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Edward Philips Thompson: Philanthropist and Artist

Portrait of Edward P Thompson
Edward P Thompson

E. P. Thompson was baptised on 14 Dec 1856 at St John the Evangelist, Knotty Ash. He was the younger son of Samuel Henry Thompson, an important Liverpool banker, and his wife Elizabeth who resided at Thingwall Hall.

As a young man Edward had often visited Whitchurch as he was very fond of hunting and there were three hunts to ride with in the local area. Initially he stayed with relatives in Alkington Road but then he rented and staffed a house in Claypit Street. He only moved to the town permanently when he was in his forties.

E. P. Thompson built Pauls Moss, a magnificent town mansion, as his Whitchurch home in 1897. For his butler he had Fountain House constructed and a row of seven terraced houses in Barkhill was built for other members of staff.

During the time he lived in Whitchurch he was very involved in helping the town and its inhabitants. He was a local Councillor, a Justice of the Peace, a member of many committees and subscribed to a number of improvements, including the Jubilee Park.

His greatest gift to the town was building an Art Gallery, Public Library, Reading Room and Museum on the High Street. It was situated where the library currently stands. As well as paying for it to be built he left an endowment for its upkeep.

As well as being a man of considerable means he was also a talented artist and a number of his paintings hang in Whitchurch Heritage Centre.

E. P. Thompson married Edith daughter of Sir Richard Musgrove in 1919 when he was 63 years old but sadly he died only five years later in 1924. In his will he left a collection of Randolph Caldecott paintings and sculptures to the Whitchurch Free Library and Museum.