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ife Family, early life and apprenticeship portrait of Thirtle's mother Thirtle's portrait miniature of his mother Susannah (undated) Much of the biographical detail about John Thirtle is undocumented, and little is known of his life. The son of John Thirtle and his wife Susanna Lincoln, he was probably born in a house close to St Saviour's Church, Norwich, and was baptised at the church on 22 June 1777.[note 1] A sister, Rachel, was baptised on 13 August 1780 and a younger brother named James was baptised in 1785. His parents were well-known members of the local community. His father, who worked in Elephant Yard off Magdalen Street as a bootmaker and an overseer of the poor, was a churchwarden at St Saviour's. Few details are known of Thirtle's boyhood or education. In 1790, the 13-year-old John was apprenticed to Benjamin Jagger of Norwich, the leading carver, gilder, picture dealer and printmaker in the city.[note 2] In about 1799 Th
irtle moved to London to serve an apprenticeship to make picture frames, possibly under a Mr. Allwood. During this apprenticeship he studied the pictures of John Sell Cotman at Rudolph Ackermann's print shop at 96, The Strand. Return to Norwich and subsequent career Frame-making business painting in a frame by Thirtle John Berney Crome, Woodland Scene (undated), in a frame made by Thirtle Frame detail Detail of Thirtle's frame On the successful completion of his apprenticeship in 1805, Thirtle returned to Norwich, where he showed five paintings at an exhibition of the Norwich Society of Artists, and set himself up to produce picture frames and prints in a shop in Magdalen Str