Charles John Eckford, carver and gilder

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Street View: 15
address: 45 Fleet Street

elevation

Advertisements for Charles John Eckford often contain the line “established 1792”. That may be true, but it was not at 45 Fleet Street that the Eckfords began their business. Charles’s name only appears at the Fleet Street address in the 1834 tax records. Before that he, and his father John, could be found in Water Lane (or Street), Bridewell. And before 1810, father John could be found in Crown Court, although not as early as 1792, but from 1804. In 1811, Charles was apprenticed to James Eckford of Walthamstow, also a carver and gilder. Judging by the name, there must have been a family link, but it is not specified what that link is.

top part of Charles's indenture

top part of Charles’s indenture

When Charles’s brother, Henry George, was apprenticed to him in 1821, his address is given as Penton street, Pentonville. Father John and son Charles John must have worked in partnership for a few years in the 1820s, but on 4 December 1828, they dissolved their partnership with Charles John to continue the business on his own. The notice in The London Gazette about the partnership, describes them as carvers, gilders, and picture dealers. And it is this latter trade that got father John into trouble in 1824 with the custom officials.

According to a newspaper report, Eckford was accused of illegally importing some pictures. He had transported 146 picture frames from Antwerp, but had undervalued them in the import document and they were for that reason seized. The custom officials suspected Eckford of having removed the paintings that were in the frames and they raided his house and workshop. They seized 64 valuable paintings by Teniers and Van Dyke and claimed that they found marks on the frames that matched those on the paintings. The paintings were allegedly smuggled into the country separately to avoid custom duties. A former employee of Eckford, one Laming, confirmed that the paintings arrived at the workshop roughly at the same time as the frames were shipped over. They had been hidden in a case that contained human hair. The defence for Eckford disputed that the paintings had recently been brought into the country and called witnesses to testify that particular paintings had been in the country for months and in one case, even three years. Although eight pictures were sworn to in this manner, Eckford could not prove that he had paid the import duty and had to surrender most of the paintings.(1)

That Eckford dealt in picture frames and not just in pictures is also shown from an Old Bailey case where he had sent two frames to the Bolt-in-Ton in Fleet Street to be forwarded to a customer in Midhurst by the Chichester coach. One of the frames, however, ended up in the hands of the accused, one John Young, who claimed to have bought it of a man “dressed in black, in Holborn, for 15s“. The frame cannot have been very large, as the constable who apprehended him said that Young had it behind his back in a handkerchief. Eckford claimed the frame was worth 10s, but unfortunately, exact measurement are not given, nor is it clear whether this was a new or second-hand frame, so it is difficult to judge whether that was a fair price.(2)

advertisement in The Art Union, 1840

advertisement in The Art Union, 1840

Charles John, after the partnership with his father was dissolved, continued for a while at 17 Water Street, but the 1834 tax records find him in Fleet Street. As the advertisement above shows, he not only dealt in picture frames, he also made them. If we compare the price of the frame mentioned in the 1821 Old Bailey case with the 1840 price list, we must conclude that either Young had got hold of a very small frame, or it had been a second-hand one. 1840 was also the year in which John sr. died. From his will, it is clear that he was more than just a humble shopkeeper; he leaves various properties in Crown Court, St. Bride’s, and at Walworth and Bermondsey, in trust to his son Henry George, picture dealer, and to his son-in-law George Gull, a tallow broker, for the benefit of his widow and after her decease they are to be divided between Charles, Henry George and George Gull.(3)

advertisement in The Art Union, September 1842

advertisement in The Art Union, September 1842

Despite the income he must have received from the properties his father left him, Charles John only managed to keep the business afloat until 1843, when we find him in prison as an insolvent. The notice about it in The London Gazette has him as “formerly of no. 45, Fleet-street, London, picture dealer and carver and gilder, then of Liverpool-street, New-road, and afterwards of no. 16, Goulden-terrace, Barnesbury-road, Islington, both in Middlesex, not carrying on any business at either of the last-mentioned places, and late of no. 2, Grange-road-cottages, Queen’s-road, Dalston, Middlesex, not in any business or employ”.(4)

Two frames signed C.J. Eckford, so most likely dating between 1828 and 1834, that is, after the end of the partnership with his father and before he moved to Fleet Street (Source: Christie's)

Two frames signed ‘C.J. Eckford Carver Gilder Looking Glass & Picture Frame Manufacturer 17 Water Street Tudor St. Blackfriars London’, so most likely dating between 1828 and 1834, that is, after the end of the partnership with his father and before he moved to Fleet Street (Source: Christie’s)

Charles died in 1850 at 14 Clarence Street, Liverpool. The notice in the local paper still has him as “late of Fleet Street, London”, but I do not know if you can class 7 years ago as “late”.(5) When exactly the Eckfords moved to Liverpool is not clear, but on 22 September 1849, son Edwin Frances Harry, ship broker, married a Liverpool girl and his address is given as 14 Clarence Street. The year after, on the 19th of October, the other son, Frederick Charles, an artist, also marries in Liverpool, although not from the same address. Charles John’s widow Maria and his two daughters, Emily and Henrietta, are found in Derby Road, Bootle cum Linacre, Lancs. in the 1851 census. The daughters remain unmarried and living with their mother at various addresses in Lancashire until at least 1881.

And 45 Fleet Street? The fact that Eckford left in in 1843, came in very handy for the neighbours across the street, Stephen and George Hooper, but I will tell you why in a forthcoming post. More information on the Eckfords can be found on the National Portrait Gallery website here and here.

(1) The Morning Chronicle, 12 July 1824.
(2) Old Bailey case t18210214-111.
(3) PROB 11/1934/366.
(4) The London Gazette, 12 December 1843.
(5) The Liverpool Mercury, 22 February 1850.

Neighbours:

<– 46 Fleet Street 44 Fleet Street –>

John Sherborn, oil and colour warehouse

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Street View: 36
Address: 321 Oxford Street

elevation

The National Portrait Gallery has extensive information on John Sherborn and his successor James Tillyer as artists’ colourmen (see here), so I will not repeat their findings, but will concentrate on aspects they do not touch upon. In 1901, Charles Davies Sherborn published A History of the Family of Sherborn in which he sorted out all the different branches of the family. The common ancestor of Charles Davies and John, the colourman, was one Henry Sherborn of Bedfont, Middlesex. One of Henry’s sons, Thomas, had a son Charles who became a well-known engraver of trade cards, bookplates, etc. in Gutter Lane. Another son, Francis, had a son Francis, who had a son William, who was the father of John, the colourman, of Oxford Street. A third son of Henry, another Henry, had a son William, a wheelwright, who had a son Charles, an upholsterer, who had a son Charles William, an engraver, who was the father of Charles Davies who wrote the family history. John Sherborn’s later partner, James Tillyer, was, according to this family history, the nephew of the husband of John’s sister Elizabeth. Lost track of the family connections? Never mind, this was enough family background for now; on to the business of the oil and colourmen.

Trade signs for Sherborn and Tillyer (Source: Museum of London)

Trade signs for Sherborn and Tillyer (Source: Museum of London)

Some Old Bailey cases involved the shop of Sherborn, and although they are not terribly exciting in themselves, they do tell us more about the material that artists could buy there, about the way the business was run, and who worked there. In 1831, for instance, one of the porters, William Thompson, is accused of embezzlement. The chief cashier, Alfred James Fowler, testifies that Thompson went round to customers in the morning to collect orders, which he was then supposed to deliver in the afternoon. Any money he received as payment was to be handed to the cashier, to the other clerk, or to the shopman. Fowler was asked how he knew that the missing money was not handed in to one of the other employees,and he said that he knew because the payments were not entered in the books.(1) In 1838, James Revell, Sherborn’s shopman, testified that one George Deane, whom he knew to be the servant of one of their customers, asked for 12 lbs of shellac and 2 lbs of white gum. As the customer, a brushmaker by the name of Frinneby, always bought large quantities, he was allowed credit and the goods were therefore given to Deane without any suspicion. It only became clear later that Deane was no longer working for Frinneby and had not been sent by Frinneby to get the goods from Sherborn.(2)

Advertisement in The Athenaeum 11 November 1848

Advertisement in The Athenaeum 11 November 1848

Painter's case with Tillyer & Co label (Source: website of a collector)

Painter’s case with Tillyer & Co label (Source: website of Jaap den Hollander)

The London Gazette, 18 January 1861

The London Gazette, 18 January 1861

From early 1861 onwards, the business came solely into the hands of James Tillyer when Sarah, the widow of John Sherborn who had died in 1859, withdrew from the partnership. The census of 1881 shows George Smith and William E. Martin, shopmen, and Ellen A. Johnson, domestic servant, living above the artists’ shop at number 321, which was situated on the south side of the street, close to Regent Circus. The shop had come up for sale in 1874 by order of the High Court of Chancery “in the matter of re Sherborn’s estate, and in a cause of Slous v. Holgate, 1873, S., 97”. Do not ask me what that litigation involved, I do not know, but the notice about the sale in The London Gazette of 5 May 1847, gives particulars about the building.

The freehold business premises known as No. 321, Oxford-street, and also the following premises in the rear of the above premises, held on lease from the Crown, viz.: – Warehouses, stabling, and coach-house, situate on the north of an enclosed private yard, known as Fox and Hounds-yard, and having a separate entrance, the whole covering a total area of about 2,480 square feet. These freehold and leasehold properties communicate internally, and are let upon a lease to the same tenant for an unexpired term of 21 years from 1st January, 1861, at a rental of £300 per annum, the tenant also paying the ground rent.

1799 Horwood

1886 Goad for 263

Horwood’s 1799 map (above) shows the stables behind number 321. In the hundred years between the publication of that map and the sale, the yard had been filled with outbuildings, allowing for the interconnection between the various buildings mentioned in the London Gazette. The 1886 insurance map by Goad (left) shows how much of the yard had disappeared, although the stables are still mentioned. As we saw above, the lease ran out on 1 January 1882 and Tillyer moved the shop further west to 430 Oxford Street. Do not confuse the 321 Oxford street premises of this post with the later Lyons shop at that number, because in 1881 the numbering in Oxford Street changed and what was 321 became 263. Besides that, the houses on the south side of Oxford Street were given an odd number, so number 430 must be on the opposite side. It was to be found much further west, between Duke Street and Orchard Street. At the time of the Tallis Street View this used to be number 186, the property of Webb, a straw bonnet maker. Nowadays, the whole block between Orchard Street and Duke Street is covered by Selfridges, although when the department store opened in 1909 it was only half as big, ‘only’ covering the east side of the block. In a picture of the opening, you can still see number 424 hanging on for dear life, so Tillyer’s shop, being further west, must have survived the first onslaught, although it was only a short reprieve as by the 1920s Selfridges had covered the whole block (more information here). James Tillyer himself had died at Craven House, Ealing, in 1883. The executors of his estate were his widow Elizabeth Honnor Tillyer, a George Tillyer, retired farmer, and Arthur Lasenby Liberty of 142 Regent Street.(3) Yes, indeed, the founder of Liberty’s, but that is another story.

Number 430 in Goad's insurance map of 1886

Number 430 in Goad’s insurance map of 1886


The British Foreign and Colonial Journal 15 October 1890

The British Foreign and Colonial Journal 15 October 1890

(1) Old Bailey case t18310630-84.
(2) Old Bailey case t18381126-209. Frederick Richard Frinnerby was, according to the Post Office Directory of 1843, a wholesale painting, general & fancy brush manufacturer of 23 Coppice Row, Clerkenwell.
(3) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1883. Value of the estate £22,896.

Neighbours:

<– 322 Oxford Street 320 Oxford Street –>

J. C. & J. Field, wax and tallow chandlers

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Street View: 50
Address: 12 Wigmore Street

elevation

In a previous post, we saw that the front of number 12 Wigmore Street was covered in scaffolding and that the date for the building work was given as 1820 in Walford’s Old and New London (vol. IV, p. 438). That date, however, could not be right. The house next to number 12 is clearly showing the name of Hetley, glass shade manufacturer, and number 14 is the property of Crace, the interior decorators. Frederick Crace only moved to 14 Wigmore Street in 1827 and in the Tallis Street View of 1839, number 13 was occupied jointly by Hopper, a sculptor and Daniell, a dentist. These neighbours were still there when the census was taken in 1841. The Craces remained at number 14 the rest of the century, Daniell could be found in Wigmore Street till 1843, and Hopper till his death in 1844. Only in the 1851 census do we see Hetley appearing as the occupant of the premises, so he must have moved in sometime after 1844. We can date his appearance in Wigmore Street more precisely to later that decade as the Post Office Directory of 1848 does not yet list him. Hetley and his family probably moved in between October 1848 and April 1850 as the address given in the baptism record of daughter Ellen May is 71 Great Portland Street, but for the next child, Elizabeth, it is 13 Wigmore Street.(1) The Hetleys were certainly still there when daughter Kate was born in 1857, but by 1861, they were living in Islington.(2) Number 13 is then occupied by Alexander Stewart, a merchant. So, the scaffolding is most likely from the 1850s.

Walford, Old and New London

On to the occupants of number 12 to see if we can work out what happened in the 1850s. Tallis gives J.C. & J. Field as the occupants of number 12; that is: John, Charles and John Field, wax and tallow chandlers. The gentlemen were members of a family that had been in the business of making candles and selling wax and oil since at least 1642 when a Thomas Field founded the firm in Lambeth. Throughout the generations the names of John and Charles keep appearing, so it is difficult to work out exactly who is hiding behind the initials of the firm in any particular year, especially after c.1830 when they decided to leave the name as it then was, irrespective of whoever ran the firm. We will not go into the genealogical details, but will concentrate on the business itself. Their factory was always on the other side of the river in Lambeth and the Wigmore Street address was just a convenient outlet for their wares. In the 1841 census, John Field, a boy of 15, is listed as living at Wigmore Street as wax chandler, but he may very well have been a bit older as the 1841 census is notoriously imprecise as regards age. The rest of the family were living in Upper Marsh, Lambeth.

Advertisement from  The Morning Chronicle, 1 December 1821

Advertisement from The Morning Chronicle, 1 December 1821

The Fields had been trading from Wigmore Street since the early 1820s and continued to do so, according to Graces Guide, until 1861. The last advertisement I found for the Fields that mentioned 12 Wigmore Street is from 29 October 1857.(3) From the mid-1840s, the Fields shared the Wigmore Street house with Isaac Sheffield, a dentist, originally from Cumberland. Isaac used to have his practice in Museum Street – he can be found there in the 1843 Post Office Directory – but he must have moved to Wigmore Street before 1848 as the next Post Office Directory finds him at number 12. It is unclear whether the Fields remained living in Wigmore Street after Sheffield moved in, or whether they just continued to have their shop there. They are certainly not mentioned in the 1851 census for the property.

trade card @BM

trade card (Source: British Museum Collection)

trade card (Source: British Museum Collection)

The trade card above must date from somewhere between 1820 and 1830. The advertisement shown for floating lights names J. and C. Field at Wigmore Street in 1821, but by 1830, another J. had been added to the name and the firm was henceforth J. C. & J. Field. The reverse of the card shows a drawing of a candle and stick with a text I cannot quite make out, but which explains something about the wick and it being upright.(4) It shows – assuming it was a Field who wrote it – that they were always trying to improve on their products and in 1865, for instance, they registered a design for a lighting wick or taper, to be called “Field’s Lighting Wick”.(5) Their factory in Upper Marsh grew and grew and, as can be seen from the Ordnance Survey map of 1892-95 below, eventually took up all the available space between Upper Marsch, Royal Street and Canterbury Music Hall. In 1941, they moved to Wimbledon and were eventually absorbed in larger conglomerates.

1895 OS

A few more advertisements for the Fields can be found at the end of this post, but first back to 12 Wigmore Street where the changes in occupation described above can perhaps explain the scaffolding; did the Fields alter the building to separate Sheffield’s part of the building from their own? Possibly, although Tallis, in his picture of the building, already shows two entrances on either side of the shop window. But there is another possible explanation: on Sunday 9 November 1845, the Field family went to church and shortly after they had left, the servant who had stayed at home smelled something burning and when she went upstairs to investigate found the place filled with smoke. She raised the alarm and fire engines rushed to the scene. When a firemen was inside the building to assess the situation, there was an explosion in a closet which threw him backwards. It turned out that the fire had started in a closet where rocket cases were stored which somehow ignited. Why they were kept there is not explained in the newspaper report. The furniture in the parlour was destroyed, along with some paintings and the damage was estimated to be £200. According to the paper, Field was insured with the Westminster and Phoenix Fire Offices.(6) If the rebuilding was delayed because of insurance problems, or because the Fields were trying to decide on what to do with themselves after the fire, it could be that the scaffolding was up in 1848 when Hetley moved in next door. Or, I am talking rubbish here and the reason for the scaffolding had nothing to do with any of these changes, but was up in the 1850s because the building needed some TLC.

1840 registration for one of the John Fields as a member of the Wax Chandlers' Company

1840 registration for one of the John Fields as a member of the Wax Chandlers’ Company

Whatever the reason for the scaffolding, Sheffield had his dentistry at number 12 from the mid-1840s to somewhere in the early 1860s. He most likely moved in after the fire as his name is not mentioned in the newspaper report on the exploding closet. The 1861 census still lists Sheffield’s wife at number 12. Her parents were there as well and so was her brother who is a “dentist’s assistant’. Isaac himself was to be found in Carlisle with his sister Mary. An advertisement in The Newcastle Courant explains the situation: John Sheffield, Isaac’s brother and also a dentist, informs his customers that he is handing over his practice in Carlisle to his nephew, J.G. Robinson, and he also takes the opportunity of this announcement to say that Mr. Sheffield of 12 Wigmore Street would continue to make his periodic visits to Carlisle at Easter, in September, and at Christmas.(7) The 1861 census was taken on 7 April and Easter fell on 31 March that year, so close enough for Isaac to be away from home for one of his tri-yearly visits to Carlisle. Sheffield is listed at 2 Stratford Place in a list of members of the Odontological Society of London published at the end of 1862, so he must have moved fairly soon after April 1861. He died in 1881 and was buried at Carlisle.

Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society, 1904

Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society, 1904

Some advertisements for J.C. & J. Field:

1866 advert from The Art Journal The Illustrated Catalogue of the Industry of All Nations

1866 advert from The Art Journal The Illustrated Catalogue of the Industry of All Nations

1867 advert from The Archer's Register

1867 advert from The Archer’s Register


1907 advert from The Laundry Journal Diary (© London Borough of Lambeth)

1907 advert from The Laundry Journal Diary (© London Borough of Lambeth)

(1) Ellen Mary was baptised on 27 October 1848 and Elizabeth on 5 April 1850, both at St. Marylebone.
(2) Kate was baptised on 6 May 1857 at St. Marylebone.
(3) In Freeman’s Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser for Field’s Patent Parafine [sic] Candles.
(4) I think it says: “The portion of the wick of either a…. … candle would burn … be placed in if found to stand(?) uprightly” Suggestions welcome.
(5) National Archives BT 45/24/4701
(6) The Morning Chronicle, 10 November 1845.
(7) The Newcastle Courant, 7 January 1859.

Neighbours:

<– 13 Wigmore Street (Hopper)
<– 13 Wigmore Street (Daniell)
11 Wigmore Street –>

Frederick Crace, Painter to the King

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Street View: 50
Address: 14 Wigmore Street

elevation

The Crace family were famous interior decorators, and although the job description ‘Painter to the King’ in the Tallis index may lead you to think that all they did was either paint the woodwork in the King’s palaces or paint his portrait, you would be doing them an injustice. They were far more than just painters. The Oxford Dictionary of Biography has an entry for the whole Crace family in addition to separate entries for Frederick, John Gregory and John Dibblee. Most of the information used in this post comes from that source, but as they do not show any of the actual decorations the Craces were responsible for, I will add some examples of their work. The family name, by the way, is sometimes rendered as ‘Grace’, as it is in Tallis’s Index to Street View 50, but in all official documents, it is given as ‘Crace’.

But first two pictures of 14 Wigmore Street (renumbered to 38 in 1868 or 1869), a property the Craces used from 1827 to 1899. The first illustration is a 1852 drawing by T.H. Shepherd showing 13-15 Wigmore Street. Davies, the coach maker occupies number 15, and Hetley, glass shade manufacturer, number 13. Davies was already there when Tallis produced his Street Views and we will encounter him in a forthcoming post, but Hetley was not there yet. Tallis has Humprey Hopper, a sculptor, and Neville Daniell, a dentist, jointly occupying number 13. Henry Hetley was the brother of James Hetley of Soho Square who was listed by Tallis and will be given his own blog post sometime in the future.

Source: British Museum Collection

Source: British Museum Collection

The second picture shows the same houses as the previous illustration, but also some more on the right-hand side, among them number 12 completely covered in scaffolding. The drawing was depicted in Edward Walford’s Old and New London (vol. IV, p. 438) and alleged that it is Wigmore Street around the year 1820, but that cannot be true. As number 13 shows Hetley’s name, it must have been later then Tallis (± 1839). I will get back to the date of the picture in the post on number 12, but for this post it is enough to see that the Craces had the entrance to their business on the right in what seems to be a small alleyway or porch.
Walford, Old and New London

Thomas Crace (c.1690-1774) was a coach builder at Rochester Row and his sons Edward (1725-1799), John I (1728-1806) and Charles (1727-1784) worked in the family business. They designed coach panels and ornaments and Charles even published a book on coach designs. In 1768, Edward changed the business to one of house decorating. In the 1770s, George III made Edward the keeper of the royal collection of paintings, which not only involved cleaning and restoring, but also cataloguing them. John II (1753-1819), the son of Edward, married his second cousin, Ann Gregory, against the wishes of his father with a complete break as a result. John II started his own decorating business in 1776 and was involved in the decorating of Carlton House and the Royal Pavilion at Brighton, assisted by his eldest son. This son by a second marriage, Frederick (1779-1859), inherited the artistic talent of the family and continued the business after his father’s death with the help of two of his brothers and a cousin John III, the son of John I. That partnership was dissolved in 1826, mainly through financial disputes involving one of the brothers, and Frederick and John III started afresh at 14 Wigmore Street in 1827. Under John Gregory (1809-1889), Frederick’s son, and John Dibblee (1838-1919), John Gregory’s son, the firm flourished throughout the rest of the nineteenth century. John Dibblee terminated the business in 1899, but continued as a consultant until World War I.

Frederick continued the collection of maps and views of London his grandfather Edward had begun and which was eventually to comprise some five or six thousand items. He not only collected prints, he sometimes commissioned artists to draw or paint specific buildings or streets. One such was Thomas Hosmer Shepherd whose drawing above of the three houses in Wigmore Street comes from the Crace collection. In 1879, most of the collection of prints was sold by John Gregory to the British Museum. The maps are now deposited in the map room of the British Library. John Gregory kept back and continued the collection of plans and views of London churches and these are to be found in Guildhall Library (now in the LMA?).

John Gregory with son and grandson (Source: Wikipedia)

John Gregory with son and grandson (Source: Wikipedia)

Besides receiving various royal commissions, the Craces tried to improve their income – the royals did not always pay promptly, if at all – and John Gregory started a number of open-house evenings where prospective clients could see the latest designs. It proved a profitable idea and new orders came flooding in. International exhibitions were also a perfect opportunity to entice new clients and Crace exhibited at the 1851 and 1862 exhibitions in London, the 1855 and 1867 exhibitions in Paris, and at the 1857 Art Treasures exhibition in Manchester. The 1851 census has John Gregory at 14 Wigmore Street as a decorator employing 140 persons. Crace often worked with A.W.N. Pugin whose Gothic style matched his own, for instance in the decoration of the Houses of Parliament. From 1862 onwards, John Dibblee took on more and more of the firm’s work, while his father devoted more and more time to travel and study. After his father’s death in 1889, John Dibblee continued for another ten years before he wound up the business to become a consultant. There is much more to say about the lives and designs of all the Craces, but that has already been done in the Oxford Dictionary of Biography and by M. Aldrich (ed.) in The Craces: Royal Decorators 1768-1899 (1990), so, to round off this post, I will just give a few examples of their work, which is, in fact, only a fraction of what can be found online.

In 1851 at the Great Exhibition, a cabinet, or armoire as some would call it, was displayed in the ‘Mediaeval Court’, which was designed by A.W.N. Pugin. It was depicted in the special Art Journal catalogue, the V&A has a design drawing of it, and they also have the cabinet itself which they bought after the exhibition. More information on the cabinet on their website here (click on the ‘More information’ tab).

Cabinet as depicted in The Art Journal Illustrated Catalogue

Cabinet as depicted in The Art Journal Illustrated Catalogue

drawing of the cabinet (Source: Victoria & Albert Museum)

drawing of the cabinet (Source: Victoria & Albert Museum)

the cabinet itself (Source: Victoria & Albert Museum)

the cabinet itself (Source: Victoria & Albert Museum)


detail of a shield at the top of the cabinet with Crace's initials

detail of a shield at the top of the cabinet with Crace’s initials

In 1845, John Crace sent a letter to John Harman junior saying that the red wallpaper had been despatched and a few months later Frederick wrote to the same firm to notify them that the green flock wallpaper had been sent (letters in Birmingham Archdiocesan Archives). The Hardmans were a Birmingham firm, best known for their metal work and stained glass. The link between the Hardmans and the Craces was no doubt Pugin who ordered glass from the Hardmans for the Houses of Parliament.

Wallpaper designed by Pugin and made by Crace (Source: National Trust Collection, Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk)

Wallpaper designed by Pugin and made by J.D. Crace (Source: National Trust Collection, Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk)

In 1862, work started on a new Exchange in Liverpool. The Gothic building was designed by Thomas Henry Wyatt in the Flemish Renaissance style and the Newsroom was described as “a noble apartment, free from all obstructions and well-suited for its purpose.” The new building opened in 1867. The photograph below is from the blog ‘Streets of Liverpool’ (see here) and the text describing the interior of the Newsroom is part of an article on the new building in The Morning Post of 22 April 1867.

Exchange Liverpool

The Met Museum has a lovely drawing of a stained glass window. It is stamped on the mount John G. Crace & Son / 38 Wigmore Street, W., so it must date from after 1868 or 1869 when the house numbering changed from 14 to 38. The Met dates it as ‘probably 1880s or 90s’.

Source: Met Museum, New York

Source: Met Museum, New York

And last, but not least, the unusual cinquefoil Remigius window in Lincoln Cathedral which was designed by Crace in 1858. R.E. Leary in his 1860 Illustrated Hand Book Guide to Lincoln says that the window was executed by Messrs. Eaton and Butler of London, but that should probably be Heaton, Butler and Bayne of King Street, Covent Garden, who advertised with stained glass windows for churches. An article on the window in The Illustrated London News praises Crace for his “taste and judgement” and “the antiquarian correctness of the design”. Leary goes one better and says that “a richness of ornament and color [is] scarcely exceeded by any of the admirable early specimens which exist in other parts of the cathedral”. What better recommendation would one want for one’s work?

Illustrated London News, 8 January 1859

Illustrated London News, 8 January 1859. They did not quite get the details right, but who was likely to complain?


Source: Mattana (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Source: Mattana via Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 3.0]


————-

Neighbours:

<– 15 Wigmore Street 13 Wigmore Street (Daniell) –>
13 Wigmore Street (Hopper) –>

James Crocker, reel cotton manufacturer

Tags

Street View: 87
Address: 60, 61, 62 Wood Street

elevation

James Crocker is described in the index to Tallis’s Street View as ‘reel cotton manufacturer’. On the front of his shop he had the words ‘reel cotton & wadding manufacturer’ depicted, but the various sources I found give a wide variation for his and his partners occupations, so I will list them here, rather than with the individual references: warehouseman, dealer in British lace, sewing cotton manufacturer, wadding manufacturer, cotton winder, haberdasher, machine makers, turner, dealer, chapman. Not only did Crocker have various occupations, or more precisely, various descriptions of his occupation, he also had various partners. I found the following: 1827-1828 Arthur Inglis; 1829-1831 James Capey; 1831-1833 Thomas Liggins; 1834 David Colegrave; and 1835-1838 Daniel Griffin. This last partnership was dissolved on 10 January 1838(1) and after that, Crocker seems to have run the business on his own.

The London Gazette, 15 February 1828

The London Gazette, 15 February 1828

It had all started in 1828 at 50 Wood Street with Inglis and Crocker going bankrupt. Both gentlemen had other premises; Crocker at 120 Fore Street and St John Square, Clerkenwell. Then on 31 December 1829, both Crocker and Capey, separately, take out an insurance for 62 Wood Street. Crocker is described as ‘gent, his wife a milliner’, and Capey as ‘warehouseman’. But, they also take out a joint insurance for the premises as ‘warehousemen’. When one of the employees of Crocker and Capey stole some cotton and the case was heard in the Old Bailey, Crocker gave evidence and said that they he and his partner lived at Wood Street and had two “manufacturies”, but only one for the manufacture of wadding; the stolen cotton probably came from their premises in Cowper Street, City Road. A foreman testified that they employed at least forty people.(2) The partnership between Crocker and Capey ended on 5 September 1831.(3)

Not long afterwards, in October 1831, by then partnered with Liggins, Crocker’s premises in Wood Street go up in flames. From the newspaper report we learn that the building housed the “card and wadding rooms of an extensive cotton factory in Cowper Street, City Road”. Despite the quick attendance by the firemen, the building was totally destroyed with the front parapet falling into the street. Fortunately, no one was injured.(4) According to the paper, Crocker and Inglis were not insured, which may very well have been the case as the insurance policy for 62 Wood Street for Crocker and Liggins is dated 1 December 1831, so after the fire. The 1831 Land Tax records give number 62 as “empty”, but in 1832, Crocker & Co are given as occupants.

Horwood's 1799 map with Crocker's premises at numbers 60 to 62 outlined in red

Horwood’s 1799 map with Crocker’s premises at numbers 60 to 62 outlined in red

In 1833, Crocker and Liggins insure 62 Wood Street, but also 26 Philip Lane, London Wall. Liggins goes, Colegrave comes and goes, and Griffin (sometimes named as Griffith) comes. At some point the gentlemen must have acquired number 61 as both houses are mentioned when the partnership is dissolved. I think that the two houses were considered as one property as the tax records consistently give the next tax payer as number 60. If you look at the elevation at the top of this post, you can see a blank wall on the higher floors of number 62 and the numbers pulled together by and ampersand (62 & 61). In 1839, one John Eley is listed for number 60, but in 1840, his name has been supplanted by that of Crocker (no more mention of Griffin, by the way), so Crocker now occupies 60, 61 and 62 Wood Street, which matches with what Tallis gives us. The 1843 Post Office Directory lags behind and just gives numbers 61 and 62 for Crocker.

But it was not to last. At least not in Wood Street. Crocker is still given in the 1843 tax records, but by 1844, one William Swainston had taken over. In the 1851 Post Office Directory, the properties have separate occupants once again: a cotton flock dealer at number 60, a wadding maker at 61, and a straw bonnet maker at 62. In July 1854, another fire, this one a lot bigger, ravaged the properties in the neighbourhood. It started at number 61 where a Mr. Jones, a carpenter and box maker, had his business which extended round the corner to 2 and 3 London wall. Superintendent Braidwood of the Fire Service accounted for the damage to properties in his report and the newspaper quoted from it. In all, about ten houses were damaged; some were not much affected by the fire itself, but had a lot of water damage, and even a few houses on the other side of Curriers Court did not escape unscathed.(5)

Destruction by the 1882 fire as depicted in the Illustrated London News

Destruction by the 1882 fire as depicted in the Illustrated London News

Here we go again!
In December 1882, a massive fire broke out once again in the same neighbourhood with even greater damage. More or less all the properties between Wood Street, London Wall, Philip Lane and Addle Street, a total area of about 380 by 150 feet, were destroyed with the fronts of the buildings in Wood Street collapsing and falling into the street. Curriers Hall, although wedged in by the other buildings, miraculously escaped with minor damage because of its thick walls and fireproof roof. Numbers 56-62 were at that time in the occupation of Messrs Silber & Fleming, manufacturers and importers of fancy goods. As is often the case, the fire was a blessing in disguise and the old buildings could be razed to the ground and rebuilt in a much grander style. The Illustrated London News of 1882 pictured the destruction in Wood Street and two years later, in 1884, the new shop and sale room of Silber & Fleming.

The new premises for Silber & Fleming as depicted

The new premises for Silber & Fleming as depicted in the Illustrated London News

Sale room

Sale room (ILN, 1884)

Trade mark of Albert Marcius Silber

Trade mark of Albert Marcius Silber (Source: Silver forum at 925-1000.com, which has more information on the history of the firm and more pictures of the articles they produced


Goad's insurance map of 1886

Goad’s insurance map of 1886

(1) The London Gazette, 12 January 1838.
(2) Old Bailey case t18310908-75.
(3) The London Gazette, 9 September 1831.
(4) Jackson’s Oxford Journal, 29 October 1831.
(5) The Daily News, 31 July 1854,.

Neighbours:

<– 5 Cripplegate Buildings 59 Wood Street –>

George and Alfred Pill, pastry cooks and confectioners

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Street Views: 42 and 17 Suppl
Address: 51 Cheapside

elevation

We came across Mr. Pill in the post on James Pimm who had his business further up the street. Pimm’s establishment was compared to that of Alfred Pill with the latter’s considered too small to receive a licence to sell alcohol. There was a bit of wrangling going on between the aldermen whether pastrycooks and confectioners should be allowed a licence and if so, whether the licence should be granted with an endorsement that the premises were not to be used as a gin shop. In the case of Pimm, the licence was eventually granted, but it is not made clear whether Pill received the required licence. At the time of this application, 51 Cheapside was just run by Alfred Pill, but in 1839, when the first batch of Street Views came out, his brother George was a partner in the business.

1827 freedom Alfred

The brothers had no doubt learned their trade from their father George who ran a confectionery in Mile End, Stepney, but the two boys were also apprenticed to London freemen, which, after seven years, enabled them to become freemen themselves and run a business in the City. George was apprenticed in 1815 to George Ponton, a cook and confectioner of Fore Street, Cripplegate, and Alfred in 1820 to John Coombes, a member of the Cooper Company, but his true occupation and address are not known. The brothers seem to have started at Mile End Road, no doubt the establishment run by their father until his death in 1825, but by 1829, they were to be found at 86 Newgate Street, and by 1835 at 51 Cheapside. A partnership between one Harriott Pill and Alfred Pill was dissolved in 1838 with Alfred remaining at 51 Cheapside, but how this Harriott was related to George and Alfred remains unclear. What is clear, is that Alfred remained the proprietor of 51 Cheapside, which was the fifth house west of St. Mary le Bow church. The building was slightly lower than the neighbouring houses. Alfred shared the premises with various other businesses; in the 1839 Street View with Mellor, Mountain & Co, a lace warehouse, and in the 1847 Supplement with Thomas McClure, a Manchester agent, and William Donne & Sons, engravers. No information is available as to how the premises were divided up.

Cheapside with number 51 on the right (Source: British Museum Collection)

Cheapside with number 51 on the right from Thomas Malton’s Picturesque Tour of 1792 (Source: British Museum Collection)

There is one customer who has written down what could be had at Pill’s. Charles George Harper, reminiscing about the London of the past wrote Queer Things about London in 1924 and said,

Then there was Alfred Pill, who, on the south side of Cheapside, between St. Mary-le-Bow and Old Change, sold the most exquisite and alluring jellies. You might have had a bun with Deputy Webber, consumed a jelly (Ah!) at Mr. Pill’s, and then, passing, let us say, through St. Paul’s Churchyard, have found on Ludgate Hill another bun shop …

Harper explains that Deputy Webber had his bun shop in Lombard Street, but he does not give any indication when he might have come across Webber or Pill. Tallis does not deal with Lombard Street, but the Post Office Directory of 1843 has a Thomas Webber as bread and biscuit baker at 81 Lombard Street. The jellies must have been quite famous, but other than this one tantalising glimpse of the food on offer at Pill’s, I have not found any more mention of the food available at the establishment, although the place itself must have developed over time from just a confectionery into a ‘proper’ restaurant. It is labelled as such on Goad’s insurance map of 1886 and in the German Baedeker’s guide to London of 1875 it is listed in the section of Coffee Shops, Pastry Cooks and Oyster Shops in the City, together with such places as Peel’s in Fleet Street and Holt’s in St. Paul’s Churchyard. Baedeker finishes the paragraph with the comment that, in most coffee houses, soup, chops and steaks were also available, but whether Pill actually had those on the menu is not made clear.

In the 1841 census, Alfred was living on his own at Cheapside with just a housekeeper, one Mary Wood. But she was or became more than a housekeeper and in 1847 Mary Cooper Wood and Alfred Pill got married at St. Lawrence Jewry. They had two daughters, Mary Susanna and Elizabeth, and one son Alfred Arthur. All three children are described as confectioner’s assistants in the 1871 census and Alfred must have counted on his son, Alfred Arthur to take over the business, but unfortunately, the young man died in 1875, just 20 years old.(1) This must have been roughly at the same time as Alfred retired as he is still listed in the Land Tax records for 1874, but in 1875 the names of Simpson & Bowser are given for 51 Cheapside. In 1881, Alfred, by then a widower, and his unmarried daughter Mary Susanna, are living at The Knowle, Manor Road, Wallington.

Penny Illustrated Paper, 5 November 1881 (Digital Library@Villanova University)

The Penny Illustrated Paper, 5 November 1881 (Digital Library@Villanova University)

Murder!
Pill’s quiet retirement was, however, rudely interrupted in 1881 when a man was brutally murdered on the railway from London to Brighton. It turns out that Frederick Isaac Gold, who had married Alfred Pill’s wife’s sister, Lydia Matilda Wood(2), was travelling back from town to Preston, Brighton, on a Monday and somewhere along the line he was shot by Percy Lefroy Mapleton. Gold had put up a good fight, but lost his life and was thrown from the carriage in Balcombe tunnel where his body was later found. Mapleton pretended to have been attacked by two man, hence the blood on his clothes, and the police at first let him go, but as more information came in, they knew he must have been the killer and he was apprehended, charged, convicted and later hanged. Mapleton had been staying at a boarding house in Wallington and daughter Mary Susanna had to give evidence at the inquest that Mr. Gold had not come to visit them on that particular Monday and that they knew nothing about Mapleton. More on the notorious case can be read here and here.(3)

Two weeks before this shocking event, Alfred Pill had attended the forty-fourth anniversary dinner of the London Coffee and Eating-House Keepers’ Association; he is listed as one of the members of the Common Council present.(4) But Pill’s health must have deteriorated after that, as in 1886, the Court of Aldermen decided to disqualify him “by reason of his not having attended any meetings of the Court in the last six months, owing, it was stated, to ill-health”. Pill had represented Bread Ward since 1860, but it was now time to elect a new representative.(5) The 1891 census still saw Pill living at The Knowle with his daughter Mary Susanna, but he died in August of that year.(6) Mary Susanna was one of the executors and remained living at The Knowle until her own death in 1942.(7)

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(1) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1875. Effects valued at under £200.
(2) Lydia Mathilda Wood had married Fredrick Isaac Gold on 13 April 1845 at Holy Trinity Church, Mile End Old Town, Stepney. Her father's name is given as Samuel Wood, gentleman. Alfred Pill's and Mary Cooper Wood's marriage registration also names her father as Samuel Wood, gentleman, so I think we can conclude that most of the papers were wrong in reporting Gold's sister as having married Pill; it was his wife's sister.
(3) At the time, the case was extensively reported in the newspapers, see for instance, The Morning Post and The Standard of 30 June 1881. The Penny Illustrated Paper devoted considerable space in several issues to the case which included graphic pictures. See for links to the magazine the bottom of the Wikipedia page on Mapleton here.
(4) The Era, 18 June 1881.
(5) Daily News, 13 October 1886.
(6) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1891. Estate valued at over £45,400.
(7) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1842. Estate valued at over £23,400.

Neighbours:

<– 50 Cheapside 52 Cheapside –>

Henry Edward Morey, fishmonger

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Street View: 67
Address: 201 Bishopsgate Street Without

elevation

In a previous post on James Pimm, we saw that Pimm’s successor at 3 Poultry was one Samuel D. Morey who, according to his 1877 probate listing, could also be found at 201 Bishopsgate. We have to go back to the end of the eighteenth century to sort out the Moreys at Bishopsgate. In 1796, Harry (or Henry) Edward, the son of Harry (or Henry) Morey became apprenticed to Samuel Dance, a Butcher, that is, a member of the Company of Butchers, but, as we shall see, not necessarily a butcher in the sense of someone dealing in meat. An insurance record of 1788 saw Samuel Dance at 194 White Cross Street, but by 1793, he had moved to 189 Bishopsgate. Harry Morey is described as a patten-maker of White Cross Street, so young Henry Edward went to work with a former neighbour. A patten-maker, by the way, is someone who made wooden overshoes that protected the wearer’s shoes from the mud on the streets.

early 19th century pattens. Museum of Fine Art, Boston (via the very interesting blog post on pattens from Jane Austen's World)

early 19th century pattens. Museum of Fine Art, Boston (sourced from the very interesting blog post on pattens of Jane Austen’s World)

Somewhere between 1803 and 1806, Harry Morey also moved to Bishopsgate, but not yet to number 201. The 1806 tax records find him in a house between Bottle Alley (renamed Britannia Place) and One Swan Yard, number 183 or 184.(1) Morey hung on to his property in White Cross Street, although in his will of 1818, he describes himself as of Bishopsgate Street, so presumably that became his main residence.(2) His widow Susanna remained at number 183 and even after her death in 1824, the tax records still list her name, suggesting that the property remained in the hands of the family. Only in 1840 do the records list a new proprietor.

1799 Horwood

Susanna was the sole executrix and beneficiary of Harry’s will, but had left the estate of her husband unadministered and when she died in 1824, her son Harry Edward had to sort it out. In the documents, he is described as the only child of the deceased and of 96 White Cross Street. He moved his business to 201 Bishopsgate Street sometime before 1829 as he is then listed at that address in the Sun Fire Office records as dealer in pattens and shell fish. Perhaps an unlikely combination, but patten-making had been the trade of his father and he was himself listed as such in the baptism records of his children, but fishmongering became his occupation in Bishopsgate, specialising in shell fish as the elevation in Tallis’s Street View testified where the business is described on the front as ‘Barrel’d oyster warehouse’. Number 201 was situated between The White Hart tavern and St. Botolph Bishopsgate Church.

The White Hart tavern in 1825 with Morey’s shop on the left under the awning (click to enlarge)

Another picture of the tavern in The Mirror of 1830 (see the post on The White Hart) shows Morey’s name on the left-hand side of the inn building, but that must be a mistake by the draughtsman, as there is no evidence to suggest that Morey occupied part of the White Hart building. In the 1825 picture above the name of Kempster can be seen on that part of the building and as other pictures also show Kempster’s name, and so do the tax records, that name must be correct. Morey had always occupied the building next to the White Hart, number 201, and we see him there in the 1841 census as a fishmonger. Also living there is son Samuel with the same occupation as his father and another son Robert who is a butcher.

Henry Edward died in 1855 and left his estate to his four sons, Henry Trott, Samuel Dance, David Edmund and Robert Borkwood. Judging by Samuel’s second name, I think we can assume that the former master of Henry Edward was his godfather. When Samuel Dance, Morey’s master that is, wrote his will in 1813, Henry Edward was one of the witnesses and one William Trott the other.(3) Did he become Henry Edward’s eldest son’s godfather? Possibly. I have not found a marriage for Henry Edward, so we do not know more than a first name, Catherine, for his wife, and can hence say nothing about her last name; it may have been Trott. According to the records of the Sun Fire Office, Henry Trott could be found at 418 Oxford Street in 1831 as a fishmonger. He was the first of the brothers to die, in 1868, at St. Agnes Terrace.(4) The Sun Fire Office records also tell us that Robert Borkwood became a butcher and insured a property at 4 Hatton Wall, Hatton Garden in 1839. David Edmund took over the running of the 201 Bishopsgate shop and Samuel Dance, as we saw in the post on James Pimm, became the proprietor of 3 Poultry and may or may not have had something to do with the invention of Pimm’s No. 1 Cup, although the fact that it was his property that continued the Pimm’s name for the establishment rather that of James Pimm himself is perhaps telling.

1886 Goad insurance map

Samuel Dance Morey died in 1877 and is described in his probate record as formerly of 201 Bishopsgate and 3 Poultry, but late of 11 Northampton Park, Canonbury, gentleman.(5) He may have retired in 1865, or just concentrated on the Bishopsgate shop as in that year the licence for Pimm’s in the Poultry was transferred to Frederick Sawyer of the Green Man, Bucklersbury.(6) The premises were extended to include numbers 4 and 5 Poultry and at the back also numbers 5 and 6 Bucklersbury. It is hard to say without further research whether Morey had already set this extension in motion, or whether Sawyer was solely responsible, but it was Sawyer who negotiated a new lease in 1870 and who commissioned an architect to build a new restaurant at 4-5 Poultry (see the postscript to Pimm’s post for more information and a picture). It is a fact that the 1886 Goad insurance map shows the 5 houses as one large ‘restaurant’.

Very faint pencil drawing of 201 Bishopsgate Street c. 1850 (©Corporation of London via Collage)

Very faint pencil drawing of 201 Bishopsgate Street c. 1850 (©Corporation of London via Collage)

But this post is about 201 Bishopsgate, so we will continue the story with David Edmund. I am not sure where David is at the time of the 1851 census, certainly not at 201 Bishopsgate Street, but he is listed in the 1857 tax record, so he must have taken over the fishmonger’s fairly soon after his father’s death. He remained the bachelor occupant of the building till at least 1881. He died in 1889 and is described in his probate record as a gentleman of 6 Petherton Road, so he must have retired somewhere between 1881 and 1889.(7) The tax record help to date his retirement to somewhere between 1886 and 1887. In 1886 the property at 201 Bishopsgate is still listed for David, but in 1887 one Samuel Jacobs has taken over. All those years from 1861 onwards, David’s housekeeper was Elizabeth Castle and in 1861, 1871, and 1881 a visitor happens to be staying with them, a Selina Castle. We are left to wonder what the relationship between Elizabeth and Selina is until 1891, after the death of David, when Elizabeth and Selina, this time acknowledged as her daughter, are living at 143 Petherton Road. They have two boarders, Robert Morey, 73, and Robert H. Morey, 40, both living “on their own means”. Robert is no doubt Robert Borkwood, the brother of David, and Robert H. is Robert Henry, the son of Robert Borkwood. Robert Borkwood, the last of the Morey brothers, died at 143 Petherton Road in 1892.(8)

——————-
(1) Horwood gives the property number 183, but Tallis has the same property as number 184. In his Street View, number 183 does not exist.
(2) PROB 11/1605/217.
(3) PROB 11/1553/260.
(4) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1868. Effects valued at under £4,000.
(5) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1877. Effects valued at under £80,000.
(6) The Era, 8 January 1865.
(7) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1889. Effects valued at well over £28,000. His brother Robert Borkwood of 8 Chart Street, Hoxton, is named the executor.
(8) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1892. Effects valued at over £11,000.

Neighbours:

<– 202 Bishopsgate 198-199 Bishopsgate –>

James Pimm, fishmonger and confectioner

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Street Views: 38 and 17 Suppl.
Addresses: 3 Poultry and 77 Cheapside

elevation Poultry

elevation Cheapside

In the 1839 Street View, Tallis lists James Pimm at 3 Poultry (top elevation above) and in the 1847 Supplement at 77 Cheapside (lower elevation). The Poultry did not figure in the Tallis Supplements, so it is impossible from that source to determine whether Pimm hung on to that establishment, but the tax records for the Cheap Ward can help us out. Pimm was still mentioned in the tax records of 1846 as the proprietor of 3 Poultry, but in 1847 the line for that address is left empty, while in 1850 (no records seem to exist for 1848 and 1849) it is filled with the name of Samuel D. Morey. The premises listed in the Supplement for Pimm, 77 Cheapside, were still occupied by George Miner in 1839, although the Tallis plan mistakenly shows the name of a T. Carter, tailor and draper, on the elevation. I will get back to this discrepancy in a forthcoming post on Miner, but here we are concerned with the later occupation by Pimm.

An engraving of a drawing by T.H. Shepherd shows the two premises of Pimm’s, albeit only just. Looking from St. Paul’s towards the Poultry, Cheapside bends slightly to the right into Bucklersbury, which means that numbers 78, 79 and 80 are not visible in the engraving and Pimm’s at number 77 only just (pink arrow). You can recognise the building by the molding above the window on the first floor (pink circle). Number 3 Poultry is indicated by the green arrow. The Shepherd drawing gives the illusion that the two establishments were closer together than they actually were, but Tallis flattened the street in his View, giving a better idea of the situation.

Engraving from Shepherd & Elmes, London and its Environs in the Nineteenth Century, 1831

Engraving from Shepherd & Elmes, London and its Environs in the Nineteenth Century, 1831

Street section from Tallis Street View 38

Street section from Tallis Street View 38

1799 Horwood map

1799 Horwood map

In June 1822, James Pimm acquired the freedom of the City through the Company of Loriners by redemption, that is, by paying a fine for not following the usual route of a 7-year apprenticeship or by patrimony. On the admission paper it is already stated that he was a fishmonger. That same year he married Mary Southerden Mallery at St. Mary Woolnoth, and he started his career in nearby Lombard Street. From the baptisms of the couple’s children, we can work out the subsequent addresses of the family between 1823 and 1841. From 1823 to 1826, they lived in Lombard Street; from 1827 to June 1830 in George Street; from November 1830 to 1834 at 2 Poultry and from 1836 onwards at 3 Poultry.(1) In 1837, Pimm decorated his house with “a crown in variegated lamps” as part of the illuminations for Queen Victoria’s procession to Guildhall on 9 November (see for a painting of the procession here).(2) The 1841 census finds the Pimm family at 3 Poultry, but by 1851 they have moved to 77 Cheapside.

In most of the baptism entries for his children, James Pimm is listed as an oyster dealer, the 1841 baptism lists him as a shell fismonger and the 1841 census simply as fishmonger. But the 1851 census shows his business extending the range of goods on offer as he is then described as “confectioner and fish factor, master, employing 4 persons (not very clear, could be ‘personnel’). Daughter Mary and son Henry are both listed as confectioner’s assistants, Frances does not get a job description, William is an apprentice to a fish factor (not necessarily his father) and Ann is still a scholar. Also living on the premises is a female servant, also described as confectioner’s assistant. In 1854, son Henry Mallery acquires the freedom of the City by patrimony, not from the Loriners as his father had done, but perhaps more logically, from the Vintners. The documentation says that he does so “for particular reasons”, but no details about these reasons are given. In 1859, Henry Mallery takes out a General Game Certificate for which he had to pay 4l. 0s. 10d. with an additional duty of 10 per cent.(3) This certificate allowed him to shoot game where he wants, subject to the Law of trespass. For an example see here.

portrait of James Pimm, uploaded by kcarmichael43 on ancestry.co.uk

portrait of James Pimm, uploaded by kcarmichael43 on ancestry.co.uk

In 1861, according to the census, Henry Mallery and his brother William were living at 7 Billingsgate as fish factors, although the land tax on the property is listed for James. Father James, his wife Mary and daughters Frances and Ann were then still living and working at 77 Cheapside. James is said to be a fish factor employing two men, but he was soon to retire. On his death certificate – he died the 6th of August 1866 – he is said to be living at East Peckham. The cause of death is given as liver and heart failure. His probate record gives him as “formerly a fish factor” and “formerly of Cheapside but late of Billingsgate and of Bush-place East Peckham”. Henry Mallery and William are named as the executors of the estate.(4) When exactly the Cheapside establishment was transferred to others is unclear, but sons Henry and William seem to have remained at Billingsgate. In 1860, a list of householders of the Cheap Ward supporting the election of John Bennett as councilman lists a George Bradshaw at 77 Cheapside, but unfortunately without mentioning his occupation.(5) In 1862, James Pimm is still listed for the Cheapside address in the Land Tax records, but in 1864 George Bradshaw’s name has replaced his.

Pimm's o'clock
Pimm’s O’Clock?
From the above information, you might gather that all Pimm did was sell fish, oysters in particular, but his name has gone down in history for a very different reason, namely the invention of Pimm’s No. 1 Cup. According to legend, Pimm started offering refreshing drinks with his oysters to aid digestion. It is uncertain when exactly he started with his famous drink, but the year 1840 is usually mentioned, and the bottles proudly show that year, but there is no direct evidence for that. It is certain that he applied for a licence to sell alcohol for 77 Cheapside in 1850, but that was refused. The application was opposed, not surprisingly, by sixteen licensed victuallers of the area; one of the reasons given was that the seating area at number 77 was even smaller than that of 51 Cheapside, whose owner, Mr. Pill, had been refused a licence for not having sufficient accommodation. The report on the hearing does not show the authorities in a very favourable light; they were arguing amongst themselves about the procedure and the meeting had to be adjourned for a while so that the magistrates could rethink their position in the case. In the end, the licence was refused.(6)

no 1

A year later, Pimm tried again, and this time he had the backing of 120 inhabitants of the ward, although the licensed victuallers of the area were once again opposed, one of them Pimm’s neighbour, Mr. Innes of the Queen’s Arms Tavern, along with 100 other inhabitants. Pimm was asked whether he planned to live at the premises and he answered, “I do […] the house which I ask to be licensed is my only home; and I have not the slightest intention of leaving it, so long as I can keep it”. The magistrates decided that a licence should be granted as “the shop was an old established and respectable place, well-known in the City of London, possessing every convenience for refreshment”. Interesting to see how they changed their tune from the year before when the accommodation was considered inadequate. But there was a warning: the premises were not to be converted into a gin shop or public house, or the licence might be revoked.(76)

Borage (Borago officinalis) is used to flavour Pimm's

Borage (Borago officinalis) is used to flavour Pimm’s

Pimm’s No. 1 Cup was the first, and still the most popular, variety of Pimm’s beverage, but other varieties were introduced later on (see the Wikipedia page for its later history). It is also suggested that Samuel Morey, a former apprentice of Pimm’s, invented the drink. He was certainly Pimm’s successor at 3 Poultry, but he was not his apprentice. Morey only acquired the freedom of the City in 1854 and he did so by patrimony (his father was a Butcher), so had no need to become anyone’s apprentice. He may, of course, have been Pimm’s assistant before taking over the business at 3 Poultry, but I have found no evidence of that. On the contrary, Tallis already lists a Morey, fishmonger, at 201 Bishopsgate Without, that is, in 1839, and that address and 3 Poultry are both given on the probate record of Samuel Morey in 1877. More on the Morey family here, but for now, cheers, enjoy your Pimm’s.

Postscript: Terence Hodgson kindly sent me information and a picture of the architect’s drawings for 4 and 5 Poultry (see his comment), so many thanks to him. In 1870, restaurateur Frederick Sawyer, who took over from the Moreys, took an 80 year lease from the landowners, the Merchant Tailors’ Guild, and built a new Pimms restaurant at 4 and 5 Poultry. The architect for the new Pimms was a R H Moore, whose best still standing work is probably the Hop Exchange in Southwark. The building had the unusual conflans stone for its sheathing. In the new building, all floors were used for various types of grills and restaurants, and like many such buildings, the top floor, despite all the pretty arcading, was actually used for the kitchens and live-in staff quarters.

4-5 poultry

—————–
(1) Baptism dates: James 4 May 1823; James Henry 5 Sep 1824; Mary Mallery 12 Feb 1826; Henry Mallery 2 Dec 1827; James Norris, named after his grandfather, 28 June 1829; Francis Elizabeth 21 Nov 1830; William 12 Aug 1832; Ellen 18 May 1834; Ellen 17 Jan 1836; Ann 10 Sep 1837; George 14 July 1839; and Ann 1 Aug 1841. All but the last child, Ann, were baptised at St. Mary Woolnoth, but in 1841 St. Mildred Poultry was chosen.
(2) The Morning Chronicle, 10 November 1837.
(3) The Spectator, 8 October 1859.
(4) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1866. Effects valued at under £10,000.
(5) Daily News, 26 November 1860.
(6) The Era, 31 March 1850.
(7) The Era, 30 March 1851.

Neighbours:

<– 4 Poultry 2 Poultry –>
<– 78 Cheapside 76 Cheapside –>

Josiah John Luntley, undertaker

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Street View: 59
Address: 63 Shoreditch

elevation

In 1727, one Matthew Luntley, son of the taylor Richard Luntley, late of St. Olave’s Southwark, became the apprentice of Isaac Haydon, Citizen and Dyer. In 1744, John Luntley, the son of Matthew, became the apprentice of his father. John married Sarah Dickes in 1755 at St. Botolph Aldgate. They had a son John Josiah who married Elizabeth James in 1789. He is described as of Norton Folgate and she of St. Leonard Shoreditch. Her parents are not listed on the marriage registration, but one Philip James signed as witness. In 1804, the children of the couple were registered at Dr. Williams’s Library as being members of the Maze Pond Baptist congregation.(1) When John Josiah and Elizabeth’s son, another John Josiah, was apprenticed in 1808 it was to Philip James, Citizen and Haberdasher. On the indenture, John Josiah senior is described as auctioneer, appraiser and undertaker of 63 Shoreditch. Although Philip James is a member of the Haberdashers’ Company, advertisements show that he was already an auctioneer since at least 1801. An advertisement in The Morning Chronicle of 25 November 1801 gives his address as 63 Shoreditch. Later advertisements show Luntley and James in partnership at that address, so although John Josiah junior was officially apprenticed to Philip James, his grandfather, in practice he just worked in the Luntley/James family business. Philip James died in 1816 and from his will we can see that John Josiah had already taken over the business when his father-in-law retired. The foreman who worked for James is left ten pounds for a ring providing he is still in service with son-in-law John Josiah. Already in the 1811 Post Office Directory we just see the name of Luntley for 63 Shoreditch.

Advertisement in The Morning Chronicle,  31 August 1804

Advertisement in The Morning Chronicle, 31 August 1804

John Josiah junior (frequently referred to as Josiah John, or just simply as John) is made free of the Haberdashers’ Company in 1815 and from the will of his aunt Sarah (the daughter of John Luntley and Sarah Dickes) we learn that in 1819 he resided at 13 Holywell Street and that he was also an auctioneer.(2) When in 1837, the births of John Josiah junior’s children were registered at Dr. Williams’s Library, his address is given as 4, Durham Place, Hackney Road. His wife was Ann Hoby, the daughter of George Hoby, bootmaker of St. James’s Street.(3)

Advertisement in The Evangelical Magazine and Missionary Chronicle vol 20 (1842)

Advertisement in The Evangelical Magazine and Missionary Chronicle vol 20 (1842)

1842 portrait BennetIn the 1837 poll book, Luntley senior is still listed for 63 Shoreditch, but Pigot’s Directory for 1839 already shows Luntley junior as the auctioneer at that address. One of the first important auctions John Josiah junior is conducting from Shoreditch is that of the library and museum of George Bennet, collected during his missionary tour around the world from 1821 to 1829. Bennet originally came from Sheffield, but he died in Hackney. A tribute to him, written by his life-long friend James Montgomery, can be found in The Evangelical Magazine and Missionary Chronicle of February 1842.

Although advertisements for the Luntleys more often than not just mention their auction activities, the undertakers’ business was not forgotten. In the 1843 Post Office Directory, for instance, Luntley junior is listed as auctioneer & undertaker, continuing the tradition of his father and grandfather. In 1809, for instance, the bookseller and publisher Joseph Johnson of St. Paul’s Churchyard had requested “Mr. Luntley of Shoreditch” to arrange for his funeral.(4)

Auction Mart, St. Bartholomew's Lane from T.H. Shepherd and J. Elmes, Metropolitan improvements; or London in the nineteenth century

Auction Mart, St. Bartholomew’s Lane from T.H. Shepherd and J. Elmes, Metropolitan improvements; or London in the nineteenth century

By 1844, Luntley junior had removed the business to 42 Bishopsgate Street Without, but that does not mean that the actual auctions took place there. Most advertisements, as those of his father had done, direct the prospective buyers to the Auction Mart opposite the Bank of England. Luntley senior is also given the address of 42 Bishopsgate in his probate record of 1850. His estate is left unadministered by the executors until 1883. Luntley junior died in 1858; his address is then given as The Triangle, Hackney and no mention is made of the Bishopsgate address. The executors of junior’s will are his widow Ann, his son James and one John Francis Smith, a woollen cloth manufacturer.(5) In 1883 John Francis Smith finally sorts out the estate of Luntley senior.(6)

Source: findagrave.com. Photo added by: julia&keld 8/28/2007

Abney Park Cemetery (Source: findagrave.com. Photo added by: julia&keld 2007)

Josiah junior was a founding member of the Abney Park Cemetery Company and he was, of course, buried there. The death of John Josiah junior did not mean the end of the Bishopsgate Street business. The business was apparently continued by the next generation, John, the son of Josiah Jon and Ann. In 1864, however, John, undertaker and house agent, formerly of no. 42 Bishopsgate Street Without and now of no. 14 Liverpool Street, is requested to come before the Bankruptcy Court where he is formally declared a bankrupt.(7) In 1871, John is living in Bromley with his mother Ann and his siblings Sarah, Jane and Philip, all unmarried.

And what about the premises at 63 Shoreditch? In early 1846, James Corss and Stephen Roberts dissolve a partnership as tailors and drapers at 63 Shoreditch.(8) According to Tallis, Corss had been trading from various properties in Shoreditch High Street, but in 1846, he seems to have amalgamated his separate shops into one larger one at number 63. After he dissolved his partnership with Roberts, Corss turned 63 Shoreditch into the Great Eastern Clothing Emporium. In an advertisement, Corss says that his shop is to be found on the corner of Church Street, but that, according to Tallis at least, would be number 64, so either the numbering changed or Corss also acquired number 64 and made the whole corner into one large shop. Corss was to trade at number 63 until his death in August 1863. More on Corss in a forthcoming post, but for now I will leave it at this.

Advertisement for Corss in Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper, 13 June 1847

Advertisement for Corss in Lloyd’s Weekly London Newspaper, 13 June 1847

———
(1) Elizabeth James born 5 Nov. 1790; Josiah John born 2 May 1792; Philip James born 10 Feb. 1794; and Sarah Jane born 17 May 1796.
(2) She was buried according to her wishes in the family vault at Maze Pond (baptist) on 3 November 1819.
(3) Ann born 15 Dec. 1818; John born born 16 March 1820; Elizabeth born 18 Sept. 1821; Mary born 16 July 1823; Sarah born 28 Feb. 1825; James born 9 Dec. 1826; Jane born 6 April 1830; George born 15 Jan. 1832; and Philip Henry born 27 Dec. 1836.
(4) PROB 11/1513/111.
(5) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858. Effects valued at just over £7,000.
(6) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1883. Effects valued at just over £872.
(7) The London Gazette, 27 December 1864 and 21 July 1865.
(8) The London Gazette, 20 February 1846.

Neighbours:

<– 64 Shoreditch 62 Shoreditch –>

Toplis & Son, auctioneers

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

elevation 1847

Tallis’s Street View of St. Paul’s Churchyard in his 1847 Supplement just shows a very large property as number 16, but his 1839 edition (see below) is nearer the mark as it distinguishes between numbers 15 and 16 and shows the name of Allsup (late Pallatt & Green). I do not know for certain, but I presume that Allsup had the show rooms on the lower floor for his glass and china business, while Toplis had the first floor, possibly just at number 16. The premises were situated on the south side of St. Paul’s Cathedral, on the corner of Paul’s Chain, later renamed Goldiman Street. The row of houses east from Paul’s Chain have disappeared altogether and there is now a green space called Carter Gardens with the pavement in front of the triangular City of London information centre roughly where Toplis and Allsup had their businesses.

elevation in Street View of 1839

elevation in Street View of 1839

1799 detail from Horwood's map

1799 detail from Horwood’s map

print by Thomas Hornor of the south side of St. Paul's Cathedral, c. 1820 (Source: British Museum Collection) The red arrow points to number 16 and the blue one to nrs 22-23

print by Thomas Hornor of the south side of St. Paul’s Cathedral, c. 1820 (Source: British Museum Collection)
The red arrow points to number 16 and the blue one to nrs 22-23

James Toplis had started his career in 1790 as the apprentice of James Duthois, an upholder. In 1814, we find Toplis in the Sun Fire Office books at 22 and 23 St. Paul’s Churchyard, a few houses more to the east than number 16, as upholder (or with the more modern name upholsterer) and cabinet maker. From 1839 onwards, we find him in the insurance records at number 16 and auctioneering is added to his job description. But from an 1820 Old Bailey case, we know that he also acted as surveyor and appraiser for the Sun Fire Office.(1) In 1831, a Robert Maynard rented part of the Toplis house; this must have been at numbers 22-23 as the Land Tax records show that Toplis moved to number 16 in 1833. Maynard, who is always listed in the directories as a linen draper of 8 Ludgate Street gave the following information:

I am proprietor of an out-fitting warehouse. I did live on Ludgate-hill, but about a fortnight previous to this transaction, I had removed to St. Paul’s church-yard, to a house which has been parted off from the premises of Mr. Toplis, for the purpose of separate occupation – I occupied the first and second floors; the ground floor was under repair, and was to be occupied by Messrs. Toplis and Son – I enter by the front door, from which there is no direct communication with Mr. Toplis’ premises; there is by a back stair case – I believe Mr. Toplis, Sen., Mr. Toplis, Jun., and their families reside there; I have seen them, and had communication with them.(2)

The thieves are found guilty of trying to abscond with material belonging to Maynard and are sentenced to transportation for seven years, but that is not why I quoted Maynard’s testimony. He mentioned Mr. Toplis jun. which was James Toplis junior, who had been apprenticed to Thomas Stead, a surveyor, from 1816. The indenture does not say so, but James obtained his freedom in 1823 after the customary seven years and went into business with his father.

We know a little bit of the everyday running of the business, because Job Knight, a young furniture maker from Chelmsford, Essex, came to London to improve his situation and he started work for Toplis as draftsman and clerk. Knight left a diary for the year 1818 in which we can read that he was given all sorts of odd jobs to do, from collecting rent to helping out at the auctions, and from drawing furniture designs to helping in the upholstery workshop.(3) Only in the winter months, when the evenings were too dark to work, did Job have time to attend lectures, for instance at Guy’s Hospital or the London Philosophical Society. Eating and visiting friends or relatives were often combined activities. According to Heller, Job had the hour between 16.00 and 17.00 for his evening meal and he frequently spent that time at a friend’s or relative’s house. Knight died in 1819, just 30 years old.(4) Had he lived longer we might have learned a lot more about the everyday life of a young man trying to make his way as a cabinet maker.

1829 indenture Fox

Another young man with his eye on the future was Thomas Fox who became apprenticed to the Toplis firm in 1829 (see his indenture above), but in stead of remaining with them, he married one of the daughters(5) and then went to work in Bishopsgate Street where he took over from Henry Luke Cooper who had had a similar sort of business. No hard feelings apparently within the family about this ‘desertion’ as Fox was named as one of executors in the wills of both father and son Toplis.

Toplis was constantly on the look out for new houses to buy, sell or rent out, judging by the advertisements in The Morning Chronicle and The Morning Post, such as this one which was repeated numerous times in 1823:

1823 Morning Post 28 July

But the firm did not just deal in houses, but also ran an ‘ordinary’ auction house. In May 1845, for instance, they organised the sale of “the remaining stock of a wine merchant, about 500 dozen wine, chiefly port and sherry, including small quantities of champagne, claret, & sparkling hock. Also 11 dozen pints Tokay, salvage from the marquis of Bute’s from Luton Hoo”. The Luton Hoo property had gone up in flames in November 1843 (see here), but was insured with the Sun Fire Office and various other companies, so perhaps Toplis had been involved in his capacity as surveyor and appraiser for one of the Fire companies and had managed to combine his skills as auctioneer and surveyor to make some money from the unhappy event.

Advertisement in The Morning Chronicle, 19 February 1840.

Advertisement in The Morning Chronicle, 19 February 1840.

Sometime before 1845, Toplis expanded the business to a property at 30 New Bridge Street. On 7 April of that year, one of their employees, John Yeoman Hamilton, gave evidence in a case of theft. He said that he was in the employ of Mr. James Toplis of New Bridge Street, Blackfriars, and that the warehouses were in Water Lane.(6) That is not to say that the St. Paul’s Churchyard premises were let go, but they may have been reserved for the auction sale room as on 3 May 1854, they sold furniture, late the property of H.B. Swabey of 15, Great Cumberland Place, from “their rooms” at number 16. James Toplis junior died in 1855 and his father in 1861.(7)

The Toplis company still exists, but nowadays as Toplis & Harding, who, on one of their their websites say that William Daniel Harding joined the firm in 1844. I have not seen any evidence of that, but it is quite possible, although perhaps not straight away as a partner. The earliest mention of the name ‘Toplis and Harding’ I found was for 1858. William Daniel obtained the freedom of the City in 1865 and his sons Edward Ernest and William Daniel junior in 1879. The address of 16 St. Paul’s Churchyard remained until at least 1886; afterwards they could be found at 80 St. Paul’s Churchyard.

Daily News, 14 June 1886

Daily News, 14 June 1886

(1) Old Bailey case t18200918-2.
(2) Old Bailey case t18310512-131.
(3) B. Heller, Leisure and Pleasure in London Society, 1760-1820: an agent-centred approach, 2009. The original diary can be found in the Library of the Society of Friends, MS Vol S 485.
(4) PROB 11/1613/389. Job must have been a thrifty man as his estate was valued at over £720.
(5) Thomas Fox and Jane Toplis were married by licence at St. Ann Blackfriars on the thirty-first[!] day of September 1837.
(6) Old Bailey case t18450407-905.
(7) PROB 11/2224/25; and England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1861.

Neighbours:

<– 17 St. Paul’s Churchyard 15 St. Paul’s Churchyard –>
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