Street View: 34
Address: 48 Oxford Street

John Baddeley was the brother of Charles Baddeley who had his shoe shop at 130 Strand. His nephew, also a Charles, first had his shop in Fleet Street and later at 119 Oxford Street. But in this post we will concentrate on John and his son George who had their bootmaker’s business at 48 Oxford Street. John was baptised as an adult at the Independent Chapel in Marshall Street on the 29th of April 1831, but the record tells us that he had been born on the 2nd of December 1769. Why he had himself baptised so late in life is unclear, nor do other members of the family seem to have followed him. John had already been baptised in 1793, along with several of his brothers and sisters, at the Baptist chapel in Keppell Street. In 1797 John married Charlotte Cordell, the younger sister of Ann Cordell who had married Charles Baddeley senior in 1792, thereby forging a double family link.

When comparing Horwood’s 1799 map with Tallis’s Street View, I noticed a slight discrepancy in the numbering. Starting from the corner of Oxford and Berners Street, the first five properties are numbered 54, 53, 53, 51, 50 in both resources. Logic dictates that the next property is number 49 and that is what Horwood shows, but Tallis had Baddeley at number 48, next to number 50. Later Post Office Directories (1851 and 1856) list 49 & 50 together as one property, so that may be the explanation why Tallis does not show 49. But that is not all. If we follow the numbers from the other side, that is, the corner of Newman Street, both Tallis and Horwood have 40, 41, 42, 43, 44. Then Horwood has a double property with numbers 45 and 46 and Tallis just has 45. Horwood shows a small alley going to Timber Yard at the back where we find number 47; the house numbers in the street jump from 46 to 48 on either side of the alley. Tallis misses out number 46, but so do the tax records from ±1830 onwards and the later Post Office Directories. The Land Tax records show, from at least 1792 onwards, a continuous numbering from 40 to 54 with numbers 46 and 47 often bracketed together for the same occupant. The index to the Tallis Street View does not help very much as numbers 42, 43, 44, 45 and 51 have no names attached and were presumably empty at that time. Tallis shows Baddeley’s property with two doors, one of which, the one on the right, may very well have been the old entrance to Timber yard. In 1888 when Goad’s insurance map was produced, the open ground at the back of the houses, including Timber Yard, had more or less been filled in completely and the alley towards the back can no longer be seen. Besides that, the numbering changed and numbers 40-54 became 90-114 with Baddeley’s number 48 turned into 104.

click to enlarge

In 1801, Mary Cordell, that is John’s mother-in-law, by then a widow, insured two houses, one in Upper Rathbone Place and one in Carey Street, both rented out to others. She had inherited the properties from her husband Thomas who had died in 1798.(1) Her own address is given as 48 Oxford Street, but no information is given on the status of that house. Did she own the house, or did she just live with her daughter and son-in-law? The latter is probably the case as John Baddeley pays the Land Tax from 1798 onwards. In 1805 John insured number 48 and the Sun Fire Office record states that it was built of brick and valued at £200. He also insured his household goods, including china and glass to the value of £350, and £550 worth of stock and utensils. Mary Cordell died in 1809 and left three of her daughters, that is Elizabeth East, Ann Baddeley and Charlotte Baddeley, “all my property and effects”, excluding some named bequests.(2)

We can see the changes in Baddeley’s finances by looking at some later insurance records. The value of £200 on the house is increased in 1828 to £237, although a confusing entry in 1817 for one Richard Barnet lists 48 Oxford Street, which he insured for £600 as “in tenure of Baddeley a shoemaker”. Baddeley’s household goods for some reason decrease in value from £350 in 1805 to £220 in 1828. The value of his stock and utensils vary a bit from £550 in 1805 to £580 in 1814 and £500 in 1828. From 1814 onwards, however, Baddeley also insured a property in Great Russell Street, Covent Garden, occupied by a grocer, for £600 (£680 in 1828). In 1828 the rent he receives for that property is £63.


Schoolplaat (Source: De Kantlijn)

The 1841 census still has John Baddeley, his wife Charlotte and two of their daughters, Charlotte and Elizabeth, at number 48, but a year and a half later, a notice in The London Gazette of 27 December 1842 tells us that John is terminating the partnership with son George. George could be found as a bootmaker at 2 Upper King Street in the 1848 Post Office Directory and at 521 Oxford Street from 1850 onwards. In June 1850, George registered a design for a boot (no. 2335), describing himself as “naval and military boot maker”. He was doing well for himself and the 1851 census lists him as employing 20 men. In the 1848 Post Office Directory, John can still be found at 48 Oxford Street, but by the time of the 1851 census John, Charlotte and their two daughters have moved to 20 High Street, with John listed as “proprietor of houses & dividens (sic.)”. Charlotte died in 1852, 74 years old, and was buried at Abney Park, Stoke Newington, where John was to follow her three years later.(3) He was then living at 12, Kingston Russell Place, Oakley Square.

After John’s retirement, 48 Oxford Street had been taken over by John Davies, a linen draper, who is listed there in the 1851 and 1856 Post Office Directories, but it was not to last as the advertisement below makes clear. Baddeley had remained the lessee of the property and in his will he states that the lease of 48 Oxford Street was to expire in June 1858, which may very well have been the reason that the stock of Davies was sold off that same month. The rent for Baddeley had been £115 a year, but he had subleased it to Davies for £200 a year, so a nice profit for our shoemaker.(2)

(1) PROB 11/1314/256.
(2) PROB 11/1506/135.
(3) Abney Park, Grave Number 007675.
(4) PROB 11/2207/372.


<– 50 Oxford Street 47 Oxford Street –>