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Thomas John Sewell, licensee - the history of

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This is the story of Thomas John Sewell (1846 - 1912) and his links to the licensed trade, approximately 14 properties.

Thomas John Sewell is born in Brighton, Sussex in about 1846. On the November 7th, 1870, and at the age of 24, and a plumber by trade, he marries his first wife, Jane Rayment, widow, and daughter of a Gentleman, Andrew Mitchell. She is 14 years his senior, being 38 years of age. The marriage takes place at St Peter church, Stepney, in Mile end, and they both list their address of residence as in Globe road, Mile end.

[Jane Mitchell, daughter of Andrew Mitchell married William Rayment at Erith in Kent, in September, 1861]

By the 1871 census, they are living in Dean street, Forest Gate, West Ham, and he is now listed as a house painter. His wife Jane Ann lists her birth place as St Georges east. She was born 25th July 1832 (baptised 25th August 1832) to Andrew Mitchell and Ann Maria Mitchell. He is a Custom House officer

I am yet to ascertain where he received enough money to get started in the licensed trade.

In July 1875, Thomas John Sewell is the incoming licensee to the Elder Tree, 119 Chrisp street, in Bromley; he trades here for one year only, leaving in May 1876 to move to his next premises, the Volunteer, at 73 Frederick street, Caledonian road, which is in Islington, for probably a further year.

By the 1881 census, Thomas John Sewell is a Licensed victualler at the Feathers, in Deptford. The census lists him as unmarried. He has moved onwards by 1883 at the latest. I believe that Jane, his first wife lives until 1908, and so maybe they divorce.

In 1883 and 1884 directories, he is listed as the licensee  at the Rifleman, 162 Horseferry road, Westminster SE

I am still looking for a second marriage which matches, and this could maybe read, actually not really married.

In 1885, 1886 and 1887, he is the licensee of the Horse & Groom, 124 Westminster bridge road SE

In 1888 and 1889, he is licensee of the Princess of Wales, 45 & 46 London road SE, in Southwark

(Also at this time, there is a William Sewell at the Castle, 147 Kentish town road NW, and also an Charles Sewell at the Archduke Charles, 1 Rodney road, Walworth SE and also at Duke of Clarence, 60 Vauxhall street SE; both are licensed victuallers around London).

In 1890 he is licensee at the Old Kings Head, Charing Cross road WC

In the 1891 directory, he is listed as licensee of Potters Hotel at 1 Garrick street; although the 1891 census has him at Noahs Ark, at 313 Oxford Street. Interestingly, he is also listed here in the 1891 directory, suggesting one of the entries is a little out of date. His son, Tom is only 9 years old at this time, so he is not running one of these pubs!  The Noahs Arks lists him with his second wife, Emily; and he is here until at least 1893.

In 1894 and until 1896, he is the licensee of the Union Arms, 36 Panton street, Haymarket SW and still at the Noahs Ark until 1894.

In 1899, Thomas John Sewell is a Licensed victualler at the Cow and Calf, Eastcheap, Billingsgate where he produces a token advertising the Cow and Calf, and offering a free two penny drink before 8 am in the morning.

Cow and Calf, Eastcheap, a medal or token in 1899 by T J Sewell

Cow and Calf, Eastcheap, a medal or token in 1899 by T J Sewell

The Front view is of the tall narrow building with THE COW & CALF RESTAURANT EASTCHEAP. E.C. above and T. J. SEWELL / PROPRIETOR below in the exergue.
Edge Grained, aluminium, 38.3mm, 6.2g

Kindly provided by Andrew Andison

In the 1901 census, Thomas John Sewell is the licensee of La Criadera, which was earlier know as the Coach and Horses, at 29 Old Holborn.

In 1904 until 1910, he is licensee of the Cock Tavern, at 27 Great Portland street, in Marylebone.

In 1908, there is a marriage between Thomas John Sewell and Christine Myra G Morland at Marylebone; this would be wife number three, who outlives him, being 26 years younger.

In the 1911 census, Thomas John Sewell is listed as licensee of the Red House, 53 Brompton road SW3.

The 1913 directory lists Thomas John Sewell at the Mother Red Cap, 174 High street, Camden Town, and in 1915 Grace Sewell is still listed here as licensee after his death, and up until about 1917.

In 1912, Thomas John Sewell of 174 High street Camden Town Middlesex died 24 October 1912 Probate London 18 November to Christine Marie Grace Sewell Widow. Effects £967 3s 4d.

In 1935, I have found a record in the Hendon crematorium and cemetery records which notes a Christine Myra Grace Sewell, of 100 Licensed Victualler Insitution, Asylum road - this would be one of the cottages attached to the Licensed Victuallers Insitution.


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  • And Last updated on: Thursday, 18-Apr-2024 22:46:47 BST