Samuel Thomas Gill was born in Somerset, England on 21 May 1818. His father was a Baptist Minister and amateur artist who gave Gill some instruction in drawing. He then commenced employment with the Hubard Profile Gallery in London as a draftsman and watercolour painter.
In 1839 Gill and his family migrated to South Australia and he established a studio in Adelaide where he produced portraits of people, pets and houses.
In 1846 he took part in an exploration party to Spencer Gulf led by J.A. Horrocks. Gill raffled drawings of the expedition and many of these survive; some remained in the possession of the Horrocks family until 1944 when they were bought by the National Gallery of South Australia.
During the late 1840s Gill produced lithographs and watercolours of buildings of Adelaide and prominent South Australians.
In 1852 he travelled to the Victorian Goldfields and spent the next twenty years produced drawings of Victoria and New South Wales, many published as lithographs. He also had a studio in Collins St, Melbourne. His lithographs continued to be published until the 1870s, when he fell into relative obscurity.
On 27 October 1880 Gill collapsed in Post Office Place, Melbourne, and was found to be dead when taken to hospital. The next day an inquest was held and the cause of death was found to be 'rupture of an aneurism of the aorta'. His grave in the Melbourne General Cemetery was unmarked until 1913 when his body was moved to a private plot in the same cemetery and a stone erected, paid for by funds collected by the Historical Society of Victoria.
Collections of Gill's work, both original water-colour drawings and prints, are in the National Library, Canberra, the Mitchell Library, Sydney, and the National Galleries of Victoria and South Australia, and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
These prints belong to a set of 22 artworks by S.T. Gill engraved as plates for the book Victoria Illustrated, and held within the records of Elder Smith and Company.