Francis Topham was an English painter and engraver.
Born in Leeds in 1808 he was articled to his uncle, a writing-engraver. In 1830 he started work, engraving coats-of-arms in London. He then moved to James Sprent Virtue where he engraved landscapes after William Henry Bartlett and Thomas Allom. In 1844 and 1845 he visited Ireland, his ensuing career as a painter in watercolours seems to have been self-taught. He specialised in depicting peasants in picturesque costumes.
He became well-known during his lifetime and was a good friend of Charles Dickens. Much of his work reflected the world that Dickens so vividly described in his books.
He went to Spain in 1852 in search of the picturesque. He returned there again in 1876 and died there in Cordoba in 1877 where he is buried in the protestant cemetery.
Several members of the Topham family gathered together for the unveiling of this plaque in April 1986.