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Dr. Thomas Monro

British, 1759 - 1833

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Monro was born in Red Lion Square, the son of Dr. John Monro, physician to Bethlehem Hospital, whose assistant he became in 1787. He became principal physician there in 1792, and in the following year or early in 1794 acquired the house at 8 Adelphi Terrace in which he established his "academy". Among the artists who frequented this informal evening class were Girtin, Turner, Edridge, Varley, Cotman, Francia, the Varleys, De Wint and Willian Henry Hunt. He rented Fetcham Cottage, near Leatherhead, from 1795 to 1805, and from 1807 took a house near Bushey, Hertfordshire, for the summer each year. In 1820 he moved there permanently. He collected works of art all his life (especially by John Robert Cozens, who he tended to in his years of ill health, Gainsborough, and Canaletto), and fostered an interest in painting and drawing not only in his protégés, but also in his sons, Alexander, John, and Henry. (extracted from Andrew Wilton, British Watercolours: 1750 to 1850, London, 1977, p.192.)

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