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Dale, William (1709–24)

Dale, William

near Mr. Button's Coffee House, over the Corner of the Piazza, Covent Garden, London; upholder (fl.1709–24)

His dwelling house was on the south side of Russell St and the east side of the little Piazza in March 1709 when he insured it for £400. The insurance cover on this property had risen to £600 by October 1717. Although nothing is known about his business or its customers it was probably of some importance. By 1720 he had accumulated sufficient wealth and had sufficient confidence to invest in the shares of the South Sea Co. The rapid rise of these shares enabled Dale to purchase from the Earls of Islay and Bute the Kenwood estate at Highgate for £3,150. Dale may have made further investments in property on the strength of the ever rising value of his shares for the York Mercury, 12 December 1720 announced that ‘Mr. Dale, an upholsterer of Covent Garden has purchased the estate which belonged to the late Viscount Bolingbroke for £50,000’. The South Sea Co. shares which at their height had sold for £1,050 per £100 share had by 29 September 1720 tumbled to £150 and Dale, seriously over-extended, desperately tried to stave off his creditors. On 15 October 1720 he had mortgaged Kenwood to the Earl of Islay for £1,575. Neither the interest nor the capital appears to have been repaid and the Earl complained that Dale was trying to raise income by ruthless felling of the timber. On 29 October 1724 judgement to foreclose was given against Dale and the estate reverted to the Earl of Islay.

Source: 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.