Thomas Ripley was a Yorkshire-born, London-based, master carpenter, surveyor, architect and speculative builder active in England in the early- to mid-18th century.
He was indebted to Sir Robert Walpole for much of his patronage and rose to become a senior officer in the Board of Works. He was also involved with Richard Holt in the manufacture of artifical stone, a formula for which they patented in 1722.
Ripley was not the most respected of architects during his lifetime. What was considered his lack of genius in his art and his dependence on Walpole earned him some harsh criticism from contemporaries such as Lord Burlington, John Vanbrugh and Alexander Pope.
Ripley died at his house in Old Scotland Yard, London, England on 10 February 1758. He was buried in Hampton church 8 days later and was survived by three sons and four daughters, both his first and second wife having predeceased him.
Colvin, Howard, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1660-1840, Third Edition (Yale and New Haven: Yale University Press: 1995), pp. 818-820.
Klausmeier, Axel, 'Houghton, Raynham and Wolterton Halls: on Thomas Ripley's Major Works in Norfolk: Architectural Success Amidst political Tensions', Norfolk Archaeology, 43:4 (2001), pp. 607-29.
National Portrait Gallery, Search the Collection, ‘Thomas Ripley (1682-1758), Architect' [accessed 02 May 2008]
Ricketts, A.O.C. and Axel Klausmeier, ‘Ripley, Thomas (bap. 1682, d. 1758)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008) [accessed 2 May 2008]