William Sturdy of Romford, stone mason (active 1825-1845)

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William Sturdy of Romford, Essex, was a stone-mason who signs several monuments in churches in the neighbourhood of Romford. By far the best of the ones I have seen are in St Peter and St Paul, Dagenham, where he has one nice figure of a girl mourning against a draped pot, a common enough subject, but competently made, and an outdoor scene with a girl and boy, shown above. His other works, at least those I have come across, are plain. He signs "Sturdy", or "Sturdy of Romford", and I am not sure how Gunnis, the historian of sculpture, identified his first name as William. Gunnis also says he was likely the son of another William Sturdy of Romford, d.1800, as recorded in the Monthly Magazine for that year. The only fact about the life of our man I have been able to find is that he was in partnership with another Romford stone mason, Daniel Richer, also obscure, until 1832. I have not visited so many churches in Essex, so there may be lots more of his work to see.

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