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Elward, George & Marsh, William (1774–1840)

Elward, George & Marsh, William

Mount Street (near Charles Street) London; cabinet makers and upholders (fl.1774–1840)

Succeeded by Elward, Marsh & Bailey; Elward, Marsh & Tatham; Marsh & Tatham; Tatham & Bailey; Tatham, Bailey & Saunders; Bailey & Saunders; Edward Bailey

WILLIAM MARSH. The earliest record of his name that has appeared so far is an entry for insurance cover of £1,500 in 1774 where he is described as ‘upholder … near Charles Street in Mount Street’. He is also listed as a cabinet maker and upholsterer among the subscribers to Thomas Malton's Complete Treatise on Perspective (1775) and seems to have acquired aristocratic clients early in his career since he supplied the Hon. Mrs Howard, mother of Lady Petre, with new upholstery work for two screens in 1777. His bankruptcy probably prompted his partnership with George Elward which is first recorded in rate books in 1785. 

GEORGE ELWARD. Elward had also been working in Mount Street since at least 1780 when he insured his property near Charles Street in Mount Street for £1,600. He subsequently insured a workshop in South Audley Street for £200 in 1780 when his address was given as 14 Mount Street and his occupation as upholder and cabinet maker.


Although it is not certain just where in Mount Street the partnership began, it was Elward's premises at no. 14 which were given in trade directories as the firm's address from 1790, changing to 13 Mount Street, Grosvenor Square in insurance records when a dwelling house with warehouse in the yard behind and the contents were insured for a total of £5,800. This address remained the same for the firm through all subsequent changes of partnership up to 1840.

Elward & Marsh were joined by Edward Bailey in 1793 and by Thomas Tatham in 1798. The firm was then known as Elward, Marsh & Tatham until 1803 when Elward is no longer listed in trade directories.  

MARSH & TATHAM, TATHAM & BAILEY, TATHAM, BAILEY & SAUNDERS, BAILEY & SAUNDERS, EDWARD BAILEY. From 1803–11 Marsh & Tatham are listed in trade directories although Tatham & Bailey appear in the rate books from 1807– 10; these two partners took out insurance in 1808, suggesting that William Marsh had retired by then. The insurance policy was for a dwelling house, warehouse and workshop and their contents, value £3,000. The firm had at that time three other polices with different companies, for £8,000, £5,000 and £3,000 respectively, suggesting a large and prosperous business.

The premises apparently included a number of workrooms and storerooms, including a sawpit, drying places for timber, and veneering rooms, while the shop had a new shopfront designed by John Linnell Bond. The confusion over the title of the firm continues with Tatham & Bailey listed in some trade directories up to 1820 while the rate books list Richard Saunders with Tatham and Bailey as partners. Thomas Tatham died in Brighton in 1818 and Bailey & Saunders continued as partners until 1827 when Edward Bailey took over until at least 1840.

Although the firm was associated from the 1780s with the group of craftsmen working for the Prince of Wales and other important patrons like Samuel Whitbread II, it is not clear who provided the designs for their furniture. Henry Holland was certainly closely involved in the work for the Prince of Wales at Carlton House and at Brighton and for his other patrons, but his employment of Charles Heathcote Tatham as an assistant from 1788 suggests a requirement for additional help.

Charles Heathcote, who was Thomas Tatham's brother, would presumably have had close contacts with his brother's firm but it is through C. H. Tatham's publication of his drawings of Roman antiquities as models for cabinet makers and other craftsmen, particularly Etchings of Ancient Ornamental Architecture (1st edition 1799), that he was most influential. C. H. Tatham is known to have been employed by the Prince and in contact with the Prince's circle of friends like Sir Harry Fetherstonhaugh after Holland's downfall and is quite likely to have supplied ideas for his brother, particularly for the large amount of furniture demanded by their royal patron.

Certain pieces supplied by Marsh & Tatham for Carlton House are either taken directly from C. H. Tatham's designs, like the carved and gilded Council chairs, or are very reminiscent of his refined style like the set of library bookcases supplied in 1806.

Copyright (Attribution/Credit)
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Bookcase made by Marsh & Tatham for Carlton House, 1806 [W.102:1 to 7-1978]. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Right through its existence and many changes of title, the firm established by William Marsh and George Elward remained one of the most important and influential cabinet making businesses of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. From their highly stylish pieces in the Anglo-French taste produced for Southill in the 1790s, through the japanned furnishings for Brighton Pavilion in 1801, the distinguished Grecian library furniture for Carlton House of 1806, to the rich and elaborate furniture produced for the final phase at Brighton c. 1820, the firm's surviving pieces present a distinguished and important record of their output. 


  • 1783–89. Wm. Marsh & Co.: Among debtors of the Prince of Wales listed on his marriage in 1795 as having supplied £373 of furniture, probably for Carlton House.
  • 1799 Elward, Marsh & Co.: Bill, Duchy of Cornwall papers. 

Payments in arrears [Windsor Royal Archives 88874, 88890]:

  • 1801–02 Elward, Marsh & Tatham: Bills for work atCarlton House and Brighton including 36 carved bamboo japanned chairs £100.16.0’ for the 1801 Eating Room, Brighton Pavilion and an imitation bamboo cabinet (illus. Walkling (1979),  p. 27). 
  • 1806 Marsh & Tatham: Furniture, furnishings and bedding for Brighton totalling £401 18s 6d, including some pieces in the Chinese taste, japanned. 1806 Marsh & Tatham: Furniture and furnishings for Carlton House totalling £5,964 16s 6d including ebony and ivory veneered library furniture and ebony inlaid yewtree bookcases with bronze antique heads for £680 (one now V & A; one sold Christie's, 21 November 1985, lot 96).
  • 1806 Marsh & Tatham: Furniture, furnishings and fittings for Carlton House totalling £7,387 5s, the most-costly items being 4 cut-glass lustres with bronze fittings £1,812. 22 June 1808: Letters from Thomas Tatham saying that the cost of the works already executed for Carlton House totalled over £30,000. 1808 Tatham & Bailey: Bill for work for the Prince of Wales for furniture and furnishings totalling £616 19s 9d including alterations to Gothic bookcases and decoration of Military Tent Room.
  • 1809 Tatham, Bailey & Saunders: Furniture and furnishings totalling £1,423 16s 6d including number of japanned pieces such as chest of drawers japanned to correspond with two Oriental panels, £155. 1811 Tatham, Bailey & Saunders: Furniture for Carlton House including four large candelabra for the Saloon £680 and five tripods for alabaster vases £715, mahogany horse ‘to beat clothes on’ £2 66s, two green and black painted flower boxes for the Conservatory £6, and alterations to the Hervé seat furniture from the Chinese Drawing Room. Total £3,157 5s.
  • 1811 Tatham, Bailey & Saunders: Carlton House, repairs and cleaning (including Hervé seat furniture) and new furniture (including couch to match that in Lower Dining Room £45 10s). Total £706 18s.
  • 1811 Tatham & Co.: Bill for four tripods at £143 each which may be those in Jutsham's Carlton House Ledger June 1811 with crane figures.
  • 1813 Tatham, Bailey & Saunders: ‘60 Antique chairs’ at £502 8s which may be those shown by Pyne in the Gothic Dining Room at Carlton House, 1818, and afterwards moved to the North Drawing Room, Brighton Pavilion.
  • 1813 Tatham & Co.: 2 very large Antique Elbow chairs’ £587 12s which may be the carved and gilt pine and beech council chairs, after designs by C. H. Tatham shown in Pyne's view of the Throne Room, Carlton House, 1818.
  • 1814 Tatham, Bailey & Saunders: Seven bookcases of rosewood and gilt bronze for the Gold Drawing Room, Carlton House.

The firm continued to be mentioned in the Royal Household accounts 1813–18 and worked at:

  • Brighton
  • Carlton House and Stables 
  • Red House and Stud Lodge 
  • Hampton Court
  • Windsor Cottage 
  • Cumberland Lodge
  • ‘Royal George’ yacht.

On 30 June 1814 Benjamin Jutsham recorded the arrival from ‘Mr Tatham’ of ‘Three high Back State Chairs gilt & Carved Frames the Seats Coverd with Crimson Velvet’. They were intended for the use of the Queen, the King of Prussia and the Emperor of Russia, the latter two visited London to celebrate the Allied victory of 1814. These chairs were possibly never used and could have been resuscitated for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in the House of Lords in 1837. 

The work at Brighton included furnishings for the Banqueting Room (set of 36 chairs and 2 armchairs of lacquered beech with applied gilt ornament  for £669 12s and set of rosewood sideboards with carved and gilt dragons and ornaments for £4,129 3s). They also provided furniture and furnishings for the Music Room (set of chairs £1,517) for the Saloon (total £2,415) and made copies in 1819 of the original side tables made by Adam Weisweiler for the Chinese Drawing Room, Carlton House, for all four to be used in the North Drawing Room. [H. D. Roberts, The Royal Pavilion Brighton, 1939; J. Dinkel, The Royal Pavilion Brighton, 1983].

Edward Bailey & Son continued to work for the Royal Household at least until 1840, providing, for example, furniture for the best bedrooms and servant's rooms in the Vice-Chamberlain's Apartments, Windsor Castle 1835, and the chair of state for Queen Victoria's wedding in 1840. Held the position of ‘Upholder’ to George, Prince of Wales.  


  • 1777 William Marsh: Bill for 14s for work for Hon. Mrs Howard, mother of Lady Petre.
  • 1787–88 Marsh: Furniture for Viscount Grimston.
  • 1790–93 Elward & Marsh, Elward Marsh & Bailey: Furnishing of 112 Pall Mall, London, for Dowager Duchess of Bedford — Total £250 0s 6d and regular repairs and maintenance thereafter.
  • 1796–c. 1807 Marsh & Tatham: Furnishing of Southill for Samuel Whitbread II.
  • 1797–1801 Elward Marsh & Tatham, Marsh & Tatham: Work at Croome Court, Worcestershire, the bill for furniture supplied in 1797-98 included the entry ‘To a Ladys neat Airwood dressing Table with folding tops etc. compleat’ for £6 16s 6d, ‘To a mahogany to match’ also for £6 16s 6d, 10 large diamond back upholstered elbow chairs, a rosewood bookcase and a rosewood commode. In May 1801 they billed for a total of £110 18s 6d which included the entry ‘To a large 4 Post Bedstead with carved parts, lath bottoms etc.’ along with the bedding
  • 1797–99 Elward Marsh & Tatham: Payment for £3,000 for work at Powderham Castle including probably the white and gold seat furniture in the 2nd Library and the suite of seat furniture with dolphin arms in the Music Room. 1801 Elward Marsh & Tatham: Payment for furniture, £172 10s in account book of Edward, Lord Lascelles relating mainly to Harewood House, London. 1801–03 Elward Marsh & Co.: Payments totalling £605 10s for 2nd Lord Braybrooke but not specified whether for Audley End, Billingbear or his London house.
  • September 1801 & July 1802 Marsh & Tatham employed by C.H. Tatham for work on the Gallery and Museum at Castle Howard; providing pelmets, cornices and curtains, executed in gold with black scrolled details. Later in 1811-12 for work on the North Gallery and Octagon. A giltwood sofa with a label with ink inscription which reads ‘Willm Russell upholsterer at Marsh and Tathams No 14 Mount Street Feby 13th 1803 done for Lord Chesterfield’ is illus.  Gilbert (1996), figs 601-602.
  • 1804 Marsh & Tatham: Payment for furniture, £715, for Lord Villiers, later Earl of Jersey.
  • 1804 Marsh & Tatham: In December received payment of £395 6s from 6th Duke of Bedford ‘being the amount of a Bill delivered for Cabinet and Upholstery Work’. Earlier that year Arthur Young, the agriculturalist, had noted at Woburn that ‘several appartments were newly furnished …’.
  • 1806 Marsh & Tatham: Bill for £6 12s for mahogany caned bergère with cushion supplied to Nathaniel Bond, East Holme, Dorset.
  • c. 1805–10 Tatham & Bailey: Furniture and furnishings supplied for Sir Henry Harpur, Calke Abbey, including gilt furniture and mirrors for the Drawing Room and library tables, steps, chairs and map fitting for the Library.
  • c. 1806–10 Marsh & Tatham (attributed): Suite of ebony and ivory dining room furniture inset with ‘pietra dure’ including pair of pedestals, firescreen, centre table and jardinière, supplied to Sir Harry Fetherstonhaugh, Uppark.
  • 1807 Tatham & Bailey: Payment for £27 15s.
  • 1807 Tatham & Bailey: Payment £13 2s 6d for bath chair. c. 1808 Tatham & Bailey: Provided ‘6 bamboo chairs,  japanned as Botany Bay wood’ for The Thornery, Woburn.
  • 1809–11 Tatham & Bailey: Various sums, maximum £25 7s 10d, in the account books each December for Lord Braybrooke but not specified for a particular house.
  • 1810–13 Tatham Bailey & Saunders: Undertook move of 6th Duke of Bedford from Stanhope Street to Hamilton Place, Piccadilly, London in 1810 and furnishing of new house. Bill of 1813 for 393 items, total £5,575 10s 2d. Thereafter regular repairs and maintenance. 
  • 1820 Bailey & Saunders: Undertook move of the 6th Duke of Bedford to a house on the west side of St James's Square and the furnishing — bill dated May 1820 for 129 items at a cost of £660 18s. In 1820 the Duke also bought for his wife a house on Campden Hill, Kensington, London, and had built for her a house at Endsleigh, Devon, furniture for both being provided by Bailey & Saunders until at least 1825. c. 1812–c.
  • 1814 Tatham Bailey & Saunders (attributed): Various alterations made by the Dowager Marchioness of Downshire at Ombersley Court, Worcestershire., including redecoration of room in Chinese taste with imitation bamboo furniture, very similar to that provided by Elward & Marsh for Brighton Pavilion from 1802.
  • 1815–23 Richard Saunders: Furniture and upholstery, total £327, supplied for Colonel Henry Knight,Tythegston Court, Glamorgan.

Sources: DEFM; H. Clifford-Smith, Buckingham Palace, 1931; G. de Bellaigue, J. Harris, O. Millar, Buckingham Palace, 1968; H. D. Roberts, The Royal Pavilion Brighton, 1939; J. Dinkel, The Royal Pavilion Brighton, 1983; Major S. Whitbread (introduction to) Southill A Regency House, 1951; C. Wainwright, ‘The Furnishing of the Royal Library Windsor’, Conn., June 1977, pp. 104–09]; F. C. Dean, ’The Regency Furniture in Liverpool Town Hall’, Furniture History (1989); Roberts, ‘Royal Thrones, 1760-1840’, Furniture History (1989); Hardy, ‘The Powderham Dolphin Chairs’, Furniture History (1993); Gilbert, Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture 1700-1840 (1996); Pos, ‘Tatham and Italy: Influences on English Neo-Classical Design’, Furniture History (2002); Wood, ‘A Royal Relic: The State Bedroom Suite of Warwick Castle’, Furniture History (2012); Hirst, ‘The Realisation of Regency Palace: The 6th Duke of Bedford and the Redecoration of Woburn Abbey’, Furniture History (2017).

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