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Street view: 3
Address: 18 Holborn

18 Holborn

18 Holborn

Joseph Cross, bookseller, publisher, copperplate printer and engraver had his shop at 18 Holborn at least since 1823 when he engraved A new map of the county of Monmouth. The shop was often styled as being at “18 Holborn Hill, opposite Furnival’s Inn”. Not much has been discovered about his life, but a Joseph Cross, bachelor, died on 19 November, 1865 at the age of 44 and his estate (effects under £3.000) was left to Jane Cross, his mother, being the only next of kin.(1) He was buried in Highgate cemetery on the 23rd of November.(2) Maps published between 1847 and 1854 were designated as coming from “J. Cross & Son”, so I assume the Joseph who died in 1865 was the son of the same name and that the father had died in 1854 or thereabouts. Joseph junior was born on 27 October 1821 and baptised on 24 January 1822 at St. Andrew’s, Holborn as the son of Joseph Cross, engraver and Jane.(3) At the time of his death Joseph had two addresses to his name; the Holborn shop and 1 Horningsham Villas, Junction Road, Upper Holloway where his mother also lived. It is not known whether the Cross family rented the Holloway property or bought it, but we do know that one Henry Lea lived there in December 1871 when he was elected a member of the Quekett Microscopical Club.(4)

Advertisement in Mechanics Magazine 1826

Advertisement in Mechanics Magazine 1826

As publishers, the Crosses brought out several books on exploration, for instance: Journals of Several Expeditions made in Western Australia, during the years 1829, 1830, 1831, and 1832; under the sanction of the governor, Sir James Stirling and Edward Gibbon Wakefield’s A letter from Sydney, the principal town of Australasia. Cross senior advertised in the Mechanics Magazine for James Atkinson’s An Account of the State of Agriculture and Grazing in New South Wales which contained “information important to those who are about to emigrate to that country” as coming out in the early part of June 1826. The Account itself contained a 3–page list of “colonial publications” which could be obtained from 18 Holborn. The list was subdivided into Australia, Tasmania, Canada and the United States, and South-Africa and contained, besides the occasional book, many maps.

Advert in Tallis's Street View

Advert in Tallis’s Street View

List of colonial publications

List of colonial publications

Cross and son were engravers and produced, for instance, the medical labels they advertised in Tallis’s Street View, but they specialised in maps and street plans. For London, they produced Cross’s New Plan of London, with all the improvements to 1840 (many editions between 1828 and 1865) and Cross’s London Guide, a street map and directory (5 editions between 1837 and 1851). In 1846 they also produced the folding Cross’s Miniature London of which you can see photos below.

Cross's Miniature London cover

Cross’s Miniature London cover

Cross's Miniature London

Cross’s Miniature London

See for the larger version of Cross’s London map of 1851 here.

Cross’s old shop at number 18 no longer exists; together with the neighbouring properties at nos 14-17 it has been replaced by a much grander building designated as 14-18 Holborn with the Melton Mowbray pub on the left-hand corner, still at number 18, but now roughly comprising the ground floor space of what were once numbers 18 and 17, if not also half of number 16.

14-18 Holborn Google Street View

14-18 Holborn. Source: Google Street View

(1) London Gazette, 29 December 1865, notice to creditors and other claimants to send in claims on the estate before 8 February to Sidney Smith & Son, Furnivall’s Inn, solicitors. National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1865, p. 560-561
(2) London Metropolitan Archives, Highgate Cemetery of Saint James, Swains Lane, Saint Pancras, Transcript of Burials, 1865, p. 1756.
(3) London Metropolitan Archives, St Andrew Holborn, Register of Baptism, P69/AND2/A/01/Ms 6667, Item 21, p. 50.
(4) Seventh Report of the Quekett Microscopical Club, July 1872, p. 42.


<– 19 Holborn 17 Holborn –>