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Business in Bishopsgate, 1892

October 26, 2013
by the gentle author

A Bishopsgate Trade Directory of one hundred and twenty years ago was recently discovered in the archive at the Bishopsgate Institute and the adverts for all the specialist small trades that once gathered there portray a very different kind of commerce to the faceless corporate financial industries in their gleaming blocks which dominate this street today.

St Botolph’s Church & White Hart Tavern, Bishopsgate

A residual fragment of old Bishopsgate

Images courtesy Bishopsgate Institute

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13 Responses leave one →
  1. October 26, 2013

    What a shopping list. I want the services of a shirt cutter, some snuff, followed by a gallon of gin. And they sold Christmas puddings? I thought everyone who could afford one would make their own.

  2. October 26, 2013

    I would love a Perfectum umbrella

  3. Rosemary Hoffman permalink
    October 26, 2013

    Bull’s survived until the 1960′s they went to Houndditch I think and Ithnk that my engagement ring was bought there in 1970

  4. Teresa Stokes permalink
    October 26, 2013

    The recipe for Custard Brandy Sauce, which I can see is a very alcoholic creme anglaise, looks absolutely delicious and I have noted that down to try out as I happen to have a lot of eggs which need using up! I wouldn’t advise “boil for two minutes” as that could curdle it. Custard should be boiled very carefully only until it coats the back of a spoon.

  5. October 26, 2013

    Yesterday my copy of the London Album arrived and what a gem it is! Thank you, Gentle Author, that’s a wonderful job you’ve done!

  6. William Sovie permalink
    October 26, 2013

    What does The “Without” in the address mean?
    -thanks, William

  7. Stephen Barry permalink
    October 26, 2013

    What a great find! As my Dutch ancestors were involved in the East London cigar trade, I particularly like the tobacco adverts. Many thanks for your consistently fascinating postings.

  8. the gentle author permalink*
    October 26, 2013

    “Without” means outside the Bishop’s Gate & ‘Within” means inside the City of London

  9. Stephen Barker permalink
    October 27, 2013

    Reading the adverts makes you realise how dependent we have become on a few branded products and manufacturers compared to the range of tea, tobacco, wine and spirit merchants etc producing their own products in the past.

    A 20lb Christmas pudding takes some imagining. I wish I could employ the services of the Artistic and Economical tailor.

  10. Beryl Happe permalink
    October 28, 2013

    Fabulous blog again, do you know where the ‘within and without’ boundary was? We used to sing a nursery rhyme about Bishopsgate:- Bishopsgate without, Bishopsgate within,
    What a clatter at the gate, oh what a din,
    Outside and inside the bishops bang and shout,
    Outside crying let me in, Inside let me out !

  11. the gentle author permalink*
    October 28, 2013

    The gate itself was the boundary in the wall round the City

  12. Bee permalink
    October 29, 2013

    What an eye-opener!! Looking through the Bishopsgate business cards, I spotted one for Moore and Moore Pianoforte Maker. My g.grandfather, David HEARLEY and two of his sons worked for them as a French Polisher. This led me on Google the Moore name, place and date and I discovered a truly delightful painting of a view of the premises in Newnhams Place Bishopsgate, painted by Walter Riddle between 1890 and 1891 and with the name Moore and Moore Pianoforte Maker. A real gem of a find.
    Many thanks.

  13. Mark permalink
    December 22, 2013

    Bee, thanks for posting. As it turns out, Walter Riddle is my 2nd Great-Grandfather, and that’s what led me to find your post. Interestingly enough, I believe Walter also was a piano tuner, among other things, and I wonder if the connection to the shop extended beyond the painting…

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