Wilson Online Reference
Captain Thomas Hastings, 1778-1854
Connection to Wilson
Biographical Details
Thomas Hastings was a collector of customs in Liverpool and was known as Captain Hastings. Born Thomas Barnett, he changed his surname to Hastings in 1812. Officer in the British Army 1795-1811, he was made Captain from 1799. He was an amateur painter, draughtsman, watercolour artist and etcher of landscapes, topographical views, marine subjects and coast scenes. As an etcher, he was good enough to become an Associate of the Liverpool Academy. He exhibited at the Royal Academy, London in 1813 and 1821 and at the British Institution in 1823.

Between 1820 and 1824, Hastings made 40 etchings of paintings by Wilson (two owned by himself and 38 either in or previously in the celebrated collection formed by Benjamin Booth, and inherited by Lady Ford). These were published by subscription as Etchings from the Works of Ric. Wilson, with some Memoirs of his Life &c. in 1825 [Hastings 1825]. Drawings connected with the project are in Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, which also formerly held an oil copy made by Hastings of Wilson's The Tiber: Rome in the Distance when owned by Lady Ford. Some of his surviving paintings, in particular Woodbury Tower, Devon (signed and dated 1813) and One of the Great Ponds between Hampstead and Highgate (signed and dated 1831), were influenced by Wilson.

Yale Center for British Art owns an oil by Hastings - Landscape with Figures of c.1822 (B1981.25.323).

For the latest research on Hastings including a checklist of his works, see Marianne A. Yule, 'Captain Thomas Hastings (1778-1854): His full Identity revealed', British Art Journal, vol. 16, no. 2, Autumn 2015, pp. 56-69 [Yule 2015].
Significant institutions
British Institution; Liverpool Academy; Royal Academy