Street View: 49
Address: 119 Tottenham Court Road
When writing this post, I quickly ran into trouble over a confusion as there are two Northumberland Arms in the Tottenham Court Road area, one in Goodge Street and one in Tottenham Court Road itself. The first one was often referred to as ‘in Goodge Street, Tottenham Court Road’, and just as frequently, neither was given a house number in the records, so it is perhaps understandable that confusion arose, not just with me, but with other researchers as well. Having said all this, this post is solely about the Northumberland Arms at 119 Tottenham Court Road, corner of Grafton Street (now Grafton Way). In 1840, Nathaniel Whittock produced his On the Construction and Decoration of the Shop Fronts of London and plate 10 depicted the wine and spirit warehouse on the corner of Tottenham Court Road and Grafton Street. The illustration helpfully displays the house number 119, so no confusion possible in this case.
According to Whittock, the establishment
is distinguished by having two stories converted into one, for the purpose of introducing immense vats, and likewise giving loftiness to the shop, which was formerly much too low to cut a splendid figure among the rival establishments by which it was surrounded: the effect at the present time is grand (if such a term may be applied to an erection of this sort) without being gaudy.
The effect may have been grand, but Whittock made the place look a lot grander than it actually was; compare it with the Google Street View screenshot at the bottom of this post and you will see that the man entering the establishment in Whittock’s picture must have been very short indeed. The name on the front, ‘Astell’, does not match the one in Tallis, nor does Whittock make clear who was responsible for the renovation that made two stories into one, so we will have to do more research. A preliminary trawl through newspapers, old directories and archival records for roughly the years 1830-1860 elicited the following names:
1828-1833 George Humble
1839-1843 Thomas Rawbone
1848-1849 Thomas Loader
1849-1856 Jane Mary Loader, widow of Thomas Loader
1855-1857 James Sidney Griffith Evans
1857-1860 Frederick Butcher
1861-1862 Sarah Butcher, widow of Frederick Butcher
As Whittock published his book in 1840, Astell must have had the pub in or before that year, but unfortunately, I have not been able to find any evidence of him. There is a gap of a few years between what I could find for George Humble and Thomas Rawbone, but alas, no evidence that Astell filled that gap. We will have to leave this mystery as it is for the moment and concentrate on Rawbone who was mentioned by Tallis as managing the wine vaults in 1839 when the Street View was published. Pigot’s Directory of 1839 also lists Rawbone at number 119, so he was certainly there in that year. The 1841 census, however, finds one Hardwick Rawbone on the premises, together with an Ann Rawbone, two barmen, a porter and a female servant. But, the 1843 Post Office Directory has Thomas Rawbone as the proprietor. So what is going on? Well, Harwick and Ann turn out to be two of Thomas’s children. Ann Reeves Rawbone was born in 1816 as the daughter of Thomas Rawbone and his wife Mary. She was baptised at Chalgrove, Oxfordshire, where her father was a schoolmaster. A baptism record for Hardwick John Reeves Rawbone has not been found, but he later became a minister and changed his name to Rathbone.(1) In the will of his sister Elizabeth, then living at Brill, Buckinghamshire, Hardwick is mentioned as “the reverend Hardwick John Reeves Rawbone alias Rathbone”(2) and on Hardwick’s own marriage registration it is clear that his name is Rathbone and his father’s is still Rawbone. Whether father Thomas approved of the name change is debatable as in his will, he still calls his son Rawbone.(3)
From the baptism record of his daughter Ann, we saw that Rawbone started his career in 1816 as a schoolmaster, but by 1829 when daughter Elizabeth is baptised at St. James, Clerkenwell, he is listed as a victualler. On the marriage registration for his daughter Ann in 1846 he is listed as a brewer and a notice in The London Gazette of 13 August 1847 tells us that, in December 1846, Thomas Rawbone and Edward Hawks had dissolved their partnership as brewers at the Hollywood Brewery, Fulham Road, Little Chelsea. In 1851, on the registration form of his son’s marriage, he is listed as a wine merchant. Rawbone retired to Brill, Buckinghamshire, close to the Oxfordshire border, where he died in late 1856. The fact that he came from Buckinghamshire and had property there helps us to narrow the gap in occupation of the Northumberland Arms between Humble and Rawbone as the 1837 poll books for Bierton with Broughton, Buckinghamshire, have his old address of Bath Place, New Road, London, crossed out and Grafton Street, Tottenham Court Road, handwritten above the original entry. The 1838 printed edition duly gives Grafton Street as his abode. This certainly suggests that Rawbone took over the Northumberland Arms somewhere in 1837, if not in 1836. In an 1834 list of members of the Licensed Victuallers Association he was still listed at the Adam and Eve, 20 Bath Place, so the uncertainty for the years 1834-1836 remains. Perhaps Astell was the proprietor of the pub in those years, but perhaps not, and was his name an invention by Nathaniel Whittock. Perhaps we will find out in the future, but for now it has to remain a question, just as the name of person responsible for the renovation of the Northumberland Arms that so impressed Whittock will have to remain a blank for the moment.
For photos of the inside of the pub see their website here.
(1) He can be found in the records of Cambridge University as admitted at Peterhouse in 1842. He became a deacon in 1846, a priest in 1847, and first served at St. Botolph, Bishopsgate, before moving to various other places. He died in 1884.
(2) PROB 11/2218/284.
(3) PROB 11/2250/294.
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