Street Views: 6 and 15 Suppl.
Address: 10 Ludgate Street
On 12 February 1812, William Everington, linen draper, insured 10 Ludgate Street with the Sun Fire Office. A few months earlier, in September 1811, the partnership between Robert and John Waithman of Fleet Street and William Everington had been dissolved. And in 1840, evidence is given by John Francis, a silk manufacturer of Norwich, who stated that he had made shawls for 20 or 30 years and also made them “for Everington when he was in company with Waithman”.(1) I have no absolute proof that the Everington who was the partner of the Waithmans and who ordered shawls from Mr. Francis and the Everington who insured 10 Ludgate Street are the same – there are various William Everingtons around at that time – but it seems likely. [Postscript: Have since found out from William Ablett’s Reminiscences of an Old Draper (1876) that “Everington originally had been a lad occupying a very humble position in the establishment of Robert Waithman, who made him his partner; but on the occasion of the elder Waithman wishing to take his son into partnership also, Mr. Everington would not agree to the arrangement, and the partnership … was dissolved”. Ablett also says that to avoid the heavy import duty on India shawls, ladies coming from abroad would bring as many as they could as their personal clothing, “which they would sell to Everington, who had paid great attention to this part of the business”.]
Everington advertised in 1817 with Irish linens that he had obtained cheaply because of “the great depression in the price of Irish linens”.(2) And two years later he has bought up “the whole of the elegant Cachemere Shawls, sent to her Majesty as presents from the different Foreign Courts”. The shawls had been Queen Charlotte’s who had died in November 1818.(3) Things went well for Everington as in 1834, the Sun Fire insurance records suddenly hve him of 9 and 10 Ludgate Street. If we compare the frontage of the shop in the bill head below with the elevations Tallis depicted for the shop, you can see the difference. It is telling that number 9 (the right-hand side of the building in the Tallis elevations) has disappeared from the Tallis Index as if completely incorporated into Everington’s number 10.
Somewhere around 1839 or 1840, Everington must have entered into a partnership with John Graham as advertisements start to appear with both their names and Tallis has their joint names in index of the 1839/40 edition of his Street Views, although the elevation just shows the name of Everington. And in 1840 Nathaniel Whittock also depicts the shop with just the name of Everington. Whittock says that, despite the fact that the ceiling is low inside the old building,
the projector of this front exercised considerable ingenuity and skill in raising the windows so much above the brestsummer(4), and adding to their light and elegant effect by a concave ceiling. The height of this front is obtained by intrenching on the windows of the first floor, yet by a skilful alteration of their form, they do not appear unsightly. The whole front is coloured in imitation of white-veined marble; the name and ornaments are gilt.
In the 1841 census, William Everington, then said to be 60 years old, is still living above the shop with 5 male assistants, 2 male porters, one male servant and 3 female servants. But at the end of 1842, the partnership between Everington and Graham is dissolved with Graham to continue the business.(5) Everington retires and can be found at Gloucester Terrace in the 1851 census. He died in 1860.(6)
At some point John Graham may have entered into a partnership with George Smith. That partnership was quickly dissolved again, and in an 1845 advertisement George Smith describes himself as ‘late Graham and Smith, successors to Everington’ and now trading from 32 Ludgate Hill, the shop previously occupied by Rundell and Bridge.(7) The following year, Smith had a very unusual visitor in his shop: a large Durham cow came in, walked round the shop and exited through another door without doing any damage to the china jars and glass on display.(8) The Era of 29 August 1847 relates a story about an American lady who bought a shawl from the “ruination shop of Everington on Ludgate Hill” which elicited smirks from passers-by as she had failed to remove the price ticket, but the 1851 and 1861 censusus still see John Graham, his family, and a large workforce, living at 9 & 10 Ludgate Street. As no house number is given in the notice about the end of the partnership, nor in the story about the American, nor in the advertisements by Smith, these stories may have been about another Everington, as there were more Everingtons trading in the area.
In 1870, John Graham’s son, John junior, described as a shawl warehouseman, married Amy Attenborough. She was the daughter of Robert Attenborough, the pawn broker who featured in a previous post. The couple had two daughters, but all was not well. In 1875, divorce proceedings were started in which Amy, who was then living with her father again, claims that John threw a bottle of wine at her and that he, on various occasions, had hit her and that she had therefore left him. As can be expected, Graham denied the allegations and alleged that Amy was “a woman of extravagant habits and violent temper” who “habitually neglected her children and her household duties”, and that she was the one doing the hitting. And to top it all, she also had an affair with one Petrocochino, something Petrocochino and Amy denied. Amy continued to call herself Amy Graham, at least she did in the 1881 census when she is still living with her father, and given as ‘unmarried’. John junior and his father can be found at Brockhill Farm, Warfield, Berkshire, in the 1881 census (Google Street View here). John senior is listed as a retired shawl merchant and John junior, ‘unmarried’, is now a farmer, employing 4 labourers and a boy. In the 1891 census, Amy is still living with her father at 56 Avenue Rd, claiming to be a widow.
In 1878, John Graham senior had sold off his stock and Peter Robinson, a linen draper in Oxford Street, bought the whole lot to sell on again. Two of Robinson’s sons had also married Attenborough girls, but I am afraid these marriages ended in divorce as well; more on that in the forthcoming post on Robinson.(9)
The research on this post once again found unexpected links between London shopkeepers, an aspect of this blog that continues to amaze me and had not expected at all when I first started writing. I hope to show more interconnections in the future.
(1) Parliamentary Papers 1780-1849, Volume 8: Report from the Select Committee on East India Produce, 1840.
(2) The Morning Chronicle, 6 January 1817.
(3) The Morning Chronicle, 23 February 1819.
(4) Brestsummer is a variation of bressummer (plural bressummers), a term used in architecture for a large, horizontal, supporting beam which bears the weight of a wall starting on a first or higher floor.
(5) The London Gazette, 6 January 1843.
(6) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1860. Estate valued at under £180,000.
(7) The London Gazette, 22 October, 1844; The Examiner, 28 June 1845.
(8) Glasgow Herald, 16 February 1846.
(9) Frank Robinson married Catherine, daughter of James Attenborough; his brother Peter married Fanny, the sister of Amy. Both left their wives and established illegitimate families with other women. I am grateful to Nick Thomson for supplying the information on the Graham/Robinson/Attenborough links.
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