Oxford History: The High


15: Whittard’s Teas & Coffees

15 High Street

The present Nos. 13–16 High Street were built in 1773–4 by John Gwynn to form the frontage to the new covered market and were known as “New Parade”. Nos. 13, 14, and 15 are jointly Grade II listed (List Entry No. 1369376, numbered as 12–15). No. 16 on the right is separately Grade II listed (List Entry No. 1047270). The four shops forming the original market front were in the parish of All Saints until that church was deconsecrated in 1971.

There is an avenue into the market in the centre of this group between Nos. 14 and 15 (shown above), and another one each side.

From the time that No. 15 was rebuilt in 1774, it was owned by William Jones, a goldsmith in the High. His father Thomas Jones (d.1747) and his mother Elizabeth (d.1773) had been fishmongers, and his four spinster sisters, Anne, Margaret, Elizabeth, and Jane continued to run the family business from this shop. Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 7 November 1788 reported:

Died, after a short illness Mrs [sic] Anne Jones, eldest daughter of the late Mrs Elizabeth Jones of Oxford, fishmonger, by whom in partnership with three sisters the business has been carried on, and is intended to be continued by the survivors.

A fifth sister, Mary Jones (1741–1815) worked for William Jackson, the founder and proprietor of Jackson’s Oxford Journal, and inherited most of his estate.

Mary left this shop to her niece Elizabeth Latimer and her husband Edward. He lived at Headington House and was a wine merchant at No. 11 High Street during the first half of the nineteenth century. When he died in 1845, he bequeathed the rental of No 15 to his daughter Jane Latimer, with instructions that the shop should be sold after her death. She died in 1872.

At the time of the 1851 census Levi Greatbatch, the glass and china dealer here, lived upstairs with his wife and five children, two general servants, and two lodgers (undergraduate brothers at Trinity College). (Arthur Mitchell Greatbatch, who was to take over the business after his father’s death in 1903, was not yet born.) By 1861 Greatbatch was living at Diamond Street Villa in Summertown, and by 1871 he was at the Cedars in Park Town.

The premises upstairs were unoccupied in 1861 and 1871, and were presumably used as storerooms. No one lived over this shop at the time of the 1911 census.

Occupiers of the present shop at 15 High Street  


Jones family, Fishmongers


William Loder, China & glass dealer

By 1851–1925

Greatbatch, Glass & china dealer
Levi Greatbatch until 1903;
Arthur Mitchell Greatbatch; 1904–1910
Greatbatch & Co. Ltd, 1910–1925


Webbers (part of)
[see also Nos. 9, 10–12, 13, and 14]


Burnley Building Society

By 1995–present

Whittards Teas & Coffees

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 31 August, 2018

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