Bromwich & Leigh; Bromwich, Thomas (1715-1740)
Bromwich & Leigh; Bromwich, Thomas; Leigh, Leonard
at ‘The Golden Lyon’, Ludgate Hill, London; furniture retailers and papier-mâché makers (fl. c. 1740–d. 1787)
Thomas Bromwich is recorded in partnership with Leonard Leigh at ‘The Golden Lyon’, 1758–65; as Bromwich and Isherwood in 1766; and Bromwich, Isherwood and Bradley, 1769–88.
A series of trade cards and letterheaded bills provide documentation for this firm. The first is a Rococo trade card of the partnership, Bromwich & Leigh, who apparently produced objects made of papier-mâché and also sold a broad range of household furniture from elaborate showrooms on Ludgate Hill near St Paul's Churchyard, for the domestic and overseas market.
Browmwich & Leigh AT THE Golden Lyon, on Ludgate Hill, London. Have the greatest choice of paper Hangings and PAPIER MACHE Ornaments of their own Manufactory, to suit all sorts of Furniture. Rooms fitted up with gilt Leather, Indian Pictures, or Prints &c. Great variety of Screens, Looking-Glasses, Brackets, Gerandoles & Picture Frames Gilt or plain, at the lowest Prices. Indian Pictures & Paper Hangings FOR Exportation, c. 1740 [Banks,91.1]. © The Trustees of the British Museum
A letterheaded bill to Mr Alderman Hoare, dated October 19th 1744, indicates that the partnership had been dissolved with Thomas Bromwich trading on his on account from the Golden Lyon, then describing himself as a leather gilder and paper merchant.
Letterheaded receipt: Bought of Tho.s Bromwich Leather Gilder & Paper Merch.t at the Goden Lion on Ludgate Hill. To covering a fire screen with Mapps found new cloth new spring & new moulding £0.3.6; To putting a new handle to a Screen 0.1.6 £0.5.0; 1745 July 14 Rec.d ye Contents in full Me Tho.s Bromwich, 1744 [Heal,91.6]. © The Trustees of the British Museum
Bromwich was seemingly successful in his sole adventure by the description of his 1748 trade card which indicates that he had broadened the contents of his supply:
The trade card of Thos Bromwich At the Golden Lyon on Ludgate Hill, London Makes and Sells all manner of Screens, Window Blinds, and Covers for Tables, Cabins, Stair-Cases, &c. Hung with Guilt Leather, or India Pictures, Chints's, Callicoes, Cottons, Needlework, & Damasks Matched in Paper; to the utmost exactness, at Reasonable Rates, 1748 [Heal,91.5]. © The Trustees of the British Museum
A receipt for the following year indicates that although he sold an array of upholstery goods his primary trade was making and selling and installing wallpaper:
Receipt for a Mr Bennett, London August 19th 1749. Bought of Thos Bromwich At the Golden Lyon on Ludgate Hill in the stairs forward: To 72 yds of yellow im bossed paper 26 Inches wid £6: 0 : 0 put upon Linnen with Border to @ s 1/8 in the back room two pair stairs: To 64 yds of green Sprig on Cloth &c. with Bord.r at 11d £2 : 18 : 8 in the Back Parlour: To 52 yds Cloth Colour im boss'd putt upon Linnen &c. @ s1/4 3:12..0 To 144 yd.s Stoocoe paper put upon the Stair with Bord.r to Do @ / 6 1/2 £3: 18: 0 £16: 8 8 To 3 p.r of paper put up 2 Clossets 0-16-6 To Linner to Do 2 - 0 £17 . 6 . 2 Recd. Octo.r 21st 1749 w Contents in full P by me Tho.s Bromwich pd £16.10 [Heal,91.7]. © The Trustees of the British Museum
Master of the Painter Stainers’ Co. in 1761, and appointed ‘Paper-hanging Maker in Ordinary to the Great Wardrobe’ in 1763.
- 1754 supplied ‘the new furniture wallpaper’ to Horace Walpole
- 1765 paid £54 12s 0d by James West of Alscot Park ‘for ornamenting the Drawing Room Ceiling with Rich Gothick Papier Mâché ornaments’
- Between July 1766–29 September 1768 provided ‘Paper, Colours, Papier Mache etc.’ to Shelburne House, Berkeley Square, London, receiving £195 11s.
- Worked for Lord Darnley of Cobham Hall, Kent, being paid £26 on 23 February 1773 for India paper ‘for my Lady's Dressing Room & paper for the two nurseries’. The Chinese paper supplied by Bromwich is still in situ at Cobham Hall.
- Made a surviving papier-mâché ceiling at Dunster Castle
- Thomas Bromwich named in Paul Methuen's Day Book for items supplied to Corsham Court, Wiltshire, 1770–73, including marble tables costing £67 3s 6d on 29 February 1772; and a ‘glass & new gilding the frame’, £23 13s on 17 February 1773
- The firm of Thomas Bromwich & Co. was paid £40 12s on 17 June 1773 by Edward Morant of Brokenhurst Park, Hampshire.
- Isherwood and Bradley supplied wallpaper and borders, a fire screen and ‘3 Pair Small Tree Gerandoles with Single Branches in Burnd Gold’ to Charles Long of Saxmundham, Suffolk, receiving a total of £6 on 10 June 1769.
Sources: DEFM; Symonds and Whineray, ‘Victorian Furniture’ (1962).