The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Henry Yates Thomson, 1838-1928

Nationality: British
Date of Birth: 1838.12.15
Place of Birth:
Date of Death: 1928.07.08
Place of Death:


Henry Yates Thompson was a barrister and collector. He married Elizabeth Smith in 1878.


Thompson commenced his career as a lawyer; he was called to the bar in 1867 but never practised. From 1868-1873 he was private secretary to the 5th Earl Spencer, then Viceroy of Ireland. Between 1865 and 1881 he also made several unsuccessful attempts to be elected to parliament. Two years after his marriage, his wife's father the publisher George Smith handed him the proprietorship of the Pall Mall Gazette which Thompson ran until its sale to William Waldorf (afterwards Viscount) Astor in 1892. Thompson is perhaps best remembered as a collector of illuminated manuscripts and fine editions; he would later donate his St Omer Psalter and Metz Pontifical to the collections of the British Museum and the Fitzwilliam Museum.


Foster, Joseph, Men at the Bar, London, 1885; Venn, J. A. (ed.); Who Was Who, 1916-1928, London, 1929; Alumni Cantabrigienses 1752-1900, Cambridge, 1940-1954; Walkley, Giles, Artists' houses in London 1764-1914, Aldershot, 1994.