Thomas Smythe (9 April 1825, Ipswich – 15 May 1906, Ipswich) was an artist who painted landscapes, bucolic scenes and animals. He exhibited seventeen paintings with the Society of British Artists and was an active member of the Ipswich Fine Art Club from 1878 to 1903.
Thomas Smythe, was the younger brother to Edward Robert Smythe, was born at Ipswich on 14 November 1825 and baptised at St Matthew’s church on 9 April 1827, son of James Smyth (1780-1863) and his wife Sarah Harriet née Skitter (1783-1845), who married at Norwich on 14 June 1811; James was an accountant with bankers Bacon, Cobbold, Durningham & Cobbold in Tavern Street, Ipswich who added a final 'e' to his surname.
Thomas Smyth was educated at a school kept by Charles and Elizabeth Watson at Berners Street, Ipswich where he is recorded in 1841. An artist in Brook Street, Ipswich 1846-1855 and exhibited at the Suffolk Fine Arts Association at the New Lecture Hall at the Ipswich Mechanics' Institute in August 1850, several oil paintings including 'Side of the Highroad', 'A Donkey Browsing' and 'The Gipsy Bait'. He married at Ipswich in 1860, Jane Pearse (1840-1919) and had three sons and two daughters. In 1861, Thomas was an ‘artist landscape and animal painter’ living at 20 Bolton Lane, Ipswich with his 21-year-old wife Jane, who was born at Ipswich, living with them were Jane’s parents, Thomas Pearse, currier, and his wife Jane. In 1865, an artist at California, Woodbridge Road, Ipswich and in 1871 living at Rose Cottage, Cauldwell Hall Road, Ipswich with three of their children Thomas Edward 9, Annie Agnes 4 and Robert 6 weeks. His daughter Agnes married Frank Brown and by 1881 another child, 6-year-old Ernest William had been added to the family.
In 1891 they were living at 119 London Road with the children except Ernest William who had left home. About 1899 Thomas went to live, with his son Ernest, in London but died after a short illness, at the home of his son-in-law Frank Brown, at Heathfield, Ipswich on 15 May 1906, aged 81. His wife Jane died at Ipswich in 1919, aged 76[sic]. Of his children, Ernest was an artist and book illustrator in London until he emigrated to America and Robert emigrated to Canada. Painter of landscapes, rustic subjects and animals and exhibited seventeen works at the Society of British Artists including 'The Roadside Inn', 'The Tinkers' and exhibited at the Royal Academy including from Queen Street, Ipswich in 1856 an untitled work (107) and from 20 Bolton Road [Lane], Ipswich in 1862 'The Keeper's Pony' (335).
A member of the Ipswich Fine Art Club 1878-1903 and exhibited regularly including in 1898 from The Laurels, Wherstead Road, Ipswich, six oil paintings 'Old Lock', 'Over the Hill and Far Away', 'Tattingstone White Horse', 'A Suffolk Bridge', 'Returning from Market' and 'The Old Plough Inn, Kensal Green' and his paintings exhibited which were on show at the Club's centenary in 1974 included oils, 'Harvest Scene', 'Rabbit Catcher on Rushmere Heath', 'The Miller's Cart', 'Returning from Work' and 'Snowballing'. Like his brother his work has recently regained its popular appeal and at Bonham's auction in 1991 his works reached record amounts.