Street View: 29
Address: 40 Red Lion Street

John David Lovett, pastry cook of 40 Red Lion Street, died in late 1807 or early 1808 and his will, which was dated the 22nd of November 1807, was proved on 16 January 1808.(1) Lovett expected his executors to sell his property and stock in trade in Red Lion Street for the benefit of his heirs and the executors quickly enlisted the help of Messrs. Winstanley who put an advertisement in the papers to announce the sale of the property.

The Morning Chronicle, 21 January 1808

The Winstanleys described the property as having five bedrooms and as it had been an established cook’s shop, it had a kitchen, bakehouse, oven and cellars. The lease was to run until 1843 at ‘only’ 35 guineas a year. The shop itself had a bow-front at that time, but as the elevation above this post shows, that was no longer the case in 1840 when Tallis produced his booklet. Winstanley claimed that the cook’s shop had been in existence for a long time, although he does not say for how long, nor whether it had always been a Lovett who baked the pies. The next occupant of the shop was Francis Hoggray who had received the freedom of the City of London by patrimony through the Vintners’ Company in 1806. One of his trade cards has been preserved in The British Museum and on it we can see that he did not just bake pies, but also soups, among them turtle soup, curries, potted meats, cakes, jellies, etc.

Hoggray, who made sure his customers were aware of the fact that he had taken over from Lovett by bracketing “late J.D. Lovett” after his own name on the trade card, insured the property on 3 March 1808 with the Sun Fire Office and was then all set up to run his pastry cook’s shop. However, his fortune was not to last as he died at the end of December 1809 and was buried on 2 January 1810 at St. Mary’s, Paddington Green. He left his worldly goods to his father, Henry Hoggray of Bridge Street in the parish of St. Paul Covent Garden.(2) The next cook at 40 Red Lion Street is Charles Elden, who, according to the tax records, took over straight after the death of Hoggray. A Sun Fire insurance record of 1807 tells us that Charles Elden had been a pastry cook at Wapping and the City Admission Papers show that he had obtained the freedom of the City by redemption through the Cooks’ Company in April 1804. The admission papers state that he was the son of James Elden of Russell Street, Covent Garden, also a pastry cook. James Elden had been in Russell Street since at least 1774 when the poll book and electoral register mention him there. In 1799, Mary Elden, pastry cook, probably James’s widow, had insured property at 4 Russell Street.

Charles died in early 1831 and left his property for the sole use of his widow Elizabeth during her lifetime.(3) Charles had married Elizabeth Barefoot in 1790 and the couple were to have at least seven children.(4) Pigot’s Directory of 1839 lists 40 Red Lion Street for Elizabeth Elden and we duly find her in the 1841 census as a confectioner with three of her children also employed in the family business, that is: Harriet, Charles James and George. When Elizabeth died in 1842, she left her estate to these same three children(5) and we do find the business listed for “Elden Chas. Geo. & Harriet, confectners” in the 1843 Post Office Directory.
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– Confectioner’s shop from The Book of English Trades, 1818

In November 1843, Charles James married Matilda Lewis and he seemed to have taken over the business completely as later directories only mention his name. The 1851 census shows Charles James and his family living above the shop. His brother George was listed in the census at 1 Acre Lane as a retail grocer. Not sure where Harriet went, but she could be found living with her widowed sister Sarah in Cheltenham in the 1871 census. Charles James died in late November 1858 and was buried on 2 December at All Souls, Kensal Green.(6) His widow Matilda continued the confectioners’ business and could be found at number 40 in the 1861 census, along with two daughters and a son. She must have relinquished the shop somewhere between 1861 and 1871 as the next census shows a Joseph Lomas, fruiterer and greengrocer, on the premises.

In 1876, Lomas was awarded £950 in compensation for the loss of his house when Theobalds Road was widened and extended in the ‘Oxford Street to Old Street Improvement’ scheme of the Metropolitan Board of Works. The sum received consisted of £250 purchase of the leasehold and £700 compensation for the trade. Lomas had originally claimed just over £1700, but the committee apparently found that too high a price to pay. Lomas was not the only one who received less than claimed and the proprietors may very well have claimed a higher sum than realistic as they were expecting to be awarded less than claimed, hoping the sum awarded came somewhere near the amount they had wanted in the first place.(7) The corner house, 23 Theobalds Road, now abuts The Enterprise at number 38 where before numbers 39 and 40 stood between the pub and number 23.

new situation from Goad’s insurance map of 1888. The properties at 39 and 40 Red Lion Street have disappeared.

(1) PROB 11/1472/153.
(2) PROB 11/1507/427.
(3) PROB 11/1782/395.
(4) Mentioned in Charles’s will: Charles James, Elizabeth, Eleanor, Sarah, Joseph, Harriet, and George.
(5) PROB 11/1963/380.
(6) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1859. His effects were valued at £1,500.
(7) Minutes of Proceedings of the Metropolitan Board of Works, 1876.


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