This view of ‘Buckingham Palace from St. James's Park’ by Thomas Shotter Boys was published in 1842 as part of ‘Original Views of London As It Is’, his most successful volume. The volume included ‘Historical and Descriptive Notices of the Views’, written by the publisher, writer and editor Charles Ollier (1788-1859). Ollier’s text on this image begins:
‘Since this park was first formed, as an addition to St. James’s Manor House (now the Palace), in the reign of Henry VIII., it has undergone so many transformations as scarcely to retain any feature in common between one brief era and another. The Mall, formed by an avenue leading to Buckingham House, through rows of “goodly elms,” bordered by the carriage-road, is one of the very few remaining vestiges of other times. The Decoy, formed in the reign of Charles II., where waterfowl were kept, has long disappeared; so has Rosamond’s Pond…’
Thomas Shotter Boys was born in Pentonville, North London. He was apprenticed to engraver George Cook, before moving to Paris during the 1820s. There he met Richard Parkes Bonington, with whom he worked. He returned to England in 1837 and initially engraved the designs of other artists and contributed to publications. In 1839, Boys produced his own publication, ‘Picturesque Architecture in Paris, Ghent and Antwerp’, the first English book with lithographic plates entirely in colour. He was elected a member of the New Water Colour Society in 1841 and in the following year published ‘Original Views of London As It Is’. Boys spent the last 20 years of his life teaching drawing and working as a lithographer. He died aged 71 in St John's Wood.
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