Street View: 51
Address: 85 Bishopsgate Street Without
In 1835, fruiterer Samuel Mart‘s eldest daughter Mary married John Pearson Teede, a grocer. John was the son of John Thomas Teede of New Windsor, gentleman(1), and obtained the freedom of the City in 1830 by redemption. The normal procedure would have been for John to obtain his freedom by servitude, but his master Alfred Roper had died in 1828, leaving John short of a year on his indenture agreements (normally an apprentice served for 7 years before becoming free), but he was nevertheless given the freedom of the Innholders by paying a small fine. The following year, he took on his brother Charles as an apprentice and on Charles’s indenture we read that John’s address was 86 Bishopsgate Street Without. Not many years later, number 85 was given as his address, but I do not know if he actually moved, or, as so often happened, the numbering changed. Charles and John became business partners as grocers and tea dealers. The partnership was dissolved on 3 November 1842, but apparently in good harmony as “all debts owing to the said late partnership firm may be paid to either of the said parties, and all demands upon them will be discharged in like manner”.(2)
Charles received his freedom of the Innholders only in 1852, presumably he had no need of it before that time, and the dossier holds a statement by John that Charles had indeed served his apprenticeship with him for the full seven years. A later notice about dissolving a partnership with one George Lewis still has John at 85 Bishopsgate Street Without(3) and he remained there for the rest of his life. He died on 4 May 1870 and probate was granted to his widow Mary.(4)
John led a remarkable uneventful life, or at least, nothing much about him made it into the records, but we can say a few more things about his house and shop. In 1857, in the Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society, Thomas Hugo described a walk into the city from the north along Bishopsgate Street commenting on a group of houses on the eastern side of the street, that is, numbers 81-85. He also supplied an engraving of the houses with his article, which shows Teede’s house on the left. Please note the figure of the seated Chinese on Teede’s shop, a sure sign that it was the shop of a grocer and tea dealer. You can still see similar figures on the front of Twinings in the Strand.
“It consists of five houses, the gables of two of which are still entire; and the whole, with the exception of the three missing gables, remains pretty much the same as when first erected. I hardly need say that these edifices are constructed of wood, and indeed a forest of timber must have been used in their composition. […] The houses to which I am directing your attention are of three floors, the highest of which opens by a door, placed immediately in the centre of each gable, to a kind of gallery protected by a rail. They offer no internal peculiarities worthy of mention. I am informed that on the front of one of the group which has suffered the greatest mutulation the date of 1590 was formerly visible. The style of the edifices themselves is evidence of the correctness of this record”.
Unfortunately, the houses are long gone and even in 1905, when Philip Norman wrote his London vanished and vanishing, he had to say that “on the opposite side of the way [that is, from Paul Pindar’s house], there was, not very long ago, a group of four houses, numbered 81 to 85 Bishopsgate Street Without, which, although vulgarised and defaced, were evidently very old. They resembled each other more or less, and no. 82 still remains”. Norman refers to Hugo’s description and remarks on the 1590 date on one of the houses, “their wooden fronts, however, have markings in imitation of stone-work, called technically wooden rustications, which seem to suggest a later date”. It is always possible that the rustications had been added at a later date, so I do not see any problem with the description Hugo gave, but it is all academic as the houses are certainly no longer there. I do wonder, though, what happened to the Chinese figure that so proudly advertised the products Teede sold in his shop.
(1) Information from the indenture of 1822 when John Pearson became the apprentice of Alfred Roper, innholder.
(2) The London Gazette, 8 November 1842.
(3) The London Gazette, 14 May 1867.
(4) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1870. The estate was valued at under £4,000.
You may also like to read the post on Samuel Mart, Teede’s father-in-law.