43–44 Cornmarket

43-44 Cornmarket



The current pair of shops at 43–44 Cornmarket was built in 1970. They now form the right-hand half of the HMV Music store, which occupies the site of four old shops.



The photograph below shows the old No. 43 (right) and part of No. 44 in c.1920, when the drapers H. & E. Morton occupied both shops.

Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 15 July 1899 reported, “The premises formerly occupied by Mrs. Carter are now in course of removal to enable an addition to Messrs. Bull’s premises to be erected, which will doubtless correspond in style to the Reading firm’s red brick and terra-cottaed edifice next door.” The photograph below shows that the newspaper could not have been more wrong.

43 & 44 Cornmarket.

In the Censuses


No, 43 is occupied by the ironmonger James Plowman (30) and Maria (25) and Joseph (5), plus one shopman.

No. 44 is occupied by the tobacconist James Castle (35) and Ann (35), Ann (6), May (5), Elizabeth (2), and Edward (1), plus two independent people and three servants (two female and one male).


No. 43: The ironmonger John Beck Brown (26), described as the employer of six men, was living here with his wife Emma (22) and his daughter Annie (one month). A shopman also lived with them, and they had one female servant.

No. 44. The tea dealer and tobacconist James Castle (49) was living here with his wife Ann (49), and their four children John Riley Castle (18), who is described as an Assistant, Mary (14), Elizabeth (12), Edward (11), and Catherine (7), plus his aunt Miss Ann Castle (65). The household has one house servant and one under-servant aged 13.


No. 43: The ironmonger John Beck Brown (36), described as the employer of six men and three boys, is living here with his wife Emma (32) and his sons Charles (8) and Thomas (4). Also living with them are an assistant ironmonger Thomas Bodgner (20) and an apprentice ironmonger Edward Copeland (18). The household has a female house servant and a nursemaid.

No. 44: The tobacconist James Castle (59) is still living here with his wife Ann (59) and his children John Riley Castle (20), who is described as a tobacconist, and Catherine (17). They have one female house servant.


No. 43:James Anns (28), described as porter, is living here with his wife Ellen (28), who is described as a housekeeper.

No. 44: The tobacconist Joseph Carter (52), a tobacconist, is living here with his wife Sarah (48) and his daughters Emily (21), Maude (13), and Lily (8). The family has one general servant.

Occupants of 43 and 44 Cornmarket listed in directories etc.


No. 44 (left) No. 43 (right)


James Castle,

J. Plowman

Furnishing Ironmonger, Brush Factor,
Oil & Colour Mercht., Bell Hanger, Tin Plate Worker,
Whitesmith, Basket Maker, Cooper, Lithographic Draughtsman & Printer

Sarah Plowman, Ironmonger (1846)



John B. Brown
Ironmonger & gas fitter

Swearse & Thompson, Solicitors in 1880
Henry Frank Galpin, Solicitor in 1890


J. CarterTobacconist

Joseph Carter,
, in 1899

Later Carter & CoTobacconists


Vacant, then rebuilt by 1899


Alfred (A. H.) Bull Ltd., Linen drapers

+ Mutual Life Insurance Co and Beauchamp E. Tyrwhitt, Solicitor, in 1899


H. & E. Morton, Drapers


Part of Cadena Café,
which occupied this shop
and Nos. 45, 46, & 47
to the south

Greatbatch & Co. Ltd
China & glass showrooms


Manfield & Sons Ltd
Boot makers


No listing

Rebuilt in c. 1972 (at the same time as Nos. 45 and 46 to the south) for Gordon Thoday


Part of Gordon Thoday Fabrics
at 45 and 46 next door

Dolcis Shoe Co (to 1980+)


HMV (northern half)


Vacant, exensive rebuilding


NatWest Bank

Old pictures on other websites and in books

For an illustration showing more of the old No. 44, see Michael L. Turner and David Vaisey, Oxford Shops and Shopping, p. 28, illustration 57 (advertisement produced by the tobacconist Joseph Carter in c.1880).

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