Thomas Bradbury II

( 1786 - 1855 )

This well-known firm of manufacturing platers' and silversmiths is said to have been established as cutlers in Sheffield in 1736. Trading from before 1769 under the style of Matthew Fenton & Co. (otherwise Fenton, Creswick & Co., later Fenton, Creswick, Oakes & Co.), they became silversmiths and Sheffield platers' and were among the first to enter their mark at the Sheffield Assay Office upon its opening in 1773. Following Matthew Fenton's death in 1795 the business was sold to Thomas Watson who was joined by Thomas Bradbury (I) as partner on 17th May 1795. Trading as Watson & Co, the latter's son Thomas Bradbury (II) was subsequently added to the partnership. The firm's first London showroom appears to have been at 8 Crane Court, Fleet Street, where they are listed in 1820 as Watson & Co., Sheffield Warehouse. Later the partner's were Thomas Watson's nephew, William Watson, and Thomas Bradbury I and Thomas Bradbury II, described as plate manufacturers at their new London showroom at 30 Bouverie Street, Fleet Street, in a Sun Insurance policy of 21st September 1826. W. Watson retired on 31st December 1831, after which the firm continued under the style of Thomas Bradbury and Son, with their factory at the corner of Arundel Street and Surrey Street, Sheffield and listed in 1852 at their London showroom at 12 Gough Square, Fleet Street, as Sheffield Plate manufacturers. The style of the firm was subsequently changed to Thomas Bradbury & Sons at about the time of Thomas Bradbury (II)'s death in 1855, the partners being his sons Joseph Bradbury senior (1825 - 6th June 1877) and Edward Bradbury who are recorded at their 'manufactory' at 24 Arundel Street, Sheffield, and their warehouse at 12 Gough Square, Fleet Street (EC). The latter was moved to 29 Golden Square, Soho. Following Joseph Bradbury senior's death in 1877 the partners are recorded as Thomas Bradbury (III), one of his brothers, and John Sutherland Henderson at 24 Arundel Street, Sheffield and 29 Golden Square, Soho, W. They subsequently moved their London showroom to 26 Bartlett's Buildings, Holborn, EC, and then to 15 Charterhouse Street, Holborn Circus EC. Upon the dissolution of their partnership on 30th June 1886, Thomas Bradbury & Sons was continued by Joseph Bradbury senior's three sons Walton Turner Bradbury, who (as Turner Bradbury) is recorded at 15 Charterhouse Street, EC, Joseph Bradbury (junior), manager of the firm's factory in Sheffield, and Frederick Bradbury, one of the firm's travellers and author of A History of Old Sheffield Plate.