Skip to main content

Biles & Co., Ambrose (1732)

Biles & Co., Ambrose

Blandford, Dorset; joiners and cabinet maker (1732)

Probably from a family long resident in Blandford Forum. In 1721 Ambrose Biles built a house, workshops and outbuildings on a plot of land on Salisbury Street in Blandford. When these and another property were destroyed in the Blandford fire of 1731 his total compensation amounted to £867 1s 8d. Took out a Sun Insurance policy on 9 June 1732 for £700, of which £100 accounted for a house in Salisbury St, £100 for workshops and chambers, £50 for household goods, and £450 for stock in workshop.

In September 1728 Biles worked on the church in Sturminster Newton, in conjunction with the Bastard firm, also of Blandford. From November 1738 to November 1739 Biles was working on the parish church at Blandford Forum, which had been destroyed in the fire of 1731. As well as general carpentry, cleaning and maintenance the firm supplied ‘A Good Communion Table Carvd after the Best Manner in Wainscot’ for £4 15s. This is still in the church (illus. Legg, Regional Furniture (2007), figs 4-5.). Another bill for 1749-50 relates to work to fit a turret clock in the church tower. Ambrose died in 1758 and was succeeded by his son Ambrose jnr, who died in 1773.

Source: DEFM; Legg, ‘An Account of Some Eighteenth-Century Communion Tables in Dorset’, Regional Furniture (2007).

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