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Cure, George (1721–1759)

Cure, George

The ‘Three Golden Chairs’, Haymarket, London; upholder, upholsterer (fl.1721–d. 1759)

Probably the son and successor of the George Cure working in London in the same trade, 1691– 1718. The business operated by George Cure jnr was of a substantial nature, possibly due to his marriage to the daughter of a baronet. As early as June 1725 he took out insurance cover for the goods and merchandise in his dwelling house for £1,000.

His recorded commissions appear to be entirely for Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales, and he may well be entitled to a place with other better-known craftsmen such as Benjamin Goodison who were similarly employed at this period.

Between 1731 and 1747 he provided bedding, bolsters, blankets, cushions etc. for his royal patron and was responsible for moving furniture between the various places of residence of the Prince such as Kew, Norfolk House, Carlton House and Leicester House. On 13 November 1738 it was announced in the press that ‘Mr Cure, upholsterer to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales has received orders from Bath to get Norfolk House in St James's Square in readiness by the beginning of December’.

In 1740 he was referred to as Keeper of the Wardrobe with responsibility for disbursements for repairs, cleaning and porterage. When in 1737 the Company of Upholders at Exeter Exchange furnished mourning at Norfolk House at a cost of £191 11s it was George Cure who appears to have been responsible on behalf of the Company. He appears to have played a part in the decoration and fitting out of the state barge designed by William Kent for the Prince of Wales and built 1731–32.

On 12 December 1737 he supplied for the barge chintz window curtains with the necessary rods, green cloth for the table in the cabin and carpets for which £42 14s 4d was charged. In this year alone £132 16s 2d was paid to Cure.

In 1739 the Prince of Wales leased Cliveden, Buckinghamshire, from Lady Orkney and lived there in great style until his death in 1751. Cure was frequently employed to undertake work and after the Prince's death his position in the household continued with his appointment as Wardrobe Keeper to Her Royal Highness Princess Augusta, wife of the Prince. For this position he received a salary of £50 a year.

Typical entries for Cliveden House recorded in the Duchy of Cornwall accounts include:

  • 7 May 1742:  For 2 Green Lutestring curtains for a Night Table 17s For 2 Large Wainscott table bedsteads with Double Sack bottoms for the footmen £3.10s For a half Canepy hoop tester, with a compass rod, nutts & screws & plates £1 For 17 yds ½ blew harrateen for a Curtain & Cover the Teaster £1.15s For blew lace to trim it, Rings, thread, silk & tape 11s. 6d Making the Curtain Gathered with a head and cover the canepy 12s
  • 21 May 1743:  For a Windsor Chair for Lord Carnervon 11s For a fine large Turkey Carpitt for the Rooms where the young Princes Dine in, by Ordr £7.7s For a fine Large Hanin blankitt bound with white Ribbon for Prince George £1.7s For 3 Large Green Sherge coushions fil'd with flox for the Doggs £1.3s For cuttong out & Makeing 2: crimson Lutstring cases for 2: Easy Chairs & Coushions for their Royall Highness to Dine on £1.4s
  • Oct 1744:  Payd a man to go to Cliffden to mend furnetr aboutt the House, mend 2 paper skreens, and Doe severall things about the House, Passage ther & Back £2.
  • 18 Aug: Payd a cart to carry the large Couch & top etc to Cliffden £1 Payd a Man to Goe to Cliffden to put up the Couch, umbrellas & other things, Expenses etc 19.6d’

George Cure died in 1759 and letters of administration concerned with the goods and chattels were issued to John Cope guardian to George and Capel Cure who were minors at the time of the death.

Sources: 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.