Street View: 60
Address: 11 Norton Folgate

Volume 27 of The Survey of London: Spitalfields and Mile End New Town (1957), describes 11 Norton Folgate as having

a four-storeyed front of early eighteenth-century character, with a charming shop-front of about 1790. This consisted of two segmental bows, the left wider than the right, flanking the two-leaf door to the shop. Each bow had a stallboard grille of columns and a window divided by slender bars, horizontally into six panes and vertically into four. Windows and door were flanked by very attenuated columns, and the front was finished with a delicately moulded entablature, conforming to the bows and having a further bow over the shop entrance which was surmounted by a large gilt spread eagle. The upper part of the front was, presumably, of stock brick, with red brick jambs and segmental arches to the three windows evenly spaced in each storey. All of these windows had stone sills, and straight-headed flush frames containing sashes with slender glazing bars. The second floor was marked by a moulded stringcourse; the third floor by a dentilled cornice, and the front was finished with a stone-coped parapet. In 1909, when it was a chemist’s shop, it bore the legend ‘Established 1750’ and was certainly occupied by a druggist in 1778.

As we can see from the elevation at the top of this post, the ‘Established 1750’ lettering was already there when Tallis produced his booklet and so was the chemist. Not that 11 Norton Folgate, or 11 High Street, Norton Folgate, as it was also known, had always been in the hands of the Jones family, but there were certainly chemists since 1757. The Land Tax records show a John Thomas on the premises from 1750 to 1752 and John Crook from 1753 to 1756, but I have not been able to find out if they were chemists. From 1757, we find Edward Calvert in the tax records, and he is most certainly a “chymist and druggist”.

© The Trustees of the British Museum

Public Ledger or The Daily Register of Commerce and Intelligence, 25 March 1760

On his trade card, he proudly advertised his violet cordial for which he received a patent in 1760. A much later listing of patents quotes Calvert as stating that it is “a most pleasant and useful cordial, which discovery had been attended with a great loss of time and immense expense” and it is, of course, much better than any other variety and “the finest medicine to expel wind at the stomach”. The ingredients were: “spirit, aromatic calamus mace, cloves, nutmegs, cinnamon, allspice, sal-volatile, sugar, vegetable juice coloured with violets, and ‘marum syriacum'”, but in what proportion these ingredients were used or how the medicine was prepared remained Calvert’s secret.(1) Calvert was very proud of his concoction and had advertisements put in the newspaper on a weekly basis for the rest of the year 1760. He died in December 1775 “after two hours illness” of “convulsions in the bowels”.(2)

His widow Mary continued the business until her own death in 1787.(3) The next occupants of the chemist shop are Thomas Johnson & David Jones, but that partnership goes bankrupt in 1797. According to the tax records, Johnson continues on his own in 1798 and 1799, but then he is declared a bankrupt as well and Samuel Knight takes over.(4) Knight died in November 1823, “much and sincerely lamented by his numerous acquaintances”.(5) Next a couple of short-lived occupations by an E. James (bankrupt in 1832) and James Blake (bankrupt in 1833) and finally we find Peter Jones at number 11 whom Tallis included in his booklet and whose family was to run the chemists’ until well into the next century. When Jones ran the shop it was named the Golden Eagle, but it is unclear whether the previous proprietors had also used that name.

Horace Dan and E.C. Morgan Willmott, English Shop-fronts, Old and New, 1907, plate VII

The photograph in English Shop-fronts, Old and New shows the shop as ‘Peter Jones, Son & Mundy’. We can follow the various family members who ran the shop from the census records. In 1841 and 1851 it is Peter Jones himself; in 1861 he is living at Edmondton, but still listed as a chemist and at 11 Norton Folgate we find Peter Cooke Jones, the son, and Frances Mary, the daughter. In 1865, Frances Mary Jones married Alfred Octavius Mundy, hence the Mundy in the name above the shop. Peter died in 1870 and the executors are widow Alice and sons Peter Cooke and Frederick William.(6) Peter Cooke is no longer a chemist, but is described as clerk of Milton near Sittingbourne. He was to become the vicar at Hunstanworth. In 1871 and 1881, Frederick William is running the shop, but he died in 1884.(7)

The tax records for 1885 show Alfred Mundy as the proprietor and the 1891 census saw him living at number 11 with his wife Frances and son John. Alfred is still there in 1901, but by 1911 he is boarding in Islington. Son Alfred Jones Mundy is living in Leyton, and is described as a manager of a retail chemist, but whether he worked in the Norton Folgate shop is not made clear, although the 1907 tax records list A. & A. Mundy at number 11. There is a gap in the tax records available online, but by 1918, the Mundys had gone.(8) The building as Jones and Mundy knew it no longer exists.

Daily News 30 March 1847

The Chemist and Druggist 15 November 1902

(1) Patents for Inventions: Abridgments of Specifications, 1873. Patent no. 746, dated 21 February 1760.
(2) Middlesex Journal and Evening Advertiser, 9-12 December 1775. PROB 11/1014/207.
(3) PROB 11/1156/201.
(4) The London Gazette, 21 November 1797 and 9 November 1799.
(5) The Morning Chronicle, 13 November 1823. PROB 11/1679/107.
(6) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1870. The estate was valued at under £12,000.
(7) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1884. The estate was valued at under £3,000, later resworn as £3,600. His brother Peter Cooke of Hunstanworth is named as the executor.
(8) They both died in 1919; Alfred Octavius on 13 February and Alfred Jones on 18 May.


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