Street Views: 1, 1 Suppl. and 18 Suppl.
Addresses: 24 King William Street and 30 Regent Street

Although the title of this post(1) suggests there was a firm called ‘Ruddick and Heenen’, that is not the case, although the names are linked. From about 1834, Ruddick & Co. were trading as a snuff warehouse from 24 King William Street and one directory (Pigot’s) lists them as “Ruddick Ellen & Co, tobacconists”. By then, however, Ellen Ruddick was already married to James Heenan and another section of the same directory lists the shop for James Heenan. Another directory (Robson’s) and Tallis (Street View of 1839) persist in calling the business Ruddick & Co. But who was Ellen Ruddick and was she running the tobacco shop on her own before Heenan came along?

Ellen Ruddick’s father, John Ruddick, had died in 1826 and seems to have favoured his daughter Ellen over his four sons as she is to have 800 pounds while the sons only get £200 each. She is also to get the household goods and the rest of his estate after the death of her mother Hannah.(2) Perhaps the sons had already been provided for in other ways. Ellen was only 15 years old when her father died, so too young to set up a business of her own, but she, probably together with her mother, grabbed the opportunity to set up shop in the new development of King William Street, which was built in the early 1830s to ‘improve’ the northern approach to the new London Bridge. Their property was only small, but no doubt large enough for a tobacco shop.

1831 plan of the proposed King William Street with Ruddick’s shop outlined in red

an 1886 insurance map showing the corner shop at number 24. By then it was no longer a tobacco shop

How Ellen came to meet James Heenan is unclear, but on 18 October 1838 they were married at St. Mary, Islington. The marriage registration lists James as of Prince’s Row, Kennington(3) and Ellen as of Palmer Terrace, so she did not live above the shop. The tax records for 24 King William Street up to 1838 give Ruddick & Co, but from 1840, the property is listed for Heenan & Co. I am guessing that the ‘& Co.’ part of the name had something to do with the fact that mother Hannah was still alive and Ellen did not yet have the full rights to her inheritance. Hannah was living with Ellen and James at number 24 at the time of the 1841 census, and so was little Ellen Mary who was born, or at least baptised, in September 1840. The little girl unfortunately died in early November 1847. James and Ellen had one other child, son William Henry (born June 1842) who survived his parents and was still alive at the time of the 1911 census. He is probably the William H. Heenan who died in the last quarter of 1913.

advertisement in The Morning Post, 20 April 1843

So, the Heenans ran the small shop in King William Street, but in 1843, an advertisement tells us that they have opened a branch in Regent Street. The advertisement mentions a batch of cigars that have been purchased from Lopez and M’Kinnell. These gentlemen were wine merchants in Fenchurch Street, but apparently also dealt in Lopez cigars. The partnership between Lopez and M’Kinnell was dissolved later in 1843 and they may already have been offloading some surplus stock. In January, 1843, another tobacconist, J. Hudson of 132 Oxford Street, claimed to have taken over the complete stock of Lopez and M’Kinnell and his was therefore the only place in London where the real Lopez cigars could be obtained.(4) But, judging by the advertisement of Heenan, the Lopez cigars were not as exclusively available as Mr. Hudson would have wanted.

Another advertisement was entered by Heenan in April, 1843, in which he announced his desire to let the upper part of 30 Regent Street, consisting of eight rooms, including kitchen. It is therefore no wonder that the Tallis Supplement has both Heenan and the London and Windsor Railway Company at number 30. They probably rented part of the building for their office. It is quite possible that Heenan entered into a partnership to be able to afford a second shop, although it is uncertain when the partnership with Philip Hargrave Curtis started. It certainly ended on 18 May 1850 with Heenan to continue on his own.(5) The 1851 census lists two ‘assistants’ living above the shop in Regent Street, presumably shopmen in the tobacconist’s, and, separately, two brothers, Thomas and Joseph Hensley, leather merchants, with a servant and an apprentice. By that time, Heenan was no longer living in King William Street, but in The Cottage, Englands Lane, Hampstead. The shop in King William Street was minded for Heenan by Thomas Penn.

This Lopez cigar firm was apparently set up in 1876, so not the same Lopez cigars as the ones Heenan sold

In 1861 and 1871, the censuses showed more or less the same situation; servants were living above the two shops and the Heenans were living at Hampstead. But things were about to change. In 1872, Henry Brett and Co. of Old Furnival’s Distillery, Holborn, took over the premises at 30 Regent Street, and Heenan just concentrated on 24 King William Street. He may even have retired altogether, but that is not quite clear. James died in 1874 and his probate entry still mentions him as of Hampstead and King William Street.(6) Ellen died in 1889; she was then living with her son in Devon.(7)

advertisement in The Era, 17 September 1843

The two shop elevations are shown at the top of this post: 24 King William Street on the left and 30 Regent Street on the right. Click on the picture to enlarge.


(1) Research for this post started with a query by one of my readers who is involved in the one name study on the surname Heenan, see here. Some of the biographical information has been supplied by her, for which my thanks.
(2) PROB 11/1711/51.
(3) James Heenan, Gent., insured 39 Princes Road, Kennington, on 13 July 1840. Although it is fairly unlikely that a tobacconist who has just started a business is called ‘gent’, it probably does refer to the tobacconist. The record also refers to a Benjamin Heenan. The 1851 census lists a John Emanuel Heenan at 38 Princes Road and Benjamin Heenan at 39 Princes Road. Premises in Princes Road were mentioned in the will of John Heenan, tailor, who died in 1813 (PROB 11/1542/326). James, Benjamin and John Emanuel may have been brothers.
(4) The Standard, 10 January 1843. A repeat advertisement appeared in The Era, 2 July 1843.
(5) The London Gazette, 14 June 1850. The relation with the Curtis family remained cordial and James Heenan was one of the executors of one Francis Edward Hargrave Curtis who died in 1862.
(6) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1874. Probate of the estate, worth under £12,000, was granted to widow Ellen. She apparently left it unadministered and a second probate was granted to son William Henry in 1902. The value had by then dwindled to £144.
(7) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1891. William Henry was the executor and her personal estate was valued at £40.


<– 25 King William Street
<– 32 Regent Street
23 King William Street –>
28 Regent Street –>