- Born 1854 Nottingham
- Died 18 July 1886 at Barmouth
Born in 1854, Thomas Hartas was the only son of Thomas Hartas (1824-1907) and his first wife Annis Adair (1824‑1866). Quakers, the Hartas family had their roots in the Richmond area of North Yorkshire where they had been yeoman farmers or farm labourers for generations. Probably upon his marriage, Thomas senior moved to Mansfield where he established a drapers and outfitters at 1 Westgate in the centre of the town. By 1876, Thomas Hartas (junior) had moved to Manchester where he was listed in Slater’s Directory as the Secretary of Manchester YMCA Rambling Club. Initially he had trained as a surveyor and was included as such in the 1881 census. However, in 1880 he commenced independent practice as an architect with offices at 26 King Street, Manchester. He appears to have enjoyed some degree of initial success for in 1881 he was advertising for staff - an office boy at 5 shillings a week in March, and a draughtsman in August of that year. Most of his early commissions were domestic, including villas at Mansfield and Rusholme and possibly on Eccles Old Road, Pendleton. In 1883 a residence was built to his design in Kendal for William Adair of Maryport, presumably a relation of his mother. The Law Library of 1884-1885 was thus the first and, so it would prove, the last major commission in a tragically short career.
Thomas Hartas died unexpectedly, at Barmouth on 18 July 1886, a little more than two weeks after details of his final project, alterations to a farmhouse at Goostry, appeared in the British Architect. He never married and was in lodgings with Mrs Lydia Law from at least 1881 until his death, moving with her from Lincroft Street to Greenhill Street, Moss Side in 1885/6. The street directories note her as the householder throughout the period.
Correspondence in the Law Library archive from a member of the Hartas family states the architect for the Law Library to have been Thomas Hartas senior (1824-1907) of Mansfield. However, this was based on an assumption regarding the authorship of drawings in the family's possession. These were presumably kept by Thomas Hartas senior, following the death of his son.
1876 Thomas Hartas Secretary Manchester YMCA Rambling Club, (Slaters Directory)
1881 Thomas Hartas Surveyor (Census return)
1883 Thomas Hartas architect 26 King Street (Slater's Directory)
1884 Thomas Hartas architect Kings Chambers, 26 King Street (Slater's Directory)
1886 Thomas Hartas architect and surveyor Kings Chambers, 26 King Street (Slater's Directory)
1886 Thomas Hartas architect and surveyor Kings Chambers, 26 King Street (Kelly's Directory)
1887 Thomas Hartas architect and surveyor Kings Chambers, 26 King Street (Kelly's Directory)
1881 7 Lincroft Street, Moss Side (Census) Householder: Lydia Law
1883 7 Lincroft Street, Moss Side (Slater's Directory) Householder: Lydia Law
1884 7 Lincroft Street, Moss Side (Slater's Directory) Householder: Lydia Law
1886 4, Greenhill Street Greenheys (Slater's Directory) Householder: Lydia Law