and successors, Norwich; carvers and gilders(1792–1850)
Jeremiah Freeman, carver was admitted a freeman of Norwich on 18 June 1792. The Universal British Directory, 1798, Peck's Norwich Directories, 1801, 1803 and Holden's, 1805 list him as a carver and gilder at 2 London Lane, Norwich. This is the address on a trade card [GL] which states: ‘FREEMAN, Carver and Gilder, Looking-Glass Manufacturer, and Print-Seller, No. 2, London-lane Norwich, Makes all kinds of Furniture in Carving and Gilding; variety of Looking-glasses,
Girandoles, Brackets, Gold Border for Rooms &c. &c. in the first style of elegance’. Berry's Directory, 1810 lists Freeman & Son, carvers and gilders at London Lane, no doubt Jeremiah and William Freeman of London Lane, whose invoices made out to Wm Foster are dated between 1814–20, that of 1814, for £17 3s 6d including a chimney glass in a gild frame at £15 15s 6d. Their label is also found on one of four torchères at Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk, headed ‘Jeremiah and William Freeman, Carvers, Gilders & Looking-Glass Manufacturers, Wholesale & Retail, No. 2, London-Lane, Norwich’. The will of Jeremiah Freeman was proved at Norwich in 1823. William Freeman is listed in the Norwich poll bk of 1818. Pigot's Directories, 1822 and 1830 record him as a carver, gilder and looking-glass manufacturer at 2 London Lane (altered to St by 1830). The directories from 1836–50 list him as a cm, u, carver, gilder and mahogany merchant at 2 London St and Pottergate. William Freeman also used a trade label, a copy of which is on a gilt Rococo-style table with a marble top at Blickling Hall, Norfolk. This has the address ‘London & SWAN LANE, Norwich’ (Swan Lane runs from London St to Bedford St, formerly part of Pottergate) with the words London and Norwich in bold type, which has caused confusion as indicating a London branch of the business. No record of this has been found and it was most probably arranged that way so that the type was balanced although giving the idea of a London connection was probably not unwelcome. William Philip Barnes Freeman, carver and gilder, son of William Freeman, carver and gilder was admitted a freeman of Norwich on 25 July 1835. [Norwich freemen reg.; invoices, Norwich Local Hist. Lib.; Nat. Trust guide to Felbrigg Hall; Norfolk Record Soc., index of wills; Furn. Hist., 1974] R.W.