London; cabinet maker (fl. 1727-29)
Mother of the cabinet maker John Gumley, Elizabeth seems to have become active in his business towards the end of his life. The first documented evidence of her role occurs in a receipt of 1720 for furniture supplied to Paul Foley of The Temple and Little Ormond St, London; Newport House, Almeley, Herefs.): ‘Bought of John Gumley/March 26th A Dutch Table 12s./A packing Matt and Cord for Ditto 1/6d./Aprill 9th A neet Swinging Glass in a blue Japand frame £1. 4s./One Ditto in a black Japand frame £1./A packing for the glasses 2/6d./A neet hand tea Table done in Jerran 15s./July ye 1st A large Wallnuttree Burow Table £6./A packing Case for Ditto 9s.’ Total £10. 4s. Receipt dated 5 July 1720 and signed by ‘Eliz Gumley’. A further bill is dated 1730: ‘Bought of Elzath. Gumley/June 1st Two New Glasses and a New Door to a Lantern Agreed at 12s.’ Receipt dated 2 June 1730, signed on behalf of Mrs Gumley by Wm Flack, witnessed by Cha: Parkes. In 1722 she signed a receipt for furniture supplied to the Duke of Montrose: 28 February ‘Rec. from His Grace the Duke of Montrose by the hands of Mr Andrew Gardner (Montrose's secretary) £2 10s. sterling for a dessert table received by me for my Mrs (mistress) Elizabeth Gumley, John Draper’. Other clients include - JOHN MELLER (Erddig Park, Wales). 1724: ‘Bought of Elizabeth Gumley December 3 A Sconce in a Carv'd and Gilt Frame £4. 5s. Rec'd at the same time the full contents of the above and all Accompts — pd: me Eliz Gumley’. JOHN MORGAN (Tredegar Park, Monmouthshire). 1726: ‘June 1 Mrs Gumley for a walnut tree Quadrille table £3. 10s.’
In 1727 Elizabeth Gumley in partnership with William Turing took over her son’s role as cabinet maker to George II, supplying furniture to Hampton Court Palace, St James’s and Kensington Palace. In 1729 Elizabeth Gumley and Co. were censured by the Comptroller of the Great Wardrobe. According to the Daily Journal, 20 December 1729, ‘upon the Comptroller inspecting the work said to be done by Mrs Elizabeth Gumley and Company, Cabinet Makers for his Majesty at St James's and Kensington, in the quarter ended at Michaelmas, 1729, he found at the last Place the much greater part of their charge not done at all, and both there and at St James's he found very little work done in the manner they charged: so that in the whole, after allowing such a price as, according to the said Comptroller's best Judgment the Nature of the Performance deserv'd, he thought there might reasonably be abated out of their bill, which amounted to £512. 12s. the sum of £361. 10s. 6d.’. A letter to the Comptroller (Ralph, Duke of Montagu) stated that ‘Mrs Gumley and Mr Turing were no longer to be employed as tradesmen for the Wardrobe on account of their notorious impositions’.