Tat(h)am (Tatan or Tattem), Henry
Stamford, Lincs.; cabinet maker and upholder (1772–1808)
App. to John Cobb of London and admitted freeman of Stamford in 1772. In that year he did fealty for a tenement in Butcher Row. His Rococo trade card gives address at ‘The Corner of Butcher Row’, and trade as cm, upholder and appraiser ‘From Mr. Cobb's London’, supplying ‘Furniture made in the French mode, or any other Taste. Variegated with different Kind of Wood as well executed as in London & on as reasonable terms.’ Card shows a china cabinet, French chair, ornate bed and serpentine fronted desk in the Chippendale style. Took apps named John Dawkins for £30 on 1 June 1774; Thomas Boyden on 25 March 1781; James Cerrol for £40 on 15 June 1781; and William Barton from 1 May 1808. A Sun Insurance policy in his name, dated 1777, is for £1,000 on Stamford Town Hall, and he was both Alderman and Mayor of Stamford in 1792. In May 1804 as Alderman, his estimate of £2,200 for building the New Shambles at Stamford was rejected, and he promptly resigned from the committee dealing with this work.
Henry Tatam's name appears regularly in the Burghley Estate Day Books. Between 1772-1799 the daybooks of Brownlow, 9th Earl of Exeter, and his successor, Henry, recorded payments of approximately £680 with a further £265 paid in 1804. Tatam possibly carried out repairs as well as supplying furniture. Payments are recorded for goods, mahogany and upholsterer's work and also for work as an architect and builder. His label is recorded on a Pembroke table at Burghley, of ambitious design in marquetry, with an overall trellis pattern ‘in the French mode’, and carried out mainly in walnut and tulipwood, with free use of ebonized work at edges. The label reads: ‘Henry Tatam (From Mr Cobb’s London) Cabinet Maker, upholder and appraiser The corner of the Butcher Row Stamford Lincolnshire Makes & sells every article in the Upholstery and Cabinet Business NB Noblemen and Gentlemen may have their furniture made in the French mode or any other taste. Variegated [sic] with different kind of wood, as well executed as in London, & on as reasonable terms’ (card illus. FHS Newsletter (May 2012) p.16; Table illus. Jones, Regional Furniture (1993), p. 58). Another Pembroke table at Burghley, without a trade label, is clearly from the same workshop, with ebonized work and veneer in parti-coloured laburnum in complicated patterns, rectangular on the top and herring-boned on the legs. Of Tatam's building work, only his house at Barnhill is now identifiable, built between 1797–1802. He is probably the H. Tatham who subscribed to Sheraton's Drawing Book, 1793. He is likely to be the Tatam, upholsterer named in the account book of Sir Gilbert Heathcote for Normanton Hall, Rutland, between 1797 and 1805 receiving payments totalling £101 19s 4d for ‘jobs at Normanton’, goods and upholstery.
Sources: DEFM; Jones, ‘An Anthology of Regional Furniture with Makers Identification’, Regional Furniture (1993); Culverhouse, ‘Henry Tatam’, FHS Newsletter (May 2012)