Thomas Medland

Born 1765
Died 1833
Place of Birth Unknown
Place of Death Unknown
Gender Male
Biographical Notes From the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:

Engraver and draughtsman, of unknown parentage, resided in Westminster for many years. His education is largely unknown but it appears from his inclusion in a drawing by Alfred Edward Chalon entitled Students at the British Institution (1807) that he did undertake some training or teaching there. He practised both in the line manner and in aquatint and excelled in landscape work; his skill in this field led to many commissions for topographical work, and it is this for which he is now chiefly known. He engraved many plates for Farington's Views of the Lakes in Cumberland and Westmoreland (1789) and Cities and Castles of England (1791); Harding's Shakspeare Illustrated (1793); the Copperplate Magazine; Sir G. Staunton's Embassy of the Earl of Macartney to China (1797), three engravings from which, including a View of the Great Wall of China, are in the department of prints and drawings at the Victoria and Albert Museum; Seeley's Stowe: a Description of the House and Gardens (1797); Select Views in London and Westminster (1800); and Sir W. Gell's Topography of Troy (1804). Among Medland's most successful early works was a set of illustrations to Robinson Crusoe, from designs by Stothard (1790), and his largest plate was Evening of the Glorious First of June, after R. Cleveley. Medland was also well known for his aquatints, especially those of topographical scenes. His finest examples are possibly those after drawings by Colonel Garstin in An Account of the Hindoo Temple of Vissvisshoor, or Bissinant, at Benares (1801), which included an impressive elevation of the temple, and those after drawings of W. Alexander in Egyptian Monuments from the Collection Formed by the National Institute … Deposited in the British Museum (1805–7), notably an important depiction of The Sarcophagus in which the Enbalmed Body of Alexander the Great was Deposited, Taken from the Mosque of St Athandonis. In other collections he depicted parts of Scotland, Ireland, and China. In addition Medland executed a few aquatints of hunting scenes, such as Pheasant Shooting with Pointers for Thornhill's The Shooting Directory (1804). His skill in this field enabled him to convey a heightened atmosphere and depth in his works. A few engraved portraits survive, among them those of George Cartwright and Daniel Defoe (in the British Museum department of prints and drawings), but these seem to be unusual among his output. Medland also practised watercolour painting and exhibited views of London at the Royal Academy, such as A View in Hyde Park and A View on Millbank, Westminster in 1777, and A View of Aylesford Priory in Kent in 1779. He later made many transcripts of English scenery. An oil painting by him of The Panshanger Oak survives (Christies, 16 October 1956), but is a rare example of his work in this medium. When Haileybury College was founded by the East India Company in 1806 Medland was appointed drawing and oriental writing-master there, and thereafter he resided near Hertford. He continued to send drawings to the Royal Academy up to 1822, among them one of the west front of Haileybury College (1808), a view of St Albans Abbey in 1810, and of Windsor Castle, seen from the Great Park, in 1814. He died at Hertford on 30 October 1833 and asked to be buried in All Saints, his parish church. Medland's wife is unidentified, but he left a will bequeathing his household goods and furnishings to his unmarried daughter, Anne, his clothing to his youngest son, Henry, and to his eldest son, William, the choice of a picture, drawing, book, or proof.

Eleanor Tollfree, ‘Medland, Thomas (c.1765–1833)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 [, accessed 13 June 2013]



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