Monday, January 2, 2017

The Family Tradesmen's Directory 1808

In 1808, Duncan McDonald, the Head Cook of the Bedford Tavern and Hotel, thought he had something new to offer to the world of cookery and cookery books. He may well have been right. Certainly his book was comprehensive, and his 'directions for marketing' and listings of the markets in London were unusual in such books of the day.

 I found his "Family Tradesmen's Directory" quite fascinating. It is a glimpse into a frozen moment in time of the retail world of 1808 London. The listing is long but I am including it all here in the interest of research and curiosity.
From this first page above, I looked in the British Newspaper Archive to see if T. Aveling had advertised his services in the London papers. He had. I was particularly interested because I had discovered that an 'oil and Italian warehouse' was virtually the "deli" of the Regency era.
Morning Chronicle 14 April 1803
The breadth of his stock is impressive, and there are seven other such warehouses listed by Mr. McDonald. Obviously these emporiums were important to the households of London.
 Linen-drapers, mercers, and woollen-drapers are mentioned in McDonald's list although his interest is in household suppliers, not fashion or clothing merchants. Cater, Marshall & Co. (listed above) advertised in the Morning Post.
Morning Post 10 April 1805
Table linens, and sheetings are among the household items offered for sale. On this same page there is a Glass & Staffordshire Warehouse listed. There are many china and glass suppliers on McDonald's list.
Morning Post 29 October 1804
Mr. Goldicutt seems to supply everything a household could require.
 There are several 'oil and colourmen' listed by McDonald. These were the equivalent of our paint stores. Linseed oil, raw pigments and the necessities for mixing and fixing them were sold by these shops. But on the last page below there is a new sort of shop mentioned--Vanherman, Fores & Co., British Paint Manufactory.
Morning Chronicle 16 April 1808
House decoration was changing and moving into the new century.
There are very few luxury shops in Mr. McDonald's list. The requirements of a household were uppermost in his mind. But he did include a perfumer in his list.
 Morning Post 19 May 1807
Presumably Patey, Butts & Co. Wholesale Perfumers sold items necessary to a household, as well as their 'Circassian Water'.

I feel as though I have been shopping in Regency London after perusing this list. And it has led me to reflect on who did go shopping for the wide variety of items required by a household. The mistress of the house would acquire large and/or decorative items I am sure. The size of the household would dictate the shopper for other items. It might be a maid, or it might be a house steward. I can see another interesting line of research opening up!

Happy New Year!

'Til next time,

New London Family Cook -
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