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Thomas Sunderland was born at Whittington Hall, Kirkby Lonsdale. He was a prolific amateur artist best known for his landscapes in watercolours. His ironworks business financed his extensive travels to the Continent and many parts of the British Isles. It has previously been suggested that he received formal training from the watercolourist John Robert Cozens (1752 - 1797), but there is no evidence for this. In his travels, he would make documentary sketches first in pen and ink and then finish them in watercolours. His style reflected the Romantic influence of Cozens and his contemporaries.