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Arne, Thomas (1690–1730)

Arne, Thomas

London; upholder (fl.1690–d. 1730)

Initially traded at the ‘George & White Lion’, Great Piazza, Covent Garden, but in 1698 announced a move to the ‘George’ in Bedford Court, near Bedford Street. By 1707 his address was the ‘Two Crowns & Cushion’ (sometimes referred to as the ‘Crown’) in King Street, Covent Garden, where he was to remain.

On 9 May 1712 he apprenticed Arthur Harris, the son of Thomas Harris of Newport, Shropshire. In the same year a fire destroyed £9,000 worth of stock. He clearly carried on a successful and fashionable business. His house in King Street was chosen as a lodging for four ‘Indian Chiefs’ who visited London in the reign of Queen Anne.

In 1723 goods and merchandise ‘in his dwelling house only and not elsewhere’ were insured for £1,000. He had fashionable clients and between 1691 and 1710 undertook work at Felbrigg, Norfolk. Also between 1725–27 payments are recorded in the account books of Benjamin Mildmay, Earl Fitzwalter. These payments included arrangements for the funerals of the Lady Dowager Fitzwalter in 1726 and her son ‘Schonberg’ in 1727.

Thomas Arne was murdered on 2 March 1730. He is probably best remembered as the father of the composer Dr Arne and ‘Mrs. Cibber’, the actress.

Source: DEFM; Kirkham, The London Furniture Trade 1700-1870’, Furniture History (1988).

The original entry from Dictionary of English Furniture Makers, 1660-1840 can be found at British History Online.