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Bell, Daniel (1724–34)

Bell, Daniel

St Martin's Lane, London; cabinet maker (fl.1724–34)

At least two Daniel Bells are recorded in the Joiners’ Company archives. The first, son of John Bell, joiner of St Martin in the Fields, was apprenticed to Edward Rolt on 4 June 1706. He was turned over to Thomas England but there is no record of his freedom. The second was made free 4 July 1721. One of these two men took as apprentice John Harden on 21 November 1721.

Took out a Sun Insurance policy on 11 May 1728 for £1,800 on his dwellings, stock in trade and merchandise, fortunately, since on 13 October that year ‘a violent fire broke out at a Mr. Currier's (or a Currier's) in Rose Street near Long Acre, which consumed his house and 3 others … & Mr. Bell, an eminent cabinet maker's house that lay backward towards St. Martin's Lane, with the workhouses belonging thereunto, and a great quantity of valuable foreign wood lying in his yard for carrying on his business at which he employed several scores of people every day, so that this loss alone is reckoned to amount to some thousands of Pounds’. The Daily Journal of 15 October however, reported that the fire started at Mr Negus's, a Leather Dresser's in Rose St, and consumed nine houses, Mr Bell, away in Brompton at the time, proving ‘the greatest sufferer’. The Ipswich Journal of 12 October further sensationalised by adding that ‘Mr. Bell had the Misfortune some Time ago to break his Leg into Splinters and was then in the Country dangerously Ill’. After the fire ‘Several Men were employ'd in removing his Looking Glasses and other Furniture sav'd out of the Fire; but the Damage in Walnut-Tree Plank only, amounts to £500’. A few days after the fire he announced in the Daily Journal, 17 October, ‘I have taken a convenient House and Work Shops opposite to my late Dwelling-House, where all Business in Trade will go forward without the least Hinderance of Time and where I shall be in Person to give Attention, and receive proper Orders’.

In 1726 took app. named John Showbridge, who served for seven years. In 1734 he was appointed cm and chairmaker to the Royal Household.

Recorded in partnership with Thomas Moore as early as 1724 when the firm supplied goods to Benjamin Mildmay, Earl Fitzwalter for Moulsham Hall between 1724–34. On 13 December 1732 they received payment for ‘a large Glass & dining chairs with Blew Leather, ten in no.’ costing £33 6s; on 2 May, £10, and on 26 February 1734, £5 15s, ‘To a WalnutTree Desk with 4 Drawers’.

In December 1733 Bell & Moore were paid in full for various items supplied between September 1731–December 1733 to a Captain Hall. Their bill to the ‘Hon. Counsellor Rider’ of 1734, totalling £39 14s 6d included ‘a large carved and guilt sconce, pediment frame’, ‘an eagle frame with top carved and guilded in burnished gold, and ten walnut chairs with rich carved fore feet with Lyons’ faces on ye knees and Lyons’ Paws’. This set, originally costing £27 10s is preserved at Sandon Hall, Staffs.

It is not clear whether this Daniel Bell, with premises on or near St Martin’s Lane, is the same as the Daniel Bell who supplied furniture and upholstery to the Duke of Montrose.

Source: DEFM; Joiners’ Company Records.

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