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pearls, &c., is also carried on in this department.

** The last room in the manufactory is used for the
turning, sinking, and engraving of dies, a process re-
quiring the greatest ability both in design and execution.

** Another portion of this splendid establishment, con-
sists of warehouses and show-rooms, where the whole
of the goods, when finished, are displayed for sale.

'* First, the vase room, containing a faithful copy of
the celebrated vase at Warwick Castle, of exactly the
same dimensions, in which every part is as correctly
formed as possible, the only difference is in the material,
the one at Warwick Castle being in marble, and the work
of Lysippus, who flourished, in Greece, 325 years before
the Christian era, in the age of Alexander the Great
The vase made by Mr. Thomason, after seven years'
labour, is metallic bronzed ; the bronzing is imique and
beautiful, and in the course of five years is so softened
down as to be in perfect harmony.

" The second show room contains bronzed Corinthian
capitals, and balustrades for staircases, &c. ; the third
room is filled with papier mdch^e trays and cabinets,
the most costly tortoiseshell and other dressing cases,
writing-desks, work-boxes, &c., and bronzed wares.

" The fourth room is a very lofty one, lighted by three
domes, under one of which stands the bronzed copper
statue of his present Majesty in his robes. It was
modelled, cast, and sculptured in the manufactory. This
room is called the gold and silver room, and contains
the finest goods of this description, and articles of vertu.
The fifth room comprises medals in gold, silver, and
copper, and a variety of bronzed vases.

" The sixth room is a long gothic gallery, with twelve



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windows, and contains a variety of cut-glass lamps. This 1830.
room contains a splendid shield ; it is three feet four
inches in diameter, or ten feet in circumference. The
centre of the shield represents the Duke of Wellington
and his Staff witnessing the troops passing the river
Bidassoa, from Spain into France. The staff consists
of numerous fine figures, and are likenesses of Lords
Dalhousie, Beresford, and Hill ; the Duke of Welling-
ton; the Lords Niddrie and Lynedoch; Sir Charles
Doyle, General Archibald Campbell, the Earl of March,
Marquis of Worcester, and the Prince of Orange.

^^The seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth rooms are
four quadrangular rooms, forming a square, and filled
with the richest silver-mounted plated wares.

" In the eleventh room appeared a service of plate,
exhibited as one adapted for twenty years.

*< In the twelfth and last room is a variety of plated
articles upon steel, and numerous mechanical inventions
for which Mr. Thomason has obtained patents.

*^ Mr. Thomason has just produced, after years of
labour and great ingenuity, an admirable and unique
series of philosophical and scientific medals, sixteen in
number, three inches in diameter. Mr. Thomason has
commenced with mechanics, and closed with a complete
history of the steam-engine, in which last, and in its
proper place, he has paid a well-deserved and handsome
tribute to his old master, Mr. Boulton, of Soho.'^



It is very singular that in one of the private rooms at
this moment, some of my best artists had been occupied
for two months, making my design of a Shield of Faiths
in silver, three feet nine inches in diameter. As it was



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18S0. just on the eve of completion^ I will here state its historical
allegory. The extreme edge is a circle of cherubs, the
points of whose extended wings touch each other, and
the border, which is very deep, is surrounded with
historical devices upon Faith, in stellated compartments,
twenty-four in number.

The centre was concave, and in it was a whole inde-
pendent figure of Christ crucified, twelve inches in
height, and of solid silver, screwed to its place in the
concave centre, of pure dead white, which is reflected by
the burnished concave. The whole is of great weight,
and placed in a strong mahogany case, fronted with one
pane of plate glass. It is universally admired for its
rarity and character, and stands in the establishment as
my private property.

I had been engaged for years upon the important series
of Bible medals, of sixty in number, three inches across
or in diameter, the obverses copied from pictures by the
ancient masters, and the reverses containing, in the space
of the sixty medals, a few condensed remarks upon the
history of the Bible.

At this period (April, 1830) my artists were upon the
finish of the dies relating to the Holy Scriptures. I
took impressions in wax from about ten of them, with
a determination of proceeding to Windsor to show
his Majesty George IV. what I had been for some
years perfecting. His Majesty was delighted with the
thought of such an achievement, and expressed his
astonishment and approval of so large a series of medals,
and upon such a divine history, being done by his subjects,
and said, " This is a work that shall not be hid under a
busheL" He commanded that I should take them down
to Brighton, and lay the facts before Mr. Peel, exhibiting



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the ten specimens, but not to say that I had previously ^BdO.
been at Windsor, I arrived at Brighton on the following
morning, clothed with a letter, however, to Mr. Peel
from the Marquis of Conyngham, in case he should object
to make an appointment for an interview, as the Prime
Minister is always extremely averse to see any indi-
vidual upon any matter of business without an official
introduction firom some other Minister ; he was, however,
so polite as to acquiesce in my requests, as will appear
by the following note from him : —



Jt^^JuA.



fce/C^ presents his compliments

to Mr. ITiomason, and will see him to-morrow mominsr
at eleven o'clock.

Orton House, Brighton, April 16, 1830.

On my informing him of the nature of my journey to
Brighton, he could scarcely credit the statement that I
had just completed sixty large medals of three inches in
diameter, from the creation of Adam to the Ascension,
the obverses containing copies from the Ancient Masters.
He said, ^^ How can this be, when it is not twelve
months since you finished your medallic work upon the
sciences ?** I informed him that four of my artists had
been employed for some years in engraving the dies for
this work, and that the last die would be finished in ten
days ; not one of the dies were at present hardened^
and that the public knew nothing of the work. I then
laid before him the ten wax impressions, which so much
astonished him that he retained them, and said he would
see the King respecting them on the following morning.
His Majesty, however, was taken ill that very evening,

A A

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404

1830. and did not recover the attack. In July I addressed
the fdlowuig letter to (now) Sir Robert : —

" Birmingham, July 6, 1830.
"Sir Robert,

** I most sincerely trust that I may not be
thought intrusive in addressing you, but as it has pleased
Almighty God to remove our most gracious Sovereign,
the petition which you were so kind as to receive from
me of course becomes now inapplicable. I have conse-
quently written another adapted for his Majesty King
William the Fourth, and I anxiously entertain the hope
that you will continue your kindness towards me, and
present the petition which I have now drawn up to his
present Majesty.

" I am particularly desirous to present my gift of the
five splendid volumes of the sacred series to his Majesty
at the first levee.

" The whole have remained sealed up, and I think
you will be pleased to know, that, although many weeks
have elapsed since you favoured me with the honour of
an interview, yet my artists have faithfully kept the
secret, and not divulged this extraordinary achievement.
" I have the honour to be. Sir Robert,

" Your devoted and obedient servant,

"Edward Thomason."

The following is the answer I received : —

" Whitehall, July 8, 1830.
« Dear Sir,

<^ I cannot have a doubt that his Majesty
will most readily give you an opportunity of presenting



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405

to his Majesty, on the first levee, the splendid work of 1830.
which I have already had the pleasure of seeing a
specimen.

" I am, dear Sir,

** Very faithfully yours,




" Edward Thomason, Esq.*'

In the month of July, I had the honour to present
to his Majesty William IV., at the levee, the series in
silver, which his Majesty was graciously pleased to
accept, and receive. The novelty and execution of the
work caused so much conversation, that I made up my
mind to present the series, put up in five splendid
volumes, to every Potentate in Europe, &c.

During the interval from April l6th to July 6th, the
whole of the one hundred and sixty dies passed the ordeal
of hardening ; a very anxious process, and although in
the usual calculation one out of eight is expected to be
cracked or broken, yet it so occurred that not one of
these was broken in this difficult process ; and the
workmen observed that as '* righteousness exalteth a
nation'^ so were these preserved.

The series made of pure silver for the King, I confi-
dentially showed to three artists of much taste and
classical knowledge, and the following are their obser-
vations upon the merits of each medal : —



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415

These observations will introduce to the young reader 1830.
the nature of the work, and may induce him to read
over my quotations from the Bible, which he will find a
little farther on, and which, to the best of my humble
ability, form a condensed history of the Bible, by filling
up the history between one medal and the succeeding
one i and it being blended with, and in the middle of
the work, he cannot well pass it over. Indeed, on
imparting my intention of thus taking the liberty of
inserting my quotations, Dr. Ryder, the Bishop of
Lichfield, remarked — " Although it must be extremely
deficient in comparison with condensed histories written
by learned divines, yet, from its position, there will be
the greatest inducements for young persons to read it
over, and thereby do more good than any other of an
elaborate research I'*



" London, February 4th, 1830.
"Sir,

" Count Ludolf, the Sicilian Minister, has just
asked me whether I knew, perchance, a Mr. Thomason,
at Birmingham, and those medals of which he had pre-
sented copies to the King of Sicily, as his Majesty, highly
pleased with them, wished to be advised what might be
sent in return as a convenient token of his approbation.
I told the Count that I saw here, two months ago, very
handsome medals, with the inscription * Thomason,
Birmingham,' and that possibly you might be the person
in question. Having promised to ascertain it, I beg.
Sir, you will have the goodness to inform me whether
you have presented those medals to the King of Sicily,

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416

isaa and what token of his Majesty's satisfaction would be
the most agreeable to you; for instance, an order, a
ring, or a snuff-box.

I feel great pleasure in renewing you the assurance of
the particular esteem with which I remain,

"Sir,

" Your obedient



/^A-x^/^^




" Edw. Thomason, Esq.,
His Prussian Majesty's Vice Consul,
Birmmgham/'



"Chandos House, Feb. 6, 1830.
"Dear Sir,

<< I keep the gold medal mentioned in my
official letter, until you tell me the best mode of sending
it to you.

" Believe me, dear Sir,

" Your very obedient servant,




" E. Thomason, Esq., Birmingham."



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417

" Berlin, 10th Feb^ 1830. 1880.
• It is by order of his Majesty the King that I have
the honour to present you with the here ac^oined ring.
« I am, Sir,

" Your most obedient servant,

" Mr. Thomason,

His Majesty the King of Prussians Vice-Consul

at Birmingham."

« Londres, 30th Mars., 1830.
" Monsieur le Consul,

J*ai rhonneur de vous informer que sa

Majesty, le Roi des deux Siciles, mon auguste souverain,

a daign^ vous decorer de la croix de Chevalier de son

Ordre Royal de Frangois I., en temoignage de sa re-

connaissance pour le don que vous avez offert a S. M.

de la parfedte collection de medailles graves par vous en

acier.

^' J'eprouve, Monsieur, la plus grande satisfaction de
^ous annoncer cette distinction que le Roi, mon maitre,
vous a accord^ et que preuve si bien combien S. M. sait
apprecier les talents et les merites que vous possedez.

^* Des que je recevrai. Monsieur, la susdite decoration
que me sera expedie incessament de Naples je m'empres-
serai de vous la transmettre, ainsi que le Brevet qui doit
I'accompagner.

** J'ai rhonneur d^etre, avec une parfaite estime,

" Monsieur,
" Votre tres oblige serviteur,

** Mr. Thomason, &c. &c. &c., Birmingham."

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418

1830. ** Sua MaesUi il Re del Regno delle due Sicilie, mio
Signore, volendo dare a Loi un contrassegno del conto,
in cui tiene le pregevoli quality dello quali k adoma la
di loi persona, si ^ degnata conferirle la croco di
caverliere del Real Online di Francesco Prime.

Nel Real nome, e con mio piacere ne la prevengo per
sua intelligenzai e reyolamento ; rimettendole les corris-
pondente decorazione. Napoli, 16 Marzo, 1830.



*^ Sig. D. Edoardo Thomason,
Console sua Maesta il Re di Prussia in
Birmingham.''



/"



"London, 2, Adelphi Terrace, Qth April, 1830.

"Sir,

" I beg leave to express to you my great satis-
faction derived from the inspection of your extensive and
magnificent manufactory, at Birmingham, on the 25th
ultimo ; also my sense of the kindness and civility of the
workmen, and of every individual connected with your
establishment.

" I was particularly struck with your design for the
Shield of Achilles, and could not refrain remarking to
the artist employed at it my surprise that we have no
modem works of art illustrative of sacred history.

" What could be more sublime and interesting than a
representation of the stupendous events of man's redemp-
tion, from the Nativity of our blessed Lord to the con-
summation of His Atonement, in His Resurrection and
final triumph over the enemy of our race 1

" Such a work of art might be aptly designated the



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THE SHIELD OF FAITH.



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419

Shield of Faith, in allusion to St. Paul's description of 18S0.
the Christian armour (Epistle to Ephesians), and a
happy combination of the ten or twelve most remarkable
incidents of the Holy Gospels, would present to the
beholder, in my view at least, a more interesting exhibi-
tion than anything else of the kind in the world, because
the recollections of sacred history will endure through
interminable ages, infinitely surpassing the sublimest
efiiisions of mere human intellect.

" The man who by his talents and industry illus-
trates Divine truth, with the view of impressing its
unspeakable importance more forcibly upon the heart,
accomplishes, in my humble opinion, a work of greater
advantage and more enduring usefulness than it is
possible to conceive. The holy scriptures alone contain
the word of truth. They are everywhere filled with
instruction and persuasion ; instead of being a cold com-
pilation of philosophical dogmas, they are filled with real
life, with facts, with persons, with forcible appeals to the
imagination, and with powerful applications to the heart.
Those persons who read and understand the instructions
of the ancient philosophers were never reformed by their
doctrines. Those who read and understand the moral
system of infidel philosophers are never amended by
them, but corrupted, of course. The scriptures, on the
contrary, have been the means of renewing and reform-
ing millions of the human race. But this sacred book
was never of the least use to any man by whom it was
not in some good measure understood. Whatever tends,
therefore, to illustrate, and make plain to the understand,
ing, those solemn events recorded for our instruction is
worthy the attention and consideration of every good man.

" I challenge all the most romantic admirers of the

B B

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1850. claseics to produce one single passage equal in moral
grandeur to that of Isaiah, with reference to the Re-
deemer seen in vision hy the prophet, * How beautiful
on the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth
good tidings/ &c. With hb own voice he proclaimed
in the tidings of that text the very things which He has
done and suffered, and the infinite blessings which in
this manner He has purchased for mankind. There is
now (he cries) * Glory to God in the highest, while
there is peace on earth, and goodwill towards men.' In
this ruined world, so long enveloped in darkness, so long
deformed by sin, so long wasted by misery — where guilt,
and sorrow, and suffering have spread distress without
control, and mourning without hope — where war and
oppression have ravaged without, and remorse and de-
spair consumed within — where Satan has ^ exalted his
throne above the stars of God,' while its sottish millions
have bent before him in religious worship ; in this ruined
world, where, since the apostacy, real good was never
found, and where tidings of such good were never pro-
claimed, even here I announce the tidings of expiated
sin, a pardoning God, a renewing Spirit, an opening
heaven, and a dawning immortality. Here peace shall
lift anew her olive branch over mankind ; here salvation
from sin and woe shall anew be found ; and here God
shall dwell and reign, the God of Zion. * Come unto
me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will
give you rest*

" I beg pardon for this long intrusion upon your time,
and have the honour to be. Sir,

** Your very obedient and humble servant.




" Sir Edward Thomason, &c.*' R.N.

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The^ Order of Fronds 7f* ^f JVaples A Suzfy.



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421



" London, 21st August, 1830. 1830.
"Sir,

" I had the honour some weeks ago to write to
you, and to inform you that my august master, the King
of the Two Sicilies, has hestowed on you the Cross of
Knight of his Royal Order of Francis I. As I have not
received any answer to that note, I renew to you the
information of this gracious decision of his Majesty, as a
token of his great satisfaction in receiving from you the
collection of your medals. I expect very soon from
Naples that decoration, and the patent, which I will do
myself the pleasure to forward to you; so if it arrives not
before my departure for Paris, where I go to pay my
homage to my Sovereign, I will leave directions to my
friend and colleague. Baron Bulow, to send it to you.
" I remain truly. Sir,

" Your obedient servant.



>S0^€0^



Mr. E. Thomason, Birmingham.''



"London, April 26, 1830.
" Sir,

" 1 have the honour to enclose a letter the
Home Department at Berlin wishes to be transmitted
to you.

" You will have the goodness to inform me in which
way a small box, with a diamond ring, accompanying

B B 2



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422

1830. that letter may be best forwarded to you, or delivered
here to some person authorised to receive it.

" I have the honour to be,
"Sir,
" Your obedient.



/^X.-/^




" £• Thomason, Esq., Prussian Vice Consul,
Birmingham/'

I was known at almost every Court in Europe, not
only as being the consul for Birmingham for most of the
foreign Governments, but as having, for nearly twenty
years, received at my house, with every courtesy and
attention, many ambassadors and ministers belonging to
and travelling from such Courts to inspect our esta-
blishments. I succeeded in every application, but I was
at a loss to obtain a reply from Rome, as this country
had no ChargS d'affaires with his Holiness the Pope*
I, however, wrote to Count Munster, and received the
following reply : —

"London, 18th May, 1830.
" Sir,

" I regret having delayed answering the letter
which you addressed to me concerning a present you
intend to make to the Pope.

" I might without difficulty forward a letter to the



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ASpUndtd Diamond Brilliant Ain^,
1 1 Fresented to the Author by



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423

King's Hanoverian Charg6 d^affaires^ but I have no 1830.
means of sending parcels, nor can any present be
offered to any sovereign without previous permission*
" I have the honour to be, Sir,

" Your obedient servant,




" Mr. Edward Thomason, Birmingham."

As I knew something of Cardinal Weld, I got the
series, with my petition, delivered by him to Pope Gre-
gory XVI.

" London, May the 19th, 1830.
« Sir,

** I feel great pleasure in sending you the
order which his Sicilian Majesty has been pleased to
grant you, and which his Minister at London has re-
quested m6 to forward to you.

" You will have the goodness to sign, and return to
me a paper accompanying the enclosed letter, and ex-
pressing the promise that your heirs will return this
order to the Neapolitan Legation at London.
" I have the honour to be,
"Sir,
" Your obedient humble




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424

]8d0. ** This letter was waiting for a Prussian officer who
intended going to Birmingham, and wished to be the
bearer ; but his departure being delayed, I hasten to
heg you, in answer to your letter of the 31st, to send to
me the person named, in order that the parcel may be
delivered to him.

*• Edward Thomason, Esq/'



" Pwlly wracli, Cowbridge,

Glamorganshire,

13th June, 1830.

"Sh-,

" I have had the pleasure of receiving both your
letters communicating your intentions with regard to the
subject on which I had the honour of writing to you in
London, on the 9th of last ApriL

*^ I shall always be happy to hear from you concerning
the progress of a work which has for its object, in a pe-
culiar manner, the promoting of the glory of God. What-
ever happily illustrates Divine truth necessarily has a
tendency to do so, because good is really contrived, and
brought into existence by carrying that contrivance into
execution.

" To consecrate our faculties to the glory of God and
the good of the intelligent creation is unquestionably the
sum of man's duty ; and I presume that our time and
talents cannot be better employed, with those ends in
view, than by a practical conformity to the will of God,
in doing honour to the * Author and Finisher of our
Faith,' who emphatically styles himself * The Truth.'

** In the Holy Scriptures we find the greatest manifes-



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425

tations of the Divine wisdom. The redemption of man- 1830.
kind and the Word of God are the prime exhibitions of
this attribute* The Word of God is called by itself,


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