No information on parentage and apprenticeship, but he may have been an ex-apprentice and/or journeyman of Samuel Beedall.
22nd March 1780- Joint Bucklemaker mark of Mary Bedall & William Yardley at 23, Thorney Street (Perhaps 2/3, Thorney Street)
Mary, maiden name Hill was the widow and sole executrix and beneficiary of Samuel Beedall, Silver Buckle Maker of the same address who had died in early 1780.see viewtopic.php?f=74&t=23105
Very quickly after Beedall’s death, Yardley who was 24 years of age, married Mary Bedall 30th April 1780 , Thomas Hill and John Padmore being witnesses.
His name alone replaced Samuel Beadall (sic) as the householder in the poor rate book in August 1780
7th November 1780 - Sole mark of William Yardley as bucklemaker at 5, Thorney Street .
Yardley's insurance with Sun (445070) mentions his address has having a "workshop adjoining " and gives 5 Thorney Street, Bloomsbury
William Eley sued a Yardley ( almost certainly William ) in July 1790 for infringement of his buckle chape patent.The Jury, contrary to the direction of the Judge upheld the patent. However in December 1790 a case was raised against Eley which repealed the patent. It very much looks to modern eyes of the triumph of vested interest over logic and justice. The Times reported "The numerous buckle-makers in and around the Court were rather noisy in expressing their approbation of the verdict by repeated huzzas !”
3rd January 1792
Signatory to Londo Buckle Trades Petition to the Prince of Wales
William Yardley, like Samuel Cooke, had diversified into sword furniture when the buckle trade collapsed in the early 1790’s - his second bucklemaker mark of 5th December 1782 being found, according to Leslie Southwick, on a presentation sword of 1804/5 given by George III.
His presumed brother John Yardley is listed with him at 5, Thorney Street, Bloomsbury as J & W Yardley, Bucklemakers in the Post Ofice Directory of 1805 . John entered a mark as smallworker 11th August 1804, giving his address as 18, Plumtree Street which adjoins Thorney Street
However John still gave his address as 5, Thorney Street on 19th October 1813 when he registered a mark as hiltmaker.
The Post Office Directory of 1806 gives "Yardley, J & W , Bucklemakers " at 5, Thorney Street, and Yardley, John as Sword Cutler &c at 18, Plumtree Street. It seems that John kept two addresses running simultaneous
29 May 1811.The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Ref: t18110529-77 Extract :-
WILLIAM YARDLEY . I keep a silversmiths shop in Charing Cross, Mr. Hill was my partner until last Christmas. .....
MR. HILL. I was partner with Mr. Yardley till Christmas, our partnership was dissolved then, all the profits since Christmas are on Mr. Yardley's account.
COURT. To whom does the stock belong to in this month. -
MR HILL . To William Yardley . I have no interest in it now, I now attend the business of the shop as a servant, and I am allowed so much per week.
(Mr Hill was probably a relative of William's wife ) The case reveals that the shop sold watches and other toys in 1811
Yardley is today only remembered for his perfume trade interests " Yardley’s Old English Lavender " surviving as a brand until quite recently. More details in Leslie Southwick
William and Mary had nine children, the last one born in 1795.
Yardley died in 1824 aged 67, still living at Thorney Street.
10th February 1825
Will of William YARDLEY of Thorney Street, St Georges, Bloomsbury proved at PCC.
Leslie Southwick, “London Silver Hilted Swords …….” p263 , gives a good account of both William and John Yardley, from which much of the above details have been taken. It also contains an illustration of a miniature of William Yardley.
In 1763 —69 there was a William Yardley shown in the Poor Rate /LTA list of St Olave, Silver Street in Monkwell Street . I have limited records beyond that date but he was not there in 1777. Could he be his father ? The address was almost certainly No 40, in a silversmith infested area.