Ralph Leake (Free 1671 - 1716)
Son of Thomas Leake of Osbaston, Shropshire, Ralph Leake was apprenticed to the plateworker Thomas Littleton for seven years from 1st August 1664 until 20th September 1671, whereby he become free by service. He struck his two marks upon the new Mark Plate in 1682 and signed the Working Goldsmiths’ Petition against the Stranger, and he was recorded as a plateworker, London, 1679, then at Bridge Street, Covent Garden, 1686; Angel Catherine Street, Strand, 1692; and Covent Garden, 1697-1702. In 1697, Leake signed the declaration of loyalty to William III and entered a largeworker’s mark for the Britannia Standard. He was active in the Goldsmith’s Company during his career, being appointed to the Livery in 1685 and serving as Renter Warden in 1698. He became an assistant in 1703 and served as a Touchwarden in 1713. Although little is known about this fine silversmith, it is gleamed that at some point he was working for the King’s goldsmith Sir Robert goldsmith and he also worked with Sir Christopher Wren. Pieces bearing his mark have shown him to have been a fine maker; his legacy of silverwares are on in museums and galleries worldwide, such as: The V&A Collection, The Royal Hospital Chelsea, Getty Museum, and the Winchester College Collection.