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Gregson, Joseph (1806-1827)

Gregson, Joseph

Liverpool, Lancs., and London; upholsterer and interior surveyor (fl.1806–d. 1827).

Son of William Gregson, block maker and nephew of Mathew Gregson of Liverpool, cabinet maker and upholsterer. He was admitted freeman of Lancaster in 1806–07, when stated ‘of London’ and became a freeman of Liverpool 5 October 1812. Already by 1808 however he appears to have been practising as an upholsterer in London. He was at 25 Chapel St, Grosvenor Sq. in December 1808 where he took out insurance cover of £150, which included £15 for his tools. He declared his trade as upholder. By February 1812 he was trading on a more extensive scale from 2 Charles St, Grosvenor Sq. with insurance cover of £800 which included £500 in respect of stock and utensils. At this stage he appears to have changed the nature of his trade and declared himself to be an interior surveyor. He offered his services not only in London but also in his home town of Liverpool, using an address at 131 Duke St (changed in 1813 to 129). This address was also used by Ellen & J. Gregson, perfumers, gloves and tea dealers. The Miss Gregson was possibly his sister.

The nature of the services offered at this period are laid out in an advertisement of July 1812. These were the ‘Arranging, Planning & Estimating the Interior DECORATIONS of HOUSES, Warming & Ventilating Rooms of all descriptions on the most safe & scientific principle & Preventing DAMP WALLS, SMOKEY CHIMNEYS & DRY ROT’. In December 1813 he was endorsing a patent smoke conductor designed to remedy smoky chimneys which had been devised by John Fisher of Oundle, Northants. These trading activities continued in both London and Liverpool for a number of years and by 1816 he had a partner, John Browne. They also acted as estate agents and in April 1819 advertised for furnished houses that their clients required. They also offered for sale household furniture which had been made to order and no longer needed by the owners.This included a ‘Town made’ Merlin's Chair, a mahogany secretaire bookcase, a large painted bookcase and a set of mahogany dining tables on tripod claw supports. By August of that year however the partners were bankrupt. Both the London and Liverpool addresses are cited in the bankruptcy proceedings and the partners were declared to be upholders and cm. The furniture making part of the business had certainly continued in Liverpool since the formation of the partnership. In 1821 Joseph Gregson once more appears in the Liverpool directories at 119 Duke St trading on his own account as a ‘working upholsterer etc’. He died on 11 January 1827, aged 40, after a lingering illness. He was declared to have been ‘many years a member of the Royal Institution & Surveyor & upholsterer in London & Liverpool’. [D; Liverpool freemen reg.; GL, Sun MS vol. 445, ref. 823769; vol. 459, ref. 867614; Liverpool Mercury, 31 July 1812, 24 December 1813; April 1819, 13 August 1819, 19 January 1827; Liverpool RO, GRE 920 2/25 42, 920 GRE 3/24] B.A.

Sources: DEFM; Stuart, Gillows of Lancaster and London 1730-1840 (2008), II, pp. 309-10.