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Coxed, John (1696-1718)

Coxed, John

The White Swan, St Paul’s Churchyard, London; cabinet maker (fl. 1696-1718)

Son of a brewer and innkeeper from Abington (Abingdon), Berkshire. In 1696 he was apprenticed to John Andrews, a member of the London Joiner’s Company, but ‘turned over’ to John Mayo ‘to learn the art of a joiner’. He became free of the Joiner’s Company on 7 September 1703 and two days later married Susanna Jones in the church of St Mary Magdalene, Old Fish Street. She died in 1706. In the meantime, John Mayo died leaving his business in the hands of his widow, Grace, who moved her household and business to premises in St Paul’s Churchyard.

In 1707 her entry was changed to ‘Grace Mayo and partner’ and by the following year the Land Tax Record shows John Coxed’s name in the place of Grace Mayo; probably the year that they married. The partnership between Daniel Hayes (upholsterer), neighbour, and Coxed/Mayo is unclear but it is high probable that in 1711 John Coxed occupied the White Swan, Hayes former workshop residence. In March 1711 Coxed was paid £12 to take on his first apprentice, George Whitesmith (the premium being paid by Whitesmith’s father). Two months later in May 1711 another apprentice, William Makeness, joined and then Henry Bell in November 1712. George Whitesmith and William Makeness finished their apprenticeships in 1718 allowing Coxed to take on his nephew, George Whitehead, in April 1718, the year in which Coxed died.

John Coxed's will, signed on 22 November 1718, reveals him as successful and clear-sighted. He left £1480 to family members with the remainder left to his wife, Grace, his sole executrix with instructions to ‘go partners’ with Thomas Woster, John Coxed’s brother-in-law. Coxed was buried at St Mary Magdalene, Old Fish Street on 3 December 1718. Grace Coxed and Thomas Woster formed the partnership of Coxed and Woster which continued to c. 1735.

An unknown number of pieces of furniture bearing John Coxed’s label have been recorded, among them pieces veneered with stained burr maple crossbanded with rosewood and strung with white metal. His trade labels state that he ‘makes and sells Cabinets, Book-Cases, Chests of Drawers, scritoires and looking glasses of all forms’. Two trade labels and examples of his work are illus. Furniture History (2003), p.87-91 and Regional Furniture (2008).

Sources: DEFM; Bowett, ‘Furniture Woods in London and Provincial Furniture’, Regional Furniture (2008), Bowett and Lindey, ‘Labelled Furniture from the White Swan Workshop in St Paul’s Churchyard 1711-1735’, Furniture History (2003); Graf, ‘Moravians in London: A Case Study in Furniture-Making, c. 1735-65’, Furniture History (2004).