Part of Hertford College (was 45–50 Holywell Street)

Part of Hertford College

Grade II Listed Building: List Entry Number 1199235
It is jointly listed with the rest of Hertford College’s North Quad, which was built from 1903; this continuation of the quadrangle as far as Holywell Street, however, did not take place until 1931.

The entrance to Dickeson’s billiard rooms behind Holywell Street was between Nos. 44 & 45, and was numbered 45A. This notice appeared in Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 28 June 1879:

No. 45A HOLYWELL STREET, OXFORD. The above Valuable LEASEHOLD PROPERTY, consisting of 3 large and well lighted Billiard Rooms, with Office and Bed Room, Lavatory, w.c., and Coal Shed, now in the occupation of Mr. Dickeson, WILL SHORTLY BE SOLD BY AUCTION.

No. 45 was advertised thus in Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 29 September 1866 when it was put up for auction:

Lot 5. — A very compact HOUSE, No. 45, Holywell-street, in the occupation of Mr. Howse, grocer, and contains front shop, private entrance, 2 sitting rooms, 3 bed rooms, kitchen, and cellar; held by lease from the Warden and Scholars of Merton College for 40 years, from 5th April 1851; Reserved Rent 6s. 10d.; Land Tax, 13s. 8d.

It was advertised again in the same newspaper on 11 February 1882:

Lot 4. — A LEASEHOLD HOUSE, SHOP, and PREMISES, being No. 45 Holywell-street, containing kitchen, scullery, and coal cellar in the basement; shop, entrance passage, and small yard, on the ground floor; and two sitting rooms, three bed rooms, and w.c. on the three upper floors; the whole being let to Mr. Kelson at a rental of 45l. per annum. This Lot is Leasehold under Merton College for the reside of a term of 40 years from April, 1851, subject to a rental of 10s. per annum and a bushel of sweet barley malt.

No. 47 was newly rebuilt when it was advertised for sale in Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 10 March 1860:

A well-arranged and newly-erected RESIDENCE, containing four bed chambers, closet, drawing room, parlours, kitchen, cellar, pantry, &c., with modern conveniences, use of two pumps, court-yard, &c. — This Property is held under Merton College for the term of 60 years, from 5th April, 1859. — Annual Rent, £5 10s.; Land Tax, 11s. 4d.

45–50 Holywell Street in the censuses


No. 45
William Sheppard (20), a hairdresser, lived here with Harriet (20), and two lodgers (a college servant and his wife).

No. 46
Joseph Hutt (45), a college servant, lived here with Ann (45); Joseph (20), who was a portrait painter; Ann (20), and William (15), who was a compositor. They had one female servant and two student lodgers.

No. 47

No. 48
Henry Purdue (35), a college servant, lived here with what were presumably his siblings: George (30), who was a clerk; Elizabeth (35); and Louisa (20).


No. 45
William Shepperd (32), a stationer, tea dealer, & hairdresser, lived here with his wife Harriet (36) and their children Elizabeth (9), Catharine (8), William (5), Marianne (4), and a lodger.

No. 46
Joseph Hutt (59), a widowed college servant, lived here with his daughters Anne (26) and Susanna (23), the latter a teacher at a preparatory school. They had an undergraduate lodging with them, and one servant.

No. 46½
James Richards (59), a college servant, lived here with his wife Ann (48) and their son Thomas (18) and nephew James Slatter (14), who was an errand boy. They had one servant.

No. 47

No. 48
Henry Purdue
(44), now a wine & spirit merchant, lived here with his sister Elizabeth (49), and one servant.

No. 49
Elizabeth Alnutt
(43), the wife of a college porter and a dressmaker, lived here with their children Elizabeth (9) and Richard (5) and one servant.

No. 49½
Thomas E. Bossom
(31), a printer, compositor & pressman, lived here with his wife Mary (31) and their daughter Sarah (4). They had one servant.

No. 50
Robert Davidson
(50), a surveyor, lived here with his wife Isabella (49) and their children William (17), Robert (14), Richard (11), and Martha (9).


No. 45
John Howes (53), a Norfolk-born tea dealer and grocer, lived here with his Irish-born wife Martha (47).

No. 46

No. 46½
William Mansell (56), a bookbinder, lived here with his wife Jane (52), and his children Jane (30, a bookbinder’s assistant), Emma (28, a dressmaker), Hannah (24, a draper’s assistant), John (21) and Charles (19), both printers & compositors, Henry (17, a bookbinder), and Edmund (14, at school).

No. 47
Henry Parker (26), a weights & measures inspector, lived here with his sister Sarah (18) and brother Edward (11), who were both scholars.

No. 48
Henry Purdue (54), a wine merchant, lived here with his sister Elizabeth (57). Both were unmarried.

No. 49
Henry Rowell (59), a college servant, lived here with his wife Ann (60) and his son Harry (20), who was a tobacconist. They had a 13-year-old servant girl.
Living at 49½ were the college servant William Allnutt (32) with his wife Belinda (32) and children William (6), Thomas (4), Frederick (1). They had a 14-year-old servant girl.

No. 50
Robert Davidson (60), a surveyor born in Newcastle, lived here with his wife Isabella (59) and his children Robert (23), who was a carpenter, and Martha (19)


No. 45
Henry Kelson
(45), a master tailor employing seven men and a boy, lived here with his wife Mary (60) and his three sons Walter (3), Frank (25), and Louis (21), all of whom were tailors.

No. 46
Catharine Solloway
(51), a widowed lodging house keeper, lived here with her daughter Elizabeth (25) and her son Arthur (16, a grocer’s assistant). Lodging with them was a sculptor, Samuel Swift, with his wife and daughter. At No. 46½ was Charlotte Pratt, a matron to a lying-in society, and her sister Elizabeth (49), an annuitant.

No. 47
James P. Wells
(35), an upholsterer, lived here with his wife Martha (36) and his children Agnes (11), James (9), and Henry (3).

No. 48
Richard Swadling
(63) lived here with his wife Mary (60), who was a dressmaker employing two apprentices, and his daughters Mary (30) and Elizabeth (25), who were both dressmakers, and his son William (22), a land agent’s clerk. They had one general servant.

No. 49
Thomas Haycroft
(71), a college butler, lived here with his wife Rachel (63) and his daughter (26), who was a music teacher and his sons Dennis (23), who was a butler’s assistant, and William (20), who was a builder’s clerk
At No. 46½ was Mary House, the head of the household, who acted as housekeeper to her unmarried son William (45), who was a college bedmaker. They had an unmarried female lodger with two children, and a servant-girl of 13.

No. 50
Augustine Pratley
(66), a clothes cleaner, lived here with his wife Martha (57) and his children Edwin (26), who was a bootmaker, Sarah (20) and Emily (17), who were dressmakers, and Elizabeth (16), who was a milliner.


No. 45
George Prior
(74), a pharmaceutical chemist, had his business at this house, where he lived with his widowed sister Esther Brazier (82), who was living on her own means, and one general servant.

No. 46
Ann Stapleton
(63), a widow, lived here with her unmarried son Albert (25), a boot & shoe maker who worked from home on his own account.
At No. 46½ was Harry Turner (49) and his wife Sarah (51), who both worked as tailors, and their children Henry (24), who was a tailor’s assistant; Frederick (14), who was a solicitor’s clerk; Mary (13), and Gertrude (10).

No. 47
Not listed in the census.

No. 48
Mary Swadling
(80), a widow, ran a lodging house here. She lived with her single daughter Elizabeth (40) and one general servant.

No. 49
Anna Rogers
(57), a widow, lived here with a 15-year-old servant girl.
At No. 49½ was Robert Jones (44), a groom at a livery stables, who lived here with his wife Amelia (43) and his children Charles (13), Gladys (11), Alice (9), Annie (7), Elsie (5), and Alexander (2).

No. 50
Edward Purcell
(5), an unmarried retired college tutor, lived here alone.


No. 45
Not listed in the census.

No. 46
Edward R. Greening (32), a dealer in antique furniture, lived here with his wife Helen (34) and his daughters Olive (9) and Ivy (6).

No. 47
Not listed in the census, but in fact No. 46 above is probably No. 47.

No. 48
Louisa Nixey (70), a lodging-house keeper, lived here with her unmarried daughters Lily (36) and Edith (34).

No. 49
William Eagle (35), an ironmonger’s assistant, lived here with his wife Ethel (35) and his daughter Doris (3).

No. 50
No listing.

Occupants of 45–50 Holywell Street listed in directories etc.


No. 50

No. 49

No. 48

No. 47

No. 46

No. 45

of Oxford

1yd 2ft 6in
Mrs Durbridge: passage

3yd 2ft 2in
Mrs Prickett

5yd 1ft 0in
Mr George

6yd 1ft 0in
Mr Green: House & passage

7yd 0ft 2in
Mrs Taylor

6yd 0 2ft 6in
Mr Forman


No listing

Elizabeth Allnutt, milliner & dressmaker

Henry Purdue
College servant
(by 1841)

Susannah Allsop, grocery dealer

Joseph Hutt
College servant

(probably the John Hutt, servant of Queen’s College, listed
in Holywell
Street in 1852)
[died 1860]

S. Hutt in 1861

John Williamson, shopkeeper

William Charles Sheppard, stationer/
(1841; & P.O. in 1846)


Robert Davidson, architectural surveyor

No listing: probably being rebuilt


Henry Reville

Henry Parker

Billiard rooms: M. Rockall


Thomas Lucas

Thomas Haycroft


+ Mrs Haycroft, registry for servants, in 1876

John Tasker

Joseph Chaundy, cook

William Ogden, builder

John Howes, grocer


A. Pratley, glazer & clothes cleaner

+Arthur Pratley, tailor in 1876



F. Pratley by 1894

Richard Swadling

Mrs Mary Ann Swadling, University lodgings, by 1889



James P. Wells

Frederick Green in 1871

J. F. Green, tailor in 1872


Mrs Blackwell

+ Frederick Blackwell, collector of water rates in 1875–6

William Pratt, butler of Magdalen College, at 46½ in 1875–6


Mrs Catharine Solloway

with Miss Pratt at 46½

Henry Kelson
Master tailor


Kelson & Sons, Tailors, robe & breeches-makers

Linley & Co., wholesale corn, flour, and yeast merchant


R. H. Hodgson, teacher of music

Linley & Co., yeast & general merchants, commission agents, post & money order office

J. Field


William Carter

Charles Stapleton, bootmaker, and H. Kelson & sons, tailors

John Dickeson, billiard room proprietor, and George Thomas Prior, pharmaceutical chemist


Charles Stapleton, bootmaker

Ann Stapleton in 1901

George Thomas Prior, chemist, and John William Dickeson, billiard rooms


James Robert Crozier

Mrs Stowe

Thomas R. Doe


Edward Purcell

Mrs Anna Rogers
with Robert Jones at 49A

Not listed


No listing. No. 50 was virtually a passage

Smith & Co., Dealers in antiquities & antique furniture

H. Kelson & Sons, tailors

(with Mrs Stapleton in 1905)

Oxford Typewriting Chambers with Burrows & Doe, printers at 45A


William John Eagle

Mrs Louisa Nixey
University lodging house

Edward Richard Greening, cabinet maker

No listing in census: probably just a business


45A: Holywell Press Ltd, printers


Thomas Byles

P. W. Powell, antique furniture dealer, + Miss Beckley, nurse

H. Kelson & Sons, tailors


Not separately listed: treated as part of Hertford College


Part of Hertford College’s Holywell Quad

Holywell home

© Stephanie Jenkins

Oxford History home