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BACON, John (1777-1859)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 E/BN
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Full title: BACON, John (1777-1859)
Date(s): 1683-1866
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 1.37 linear metres (223 documents).
Name of creator(s): Bacon | John | 1777-1859 | sculptor


Administrative/Biographical history:

John Bacon (1740-1799) was born in Southwark and apprenticed to a porcelain factory. His skill as a designer and sculptor was recognised and he was encouraged to exhibit with the Society of Arts, and attended the Royal Academy Schools. From designing porcelain for factories including Wedgwood, he became a highly sought after sculptor of monuments and public statues. His work included the monument to Thomas Guy at Guy's Hospital chapel, the monument to William Pitt the Elder at Westminster Abbey, the bust of Dr Johnson in St Paul's Cathedral, and colossal figures at Somerset House. He established a successful studio workshop which produced funerary monuments, garden sculpture and portrait busts for private clients.

Bacon's sons John the younger (1777-1859) and Thomas (b 1773) were apprenticed at their father's studio and then attended the Royal Academy Schools. On Bacon's death John the younger took over the studio, completing his father's commissions and proving just as successful at attracting new civic and imperial commissions. Thomas is recorded as assisting him, but disappears from the documents after 1800. From 1808 John Bacon retired from carrying out public works to focus on architectural and church sculpture. He formed a partnership with Charles Manning (1776-1812) and then his brother Samuel Manning (1788-1842), allowing them to carry on the work of the studio and use the Bacon name.

John Bacon died in 1859. His sons, John and Thomas, were both clergymen who are recorded as trustees of their father's estate (see E/BN/007, 009-010).

Information from Mary Ann Steggles, 'Bacon, John (1740-1799)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 and Jason Edwards, 'Bacon, John (1777-1859)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers relating to the estate of John Bacon the younger, sculptor, including title deeds and documents relating to the purchase, ownership and sale of properties in the City of London, Bethnal Green, Paddington, Marylebone, Hoxton, Shoreditch, Stepney, Knightsbridge, Westminster and Kent; correspondence; articles of co-partnership with Charles Manning; and lists of sculptural works underway.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

E/BN/001 to E/BN/223.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Records deposited in 1954 and 1965.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Records prepared May to September 2011.

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