James Thorn 

 

 

At 13 years old, James was probably living in Kilmarnock, and was already working as a self-taught stonemason. By 18 or 19 years all, James was working on a headstone in Cosbie Kirk in the parish of Dundonald. A Mr all wanted a statue of burdens and been impressed by the work of James Thorn commissioned him to sculpt a bust. This was so successful that James became a full-time sculptor and received many commissions.

 

Inn KeeperTamSouter JohnnyInn Keeper's Wife

Amongst these commissions were the statues of Tam O'Shanter, Souter Johnnie, the Inn keeper and his wife. These were the first visual images ever produced of these characters from Robert Burn's famous poem and so James Thorn is therefore responsible for establishing our mental pictures of these famous faces which have been repeated in paintings and drawings ever since. James also created the statue of William Wallace that stands in a small niche high up in a wall at the end of Newmarket Street.

As James' fame spread, he held many exhibitions in Europe and America.

James died in 1849/50 of tuberculosis.