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irtle was elected President of the Norwich Society of Artists, but he was one of three leading artists to secede from the Society in 1816 to create the Norfolk and Norwich Society of Artists. The secession was caused by a disagreement over how the profits of the exhibitions should be used. It led to Ladbrooke, Sillett, Joseph Clover, Stannard and Thirtle renting part of the Shakespeare Tavern on Theatre Plain and holding their own exhibition, The Twelfth Exhibition of the Norfolk and Norwich Society of Artists, to rival the original Society's exhibition in Sir Benjamin's Wrench's Court. Thirtle's decline in output from 1806 was reported by the local press, whose disappointment was expressed in 1811: "We lament exceedingly that Mr. Thirtle, who made up the seceding triumvirate, should not have found time for a single drawing. His occupation is doubly to be regretted, because he stands highest and alone in the particular and beautiful depa rtment of watercolours in which he has evinced so much decided excellence." Although Thirtle continu