During the course of updating a biography on William Quint of Ashburton, Devon (1778-1793), I discovered that he apprenticed Stephen Taprell on 17 July 1789. Bells rang - could this be the same Stephen Taprell who went into partnership with William Holland c.1815? Taprell, Holland & Sons received commissions from at least eight London clubs and All Soul’s College, Oxford in addition to Arundel Castle and Ickworth. After Taprell’s retirement in 1843 the firm became Holland & Sons, the world renowned mid/late nineteenth-century cabinet making and upholstery firm.
Although Taprell’s parents could not be traced, the link with Ashburton in Devon has been confirmed by his will - Taprell bequeathed an annuity to his widowed sister, Elizabeth Bowden, of Ashburton. Another tidbit of evidence was found in land tax records; in 1797 Stephen Taprell rented a property in Ashburton from Miss Dunning (although there was at least one other man of the same name in that part of Devon at the time).
In addition to Taprell’s apprenticeship, I also found that he was married to Hannah Holland at St James’s, Piccadilly, in May 1805 in the presence of William Holland. Hannah died quite young, at twenty-four, shortly after giving birth to their son, Stephen jnr on 15 March. She was buried on 30 March 1806.
Stephen Taprell died aged seventy-three in 1847. Much revered by the Holland family, he was buried in the Holland vault in Kensal Rise Cemetery and James Holland, William’s second son, named his first two sons, Stephen Taprell & George Taprell (Holland).
For further information please see Taprell, Holland & Sons.