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Henry Stratford (Henry Stratford Ltd)

Henry Stratford was born in 1826 to the silversmith William Stratford and his wife Mary. Henry was an apprentice to the silver platers Howard & Hawksworth, until 1854 when he partnered with his older brother William Jnr. In 1855 W. & H. Stratford registered a hallmark and operated from Surrey Street, Birmingham, progressing to New Church Street in 1860 as they worked as both silversmiths and electro-platers.

William Jnr died in 1877 and after buying out the trustees, his nephew Herbert Harry Stratford and Thomas Rutland Marsden in 1879. From here Henry remained in New Church Street and registered his own independent mark. In 1881 the company moved to Harwood Street.

Henry left the running of the business to his sons (through his marriage to Emma Corbridge): Sidney, Charles Lionel, John Edwin and William Overbury. Henry continued working through the 1890s.

In 1900 Stratford’s company became a limited company and Henry was the governing shareholder, with the remaining shares being divided by family members; between this time and 1905 the firm registered further marks.

Henry Stratford died in 1905, with his wife dying six months later. The place at the head of the firm was taken by Sidney Harry Stratford until his death in 1908 then the company was operated into the 1920s by Henry’s youngest son William Overbury Stratford. In 1930, Henry Stratford Ltd stopped trading, with William Overbury dying in the 1940s.

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