Thomas Ranson was a Sunderland-born engraver. He began his apprenticeship in Newcastle, and then moved to London. Ranson was briefly imprisoned in 1818 for possessing a forged banknote but was soon acquitted; he was based in London, and never married.
He was so artistically successful that he won a Society of Arts silver medal in 1814, and gold in 1822 for his engraved work ‘Duncan Gray’ after Sir David Wilkie. Given the success of his ‘Duncan Gray’ it is hardly surprising that Thomson chose him as a contributor to his publication. But it was not this illustration that he provided to Thomson. Rather, he engraved ‘Kind Robin lo’es me’, which appeared in the octavo collection. The design came from a sketch by David Allan, which Thomas Stothard drew. Below the image and its title are the two verses on which the illustration is based:
Happy, happy was the show’r
That led me to his birken bow’r