Street View: 46 (Suppl. 16) and 49
Address: 78, St. Paul’s Churchyard and 94, Tottenham Court Road


Todd & Procter’s cheese shop was situated at no. 78 at the west end of St. Paul’s Churchyard; the elevation can be seen above on the left. At 94 Tottenham Court Road, however, another cheesemonger named Procter could be found; see elevation on the right. Were they related? And if so, what did Todd have to do with them? It is going to be a long story, but bear with me, we’ll get there.

On 15 August 1853, Todd and Procter appeared at the Old Bailey because one of their employees had embezzled some money. From this we learn their first names, John Todd and Robert Procter and that they are partners. When questioned about the number of staff, Todd says that their establishment has “eight or nine; some are employed behind the counter, and some in carrying out” James Crawley had been their porter for twelve years and was supposed to hand in the money to whoever was behind the counter when he came back from a delivery. Procter had his suspicions, as it turned out correctly, that Crawley was withholding money. When taken into custody and searched, he had some 300l. in betting slips in his pocket. Because of his previous good behaviour, he was confined for four months. The whole proceedings can be read here under number 832.

In 1871, the London Gazette published a notice that the partnership between John Todd and Robert Procter had been dissolved and that Robert was to continue the business.

partnership LG 03-01-1871

London Gazette 3 Jan. 1871

A look at the census records for 78 St. Paul’s Churchyard elicited the following (servants ignored):
1841: John Todd (40), Robert Procter (30)
1851: Robert Procter (45), Mary, his wife (45), Robert, a son (8) Elizabeth, a daughter (4), and John, another son (2).
1861: not available
1871: Robert Procter (65), sons Robert (28), John (22), daughters Mary (26), and Elizabeth (24), John Todd, ‘annuitant late cheesemonger’ (76)

So, John Todd lived above the shop in 1841, moved out when Robert was raising a family, but came back again as a pensioner. Assumedly, when he retired, the business was put in Procter’s name, hence the announcement in the London Gazette. I have found John Todd, cheesemonger, lodging at 52 Watling Street in the 1851 census. He dies 28 March 1879 and is then listed as “formerly of 78 St. Paul’s-Church-yard […] but late of 25 Landsdowne-road Dalston”. The will is proved by William Bowron of 60 Pimlico Road and William Procter of 94 Tottenham Court Road, nephews.(1) Here is our first proof that the two cheesemonger businesses are related.

The William Procter with the 94 Tottenham Court address can also be found in the probate record of his father, another William, who died 1 September 1870 at 27 Gordon Road, Stoke Newington. The other executor is John Procter of 81 Brecknock Road, brother of the deceased.(2) John himself, still at Brecknock Road, dies on 29 November 1888 and his will is proved by his nephew Robert Procter of 78 St. Paul’s Churchyard.(3)

In 1851, John Procter is already living at 94 Tottenham Court, corner Howland Street, as cheesemonger with his sister Elisabeth and William Bowron, the nephew. Although I cannot find the 1841 entry in the census, I assume he was the Procter of the Tallis’ elevation. In 1861, the other nephew, William Procter, has joined John and Elisabeth, and so has one William Todd, most likely related to John Todd of St. Paul’s Churchyard. In 1871, John is retired and living with his sister and two servants at Brecknock Road. The shop at Tottenham Court Road is now solely in the hands of William Procter. William was born in Southwark and we find him in the 1841 census on the Kent Road with his father, also a cheesemonger and his mother Christian. In 1851, the family has moved to 4 Bentley Terrace, Hackney. His parents married at St. Pancras in 1831 and the register gives her last name as Todd, so no wonder William is the nephew who proved John Todd’s will. John and Christian Todd were the children of John and Elisabeth Todd of St. Gregory by St. Paul’s parish. The records do not give an exact address, but is not unlikely to have been 78 St. Paul’s Churchyard.

Procter monument Tottenham Court Road

Procter monument Tottenham Court Road

Procter monument Tottenham Court Road

The monument shown consists of two parts: a plaque describing that the plot of land was to stay an open space in memory of Robert and Esther Procter, the 3rd generation, and a stretched pyramid commemorating John Procter and Mary Todd, the 1st generation.(4) The small open space with the monument is situated on the corner of Tottenham Court Road and Tottenham Street, just south of Whit(e)field’s Chapel (or Tabernacle), one block away from where the 94 Tottenham Court road shop was on the corner of Howland Street.

And, if all this is not yet complicated enough, there may be another link between the families. On the censuses, John, Elisabeth, William sr. and Robert sr. all give their place of birth as Barnard Castle, Durham. Following that lead, I found the marriage of their parents in an online family tree. John Procter sr. and Mary Todd were married at Barningham, Yorks, on 27 July 1793. I have not been able to find proof that these are indeed the parents of the cheesemongers, but see no reason to doubt it. The names and dates of John and Mary certainly correspond to the ones on the monument that can be found in Tottenham Court Road for some of the family members, incidentally confirming that John Procter senior was already established in 94 Tottenham Court Road at the time of his death in 1834. What is uncertain is whether Mary Todd and John Todd sr. were siblings and so providing a double family link, but what is definitely certain is that the Todds and Procters became one large cheesemongering family with several shops in London.

To make it a bit clearer – I hope – a chart with the main protagonists (just click to enlarge it). I have left out family members who do not figure in the story above. The year of birth given in the chart may be an approximate one.

(1) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1879
(2) Idem 1870
(3) Idem 1888
(4) A transcription of the text on the monument and more information on the site where the monument now stands, can be found on the website of London Remembers.

You may also like to read about the Aldersons, who also came from the Barnard Castle area.


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