Thomas Henry Fisher

Thomas Henry, or Thomas Henry Fisher created the unmisteakable pictorial incarnation of William, and was the chief illustrator for the series. Fisher was born in 1879 in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, and started off as a cartoonist for the Nottingham Football Post. He later worked for the Punch magazine, and his illustration of the character Billy Smiff seems to be the precursor for William.

Thomas Henry first drew William in 1919 for short stories in magazines, and was hired by Newnes to do the illustrations for the rest of the series. His depiction of William perfectly contributed Crompton’s description, and the illustrations served to make the stories much more interesting. He worked on all but the last four books of the series, which were published after his death in 1962. Fisher passed away while still working on the illustrations for and the cover was completed by Henry Ford. Since then, different illustrators have tried to capture the elusive qualities of William Brown on paper, but none have even come close to achieving the perfect fit that Thomas Henry managed to pull off.

Apart from William, Thomas Henry worked on the Elizabeth series and also children’s annuals such as Blackie’s Boys Annual and The Boys’ Budget. He illustrated the Jane series by Evadne Price, but since the author wanted to distance the Jane books from William, he signed his work as “Marriott”. He was also prolific in designing postcards and greeting cards, with some of them displaying characters from the William Brown universe.

Cricket PostcardDistemper

The Boys Budget

 

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