Spence was most probably born in Liverpool in 1822 (he was baptised there on 3 January 1823). The son of a monumental mason who was a friend of John Gibson, he studied at the Liverpool Academy Schools, and later went out to Rome, where he became an assistant in Gibson's studio. He moved on from there to the studio of Richard James Wyatt — probably because he felt unsuited to Gibson's stricter neo-classical style. According to Timothy Stevens, his career "represents the final phase of Rome's dominance on the visual arts in Britain." He died young of consumption. — Jacqueline Banerjee
Cavanagh, Terry. Public Sculpture of Liverpool. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1997.
Read, Benedict. Victorian Sculpture. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1982.
Stevens, Timothy. "Spence, Benjamin Evans (bap. 1803, d. 1866)." The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Online ed. Viewed 22 March 2009.
Last modified 17 July 2009