Street Views: 52 and 54
Address: corner 64 Tottenham Court Road and 1 Goodge Street
In his introduction to booklet 54 (the Goodge Street one) Tallis writes: “at the corner of the street, and its junction with Tottenham Court-road, is Tullet’s Wine Vaults, which forms our vignette. This splendid establishment is one of the most respectable and quiet in the metropolis, with wines and spirits of a superior order”.
Tallis also says that Goodge Street was built in 1763 and the vignette shows that the wine & spirits establishment was founded a few years later, in 1769. The proprietor at the time of the Tallis publication was John Thomas Tullet who refers on the building to the ‘late Sowerby’. We might imagine that Tullet took over when Sowerby died, but then we would be wrong. Tullet inserted an advertisement in the Tallis booklet in which he mentions “his predecessors, the late Mr John Read, as also his father-in-law, Mr John Sowerby”. John Richard Reid (not Read) had married Sowerby’s daughter Isabella in 1831 and is described in the 1832 Sun Fire Office record as the victualler of The Coachmakers Arms, Bentinck Street, Marylebone. On 15 June 1836 he is given as the one who takes out insurance for the property on the corner of Tottenham Court Road and Goodge Street. It was, unfortunately, one of the last things he would do, as on 4 August of that year he is buried at St. Marylebone’s, just 29 years old. In his will he refers to the property as the Talbot Arms, although in other sources it is usually referred to as simply ‘the Talbot’.
John Thomas Tullet took over from Reid, probably straight after the latter’s death, as in 1837, in an Old Bailey case, he says that is living at the Goodge Street property, “I occupy the house myself, it is a public house”(1). So, although the name of Sowerby is painted on the wall of the public house, he was not the immediate predecessor of Tullet. Perhaps the name of Sowerby was better known than Sowerby’s son-in-law Reid and ‘late Sowerby’ became more a quality announcement than a chronological reality. Fact is, that when John Sowerby wrote his will in June 1837 (proved after his death in August 1839), he described himself as of 10 Kent Terrace, Regents Park, but late of Goodge Street, Tottenham Court Road. He was certainly the proprietor of the Talbot from 1817 to 1831 when his name, albeit sometimes spelled Southerby, appears in the Land Tax records for St. Pancras.
We may deduce the name of an earlier proprietor from a 1782 Old Bailey case in which one Michael Ranton is accused of assaulting and robbing Lachlan Mackintosh. One of the witnesses, William Hinton, testifies that he
was standing at Mr. Haythorn’s, the corner of Goodge-street, the sign of the Talbot, I heard a hallooing out, Stop thief! I pursued him over into these gardens; I went out of the tap-room door as he crossed the road, he run up the gardens; there was no person besides this man, the prisoner at the bar, he was going to run into another gateway, and he overshot his turning, there was no thoroughfare where he run up; there was nobody else before me, that place was Coye’s Gardens; I pursued him up to the top of the gardens, he turned about and said he would shoot me, and then I withdrew a little back; I followed him again, and he turned about again and said he would shoot me; I saw his hands drop, and I laid hold of his arms and pinioned him, and secured him, that was the prisoner.(2)
Although Hinton does not actually say that Haythorn is the publican and I have not found any corroborating evidence, it is likely. Why else would he mention the name in the same sentence as the name of the pub itself? And another witness, George Hamp, said that the accused “crossed Goodge-street: at Haythorn’s corner”. Also no actual evidence, but who else would you name the corner after than the person having the establishment on that particular corner?
In 1825, John Sowerby of the Talbot was one of the subscribers to the Licensed Victuallers’ School and so was John Tullet who is at that time listed as of the Coachmakers Arms, Robert Street, Blackfriars Road.(3) The school in Kennington Lane, Lambeth, was founded in 1803 to provide schooling for the children of those working in the pub trade and still exists, although no longer just for those with a parent working as a victualler.(4) In 1829, John Tullet took out an insurance for the Duke of Grafton, Palace Row, New Road (now incorporated into Euston Road) and that same year he married Fanny Bristed.(5) The couple had three children: Fanny Adelaide (1830-1831), Emily (1832-after 1884) and Fanny Clara (1835-1864). When Fanny Clara was baptised, the address given was still Palace Row, so it is likely that Tulley moved straight from the Duke of Grafton to the Talbot.
1855 was a year for weddings: Fanny Clara married William Phillips, an auctioneer of the parish of St. Luke Old Street, and Emily married Charles Green, a miller of Stratton, Dorset.(6) The girls’ father John Thomas is in both cases described as ‘gentleman’ suggesting he had retired. In the 1851 census he was still living and working at 1 Goodge Street, but the London Post Office Directory of 1856, lists one Nicolas Butler as the proprietor of the pub. The 1861 census sees the Tullets, “fund holders”, living at Camden Road Villas with their young grandson Edwin Green. In the 1871 census, they still live on Camden Road and Tullet is described as a retired wine merchant. He dies on 24 October 1871 and is buried at Kensal Green.(7) Fanny dies in 1884 and from her probate record we learn that daughter Emily is still alive and that grandson Edwin has become a civil engineer.(8)
Sometime between 1871 and 1881, the numbering in Goodge Street changes and the pub becomes number 2, although it is still often referred to as being 64 Tottenham Court Road. The corner block (64-67 Tottenham Court Road and 2-8 Goodge Street) had gradually been taken over by the carpet store of Catesby who, in 1903, had a new building put on their – by then considerable – plot. The pub was included in the new building, but disappeared after a few years. The ‘new’ Catseby building is now Grade II listed.(9)
Below a list of all the proprietors I have managed to trace:
1782 Old Bailey: Mr. Haythorn (perhaps)
1790 Sun Fire insurance: Thomas Henton
1791 Sun Fire insurance: George Rocke
1801 Sun Fire insurance: Walter Watkins (cook)
1817-1831 Land Tax records: John Sowerby
1832?-1836: John Richard Reid
1837-1853?: John Thomas Tullet
1856 Post Office Directory: Nicholas Butler
1861 census: Robert Wilson
1871 census: Thomas Adcock
1881-1884 census and Post Office Directory: William H. Baker
1891 Post Office Directory: Richard Bartholomew
1895 Post Office Directory: Towers & Coulson
1899 Post Office Directory: Mrs Charles White
1902 Post Office Directory: George Child
1910 Post Office Directory: Philip John Jagels
(1) Old Bailey case t18371023-2341.
(2) Old Bailey case t17821016-5.
(3) Address to the Ladies and Gentlemen, Subscribers to the Licensed Victuallers’ School, in Kennington-Lane, Lambeth (1825). See for more on the school here and here.
(4) See the school’s website here.
(5) St. Pancras Church, 17 June 1829.
(6) St. Pancras Church, 20 September and 25 October 1855.
(7) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1871. Address given: 260 Camden Road, estate valued at under £2,000.
(8) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1884. Address given: 260 Camden Road, estate valued at a little over £3,397.
(9) English Heritage Building ID: 489616.
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