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Haig, Thomas (1754-1803)

Haig, Thomas, St Martin's Lane, London, cm (1754–d. 1803). A Scot, who was book-keeper to Thomas Chippendale's first partner James Rannie and remained with the firm after his master's death in 1766. He emerges from the records as a competent administrator who generally remained in London to deal with clerical work and settle accounts, leaving Chippendale free to supervise the worshops, collaborate with architects, prepare designs and travel into the country to oversee commissions and meet clients. Chippendale jnr was trained up to assist his father with artistic and craft matters. In 1771, to save the firm from bankruptcy, Haig borrowed £2,000 from Rannie's widow and purchased a one-third share in the business which was thereafter styled ‘Chippendale, Haig & Co.’. He subscribed to George Richardson's Book of Ceilings, 1776. After Thomas Chippendale snr died in 1779 Haig became the senior partner, the firm trading as ‘Haig & Chippendale’ until his retirement in 1796. He died a bachelor in 1803 aged 76 and expressed a wish to be buried ‘near to the body of my late revered and venerable master Mr Rannie’ in the vault of St Martin's Church. He is described in his will [PRO, Prob. 11/1394 c 7021] as ‘Gentleman’ and disposed of an estate worth over £10,000. [C. Gilbert, Chippendale] C.G.G.

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