Thomas FOSS

Thomas FOSS

Many thanks to William Curnow of Florida for coming forth with research information about this artist photographer about whom we knew little. The Pigot's Directory of 1844 recorded this artist as a portrait painter living in Alverton Street, Penzance.

Foss was born in St Just in Penwith, to parents as yet unknown, and married Mary Matthews on 19 October 1829 in that village. By the time of the 1851 Census he was living with Mary and three sons (William, James and Thomas) and one daughter, Elizabeth, (of eight children born to them) at Jamaica Place, Madron. Though no record of his burial has been found, his death was reported by the West Briton newspaper on Friday, 6 May 1853.

Apparently Thomas expanded his artistic range to include photography (a new art of the time), making him something of a pioneer in the new technology. The evidence is provided by the parish marriage registration of his son Thomas which references the occupation of the groom's father as a photographer. As yet we have no information related to his subjects.


Portrait painter

Artist photographer


Pigot's Directory of 1844;  

1851 Census

correspondence with B Curnow (May 2015)