44–46 Cornmarket Street: Leon

45-46 Cornmarket

The three former shops at 44, 45, & 46 Cornmarket Street were in the parish of St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church, as is the present building, which was erected in the early 1970s for Gordon Thoday.

In 1772 a survey of every house in the city was taken in consequence of the Mileways Act of 1771. According to Salter, the three houses on this site were as follows:

  • No. 44: occupied by Fell, frontage of 5 yds 2 ft 6 in.
  • No. 45: Occupied by L. Thompson, frontage of 2 yards 2 feet 9 inches
  • No. 46: Occupied by Smewing, frontage of 3 yards 1 foot 0 inches.

No. 44 was a tobacconist's shop from at least 1839 to 1899. In 1899 this shop was united to No. 43 to the north. Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 15 July 1899 reported:

“The premises formerly occupied by Mrs. Carter [44 Cornmarket Street] are now in course of removal to enable an addition to Messrs. Bull’s premises [43 Cornmarket Street] 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 No. 44 on the left in about 1920, in the event looking very different from No. 43 on the right.

43 & 44 Cornmarket Street

In 1970 planning permission (70/22385/AB_H) was granted to Gordon Thoday to demolish Nos. 44, 45, and 46 Cornmarket Street and erect a new building.

Occupants of 44, 45, and 46 Cornmarket Street listed in directories etc.


No. 46 (left) No. 45 (middle)

No. 44 (right)


Sarah Robinson
Cutler (1839)

John Robinson
Cutler (1846)

Sutton & Son
China & Glass Warehouse (1839)

Samuel Sutton
China dealer

James Castle




Henry Adams

Spiers and Son
China & glass dealers


Oxford Furnishing Co Ltd


Joseph Carter,


Wiseman & Blake, Linen drapers


L. Lambert, Millinery & baby linen establishment

(Nos. 45 & 46 numbered simply as 45 henceforth)


Hatch & Co., Japanese Art Depôt


Lloyd’s Oriental Café Ltd


Part of Bull's shop at No. 43


Cadena Café Ltd (Lloyd's Cadena Café in 1907 only
Also Tea merchants 1911–1921

Part of Morton's Drapers at No. 43


Cadena Café Ltd
Restaurant & Coffee Specialists
(included No. 47 to the south from 1935 to the late 1960s)

Early 1970s

New building erected


 Gordon Thoday Fabrics





44–46 Cornmarket Street in the censuses (former old shops)


No. 44: The tobacconist James Castle (35) lived here with 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. 45: The chinaman Edward Sutton (35) lived here with one shopman.

No. 46: The cutler Sarah Robinson (50) lived here with John (25), Jane (20), Sarah (15), and Jemima (13).


No. 44. The tea dealer and tobacconist James Castle (49) lived here with his wife Ann (49), and their four children John Riley Castle (18), described as an assistant, Mary (14), Elizabeth (12), Edward (11), and

No. 45: Sutton no longer lived over his shop, and the accommodation was occupied by his manager, Thomas Seaman (32) and his wife Lydia (31), described as the assistant manager. They had four children: Sarah (5), Thomas (4), Hannah (2), and Fanny (less than two months), as well as a governess and a female servant.

No. 46: The saddler Henry Adams (25 and unmarried) lived over his premises with one female servant.


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

Nos. 45 & 46 were now one shop, and the upstairs was still occupied by Thomas Seaman (42), described as a coal glass and china merchant. He was now a widower living with three of his younger children: Thomas (15), Hannah (12), and Susan (7), as well as his niece Ellen Wells. A governess (described as a boarder rather than a servant) lived with the family.


No. 44: Joseph Carter (42), tobacconist, lived here over his shop with his wife Sarah (38) and their children Florence (14), Montague (12), Emily (10), Sidney (9), and Maud (3). They had one general servant and a lodger.

Nos. 45 & 46: Henry Eyles (57), widowed manager of the Oxford Furnishing Company, lived here above his shop with his daughters Mauricel (24) and Emma (22). They had one general servant.


No. 44: The tobacconist Joseph Carter (52), a tobacconist, still lived here with his wife Sarah (48) and his daughters Emily (21), Maude (13), and Lily (8). They had one general servant.

Nos. 45 & 46 are described as “unoccupied”, implying that Lambert’s millinery shop occupied the whole premises.


No. 44: Joseph Carter (62), tobacconist, still lived here over his shop with his wife Sarah (58) and a general servant.

Nos. 45 & 46: Miss Alice Clara Tipton (39) of the Japanese Art Depôt downstairs lived here with her shop assistant.

1901 & 1911

No. 44: No listing: the Carter shop was now part of Bull's shop at No. 43.

Nos. 45 & 46: No listing

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