Elizabeth Huntly, seal and copper-plate engraver



Street View: 9
Address: 74 New Bond Street

Thomas Day Huntly and his sister Mary, two of the five children of William Huntly and Elizabeth Lockyer, were baptised in Bath Abbey on the 21st of December 1783, the feast day of St. Thomas, hence young Thomas’s name.(1) In 1796, he was apprenticed to a well-known engraver of Bath, William Hibbart (also spelled Hibbert) and his son John. Hibbart was a printmaker, engraver, and copper-plate printer, who advertised as a teacher of the trade. William paid Hibbart the premium of £26 6s for the privilege, which was quite a substantial sum of money to lay out on the vocational education of a younger son (Thomas was the 5th child and the 3rd son). If Thomas served the regular 7 years’ apprenticeship, he would have been ready to set up on his own in 1803, but there is no evidence that he had his own business that early in his career. He may have worked for his elder brother John Lockyer Huntly who worked as an engraver in Bath from Pulteney Street and later from Sydney Buildings. The first we hear of Thomas Day in London is on 15 October 1811 when he married Elizabeth Allen at St. James’s Piccadilly. The marriage record does not give Thomas’s profession or address, so it is unclear what he was doing and where he was living at that time.

The first record of him in the land tax records for 74 New Bond Street is in 1816. In 1815, the property appears to be empty as no name has been filled in, and in 1814 the name of the previous occupant, Michael Visterin, a corset or truss-maker, has been crossed out. Visterin’s name had been listed at number 74 from 1809. The tax records for New Bond Street are slightly confusing, as two numbering systems have been used. Sometimes the house number is given, sometimes some sort of administrative number, sometimes both, and sometimes neither, as for instance in 1816. Number 74 was administrative number 62, and therefore number 74 is in reality house number 86. The administrative numbers do not correspond – as I first thought – with the house numbers before the renumbering in c.1805 as number 74 was then number 69 (see Horwood’s map of 1799). Fortunately, the record for 1814 gives both house and administrative numbers and although Huntly is not yet listed, it clearly shows his later neighbours: Harry Phillips, the auctioneer, at number 73 (admin nos 59-61) and William Tarner at 75 (admin no 63). At the time Tallis produced his booklets, Phillips was still working from number 73 and number 75 was occupied by Thomas Tarner, bookseller and stationer. Huntly probably moved into number 74 earlier than the tax records suggest, as the Westminster Rate Books already have him paying for the property in 1813.

1814 Land Tax record with number 74 no longer occupied by Michael Visterin (click to enlarge)

Horwood 1799

Thomas Day probably shared the building with others as, for instance, an insurance record and advertisements show one John Ewer Poole, tobacconist, working from number 74 at the same time as when Huntly is paying the tax. Poole had rather an eclectic career. In the 1811 London Directory he is listed as a jeweller in Gough Square, he then became a tobacconist in Bond Street and when he went bankrupt in 1821 he was said to be an auctioneer and appraiser.(2) Below two advertisements for the gentlemen:

Morning Chronicle, 21 February 1818

Morning Chronicle, 16 October 1819

After Poole left, number 74 was also used by Wallis and Co, who sold The Recreative Review from the premises. But despite these other occupants, Thomas Day Huntly continued his engravers business and his name is listed for number 74 in all the relevant directories. He engraved seals, but also bookplates (ex-libris), and he supplemented his income by organising exhibitions of paintings and/or drawings (see for instance the 1818 advertisement above); the admission price for these events was 1s.

seal and box from c.1830 (Source: Puckering’s via rubylane.com)

In 1830, Thomas expanded the business to include 167 Regent Street, but he was not to reap the rewards of the expansion for very long as he died in late 1832 and was buried at St. George’s on the 13th of December. He left all his property, including the business, to his widow “for her personal use” and if she was to remarry, her new husband “shall not have it in his power to dispose of the aforementioned business or trade or any other property” that was part of the estate. After Elizabeth’s death, the estate was to be sold for the benefit of the children.(3) If either of the sons wanted to have the business, they were allowed to purchase it at a price determined by “persons competent to judge the same”. No new husband was in the picture and neither did the sons take over 74 Bond Street, so it was Elizabeth whom Tallis found on the premises when he compiled his Street Views.

advertisement in Street View booklet 9

The 1841 census found Elizabeth at number 74 with sons George and Samuel; daughter Selina used the address in 1843 when she dissolved a partnership with Amelia Liberty as milliners and dress makers.(4) In 1851, the census lists Elizabeth with her sons Thomas and Samuel at number 74, and in 1861 with her daughter Ann. She died in 1868 in Marylebone; probate was only granted in 1885 to daughter Ann as the residuary legatee.(5) Elizabeth must have relinquished the business sometime after the census of 1861, where she is still listed as engraver and printer, and before the end of 1865 as from then onwards, advertisements appear for Henry Turner and Co., homoeopathic chemists and medical publishers. The tax records still list Elizabeth in 1864, but no longer in 1865, so she probably left in 1863 or 1864 – tax records tended to be a bit slow in updating the names of property owners. In 1869, John Keene took over the shop in New Bond Street after his partnership with the Turners was dissolved. See for the rest of the story on the chemist’s here. It is not entirely clear what happened to 167 Regent Street. Pigot’s Directory of 1839, and the 1843 and 1851 Post Office Directories just show Elizabeth Huntly at 74 New Bond Street, although she apparently still paid tax and rates on the Regent Street property, at least until 1843. The Post Office Directories (and Tallis, by the way) give William Eyre, hosier, as the occupant of number 167, but he may just have rented (part of?) the shop. I will try to find out the exact circumstances when I write the post on Eyre.

1876 publication by Keene and his partner Ashwell

Source: thesaleroom.com

74 New Bond Street as the Huntley knew it no longer exists. In c.1900, a new building, designed by Henry John Treadwell (1861-1910) replaced the old one. The Treadwell building is now Grade II listed; you can read the listing text here and see the building in Google Street View here.

(1) I am most grateful to Debra Lyons, a Huntly descendent, who sent me a lot of information on the family, which has been incorporated into my text.
(2) The London Gazette, 16 January 1821.
(3) PROB 11/1809/120. Children mentioned in his will: Thomas Johnson, William, Elizabeth, Mary Anne, Selina, John Lockyer (named after his uncle), George, Samuel Hazard, Anne, Elizabeth Selina.
(4) The London Gazette, 2 October 1846.
(5) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1885. Estate valued at £150.


<– 75 New Bond Street 73 New Bond Street –>

Peart & Dossetor, hosiery warehouse


Street View: 38
Address: 12-13 Poultry


In 1788, Joseph Peart, son of John Peart of Stanhope, Durham, acquired the freedom of the City of London through the Needle-makers’ Company, and from 1790 onwards, we find his name in the Land Tax records for 13 Poultry and from 1792 onwards, also for number 12. In 1790, his younger brother Cuthbert is apprenticed to him and at some point, the brothers are in partnership as “hosiers, traders and dealers” in Friday Street, but that partnership was dissolved in April 1819.(1) The business with his brother seems to have been in addition to the shop in the Poultry, as that continues to be listed for him in the various records. In 1805, Joseph took on another apprentice, Thomas Dossetor (also Dosseter), the son of Daniel, a Dagenham farmer. This Thomas takes over the hosiery business in ±1820. The tax records for the Cheap Ward of 1820 still show Peart’s name for the two properties at 12 and 13 Poultry, but from 1821 onwards, it is Thomas Dossetor who pays the tax, although the business continued to be called ‘Peart & Dossetor’.

top part of the oath of the Needlemakers

top part of the oath of the Needlemakers

entry in the 1851 Exhibition

entry for Peart & Dossetor in the 1851 Exhibition

Thomas Dossetor and Harriet Richolls marry in December 1819 and their son Thomas Peart Dossetor is born in December 1821, or at least, he is baptised that month. The Bishop’s copy of the parish record does not give a date of birth. The 1841 census does not show the Dossetor family at the Poultry, just a number of shopmen, porters, apprentices and other servants, but in 1851, Thomas and his son Thomas Peart are to be found living above the shop. Ten years later, Thomas is still there, but Thomas Peart is lodging in Queens’ Road, Marylebone. He is still listed as a hosier, but without an indication where he is working. Still in the family business? Probably. He is certainly listed at the family address in 1863 in the probate record for his father(2), and also in 1864, when he takes out the freedom of the City.

advertisement in Tallis's Street View

advertisement in Tallis’s Street View

But Thomas Peart’s real interest did not lie in hosiery as we shall see in a moment and in 1869, a notice in The London Gazette states that Thomas has granted by indenture to Joseph Solly and Thomas Bayley all his copyhold and freehold estate, and all and every stock in trade for the benefit of his creditors.(3) Not that Solly and Bayley were to take over the business; they just dealt with the transfer to a new owner. The tax records for 1869 still show Dossetor’s name, but in 1870, the property is listed as “late T.P. Dossetor” and in 1871 its is Charles Sadler who pays the tax. Sadler was to remain at the Poultry until his death in 1888. More on him in a moment, but first the rest of the story for Thomas Peart Dossetor.

The 1871 census does not seem to list Dossetor, but in 1881, he can be found in Norwich as a lodger with occupation entomologist & wood carver. Well, that is certainly different than hosiery, and far less profitable. When he died in 1886, he left an estate of only £25 15s, to be administered by Henry Ralph Nevill, archdeacon of Norfolk.(4) Thomas Peart had been a member of the Entomological Society since 1851 and in their Annuals his interests are listed as British Coleoptera and Lepidoptera (beetles and butterflies to you and me). In 1859, E.W. Janson, the secretary of the Society, wrote in the Entomologist’s Annual about newly reported insects and mentioned Thomas as having, “with his wonted liberality”, presented Janson with a specimen of Hydrochus, which he had found in Holme Fen.

illustration of the new building from The Building News,  4 February 1876

illustration of the new building from The Building News, 4 February 1876

In the mean time, Charles Sadler had grand plans with 12-13 Poultry and in 1876, The Building News of 4 February reported on a new building, designed by architect Frederick Chancellor, to replace the former which “had become much dilapidated”. The new premises were “erected in red brick, with mullioned windows on each floor, executed in red Dumfries stone, but the principal features are 4 large panels in terra-cotta between each floor, representing scenes which have been enacted in the street below”. The panels were sculpted by Joseph C. Kremer. The Art Journal also reported on the new building and called it a “lofty edifice of four storeys, and dormers”. They describe the bas-relief panels in some detail:

The lowermost panel shows the procession of Queen Victoria at the opening of the Royal Exchange; the next above it, represents a presumed incident which occurred on the site of the newly-erected house on the occasion of Charles II making his public entry into London on the 29th of May, 1662, when his majesty saluted the landlady of the house of that date, which was then an inn: the good woman, though suffering much from illness, insisted on welcoming the monarch. Looking still higher up, the next panel shows the procession of Queen Elizabeth entering London in state, on the 28th of November, 1551: and above this, is the uppermost panel, representing Edward VI passing from the Tower to Westminster to be crowned, on February, 1546.

Despite the Grade II listing, the 1875 Sadler building fell victim to the re-development plans for the Mappin and Webb building at 1 Poultry, which had stood on the corner of Poultry and Queen Victoria Street for more than a hundred years. There was a lot of opposition to the plan, but it happened anyway and yet another part of London’s history disappeared. The new development at 1 Poultry, designed by Stirling and Wilford, is in itself now a Grade II listed building and all that is left of the original Mappin and Webb building is the clock. And all that is left of 12-13 Poultry are the terracotta panels which have been incorporated in the new building above Bucklersbury Passage. You can read more about the panels on the websites of London Remembers (here) or Ornamental Passions (here)

panels above Bucklersbury Passage (Google Street View)

panels above Bucklersbury Passage (Google Street View)

The 1875 building is sometimes given as the property of Alfred Hawes Hawes, hosier, but that is not correct. According to the tax records, Charles Sadler occupied the building from ±1870 when Dossetor left to 1888 when Sadler died.(5) It is true that Hawes is listed at 12-13 in The London Gazette in an 1880 bankruptcy notice, but before that he was listed at 40-41 Poultry (1873) and at 33 Poultry (1872). Tallis lists Hawes & Ottley at Nos 40-41. Hawes may just have rented some space in the Sadler building near the time of his bankruptcy. I will see if I can find out when I do some more research on him for the post on 40-41 Poultry. Also notice that the name of Sadler is on the building in the illustration in The Building News.

Advertisement in >em>London: a Complete Guide to the Leading Hotels, 1872

Advertisement in London: a Complete Guide to the Leading Hotels, 1872

(1) The London Gazette, 27 April 1819.
(2) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1864. Estate valued at under £7,000.
(3) The London Gazette, 2 March 1869.
(4) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1887.
(5) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1888. Estate valued at over £7,600.


<– 14 Poultry 11 Poultry –>

Charles Alabaster, bonnet maker


Street View: 23
Address: 58 Piccadilly


The shop listed in Tallis’s Street View 23 for Charles Alabaster is an example of a business where the name of the original owner remained long after he had died. Charles Alabaster and his wife Mary had four children: Mary Ann Rebecca (born 1805), James Chaloner (1806), Henry (1811) and Katherine (1814), who were all still minors when Charles died in 1820.(1) In his will, written in 1817, he names his wife Mary sole executor and beneficiary, trusting her to do with his estate whatever will be best for “her own comfort and the bringing up of [his] dear children”.(2) Mary continued the business under the name of C. Alabaster, straw and fancy hat maker. It is listed as such in the 1841 Post Office Directory, although by then it was no longer Mary who ran the business. She had died in 1838 and after various named bequests, had left the residue of her estate to son James Chaloner on condition that he would make a will “that after providing an interest in the above residue after his decease to his wife and sister in law Frances Alabaster during their lives bequeaths the remainder of the above residue to his children in such proportions as he may think advisable”.(3)

Straw bonnet (© Colchester and Ipswich Museums)

Straw bonnet (© Colchester and Ipswich Museums)

But James did not survive his mother for very long and died in May 1840, a few months after his wife Harriet (née Woodman; she was the daughter of James Woodman, hairdresser at 46 Piccadilly). He made a new will, dated the 21st of May 1840, in which he left all his property for the use of his three children Charles, Henry, and Chaloner, for whom he appointed his sister Mary Ann guardian. She, her husband Harry Criddle, and their sister-in-law Frances, the widow of their brother Henry, were to be joint trustees. James mentions the business at 58 Piccadilly, which, as long as the trustees thought it profitable, was to be continued by the three of them, but one fourth of the profits thereof was to go to Frances “as a repayment and compensation for her time and labor”. Another fourth part is to go to Mary Ann and her husband and the remaining two fourths are to go to the guardians in trust for the children. He would like one of his children to take over the business with the other two to receive their portions of the estate.(4) James was buried in All Souls Cemetery, Kensal Green (more on the family grave here).

photograph of Mary Ann Criddle (Source: National Portrait Gallery)

photograph of Mary Ann Criddle (Source: National Portrait Gallery)

(© Trustees of the British Museum)

(© Trustees of the British Museum)

Mary Ann’s husband, Harry Criddle, was the son of Harry Holman Criddle, a hatter who had been in partnership with John Breach at 46 New Bond Street until February 1810 when they dissolved the partnership. Harry Holman continued the business on his own, later at 148 New Bond Street.
Mary Ann and Harry Criddle took the responsibility entrusted upon them by her brother seriously and, according to the 1841 census, Charles and Chaloner Alabaster are living with them in Sloane Street. Little Henry was not listed with them that year, but he is ten years later in the 1851 census. The 1841 census found sister-in-law Frances at 58 Piccadilly as straw bonnet maker, but two years later, she also died. She left her property to her father Charles Poppy and named Harry Criddle the executor of her will. The probate record states that, although Frances’ address was 58 Piccadilly, she had lately been staying at 64 Sloane Street, so with Mary Ann and Harry.(5) The business continued to exist, but had a setback in 1847 when the shop caught fire. The fire had started in the bakery of David Simpson next door, but the fire crew could not prevent it spreading to the Alabaster premises. According to the newspaper report, the damage to the Alabaster shop from fire and water was very extensive, but no more details were given.(6)

photograph of Harry Criddle ±1855 (Source:: virtualmuseum.ca)

photograph of Harry Criddle ±1855 (Source: virtualmuseum.ca)

The tax records show the names of Alabaster and Criddle for number 58 till 1850; the following year, the tax for the property is paid by Emma Gill and Ann Jeffries, fancy stationers, whom we also find at number 58 in the 1851 census. Harry and Mary Ann Criddle, with their son Percy and nephews Charles and Henry Alabaster are found at 115 Piccadilly. Harry is listed as ‘proprietor of houses and superintendent of trade in Leghorn bonnets’. Charles is listed as student of King’s College, London, and he was later to study at Lincoln College, Oxford. He became a priest, from 1859 onwards in Christchurch, New Zealand, and died there in 1865 of tuberculosis. His brothers Henry and Chaloner were both diplomatically involved in the Far East; more on them here and here. So none of the Alabaster children seemed to have had the inclination to continue their father’s straw bonnet shop, but that does not mean that the business was terminated when they went off to their various careers in foreign parts. The 1851 Post Office Directory still lists the business of Charles Alabaster, straw and fancy hat maker at number 58, but in the 1856 Post Office Directory number 58 is no longer mentioned, which accords well with the tax records. However, at number 115, the Post Office Directory lists the firm of Alabaster and Toovey, straw hat makers, certainly suggesting that Criddle continued to work in the straw hat industry. He died in 1857.(7) Mary Ann retired to Addlestone, Chertsey, Surrey, where she died in late 1880.

The Artist’s Painting-Room by Mary Ann Criddle (© Art Gallery of Ontario)

The Artist’s Painting-Room by Mary Ann Criddle (© Art Gallery of Ontario)

No more is to be said about the straw bonnet business, but if we go back in time, another aspect of the Alabaster/Criddle family comes to light. The Transactions of the Society Instituted at London for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce (1826) listed a prize, a silver palette, for a Miss Alabaster of 38 Piccadilly for a drawing in chalk from a bust. 38 was a mistake for 58 and Miss Alabaster was Mary Ann who continued to receive prizes for her art work, for instance in 1832 a gold medal from the same Society for a historical composition painted in oil. More on her artistic life here. From 1841 onwards, the census entries list her as ‘artist’, and this artistic talent was inherited by her grandson Norman (Percy’s son) who excelled in flower paintings. Percy emigrated to Canada in 1882 and the story of the Criddle family is depicted on the website of the Sipiweske Museum, Wawanesa, Manitoba (see here) Click the ‘thumbnail gallery’ to find more examples of Mary Ann’s and Norman’s art. The Canadian Criddle household was decidedly unusual as Percy not only shipped his wife and children there, but also his mistress and the children he had with her, supposedly as ‘help’ for his wife, later usually referred to as ‘family friend’. You can read more about that side of the story here and here.

flower painting by Norman Criddle (Source: )

flower painting by Norman Criddle (Source: virtualmuseum.ca)

(1) A lot of research has already been done by others on the Alabaster family and I have made grateful use of the information provided on the Alabaster Society website.
(2) PROB 11/1626/227.
(3) PROB 11/1896/183.
(4) PROB 11/1928/288.
(5) London Metropolitan Archives DL/C/518/143.
(6) The Northern Star, 10 April 1847.
(7) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858. Effects valued at under £3,000.


<– 59 Piccadilly 57 Piccadilly –>

Thomas Bowtell, Tottenham Shoe Mart


Street View: 49
Address: 152 Tottenham Court Road


In two previous post, here and here, we saw that the Bowtells ran various boot and shoe shops, both in and outside London, and we also found out that it is not always easy to tell which Bowtell ran which shop when. Father and eldest son were both named Thomas and were listed without the handy distinction of ‘senior’, ‘junior’, ‘the elder’, ‘the younger’ or somesuch. Or the shop was just listed for Bowtell & Co., which does not help. Anyway, I have tried to give an overview of all the shops in the post for 49 Skinner Street and that will have to do. This post is about the Tottenham Court Road shop at number 152, which is first listed in March 1837 for Thomas Bowtell in a Sun Fire Office record.

But an earlier Old Bailey case of theft shows that Thomas had a shop in Tottenham Court Road a number of years before he took out the insurance, although it may not have been at number 152. In July 1832, one John Rae is indicted for stealing a pair of boots from Thomas Bowtell “and another”. Rae apparently grabbed the boots through the open door of the shop, but the shopboy saw him do it and ran after him. Rae was caught with the boots in his possession, found guilty and transported for seven years.(1) This was, however, not the first time that Rae had attempted to steel boots from Bowtell. A very short transcription of another Old Bailey case saw Rae accused of stealing boots a few weeks before the other attempt, but this time he was found ‘not guilty’.(2) No indication is given what happened exactly, but Thomas Bowtell is recorded as saying “these boots were the property of myself and brother”, so we can deduce that it was Thomas junior who ran the Tottenham Court Road shop. Yet another Old Bailey case helps to identify the brother as William, as in 1837 more boots were allegedly stolen and Thomas testifies that he is “a bootmaker, and in partnership with my brother William, at No. 19, Strand”.(3) In Robson’s 1842 Directory and in the 1843 Post Office Directory, the shops in both Strand and Tottenham Court Road are listed for T. & W., which must be Thomas and William.

1886 map showing both nos 117 and 152

1886 map showing both nos 117 and 152, by that time neither premises were occupied by the Bowtells. Number 152 had been incorporated into the Shoolbred department store and 117 had been turned into a restaurant

And at some point in time, the brothers ran a third shop at 42 Crawford Street, but on the 7th of January 1851, they dissolved their partnership.(4). The Tottenham Court Road shop is by then listed at number 117 and no longer at no. 152. The 1851 census shows William living at number 117 with his assistant Martha Wardley. Thomas is then living at Portland Terrace and is described as master bootmaker, employing 6 men. But things did not go as well as the census appears to indicate, as in 1855, Thomas’s name is found in a list of bankrupts in the Debtor’s Prison and he is described as “formerly of no. 19 Strand, boot and shoe maker, having a private residence, first at no. 51, Saint John’s Wood, then at no. 4, Elm Tree-road, Saint John’s Wood, then again of some place, and next and late of no. 117, Tottenham Court Road, assistant to a boot and shoe maker”.(5) The 1856 Post Office Directory lists both 19 Strand and 117 Tottenham Court Road for William, so he seems to have come to the rescue of Thomas.

But, things were not well at William’s either. In 1860, he appeared to have a debt of 1,600l at Lutwych and George, leather merchants, but what was worse, he had become involved in giving out dodgy bills which also involved his brother John and a John Baker, publican in Hertfordshire. This John Baker was the brother of Thomas Bowtell senior’s second wife Susannah, and a shoe shop had been opened in Baker’s name across the street from William, although Baker had never been in the shoe trade. William ended up in the Queen’s Prison.(6)

The Morning Chronicle, 12 December 1860

The Morning Chronicle, 12 December 1860

But all these bankruptcies did not mean the immediate end of the business in Tottenham Court Road, as in the 1861 census, Thomas could still be found at number 117 as a bootmaker. Also living there as housekeeper is Martha Wardley, sister-in-law. It turns out that Thomas had married Mary Ann Wardley, Martha’s sister, but that was not the end of the family link as sometime between 1861 and 1871, William and Martha marry as well – a double family knot so to speak. Where William is in 1861 is unclear; perhaps still in prison? But by 1871, he could be found as a “shopman in the shoe trade” in Bristol. Living with William and his wife Martha are two daughters of Thomas, Ellen and Alice. Thomas, his wife Mary Ann, and some of their older children are living in Grange Road, Hackney. Fast forward twenty years to 1891 when William is retired, but still in Bristol. Thomas is also retired, but living at Mortlake Surrey at the Bootmaker Institute, also known as the Bootmakers Asylum. mortlake-asylumThese almshouses were founded in 1836 and run by the Master Boot and Shoe Makers’ Association for the Relief of Aged and Decayed members, their Widows and Orphans, which later became the Boot Trade Benevolent Society (see here).

The Bowtell emporium that father Thomas had so carefully built up, did not survive the next generation. John and Thomas went bankrupt in 1855, William in 1860, and Joseph thoroughly disgraced himself in 1857.

shoemaker at work from Tabart's Book of Trades, vol. 2 (1806)

shoemaker at work from Tabart’s Book of Trades, vol. 2 (1806)


(1) Old Bailey case t18320705-86.
(2) Old Bailey case t18320517-141.
(3) Old Bailey case t18370130-557.
(4) The London Gazette, 10 January 1851.
(5) The London Gazette, 12 June and 10 July 1855.
(6) The London Gazette, 6 November 1860.


<– 151 Tottenham Court Road 153 Tottenham Court Road –>

Thomas Bowtell, boot and shoe maker


Street Views: 42 and 17 Suppl.
Address: 58 Cheapside


As we saw in the post on the 49 Skinner Street shop, Thomas Bowtell had quite a number of shops in various places and 58 Cheapside was one of them. The earliest we find him in Cheapside is in Kent’s Directory of 1823, albeit still at number 51. There is not a lot of evidence for the occupation of number 51, as Bowtell’s name does not appear in the tax records for that property which is continuously listed for a Benjamin Johnson. We know that in 1835 George and Alfred Pill had their confectioners’ business there, sharing it with other occupants. Only in 1841 does their name appear in the tax records, so it is likely that in their early years, as Bowtell had before them, they just rented the property from Johnson. What is certain, is that by 1835, Bowtell had moved to number 58, the house on the corner of Bow Lane as the tax records find him there in that year. He shared the property, at least at the time of the Tallis Street View, with Green & Chubb, hair cutters and wig makers. In the 1847 Tallis Supplement, the depiction of the shop is without any names, so no help in establishing whether Bowtell continued to share the shop, but the index tells us that James Green, hairdresser & wigmaker, was still there. In a forthcoming post, we will try and find out what happened to Chubb.

Goad's insurance map of 1886, showing numbers 51 and 58

Goad’s insurance map of 1886, showing numbers 51 and 58

(© The Trustees of the British Museum)

(© The Trustees of the British Museum)

The British Museum has the year 1832 pencilled in for the above advertorial poem which lists four addresses for Thomas, but there is a bit of a problem with that: 1835 is the year in which Bowtell is first recorded in the tax records for 58 Cheapside, but the printers of the advertisement, the Soulby brothers, dissolve their partnership and change addresses in April 1834.(1) It is very likely that Bowtell moved from no. 51 to no. 58 in 1834, as the tax data were only recorded once a year in August. We still have a discrepancy as in August 1834, Bowtell was not yet listed at number 58, and in April 1834, the Soulby brothers dissolved their partnership. The other addresses do not help much either; 49 Skinner Street was Bowtell’s address from 1813 to 1852; the Brighton address changed from number 106 to 116 somewhere between 1832 and 1838; and the Norwich address changed at some point from number 1 to numbers 20 & 21, but that address is frequently just described as Davey Place without a number, so that does not help much either. Anyway, somewhere in the early 1830s, Bowtell moved his shop a few houses, and he continued to trade from Cheapside till he died (1852). Until 1855, the shop was subsequently listed in the tax records for son William, but in the 1856 Post Office Directory and in the tax records for that year, the property is listed for John Edwin Shaw, a tailor.

advertisement in The Brighton Patriot and South of England Free Press,  23 Oct. 1838

advertisement in The Brighton Patriot and South of England Free Press, 23 Oct. 1838

We will come across William again in the post on the Tottenham Court Road shop, but first a bit more about the Brighton shop. In December 1856, Joseph, William’s brother, had trouble with one of his customers. One Sarah Cooper was charged with obtaining a pair of shoes under false pretences. She had come to the Bowtell shop, pretending to be a servant of a lady residing for the winter at 4 Brunswick Square, Brighton, who asked for a pair of overshoes on credit. She was to bring him the money next day. She did so and then asked for a pair of boots which were to be paid the following Monday. But she did not return with the money and Bowtell had her charged. The newspaper article was not so much about the theft itself as about the shambles the Grand Jury had made in going against the prosecutor’s case by claiming regret for the fact that Sarah had been held in custody and for the damage done to her reputation. The judge examining the case afterwards said that “he considered it a gross neglect of duty on the part of the grand jury, through which a prisoner had escaped punishment”.(2) The newspaper reporting on the case, by the way, starts out by – erroneously(?) – naming the shoemaker James, in stead of Joseph, but in the rest of the article, they call him Joseph. As far as I know, Thomas Bowtell did not have a son James, so Joseph should be the correct name, but the confusion occurs again in a book on crime in Brighton.

In 1857, a young workhouse girl was raped by James Bowtell, her master, who is described as a married shoemaker with four children. The magistrates decided to release him on paying a fine of £10, because of his position and the feelings of his wife. Excuse me for using an expletive when I read this. The poor girl was sent back into the ‘care’ of the workhouse guardians.(3) When I tried to check up on this story, I found another mention of the case in the CMPCANews, but here the man is named as Joseph Bowtell.(4). So, what was going on? I contacted the author of the Church Hill Workhouse article, James Gardner, and he was certain the name was Joseph, although the local newspaper report he sent me also mentioned the name James.(5) As we have seen in the post on the Skinner Street shop, the newspaper reports on the drowning of Henry Bowtell were very imprecise in the naming of the characters in the disaster, so I do not suppose this case was any different and James and Joseph are one and the same person.

116 St. James's Street, corner of Charles Street, Brighton

116 St. James’s Street, corner of Charles Street, Brighton

The 1861 census, in listing Joseph’s family, who was by then back in London, corroborates that Joseph and his wife Kezia had four children at the time of his crime. Three of the children had been born in Brighton (Kezia, 11, Margaret, 10, and Charles, 5) and one (Emma, 6) in London. By 1861, one more child had been born in London (Susannah, 2). No evidence has been found in the census for a James Bowtell. That the third child was born in London can perhaps be explained by two notices in The London Gazette of that year in which we read that Joseph’s brothers Thomas and John were – at different times – declared bankrupts and in prison. John and Joseph had been trading as Bowtell Brothers in Piccadilly since 1842, first at number 181, but from 1848 at number 170. John’s bankruptcy may very well have necessitated a spell in London for Joseph, but he apparently went back to Brighton until his disgrace in 1857. Joseph does not seem to have had a shop again, but worked as an assistant. The 1871 census gives his occupation as ‘boot clicker’, which was someone who cut out the leather for making the uppers. I am afraid that his brother William did not fare much better, but he will be discussed in the next post on the shop at 152 Tottenham Court Road.


(1) The London Gazette, 22 April and 25 November 1834.
(2) Daily News, 30 December 1856.
(3) D. d’Enno, Brighton Crime and Vice, 1800-2000 (2007), pp. 167-168.
(4) J. Gardner, “Church Hill Workhouse, Part 2 Children and Vagrants” in Clifton Montpelier Powis Community Alliance News 12, 2008.
(5) The Brighton Observer, 9 January 1857. Thanks go to James Gardner for sending me this newspaper cutting.


<– 59 Cheapside 57 Cheapside –>

James Hardy & Sons, playing card makers


Street View: 46 and 16 Suppl.
Address: 27 St. Paul’s Churchyard


Linda Green contacted me a while ago to ask if I was was interested in the information she had on the Hardy family. Yes, I certainly was and below you will find the text with the information she supplied in red and my additions in black. As you can imagine, I am most grateful to Linda for her willingness to share her family history and some of the pictures to go with it.

The Hardy family went into the Playing Card business in the early 1770s, initially from the Old Bailey. This started with Henry Hardy, who purchased the Freedom of London through the Goldsmiths’ Company in 1766. The Land Tax records show Hardy from 1770 onwards on the east side of Old Bailey, just a few houses away from the corner with Ludgate Hill. Both his eldest sons, James and Henry, served apprenticeships, and achieved their Freedoms in 1794 and 1796 respectively. Henry senior died in 1789 and the business and the supervision of the apprenticeships was taken over by his wife Sarah Hardy. The business was plagued by bankruptcy, culminating in son Henry being admitted to the debtor’s prison from 1801, until 1804 when he absconded and a warrant was issued for his arrest for debts owed to ‘The King’, for fines and debts to various others.

The London Gazette, 2 April 1805

The London Gazette, 2 April 1805

James Hardy then restarted the business in his own name, initially from the Minories, but moving to No 4 St. Paul’s Churchyard in the early years of the 19th century. In 1802-3 James was apparently a successful man, being master of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards for that year. He was also a churchwarden at the church of St. Martin Ludgate, and had a family of his own. In January 1809 the Gentleman’s Magazine reported that there had been an extensive fire at the Hardy premises at No 4, which burned for three hours before it was subdued. In April 1809, James insured additional premises at 6 Little Carter Lane with the Sun Fire Offices and the Land Tax records show the building as being on the corner of Sermon Lane. The 1811 London and County Directory still have James at 4 St. Paul’s Churchyard, but the Land Tax records show that he had moved the following year to number 27 (late Robert Hedges). The family remained at number 27 until the early 1850s.

1847 edition of Tallis's Street View

1847 edition of Tallis’s Street View

top part of Edmund's indenture (1817)

top part of Edmund’s indenture (1817)

Two of James’s sons, Henry and Edmund, were apprenticed to their father, in 1814 and 1817 respectively, for seven years, with the Goldsmiths’ Company. They both completed their apprenticeships and became Freemen of the City, Henry in 1821 and Edmund in 1824. In March 1825, James Hardy, Playing Card Maker & Copper Plate Printer of 27 St. Paul’s Churchyard, took out an insurance policy with the Sun Alliance on his ‘dwelling house’. The house & contents were valued at c. £6000 [“No cards made nor stove therein, Brick”]. Possessions listed included household goods and wearing apparel £1200, Jewels £300, Musical instruments therein £150, China & Glass therein £100, Stock and utensils and Goods in trust therein £2,500. A second policy was taken out for their ‘dwelling house & manufactury’ at 3 Little Trinity Lane, with building & contents £3,500. The policy was renewed in 1826. It was wise to take out insurance with such inflammable items as playing cards on the premises. Soon afterwards a large fire caused destruction of many houses in Marylebone, including the card manufactury there of ‘Hardy & Sons’. It is not know if that was insured also.

Hardy cards from c. 1823 (LG)

Hardy cards, c. 1823

In 1826 James Hardy & Sons placed an advertisement in Cores General Advertiser, Liverpool, May 18th, The Public Leisure & Daily Advertiser, 19 April, and other newspapers: “Spanish Playing Cards for the South American Market, James Hardy & Son, Playing Card Makers, 27 St. Paul’s Churchyard, London, respectively inform Merchants and others, exporting to South America, that they have ready for Shipping a quantity of Playing Cards from an approved Spanish Pattern, which they have been in the habit of supplying for the Spanish market, upwards of twenty years. The prices are greatly reduced. English cards, plain and coloured backs of the best quality, for home consumption and exportation.”

trade card (Source: Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge)

trade card (Source: Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge)

In 1831-2 James Hardy became [for the second time] Master of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards. In January 1837 there was an assignment of interest in the business from James Hardy to his two eldest sons, Henry and Edmund Hardy [noted in family papers]. In December 1837 James Hardy died, described as ‘Gentleman, of St. Paul’s Churchyard’; he was buried at St. Martin Ludgate.

Dated 1839, a Bond signed by Henry [3] & Edmund Hardy, of 27 St. Paul’s Churchyard & 3 Little Trinity Lane, ‘licensed card makers’ and James Hardy [2], stationer of 27 St. Paul’s Churchyard and Carter Draper, Solicitor, states that they are ‘to pay all duties and taxes demanded, the sum of £500, and one shilling for every Ace of Spades issued by the stamp office’. A Licence application had preceded this document. It states that Henry & Edmund will be carrying out the card making business [family papers]. The younger son of James [also James], was apparently not to be part of the business; he died in 1841.

In the 1841 Census, Henry and Edmund are listed as resident at St. Paul’s Churchyard, Henry as ‘Cardmaker’. Other residents included Alice and Hannah Hardy [their sisters], Alice Houghton [an aunt] and two servants. In 1847 Henry Hardy, ‘Gentleman’ of St. Paul’s Churchyard, married Susan Morling. Family tradition is that he was disinherited for marrying the maid. She was certainly half his age, already living at the address and pregnant. In 1852 ‘Hardy’ is still listed in Kelly’s Directory at 27 St. Paul’s Churchyard, though family members were listed as living at different addresses in the 1851 Census. By 1853 they were no longer showing up in Watkin’s Directory, but were instead found in Upper Thames Street and Little Trinity Lane. In 1854 Henry Hardy, Playing Card Maker, died, by then resident at Kings Place, Commercial Rd East. His widow Susan Hardy petitioned the Goldsmith’s Company for financial assistance. By 1861 she was working as a ‘bootbinder’ in Southwark and their children were resident in the City of London’s workhouse school. I freely admit that I had no idea what a bootbinder was and first thought it was a mistake for bookbinder, but it turns out to have been someone who operated a machine which stitched the uppers of boot and shoes to the soles. You learn something new every day when doing historical research.

By 1881 Susan was in Brookwood Asylum, moved from Newington Infirmary after suffering from delusions, and she stayed there until her death in 1895. Her son Henry married a woman who lived in St. Andrews Road, and became a painter/decorator with his own business. He had probably learned the trade in the Workhouse school. In 1895 he renewed his connection with the Goldsmiths’ Company so that he could apply for financial assistance when there were problems with his business. Edmund Hardy died in 1859, by then of Gibson Sq, Islington, Gentleman [the last of the Hardy card makers]. During 1867-71 his sister Hannah repeatedly petitioned the Goldsmiths’ Company for help, on the grounds that her money had all been used up to prop up the family business. She was eventually awarded a Goldsmiths’ pension.

The card-making industry as a whole was experiencing difficulties by the middle of the nineteenth century, and many businesses closed down or were sold to bigger firms. The Hardy business is thought to have been sold to Reynolds. But another development may very well have triggered the move by the Hardys away from St. Paul’s Churchyard. To alleviate the congestion in Cheapside, Cannon Street, which only used to stretch as far west as Walbrook, was extended in the 1850s from Walbrook to St. Paul’s Churchyard by clearing a wide section of small streets to the south-​​east of St. Paul’s. In the map below, you can see how the original curve of the houses (red line) followed the contours of the church to Watling Street. With the alterations, a whole triangle of houses in St. Paul’s Churchyard disappeared and where number 27 had once been, only road surface remained. The 1852 Land Tax records already showed quite a number of empty houses around number 27, and by 1853, 27 was empty as well. And that was the end of the card making business of the Hardys in St. Paul’s Churchyard.

1886 insurance map overlay showing where 27 used to be

1886 insurance map overlay showing where 27 used to be

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge


<– 28 St. Paul’s Churchyard 26 St. Paul’s Churchyard –>

Thomas Bowtell, boot and shoe warehouse


Street Views: 43
Address: 49 Skinner Street


Nowadays, if you are trying to find Skinner Street, London, you end up in Islington, but in the 19th century, you’d find yourself near Smithfield. The stretch of road with the name Skinner Street, where Thomas Bowtell had his shop, connected Holborn with Newgate Street and Old Bailey. The eastern half of what became Skinner Street was a section of Snow Hill, a street that formed the age-old connection between Holborn and Newgate Street, but which, as Tallis mentioned in his introduction “had been for ages one of the most inconvenient and dangerous passages within the metropolis. Its circuitous way, declivity, and other great obstructions to commercial intercourse, had rendered it a necessary object to improvement”. Creating the Skinner Street short-cut was definitely an improvement, but it did not go far enough and in the 1860s, another change was made. Old Fleet Market was extended northwards and became Farringdon Road and the sharp bend in what had remained of Snow Hill was slackened off, so that the street only met Skinner Street at St. Sepulchre’s Church, rather than halfway. And Skinner Street itself disappeared altogether under Holborn Viaduct, a major reconstruction scheme that put a stop to traffic having to negotiate the dangerous ascent and descent at Holborn Hill. The plan of the proposed 1802 improvement shows the drastic way in which the houses in the neighbourhood between Snow Hill and Fleet Market were destroyed. I have turned the picture upside down to give you the modern prospect with the north at the top. The red dot in the triangular section of houses became Bowtell’s shop. Another, later, engraving shows the triangular part in more detail with Bowtell’s premises indicated as number 49.



If you compare the 1799 Horwood map with the modern Google map, you will see the differences in the layout of the streets. Note that Snow Hill has not just been straightened out, but also ends higher up at its western end in Farringdon Road, rather than where it used to meet the Holborn intersection. One point of reference is St. Sepulchre in the lower right-hand corner and another is Hosier Lane, which, if you imagine it running on further west, would end up in Farringdon Road, just above where Snow Hill now enters Farringdon Road, while in 1799, Snow Hill came nowhere near that far north.



Enough of maps. Let us continue with Bowtell and his shop. In 1813, Thomas acquired the freedom of the City through the Cordwainers’ Company by servitude, and was from that moment onwards allowed to trade as a boot and shoemaker. In 1814, he takes out an insurance for premises at 42 Skinner Street, and in 1816 for 49 Skinner Street. In Johnstone’s London Commercial Guide of 1818, he is duly listed at the latter number. But, Thomas was not content with one shop and already in 1823, we see him listed in Kent’s Directory for 88 St. Martin’s Lane, 51 Cheapside and 49 Skinner Street. It is true that only Skinner Street is listed for Thomas Bowtell, and the other two addresses for Bowtell & Co, but we will see that all shops were run by Thomas and later, by one or more of his sons. Thomas and his wife Sarah had five sons and one daughter.(1) Disaster struck, however, in 1832, when son Henry drowned in a boating accident. The newspapers were rather inaccurate in their reporting as the drowned man was variously called Thomas or Thomas Francis or Henry, the number of brothers out in the boat was either five or six, the name of the shopman and/or apprentice who was/were also on the boat was W. Renceraft, Mr. Rincher, William Sawer and/or Christian Ficken, and the female friend who joined them was named as Elizabeth Morrisford or Mornaford or Emily Detmering. Well, whoever was in the boat, it was definitely Henry Bowtell, 16 years old, who drowned; he was buried at St. Sepulchre on the 19th of September.(2)

That the Bowtell shop was quite a substantial business can be seen from the 1851 census where Thomas is still listed at 49 Skinner Street, “boot & shoe maker employing 16 men”. It does, however, not specify whether all these man were working for him at Skinner Street or in some of the other Bowtell shops. Some of Thomas’s shops were apparently run by his sons, although it is not always clear in what capacity: as managers on behalf of their father, or on their own account. We will come back to the sons in a minute, but first a detour to Norwich and Brighton as Thomas also had shops there. A trade card in the British Museum collection shows the shop in Skinner Street, but one in the trade card collection of Guildhall Library, depicted in G. Riello’s A Foot in the Past (2006) shows the same picture, with the same old man and his stick in the foreground, but with the addresses of the Norwich and Brighton shops in the right and left margin (see here). The name of the shop has changed as well, from ‘New London House’ to ‘Original London Shoe Mart’. ‘Original Shoe Mart’ is also what is depicted above the Tallis elevation at the top of this post.

(© The Trustees of the British Museum)

(© The Trustees of the British Museum)

Thomas senior died in 1852 and was buried 25 July at All Souls, Kensal Green. I have not found a will for him, so there is no way of knowing how he left his money, but presumably he provided for his second wife Susannah (more on her in the forthcoming post on the shop in Tottenham Court Road). The lack of a will also makes it more difficult to determine whether the other shoe shops for the Bowtells were owned by Thomas senior or by one or more of his sons. Especially when the name is just given as Thomas Bowtell, there is sometimes no telling whether the father or the son is meant. Tallis lists two more Bowtell shoe shops, one at 58 Cheapside and one at 152 Tottenham Court Road, but there were many more. The two Tallis shops have been given a blog post of their own, but I have compiled a list of all the Bowtell shops with their proprietors and probable years of business. Records, such as the tax records, or advertisements, do not always give enough information to determine who was running which shop when, but they often mention more than one address, thereby making it certain that all the shops were in some way linked to the Bowtell family of Skinner Street. It is likely that it was Thomas senior who started branching out, but that at some point he turned some of the shops over to one or more of his sons. There is also mention of Bowtell & Co., but it is not clear who the Co. is; the partnership occurs too early to include the sons. It is, however, clear that the Bowtell in Bowtell & Co is Thomas as the name occurs on the same trade cards as 49 Skinner Street which is definitely Thomas’s shop. The two – very similar – trade cards below are both dated to c. 1825 by the British Museum, which could very well be correct. Kent’s Directory for 1823, lists Bowtell & Co. at 88 St. Martin’s Lane and 51 Cheapside. Both cards state that Bowtell took over from Stubbs and Hughes, and we know that Henry Stubbs acquired the patent for revolving heels in 1818 and that the partnership between Stubs and Hughes was dissolved in 1820.(3) The list at the bottom of this post is not complete, but I may be able to refine it when sorting out the other Bowtell shops that Tallis listed. To be continued ….

(© The Trustees of the British Museum)

(© The Trustees of the British Museum)

11 Charles Street
1810-1812 Thomas senior

49 Skinner Street, Snow Hill
1813-1852 Thomas senior

88 St. Martin’s Lane
1822-? Bowtell & Co

11 Fish Street Hill
1822-? Thomas senior

51 Cheapside
1823-? Bowtell & Co

58 Cheapside
1835-1852 Thomas senior
1854-1855 William

Tottenham Court Road
1832 Thomas and brother

152 Tottenham Court Road
1837 Thomas
1839-1843 Thomas and William
1848-1851 William

117 Tottenham Court Road
1851 Thomas and William
1851-1860 William
1861 Thomas junior

19 Strand
1837-1851 Thomas and William
1851-1856 William

181 Piccadilly
1842-1843 John and Joseph
1848 William

170 Piccadilly
1848-1856 John and Joseph

42 Crawford Street
1848 William
1851 Thomas and William

35 Crawford Street
1856 Mrs Eliza [it is at the moment unclear what relation she was, if any, of Thomas]

Brighton, 106 St. James’s Street

Brighton, 116 St. James’s Street
1838?- Thomas senior
1850?-1856 Joseph

Norwich, 1 (later 20 & 21) Davey Place
1824-? Thomas senior

advertisement in The Norwich Guide and Directory, 1842

advertisement in The Norwich Guide and Directory, 1842

(1) Thomas 1808, William 1810, John 1812, Sarah 1814, Henry 1816, Joseph 1818.
(2) Examiner, 16 and 23 September 1832, The Morning Chronicle, 13 and 19 September 1832.
(3) Titles of Patents of Invention, Chronologically Arranged From March 2, 1617 (14 James I.) to October 1, 1852 (16 Victoriae), 1854; European Magazine, April 1820.


<– 1 Skinner Street (across the road) 48 Skinner Street –>

John Pettinger, plumber



Street View: 65
Address: 10 Mortimer Street


The story of 10 Mortimer Street starts in 1814 when the tax records list the premises for John Pettinger & Son. They may have been there before that date, but so far I have found no evidence to support that idea, so I will stick to the departure date of 1814. The following year, one Edward Jackson and John Pettinger of Mortimer Street dissolve the partnership they had as plumbers and glaziers.(1) Where Jackson went is not made clear, but Pettinger remained the plumber of Mortimer Street and his name appears in subsequent tax records and directories. But in 1837, John died at the age of 57 and on 30 March he is buried at St. Marylebone. In his will, he leaves “all my stock in trade implements and utensils of every kind used and employed in and about my trade and also all my household furniture books plate linen china wines goods and other effects which shall be in my house in Mortimer Street at the time of my death” to his widow Sarah. Besides his wife, he names his friends John Black of Romney Terrace and Francis Wills of Mortimer Street as executors and they are to make sure that his other assets provide an income for his widow, and after her death for his children, John, Sarah and Charlotte. The executors declare that the estate does not exceed the value of £3,000. I am afraid that Sarah did not survive her husband for very long and in her will, John Black and Francis Willis are again named as the executors. Black declared that Sarah had died on 29 November 1838 and that the value of her estate, which she left to her daughters, did not exceed £800.(2)

10 Mortimer Street has since been renumbered to 46 (Google satellite view)

10 Mortimer Street (with the yellow bricks) has since been renumbered to 46 (Google satellite view)

And that is about as far as we can take the story of the Pettingers in Mortimer Street. Son John did not continue the business after his mother’s death, at least not at Mortimer Street. The 1841 census found him plumbing in Ogle Street, but we will leave him and continue with the property at 10 Mortimer Street. After Sarah’s death, it became a coffee house and the first proprietor we find there is Richard Holt Gibb who used top have a grocery shop in Tower Street.(3) In December 1839, he insured the Mortimer Street property with the Sun Fire Office, so probably just after Tallis had been round to gather evidence for his Street Views as it seems unlikely that he would have the name of the previous occupant in the booklet if Gibb had already been there. Anyway, the 1841 census sees Richard firmly established as coffee house keeper. And it is as such that he is asked to give evidence in the case of a failed attempt to shoot Queen Victoria.

John Francis, a young jobbing carpenter, lived in various places around Mortimer Street and around the corner in Great Titchfield Street. At some point he lodged for three weeks at Gibb’s coffee house, but left when it became too cold. Gibb said that the room Francis rented did not have any heating, so it was logical that the lad removed himself to other lodgings, but despite that, he was still in the habit of frequenting the Caledonian Coffee House, sitting for hours over his cup of coffee. He had trouble getting work and in a desperate attempt to set himself up in business, he rented a shop in order to become a tobacconist. He ordered goods and stole some money from a fellow lodger to pay for the stock, but the landlord (not Gibb, but the one in Great Titchfield Street) found out quickly enough that it was Francis who had purloined the money and went and got it back. When the supplier of the tobacco goods found out that money was unlikely to be coming in, he repossessed his property and Francis was left with nothing. In desperation he bought a pistol from a pawnbroker and loitered around Hyde Park. When Queen Victoria and Prince Albert went past in their open carriage, he fired a shot at them, but missed miserably. In another version of the story a police officer knocked the pistol out of his hand, thereby avoiding a fatality. Whatever the true course of events, Francis was imprisoned, found guilty of high treason and sentenced to be hung, drawn and quartered. But that barbaric sentence was later revoked and commuted to transportation. Francis spent the next years in a penal colony in Australia, but later managed to work again as a carpenter / builder and to raise a family. He died in 1885.(4)

top part of a broadsheet about the incident (© Trustees of the British Museum)

top part of a broadsheet about the incident (© Trustees of the British Museum)

Gibb was an enterprising type of chap and when land across the Thames in Battersea became available for development, he bought a plot and had six houses built by a Mr. Waghorne.(5) The houses are still standing and although a few cosmetic changes have been made to some of them, they still look basically the same as in 1840s. The houses were known as the Caledonia cottages, and one wonders what link Gibb had with Scotland as he had already named his coffee house in Mortimer Street the Caledonian Coffee House. And not just that one, but also the one he had later. In an 1846 Old Bailey case about a stolen watch, Gibb stated that he was the proprietor of “the Caledonian coffee-shop in Westminster-bridge-road … I had opened about a quarter past five o’clock that morning, which is my usual time”.(6) Obtaining your (very) early morning coffee was apparently no problem in 1846, presumably not just at Gibb’s, but in other coffee houses as well. Perhaps getting up early did not appeal to Richard for very long, as in 1851, the census lists him as a manufacturer, living at 25 Bridge Road, that is on the other side of the road and nearer to the bridge than the cottages he had built. Unfortunately, the census does not say what he was manufacturing, but in 1861, he could be found at Chester Gardens, Lambeth, as a dealer in chicory and in 1871 he is described as a “manufacturer of coffee refining powder”, so the link with coffee remained.

58-68 Battersea Road Bridge (Google Street View)

58-68 Battersea Road Bridge (Google Street View)

In the mean time, the coffee house in Mortimer Street had various other proprietors; in 1851 it is William Dennington who runs it, and certainly from 1856 onwards, but perhaps earlier, the proprietor is David Read. By 1871, the census has George William Hawkins as the coffee house keeper, but not for long as on 10 April of that year he died. His widow continued to run the coffee house and can be found there in 1881. By then the house numbers in the street have been changed and number 10 became number 46. In 1891, the property was no longer used as a coffee house, so I will stop the story of 10 Mortimer Street at this point.

As no picture of the coffee house in Mortimer Street is available, I will round off this post with an illustration of a coffee house in Great Russell Street, also called the Caledonian, but as far as I know without a link to Gibb.

water colour by Thomas Hosmer Shepherd 1857 (© The Trustees of the British Museum)

water colour by Thomas Hosmer Shepherd 1857 (© The Trustees of the British Museum)

(1) The London Gazette, 21 January 1815.
(2) LMA: MS 9172/198/89 and MS 9172/198/125.
(3) See Old Bailey case t18320517-10 where he gives evidence about the theft of his purse.
(4) Caledonian Mercury, 2 June 1842; the website of Barrie Charles which has a lot more information about John Francis (see here); and Newsletter 131 of the Launceston Historical Society, p. 4-5 (see here).
(5) Chapter 2, Survey of London, vol. 50, Battersea (draft online here).
(6) Old Bailey case t18460330-978.


<– 11 Mortimer Street (not in Tallis) 9 Mortimer Street –>

Solomon and Louisa Asser of Burlington Arcade


Street View: 71
Address: 9 and 59 Burlington Arcade


Tallis, in his Burlington Arcade Street View booklet, tells us that “this beautiful arcade was the first of that description of building in London, and is composed of elegant shops, principally for the sale of fancy articles. It forms a morning lounge for the fashionable, and is particularly adapted for such in inclement weather, since its skylight shelters it from rain and wind”. The situation has not changed much since the Asser family ran their businesses from the arcade as the roof still protects the shopper from the weather and the shops still sell luxury goods. I have chosen to write about the two establishments the Assers had in the Arcade together as there was a close family link. Louisa was a milliner and artificial florist at number 59 and Solomon an artificial florist at number 9, or, at least, that is how Tallis described them in his Street Directory. But things are not so straightforward when we look a little further. Solomon had put an advertisement in the Tallis booklet, which says that he is trading from numbers 8 and 9, and that, besides flowers, he also supplied feathers.

Number 8, however, is listed in Tallis’s directory for a cutler by the name of Underwood, and the 1843 Post Office Directory lists a Miss Mary Underwood, cutler, at number 8. I presume that Solomon used the whole of number 9 and part of number 8, but exactly how the division worked is unclear. The 1886 insurance map by Goad shows 8 and 9 as one shop without any internal division. I will come back to Underwood in a later post. But first Solomon who made it into the newspapers in 1846, when he was accused by a Mr. Martin, whip maker of Burlington Arcade, of assault. Martin said that Asser had suddenly rushed into his shop and given him a blow on the chest and one on the head with a whip. Asser defended himself by explaining that he had come to the rescue of Martin’s younger brother who was whipped by Martin for neglecting his duties as a shop boy, and the only way he could stop the fighting was by grabbing the whip. The judge commended Asser for trying to protect the younger boy, but in doing so he had been led into greater violence than was justifiable. Asser was to pay 40s and costs, which led to his aggrieved response that in future he would think twice before interfering when boys were beaten.(1)

1886 insurance map by Goad showing shops no. 8 and 9 outlined in red

1886 insurance map by Goad showing shops no. 8 and 9 outlined in red

In the Tallis Street View, 59 Burlington Arcade was occupied by Louisa Asser who, according to the 1843 Post Office Directory, ran a baby linen warehouse from 56 & 57 Burlington Arcade, so she must have moved shortly after Tallis produced his booklet. The 1841 census confirms this, and, although it does not give any house numbers, we can work out from the order of the people listed that Louisa was resident at number 57. Living with her is Henriette Asser, also a milliner, and two younger servant girls. By 1843, Louisa had extended the business to include number 56 (Post Office Directory). Tallis, in 1839, listed number 57 for a Mr. Hadley, “Hair Cutter. Wig & Scalp Maker. Removed to 10 Marchmount Street, Russell Square”, and number 56 for shoe maker Durlin. We know that Louisa had had her shop in Burlington Arcade at least since 1836 as in March of that year a fire destroyed many properties in Old Bond Street, the Western Exchange and in Burlington Arcade itself. In a newspaper report, Louisa, still at number 59, is mentioned as one of the shopkeepers whose premises were severely damaged. Luckily, she was insured with the Globe insurance company.(2)

Louisa died in 1849 and provided a valuable source of information about the family relations between the Asser shops in her will. At the time of her death, she was living at 25 Westbourne Park Road, not far from Solomon, whom we find at number 33 in the 1851 census. Louisa mentions Solomon in her will as her brother and one of her executors. Louisa wanted her assets to be sold and invested with the dividend to be paid to various family members: her sisters Adelaide and Rachel, her brother Henry, and after the death of the last survivor of these three, to the daughters of her sister Mary Peck. Also mentioned are her brothers Nathaniel and Louis, and various nieces.(3) So, Solomon, the artificial florist, is her brother, and indeed, after Louisa’s death, the baby linen shop at numbers 56 and 57 is taken over by Solomon.

Entry from the 1851 Post Office Directory

Entry from the 1851 Post Office Directory

Louisa, Solomon and their siblings were all the children of Asher Asser, a stationer, and Joicey (or Joyce) Levien and over the years, several of them had had a shop in Burlington Arcade.(4) Brothers Henry and Louis had a business as china and glass-men at Burlington Arcade, but their partnership was dissolved in July 1823 with Louis to continue on his own.(5) Louis is later to be found as a glass and china dealer at 147 Regent Street (later changed to a “ready made linen warehouse”) and Henry at 406 Strand. Despite the end of the partnership in 1823, Henry could still be found at the same address as Louis in the 1841 census, apparently working in the same china shop in Regent Street. In 1851, Henry is living with his sisters Adelaide and Rachel at 57 Westbourne Street, all three living on their own means, no doubt facilitated by the capital their sister Louisa had left them.

Advertisement in The Pall Mall Gazette, 12 April 1866

Advertisement in The Pall Mall Gazette, 12 April 1866

Nathaniel can be found as a tailor at 52 Burlington Arcade in the 1822 and 1825 Pigot’s Directories. He married Mary Ann, the daughter (or possibly sister) of Thomas Sherwin, who also had a shop in Burlington Arcade. After a spate in Scotland, Nathaniel settled in Surrey Street where the 1839 directory finds him as a clothes dealer. After Nathaniel’s death, two of his sons are working in the games industry, no doubt because that was what the Sherwins were involved in. Nathaniel’s son James, who had worked as a solicitor, joined forces with his cousin Charles Sheppard Sherwin (the son of Mary Ann’s brother James) at 81 Strand as dealers and manufacturers of bags, dressing cases, games, and sport equipment (see here). James’s son Ernest, with John Arthur Turnbull, founded the shirt making company Turnbull & Asser, which is still in business in Jermyn Street (see here for portraits of the two founders).

Part of a poem by Joseph Barnard from his Among the Gods, 1874

Part of a poem by Joseph Barnard from his Among the Gods, 1874

But let’s get back to where we started. Solomon expanded his business as an artificial florist at number 9 to include numbers 8, 56 and 57. Besides flowers, he also dealt in ostrich feathers, straw hats, fans and various millinery wares. In 1861, the census reported him as employing 20 men, although that probably included more women than men, as the millinery side of the business tended to be a female affair. Solomon died in 1877, naming his second wife Emma, who, by the way, was 30 years younger, as sole executrix.(6) Emma continued the business in Burlington Arcade and is favourably mentioned in a newspaper “column for ladies” about the latest fashion (see illustration below). She also supplied the hats for the wedding of Lieutenant Radcliffe and Miss E.M. Orpen in 1894.(7) We still find her at numbers 8 and 9 in the 1902 Post Office Directory, listed as ladies outfitter. Burlington Arcade 56 and 57 had by then been relinquished and were occupied by Scott, a hosier. According to Dick Sherwin, Emma continued in the Arcade till 1918 and died in 1921.

Part of the 'Column for Ladies' in Aberdeen Weekly Journal, 16 December 1882 (click here to see the whole article)

Column for Ladies in Aberdeen Weekly Journal, 16 December 1882 (click here to see the whole article)

The Assers in Burlington Arcade (taken from information supplied by Dick Sherwin, directories, census and other records):

8 (and 9) 1839 (or earlier) – 1877 (the 1861 census mentions son Edward and family on the premises)
56 and 57 1851 – 1856 (or later, see Adelaide)

8 and 9 1877 – 1918
7, 8 and 9 1883 – 1885

59 1836 (or earlier) – 1840
56 and 57 1840 – 1849

times-21-oct-1870Adelaide (Nathaniel’s daughter)
56 and 57 1861 (or earlier, see Solomon) – 1865(8)

Henry and Louis
? 1823

63 1823? – 1829

26 1820
52 1822 – 1825
62 1826 – 1829 (Sherwin’s shop)

Burlington Arcade in festive mood 2014

Burlington Arcade in festive attire (2014)

(1) Daily News, 30 September 1846.
(2) The Morning Post, 28 March 1836.
(3) PROB 11/2086/21.
(4) Thanks go to Dick Sherwin for providing me with lots of genealogical information on the Asser and Sherwin family.
(5) The London Gazette, 12 July 1823. Although the notice about the partnership only mentions Burlington Arcade, Henry had also been trading from 406 Strand since at least 1822 and where he continued to work afterwards (Pigot’s Directory, 1825).
(6) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1877. Estate valued at under £1,500.
(7) Trewman’s Exeter Flying Post, 3 February 1894.
(8) Adelaide ran the business with her partner Mrs Lawledge. In 1865, advertisements announce their departure from Burlington Arcade to their showrooms at 5 New Bond Street. Even as late as 1871, there are advertisements about their departure from Burlington Arcade, but then their new address is given as 4 Vere Street.


<– 8 Burlington Arcade
<– 58 Burlington Arcade
10 Burlington Arcade –>
60 Burlington Arcade –>

Phillips and Sampson, tailors and drapers


Street View: 32
Address: 68 Lamb’s Conduit Street


We saw in a previous post that Isaac Salaman had his business at 69 Lamb’s Conduit Street, but next door Tallis found Phillips and Sampson, tailors and drapers. There is a link between the two neighbouring families as in 1854 Abraham Salaman, son of Isaac, the ostrich feather dealer, married Bloom Phillips, the daughter of Israel (Asher b David) Phillips, the tailor. They were married at St. James’s Westminster and from later census records, it appears that Abraham was – not surprisingly – also involved in the ostrich feather business. But let’s start with Israel Phillips who, in 1830 at the Western Synagogue, married Maria (Reina) Sampson, hence ‘Phillips and Sampson’ as her brother Simeon was also a tailor and lived with the Phillips family at 68 Lamb’s Conduit Street. Neither Phillips, nor Sampson, appear in the 1829 Post Office Directory, so it is unclear when exactly they started trading from Lamb’s Conduit Street, but presumably after Israel and Maria’s marriage. The 1841 census also shows another of Maria’s brother living with them, Joseph, who is described as a bootmaker. We will come across him again later on.

headstone on Israel’s grave (Source – with grateful thanks: Cemetery Scribes)

headstone on Israel’s grave (Source – with grateful thanks: Cemetery Scribes)

The Phillips and Sampson family were not as rooted to one address as the Salamans had been, as in, or just after, 1851, they moved to 40 High Holborn, possibly after the death of Israel in March 1851. The census, which was taken on 30 March, and the 1851 Post Office Directory still have the business at Lamb’s Conduit Street, but the 1856 Post Office Directory found them in High Holborn. The previous occupant of that shop, Joseph Robinson, a bookseller, had been declared a bankrupt in 1851 and apparently moved out shortly after that. A perfect opportunity for the tailors to move to busy Holborn.

Goad's insurance map of 1886 for 68 Lamb's Conduit Street, which has been renumbered to 21

Goad’s insurance map of 1886 for 68 Lamb’s Conduit Street, which was renumbered in the late 1860s to 21

The 1861 census saw Maria Phillips with four sons and four daughters at High Holborn.(1) Simeon and Joseph Sampson are not listed, but in 1871 Simeon is back and given as ‘retired tailor’. Maria was not at home at the time and the census taker duly noted in the margin “The head of the family, a widow, is absent”. We find her at 25 Clifton Gardens with her son Frederick Samuel David, a recent widower, and her grandson Raymond of just 3 months old. Frederick is described as ‘photographer’ in the 1871 census, and, although he lived away from the shop, still traded from 40 High Holborn. Somewhere in the 1870s, the tailoring family moved once again and in the probate record for Simeon, who died 19 December 1878, we find him described as “formerly of 40 High Holborn, but late of 46 Warwick Road Maida Hill.(2) In the later 19th century, many Jews moved from the centre of London to Maida Hill and Maida Vale and the area became known as a predominantly Jewish district with the Spanish/Portuguese Synagogue on Lauderdale Road.

Charles Booth's 1889 descriptive map of London poverty, showing Warwick Road and Clifton Gardens

Charles Booth’s 1889 descriptive map of London poverty, showing Warwick Road and Clifton Gardens

Frederick continued with his photographic company at High Holborn, but we will follow the rest of the family to 44 Warwick Road and will come back to Frederick when the post on 40 High Holborn gets written.

In the 1881 census, we see Samuel Ellis Phillips (usually called Ellis), unmarried tailor, as the head of the family at 44 Warwick Road. Also living there is his brother Louis, also an unmarried tailor, his sister Annie, a widow, and her son Eddie, a scholar. We could assume from all this that Joseph Sampson, Simeon’s brother, left the family after the 1841 census to lead his own life. That is true, he did and became a furrier, but at the end of his life, he returned and the head stone at Brompton Jewish Cemetery reads “Joseph SAMPSON of 44 Warwick Rd Maida Hill who departed this life Sept 4th 1885 – 5646 aged 71”.(3)

From a list of bankruptcy cases in The London Gazette of 4 October 1887, we learn that Samuel Ellis had continued the tailoring business at 40 High Holborn and 44 Warwick Road. He managed to come to an agreement with his creditors and the receiving order was rescinded, so we know that the Holborn address was still in use as a tailor’s in 1887. In the 1891 census, Ellis and Louis have changed places with Louis now the head of the family, but they are still at Warwick Road. Louis died in 1898, but was then no longer living in Maida Vale, but in St. Ann’s-heath Virginia Water, Surrey.(4) And the last of the tailors, Samuel Ellis died in 1917 at Cleveland Mansions, Willesden Lane. His sister Clara Alberts, widow, is named as the executor. In 1920, however, a new probate is granted to Clara’s daughter, Lilian Weil. Samuel’s estate had by then dwindled to a little over £500.(5)

, 8 January 1881

Leeds Mercury, 8 January 1881

This all sounds very boring and straightforward and I was wondering what I could write about the family to interest my readers when I came across a notice in a newspaper about one Clara Govier, 23 years old, of St. Mary’s Terrace, Paddington. Govier was charged at the Marylebone Police Court with “wilfully disturbing the inhabitants by ringing the bell at 44 Warwick Road, without lawful excuse; also with assaulting Ellis Phillips”. Ellis appeared in court to give evidence with his eye bandaged, and claimed that Govier had followed him all day and had been ringing the bell at night. He managed to send her away several times, but she kept coming back and finally struck him with a roll of paper and that was why he had given her into custody. It had not been the first time she had struck him as two weeks before she had hit him on the mouth, but he had not appeared against her, because she promised not to do it again. When asked why she behaved in such manner, Govier said that she “had great provocation” and had five children by Ellis. Phillips said in reply, “I am keeping one child and doing the best I can for her, but she won’t do any good”. The judge ruled that “because you have been profligate, and had a child by a man, is no reason why you should persecute him all the rest of his life”. Sentence: two months hard labour.(6) There does not seem to be any suggestion that Phillips’ behaviour was in any way reprehensible, but different times, different ideas and morals, I suppose. Having said that, Govier may not have been the easiest person to get along with and I could not find any evidence of the five children she claimed to have had. The only possibility is the baptism at All Saints, Harrow, of 15-year old Ethel Govier, daughter of Clara Govier. The 15 years would make 1884 her birth year, so definitely in the right time-frame. Another possibility (or maybe it is the same child?), is Ethel Philip Govier, daughter of Ellis and Clare Gouvier of 7 Lambs Conduit Passage, baptised on 25 February 1883 at St. John the Evangelist, Red Lion Square. Occupation father given as ‘tailor’. An Ellis Govier does not appear to have existed other than in this baptism record. If anyone can solve the Govier riddle, I’d love to know. [Update: Gaby Laws of Cemetery Scribes found an 1891 census for Ethel Govier as a foster child living with Edward Swain, a stonemason from Harrow, and his wife Sarah Ann, along with two other foster children (not named Govier)]

And to round off this post an advertisement for a tailor named Sampson, although this is John Sampson, and quite likely no relation of Joseph or Simeon at all, but as I have not found an advertisement for the ‘right’ Sampson, this will have to do.

1860 advertisement in E. Walford

1860 advertisement in E. Walford’s The County Families of the United Kingdom

(1) Frederick, Lawrence, Louis, Ellis, Jeanette, Annie, Rosetta and Clara.
(2) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1879. Estate valued at £600. Simeon’s brother Joseph and nephew Frederick are listed as the executors. Frederick is by then living in Bayswater, and Joseph in Hornsey Rise.
(3) http://www.cemeteryscribes.com/getperson.php?personID=I3536. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1885. Estate valued at £800. His adress is given as “late of Tilekile-lane [= Tile Kiln Lane], Southgate”. Samuel Ellis Phillips, his nephew, is named as the executor.
(4) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1898. Estate valued at just over £930. His brother Frederick is named as the executor.
(5) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1918. Estate valued at just over £920.
(6) Lloyd’s Weekly Newspaper, 7 September 1884.


<– 69 Lamb’s Conduit Street 67 Lamb’s Conduit Street –>