David Willaume I

( 1658 - 1741 )

Son of Adam Willaume goldsmith of Metz on the pont des Morts and Anne Phillipe his wife, born 7 June 1658. He presumably learnt his trade from his father or another Metz goldsmith. His denization appears in the State Papers, Carr. II, Entry Book 67, under date 16 December 1687, where the name is spelt Williamme, (or Villiamme). Heal's reference to him, therefore as being in London in 1674 is an error, perhaps deriving from a misattribution of a mark. He does, however, record Willaume at the Windsor Castle, Charing Cross from 1686, by which time he may well have reached London, Denization following later. The identity of his pre-1697 mark or marks remains doubtful. He married at the French Chapel of La Patente, Spitalfields, October 1690, Marie daughter of Samuel Matteyer, Minister of that church and sister of Lewis Matteyer. Free by order of the Court of Aldermen as David Williams 27 January 1693/4. Livery, October 1698. Court, February 1724/5. First mark as largeworker, undated, probably April 1697 on commencement of register. Address:'in the pell-mell'. Second and third marks added to the first entry, 29 January 1719. Address: St James's Street. Fourth mark, 27 July 1720, same address. Heal records him as David Willaume senior goldsmith and banker, London, 1674-1712, of which the first date is erroneous; and Windsor Castle, Charing Cross, 16686-90; and Golden Ball, Pall Mall, 1697-1712. Heal gives the St. James's Street address only to David Willaume II, but it is clear that the father was in St James's Street by January 1719, where Chaffers states he is recorded as 'running cahes'; the 1720 entry appears to be his son's hand, although he was not free till 1723, presumably acting for his father. He is also recorded by Hilton Price, (Handbook of London Bankers). The children of his marriage were Anne, born 1691, wife of David Tanqueray, David , born 1693 and Adam and Suzzane born 1694 and 1696, both dead in infancy. Willaume makes frequent appearances in the Huguenot church registers of London as witness or godfather, and it is clear he was an outstanding member of the community. He first appears as godfather to David Surel at Hungerford Market Church, 5 August 1688, and 'assisted' at the marriage of his sister-in-law Marie Mettayer to Simon Gribelin, the engraver 1 January 1691 at La Patente, Spitalfields, which was the church at which Simon Mettayer was minister. The entry of his own marriage rus:'David Willaume marchand orfebbure en cette ville f.d' Adam Willaume marchand demt à Metz et d'Anne Phillipe-et Marie Mettayer Maistre Samuel Mettayer, l'un des ministres de cette eglise et de Susanne Fremin. Led. epoux assisté du Sr Phillipe Ostome et du Sr Willaume Crommelin, marchand, dents en cette ville; et lad. epose assistée de Samuel Metayer son père, et Samuel Mettayer, son frère, demts aussi en cette ville. Samuel Mettayer, min.' Willaume appears to have retired about 1728 (when David II entered a mark of distinctly different type to his father, and purchased the manor of Tingrith, Bedfordshire in 1730, from which time the family became seated there, inter-marrying with the Tanqueray's and later being styled Tanqueray-Willaume. He died before 22 January 1741. There is no doubt, on the evidence of his surviving work, that Willaume enjoyed the patronage of the wealthiest clients in England from the latter part of the reign of William III to the end of George I's reign. Among so many outstanding pieces it is difficult to select any pre-eminent masterpiece, when all display the qualities of rich design and impeccable execution. The following is a short list of important works: 1698 Pair of wine coolers. Duke of Devonshire 1699 Ewer and dish. Queen's College, Cambridge 1699 Pair of sconces. Lord Brownlow 1700 Ewer and dish. Duke of Portland 1701 Ewer and dish. Duke of Abercorn 1701. Wine Fountain. Duke of Buccleuch 1704 etc. Toilet service. Luton Hoo Collection 1706 Ewer and dish. Fishmonger's Company 1708 Wine-cistern and fountain. Duke of Brunswick 1711 Pair of mounted ivory vases. Wilding collection, British Museum 1713 Punch bowl and cover. Trinity Hall, Cambridge 1718 Ewer and dish. Ex Hearst Collection 1938 1725 Toilet service. Ex Collection of Viscount Cowdray 1726 Ewer and dish. Earl Fitzwilliam