Street View: 15
Address: 103-104 Fleet Street


The directory for Tallis’s Street View number 15 lists “Waithman & Co, Drapers and Shawl warehouse” at 104 Fleet Street. The shop was located at the corner of New Bridge Street and comprised 103 and 104 Fleet Street. Above you can see both sides of the shop; on the left the New Bridge Road side (from Tallis’s booklet 78) and on the right the Fleet Street front. You will have to imagine that one side is round the corner from the other. Click the picture to see a larger version. A trade card in the John Johnson collection shows the shop as that of Waithman & sons. Robert Waithman, the founder, died in 1833, however, so well before Tallis’s Street Views. The sons continued the business for a while after their father’s death, but must have retired before the Supplements were issued in 1847 as number 103 is then listed as occupied by the Sunday Times Newspaper Office.

trade card from the John Johnson collection (aac2353)

trade card from the John Johnson collection © Bodleian Library

Robert started trading in Fleet Market, moved to a shop in Newgate Street and then in 1798 to 103-104 Fleet Street. There is far more to tell about father Robert than about the sons, but I will do that in a separate post (see here). Robert Waithman married Mary Davies on 18 July 1787. The following children were born from the marriage:
– Robert (17 April 1788, bapt. St. Bride’s 16 May 1788)
– John (7 Sept. 1789, bapt. St. Bride’s 8 Oct. 1789)
– William (±1792)
– Charles (6 Jan. 1794, bapt. St. Bride’s 12 Feb. 1794)
– Mary (7 July 1796, bapt. St. Bride’s 21 July 1796, died ?)
– Mary (14 Oct. 1798, bapt. All Saints, Edmonton, Enfield 7 Jan. 1799)
– Henry (16 March 1800, bapt. St. Bride’s 3 May 1800)
– Mary Ann (30 May 1801, bapt. St. Bride’s 18 June 1801)

advert Court Journal 1835

advertisement in Court Journal, 1835

Freedom record Robert jr. 1812

Freedom record Robert jr. 1812

Robert jr., John and Henry all became freemen of the Framework Knitters’ Company through patrimony. It is unclear, however, whether all the sons joined their father’s firm. I have not found any information on Charles; he may have died young or moved away. William did join the firm, but he died before his father and was buried 26 December 1831 in St. Bride’s. In 1816, an Old Bailey Court Case relates of one John Williams, alias Kitchen, who was indicted for stealing a pocket-handkerchief from William Waithman. William testifies that he is a linen draper and lives in Fleet Street.(1) That in itself would not be absolute proof that he did indeed work in his father’s shop, but the records of the Sun Fire Office tell us more. Certainly from 1826 to 1829 John and William are registered jointly for the insurance on 103-104 Fleet Street. In 1833 Robert jr. and John are listed as paying as executors.(2)

W. Thornbury, Old and New London, vol 1

Waithman and Bristow ±1800 from W. Thornbury, Old and New London, vol. 1 (1889) (see for more on the partnership with Bristow here)

It is also clear from the election registers that some of the sons lived above the shop after the death of their father. In 1834 John is listed as living there and in 1837 Henry occupies the same premises. Earlier that year he had married Tryphena Penelope Clay.(3). John has by then moved to Avenue Road, Regent’s Park. Robert jr. could be found at 72 Basinghall Street at the time of the election register in 1834, but moved to Brompton as both the announcement of his death in The Gentlemen’s Magazine and the register of St. Bride’s (where he was buried on 28 March 1835) state.

As shown above, the shop must have been sold before 1847 and John retired with his sisters Mary and Mary Ann to Kent. The 1851 census finds them at 3 Calverley Park, Tonbridge, where he lives as “landed proprietor”. In 1851, Henry is listed as “silk broker” and lives with Tryphena, two of their sons and a whole range of servants at 4 Hall Place, St. John’s Wood. Henry died at that address on 11 January 1862.(4) Tryphena herself dies 22 January 1880.(5) John died 31 January 1870 at Claverley Park. One of the executors is Robert Henry Waithman, the son of Henry and Tryphena.(6) The two sisters die in 1873 and 1886.(7). The ladies spent their last years at Sydenham Road, Croydon.

T. Barber after T.H. Shepherd, Ludgate Hill

T. Barber after T.H. Shepherd, Ludgate Hill © British Museum

One bit of information can be added about one of the sisters, although it is unclear to which sister it refers. The draper’s shop was located on the corner of Fleet Street and New Bridge Street and the crossing was “in possession” of one Charles McKay (or McGhee), the street sweeper. The sister used to provide the sweeper with pennies and a smile, and on cold days with warm drinks and food. In gratitude he left her his savings. The accounts as to how much vary, either £700 or £7,000. In the picture above, you can see the sweep standing with his broom in front of the obelisk.(8) The Waithman shop can just be seen on the right-hand side.

(1) Old Bailey, Reference Number: t18160918-47.
(2) Records Sun Fire Office, LMA MS 11936.
(3) St. Marylebone, 21 Jan. 1837.
(4) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1862. Probate was granted to his widow Tryphena on 17 March (estate valued as under £10,000).
(5) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1880. Probate granted to her son Robert Henry on 13 Feb. (estate valued as under £12,000).
(6) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1870. Probate granted 28 Feb. (estate valued as under £40,000).
(7) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1873 (Mary, estate valued at under £7,000) and 1886 (Mary Ann, estate valued at just over £7,920). Probate was granted in both cases to the nephews Robert Henry and Frederic.
(8) You can read more about and see more pictures of McKay here.

You may also like to read the two other posts on Waithman:
Waithman Street
Waithman’s obelisk


<– 1 New Bridge Street 102 Fleet Street –>