Street View: 35
Address: 59 Newington Causeway
In the Street View booklet, we can see that Elphick’s establishment was situated more or less opposite Great Union Street. That street has been severely reduced in length by later developments. The tiny stretch left between Newington Causeway and what is now Southwark Bridge Road is called Gaunt Street. The house numbering has also changed, which is not surprising as there were two sets of numbers on opposite sides of the street. From what was Great Union Street, that is the north side of the street, the numbers in the Street View ran from 9 to 52, ending at the Queen’s Bench. Was this side of the street also called Bridge House Place? The Street View does not make this clear. Opposite number 52, on the south side of the street, the numbers ran from 1 to 32 and from 34 to 59. Why number 33 is not shown in the View is unclear, nor is it logical that number 60, next door to Elphick’s and clearly visible in the vignette, is not shown. These two houses are not mentioned in the Street Directory that was part of the Street View booklet either; 33 probably did not exist as the Post Office London Directory of 1841 also fails to mention it, but there seems to be no reason to exclude number 60. Perhaps the plan was to publish another booklet with the rest of Newington Causeway and it somehow never happened.
We can follow the story of Mark’s business career – or rather lack of it – by following the addresses where he worked or lived.
As the advertisement for his produce in the Street View testifies, Elphick not only had his business at 59 Newington Causeway, but also at 24, Crosby Row, Walworth (Southwark). But these were not the only two addresses from which he sold his wine & spirits. The Sun Fire Office records show a Mark Elphick, victualler in 31 Kingsgate Street, paying the insurance in 1830 and 1833. This latter entry also gives the name of the pub, the Plough, but he had definitely left there in 1839, as Pigot’s Directory for that year shows a Richard Mills in possession. In 1837, the London Gazette of 30 May writes of “Mark Elphick, of the Worlds End Public House, No. 59, Newington-causeway, in the county of Surrey, and of the Crooked Billet Public House, No. 37, Saint Clement’s Church-yard, Strand [= Wych Street], in the county of Middlesex, Licensed Victualler, that he is in insolvent circumstances, and is unable to meet his engagements with his creditors”. Oh dear. But, since he is still merrily trading from Newington Causeway when Tallis compiled his Street View and he is then even able to afford a page-length advertisement, he must have been able to raise some money to avoid losing his business altogether. It was, however, a temporary reprieve, as in 1841 he is ordered to report to the Court of Bankruptcy in Basinghall Street to “make a full discovery and disclosure of his estate and effects”.(1) Interestingly enough, besides the World’s End, the Crooked Billet is also mentioned, although the Post Office London Directory of 1841 lists one H. Elphick as the proprietor. We may, of course, assume a close family link.
In this picture, the Crooked Billet is shown as the St Clements Stores, although it was registered as The Crooked Billet in the Post Office Directory as late as 1856. The pub was apparently owned by Charrington Head Co. brewery who commissioned Shephard to paint the building.(2) The Wych Street area was not exactly a salubrious part of town. More information on the history of the Crooked Billet and the bawdy songs that were sung there can be found here.
Another issue of the London Gazette gives more information, “Mark Elphick, formerly of the Crooked Billet […], licensed in the name of Henry Elphrick […], then lodging at the Crooked Billet […] and late of No. 22, London-Wall […] out of business”.(3) Here we have another address for Mark and that brings us to yet another newspaper where we see “Marc Elphick, late of No. 22, London-wall […] in the Debtor’s Prison for London and Middlesex”.(4) Unfortunately, that seems to have been the end of the line for Marc, as I have not found any later business activities for him.
(1) London Gazette, 16 April 1841.
(2) Information from: http://lcspubs.blogspot.nl/2010/11/crooked-billet-2.html
(3) London Gazette, 23 March 1841.
(4) London Gazette, 5 February 1841.
You may also like to read about John Colliss, a later victualler at the World’s End.
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