenby, as a Welsh testimonial to the memory of the illustrious "Albert Dda" (Albert the Good).

It has been finally arranged by her Majesty the Queen that the inauguration of the memorial at Tenby is to take place on Wednesday, August 2.

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