James Muston, feather merchant and wholesale upholsterer

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Street View: 33
Address: 81 Hatton Garden

elevation

James Muston started his career in Gough Square. We find him there in the 1799 tax records, but he had probably moved to 81 Hatton Garden by 1804. He was to remain the rest of his career at the Hatton Garden address. The births of his children were all registered at the Dr. Williams Library, as was usual for non-anglicans, while the baptisms themselves had taken place at the Fetter Lane Independent Chapel.(1) The records for the first three children indicate the Gough Street address, but from late 1803, the Mustons are recorded as of the parish of St. Andrew, Holborn. Although this does not guarantee a Hatton Garden address, it was certainly in the neighbourhood. Only in 1812, when little Emily was buried at Bunhill Fields, is a Hatton Garden address specified. Directories for 1811 and 1819 give Muston at 80 Hatton Garden, but that seems to have been a result of renumbering, rather than a removal; the numbers in Horwood’s map of 1799 do not quite match those in Tallis’s Street View. In all later records, Muston is given as at number 81. At various times, Muston’s name appears in the documents regarding a lease for the Fetter Lane Chapel, indication that he was more than just attending the services in the chapel. In 1817, Muston’s name appears in the List of the Governors and Officers of the Asylum for the Support and Education of the Deaf and Dumb Children of the Poor.

portraits of James and his wife Mary Ann by Charles Foot Tayler

portraits of James and his wife Mary Ann by Charles Foot Tayler (Source: Wigs on the Green)

A more personal note than just a name in the list of a charity, appears in the Brief Memorials of Mrs Innes by John Boutet Innes (1829). The reverend John Boutet wrote a memorial for his late wife, something between a funeral sermon and a personal memorial (online here), and in it he mentions his friends the Mustons:

On the day preceding that on which she was taken ill two friends from London, whom we had long known and much esteemed, who are indeed well known to the friends of missions, and of evangelical religion in the metropolis, (Mr. and Mrs. Muston of Hatton Garden) being in Norwich, spent the day with us, and having engaged apartments at the inn, would comply with our request only on condition that we passed the evening with them. This we did.

Mary Innes died about a week after the visit from the Mustons on 20 May 1829, so the Mustons must have been in Norwich around half May and they were in Chelmsford a week later when they heard of the tragedy. Mrs Muston wrote “Oh! how grieved and shocked I was, when the melancholy tidings reached us at Chelmford. I wept for hours”. Later that year, a more mundane event disturbed the peace at the Independent congregation at Fetter Lane. One Thomas Hopkins managed to open a window in the vestry from the outside. He was, however, seen taking two hats. One of the parishioners ran round to catch him in Fetter Lane and when the accused saw he was being followed, he dropped the hats, but was overtaken and given into custody. One of the hats belonged to James Muston and when he gave evidence, he described himself as a deacon of the church. The perpetrator claimed to be under the influence of alcohol, but the witnesses denied that, and Hopkins was sentenced to transportation for seven years, which seems rather harsh since the hats were returned to their owners and the window had not been broken open, but just lifted up.

advertisement in The Morning Chronicle, 20 January 1845

advertisement in The Morning Chronicle, 20 January 1845

Muston continued his upholstery business at Hatton Garden without further mishaps and the 1841 census finds him there as a 70-year old. He prided himself on his long experience which gave him the edge over flightier competitors, or so he claimed in the advertisement shown above. His name has not appeared in The London Gazette as a bankrupt, so he must indeed have managed to do well enough. He died in 1849, 78 or 79 years old, depending on who you believe, and the notice about his death in The Baptist Reporter duly repeated the important facts about his life.

May 25, at his residence, 81, Hatton garden, Mr. James Muston, aged 78, deeply regretted by his family and friends, and beloved by all who knew him. He was for many years a deacon of the Independent church in Fetter-lane, London.

portraits of daughters Agnes and Matilda Lewis by Mary Millington

portraits of daughters Agnes and Matilda Lewis by Mary Millington (Source: Wigs on the Green)

James was buried at St Thomas Square Cemetery, Mare Street, Hackney, on the 31st of May. In his will, he described himself as ‘bedding and mattress manufacturer’, which accords with what he claimed in the 1845 advertisement. His estate is to go to his wife Mary Ann, or if she pre-deceases him, is to be converted into money to be invested for the benefit of his daughter Agnes. He also mentions a daughter Mary Ann who had married Thomas Cross of Islington, but I have not found much other evidence of her. Mary Ann is to get the income of the trust after her sister Agnes’s death.(2) According to the England and Wales Marriage Registration Index she and Thomas were married in the 2nd quarter of 1840 at West London, but that is as far as I got. Her mother, Mary Ann senior and Agnes were to be found in Gosport in the 1851 census, so did not continue the upholstery business, but it apparently remained in the family for a little while as the 1851 Post Office Directory lists 81 Hatton Garden for Thomas Cross, bed and mattress maker, presumably Mary Ann junior’s husband. But not long afterwards, James Bass, a chemist, could be found at number 81. Tallis had already listed a James Bass, chemist, at Hatton Garden, albeit not at number 81, but at number 78. Whether it was the same James Bass or not will be sorted out in a forthcoming post, but for now, the story of 81 Hatton Garden is at an end.

—————-
(1) James Hoskins, 6 March 1800; Frederik Waters, 6 Sept 1801; Marianne, 15 Aug 1802; Elizabeth Sarah, 2 Dec 1803; Agnes, 25 Oct 1807; Lucilla, 30 April 1809; Emily, 24 April 1811; Matilda Lewis, 1812. No baptism record has been found for daughter Mary Ann, but she can perhaps be identified with the Marianne who was born in 1802.
(2) PROB 11/2095/44.

Neighbours:

<– 82 Hatton Garden 80 Hatton Garden –>

How & Cheverton, tea dealers

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Street Views: 54 and 82
Address: 21 Charlotte/Goodge Street

elevation Goodge Str

The address of the tea dealers caused some confusion, because of the unusual circumstance that the corner shop has two addresses, both with house number 21, that is: 21 Charlotte Street and 21 Goodge Street. Not to mention the fact that the house next door to 21 Charlotte Street is another 21 Charlotte Street, occupied by surgeon Gibbs. We will talk about him in a later post, but here we are concerned with the tea dealers.

elevation Ch Str

The elevation above this post shows the Goodge Street front and the one on the left the Charlotte Street front. Tallis has How and Cheverton as tea dealer in the Goodge Street index and as tea warehouse in the Charlotte Street index, but as you can see from the picture, they were also dealing in wine. Both sides of the building are 4 windows wide and a look at Google Street View shows that this is still the case; the house numbering has, however, changed and is now 44 Goodge Street and 44 Charlotte Street.

Google Street View

So, who were these tea (and wine) dealers?
Thomas Cheverton can be found at 21 Goodge Street in the 1841 census as ‘grocer’, but Thomas How is living at Turnham Green. With him are living a number of his children, but also a Louisa Cheverton and the one-year old John How Cheverton. Louisa Sarah, as she was officially baptised, was a daughter of Thomas How who had married John Orrill (or Orrall) Cheverton in 1838. We can assume a family link between this John Orrill and the Thomas who was in partnership with How, although I do not know which one exactly. The Chevertons and the Hows both had links to the Isle of Wight. Places of birth were not recorded in the 1841 census, but they were in the 1851 census and both Thomas How and Thomas Cheverton list the island as their birth place. But there was another link. Thomas Cheverton’s wife was one Mary Way, also from the Isle of Wight, and Thomas How dissolved a partnership in 1835 with one James Way, also from the Isle of Wight. James and Mary Way were most likely brother and sisters, the children of Henry Way, who died in 1839 on – you guessed – the Isle of Wight. One William Way and Thomas How had been trading as tea dealers and grocers at Great Newport Street until 1814 when they dissolved their partnership and James Way and Thomas How had been trading at 272 and 282 Oxford Street.(1) Tallis lists ‘Way & Co’ at number 272 and ‘How & Co’ at number 282. More on those businesses in another post, but first more on the grocery business in Goodge Street.

Advertisement in The Morning Chronicle,  15 June 1835

Advertisement in The Morning Chronicle, 15 June 1835

How and Cheverton were already listed in the 1829 tax records for Charlotte Street, so their partnership must have existed at least since then. However, the same day that Thomas How dissolved his partnership with James Way in May 1835, he also dissolved his partnership with Thomas Cheverton. Way and Cheverton were to continue the respective businesses. Cheverton apparently thought it a good idea to keep the name of How joined to his own for the business in Goodge Street, as Tallis still lists and depicts the firm as How & Cheverton in 1839, but it was nevertheless not to last. Cheverton was still listed at number 21 in the 1843 Post Office Directory, but in 1846, a notice in The London Gazette mentions him in the list of bankrupts. He is then described as of 107 Tottenham Court Road and late of 94 John Street, “out of business”.(2) He must have temporarily picked himself up again as the 1851 census find him as tea dealer at 62 Charles Street, Southwark, but after that, no more is heard of him until 1862 when he died on 19 October at Osborne View Cottage, Elmsgrove, Carisbrooke, Isle of Wight.(3)

Advertisement for Brocksopp in Hammond's list of London and provincial newspapers, periodicals, &c.,  1850

Advertisement for Brocksopp in Hammond’s list of London and provincial newspapers, periodicals, &c., 1850

Thomas How, on the other hand, did quite well. At some point he entered into a partnership with the Brocksopps, grocers and tea dealers at 233 and 234 Borough High Street. Pigot’s Directory of 1839 lists William Brocksopp & Co. at 233 Borough High Street, but in 1842 they are declared bankrupt. Thomas How probably came to the rescue as the 1843 Post Office Directory lists the firm as Brocksopp, How & Co. At various times, “Thomas How, of 233 and 234 High Street, Southwark, tea dealer”, was named as one of the trustees in bankruptcy cases, as for instance in 1844 when he was to be one of the trustees of the estate and effects of William Sloan of Banbury.(4) And again in 1847 for the estate and effects of John Bumpstead of 297 High Street, Chatham.(5) The partnership with the Brocksopps probably ended in late 1850 as the advertisement above no longer shows his name, although the 1851 Post Office Directory still has Brocksopp, How & Co. for the Borough premises. Although I have not found an official notice of the end of partnership in The London Gazette, How’s name no longer appeared in the entry for the Brocksopps in the 1856 Post Office Directory.

Grandson John How Cheverton also went into tea and could be found in Hong Kong in 1865 for Johnson & Co. of Gough Street.(6) In 1866, he was to become a partner in that firm.(7) But he was not the only one of the family to go to China, as the address given for his uncle Edwin Henry How in the probate record of Thomas How was Foo Chow, China.(8) Thomas had died in March 1866 at Gordon House, Turnham Green, where the censuses since 1841 had found him. Before that, or at least between 1814 and 1835, when his numerous children were baptised, his address had always been Great Newport Street.

21 Charlotte Street in the 1856 Post Office Directory

21 Charlotte Street in the 1856 Post Office Directory

And what about 21 Goodge/Charlotte Street? As we saw, Thomas Cheverton moved out before 1847 and twenty years later, the property came on the market and was described as “a dwelling house, with double-fronted shop and premises […] an important situation, in the occupation of Mr. Anderson, chemist, on lease at £140 per annum”.(9) In the twenty years between Cheverton’s move to John Street and Anderson’s occupation at the time of the sale, various occupants can be found for the premises. The 1851 Post Office Directory lists John Bainbridge, upholsterer, for 21 Goodge Street, but he made way in the 1856 Post Office Directory for Mrs Mary Ann Bott, who ran a straw bonnet manufactory. She can already be found there in the 1851 census, while John Bainbridge is not to be found in the census of either 21 Charlotte Street, nor in 21 Goodge Street.

On 8 July 1855, Reynolds’s Newspaper mentions the annual meeting of the Western Dispensary for Diseases of the Skin, which was held on the 26th of June “at the dispensary, 21, Charlotte Street”. The Post Office Directory entry for 21 Charlotte Street explains this seeming discrepancy. They have three occupants at number 21A Charlotte Street: the Western Dispensary, Mrs Bradley, dressmaker, and Adolphus Dubois, a dentist. For number 21 they have the coffee rooms of Thomas Eversfield. As they also indicate where the side streets are, we can work out that 21A is the building on the corner of Goodge Street and the coffee rooms must be further up Charlotte Street, the same premises as where we found surgeon Gibbs in the Tallis Street View. The 1871 census gives for 21 Goodge Street, “only a shop in which no one sleeps being part of house, corner of and numbered in Charlotte Street”. Charlotte Street had by then been renumbered from number 21 to number 44 with various families listed, among them one James Titley, a chemist. Did he take over from Anderson? Titley acquired some notoriety in 1880 for supplying drugs to induce an abortion, and I will leave you and this post with the newspaper report of the Old Bailey case.

Reynold's Newspaper, 19 December 1880. Click to read the whole article

Reynold’s Newspaper, 19 December 1880. Click to read the whole article.

(1) The London Gazette, 15 February 1814 and 6 October 1835.
(2) The London Gazette, 25 December 1846.
(3) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1862. Effects valued at under £450.
(4) The London Gazette, 6 December 1844.
(5) The London Gazette, 16 November 1847.
(6) The Directory & Chronicle for China, Japan etc., 1865.
(7) The London and China Telegraph, 27 February 1866.
(8) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1866. Effects for Thomas How valued at under £60,000, but resworn in 1868 at under £30,000.
(9) The Daily News, 29 May 1867.

Neighbours:

<– 21 Charlotte Street 20 Goodge Street –>

Joseph Sterry & Son, Italian warehouse

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Street View: 39
Address: 156 Borough High Street

elevation

The Sterry family had been trading in Southwark for a number of generations. In 1740, Benjamin Sterry (1704-1755) was described as a seedsman of the St. George the Martyr area, and his son Richard (1733-1786) was variously described as a salter, oilman or seedsman of the same area. The extraordinary diary of Thomas Turner, a shopkeeper of East Hoathley, Sussex, mentions Richard a few times. Apparently Turner and Sterry did business together, although what goods they traded exactly is not said, but the men were on good terms, corresponded, and visited each other. In 1758, for instance, Richard Sterry wrote to Turner and mentioned that someone had set fire to the temporary wooden bridge that had been erected because London Bridge was being demolished (see the blog post by the Georgian Gentleman for another recording of and more information on the event). Turner was greatly offended by “so black and horrid a crime”, but explained it as proof of “the predominancy of vice and wickedness in this irreligious age”. In March 1759, Turner went to London on business and “spent the eve and supped with Mr. Sterry, where I also lodged”. A few years later, the visit was reciprocated and Turner wrote, “Mr. Richard Sterry called on me and supped with me and also stayed all night. In the even we balanced our accounts”.(1)

A trade card in the Lewis Walpole collection for Richard shows an olive tree which has been regarded as the Sterry shop sign (see here). The card already says that the shop was opposite St. George’s church, so although no house number is given, it probably was at number 156. Father Benjamin and son Richard were both buried in the Friends’ Burial Ground at Long Lane, Southwark, true to their Quaker beliefs. Richard’s son Anthony (1759-1826) was the next to continue the business and from him we have two documents telling us more. The first one is a receipt for a Mr. Granger who bought some oil in 1793, on which Sterry describes himself as oil and colourman. The receipt definitely places Sterry at 156 Borough High Street, opposite the church of St. George the Martyr, and, judging by the trade mark on the receipt, the shop sign was indeed ‘the olive tree’. A second document lists some of the goods Anthony had for sale in the shop. Not only oil, either for cooking, greasing or painting, but sand, soap, salt, and starch were among the useful articles that could be bought in Sterry’s shop, not to mention other groceries, such as caraway seeds, vinegar, pickles and dry peas. And if you were in need of mops, brooms, hemp, or gunpowder, Sterry was your man.

AN00546986_001_l

Receipt and trade card, late 18th century  (© Trustees of the British Museum)

Receipt and trade card, late 18th century (© Trustees of the British Museum)

Anthony died in 1826, a bachelor, and was also buried at Long Lane. He received a memorial in the Annual Monitor (1827) in which it is said that he had a pleasant personality and that he had devoted a lot of time to “objects of public benevolence”. He suffered from gout and a few weeks before his death he had “a paralytic seizure, which shook his enfeebled frame”. But just as he was recovering, he had a second seizure and died two days later. In his will he described himself as “late of the High Street, but now of Newington Butts”, suggesting he had already retired from the business.(2) He left various bequests to his brother Joseph, his nephews Joseph junior and Henry, and to lots of cousins and (former) servants, as well as to the Quaker Monthly Meeting. His brother Joseph (1777-1857) and nephew Joseph junior (1800-1875) are next mentioned in the Surrey tax records for the premises as Sterry & Son.

By 1831 that has changed to Sterry & Sons, as younger son Henry (1803-1869) also joined the business. In 1837, they insure 156 and 157 Borough High Street and 1, 2 and 3 Mint Street. Number 156 was situated on the corner of Mint Street, so it is not illogical that they acquired the neighbouring properties around the corner, although they may have rented out some of their space, as in the 1848 and 1851 Post Office Directories, 2 and 3 Mint Street are occupied by John Askew. 157 High Street, by the way, is not mentioned by Tallis. The next door neighbours are at number 158, although Horwood in his 1799 map still shows 156 and 157 as separate buildings. Tallis describes the shop as an Italian warehouse, which, in those days, meant a grocery shop that also sold some ‘foreign’ wares, such as dried pasta, dried fruits, and possibly tins of anchovies and such like, but the Sterrys also continued the sale of ‘ordinary’ goods, such as salt, soap and various kinds of oil.

1799 Horwood

In 1845, Joseph senior and his second wife Deborah transferred to the Hertford Monthly Meeting with a certificate from the Southwark Monthly Meeting, indicating that they were Friends of good standing.(3) The move was probably connected to Joseph’s retirement as, also in 1845, Joseph, Joseph junior, and Henry dissolve their partnership at 156 High Street. The notice in The London Gazette says that all debts due or owing to or by the said partnership will be paid and received by Sterry, Sterry, and Co, no. 143 High Street.(4) Does this mean they moved the whole business to number 143? No, it does not, as in 1851, an advertisement for the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society still mentions number 156 as the address for Joseph Sterry where tickets could be bought for the charity soiree that was to be organised by the society.(5)

In February 1857, Richard, Henry, Joseph, and Alfred Sterry dissolve the partnership they had as Sterry, Sterry, and Co. at 23 Cannon Street and as Joseph Sterry and Sons at 156 High Street.(6) If I understand all this correctly, then the partnership that was dissolved in 1845 was due to Joseph senior’s retirement (in the 1851 census he is listed as ‘retired oilman’), and the 1857 split was a result of Alfred dropping out, although the death of Joseph senior earlier that year, may also have had something to do with it.(7) In late 1858, the partnership between the three remaining Sterrys is dissolved.(8) The Cannon Street address seems to have been a replacement for 143 High Street. Number 143, by the way, does not exist in the Tallis Street View; between numbers 143 and 144 is Layton’s Buildings which was the address for Richard and Alfred, second cousins of Joseph junior and Henry (Richard and Alfred’s grandfather Benjamin was the brother of Joseph and Henry’s grandfather Richard), as it had been at least since 1823 when their father Richard is mentioned at that address as wholesale oilman in Kent’s Directory. You can just see the letters ‘LAY’ of Layton in the top right-hand corner of Horwood’s map above between numbers 142 and 144.

Advertisement from The Observer, 4 April 1852

Advertisement from The Observer, 4 April 1852

Henry Sterry died in 1869 and the 156 High Street and 23 Cannon Street addresses are given as former addresses in his probate entry.(9) Joseph died in 1875 and is only described as of Peckham Rye Common with his two sons as gentlemen of the same address.(10) Joseph Ashby Sterry, the son of Henry, also left the grocery business and became a journalist and writer. But that does not mean the Sterrys disappeared altogether from the High Street. The 1873 Post Office Directory has a firm still called Joseph Sterry & Sons, although the original Joseph and Sons were no longer in charge, as manufacturers of poor man’s plaisters and German paste at 2 Mint Street, and in the 1892 Post Office London Directory they are found at 2 Marshalsea Road, but that is just a name change for Mint Street.

Below are two pictures of the Sterry shop: the first one is from The Penny Magazine of 14 October 1837 and (just) shows the Sterry premises on the extreme left-hand side. The second picture is from 1826 and by William Knox. In that painting, the Sterry shop is the second on the left, next to Sheppard’s wine and spirit vaults. Knox depicted Mint Street (between Sheppard’s and Sterry’s) a lot narrower than it in fact was, but let’s call that artistic licence. Nothing is now left of the corner shop. Where once Suffolk Place, the grand Tudor town house of Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk, stood, and where the Sterrys had their business for more than a century, a modern Brandon House was built in the 1970s. And even that has now been demolished to make way for yet another property developer’s scheme.

Borough High Street

 

More, lots more, on the Sterry family can be found here.

(1) The Diary of Thomas Turner 1754-1765, ed. David Vaisey (1984).
(2) PROB 11/1712/199.
(2) Library of the Society of Friends, TEMP MSS 59/8/1-108. Thanks go to Tabitha Driver for sorting this out for me. In 1799, Joseph senior had married Ann Hicks of Bardfield/Saling, Essex; she died in 1811 and Joseph remarried in 1813 to Deborah Heming.
(4) The London Gazette, 1 August 1845.
(5) The Daily News, 14 May 1851.
(6) The London Gazette, 17 February 1857.
(7) He died 1 January and was buried 8 January at Hertford. PROB 11/2253/138.
(8) The London Gazette, 4 January 1859.
(9) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1869. Estate valued at under £30,000.
(10) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1875. Estate valued at under £30,000.

Neighbours:

<– 112 Blackman Street 158 Borough High Street –>

Becket & Young, tea dealers

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Street View: 83
Address: 3 High Street, Islington

elevation 3 High Street

Due to its proximity to the Angel Inn at number 1 High Street, the building occupied by Becket and Young has been depicted several times, so we can get a fair idea of what it looked like. The two pictures below are both from the 1820s and show the Angel Inn as the large building on the left, then a draper’s shop at number 2, called Pentonville House, and next, Becket & Young’s grocery business.

C.H. Matthews, c. 1820 (© Trustees of the British Museum)

C.H. Matthews, c. 1820 (© Trustees of the British Museum)

illustration from Survey of London, Vol. 47 via British History Online

illustration from Survey of London, Vol. 47 via British History Online

The Angel Inn used to have a larger front in the High Street, but when it was rebuilt in the early 1820s, the northern section was turned into two houses, that is, numbers 2 and 3 High Street. A ground plan exists of the 1822 situation of the Angel Inn and although the building does not look that big from the High Street, it comprised more than just the building at the corner of High Street and Pentonville Road. It ran a long way back in the north-western corner where the stables and outbuildings could be found. The plan below is orientated towards the west, so the north, that is, the direction of the High Street towards Upper Street, is found on the right-hand side of the plan, while the top of the plan points towards the west. It is the same orientation that Tallis used in his Street View of High Street.

1822 ground plan for the Angel Inn from Survey of London, Vol. 47 via British History Online

1822 ground plan for the Angel Inn from Survey of London, Vol. 47 via British History Online

I have drawn the plot for number 3 in orange. It has the name of Mr. Evans written at the top of the plot, which is Edward Evans, a linen draper, who moved into the newly built shop, but did not last very long as in 1826, bankruptcy proceedings were taken out against him.(1) Whether Becket and Young moved in immediately after Evans’s bankruptcy is not clear. When Becket’s first wife died in 1832, she is said to be of High Street, but no house number is given, so perhaps not yet of number 3, but still of number 10 where Pigot’s Directory of 1825-6 had listed Becket. Becket & Young are definitely at number 3 in 1839 when the next Pigot’s Directory was published. When the street was renumbered later in the century, numbers 2 and 3 became 3 and 5 and were combined into one business when Lipton’s occupied the premises in the 1890’s. A new shop front was added in the 1930s and the combined building now houses a pub that appropriated the name of the original inn at number one, The Angel.

I have found no advertisements for Becket & Young’s grocery shop as such, so except for the tea and foreign fruits you could buy there according to the lettering on their building in the Street View, we do not know what was on offer. But, you could register your lost property with them and when doing so, you could of course also stock up on groceries.

advertisement in The Daily News, 26 September 1846

advertisement in The Daily News, 26 September 1846

In May 1852, Charles Becket and John Young dissolved their partnership as tea dealers and grocers at 3 High Street, Islington, and 10 Sebbon’s Buildings, Upper Street, Islington.(2) The 1851 census gives Becket, 56 years old, at 3 High Street with his (second) wife, 3 sons, 2 daughters, 2 shopmen and a servant. The occupation field lists Becket as grocer, employing 2 men and 1 apprentice. The 2 men will be the shopmen living on the premises and the apprentice is son Charles junior. Partner John Young, 45 years old can be found at 10 Setton’s Buildings as tea dealer, with his wife, 2 daughters, a son, 2 nieces and a nephew, 2 assistants and 2 servants. Becket died in 1854, but his estate, valued at £66, was left unadministered by his widow Sarah and probate was granted in 1883 to son Frank, an auctioneer. Probate for Sarah’s estate – she had died in 1881 – was also granted to Frank and valued at £98. He did, however, not sort it out and after his death in 1885, probate for Sarah’s estate was granted to daughter Sarah. The effects had by then dwindled to £23.(3)

John Young did rather better. From the 1861 census onwards, we find him at 240 Upper Street with son Herbert, also a grocer, and various family members, assistants and servants. John died in 1893 and probate was granted to son Herbert. The estate was valued at over £3,865, so decidedly more than what Charles Becket eventually left.(4)

vignette

Becket & Young’s shop in the vignette of Tallis Street View 83

(1) The London Gazette, 24 November 1826.
(2) The London Gazette, 11 May 1852.
(3) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1881, 1883, 1885.
(4) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1893.

Neighbours:

<– 2 High Street 4 High Street –>

Stephen and George Hooper, stationers and printers

Tags

Street Views: 15 and 13 Suppl
Address: 179 and 45 Fleet Street

elevation 179 Fleet

A search for the history of 179 Fleet Street brought me to the trade card collection in the British Museum where they have a card for Thomas Neave, an oil and colourman. Neave has left precious little trace of his life, but I found an indenture for the year 1800 when he was apprenticed to James Soames. This document tells us that his father was David Neave of Leadenhall Street, a victualler, and an insurance record of 1815 places Thomas at 179 Fleet Street, but that is more or less it. If he started working at number 179 straight after he obtained his freedom, he would have been there from 1807 or 1808 onwards, but certainly no longer than till 1816. The only tax record I could find for Neave was from 1816, so all we can say with a hundred per cent certainty is that he was at 179 Fleet Street in 1815 and 1816. In 1817, the property at 179 Fleet Street is registered for William Parker; in 1828 for Parker’s widow Elizabeth; in 1829 it is empty; and from 1831 to 1834 a William Knight who can be found there. And from 1835, the tax records show the name of Hooper, the subjects of this post. More on the Hoopers themselves in a minute, but first something about the developments in the area and the consequences for the Hooper premises.

trade card (source: British Museum Collection)

trade card (source: British Museum Collection)

Neave did leave us this nice trade card which depicts his shop. On the right of the picture you can see a small section of the neighbouring business, Peel’s Coffee House, and on the left you can see the shop of Samuel Nock, a gun maker. Peel’s Coffee House was still there when Tallis produced his Street View in ±1839, but Nock and Neave had made way for Mickham, a tobacconist, and S. & G. Hooper, stationers and printers, respectively. The street between the two bollards on the Neave trade card is Fetter Lane and it is clearly not wide enough to take a large amount of traffic. In 1838, the Public Record Office Act placed the records of the Courts of Law and their offices in a non-ministerial department under the authority of the Master of the Rolls for safekeeping.(1) Plans were put forward to build a new repository on a site between Chancery Lane and Fetter Lane, but concerns were raised about the width of Fetter Lane and the decision was taken to widen it by removing a row of houses on the east side of the lane, thereby almost completely obliterating Fleur de Lys Court with the exception of a small section on the north side. See for maps of the before and after situation the post on Peel’s Coffee House. The houses that had to make way were gradually bought up and in 1842, the Hoopers at number 179 had to move. I think they temporarily removed their business to number 203 as that is where the 1843 Post Office Directory finds them, but the property at number 45, on the exact opposite side of the street of number 179, became vacant somewhere in 1843 as Charles John Eckford went bankrupt, and that is where they ended up.

section of Tallis's Street View showing numbers 179 and 45 opposite

section of Tallis’s Street View showing numbers 179 and 45 opposite

Stephen and George Hooper were the sons of another Stephen and their City freedom documents (by patrimony) give their father as a Currier. The brothers were in business together until 1848 when their partnership was dissolved. Stephen continued the business, later together with his son Stephen Wastel. They specialised as law stationers, no surprise with the Inns of Court so close by. The lawyers no doubt had need of parchment sheets to use for producing official deeds, and various advertisements for the Hoopers mention them as ‘stationers and parchment dealers’. In the 1851 census, Stephen’s son, Stephen Wastel, was found in Llandilo-fawr, Carmarthenshire. He was described as a commercial traveller in the paper line, so he may very well have been sourcing and/or selling paper and parchment for his father. The 1851 Post Office Directory just lists Stephen at number 45, but by 1856, he must have taken his son as partner, as the Post Office Directory for that year lists them as “Hooper Stephen & Son, stationrs & parchmnt dlrs”.

Not long afterwards, Stephen must have retired as the 1857 tax records name Stephen Wastel as the proprietor of number 45. An Old Bailey case of 1858, in which an employee is accused of stealing money, has Ebenezer Purcell describe himself as foreman to Stephen Wastel. He then confused the issue of Hooper’s occupation somewhat, as all of a sudden Hooper is described as a grocer of Fleet Street. Purcell claims to be the foreman of Hooper’s grocery business and as such had taken on the accused as a porter. The prisoner denied being in Hooper’s employ and Hooper testified that his main business was that of a stationer in Fleet Street, but that he also ran the grocery business of Barnum, Breddall & Co. which he had kept under that name so “that it may not interfere with [his] other business”. Purcell had the management of the grocery business with which Hooper claimed he had little to do, presumably meaning that he had little to do with the everyday running of the shop.(2) I have not found any information on Barnum and Breddall, so am not even sure whether that business was also run from number 45, or whether it was situated somewhere else in Fleet Street. No house numbers were mentioned in the transcription of the court case, so it remains unclear where exactly this grocery was. The 1856 Post Office Directory certainly does not list them, either in Fleet Street or in the list of grocers.

Advertisement in The Solicitor's Journal & Reporter, 2 December 1865

Advertisement in The Solicitor’s Journal & Reporter, 2 December 1865

Whatever this excursion into grocery may have been, and it probably did not last very long, the 1861 census just describes Hooper as stationer, employing 10 men.(3) Stephen Wastel extended the business by not just providing lawyers with the physical articles they needed for their profession, such as stamps and paper, the firm also acted as agents or middlemen, providing matches for partnerships or clerks. And a few years later, Hooper even ventured into money lending. In 1874 or 1875, he moved the business to 69 Ludgate Hill. Number 45 is listed in the Land Tax records of 1875 for the “proprietors of the Scotsman’, who remained there until they moved into their new building on the corner of Fleet Street and Bouverie Street (photo here).

Advertisement in The Law Times, 2 February 1867

Advertisement in The Law Times, 2 February 1867

In later life, Stephen Wastel, and his second wife, Mathilda, resided in Deptford (1881 census), in Ramsgate (1891 census), and at Ebury Street, Chelsea where he died on 23 April 1893.(4) But the business continued after the owner’s death, at least till the early 1900s. The illustrations below show the range of services and goods they provided, from stationers’ goods and telegrams, to printing and paper making.

bill, 1901 (Source: Ebay)

bill, 1901 (Source: Ebay)


top of a letter, 1886 (Source: Ebay)

top of a letter, 1886 (Source: Ebay)


trade card (Source: Victorian Typography & Design)

trade card, after 1874 (Source: Victorian Typography & Design)

(1) For more information see here.
(2) Old Bailey case t18581025-940. The 1861 census finds Ebenezer Purcell as ‘managing grocer’, but they do not say where.
(3) He is living at Oval, Kennington, with his wife Eliza and two stepdaughters, Mary Ann and Fanny White. Fanny died in 1862 and is buried at Norwood Cemetery. Eliza died in 1872 and is buried in the same grave (8196-78).
(4) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1893. Estate valued at over £16,000.

Neighbours:

<– 180 Fleet Street 177-178 Fleet Street –>
<– 46 Fleet Street 44 Fleet Street –>

Charles John Eckford, carver and gilder

Tags

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.

More information on the Eckfords can be found on the National Portrait Gallery website here and here. And 45 Fleet Street? The fact that Eckford left in 1843, came in very handy for the neighbours across the street, Stephen and George Hooper, as their shop was about to be destroyed.

Advertisement sheet  (© Trustees of the British Museum)

Advertisement sheet (© Trustees of the British Museum)

(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

Tags

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

Tags

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 fireman 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

Tags

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 than 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]


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Neighbours:

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

James Crocker, reel cotton manufacturer

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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 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 –>