CORNMARKET, OXFORD

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33–34 Cornmarket


33-34 Cornmarket.

These two shops shops have been united since the 1940s. In 1981 the British Shoe Corporation put in the present shop front.


No. 33

Henry Alden, the founder of the Alden Press printing firm, opened his bookshop in 1832, and No. 33 is listed in a 1839 directory as his shop. Around the 1850s (perhaps in 1853 when the old inn next-door to the north was rebuilt) he moved to 35 Cornmarket Street two doors down to the south.

Henry Taunt had his photographer’s shop here in the 1860s.

George Bateman the optician started his business in this shop.


No. 34

No. 34 on the left replaced the right-hand side of the eighteenth-century stone house at No. 35 to the south in the early twentieth century.

The baker Thomas Grubb had his shop here from c.1860 to c.1940, and suffered in the bread riots of 1867. The Oxford Chronicle of 16 November that year reports that:

… an immense crowd, numbering about 600 or 800 men and boys, with a sprinkling of women, rushed along Cornmarket Street to the shop of Alderman Grubb, baker, amidst hooting and yelling and cries of ‘We’ll have our rights’. We want cheap bead’; etc. The shop was, of course, closed; but the upper windows were speedily riddled with stones and threats of firing his premises were made.

In the Censuses

1841

No 33 and/or 34 is occupied by the bookseller Henry Alden (30) and Elizabeth (24), Henry (5), Edward (3), and Sarah (1). An apprentice and an independent person also live with them, and they have two female servants.

1851

No. 33: Described as “house of business, not slept in” (= Henry Alden’s book shop).

No. 34: The widowed wine merchant Jane Steane is living here with her son James (22), daughter Sarah (17), and one female servant.

1861

No. 33: Martin Coles (27), a hairdresser and dealer in fancy goods, is living here with his wife Caroline (29) and daughter Emily (1).

No. 34: Thomas Randle Grubb (24), a baker and corn dealer, is living here with his wife Sarah (30) and his children Thomas (5) and Elizabeth (6 months). They have one female servant.

1881

No. 33: Described as “uninhabited”.

No. 34: Sarah Grubb (51) is now a widow, and lives here with her son Thomas (25), who is described as a corn dealer, her daughter Sarah (17) and one female servant.

Occupants of 33 and 34 Cornmarket listed in directories etc.

Date

No. 34 (left) No. 33 (right)

1839–1851

Henry Alden
Bookseller

Samuel Steane, Wine merchant
(Mrs Steane by 1851)

1852

J. Steane
Wine merchant

T. Grubb
Baker

1861–1867

Thomas Grubb
Corn factor/merchant

Martin Coles
Portrait rooms, perambulator maker and photo chemist

1872

Henry W. Taunt
Photographer

1880

J. Banner
Steam dyer and French cleaner

1890

Mrs A. E. Solloway
Fancy repository

1899–1902

Walter Blackall
Photographer

1911–1914

Edwin Saunders
Optician

1921–1936

George Bateman & Co.
Ophthalmic Opticians

1945–1972

Dolcis Shoe Co, Boot makers

1973–1976

Manfield & Sons Ltd, Bootmakers

1981

British Shoe Corporation

By 2007–2010

Free Spirit

2011

Pandora

Old pictures on other websites and in books

For a drawing from the Police Review showing Grubb’s shop being attacked by rioters in November 1867, see Malcolm Graham, Images of Victorian Oxford, page 147.

No. 33 in the 1870s

No. 33 in c.1910

West side of Cornmarket in c.1905, showing No. 34 (with the sunblind on the left) when it was still part of the eighteenth-century house to the north.

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