Apprenticed to Charles Wright in 1781 and turned over to Thomas Chawner in 1784. Edward Barnard I became Chawner's foreman in 1786. He became free of the Goldsmiths' Company in 1789 and in 1808 entered his mark in partnership with Rebecca Emes.
Becoming one of the most successful establishments in London, Emes and Barnard acted primarily as retailers, although they occasionally accepted orders from other firms, including Rundell, Bridge Rundell and Fisher, Braithwaite and Jones.
In addition to simple domestic items, the workshop produced massive presentation pieces, elaborate dinner services, and ornate race cups in all the current styles.
After the death of his partner in 1828, Barnard carried on the trade with his three sons - Edward II, John, and William.