Tunbridge Ware Box
Tunbridge Ware Box
Tunbridge Ware Box
An octagonal box with an applied print of Cliff House, Ramsgate, the home of Sir William Curtis. The interior with an applied paper label "Sir Wm. Curtis's House, Ramsgate. Published at Wise's Manufactory, Tonbridge Town".

Cliff House sadly no longer stands in Ramsgate and the site is now occupied by a multi storey car park and the Royal British Legion building. A blue plaque marks the spot.

Sir William Curtis (1752-1829) was born in Wapping, East London. He was the son of a sea biscuit manufacturer and inherited the business in 1771. During the Napoleonic Wars the business prospered and Sir William went on to make successful ventures in the Greenland whaling industry. In the 1780's he founded the bank Robarts, Curtis, Were & Co and in 1790 he was elected MP for the City of London, holding the seat continuously for 28 years. He became an Alderman and Lord Mayor in 1795-6. He was created Baronet of Culland's Grove in 1802.

Sir William's ambition, business acumen and wealth became legendary. He was a particular friend of George IV, who stayed at William's country house at Ramsgate en route to Hanover in 1821. Sir William was a keen sailor and had a luxury private yacht, in which he took the King sailing. In 1822 he accompanied George IV to Scotland on his "Northern Excursion"

Sir William was often mocked by rivals because of his humble origins and was portrayed in caricature because of his size and life style and was given nick names such as "Billy Biscuit" and "Bonnie Willie".

For more information on Sir William Curtis see our blog "The Three R's"
Height 6.50 cm (2.56 inches)
Width 18.00 cm (7.09 inches)
Depth 16.00 cm (6.30 inches)
Stock Code
Paper Label
Amherst Antiques

Amherst Antiques
The Edenbridge Galleries
1 The Square, Church Street

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