Michael Bryan, A Biographical and Critical Dictionary of Painters and Engravers (Bryan, 1816, pp.479–80)

GIRTIN, Thomas. This ingenious English artist was born in 1775, and was a pupil of Edward Dayes. He was one of the most admired landscape painters of his time, and was among the first founders of that tasteful style of designing landscape in watercolours, which our countrymen have carried to such perfection. On the occasion of the peace of Amiens, Mr. Girtin went to Paris, where he made twenty drawings of the principal views in that metropolis, of which he etched the outlines, and the plates were finished in aquatinta by other artists. Though of a very weak and delicate constitution, such was his attachment to the art, that he continued to exercise his profession till within a few days of his death, though in a state of the most deplorable debility. This interesting artist died in 1802, at the premature age of 27, regretted by every admirer of taste and genius.

October 1816

Anonymous, ’Tribute to the Memory of W. Alexander, Esq. F.S.A’, The Gentleman’s Magazine, vol.86, October 1816, p.371.

William Alexander (1767–1816) presumably came across Girtin at the home of Dr Thomas Monro (1759–1833). His posthumous sales included over 130 items by Girtin (Exhibitions: Sotheby’s, 27–28 February and 10–14 March 1817).

Some years ago he entertained an idea of publishing an historical account of Crosses, for which he had collected ample materials, and | believe continued adding to them to the time of his death. Whether he had made any progress in definitively arranging these for publication, | am unable to state; but it were much to be lamented should these materials be neglected or dispersed. His plan comprehended highly-finished engravings of all the remarkable Crosses in England and Wales, towards which he bad collected drawings by Turner, Girtin, Hearne, Blore, Delamotte, &c. with many by his own hand. I hazard a conjecture that this collection will share the fate of his library, which is shortly to be dispersed by Mr. Sotheby *; and, Mr. Urban, you will join me in the wish that the future proprietor of this valuable mass of documents may be possessed of abilities, inclination, and means, to complete an undertaking of so useful a nature.

30 November 1816

Royal Academy of Arts, London, Council Minutes, 30 November 1816 (Royal Academy of Arts Archive (RAA/PC/1/33)) referring to John Girtin (1773–1821) the artist's elder brother.

Read a petition for assistance from Mr. J. Girtin, brother to the late ingenious Artist of that name, stating that he had lost the greater part of his Property by fire. … Sir W Beechey moved & was seconded by Mr. Dawe that Ten Guineas be paid to Mr. Girtin by the Treasurer.