James Chaffin, glass and lamp manufacturer

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Street View: 15
Address: 69 Fleet Street

In 1839, when Tallis brought out his first set of Street Views, James Chaffin shared 69 Fleet Street with Perkins, Bacon & Fetch, bank note engravers. They were the more important occupants, or perhaps they were more willing to pay Tallis to show their names above the building in the Street View booklet. Jacob Perkins paid the tax from 1821 onward, and Chaffin’s name is not listed in the tax records for Fleet Street, suggesting he just rented some space from Perkins & Co. By 1847, when the Street View Supplements came out, Perkins & Co. shared number 69 with bookseller Robinson; Chaffin was no longer mentioned. More on Perkins and Robinson in later posts, but in this post, we will go back in time, rather than forward.

top part of James’s indenture

In 1808, James, the son of James Chaffin of Lower Street, Islington, is apprenticed to his father, a chemist and druggist, which may go a long way towards explaining why Chaffin junior is sometimes listed as a chemical glass lamp manufacturer. In 1815, James Chaffin senior wrote his – very short – will. He does not start with the usual preamble, but says that “reflecting upon the uncertainty of life” he considered it “a prudent measure to declare on this written paper my will”. He names his wife Sarah as his sole heir and executrix and gives his address as 5 Lower Street, Islington. He only died in 1840, so quite a number of years after he wrote his will, but he apparently saw no reason to change it in the intermediate years. His son James of 69 Fleet Street, glass manufacturer, and Jane Richards Nash of 2 Canonbury Place, an acquaintance of many years, both testify in 1840 that they knew the deceased well and that the will and signature are indeed in his handwriting. Widow Sarah is duly granted probate.(1) Although James junior had his shop in Fleet Street, he did not live there. The 1841 census saw the bachelor living with his mother Sarah and Jane Nash at Albion Terrace.

Although he did not have his name displayed above the shop in Tallis, Chaffin was considered to supply lamps of quality, good enough for the likes of Michael Faraday, who, in 1835, wrote to Percy Drummond about some bills from Chaffin’s.(2) Chaffin sold, no doubt besides other types of lamps, the Sinumbra, or Shadowless Lamp, patented by Paisley & Co. of New Bond Street. According to an advertisement, the lamps “increase illumination without any additional consumption of oil, dissipates all shadow by the construction of it frosted glass distributor, and softens the glare of light so generally objected to in other lamps”. See for examples here and for more information on the lamps and their history here. But lamps were not all that Chaffin sold. An Old Bailey case of 1829 also mentions decanters, water bottles, tumblers, salt cellars and salt cellar standards.(3) A watchman giving evidence in the same case confirms that nobody actually lived at the property.

The Morning Chronicle, 28 November 1822

The 1843 Post Office Directory lists Chaffin’s at 69 Fleet Street as ‘chemical & gen[eral] glass & lamp wa[rehouse]’, but in the 1848 directory he is no longer present and 69 Fleet Street is occupied by W.W. Robinson and Perkins, Bacon & Fetch. A clue can be found in the 1851 census where James is found in Henrietta Street as clerk to a print seller, so no longer with his own glass business. There is no record in The London Gazette of him going bankrupt, so that cannot have been the reason for his career switch, but we will leave his later career for what it is and return to 69 Fleet Street for an earlier occupant.(4)

In 1820, an advertisement in The Morning Chronicle stated that Chaffin and his partner Vaughan were the successors to Messrs. Parker and Sons at their Glass and Lamp Warehouse in Fleet Street. The partnership with Vaughan, by the way, must have lasted till at least 1825 as they are still listed together in Pigot’s Directory for that year.

Chandelier by William Parker (© National Trust Collection) at the Bath Assembly Rooms. He supplied them with three 40-light chandeliers for the tea rooms and another five for the ballrooms.

Parker
Samuel Parker and William Perry had been trading together at Fleet Street since 1803 as cut-glass manufacturers, but dissolved their partnership in 1817.(5) Samuel continued the Fleet Street business with his sons till 1820, but then sold the premises, moved his business to Argyll Street and concentrated more on producing goods in bronze rather than glass.(6). Twenty years earlier, in 1798, Samuel had taken over the glass and lamp manufactury from his father William Parker. William was famous for his chandeliers and counted many aristocratic and royal patrons amongst his customers. The catalogue Country House Lighting 1680-1890 calls him the “pre-eminent London maker” of chandeliers from the 1770s and the “development of a supremely elegant style of chandelier [is] associated with his name”. The Prince of Wales’ feathers on his invoices clearly advertise Parker’s royal patronage and he apparently supplied the Prince of Wales with £4,000 worth of items for Carlton House in the 1780s. Country House Lighting quotes an invoice for the Duke of Devonshire which tells us that “2 large 12 light lustres richly cut and ornamented” cost £210 and “13 very large vase lamps” were £11-14-0. But Parker also sold more moderate items, such as decanters, glasses, candle sticks, table lamps, etc., many of which are still to be found. A Google Image search for William Parker + glass brings up a number of examples, see here.

invoice 1787 (Source: Lewis Walpole Library, see here)

Parker also improved the quality of lenses (or rather burning glasses) to such an extent that the correspondence of men of science favourably reported on them, for instance in 1782 when one William Vaughan wrote to Benjamin Franklin:

I saw yesterday a lense whose powers you are not perhaps unacquainted with. Platina melts in Seventeen Seconds & other metals yeild to its power. The weather has not been favorable for a variety of experiments. Parker has however many in contemplation with the assistance of our philosophical men here. I beleive it is found superior to the one in France. The lense is solid, & weighs 212 pd. (7)

The Benjamin Franklin Papers at the American Philosophical Society include an engraving of Parker’s lens.

Source: American Philosophical Society, online here

Horwood’s 1799 map showing the four houses between Water Lane and Crown Court

Sources vary as to when William Parker started his glass business at 69 Fleet Street, but 1763 seems to be the correct year. At least, from that year onwards we find his name in the Land Tax records for the Salisbury Court Precinct of Farringdon Without. He occupied the second of four houses situated between Water Lane (later renamed Whitefriars Street) and Hanging Sword Court (later Crown Court). In the Tallis Street View, we can indeed see that Chaffin, Robinson and Perkins & Co. had their shops in the second house from Water Lane.

trade card for William Parker (© Trustees of the British Museum)

William Parker took over the premises in Fleet Street from Joshua Lewis halfway through the tax return period of 1763; they are both listed for that year. Lewis was most likely the upholder (or upholsterer) who moved to The Three Tents near Water Lane in 1736. But since he had nothing to do with the sale of glass, I will stop this post here.

London Daily Post and General Advertiser, 17 March 1736

(1) PROB 11/1924/405.
(2) The Correspondence of Michael Faraday, volume 2: 1832-1840. Letter 823, dated 15 October 1835.
(3) Old Bailey case t18290115-49.
(4) James Chaffin died 16 November 1869. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1870. His estate was valued at under £200.
(5) The London Gazette, 30 September 1817.
(6) Geoffrey De Bellaigue, ‘Samuel Parker and the Vulliamys, purveyors of gilt bronze’, Burlington Magazine, vol.139, 1997, pp.26-37.
(7) Founders Online.

Neighbours:

<– 70 Fleet Street 68 Fleet Street –>

Smith & Pinkney, solicitors

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Street View: 75
Address: 41 Chiswell Street

No elevation from the Tallis Street View to grace the top of this post as Tallis depicted numbers 1-37 and on the other side of the street numbers 53-91, missing out 39 to 52. Did he plan another Street view of that section of Chiswell Street, continuing into Beech Street? Possibly, but then why would he include the occupants of those properties in the index? No logical answer seems to be available, so we will make do with Horwood’s street plan of 1799.

Horwood shows what became Smith and Pinkney’s property as number 80 (red arrow), just around the corner from Whitecross Street. The blue arrow points towards what is now Sundial Court, formerly part of the Whitbread brewery, and the green arrow points to Lamb’s Passage which is still there.

Pinkney’s career started on the 27th of May in 1831 with the following contract:

William Davidson Keats clerk to George Trewhitt of Cooke Court near Lincolns Inn in the County of Middlesex Gentleman one of the attornies of his Majesty’s Court of Kings Bench at Westminster and a solicitor by Articles of Clerkship bearing date the Twenty first day of May Instant and made between The said George Trewhitt of the one part and Herbert Pinkney of Walnut Tree Walk in the County of Surrey Gentleman and Thomas Francis Pinkney Son of the said Herbert Pinkney of the other part the said Thomas Francis Pinkney for the consideration therein mentioned did put place and bind himself Clerk to the said George Trewhitt to serve him in the profession of an Attorney at Law and Solicitor in Chancery from the day of the date of the said Articles for the term of five years from thence next ensuing ….(1)

I will spare you the rest as it is not so easy to follow the long sentences that were written with capitals in unexpected places and without punctuation marks or apostrophes. Joseph Smith, Pinkney’s partner, was most likely the Joseph Smith who was articled in 1821 as clerk to William Rosser.(2) When exactly the gentlemen decided to set up a practise together is unclear, but they are listed in Chiswell Street in Pigot’s Directory of 1839. They dissolved the partnership a few years later, in 1841, with Pinkney to continue the practice on his own.

The London Gazette, 14 May 1841

Both solicitors went bankrupt in 1847; Pinkney, whose address is then given as Eccleston Street, Belgravia, seems to have got off lightly, but Smith ended up in prison. Between the end of his partnership with Pinkney and his bankruptcy he seemed to have had five different addresses and besides having a practice as an attorney, he was at one point also the Superintendent Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths of the parish of St. Luke.(3) But in 1851 the census found him once again as a solicitor, this time in Arbour Street, Stepney. In 1843, Pinkney was still working at 41 Chiswell Street, but is, according to the Post Office Directory, no longer to be found there in 1848. He re-emerges in the 1871 census in Stoke Newington as the manager of an unspecified public company and died four years later.(4)

After Pinkney left 41 Chiswell Street, the building was occupied by various people. The 1851 Post Office Directory lists Henry Dale, auctioneer and appraiser. He dissolves a partnership with two others in March 1853 and seems to have left Chiswell Street.(5) In February 1855, Philip Nelson and Albert James Cappel dissolve a partnership as merchants at 41 Chiswell Street(6), although the 1856 Post Office Directory still lists them there. The next occupant is Charles Eaton who advertised auctions from number 41, but he combined that with the trade of leather factor. Many of his auctions did indeed feature leather, shoes, boots, etc. He also went bankrupt and had to assign all his effects in trust to an accountant for the benefit of his creditors.(7)

The London Gazette, 25 March 1864

I could go on listing the businesses that occupied 41 Chiswell Street until the present day, but I think I will call it a day and leave you with a Google Street View of the property.

Google Street View of 41 Chiswell Street

(1) National Archives, Kew: Court of King’s Bench – Affidavits of Due Execution of Articles of Clerkship, Series II, Class KB 106, Piece 16.
(2) National Archives, Kew: Court of King’s Bench – Affidavits of Due Execution of Articles of Clerkship, Series II, Class KB 106, Piece 5.
(3) The London Gazette, 27 April and 7 May 1847.
(4) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1874. His estate was valued at under £450.
(5) The London Gazette, 18 March 1853.
(6) The London Gazette, 2 March 1855.
(7) The London Gazette, The London Gazette, 11 April 1862 and 25 March 1864.

Neighbours:

<– 42 Chiswell Street 41* Chiswell Street –>

Marks & Co, coach and harness manufactory

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Street View: 16 and 5 Suppl.
Address: 3 Langham Place

The coach and harness business of John Isaac Marks at Langham Place was situated on the site of the former riding house of the Horse Grenadier Guards, hence the name of the street between Marks’s building and All Souls Church: Riding House Lane (now Street). The stables and barracks of the First Troop of the Horse Guards had been built in 1726 on what was then open ground. The First Troop became the First Regiment of Life Guards in 1788 and the buildings were adapted for use as livery stables and a coach repository. When John Nash was redeveloping Regent Street, he agreed with John Marks (John Isaac’s father) that a new frontage on the Langham Place side would be created at the expense of the Crown. It was only to be used as a pedestrian entrance and for showcasing the coaches. The new building was ready to be opened in 1824. It was quite an impressive front for Marks’s business and when The Gentleman’s Magazine of July 1826 reported on the recently consecrated church of All Souls, a frontispiece was included which not only showed the church, but also the coach repository (on the right, behind the coach and horses).

frontispiece from The Gentlemen’s Magazine, July 1826 (© Trustees of the British Museum)

As we already saw in the post on Alfred Markwick, the coach repository at number 3 did not dominate Langham Place for very long. James Fergusson who had made his fortune in India as an indigo planter, took over the lease and had four houses built in Langham Place in 1842. The coach depository was rebuilt at the back with the entrance leading to Marks’s business on the ground floor next to the new number 20 where Fergusson was to live until his death in 1886. The upper floors above Marks’s entrance were part of Fergusson’s house. Tallis was not quite sure what to do with the numbering and in the index to his Supplement, he lists Marks at number 19, although that was the house number of neighbour Markwick. In 1851, Marks sold out to one William Walker, who redeveloped the coach repository into the Langham Bazaar, later to be renamed the Portland Bazaar. It was not a great success and in 1862 the buildings were acquired by the Prince of Wales’ Hall & Club Company for redevelopment as a hall for musical entertainments. Before anything could be done, however, the bazaar was destroyed by fire and it took till 1867 before the southern half of the former bazaar had been rebuilt as a music hall. It was named St. George’s Hall and had a new main entrance at 19 Langham Place.

entrance to Marks’s coach depository in Langham Place after 1842 (ground floor only)

So, what do we know of the Marks family who ran the coach repository? The one who sold out to Walker in 1851 was John Isaac Marks. In the 1851 census we find him as a coach maker in Mornington Road. One of his children living with him was Henry Stacy whose occupation is given as a portrait painter. He had been destined to work in the family business and when his drawing and painting skills became apparent, he was set to paint the crests and coats of arms on the coaches. His commercial acumen, however, left much to be desired, and he went on to study art rather than take over the business. This may very well have been a contributing factor in John Isaac’s decision to terminate the business at Langham Place. Henry Stacy’s second name was derived from his great-grandfather Isaac Stacy, whose daughter Sarah had married John Marks in 1801. When John Marks died in 1828, a bit of bother occurred as one of the sons, James, that is, John Isaac’s brother, did not fulfil the requirements set out in his father’s will for attaining a fourth share in the business.(1) He had not worked the full term of his apprenticeship, but had set up on his own – unsuccessfully – as a horse dealer. He went bankrupt and Sarah and John Isaac were summoned to disclose the books of the Marks business. They refused on the grounds that James had nothing to do with the business and had shown no interest in it, but under John’s will James still had a financial interest in the business between the age of 21 and the bankruptcy, so it was ruled that Sarah & Co had to disclose the books, but that it would be done in private. You can read the transcript of the case here.

The advertisement above from The Edinburgh Review of 1831 shows how extensive the business was. They had 300 to 400 carriages on show and it is no wonder that their premises at the back of Langham Place were large enough to accommodate the later Portland Bazaar. If we work backwards, we can see that Marks took over from Stacy’s Repository which was already depicted in Horwood’s 1799 map. Yes indeed, that was the property of Isaac Stacy whom we met above as the father of Sarah Stacy, the wife of John Marks. In other words, Marks took over the business of his father-in-law who had died in 1803.

advertisement in The Morning Chronicle, 29 November 1806

advertisement in The Morning Herald and Daily Advertiser, 30 May 1785

What was to become Langham Place was still called Edward Street in 1799 when Horwood produced his map, but Mortimer Street and Riding House Lane are clear markers for the position of the coach business. According to the 1831 advertisement shown above, Stacy had started the business in 1789, but it was probably a few years earlier. We already find advertisements in 1785 for a Mr. Stacy, (coach) painter, in Riding House Lane who deals in carriages. Although no first name or initials are given, it was most likely Isaac who started out as coach painter and expanded his business after the Horse Guards left into the repository, calling himself in his will a “coach broker”.(2) At some point (at least since 1790) Isaac subleased the livery stables to one Roger Hayne, but he kept the coach repository as his own line of business. Hayne’s stables were situated on the north side, the Riding House Street side, marked on Goad’s insurance map as “ruins of stables” (underlined in red). The middle section of the land was the northern part of Stacy’s and Marks’s depository and became the Portland Bazaar; the southern section of the depository became George’s Hall.

1889 Goad’s insurance map which still shows “ruins of stables” in Riding House Lane

When Marks gave up on his coach repository in 1851 and removed himself to 140 Holborn(3), he left us a useful invention that considerably reduced the noise of the carriages, as described in The Northern Star and National Trades Journal of 27 July 1850, although Thomas Hancock and Charles Goodyear may have had something to say about that claim, see here.

UCL has published various chapters on streets in London, two of which I have found very helpful in writing this post. See for the direct links to the PDFs of the chapters here:

Chapter 19

Chapter 25

(1) PROB 11/1745/400.
(2) PROB 11/1393/160.
(3) Old Bailey case t18530815-848.

Neighbours:

<– All Souls Church
<– 20 Langham Place
2 Langham Place –>
19 Langham Place –>

Anthony Brown, musical instrument maker

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,

Street View: 8
Address: 28 High Holborn

As we saw in the post on John Hooper, 28 High Holborn was occupied by his neighbour (and later father-in-law) Richard Swift, perfumer, but the last we hear of the latter is in 1831 when he took out an insurance policy with the Sun Alliance. Two years later, Eliza Huntley, hairdresser and perfumer, insures the property, but that is all we know of her. In July 1837, Emma Sarah, the daughter of Anthony and Julia Brown is baptised at St. Andrew’s, Holborn, and although no house number is given, the family lived at High Holborn. In the church record, Anthony is described as musical instrument maker. Although he was born in London, Anthony was originally called Antonio Bruno, as his ancestors were of Italian origin, but he anglicised his name to Anthony Brown. Pigot’s Directory of 1839 duly lists him at number 28. Tallis lists him at 28 High Holborn as violin, violincello and guitar maker, but he was not to stay at the address for very long.

In the 1841 census, Anthony can already be found at 40 Upper Rosoman Street, Clerkenwell, still listed as musical instrument maker. At the same address we find Alexander Cheffins, professor of music, whom we came across in the post on 4 Mortimer Street. Both gentlemen only made a brief appearance at the addresses that Tallis listed and if he had published his booklets a year later, he might have missed them altogether. Anthony Brown was to remain at Upper Rosoman Street for quite some years, although he seems to have emigrated to Australia later in life. At some point in time he worked with Joseph Panormo, the brother of Louis Panormo whom we have encountered in the post on 46 High Street, Bloomsbury. I suppose musical London was not that big a place and we should not really be surprised that Panormo, Cheffins, and Brown were in some way linked.

The next occupant of number 28 is Charles Laughton, a hosier, who was definitely there when the census of 1841 was taken, that is, on the night of 6/7 June. According to the Post Office Directory of 1848, he was still there, but, in the directory of 1851, he has made way for Henry Hart, clothier and outfitter. Around that time, Thomas Hosmer Shepherd, depicted the two small houses at 28 and 30 High Holborn.

T.H. Shepherd, 27-31 High Holborn (© Trustees of the British Museum)

Both Shepherd and the engraver for Walford’s Old and New London give the shop at number 28 the name “Aux Mille Couleur” and above the windows the words “cleaner, dyer, scourer”, so the shop was certainly no longer occupied by Hart, the outfitter. The alleyway between the two buildings, behind the man and the dog, leads to number 29, the Coach & Horses whose proprietor Pacy also took over number 30. The 1851 census (30 March) tells us that Henry Hart is still at number 28, so the Shepherd and Walford drawings must date from a later period. The British Museum dates the picture to c. 1850 and J.F.C. Phillips in his Shepherd’s London (1976) to c. 1852, which accords with the pencilled comment by J.G. Crace under the British Museum copy which says c. 1852 and that seems a more likely date than 1850 since Henry Hart is still at number 28 at the time of the census and is also listed in the 1851 Post Office Directory. The 1856 Post Office Directory gives ‘Boura Aimé, dyer & scourer’ which does corresponds to the lettering on the property in the two pictures. No comma between Boura and Aimé, so unclear whether Aimé is a first name.

E. Walford, Old and New London, vol. 4 – detail

But the listing in the 1856 directory does not solve everything. There were two gentlemen of that name in London who were both listed as scourers and dyers: Julien Aimé Boura and Louis Aimé Boura, no doubt with a close family relationship. In the 1851 and 1861 censuses, Julien is enumerated at 42 Edgware Road and Louis at 31 Rathbone Place, so neither was living at 28 High Holborn. The Finsbury electoral register for 1865 lists an Aimé Boura at 28 High Holborn, but does not give more information. The 1841 census, however, lists Louis as Aimé Boura at Rathbone Place and an Old Bailey case confirms that Louis and Aimé are one and the same person. Boura states that he is a dyer of Rathbone Place and that “I call myself both names when it is required, but generally I do not give any name but Aime” and when asked to confirm that he had two names, “I have never been used to write only Aime — it is the name I have always gone by — it is my Christian name”; in other words, he is called by his second name, but uses both first names in writing.(1) This explains why the census and electoral register just use ‘Aimé’ as that was probably his answer to their question ‘What is your name?’.

The 1861 census for 28 High Holborn shows a blank space behind number 28, so presumably nobody slept on the premises and the 1871 census even skips the number altogether. This would be the end of the story of 28 High Holborn, but for an invention by Louis Aimé Boura of Rathbone Place which was explained in The Patent Journal, and Inventors’ Magazine of 1848 and which I thought I’d share with you. The contraption was also shown in the 1851 Great Exhibition.

(1) Old Bailey Case t18420919-2638.

Neighbours:

<– 29 High Holborn 27 High Holborn –>

John Hooper & Sons, confectioners and lozenge manufacturers

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Street View: 8
Address: 26-27 High Holborn

Hooper’s shop only accidentally made it into a drawing by Thomas Hosmer Shepherd, and that only partially, as he depicted the two neighbouring properties, numbers 28 and 30. One half of Hooper’s premises can be seen on the right-hand side of Shepherd’s picture. The same cluster of houses was also depicted in volume 4 of Walford’s Old and New London. In both pictures the names of the shopkeepers are different from the ones in Tallis’s Street View; we will come back to that in the posts on the other buildings, but for now, we are just concerned with Hooper’s shop.

T.H. Shepherd, 27-31 High Holborn (© Trustees of the British Museum)

E. Walford, Old and New London, vol. 4

Hooper was first found at 27 High Holborn in an 1802 insurance policy with the Sun Alliance. He and Silvester Norton, confectioners, insure the property on the 1st of November of that year. They may have been at the address in earlier years, but I have not found any evidence for that. In November 1806 Silvester Norton married Elizabeth Hooper at St. Andrew’s, Holborn, and in September of 1807, John Hooper married Elizabeth Norton at St. Pancras Old Church. Both marriages were by licence and the entries in the church registers do not include the names of the parents, which is a pity, as that would have confirmed the double link between the Hooper and Norton siblings. As it is, they may be relatives, such as cousins or nieces rather than siblings, but that the two confectioners forged a double family bond is clear. Silvester’s will of 1826, however, helps as he describes John Hooper as his business partner and brother-in-law, so Elizabeth Norton, John Hooper’s wife, was most likely Silvester’s sister.(1) Anyway, after the death of Elizabeth, John married Sarah, the daughter of his neighbour Richard Swift, a perfumer at 28 High Holborn.

Tallis lists the Hoopers as ‘confectioners and lozenge manufacturers’. Lozenges were, according to The Guide to Trade: The Confectioner (1842) “composed of loaf-sugar in fine powder, and other substances, either liquid or in powder, which are mixed together and made into a paste with dissolved gum, rolled out into thin sheets, and formed with tin cutters into little cakes, either oval, square, or round, and dried”. I am slightly worried about the “other substances”, but the Guide starts the list with fairly innocuous additions to give the lozenges their taste, such as peppermint, cinnamon, lavender, or ginger. They then go on to sulpher, ipecacuanha, yellow pectoral (made with orris-root), and magnesium lozenges, among others. Yuk.

The Great Lozenge Maker, cartoon by John Leech, first published in Punch, 1858. Mind, I am not suggesting that Hooper resorted to putting poison in his lozenges.

John Hooper's sons from his first marriage, John, William and Frederick, all entered into the business as wholesale confectioners. In the 1841 census, John senior is still found at 27 Holborn, but his occupation is listed as 'independent', so presumably retired. John junior and Frederick are found at the same address as 'confectioners'. At number 26 we find Charles Norton, Elizabeth Norton, and Thomas Norton. Charles (48 years old) is listed as 'independent' and after Elizabeth's name it says 'friends on a visit', but that is later crossed out. Thomas is 18 years old and 'shopman'. Thomas was most likely the son of Silvester, as he had a son John who was born in 1824, so definitely the right age, but what the exact link between the Hoopers and Charles and Elizabeth is, is uncertain. Thomas Norton is still at 26-27 High Holborn as a shopman in the next census of 1851. John Hooper senior is now listed as 'landed proprietor of houses' and although there is another John Hooper listed, it is not son John, but a 'nephew', working as 'warehouseman'. Another ten years on and the 1861 census lists John senior as 'gentleman' and son Frederick as the 'confectioner'.

John Hooper by John Linnell 1837 (Temple Newsam House, Leeds Museums and Galleries via BBC Your Paintings)

Various directories show us the changes in the name of the business and address:
1811 London and County Directory: Hooper & Norton, wholesale confectioners, 27 High Holborn
1814 Post Office Directory: Hooper & Norton, wholesale confectioners, 27 High Holborn
1819 Post Office Directory: Hooper & Norton, wholesale confectioners, 27 High Holborn
1823 Kent’s Hooper & Norton, confectioners, 27 High Holborn
1825 Pigot’s Hooper & Norton, wholesale confectioners, 27 High Holborn
1839 Pigot’s John Hooper & Sons, wholesale confectioners, 27 High Holborn
1843 Post Office Directory: John Hooper & Sons, wholesale confectioners, 26-27 High Holborn
1848 Post Office Directory: John Hooper & Son, wholesale confectioners & lozenge manufacturers, 26-27 High Holborn
1851 Post Office Directory: J. Hooper & Son, wholesale confectioners, 26-27 High Holborn
1856 Post Office Directory: J. Hooper & Son, wholesale confectioners, 26-27 High Holborn

It is logical that Norton’s name disappeared after Silvester’s death in 1825, but the explanation for the expansion into number 26 is not so easy to link to a specific occasion. Did the neighbouring shop owner die, move away, go bankrupt and did Hooper take the opportunity to expand? Or was there another reason to take over number 26? Whatever the reason, the confectioners continued to make their lozenges from the combined address for many years to come.

John senior died in November 1865 and his executors were sons John and William, both listed as wholesale confectioners of 27 High Holborn.(2) At some point between 1866 and 1873, the sons must have sold the business as in the last instalment of The Building News of 1873, the rebuilding of 26-27 High Holborn was described as for Henry Brett & Co, whom we will encounter in a later post at 139 Holborn Bars as the proprietors of Furnival’s Inn, coffee house and hotel. The Building News gives details about the changes (see below), one of them the covering of the open courtyard with a timber roof with a lantern “the length of the store”. This lantern can clearly be seen on Goad’s insurance map of 1887. The WHSE you see in the picture just means ‘warehouse’. Brett informed his customers in an advertisement in the Daily News of 15 May 1874 that the distillery had been removed from Holborn Bars to their new building at 26-27 High Holborn. And with this, we have come to the end of our story for 26-27 Holborn.

(1) Silvester had died in July 1825 and was buried at St. Andrew’s on the 30th of that month. PROB 11/1710/11.
(2) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1866. His estate was valued at under £25,000.

Neighbours:

<– 28 High Holborn 25 High Holborn –>

Edward Mountcastle, hatter

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Street View: 1 and 18 Suppl.
Address: 41 King William Street

In 1825, Edward Mountcastle, the son of Montague Mountcastle of Bedford Court, Covent Garden, was apprenticed to William White of Cheapside, Citizen and Feltmaker. Edward obtained his freedom from the Feltmakers’ Company after the regular term of seven years in August 1832. His address is then given as 23 Gracechurch Street which was the address of his cousin Sidney Harman Mountcastle, also a hatter.(1) Only a couple of months later, Edward married Frances Harris Weeks, who was probably a relation of William White’s wife Susannah Weeks. We can follow the subsequent addresses of the couple from the baptism records of their children, although the story is not as straightforward as at first may appear:
1833, September – Gracechurch Street: Montague Edward baptised at All Hallows Lombard Street
1834, July – King William Street: Fanny baptised at St. Magnus the Martyr
1839, July – King William Street: Emma baptised at St. Magnus the Martyr
1845, October – St. George’s Street: Charles Edward, Alfred, Walter baptised at St. George, Camberwell
1848, June – Albany Road: Mary Ann baptised at St. George, Camberwell
1851, June – London Street, Greenwich: Frank baptised at St. Alphage, Greenwich

1831 plan for King William Street

For the purposes of this blog, the King William Street entries are the most relevant. A whole neighbourhood had been razed to the ground for the construction of the new approach road to London Bridge, named after King William IV. The plan above shows what happened. The darker area is the outline for the new King William Street and outlined in red is the property that became Mountcastle’s hat shop. If we look at the Land Tax records for 1833, the houses in the area are bracketed together and listed for the New London Bridge Committee. In 1836, however, Mountcastle’s name appears as one of the occupants of the “redeemed” properties. In one of their advertisements, Mountcastle’s neighbours, George and John Deane, ironmongers at number 46, display their new shop and say that their “present premises” were erected in 1833, so presumably that was also the year in which number 41 was erected as it is situated in the same block of houses.

In 1841, Edward and Frances are listed in the census with their 3-week-old baby Charles. Although the three children who were born after the 1841 census were all baptised together in 1845 in Camberwell, it does not necessarily mean that Mountcastle gave up his shop in King William Street. In the 1843, 1848 and 1851 Post Office Directories, 41 King William Street is still the address for the hat shop. And Tallis in his 1847 Supplement also still listed Mountcastle at number 41. Only in the 1856 Post Office Directory was he listed at 22 Cannon Street. And at some point, he even had a shop at 10 London Street, Greenwich. The census returns for 1851 shows the family living in Greenwich, while at King William Street we find William Haldin(?), a carpenter, which seems conclusive, but the tax records tell a different story. There, Mountcastle is only listed for King William Street till 1844. There is a gap in the records, so the next year available is 1847 and Mountcastle is no longer there, but one Robert Wass is paying the tax. However, in 1852, bankruptcy proceedings are started against Mountcastle and he is still described as of 41 King William Street and London Street, Greenwich. At some point in 1852, he signs over his leasehold properties for the benefit of his creditors. I am guessing that Mountcastle rented out (part of?) his 41 King William Street property and tried to raise money that way when things got tough in the 1840s.

The London Gazette, 21 May 1852

As we saw in the 1856 Post Office Directory, Edward could next be found in Cannon Street where, at the end of 1856, he dissolves a partnership with one William John Rushby. The gentlemen had been trading as hatters under the name of J. Jenkinson and Co.(2) In the 1861 census, Edward, Frances and four of their children are found at 276 Albany Road. This may have been the same property as the one listed in the baptism record of Mary Ann, but as that does not give a house number, it may be a different house in the same street. At some point Mountcastle must have had a shop on the corner of King Street and Bedford Street, Covent Garden. It is, however, unclear when and for how long that was, but it was certainly after he had been at King William Street. Edward died in 1867 and the registration district is given as Strand, so he was possibly still living in Soho.

Source: fotolibra.com

I tried to find out what happened at 41 King William Street after Mountcastle left, but as the tax records do not provide house numbers, that it is not so easy. We saw that the 1851 census for the parish of St. Magnus the Martyr listed Harlin the carpenter, and in 1861, it is one Edward Hart, a hosier, who occupies the premises. Ten years later it is Alfred Hayward, a customs officer, who lives at number 41, and in 1881 one William Taylor, a tobacconist’s manager, but none of these people seem to appear in the Land Tax records, so presumably they were all renting. Goad’s insurance map of 1887 lists the property as a ‘studio’, and it still looks as small as when Mountcastle lived there. The northern end of the block, that is, number 46, was taken over in 1890 by the City and South London Railway Company for their King William Street Station, but it was not to last. The station was closed in 1900 (see here for more information) and Regis House was built on top of the station, not just obliterating the station entrance, but the whole block of houses from numbers 40 to 46. The Regis House you see today is a modern replacement from the 1990s, but they have retained the access to the platforms of the station which was used as an air-raid shelter in the war (more information and photos here).

Goad’s insurance map of 1887

(1) Sidney’s father William was the brother of Edward’s father Montague.
(2) The London Gazette, 2 January 1857.

Neighbours:

<– 42 King William Street 40 King William Street –>

Alfred Markwick, surgeon, and the Epithem Company

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Street View: 5 Suppl. and 18 Suppl.
Addresses: 19 Langham Place and 32 King William Street

19 Langham Place only appears in the 1847 Supplement to Tallis’s Street View. If you look at the street view itself, the building of which number 19 was a part seemed to consist of four non-consecutive house numbers: 3, 19, 25, and 21, but in the index to the Supplement, the numbering is slightly more consistent: 3, 19, 20 and 21. The number 25 on the street view must have been a mistake. If we look back to the original street view of 1839 for Langham Place we see that the building of which number 19 was a part, did not yet exist. The space was completely covered by number 3, the ‘London Carriage Repository’ of Marks and Son. We will write about them next time, but first Alfred Markwick, surgeon, whose place of business was erected in 1842 at the instigation of James Fergusson, Esq. On Goad’s insurance map of 1889 we can see that another renumbering has taken place and what was number 19 is indicated as number 4, but number 20 is still number 20. Number 4 was used as the entrance to St. George’s Hall which was built in 1867 behind what was once Markwick’s place of business. In the 1890s, numbers 20 and 21 were demolished for Queen’s Hall, which extended with a rounded front into Riding House Street. The entrance to St. George’s Hall was moved to Mortimer Street. The houses that were numbered 3, 19-21 in Tallis, St. George’s Hall, and Queen’s Hall no longer exist as they fell victims to an air raid in 1940. The ruins were demolished in 1852 to be replaced by the concrete Henry Wood House, which has been given the more logical numbering of Langham Place 3-7.

Goad’s insurance map 1889

Ordnance Survey map 1892

detail of an old postcard showing 3 and 4 (former 19) Langham Place (the entrance to St. George’s Hall sticking out into the street)

But Langham Place was not the only address with which Markwick was associated. He and his father Mark were involved in the Patent Epithem Company at 69 (in 1847: 32), King William Street. They shared number 32 with Nicholls & Pellatt, the wine merchants. You can see the two Markwick properties in the elevations above this post (click to enlarge). Markwick had developed a pad to replace the old poultices filled with bran. They were called Markwick’s spongio piline epithems, a name a journalist of The Era dismissed as “calculated to throw an unmerited taint of humbug and professional quackery about it, and one which few people will tax their memory to retain”.(1) Despite the dismissal of the name, the journalist accepted the fact that the pads themselves contained heat a lot longer than the traditional poultices and would not go putrid or hard and dry. They were made of sponge and wool with a backing of India rubber and very beneficial in cases of “rheumatism, sore-throat, tic-douloureaux, &c.” There was also a form without the sponge for protection of the chest. From an article in The Lancet (1846) on the epithems we learn that Markwick was surgeon to the Western German Dispensary and formerly an externe to the Venereal Hospital in Paris.

advert in London Medical Gazette, 1846

advert in The Era, 1 November 1846

In time, the spongio piline came to be recognised as a valuable addition to the medical toolkit and the Epithem Company also developed an application suitable for horses, the “Horse Foot-Pad”, which was designed to fit inside the horse shoe.(2) Markwick’s invention even made it into the Great Exhibition of 1851 with specimen of his epithems for medical, surgical and veterinary purposes, and also with a spongio-piline sock, knee-cap, finger-stall, and breast poultice.(3) The entry was listed, by the way, for Mark Markwick. Markwick had received a Patent for his invention in May 1846 and in 1851 had granted an exclusive licence to his son who arranged with Messrs Kirkman and Brown for it manufacture. They were unfortunately not trustworthy and Markwick went bankrupt. He eventually regained his exclusive licence and made new arrangements with a Mr. Frimbey, and after the latter’s death with the Whiteheads. He sold them the licence for £350 and if an extension was granted, Markwick would receive an annuity during the extension. Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead, James Heywood Radcliffe, and John Dicken Whitehead of Royal George Mills, Saddleworth, Yorks, applied for such an extension of the patent in 1859, which was granted for five years in May 1860.(4)

Mark Markwick could be found at 32 King William Street as the manufacturer of the patent epithems, together with a business manager, a porter, and a servant. Alfred Markwick was certainly still at 19 Langham Place in 1851, as he is then listed in the Post Office Directory and in the census, but by 1856 he had left as one Alexander Bridge, also a surgeon, is found at number 19. And from 1860 onwards, we find the offices of The Society for Promoting the Employment of Women and those of The English Woman’s Journal on the premises. The Ladies’ Institute consisted of the offices of that journal, a reading room, a cloakroom for shoppers’ parcels, a coffee/luncheon room, a registry for jobs and a committee room. It attracted a number of campaigners for women’s rights, such as Barbara Leigh Smith and Emily Davies, and they became known as the Langham Place Group.(5)

The 1855 London and Provincial Medical Directory gives Alfred’s address as Church Street, Croyden, but in the 1861, 1871 and 1881 censuses he is listed at 1 Leinster Square. He became a Physician at the Westbourne Homeopathic Dispensary, and a member of the British Homeopathic Society. He remained at Leinster Square till shortly before his death on 12 March 1887 at 32 Ventnor Villas, Brighton.(6)

The Medical Directory, 1885

Markwick’s book on urine (1847), online via The Wellcome Library here

(1) The Era, 18 October 1846.
(2) The Era, 20 August 1848.
(3) Official and Descriptive Catalogue of the Great Exhibition, 1851, Class 4: Vegetable and Animal Substances.
(4) The English Reports, Volume XV Privy Council, 1901, pp. 116-118. The London Gazette, 11 May 1860.
(5) See the introduction by C.A. Lacey to Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon and the Langham Place Group (1987)
(6) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1887. His estate was valued at over £17,800.

Neighbours:

<– 20 Langham Place
<– 33 King William Street
3 Langham Place –>
31 King William Street –>

Wedgwood & Co., manifold writers

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,

Street View: 64
Address: 4 Rathbone Place

The index to the Tallis Street View booklet simply says that Wedgwood & Co produced manifold writers, but the vignette that they had in the booklet proudly has the lettering “R. Wedgwood’s improved manifold writers & machines for the blind” on the facade, but just in case you did not realise how important they were, the caption to the vignette tells you that Wedgwood & Co. were the “sole inventors & patentees of the improved manifold writer for copying letters, invoices, &c.” Ralph Wedgewood, of Charles Street, Hampstead Road, had received the patent for his “apparatus for producing duplicates of writing” on 7 October 1806. A specification of the invention can be read in the Repertory of Arts, Manufactures, and Agriculture of September 1807 (online here). It was an early form of carbon copying, a technique that would really only take off in the 1870s when typewriters and an easier way to produce the carbon paper became available. To make the invention usable for the blind, Wedgwood also invented the ‘nocto polograph’ or ‘nocto-graph’ which consisted of a frame to be placed over the paper with guidelines to make sure one kept one’s writing straight.

advertisement in Tallis's Street View booklet

advertisement in Tallis’s Street View booklet

Wedgwood was not the only one to lay claim to the invention of carbon copying. Several competitors alleged that their system was much improved upon the design of Wedgwood, for instance Frederick Bartholomew Folsch, whose system included an ink pen rather than the metal stylus Wedgwood promoted. A specification of his invention can be read in the Repertory of Arts, Manufactures, and Agriculture of September 1809 (online here). Folsch and Wedgwood had some sort of economic relationship that is not yet entirely clear. They had neighbouring shops in Oxford Street until 1821 and in some years, the Land Tax records bracketed the properties together despite having different occupants.

1812 Land Tax record

1812 Land Tax record for 327 and 328 Oxford Street

According to the land tax records, Wedgwood moved to a property further up the street in 1821, but they were slightly behind with their administration, as already in 1819, Wedgwood advertised his manifold writer from 345 Oxford Street. Number 327 was henceforth occupied by a Richard Spratson. These changed were no doubt related to the fact that a block of houses around Folsch’s property (numbers 324-329) had been redeemed for the construction of Regent Circus (now called Oxford Circus) and Folsch received compensation for the loss of his premises at both 327 and 328 Oxford Street.(1) The question is, why would he receive compensation in 1816 for both properties? He is never mentioned as having two houses in the Land Tax records. The same question has been asked in the Bodleian Library blog post ‘Copycat Copiers? Frederick Folsch, Ralph Wedgwood, and the “Improved Manifold Writer”‘ (see here), but so far, there does not seem to be a logical answer, although the most likely is that Folsch held the lease and Wedgwood rented from him. I recommend you read the Bodleian blog post for all the additional information it gives on the carbon copying invention and the apparent competition between Wedgwood and Folsch. What is clear from the tax records, is that Folsch’s name continued to be listed for number 327, at least till 1850, which is strange, as the houses disappeared and Tallis does not list Folsch or his immediate neighbours; he jumps from house number 325 to 332.

From 1827 onwards, Wedgwood was trading from 4 Portland Place, although he seems to have hung onto 345 Oxford Street, at least till 1845, but he does not mention that address in his advertisements. Another confusing thing is that the inventor Ralph had a son Ralph who went into the business. The son was usually distinguished from his father by the addition of ‘junior’ to his name, for instance in the advertisement in The Examiner shown below, but the Land Tax records are silent on this point, so it is unclear whether the son or the father is the occupants of the Oxford Street properties. Ralph senior died in 1837 and after that year, the Land Tax records no longer mention a first name or initial for Wedgwood at Oxford Street, so it is possible that another family member took over the premises. It is, however, clear that it was Ralph junior who occupied 4 Rathbone Place and Ralph junior who was listed in Tallis’s Street View.

Manifold writer from Bonham’s auction website, online here

In 1840, an advertisement for Wedgwood’s manifold writers casually mentions the fact that the partnership between Wedgwood and one Mr. Squire has been dissolved by mutual consent.(3) An ordinary notice, officially recognised by a similar entry in The London Gazette of 1 September 1840, but all was not what it seemed, as there had been trouble between the partners. The London Metropolitan Archives list a record, dated September 1840, of the Middlesex Sessions of the Peace in which William Squire, of 18 Furtess Terrace, Kentish Town, and Ralph Wedgwood, of 4 Rathbone Place, are bound over to keep the peace towards each other. I have not seen the documents, so no idea what the argument between the gentlemen was, but it does put a slightly different slant on the phrase ‘by mutual consent’. On 13 January 1841, an advertisement appeared in The Morning Chronicle in which Squire offered “Squire’s manifold writers” from 9 City Road and in which he lists himself as “Squire (late Wedgwood and Squire)”. Apparently he still found it necessary to use the Wedgwood name to underline the quality of ‘his’ product despite the acrimonious parting with his former partner.

vignette from Tallis's Street View booklet

vignette from Tallis’s Street View booklet 64

advertisement from The Examiner, 20 October 1833

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

In 1851, Wedgwood junior obtained the freedom of the City through the Company of Loriners by redemption on paying the fine of 46s 6d. The document with the oath he swore at the Guildhall on the occasion has been preserved. Another document in the file tells us that he was the son of Ralph, late of Chelsea, Gent., deceased, and that he was living at 84 Lombard Street. An advertisement in The Times of 2 November 1849 gives the Lombard Street address with the addition “late of Rathbone Place”, so presumably a recent move. The blue advertorial sheet above from the Science Museum also has the Lombard Street address. Wedgwood died in October 1866 and was then living at Castlenau Villas, Barnes.(4)

And in case you are wondering: yes, Josiah Wedgwood, the potter, and Ralph Wedgwood were related. Ralph senior, the inventor, was the son of Thomas Wedgwood who was the cousin and business partner of Josiah I Wedgwood, the potter. John Raphael Wedgwood, the son of the Ralph Wedgwood who is listed in Tallis and the grandson of Ralph, the inventor, died in November 1902 and was then living at Etruria House, Lonsdale Road, Barnes, the name of the house a reference to the Wedgwood factory in Etruria, Staffordshire.(5)

(1) The Morning Chronicle, 14 September 1816.
(2) London Metropolitan Archives, COL/CHD/FR/02/.
(3) The Morning Chronicle, 31 August 1840.
(4) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1867. One of the executors was his son John Raphael of 9 Cornhill who is described as Manufacturer of Patent Manifold Writers and Writing and Dressing Case Maker. The effects were valued at under £10,000.
(5) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1903. His estate was valued at over £110,000.

Neighbours:

<– 5 Rathbone Place 3 Rathbone Place –>

Whisson & Collis, wine merchants

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Street Views: 63 and 70
Addresses: 27 Old Compton Street / 27 Princes Street

The establishment of Whisson and Collis(s), the Two Ships, was situated on the corner of Princes Street and Old Compton Street and as both streets were depicted by Tallis, the pub was favoured by an appearance in two of Tallis’s booklets. The elevation on the left is the one in Princes Street and the one on the right in Compton Street. The property was later known as 54 Wardour Street. John Colliss had been running the Old George at 29 Oxford Street together with James Whisson, at least since 1834 when that address is mentioned on the baptism record of his daughter Susan (All Soul’s, Langham, Westminster). Before that, the Colliss family had lived at South Bersted, Sussex and it was there that John Colliss was married in 1822 to Martha Catchlove. One of the witnesses of that marriage was James Whisson, presumably the same James Whisson who later became Colliss’s partner in London. At least six Colliss children were baptised at South Bersted, two were to follow at Langham, two at St. Anne Soho when John ran the pub in Princes/Compton Street and two more afterwards when he had moved to Newington Causeway.(1)

Pigot’s Directory for 1839 lists Colliss with James Whisson at the Old George in Oxford Street, but also with Whisson (no first name given) at the Two Ships. Colliss had, however, already moved from Oxford Street to Old Compton Street sometime between July 1836, when Charlotte was baptised at All Souls, and early 1838 when his daughter Mary was baptised at St. Anne Soho. The 1841 census found John and Martha Colliss and three of their children at 27 Old Compton Street. In 1851, the couple, and eight of their children, are found at 59 Newington Causeway and this was the address of the World’s End, the pub we have already come across in Tallis’s Street View as ran by Marc Elphick who went bankrupt in 1841. A picture of the World’s End can be found in the post on Elphick. The 1843 Post Office Directory does not list Colliss, but as his youngest son was baptised at Holy Trinity, Newington Causeway in May 1844 (born August 1843), we can assume that Colliss was already running the World’s End by then. It certainly means that he did not stay very long at the Two Ships; he arrived there in ±1837 and left ±1842/3 (Colliss and Whisson are still mentioned as the proprietors of the Two Ships in Robson’s 1842 Directory). Whisson was likewise just passing through.

1886 Goad’s insurance map with 54 Wardour Street indicated by P.H. (public house)

Although it seems logical that the Whisson who ran the Two Ships with Colliss was James Whisson, as they had ran the Old George in Oxford Street together, it may just as well have been Nathaniel Whisson, who was probably a relation of James. Nathaniel is also listed as a victualler, and at more or less the same time as Colliss co-ran the Two Ships, James Whisson ran the One Tun in Goodge Street and Nathaniel the Crown & Anchor at Judd Place, so that does not help much. So far, I have unfortunately not found any records that mention the first name of the one who co-ran The Two Ships with Colliss.

In 1862, so well after Whisson and Colliss were there, The Two Ships figured in an Old Bailey case, because a wrestling match (or pub brawl if you prefer) that had started in the pub was continued outside with the result that one person died. The victim, John Radford, and the accused, William Davis, were fighting in the street and witnesses described the victim as at some point having fallen against the window of Peppin’s chemist shop. That fall did not kill him, but a later one against a kerb stone did. No one was sentenced for the death of the man; it was just a fight without intent to kill that went tragically wrong.(2) What surprised me, though, is that no mention is made of anyone from the chemist’s coming to the aid of the victim. A doctor from Dean Street testified that his assistant had seen to the victim and he himself had only seen the body two days after death, but apparently no immediate aid was given to the victim, or if it had, it did not make it into the statements of the witnesses.

After the Whisson/Colliss years, many more landlords ran the pub. From various resources,(3) I found the following:
1848 Edwin Dean, Post Office Directory
1851 Edwin Dean, Post Office Directory
1851 John Renshaw, census gives him as “manager of a public house”
1856 Edwin Dean, Post Office Directory
1861 William Dawson, census
1869 James Frederick Phillips, Post Office Directories
1871 Frederick Phillips, census
1881 John Wakely, census
1882 John Wakely, Post Office Directory
1884 John Wakely, Post Office Directory
1889 John Weston, bankrupt
1891 Michael Hart, census
1891 Michael Hart, The London 1891 Public House & Publican Directory
1894 Michael Hart, bankrupt
1895 Arthur Lee, Post Office Directory
1899 Jon Jas Wm Wood, Post Office Directory and The London 1899 Public House & Publican Directory
1901 Albert Kagi, census
1911 Albert Kagi, census (he died in 1914, but was probably retired by then)
1915 Louis Cantor, Post Office Directory
1921 Louis Cantor, Post Office Directory

May 2014, Google Street View

If you look at Google Street View (their latest picture is from July 2016) for 27 Princes/Compton (which is now 54 Wardour Street) you can see a lot of scaffolding, but if you went back, for instance to May 2014, you can see how small 54 Wardour Street had become after 1913 when the building had been diminished by the widening of the street at the corner. The number 76 you see next door used to be 28 Old Compton Street and another property altogether. But big plans are afoot and Westminster Council has published documents to go with an application to enlarge the ground floor space at number 54 from 24 to 38 square metres by combining number 54 with 76 Old Compton Street. The whole plan is more complicated than this, but the picture below will explain what will happen at ground floor level. Wonder how it will look when the scaffolding is taken down again.

plan taken from the website of Westminster Council (see all the documents online here)

(1) South Bersted: Sarah (1823), Elizabeth (1825), William (1827), John (1829), Martha (1830), Ann (1832); Oxford Street: Susan (1834), Charlotte (1836); Old Compton Street: Mary (1838), James (1841); Newington Causeway: George (1844), and Hannah (1845).
(2) Old Bailey case t18620922-956.
(3) Among them the website of pubshistory.com.

Neighbours:

<– 26 Princes Street 25 Princes Street –>
28 Old Compton Street –>

Swaine and Isaac, whipmakers

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Street View: 23
Address: 185 Piccadilly

On 13 June 1887, Swaine & Adeney wrote a request to J.E. Wakefield, the clerk to the Metropolitan Board of Works, requesting permission to erect temporary seating in front of their shop windows, in order to enable their guests to see the “reception” of 21 June. What they meant was the Jubilee procession to mark the 50th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s reign. An eyewitness report of the event can be found here. The Metropolitan Board quickly responded after receiving drawings of the intended structure and the licence was granted “upon condition that the whole of the works be executed to your [that is the district Surveyor, R. Kerr’s] satisfaction and that the erection be taken down and removed by the owner at his own expense within a period of one month from the 20th day of June 1887”. Swaine & Adeney were not the only ones to put up jubilee seating. A similar, but much bigger structure was put up by the Raleigh Club at 16 Regent Street, and no doubt many more shops applied for similar licences.

vignette in the Tallis Street View booklet with Swaine & Isaac’s shop on the right-hand side

More on the later history of the firm and the various business they took over, such as J. Köhler & Son and Zair Ltd, can be found in Katherine Prior’s In Good Hands: 250 years of craftsmanship at Swaine Adeney Brigg (2012), but here we will mostly concentrate on the earlier history of the firm.

An early trade card with the 238 Piccadilly address (© Trustees of the British Museum)

The Courier and Evening Gazette 19 January 1799

As an early trade card states, Swaine & Co. took over from Mr. Ross, that is John Ross who had had a whipmaker’s business at 238 Piccadilly since 1770. He had moved there after a devastating fire at his old premises in Marylebone Street. Although he became “whipmaker to the Royal family” in 1797, the surveyors for the Crown deemed his shop dilapidated and unhygienic and ordered £120 worth of repairs. In 1798 Ross sold out to whipmaker James Swaine and brewer Benjamin Slocock, the latter the financial partner and possibly a relation of James’s wife. Edward Swaine, James’s son, was later to be apprenticed to Slocock.(1) James himself had been apprenticed in 1782 to Benjamin Griffith, a whipmaker of High Holborn. The Griffiths and Swaines remained in contact after Swaine set up on his own and Charles Griffith was at one point licensed by Swaine to produce some of his whips.

By 1822, the whipmakers had moved from 238 to 224 Piccadilly and were to move again in 1835 to number 185 where Tallis was to find them. Benjamin Slocock had retired from the partnership by then (in 1825 or thereabouts) and was followed by a new partner, William Isaac. James Swaine died in September 1837, but the year before, son Edward had taken up the freedom of the City via the Brewers’ Company, which he could do because of his apprenticeship at Slocock’s. In theory, he need not have done so as Piccadilly does not fall under the jurisdiction of the City, but he probably found it advantageous for other reasons, such as the contacts with other freemen; never a bad thing for a businessman. Also in 1836, James Adeney, the son of Mary Ann Swaine, was apprenticed into the business and he was to become an important part of the whipmakers’ firm. In September 1848, William Isaac pulled out of the partnership(2) and Swaine and Adeney continued the business together. As you can see from the family tree below, the Swaines and Adeneys were twice connected by marriage; first of all by the marriage of James Swaine’s daughter Mary Ann to William Adeney and a generation later by the marriage of the two cousins James and Caroline, thereby consolidating the ownership of the business. In 1851 (and indeed in 1861), the census found the whole family, that is: Edward and his second wife Sarah, daughter Caroline and her husband James Adeney and their two young children Edward S. and James W., all living together at 185 Piccadilly.

1851 was also the year in which Swaine & Adeney entered a numbers of whips in the Great Exhibition and they were favoured with a prize medal and an illustration in The Illustrated Exhibitor. The catalogue compared the entries of whips from many countries and said that “perhaps the best show of them all is that made by the firm in Piccadilly, from whose trophy the whip-heads in our engraving have been chosen”. And in 1862, the whipmakers repeated their performance at the International Exhibition at South Kensington. Their entry in the catalogue also listed the address of their depot in Paris, where Messrs Darré & Texier were apparently acting as their agents. The company received many more prizes in other exhibitions and shows, but the 1851 and 1862 were the two most important ones and gained them an influential and international clientèle. The situation of their shop in Piccadilly was a good one, as they were close to all the grand houses in the vicinity and the gentlemen’s clubs, such as Boodle’s and White’s, both in St. James’s Street. They also secured the patronage of various Royals and were not shy in advertising such whenever they found an opportunity.

The Illustrated Exhibitor, 1851

Swaine & Adeney’s entry in Volume 2 of The Illustrated Catalogue of the International Exhibition of 1862

In 1889, the lease on their premises came up for renewal and Katherine Prior tells us that the new lease from the Governors of Bethlehem Hospital was to run for 80 years at an annual rent of £340; not a bad price for such an advantageous spot. The new lease came with a floor plan (Prior’s book, p. 38), but I have drawn the plot in red on Goad’s 1886 insurance map. By the time of this new lease, a new generation was in charge. Edward Swaine had died in 1862 and the sons of James Adeney, Edward Swaine Adeney and James William Adeney, had joined their father in the business. James Adeney died in 1898, which was only a couple of years after the first motor cars appeared on English roads. Cars were to change the business from one that could, throughout the nineteenth century, rely more or less completely on the manufacturing of whips, to one that had to diversify and adept to a changing world and it was not long before they manufactured luggage sets for motor cars, polo sticks, balls and helmets, hunting horns, and, with the amalgamation of Swaine and Adeney with Thomas Brigg & Sons, also umbrellas. More companies were taken over, subsumed, or bought, but if you want more details on all those later changes, I refer you to Prior’s book which does a much better job of telling the later history of Swaine & Adeney than I can do in the limited space of this blog post. I’ll just leave you with a few more pictures and a link to the Swaine Adeney Brigg website (here).

Goad’s insurance map with the premises of Swaine & Adeney outlined in red

trade card which must date from between 1835 when the firm moved to number 185 and 1848 when Isaac retired


advertisement for Swaine & Isaac in the Tallis Street View booklet


advertisement in The Spur of 15 July 1922 where Tallis’s vignette has been carefully copied.


advertisement for mess boxes (Source: Swaine Adeney Brigg website)

(1) His indenture dates from 8 February 1810 and mentions that the contract was taken out for seven years – the normal term for an apprenticeship – and for “no consideration” which is more unusual, but no doubt explained by the partnership between Edward’s master and father. Edward was to obtain his freedom of the Brewers’ Company in 1836, although he could have done so in 1817.
(2) The London Gazette, 9 March 1849.

Neighbours:

<– 186 Piccadilly 184 Piccadilly –>