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Gibson, Christopher (1694-1745)

Gibson, Christopher

‘The King's Arms’, St. Paul's Churchyard, London; upholsterer and merchant (b. 1694; fl. 1722–45) 

Christopher Gibson was the son of the Citizen and Draper, Edward Gibson and his wife, Mary, baptised on 22 April 1694 in St. Dionis Backchurch, a small wealthy City parish directly north of London Bridge, where he lived with his parents and brother, Edward [Glass, London Inhabitant's, p. 119].

At fourteen he was apprenticed through the Drapers' Company to Samuel Parkes (18 March 1708/9) and made free through servitude on 16 January 1716/17 [Records of London's Livery Companies Online, ROLLCO]. He was married to Frances Warren at St. Mary's Lambeth on 15 August 1720 and two years later (1722) set up business at 'The King's Arms' in St. Paul's Churchyard, which ten years earlier had been the address of the chair maker Joseph Grimstead, 1707–12 [London Land Tax Records. London, England: LMA].

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trade card
Copyright (Attribution/Credit)
V&A

The trade card of Christopher Gibson at The King's Arms, St. Paul's Churchyard, London, c. 1730. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. His trade card gives some idea of an upholsterer's premises of this period. Stock shown includes cane chairs, chairs and a stool with upholstered seats, an angel bed, a mirror, funeral hatchments and numerous bales of cloth. The engraving shows two ware-rooms overlooking a courtyard and a wide flight of steps leading up to the first floor. Click on image to enlarge

Between 1724 and 1738 Gibson bound seven apprentices through the Drapers' Company [ROLLCO]

  • George Clark, 14 April 1724
  • Partridge Tompkins, 1728
  • Walter Grimsteed, 15 February 1731
  • Charles Noone, 1731
  • Thomas Jubb, 1733
  • Daniel Farmer, 29 December 1737
  • William Cunnington, 29 December 1738

In April 1730 he received payment of £4 15s for chairs supplied to the East India Company for East India House in Leadenhall Street. A further £4 was paid by the same Company in September 1732 for ‘eight chairs’.

He was listed as an 'upholsterer' in St. Paul's Churchyard in 1738:

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The Intelligencer: or, Merchants assistant. Shewing, in an alphabetical manner, the names and places of abode of all the merchants and considerable traders throughout the cities of London and Westminster, and borough of Southwark, University of Cambridge Library, p. 104.

In 1742 he formed a partnership with Grimstead (perhaps his former apprentice, Walter Grimstead), the business then renamed Gibson & Grimstead. By 1744 he was listed as a 'merchant' [A Compleat Guide to All Persons Who Have Any Trade or Concerns Within the City of London]. His business is last recorded in 1745.

By 1747 the ‘The King's Arms’ was inhabited by the upholsterer and cabinet maker, James Brown. Gibson's date of death has yet to be determined. 

Source: DEFM; Glass, London Inhabitant's Within The Walls 1695 (London, 1966), p. 119; London Metropolitan Archive (LMA); Cambridge University Library; A Compleat Guide to All Persons Who Have Any Trade or Concerns Within the City of London, and Parts Adjacent. 3rd. edn., 1744; Online genealogical data at ancestry and findmypast.

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