Arthur Grimwade states 'There can be no doubt, on evidence of his surviving work, that Willaume enjoyed the patronage of the wealthiest clients in England from the latter part of the reign of William III to the end of George I's reign' (London Goldsmiths 1697-1837: Their Marks and Lives, London 1982, p. 704).
William Bateman's father Sir James Bateman had been Lord Mayor of London 1716-17 and Sub-Governor of the South Sea Company. Bateman travelled extensively on the Continent buying painting and sculpture. He visited Venice, Padua and Rome in 1718. Alexander Gordon acted as agent for him in Naples, where he acquired statue of Mercury. Bateman was raised to the Peerage of Ireland in 1725 as Baron Culmore and Viscount Bateman. He ordered quantities of silver while in Paris. On his return to England he married in 1720 as recorded by the arms engraved on these candlesticks. Conceived in the French style they possibly copy originals by the Paris silversmith Nicholas Besnier In 1731 he was made a Knight of the Bath. On his death the title passed to his eldest son John, 2nd Viscount Bateman (d.1802) who married Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of John Sambroke. They had no children and the title became extinct., the estate passing to a cousin. A pair of candlesticks by Besnier, Paris, 1724, also engraved with the arms of Bateman and Spencer was sold Christie's New York, 15 October 1985, lot 51.