Francis Leonard Temple    -    Artist & Silversmith

I would like to thank the family of Leonard Temple for kindly allowing me to use this information on the site, in particular Mrs Temple who was married to Leonard's nephew. I would also like to thank Everton Ebanks, a friend of the Temple family, for his help with this article.

Over the years, Albert Edward Jones employed some first-class craftsmen who were able to do the most intricate parts of silversmithing. His first apprentice was Leonard Temple who is described as extremely clever and a draughtsman as well as a silversmith. If presented with a design or blueprint, Leonard was one of the craftsmen that could make every single part of the article. This ability is almost unknown today (reference 4).

Francis Leonard Temple at 100 years of age
I'm fortunate enough to have received information from the family of Leonard Temple. This information was collated by the family to celebrate Leonard's 100th Birthday. It tells the story of Leonard's life including his time with A.E. Jones Ltd.

Leonard became an apprentice at the firm in 1902, at the age of thirteen, and worked there until 1934 when he married a lady called Elsie Simpson and went to work at the same firm as she did as an art enameller.

Leonard arrived to work for A. E. Jones just as he was setting up his own business. According to F L temple in a manuscript held by the Birmingham Museum, A. E. Jones had begun making individual items of copper work at his father's premises in Hurst Street and he moved the forge, anvil, sledge hammers etc. to a small upstairs workshop at 21 Holloway head in 1902. The first work produced was in copper, the slightly later silver items being based on these designs. Jones registered his mark at the Birmingham Assay Office on the 1st December 1901.

Leonard joined Albert Edward in 1902 and recalls that "we had no machinery or presses, just a foot lathe for small turned knobs, only the best hand produced work was possible… The forge was used for the first annealing and soldering, with foot bellows for gas blow-pipe. Heavy tools were forged on the anvil and any steel tools were made on the spot. Lighting was a simple gas flame followed later by incandescent burners; 1 11/2 H.P. Tangye gas engine was afterwards installed to drive the small lathe, the polishing lathe and blower for soldering lamps". (reference 2)

F.W. Salthouse and F.L. Temple at the St.Dunstan Works of A. Edward Jones, Livery Street, 1913

Leonard studied at the Vittoria Street School of Jewellers and Silversmiths which catered for those who were likely to enter the jewellery industry or, as is more likely the case here, already engaged in it. Later on in his life Leonard himself taught at the school.

The following line drawings were completed by Leonard during his time at the school and demonstrate his skill as an artist.

Leonard was a lifelong practising Quaker. His spiritual faith and matters religious are apparent in his work. The firm of A.E. Jones Ltd carried out much work for churches of various denominations. Two major pieces attributed to Leonard Temple were the silver crozier in Worcester Cathedral, made in 1928, and a silver cross for Bury-St-Edmunds, designed by W.D. Caroe and made in 1935.

The Work Allocation Book 1926-1933 shows that the Worcester Cathedral Crozier, designed and ordered by the Bromgrove Guild, was made by F.L. Temple and that on 7th November 1928 certain quantities of silver were issued to him for the purpose: 36 oz 17 dwts for the top and 11 oz for the staff. (reference 2)

Cross reference with the Stock Warehouse Book 23rd March 1931-38 shows that silver was issued to both Temple and Frederick Wiggins from 11th of April until July 1932 for the cross for Bury-St-Edmunds. (reference 2)

The craftsmanship involved in the making of these pieces is clear for all to see.

Worcester Cathedral Crozier
Bury-St-Edmunds Cross

Examples of some of the other items possibly made by Leonard Temple during his time with the firm were shown by the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in 1980

Leonard temple at the 1980 exhibition

Additional picture from the 1980 exhibition at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, the sizeable piece in middle is the Shorthorn memorial challenge trophy made in 1922-23