Street View: 7 Suppl.
Address: 30 Cornhill
In February 1842, Joseph Eglese of 13 High Street Aldgate, jeweller, bought the freedom of the City (by redemption) by paying £13.10.- and £5.3.6. The record states that he was the son of Edward Eglese of Southwark, deceased. Edward had died in November 1831 and was buried at Deadman’s Place, Union Street, a sure sign that he was a member of an independent chapel, although he had his son Joseph baptised at St. Saviour, Southwark, on 3 January 1819 (Joseph was born on 18 August 1818). In the 1841 census, Joseph is listed at Cheapside as a jeweller, living with one assistant, one William Middleton, at number 123 or thereabout. The census doe not give any house numbers and I am guessing the house number somewhat from the neighbouring occupants who, unfortunately, do not all appear in Tallis’s early Street View of 1839. Wherever he lived in Cheapside in 1841, it cannot have lasted long as the 1842 freedom record gives him at Aldgate High Street. He is certainly still in Aldgate in 1843 when he married Sophia Webster, but by 1844, he had moved to 30 Cornhill. The baptism of his son Joseph Henry on the 10th of November of that year lists the Cornhill address.
And that is where Tallis finds him when he collected the information for his 1847 Supplement. But, again, it did not last long and an 1851 advertisement lists him at 43 Cornhill, corner of St. Michael’s Alley. By then, he no longer lived above the shop as in July 1848, when his son Charles Edward is baptised, he could be found at 6 Scrubland Road, Haggerston, and in the 1851 census at 3 Tyssen Cottages, Hackney. He confirms this in an Old Bailey case where he states “I am a jeweller of Cornhill—I do not live there—my housekeeper and two servants live on the premises”.(1) The occupation of number 43 did not last long either, as already in 1852 Messrs Benson, late Eglese, are listed for that property in the Land Tax records. It was pulled down in 1855 and, according to the tax record, “was not to be rebuilt upon to be left as vacant ground to improve the entrance of St. Michaels Alley”. Around 1856, Eglese occupied 28 Cornhill.
Eglese also formed a – probably short-lived partnership – with William James Thomas in the 1860s at 136 Oxford Street. The partnership with James was dissolved in 1865 and Eglese moved to 28 Bishopsgate where he, and his son Charles Edward, continued to trade till 1880 when they went bankrupt. So far, a normal career with its ups and downs; even bankruptcy was nothing out of the ordinary – there were many cases heard each week at the Bankruptcy Court, but this time, something happened. A notice in The Police Gazette of 21 June 1880, tells us that Charles Edward had absconded and was suspected of stealing jewellery. That cannot be a coincidence. Did Charles Edward make off with the jewellery to avoid having to hand it over to the creditors? And did his father know beforehand what he was planning to do? Maybe not. They dissolve their partnership in 17 November 1880.(2)
Charles Edward is next heard of in Australia, where he marries Emilia Wayland in 1887. But Charles was a wrong one and embezzled some funds from the Wollongong Harbour Trust where he had been the secretary. He admitted to falsifying the books and said he had expected a legacy and only ‘borrowed’ the money, fully intending to return it. In 1904, he divorced Emilia on the ground of desertion. You wonder why she left him, don’t you? The legacy he was allegedly expecting could have been from his mother. Joseph Eglese had died in 1883 and left his widow £925.(3) She died on Christmas Day 1886, but probate was not granted until 1893. Her estate only amounted to a little under £100 and the executor was daughter Sophia Elizabeth Bedborough.(4) There is, however, no indication that Charles Edward was to receive any of it.
And the shop at 30 Cornhill? The Submarine Telegraph Company had their offices there after Eglese left. Their history has been extensively researched and can be seen here. The STC just rented the space and the Land Tax records continued to list number 30 for Currie & Co, bankers, who also owned other property in the area.
(1) Old Bailey case t18640606-591.
(2) The London Gazette, 19 December 1880.
(3) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1884,
(4) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1893.
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