Street View: 32
Address: 36 Lamb’s Conduit Street


Pain’s butcher’s shop is one of the few where the depiction of the shop window in the Tallis Street View gives an indication of the goods on sale. If you look at the elevation at the top of this post, you will see what I imagine are pieces of meat hanging from hooks in the window. For convenience sake a larger picture of just the shop window below. Yes, I know, you need a bit of imagination to recognise what it is that is hanging from the hooks, but in most of the other Tallis shops all you see are the mullions and muntins of the windows themselves.

shop window

But this is as far as we will get in learning what the butcher’s shop looked like. Although there is still a number 36 in Lamb’s Conduit Street, it is not the same property as Pain’s shop. At some point in time, the numbering changed rather dramatically, and what was number 36 is now roughly number 76 and part of The People’s Supermarket.

We first hear of John Brooks Pain when, in April 1823, he dissolves the partnership he had with his brother Benjamin Thomas Pain as butchers at Cleveland Street, St. Marylebone. Benjamin Thomas and John Brooks were the sons of Thomas and Susannah. Thomas was also a butcher as we learn from the 1836 freedom of the City registration for John Brooks. When John Brooks purchased his freedom via the Company of Butchers, he describes his father Thomas as late of Park Street, Regent’s Park, Gent., deceased. John Brooks married Mary Ann Bowyer on 29 August 1824 at St. George the Martyr, Southwark and almost every year after that, a child was born to the couple.(1) Mary Ann died in 1840 at the age of only 38 – probably from sheer exhaustion after 11 children. John Brooks remarried in 1844 to Harriet Clement and two children were born of that marriage: Clement (1845) and Walter Julian (1847). John Brooks had died earlier in 1847 and was buried at All Souls, Kensal Green, on 4 February at the age of 44.

Butcher's shop by Myles Birket Foster (Source: British Museum)

Butcher’s shop by Myles Birket Foster (Source: British Museum)

From the baptism registrations of the 11 children he had with Mary Ann, and her burial registration, we see that during that time (1825-1840), John Brooks occupied 36 Lamb’s Conduit Street. What is strange, however, is that on his City freedom registration in 1836, the address of 7 Warwick Lane is given. I can offer an explanation by looking at a notice in The London Gazette of 17 February 1843, which sees John Brooks dissolving a partnership with one Hannah Ward as meat salesmen at 10, Rose-street and 4, Rose-street, Newgate-market. He was apparently branching out and needed to be a member of one of the City’s Worshipful Companies in order to be allowed to run a business at that address, in contrast to the one in Lamb’s Conduit Street which is outside the City boundaries. Also in 1843, he takes on as his apprentice his son George Edward, and their address is then given as 9, Sebbons Buildings, Islington, but in September 1844, when he married Harriet, he is living as a farmer at Reigate. Son Clement is baptised at St. Mark’s, Kennington, and the will of John Brooks gives him at 1 Eversholt Street, Oakley Square. His burial record, however, gives Kentwin’s Farm, Nutfield. Well, he certainly did get around! And not only that; in his will he mentions a long list of freehold and leasehold “messuages” that are his, one of which is a slaughterhouse on the east side of Rose-street, Newgate, presumably linked to the business he had with Hannah Ward. Probate is granted jointly to the executors: sons Thomas John Brooks and George Edward and widow Harriet.(2)

Nutfield link

Kentwin’s (or Kentwyn’s or Kentwyns) Farm (or House), Nutfield, Surrey, is linked to the Clement family to which John Brooks second wife Harriet belonged; her maiden name is given as Clement on the marriage registration and her residence as Nutfield. The cover picture for Nutfield Link of November 1974 shows Kentwin’s and a small write-up explains that the house came into the possession of the Clement family in 1551 and that a Dr. Clement Paine [sic] was the grandson of the last Clement to live in the house. Widow Harriet marries again and can be found in Croyden in the 1861 and 1871 censuses with her new husband, Frederick M. Page, and her two sons. In 1871, Clement is a clerk in an insurance and broker’s office and Walter is an unemployed brewer. Ten years later, Clement can be found as a ship broker at Sorrenta Villa, Cavendish Road, Willsden. In later years, he was listed as ship owner.

1867 letters patent
If we go back to the butchers, we find George Edward at 121 High Street, Camden Town until his death in 1867. He is given as butcher in his probate registration, but he was more. In early 1867, he and one Charles Corroy are given a patent for “improvements in the preparation of oils for illuminating, lubricating, and other purposes”. It is certain that is is the same George Edward as the address 121 High Street is given in the patent registration. He did not enjoy his patent for very long, however, as he died on the 14th of October of the same year. Probate was granted to the executor, his brother Thomas John Brooks Pain of 89 High Street, pork butcher. In 1890, a second probate entry is found for George Edward. It appeared that Thomas John Brooks had left the estate unadministered and the task fell to half-brother Clement. Not that there was all that much left to divide among the heirs, as the sum total of George Edward’s possessions came to just over £268, while the original estimate in 1867 had been £4,000. In 1869, Thomas John had gone bankrupt, but could continue trading and as late as 1876, the creditors received dividend.(3). He could be found at 50 St. George’s Road in the 1871 census and in the 1881 census at 67 Marchmont Street, still a pork butcher. His son, Thomas Bowyer who became a stained glass designer and moved to America, dedicated a window to his father who apparently died in 1881, although I have found no record of his death (see here).

Postscript: After the publication of this post, I received an email from Philip Pain, a descendant of John Brooks Pain and Mary Ann Bowyer. He kindly sent me a lot more information on the family and a picture of the stained glass window, so grateful thanks to him.

photo credit Philip Pain

photo credit Philip Pain

Philip wrote: “My own research indicates that the Pork Butchering / Pig farming history of the Pains can be traced back through Thomas Pain (1779, Marylebone), to his father Benjamin Pain (1749, Medbourne, Leics), and previous generations in Medbourne where the Pain family held the Manor in the 1500s. The surname was spelt “Pain” from the 1700s, but earlier spellings include “Payne”. It is likely that the family are descended from the “Payn” knights of Dorset, who in turn accompanied William the Conqueror in the great Norman invasion of 1066, and originated before that from the Payen region of Normandy.” And on the American connection he wrote “you refer to the unadministered estate of Thomas John Brooks, circa 1890. The reason for this is that Thomas John Brooks Pain’s eldest son Thomas John Bowyer Pain (b 1849, Hackney) had emigrated to Canada (and subsequently the USA) circa 1869, together with his uncle Henry Bowyer Pain (born 1839). They both eventually settled in Kansas City Missouri. Then in 1881 Thomas John Brooks Pain and his wife Sarah Knight retired from their butchers business in London, and went to Kansas City to join their son TJBP. Sadly, within a few days of each other in September 1881 both Thomas senior and his wife Sarah died of Cholera at their son’s home in Tracey Avenue, Kansas City. The water was drawn from untreated underground limestone sources, and established residents were largely immune from infection.
Their son TJBP, who ran a paint & glass business, and was very active in the Episcopal Church, had painted glass windows erected in their memory at St Mary’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City. The church and the windows are now on the American national register of historic buildings.”

(1) Baptism years for the children: Thomas John Brooks, 1825; Mary Ann, 1826; Sarah, 1827; George Edward, 1828; Emma, 1830; Benjamin, 1832; Susanna, 1833; Harriet, 1835; Charles, 1836; Rebecca Bowyer, 1838; and Henry Bowyer, 1839.
(2) PROB 11/2051/54.
(3) The London Gazette, 21 September 1869 and 21 January 1876.


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