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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

John Francis Moore (d. 1809)

Sculptor. Born in Hanover, he came to Britain about 1760. Six years later he exhibited at the Society of Arts a relief of Britannia reviver of Antique, promoter of Modern Art. Moore’s chief claims to fame are his monument to Lord Mayor William Beckford in the Guildhall (1772), and his portrait statue of the same man, also in marble, which once stood in Beckford’s country house Fonthill, but which was presented by his son, William Beckford, the novelist and eccentric, to the Ironmongers’ Company in 1833. It still stands in Ironmongers’ Hall in the City. Moore was chiefly active in decorative and routine sculptural activities. He carved a number of chimneypieces, including one unusually extravagant example, commissioned for Fonthill by Lord Mayor Beckford during his mayoralty. This was decorated with reliefs, illustrating death-scenes from the Iliad. It is now at Beaminster Manor, Dorset. Although he did receive one prestigious commission for a monument to Lord Ligonier for Westminster Abbey (1773), Moore’s church monuments are on the whole more remarkable for the richness of their coloured marbles than for the quality of their execution. Towards the end of his life, he went into partnership with a J. Smith, probably James Smith. The church monuments which bear the signatures of both men date from the years between 1791 and 1795.

Bibliography (updated 2024): European Magazine, 1809, p.83 (obit.); Kenworthy-Browne, J., ‘Moore, John Francis’, ODNB, (2004), 2008; I. Roscoe et al, A Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain 1660–1851, New Haven and London, 2009, pp. 847–50; P. Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of the City of London, Liverpool, 2003, pp. xvii, xviii, xx, 163–66.

Philip Ward-Jackson, 2003