Not much is known about the early life of Edward Barnard. He started his apprenticeship with Henry Chawner and stayed in the business after his master’s retirement in 1798. In 1808 he entered his first mark with Rebecca Emes, widow of John Emes who had joined Chawner as a partner since 1796.
Barnard and Emes became very successful, acting in London both as retailers and producers of elaborate presentation pieces, fine tableware and dining sets.
After the death of Rebecca in 1825, Barnard involved his three sons in the business, changing the company name to Barnard & Sons.
Among their most prestigious pieces, a special mention goes to the Lily Font, a gilt silver christening font commissioned in 1840 by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to celebrate the birth of their first daughter Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa and still part of the Royal Collection.