Thomas Bowtell, boot and shoe maker


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


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

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

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

(© The Trustees of the British Museum)

(© The Trustees of the British Museum)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


<– 59 Cheapside 57 Cheapside –>

James Hardy & Sons, playing card makers


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


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

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

The London Gazette, 2 April 1805

The London Gazette, 2 April 1805

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

1847 edition of Tallis's Street View

1847 edition of Tallis’s Street View

top part of Edmund's indenture (1817)

top part of Edmund’s indenture (1817)

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

Hardy cards from c. 1823 (LG)

Hardy cards, c. 1823

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1886 insurance map overlay showing where 27 used to be

1886 insurance map overlay showing where 27 used to be

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge


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

Thomas Bowtell, boot and shoe warehouse


Street Views: 43
Address: 49 Skinner Street


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



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



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

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

(© The Trustees of the British Museum)

(© The Trustees of the British Museum)

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

(© The Trustees of the British Museum)

(© The Trustees of the British Museum)

11 Charles Street
1810-1812 Thomas senior

49 Skinner Street, Snow Hill
1813-1852 Thomas senior

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

11 Fish Street Hill
1822-? Thomas senior

51 Cheapside
1823-? Bowtell & Co

58 Cheapside
1835-1852 Thomas senior
1854-1855 William

Tottenham Court Road
1832 Thomas and brother

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

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

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

181 Piccadilly
1842-1843 John and Joseph
1848 William

170 Piccadilly
1848-1856 John and Joseph

42 Crawford Street
1848 William
1851 Thomas and William

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

Brighton, 106 St. James’s Street

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

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

advertisement in The Norwich Guide and Directory, 1842

advertisement in The Norwich Guide and Directory, 1842

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


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

John Pettinger, plumber



Street View: 65
Address: 10 Mortimer Street


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

58-68 Battersea Road Bridge (Google Street View)

58-68 Battersea Road Bridge (Google Street View)

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

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

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

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

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


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

Solomon and Louisa Asser of Burlington Arcade


Street View: 71
Address: 9 and 59 Burlington Arcade


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

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

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

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

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

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

Entry from the 1851 Post Office Directory

Entry from the 1851 Post Office Directory

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

Advertisement in The Pall Mall Gazette, 12 April 1866

Advertisement in The Pall Mall Gazette, 12 April 1866

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Henry and Louis
? 1823

63 1823? – 1829

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

Burlington Arcade in festive mood 2014

Burlington Arcade in festive attire (2014)

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


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

Phillips and Sampson, tailors and drapers


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

, 8 January 1881

Leeds Mercury, 8 January 1881

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

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

1860 advertisement in E. Walford

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

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


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

James Yeomans, livery stables


Street View: 32
Address: 40 Lamb’s Conduit Street


We are starting this post with a section of a 1752 map showing the top part of Lamb’s Conduit Street. I have turned the original image to give you the same perspective as a modern map with the north at the top. The map was produced to record the ground rents of individual properties in the area (you can see the complete map here) and although it is far too early to be of any use in determining who occupied 40 Lamb’s Conduit Street at the time of the Tallis Street View, it does help to explain why James Yeomans had his name recorded over a whole block of houses. The passage shown on the left of the elevation at the top of this post is the same as the one in the map indicated by the red arrow. The houses over which Yeomans had his name depicted are the ones indicated by a red line. In the 1752 map, the yard behind the houses was occupied by Edward Chapman, hence Chapman’s Stable Yard, and Yeomans occupied the same yard almost a century later, including the houses situated around the yard. The section on the left of the 1752 map is also a stable yard, but that one belonged to Lady Milman and a Mr. Wentworth. Do notice, however, the exit to the north of that yard into what would become Guilford Street.

1752 map (© British Library) Click to enlarge

1752 map (© British Library) Click to enlarge

If we jump forward to the 1841 census, we find James Yeomans at 40 Lamb’s Conduit Street with his wife Elizabeth and children George and Mary. Besides the family, we find various coachmen, ostlers, and stable boys on the premises, which is not surprising considering the type of establishment Yeomans ran. His occupation is simply recorded as ‘livery man’ in 1841, but the 1851 census elaborates that into ‘job master livery stable keeper’. The 1851 census gives his address as 87½ Guilford Mews, so presumably at the other end of the yard from where he lived in 1841. The 1851 census also tells us that James was born in Northamptonshire, which helps to work out that he was probably the James born in 1798 in Desborough as the son of Joseph and Rebecca Yeomans.

In an otherwise not very interesting Old Bailey case of 1832, one John Yeomans gives evidence and says “I live in Brunswick Mews. I drive the chariot, no. 729 – it belongs to my brother, James Yeomans …”(1) Brunswick Mews would certainly be close enough to Lamb’s Conduit Street for John to work there, but there is another reason and for that, I have to go back to two trade cards in the collection of the British Museum.

 (© Trustees of the British Museum)

Trade cards for Joseph Yeomans (© Trustees of the British Museum)

Joseph Yeomans, sadler, cap and whipmaker of 125 High Holborn appears in the Land Tax records for the Holborn area in the years 1789 to 1802, so a lot earlier than John and James Yeomans appear on the scene, but an 1836 report in Jackson’s Oxford Journal relates how some post boys had caused an accident by dangerous driving, and one of them is said to have been in the employ of Joseph Yeomans, Williams Mews, Brunswick Square.(2) And if we look at the baptism record of the children of James and Elizabeth, we see that the address given is Brunswick Mews and James’s occupation as coachman in 1828 and coach master in 1831. Is this too much of a coincidence? The whole Yeomans family seems to have been involved in trades connected with horses and transport, centred around the area of Brunswick Square, And although there is no proof that the Joseph of High Holborn is the same as the Joseph of Williams Mews, nor is there any evidence at the moment to link Joseph with James and John, a close family relationship seems likely.

In 1833, a police constable investigated a case of drunk and disorderly at the Hope public house. He later testifies that the drunken man, one William Jutten, was just coming out of the pub when he arrived and that he ordered Jutten to go home. The official hearing at the Old Bailey and the newspaper reports differ in almost every aspect of the case, but the outcome for Jutten was the same: he died that night of alcohol poisoning.(3) Jutten had been drinking at the pub with his coachmen colleagues for a good part of the day and apparently said that if anyone would buy him another half pint of brandy, he would drink it. The landlord refused to give it him, but James Yeoman came in and bought a half pint which he was to share among his friends, but he did not, and gave it all to Jutten. Yeomans was taken into custody and charged with manslaughter for enticing a fellow well into his cups to drink more. He was taken to Newgate prison to await his trial, but he was acquitted as various witnesses spoke up for him and testified that Jutten had been drinking far too much even before Yeomans came into the pub and that he was in no way forced to drink that final cup of brandy. The criminal register duly noted “not guilty”.(4) Jutten’s name is variously given as Sutton or Gutten and the pub in which the unfortunate event took place was either in Wilmot Street, Brunswick Square, or in Windmill Street, Bryanstone Square. The first is correct. Wilmot Street was the southern section of Kenton Street and there was an entrance to Brunswick Mews in that street. Wilmot Street is now obliterated by the Brunswick Centre. William Jutten was buried on 23 January at Spa Fields.

1830 map by Christopher and John Greenwood showing Brunswick Mews and Wilmot Street

1830 map by Christopher and John Greenwood showing Brunswick Mews and Wilmot Street

According to the report in The Examiner about the events leading up to Jutten’s demise, James was then still to be found at Brunswick Mews as hackney coach master, but at some point, he must have left for Lamb’s Conduit Street. He was certainly at this new address in 1839 when Pigot’s Directory listed him there and in an Old Bailey case of that year, the witness James Walters, says “I live with Mr. James Yeomans, a stable-keeper, in Lamb’s Conduit-street”(5) He may very well have taken over in 1837 after the bankruptcy of James Moorey who had been trading from various locations in London as farrier, veterinary assistant, cabriolet proprietor, and was “late of Rugby Yard, Lamb’s Conduit Street”.(6) Rugby Yard was the “official” name for Chapman’s and Yeomans’s Yard, as Rugby School owned a large section of the land in the area, and indeed, the 1752 map mentioned above was made to keep track of the rents for the Rugby estate. The 1843 Post Office Directory still has the name of Rugby Yard for Yeomans’ place of abode.


Both Yeomans’ children found their marriage partners close to home. In 1845, James Yeomans’ daughter Mary married John William Rope, a confectioner of 31 Lamb’s Conduit Street, about whom you will read more in a forthcoming post, and in 1857, son George married Mary Soutten Hawes, the daughter of a tailor at 67 Lamb’s Conduit Street. Tallis had a Mr. Hopkins, tailor, at that address, so we will see in the post on him how this relates to Hawes. The 1851 census showed James, his wife Elizabeth, son George and various stable men at the yard, but in 1855 James died and left his estate to his wife and two children.(7) George took over as a job master and remained at 87½ Guilford Mews until his death in 1878.(8) The 1881 census shows a Frederick Wright, cab proprietor, at Guilford Mews with various stable men, ostlers and coachmen living in what they still call Yeomans’ Yard. Also in 1881, a redevelopment plan was put forward for Rugby Yard and a request for tender was issued; the firm of Langmead and Way entering the winning bid. What is unclear is whether that included the section called Yeomans’ Yard that ran out of Guilford Mews, or whether it was just the section closest to Lamb’s Conduit Street. Nowadays, the building of the Camelia Botnar Laboratories of the Great Ormond Street Hospital occupy the site in Lamb’s Conduit Street, but I have not been able to work out whether that is still Langmead and Way’s building or a later one. A look at Google Street View shows that whoever built it had a sense of history and the entrance on the left-hand side is still a rounded arch through which you could envisage Yeomans’ hackney cabs coming out.

The Building News and Engineering Journal, 4 March 1881

The Building News and Engineering Journal, 4 March 1881

(1) Old Bailey case t18320405-41.
(2) Jackson’s Oxford Journal, 26 March 1836.
(3) Old Bailey case t18330214-131. The Morning Post, 23 January 1833. The Examiner, 27 January 1833.
(4) Home Office: Criminal Registers, Middlesex, 1833.
(5) Old Bailey case t18390204-641.
(6) The London Gazette, 24 February 1837.
(7) PROB 11/2209/101.
(8) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1878. Estate valued at £10,000, later resworn at £12,000.


<– 41 Lamb’s Conduit Street   –>

Mademoiselle Salaman, milliner and dress maker


Street View: 32
Address: 69 Lamb’s Conduit Street


It may have been “Mademoiselle Salaman” who made it into the Tallis Street View booklet as milliner and dress maker, but 69 Lamb’s Conduit Street was firmly in the hands of Isaac Salaman, an ostrich feather manufacturer. In 1838, it is his name that appears in the insurance records of the Sun Fire Office, and we also find him in the census records of 1841, 1851, and 1861, although in 1841 the censor mistakenly lists him as John. His wife Jane, however, seems to have been the milliner mentioned by Tallis. She is listed as such in the 1841 census, but the 1851 census no longer gives an occupation for her. In 1841, daughter Betsy is called a milliner’s apprentice, but by 1851 she, and her sister Rachel, have taken up feather making. There need not be any conflict here; the ladies of the household may very well have been making bonnets and such like with the feathers Isaac dealt in.

feather worker from Tabart's Book of Trades, part 2 (1806)

feather worker from Tabart’s Book of Trades, part 2 (1806)

Tabart explained that – of course – geese were used to obtain feathers, but ostrich feathers were the most valuable and

round feathers, such as the woman in the plate is at work upon, are composed of a number of smaller ones: if they are taken from the cock’s neck, they are neatly tied on wire with thread; but if they are small ostrich feathers, they are twisted round an upright wire. The single ostrich feathers have usually a small piece of wire at the end, for the purpose of fixing into the cap, turban, or hair. Women that work at this business can earn two shillings a day. Feathers make a considerable article of commerce, being used for beds, writing-pens, &c. Those imported from foreign countries pay a heavy duty to the revenue. There is also a duty upon ostrich feathers, both in the undressed as well as in the dressed state.

In other words, a luxury product worth stealing, and the Old Bailey records frequently mention the “unlawful possession” of them, but a thief who made it into the Salaman’s house was after other goods. In an Old Bailey case of March 1851, Betsy tells the judge that she lives with her father Isaac whom she describes as a feather-bed maker. Curtains, a shawl and some vases have disappeared from the house and Betsy claimed that, although the street door was usually open during the day, the inner door was kept shut. That may have been the case, but the accused managed to get his hands on the items anyway and since nobody believed his story how he obtained them, he was found guilty and sentenced to transportation.(1) In 1859 and 1860, the Salamans were short of hands and applied for “ostrich feather makers” with “two good hands” and in 1863 they were looking for an apprentice girl.(2) Jane Salaman died in October 1863 and was buried at the Jewish Cemetery at Brompton.(3)

portrait that may or may not be of Isaac (Source: Blackden Trust). See the link for another portrait of a much younger Isaac(?)

portrait that may or may not be of Isaac (Source: Blackden Trust). See the link for another portrait of a much younger Isaac(?)

The year after his wife’s death, Isaac dissolved the partnership he had with Betsy, Rachel and his two sons, Nathan and Myer, as ostrich feather manufacturers at 69, Lamb’s Conduit Street and at 45, Monkwell Street. The four children continued the business for a while, but in December of 1864, Betsy and Rachel withdrew from the partnership. By then 46, Monkwell Street had been added to the business premises.(4) Nathan obtained the freedom of the City in 1866 and he gives his business address as 46 Monkwell Street and his occupation as ostrich feather manufacturer. Myer did the same in 1882, also from 46 Monkwell Street. The 1871 census saw Isaac, retired, and his son Nathan, ostrich feather manufacturer, at 19 Lamb’s Conduit Street. No, they did not move, there had simply been a renumbering of house numbers. Isaac died in May 1872 and was also buried at the Jewish Cemetery, Brompton. Nathan went to live with his sister Rachel and her husband Abraham Simmons, and stayed with them until his death in 1905.(5)

headstone on Isaac's grave (Source:

headstone on Isaac’s grave (Source – with grateful thanks:

After the deaths in 1896 of Myer and Aaron, another of Isaac’s sons, one of the properties of Isaac’s estate was sold and a deed of settlement clearly lists the then beneficiaries of Isaac’s trust. It turned out that besides sons Nathan, Myer and Aaron, Isaac and Jane also had a son Abraham and besides Betsy and Rachel, a daughter Fanny, so four sons and three daughters in total. Betsy is named as Mrs Feist of 43 Rue Chateaudun, Paris, widow, Rachel as the wife of Abraham Simmons, but Fanny seems to have died before her brother as only her children are listed as beneficiaries.(6) Myer had expanded the feather business his father had started and established offices and warehouses in London, Paris, New York & Buenos Aires, and depots in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban, so it should not come as a surprise that Betsy was living in Paris. The head office in London was named Monkwell House after Monkwell Street (see for a photograph here). The generous income of the family had over the years been invested into property, which turned out to be a very sensible move as feathers went rather out of fashion after Word War I and were by then only used for feather dusters, rather than as items to wear. By the 1920s, the Salamans were more or less the only ones left in London trading in feathers and they ceased trading altogether in 1943.(7) And with the end of the Salaman feather business, this blog post also comes to an end.

French post card of a woman with ostrich feathers in her hat (Saved from Pinterest)

French post card of a woman with ostrich feathers in her hat (Saved from Pinterest)

(1) Old Bailey case t1851003-759.
(2) Various advertisements in Lloyd’s Weekly Newspaper, 1859-1863.
(3) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1863. Estate valued at under £3,000. Isaac was named as the executor.
(4) The London Gazette, 19 January 1864 and 6 December 1864.
(5) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1905. Estate valued at over £198,000, later resworn at more than £374,000.
(6) London Metropolitan Archives, CLC/499/MS14743: Deed of settlement of proceeds of sale and stock, by Isaac Salaman, ostrich feather manufacturer, in favour of Nathan and Myer Salaman, 1864, with a deed of release and indemnity from the trusts of the 1864 settlement by Mrs Betsy Feist (nee Salaman) to Nathan Salaman and others, 1897. The LMA has more papers of the family, see here.
(7) T.M. Endelman, Anglo-Jewish Scientists and the Science of Race, in Jewish Social Studies 11/1 (2004), p. 52-92; S.A. Stein, Falling into Feathers: Jews and the Trans‐Atlantic Ostrich Feather Trade, in The Journal of Modern History 79/4 (2007), p. 772-812.


<– 70 Lamb’s Conduit Street 68 Lamb’s Conduit Street –>

Dolby’s Dining Rooms


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Street View: 62
Address: 96 Wardour Street


In 1815, Ralph Rylance wrote in his Epicure’s Almanack that the York Chop-house could be found in Wardour Street, across from St. Anne’s Court. The proprietor at the time was a Mr. Clark, and, according to Rylance

the house is very neatly fitted up, and the handmaids are in general way neatly dressed, which circumstance, added to the goodness of the cheer, constitutes no small temptation to youth of sanguine temperament and vigorous digestive organs. The beef steaks and chops here are capitally cooked.(1)

The chop-house has made it into online search results, not so much because of the neat dresses of the waitresses, but because some of its clientèle became famous; Washington Irving, Edgar Allen Poe and Charles Robert Leslie all dined there. The editor of the modern edition of Rylance’s guide tells us helpfully that Mr. Clark was Christopher Clark, and that leads us to a notice in The London Gazette of 26 October 1827, in which Christopher Clark is described as formerly a captain in the Cumberland militia, but afterwards of 1 Short Street, Finsbury Square, then of 384 Oxford Street, then of 96 Wardour Street, eating house keeper, and lately of 34 Carmarthen Street, Fitzroy Square, out of business. In 1809, Charles Turner, a builder of Hampstead Road insures 96 Wardour Street with the Sun Fire Office. The actual occupant of number 96 is one Pitt, a print seller. In 1828, the executors of Charles Turner once again insure 96 Wardour Street, but this time the Sun Fire Office record states that the property is used by Dolby, coffee house keeper. This is Samuel Dolby who is listed as chop house keeper when the baptism of his son George is registered in 1830 at St. James’s, Piccadilly. But Samuel had not always been a caterer, as earlier records show.

A leg-of-beef shop from George Cruikshank's Omnibus, 1842. Not Dolby's, but his may very well have looked like this (© Trustees of the British Museum)

A leg-of-beef shop from George Cruikshank’s Omnibus (1842). Cruikshank did not depict Dolby’s establishment, but the York chop-house may very well have looked much the same (© Trustees of the British Museum)

The baptism record for son George also gives the mother’s name, Charlotte, which helps to find the other children of the couple. The eldest child seems to have been Charlotte Helen who was born on 17 May 1821, and baptised a little later at St. Anne, Soho.(2) The family’s address is given as St. Anne’s Court and Dolby’s occupation as ‘tobacconist’. This matches the entry in the 1820 Poll Book for St. Paul and St. Ann, which lists him at number 7 St. Anne’s Court. The Poll Book must have been slightly behind with the current state of affairs, as Samuel’s brother Thomas wrote in his Memoirs that during his own trial for seditious libel in the summer of 1821, Samuel “had only about a year and a half been settled in Wardour Street”, which makes it early 1820.(3) An 1824 Old Bailey case tells us a lot more about Samuel’s shop, which, by the way, was then still at number 95 Wardour Street. One William Ramsden Robinson is indicted for stealing 20 printed books valued at 10s from Dolby. Dolby explained the situation in his shop to the magistrates, “I keep a tobacco shop which communicates with my stationer’s shop, by two glass doors. I can see in one shop what is going on in the other”. While Samuel Dolby was in the tobacco department, his wife Charlotte sorted out the issues required by the accused of “Dolby’s Acting Plays”, which had been published by Samuel’s brother Thomas, and put them on the counter in front of her customer.(4) When her back was turned to find some additional numbers the prisoner said he also wanted, he grabbed the books that were on the counter and ran. Mr. and Mrs. Dolby were certain of their identification and, despite an alibi provided by the prisoner’s brother, the jury found him guilty.(5)


But when and why did Samuel Dolby turn from a tobacconist cum stationer to a chop house keeper? In Pigot’s Directory of 1825 he is still listed at number 95 as a tobacconist, but the 1826 Land Tax records for St. James, Westminster, show him between Harrison and Vidall. Although the tax records do not give any house numbers, Harrison is the first name under the heading of ‘Wardour Street’ in that particular section, indicating that his shop was on a corner, and Tallis has Harrison, pawnbroker, at number 95, and Vidall, carver & gilder, at number 97. This certainly seems to indicate that Dolby took over Clark’s chop-house when the latter ‘lately’ removed himself to Carmarthen Street as The London Gazette of 1827 tells us. Does this mean that Dolby gave up his other business? No, it does not, as as late as 1843, The Post Office Directory lists Charlotte, by then a widow, as both tobacconist at number 95 and keeper of the York chop-house at number 96. But the Dolbys seem to have given up on the stationary side of their business in the late 1820s and this may very well have been a case of collateral damage of his brother Thomas’s bankruptcy in 1825. Samuel may have been more an outlet for Thomas’s publications rather than an independent stationer and the bankruptcy would have cut off his access to cheap editions. See the post on The Printshop Window blog for lots more information on Thomas Dolby’s fortunes and misfortunes.

When Samuel died is a bit of a mystery, but a Samuel Dolby was buried at St. Mary’s, Greenwich, on the 5th of December, 1831, and he is described as of St. James, Westminster. No will has been found for him, so I am not absolutely sure it is him and I cannot explain why he should be buried at Greenwich, but by 1835, the tax records were listing Charlotte and not Samuel, so he must have died before 1835. Although I have not found a marriage registration for Samuel and Charlotte which might have given an indication where he came from or who his father was, we do know that he came from Northamptonshire. The only other snippet we know is that Charlotte came from Oxfordshire as she gives that as her place of birth in the 1851 census and we can surmise that her last name was Niven as daughters Rebecca and Sarah were baptised as Rebecca Niven and Sarah Amy Niven, but that is as far as I got with their origins.

Detail of Horwood's 1799 map

Detail of Horwood’s 1799 map

Charlotte continued to run the two businesses, but seems to have sold the tobacconist’s section in or before 1851 as in the 1851 Post Office Directory she is only listed with the chop-house. She did not continue to live above the shop after her husband’s death, as in the 1841 census she could be found in Newman Street, Marylebone, with her daughters Charlotte, Rebecca and Sarah. In the 1851 census, she is living in Hinde Street with daughters Charlotte, Eliza, Jane and Sarah. She made at least one more move, probably to live with her daughter (see below), as her burial and probate records give 5 Wimpole Street as the address where she died in July 1866.(6) Two of Samuel and Charlotte’s children made a name for themselves, each in their own way. Son George became the manager of Charles Dickens’s reading tour in America, and daughter Charlotte Helen became a celebrated singer.


George was appointed manager of Dickens’s readings tour in 1866. The men probably already knew each other as Dickens was a friend of Charlotte Helen. Dickens and Dolby became great friends and frequently dined together. These tours in England were so successful that Dolby was also appointed manager of the American tour (1867-1868).(7) In 1885, he wrote Charles Dickens as I Knew Him: the Story of the Readings Tour in Great Britain and America (1866-1870), which he “affectionately inscribed” to his sister Charlotte. George at some point went into partnership with Richard D’Oyly Carte, but that partnership as “opera and concert agents” was dissolved in 1876.(8) Dolby also arranged the English tour of Mark Twain to whom he wrote a short note on 4 January 1874 with directions to his house at “2 Devonshire Terrace, Hyde Park, at foot of Craven Hill, one shilling cab fare from the Langham Hotel”. The note said that the Dolbys dined at six o’clock and that they were looking forward to seeing Twain and his friend Stoddard.(9) Despite all these grand acquaintances, Dolby fell on hard times, it is said because of his personal extravagance, and the 1891 census found him at the Cleveland Street Asylum. He died in 1900 as a pauper in Fulham infirmary.

carte-de-visite for Charlotte (© National Portrait Gallery, London)

carte-de-visite for Charlotte (© National Portrait Gallery)

Charlotte Helen was listed as “musical” in the 1851 census, but she was more than just a bit musical. In 1832, she entered the Royal Academy of Music and received a scholarship in 1837. In 1845, she sang in Leipzig under the auspices of Mendelssohn, which was such a success that he even dedicated his Opus 57 to her. She subsequently went on a tour through the Netherlands and France and in 1860 married Prosper Philippe Sainton, a French violonist who had been living in London since 1844. Charlotte became a celebrated contralto vocalist with her own academy which she opened in 1872 after her retirement from professional singing. Charlotte did a lot better than her brother and when she died in 1885, she left almost £1,600.(10) The probate registration gives her as formerly of 5 Wimpole Street, but lately of 71 Gloucester Place, Hyde Park.(11)

Advertisement for Charlotte's music academy in the 1874 London Illustrated News

Advertisement for Charlotte’s music academy in the 1874 London Illustrated News

And the York chop-house? In the 1849 Land Tax records, Charlotte Dolby is listed between Harrison (the pawnbroker at number 95) and Vidall (carver & gilder at number 97) who were the same neighbours as we saw in the 1826 tax record, but from 1850 onwards, the Land Tax records suddenly list a Mrs Niven. Can we assume a relation of Charlotte? It is unlikely that Charlotte suddenly reverted to her maiden name, as in other records she is still known as Mrs Dolby. The name of Niven has disappeared again in the 1856 Post Office Directory and is replaced by that of dining room keeper Charles Alexander Halfhide. His name, however, disappeared a year later, and various other proprietors can be found in the following years, although it is unclear whether they continued the chop-house, and that is as far as I can take the story of the York chop-house.

(1) Ralph Rylance, The Epicure’s Almanack. Eating and Drinking in Regency London. The Original 1815 Guidebook, ed. by Janet Ing Freeman (2012), p. 117.
(2) The other children were: Samuel (1823-), Eliza (1825-), Jane (1826-), Rebecca Niven (1828-), George (1830-1900), and Sarah Amy Niven (1833-).
(3) Thomas Dolby, Memoirs of T. D. late Printer and Publisher, of Catherine Street, Strand, written by himself (London, 1827), p. 131. Thanks go to Mathew Crowther for sending me this information.
(4) From 1823 to 1825 Thomas Dolby issued his series of plays in paper wrappers at sixpence per number. Thomas Dolby, publisher and printer, had his business in the Strand and at 34 Wardour Street. Read more on Thomas Dolby here.
(5) Old Bailey case t18240715-101.
(6) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1866. Probate is granted to son George and the effects are gives as under £100.
(7) The Oxford Companion to Charles Dickens. You can also read more about Dolby here.
(8) The London Gazette, 4 February 1876.
(9) Mark Twain’s Letters, vol. 6: 1874-1875 (2002).
(10) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1885. Probate is granted to her husband.
(11) More information on Charlotte and Prosper can be found in the Oxford Dictionary of Biography.


<– 95 Wardour Street 97 Wardour Street –>

Alexander Cheffins, music seller


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Street View: 65
Address: 4 Mortimer Street


The index to booklet 65 of the Street Views, lists Cheffin, music seller, at 4 Mortimer Street, but the elevation in the street plan gives the name of Morse, bookseller & stationer, so what is going on? The bookseller was Edward Morse, who could be found at number 4 in Pigot’s Directory of 1839 and in the 1841 census, but that is more or less the end of the story for Morse, as I have not been able to find out anything else about him; he must have had a very short career indeed. I will leave Mr. Morse for what he was and continue with Cheffin whose name was usually spelled with an ‘s’, so Cheffins. If you search online for Cheffins, you will invariably end up with information about Charles Frederic Cheffins, but that was Alexander’s brother. Charles was the elder of the brothers and baptised in December 1807 at St. Bride’s as the son of Richard and Jane Cheffins. Richard Cheffins worked for the New River Waterworks Company and was a member of the Pattenmakers’ Company, although he described himself as surveyor on the indenture document when he took Charles on as his apprentice in 1822. Charles had a glittering career as mechanical draughtsman, lithographer, cartographer, consulting engineer, and surveyor. He published many maps, of which the majority depicted new railways that were either proposed or being built.

London & Birmingham Railway Map, published by Chas. F. Cheffins, Surveyor, Engineering Draughtsman & Lithographer, 1835 (Source: Andrew Cox PBFA via Abebooks)

London & Birmingham Railway Map, published by Chas. F. Cheffins, Surveyor, Engineering Draughtsman & Lithographer, 1835 (Source: Andrew Cox PBFA via Abebooks)

Charles became assistant to John Ericson who was working on a faster engine for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. This connection with Liverpool brought Charles into contact with Lucinda Harrison Grey, whom he married there in October 1830, but the couple went to live in London and the 1841 census finds them at 9 Southampton Buildings, Holborn, the address Cheffins continued to use throughout his life. Only in the very last year of his life, 1861, after the death of his wife the year before, did he move to 15 Gloucester Terrace, Hyde Park.(1)

portrait of Alexander (Source: Kateelliott50 at

portrait of Alexander (Source: Kateelliott50 at

But back to 4 Mortimer Street where brother Alexander Cheffins had his music business, or at least, he had for a short while. Alexander, as we saw, was the son of Richard and Jane Cheffins, and he too was baptised at St. Bride’s, on 17 July 1814. In February 1837, he married Ann Pattison at All Souls, St. Marylebone. The earliest I found him in Mortimer Street is on the baptism registration for their son Frederick who was baptised on 22 May 1838. Alexander gives his occupation as pianoforte maker, so he was definitely involved in the music industry. The next child for the couple to be baptised is Anne Louisa (21 Aug. 1839). Alexander is then listed as a musical instrument seller, but the address given is 15 Mortimer Street. That section of Mortimer Street is not listed by Tallis, so I cannot say who occupied number 15 before Cheffins. Pigot’s Directory of 1839 also lists Cheffins at number 15, so the occupation of number 4 was as short-lived as it was for Edward Morse. And so was their sojourn at number 15, as the 1841 census already reports them at Upper Rosomon Street, Clerkenwell. Alexander is then a “professor of music”. In 1844, the family lives in Granville Square, in 1845-1851 in Weston Street, in 1852-1856 in Ampton Street, all the while with Alexander described as professor of music. But then, in 1859, when the youngest child, Percy, is baptised, the family is living at Brunswick Street and Alexander is suddenly described as surveyor.(2) What happened? Was music no longer profitable enough? Or perhaps, he was not as musical as he made out? The only publication I found for him is a ballad, “The Happy Bride” which begins: They said she was married. The text is by J.H. Jewell and the music by Cheffins.(3)

Whatever the reason for Alexander’s change of profession, from 1859 onwards he is variously described as draughtsman or surveyor. In other words, he followed in his father and brother’s footsteps. And in 1865, he is given a provisional patent as a mechanical draughtsman for an invention to improve the construction of omnibuses.(4) In 1871 and 1881 the census found him at Kentish Town. He died in 1885. Son Edwin had a similar job change as his father; in 1871 he was listed as a railway clerk, but in 1881 as a pianoforte tuner. Music, drawing and mechanics were apparently skills that went together in this particular family.

Milliner from Tabart's  Book of Trades, volume 2 (1806)

Milliner from Tabart’s Book of Trades, volume 2 (1806)

And 4 Mortimer Street? We saw Edward Morse there in the 1841 census and he had his name plastered on the front of the building in the Street View, but most of the building must have been overrun by the women of Anna Maria Hammans’s milliner’s business. The occupation of the building by the Hammanses pre- and post-dates that of Morse and Cheffin, so it seems that it was a multi-business property. The Hammanses were already there in early 1834, when Maria and Rebecca Hammans of 4 Mortimer Street dissolve their partnership, but possibly long before that.(5) In 1841, Anna and at least nine women were living at the property, besides bookseller Morse, a porter and three gentlemen who were listed as independent. One of the milliners was Elizabeth Abrahall who is mentioned in Anna’s will of 1845 as her sister and who is left the business.(6) The 1851 census does indeed see Elizabeth Abrahall at number 4 as dressmaker, although the 1851 Post Office Directory still has the name of Anna Maria Hammans for number 4. The 1856 Post Office Directory names the firm Mrs Elizabeth Hammans & Co. By 1861, however, her place has been taken by Eliza Johnson, a lodging house keeper. And is this the whole story? No, censuses and Tallis do not tell us everything. We know, for instance, that in 1848, one Jacques Robert Lavenne, heraldic engraver and fancy stationer, was listed as “late of no. 4” in the bankruptcy records. And the same goes for John James MacGregor, surgeon, who had to appear before the commissioners in 1855. What does seem clear is that 4 Mortimer Street, contrary to many long-running single-family businesses listed in the Street Views, had numerous occupants, as well as a resident family not mentioned in Tallis, in the years just before, during and after the period in which Tallis produced his booklets.

(1) Charles was buried at All Souls, Kensal Green 28 October 1861. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1861. Estate valued at under £35,000. Sons Charles Richard and George Alexander were two of the executors.
(2) Children: Frederick, bapt. 22-05-1838; Anne Louisa, bapt. 21-8-1839; Henry Alexander, bapt. 31-10-1841; Richard Albert, bapt. 8-9-1844; Julia, bapt. 8-11-1845; Herbert George, bapt. 23-05-1852; Edwin John, bapt. 17-9-1854; Alfred Courtenay, bapt. 8-6-1856; and Percy Frank, bapt. 28-8-1859.
(3) British Library music collection H.282.o.(8).
(4) Patent Office, Chronological and Descriptive Index of Patents, Cheffins, 27th July 1865.
(5) The Hammanses came from Garford, Berkshire. Rebecca, Maria, Anna Maria and Elizabeth were all daughters of William Hammans and his wife Elizabeth.
(6) PROB 11/2022/350. Elizabeth Hammans had married John Abrahall by licence on 28 July 1828.


<– 5 Mortimer Street 3 Mortimer Street –>