London; patent mangle and napkin-press maker, cabinet maker and upholsterer (fl. 1795–1832)
Trade card of Oxenham, Mangle & Napkin Press-Maker to her Majesty his Royal Highness the Duke of York and Royal Family. No 354, Oxford Street near the Pantheon. Makes Mangles with the new Principle Wheels, which renders the Work easy for one Person. NB. and for Exportation, 1803 [D,2.4130]. © The Trustees of the British Museum
He was friendly with Thomas Butler of Catherine Street, Strand, an important cabinet maker and upholsterer and associated with the manufacture of patent furniture.
When late in 1800 Butler took a decision to dispose of the business and Joseph Sanders and Thomas Morgan, two of his employees stated an interest in taking over, Thomas Oxenham was called in to value the stock. To the outrage of Morgan and Sanders, Butler sold the business to Oxenham who subsequently stated that he had purchased from Butler ‘his sole Patent-right for making the said much admired Bedsteads … together with all his Stock in Trade, Engines, Tools &c.’.
Oxenham was in possession of Butler's Catherine Street premises by June 1801 and in July insured 13 and 14 for £1,200 of which £750 was for utensils and stock [London Metropolitan Archive, Sun MS vol. 419, ref. 718891].
Trade card of Mess.rs & Co. at No. 354 Oxford Street, near the Pantheon, London, 1806 [D,2.1282]. © The Trustees of the British Museum
He sold similar items to those formerly featured by Butler which included patent four post bedsteads, Imperial Dining Tables, ‘Curious new invented Folding Chair Beds, Double and Single Sofa Beds … Couch Beds on various constructions; Sofa Beds for Merchant's ships and travelling in general, elegant Card and Pembroke Sofa Tables’. By April of the following year the premises in Catherine St were vacated and the trade transferred to Thomas Oxenham's Oxford Street address. From here he offered his ranges of furniture ‘from 10 to 20 per Cent cheaper than the boasted Manufactories in Catherine Street’.
A Samuel Oxenham, using the 354 Oxford Street address subscribed to Sheraton's Cabinet Dictionary, 1803.
Trade card of Sam.l Oxenham & Co. No. 354 Oxford Street, near the Pantheon, London, 1803 [D,2.1271]. © The Trustees of the British Museum
Samuel was probably involved in the business as a partner and it traded as Oxenham & Co. 1806–08 and as Thomas Oxenham & Son 1809–12.
The only known patron of Thomas Oxenham for furniture was Sir George Sitwell of Renishaw, Derbyshire, who in 1808 purchased furniture to the value of £835. The most significant items were two ‘superb sofas’ the arms and front legs formed of carved lion's heads and legs, the woodwork bronzed and parcel gilt. These alone cost £120 12s 8d.
Oxenham continued to trade as a mangle manufacturer until 1832 when he retired to Welwyn, Hertfordshire, where since 1792 he had been a prominent member of the Bethel Chapel and an ardent supporter of the Duchess of Huntingdon's connection. His success in business had by this date made him a man of some means.