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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Thomas Earp (1828–1893)

Architectural sculptor. He studied at Nottingham School of Art and Design before working for George Myers. He moved to London where his stone-carving skills, particularly on ecclesiastical buildings, saw him undertaking work for George Gilbert Scott, Pugin and Teulon. A close working relationship developed between Earp and G.E. Street. The Eleanor Cross (Charing Cross, 1863) was one of Earp’s many successful works. Earp’s already considerable business, based in Lambeth, South London, expanded further in 1864 through a partnership with Edwin Hobbs. The firm opened premises in Manchester on Lower Mosley Street. Edwin Hobbs oversaw the Manchester business, residing in Chorlton-upon-Medlock and, later, Moss Side. Their reputation as ecclesiastical architectural carvers was of the highest, but they also undertook extensive work on public and private buildings throughout the country. The firm operated under the name of Earp, Son and Hobbs from the early 1890s, the founder dying in 1893. By 1910 they had become Earp, Hobbs and Miller, continuing under that name in Manchester until the early 1940s.

Bibliography (updated 2023): T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 444–45; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of South London, Liverpool, 2007, pp. 352–53; R. Cocke, Public Sculpture of Norfolk and Suffolk, Liverpool, 2013, p. 178; D.A. Cross, Public Sculpture of Lancashire and Cumbria, Liverpool, 2017, pp. 80–81, 97; A. Mitchell and O. Mitchell, Thomas Earp. Eminent Victorian Sculptor, Buckingham, 2002; E. Morris and E. Roberts, Public Sculpture of Cheshire and Merseyside, Liverpool, 2012, pp. 26, 76, 81–83; G.T. Noszlopy and F. Waterhouse, Public Sculpture of Staffordshire and the Black Country, Liverpool, 2005, pp. 230–32; B. Read, Victorian Sculpture, New Haven and London, 1982; P. Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of Historic Westminster. Volume 1, Liverpool, 2011, pp. 257, 376; D. White and E. Norman, Public Sculpture of Sheffield and South Yorkshire, Liverpool, 2015, pp. 128–29, 168–72, 173, 174; T. Wyke, Public Sculpture of Greater Manchester, Liverpool, 2004, pp. 48–49, 67, 87–88, 94, 128, 179, 180, 181, 443.

Philip Ward-Jackson 2011