Street View: 75
Address: 41 Chiswell Street
No elevation from the Tallis Street View to grace the top of this post as Tallis depicted numbers 1-37 and on the other side of the street numbers 53-91, missing out 39 to 52. Did he plan another Street view of that section of Chiswell Street, continuing into Beech Street? Possibly, but then why would he include the occupants of those properties in the index? No logical answer seems to be available, so we will make do with Horwood’s street plan of 1799.
Horwood shows what became Smith and Pinkney’s property as number 80 (red arrow), just around the corner from Whitecross Street. The blue arrow points towards what is now Sundial Court, formerly part of the Whitbread brewery, and the green arrow points to Lamb’s Passage which is still there.
Pinkney’s career started on the 27th of May in 1831 with the following contract:
William Davidson Keats clerk to George Trewhitt of Cooke Court near Lincolns Inn in the County of Middlesex Gentleman one of the attornies of his Majesty’s Court of Kings Bench at Westminster and a solicitor by Articles of Clerkship bearing date the Twenty first day of May Instant and made between The said George Trewhitt of the one part and Herbert Pinkney of Walnut Tree Walk in the County of Surrey Gentleman and Thomas Francis Pinkney Son of the said Herbert Pinkney of the other part the said Thomas Francis Pinkney for the consideration therein mentioned did put place and bind himself Clerk to the said George Trewhitt to serve him in the profession of an Attorney at Law and Solicitor in Chancery from the day of the date of the said Articles for the term of five years from thence next ensuing ….(1)
I will spare you the rest as it is not so easy to follow the long sentences that were written with capitals in unexpected places and without punctuation marks or apostrophes. Joseph Smith, Pinkney’s partner, was most likely the Joseph Smith who was articled in 1821 as clerk to William Rosser.(2) When exactly the gentlemen decided to set up a practise together is unclear, but they are listed in Chiswell Street in Pigot’s Directory of 1839. They dissolved the partnership a few years later, in 1841, with Pinkney to continue the practice on his own.
Both solicitors went bankrupt in 1847; Pinkney, whose address is then given as Eccleston Street, Belgravia, seems to have got off lightly, but Smith ended up in prison. Between the end of his partnership with Pinkney and his bankruptcy he seemed to have had five different addresses and besides having a practice as an attorney, he was at one point also the Superintendent Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths of the parish of St. Luke.(3) But in 1851 the census found him once again as a solicitor, this time in Arbour Street, Stepney. In 1843, Pinkney was still working at 41 Chiswell Street, but is, according to the Post Office Directory, no longer to be found there in 1848. He re-emerges in the 1871 census in Stoke Newington as the manager of an unspecified public company and died four years later.(4)
After Pinkney left 41 Chiswell Street, the building was occupied by various people. The 1851 Post Office Directory lists Henry Dale, auctioneer and appraiser. He dissolves a partnership with two others in March 1853 and seems to have left Chiswell Street.(5) In February 1855, Philip Nelson and Albert James Cappel dissolve a partnership as merchants at 41 Chiswell Street(6), although the 1856 Post Office Directory still lists them there. The next occupant is Charles Eaton who advertised auctions from number 41, but he combined that with the trade of leather factor. Many of his auctions did indeed feature leather, shoes, boots, etc. He also went bankrupt and had to assign all his effects in trust to an accountant for the benefit of his creditors.(7)
I could go on listing the businesses that occupied 41 Chiswell Street until the present day, but I think I will call it a day and leave you with a Google Street View of the property.
(1) National Archives, Kew: Court of King’s Bench – Affidavits of Due Execution of Articles of Clerkship, Series II, Class KB 106, Piece 16.
(2) National Archives, Kew: Court of King’s Bench – Affidavits of Due Execution of Articles of Clerkship, Series II, Class KB 106, Piece 5.
(3) The London Gazette, 27 April and 7 May 1847.
(4) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1874. His estate was valued at under £450.
(5) The London Gazette, 18 March 1853.
(6) The London Gazette, 2 March 1855.
(7) The London Gazette, The London Gazette, 11 April 1862 and 25 March 1864.
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