Street Views: 54 and 82
Address: 21 Charlotte/Goodge Street
The address of the tea dealers caused some confusion, because of the unusual circumstance that the corner shop has two addresses, both with house number 21, that is: 21 Charlotte Street and 21 Goodge Street. Not to mention the fact that the house next door to 21 Charlotte Street is another 21 Charlotte Street, occupied by surgeon Gibbs. We will talk about him in a later post, but here we are concerned with the tea dealers.
The elevation above this post shows the Goodge Street front and the one on the left the Charlotte Street front. Tallis has How and Cheverton as tea dealer in the Goodge Street index and as tea warehouse in the Charlotte Street index, but as you can see from the picture, they were also dealing in wine. Both sides of the building are 4 windows wide and a look at Google Street View shows that this is still the case; the house numbering has, however, changed and is now 44 Goodge Street and 44 Charlotte Street.
So, who were these tea (and wine) dealers?
Thomas Cheverton can be found at 21 Goodge Street in the 1841 census as ‘grocer’, but Thomas How is living at Turnham Green. With him are living a number of his children, but also a Louisa Cheverton and the one-year old John How Cheverton. Louisa Sarah, as she was officially baptised, was a daughter of Thomas How who had married John Orrill (or Orrall) Cheverton in 1838. We can assume a family link between this John Orrill and the Thomas who was in partnership with How, although I do not know which one exactly. The Chevertons and the Hows both had links to the Isle of Wight. Places of birth were not recorded in the 1841 census, but they were in the 1851 census and both Thomas How and Thomas Cheverton list the island as their birth place. But there was another link. Thomas Cheverton’s wife was one Mary Way, also from the Isle of Wight, and Thomas How dissolved a partnership in 1835 with one James Way, also from the Isle of Wight. James and Mary Way were most likely brother and sisters, the children of Henry Way, who died in 1839 on – you guessed – the Isle of Wight. One William Way and Thomas How had been trading as tea dealers and grocers at Great Newport Street until 1814 when they dissolved their partnership and James Way and Thomas How had been trading at 272 and 282 Oxford Street.(1) Tallis lists ‘Way & Co’ at number 272 and ‘How & Co’ at number 282. More on those businesses in another post, but first more on the grocery business in Goodge Street.
How and Cheverton were already listed in the 1829 tax records for Charlotte Street, so their partnership must have existed at least since then. However, the same day that Thomas How dissolved his partnership with James Way in May 1835, he also dissolved his partnership with Thomas Cheverton. Way and Cheverton were to continue the respective businesses. Cheverton apparently thought it a good idea to keep the name of How joined to his own for the business in Goodge Street, as Tallis still lists and depicts the firm as How & Cheverton in 1839, but it was nevertheless not to last. Cheverton was still listed at number 21 in the 1843 Post Office Directory, but in 1846, a notice in The London Gazette mentions him in the list of bankrupts. He is then described as of 107 Tottenham Court Road and late of 94 John Street, “out of business”.(2) He must have temporarily picked himself up again as the 1851 census find him as tea dealer at 62 Charles Street, Southwark, but after that, no more is heard of him until 1862 when he died on 19 October at Osborne View Cottage, Elmsgrove, Carisbrooke, Isle of Wight.(3)
Thomas How, on the other hand, did quite well. At some point he entered into a partnership with the Brocksopps, grocers and tea dealers at 233 and 234 Borough High Street. Pigot’s Directory of 1839 lists William Brocksopp & Co. at 233 Borough High Street, but in 1842 they are declared bankrupt. Thomas How probably came to the rescue as the 1843 Post Office Directory lists the firm as Brocksopp, How & Co. At various times, “Thomas How, of 233 and 234 High Street, Southwark, tea dealer”, was named as one of the trustees in bankruptcy cases, as for instance in 1844 when he was to be one of the trustees of the estate and effects of William Sloan of Banbury.(4) And again in 1847 for the estate and effects of John Bumpstead of 297 High Street, Chatham.(5) The partnership with the Brocksopps probably ended in late 1850 as the advertisement above no longer shows his name, although the 1851 Post Office Directory still has Brocksopp, How & Co. for the Borough premises. Although I have not found an official notice of the end of partnership in The London Gazette, How’s name no longer appeared in the entry for the Brocksopps in the 1856 Post Office Directory.
Grandson John How Cheverton also went into tea and could be found in Hong Kong in 1865 for Johnson & Co. of Gough Street.(6) In 1866, he was to become a partner in that firm.(7) But he was not the only one of the family to go to China, as the address given for his uncle Edwin Henry How in the probate record of Thomas How was Foo Chow, China.(8) Thomas had died in March 1866 at Gordon House, Turnham Green, where the censuses since 1841 had found him. Before that, or at least between 1814 and 1835, when his numerous children were baptised, his address had always been Great Newport Street.
And what about 21 Goodge/Charlotte Street? As we saw, Thomas Cheverton moved out before 1847 and twenty years later, the property came on the market and was described as “a dwelling house, with double-fronted shop and premises […] an important situation, in the occupation of Mr. Anderson, chemist, on lease at £140 per annum”.(9) In the twenty years between Cheverton’s move to John Street and Anderson’s occupation at the time of the sale, various occupants can be found for the premises. The 1851 Post Office Directory lists John Bainbridge, upholsterer, for 21 Goodge Street, but he made way in the 1856 Post Office Directory for Mrs Mary Ann Bott, who ran a straw bonnet manufactory. She can already be found there in the 1851 census, while John Bainbridge is not to be found in the census of either 21 Charlotte Street, nor in 21 Goodge Street.
On 8 July 1855, Reynolds’s Newspaper mentions the annual meeting of the Western Dispensary for Diseases of the Skin, which was held on the 26th of June “at the dispensary, 21, Charlotte Street”. The Post Office Directory entry for 21 Charlotte Street explains this seeming discrepancy. They have three occupants at number 21A Charlotte Street: the Western Dispensary, Mrs Bradley, dressmaker, and Adolphus Dubois, a dentist. For number 21 they have the coffee rooms of Thomas Eversfield. As they also indicate where the side streets are, we can work out that 21A is the building on the corner of Goodge Street and the coffee rooms must be further up Charlotte Street, the same premises as where we found surgeon Gibbs in the Tallis Street View. The 1871 census gives for 21 Goodge Street, “only a shop in which no one sleeps being part of house, corner of and numbered in Charlotte Street”. Charlotte Street had by then been renumbered from number 21 to number 44 with various families listed, among them one James Titley, a chemist. Did he take over from Anderson? Titley acquired some notoriety in 1880 for supplying drugs to induce an abortion, and I will leave you and this post with the newspaper report of the Old Bailey case.
(1) The London Gazette, 15 February 1814 and 6 October 1835.
(2) The London Gazette, 25 December 1846.
(3) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1862. Effects valued at under £450.
(4) The London Gazette, 6 December 1844.
(5) The London Gazette, 16 November 1847.
(6) The Directory & Chronicle for China, Japan etc., 1865.
(7) The London and China Telegraph, 27 February 1866.
(8) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1866. Effects for Thomas How valued at under £60,000, but resworn in 1868 at under £30,000.
(9) The Daily News, 29 May 1867.
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