Edmund Townsend, American, 1736/7–1811


joiner; cabinetmaker


Newport, Rhode Island

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Edmund Townsend was born in 1736 to Job Townsend (1699-1765) and his wife Rebecca (Casey) Townsend. Part of a large extended family of Quaker cabinetmakers in Newport, Edmund held the position of Town Treasurer for many decades in Newport following the death of his father who held the same post.

Edmund's work varied as was demanded by the market. In 1767 he worked with his brother Job, Jr. to make a desk for Nicholas Anderrese at the astonishing cost of three hundred thirty pounds. In 1771, he made a presumably plainer desk for Newport merchant Aaron Lopez for less than fourteen pounds.

Edmund died in 1811, leaving an estate valued at $1,082.90, including two desks, one mahogany dining table, and one breakfast table left to his children.(1)

Benjamin W. Colman

1. Morrison Hecksher, John Townsend: Newport Cabinetmaker (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005.), 40-41.