Street View: 8
Address: 147 Holborn Bars


Kindest of friends, I have done with my brooding,
Ever obliging to each and to all;
Happy and thankful – if not too intruding,
I’ll meet your good wishes whenever you call.

On 18 October 1807, Thomas and Daniel, sons of Paul and Elizabeth Barrett of Marylebone were registered at Spa Fields Chapel, at the Countess of Huntingdon’s Connexion [see for the history of the movement here]. The record also notes their date of birth: 17 January 1805 for Thomas and 29 December 1806 for Daniel. In 1821, Daniel obtained his freedom of the City of London via the Haberdashers by redemption, paying the fine of 46s 8d. He is listed as a tea dealer and from a notice in The London Gazette of 21 February 1826, we learn that Alfred Tulley and Daniel Barrett dissolve their partnership as tea dealers at Church Street, Hackney.

trade card @BM

Soon after, Daniel must have entered into another partnership as on the 31st of December 1828, he and James Franks of Green Lettuce Lane, London, dissolve their partnership as wholesale coffee dealers. We next hear from Daniel when he is declared a bankrupt in 1837.(1) He is then described as grocer, dealer and chapman of Fetter Lane and Holborn Bars. Possibly related is an insurance entry of 5 March 1838 for one John Blissett “at Mr. Barretts, grocer, 147 Holborn Bars, gent”.(2) It would make sense to rent out some space in your property if you are in need of money to pay off your creditors. One month later, however, Thomas and Daniel Barrett, “green grocers”, insure property at 24 Church Street, Bethnal Green.(3) But, the Holborn Bars shop must have remained in Daniel possession, as Tallis clearly lists him at number 147 and the advertisement Daniel put in the Street View leaves nothing to the imagination. He tells us that he has given up the shop at 44 Fetter Lane and that from the Holborn address, he once again deals in tea, coffee, cocoa, chocolate and sugar, and that he has also installed a tripartite mill, which, of course, makes all the difference to the quality of the produce. In the Tallis Street View index, he is listed as “Tea and Coffee Dealer, and Manufacturer of the Improved Coffee Roasting Machine”.

Advert in Street View 8

Advert in Street View 8

24 Church Street seems to have been the family residence, as from that address, on 9 May 1839, Mary Elizabeth Barrett, one of the daughters of Paul Barrett, grocer, and therefore Daniel and Thomas’s sister, marries one Edwin Loach, the son of Benjamin Loach, a gun maker. What is relevant, however, is that Edwin is also given the Church Street address. Was he perhaps an employee of the Barretts who fell in love with the daughter/sister, or was he simply a lodger? In 1841, Edwin and Mary, with their 11 month old baby Joseph, can be found in the census in George Street, Nether Hallam, Sheffield. Edwin is now said to be in the army. In 1851, the Loach family can be found at Fishergate, York St. Lawrence. Edwin is now a sergeant armourer and Joseph T(homas) has a younger brother Edwin B(arrett).

trade tokens (Source: abccoinsandtokens.com)

trade tokens (Source: abccoinsandtokens.com)

In the mean time, in an 1842 directory, Daniel is listed as a grocer and tea dealer at 95, Fetter Lane and in the 1851 census, he can be found at 24, Three Colt Street, Limehouse. He is not married and his sister Harriet is acting as his housekeeper. Ten years later, this household situation is the same, but at a different address, 7 St. John’s Villas, Upper Holloway, Islington. I have not found Daniel in the 1871 census, but he dies in 1880 and in his probate record he is still listed as of 7 St. John’s Villas and his nephew Joseph Thomas Loach is named as the executor.(4) Joseph is described as a tea dealer of 193 Mile End Road, so instead of following in his father’s army footsteps, he took up his uncle’s grocery profession. In fact, when we look at the 1871 census for Mile End road, we see that Mary Elizabeth Loach, by now a widow, is listed as the head of the grocery business. Both sons, Joseph and Edwin, are also listed at that address as grocers. Joseph marries Victoria Jane Durstow on 22 October 1873 and their second son, who is born in 1879, is given the name of Daniel Barrett Loach. His elder brother is called Edwin Benjamin. The Mile End address remains the address for the grocery business, at least until 1897 when Joseph is listed in the electoral register as living at that address. When Joseph’s aunt Harriet dies in 1897, he is named as one of the executors. He is then still a tea dealer, but no address is given.

The brother of the Daniel of 147 Holborn Bars, Thomas, can be found at Albany Place, Stepney in the 1871 census record. He is described as tea dealer and grocer. He, like Daniel, is unmarried and another sister, Pauline, is his housekeeper. Thomas dies in early 1875 and probate is granted to Pauline as one of his residuary legatees. The estate is valued at less than £100, so he did not do as well as his brother, or perhaps he signed away his wealth before he died. The probate record gives his last address as the Gun Tea Warehouse, 599 Commercial Road.(5)

@Wellcome Library

@Wellcome Library

In 1886, sister Harriet erects a drinking fountain in Commercial Road in memory of her brothers Thomas and Daniel. Once upon a time, the memorial also contained a cattle trough, but that is no longer there.(6) Still, it is nice that the two tea dealing brothers have a lasting memorial, albeit not in the best of spots, on a very busy road under a railway bridge, but it is the thought that counts.



(1) The London Gazette, 26 September 1837.
(2) Sun Fire Office, LMA MS 11936/562/1271230.
(3) Sun Fire Office, LMA MS 11936/563/1273153.
(4) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1880.
(5) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1875.
(6) For more information on cattle troughs, see here.


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