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Salutation, Tavistock street : London coffee houses and taverns

A historical site about early London coffee houses and taverns and will also link to my current pub history site and also the London street directory


This was a noted tavern in the last century, at the corner of Tavistock court, Covent Garden. Its original sign was taken down by Mr. Yerrel, the landlord, who informed J. T. Smith, that it consisted of two gentlemen saluting each other, dressed in flowing wigs, and coats with square pockets, large enough to hold folio books, and wearing swords, this being the dress of the time when the sign was put up, supposed to have been about 1707, the date on a stone at the Covent Garden end of the court.

Richard Leveridge, the celebrated singer, kept the Salutation after his retirement from the stage ; and here he brought out his Collection of Songs, with the music, engraved and printed for the author, 1727.

Among the frequenters of the Salutation was William Cussans, or Cuzzons, a native of Barbadoes, and a most eccentric fellow, who lived upon an income allowed him by his family. He once hired himself as a potman, and then as a coal-heaver. He was never seen to smile. He personated a chimney-sweeper at the Pantheon and Opera-house masquerades, and wrote the popular song of Robinson Crusoe :

" He got all the wood
That ever he could,
And he stuck it together with glue so ;

And made him a hut,
And in it he put
The carcase of Robinson Crusoe."

He was a bacchanalian customer at the Salutation, and his nightly quantum of wine was liberal : he would sometimes take eight pints at a sitting, without being the least intoxicated.

References :  Lots of references are made to two sources on the internet archive :
Edward Callows, Old London Taverns &
John Timbs, Club life of London Volume 2

And Last updated on: Tuesday, 26-Apr-2022 01:16:41 BST
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