Category: Robsons directory

London street directory in 1832, 1842 etc & London pub history

The London street directory which I am building slowly from early London directories is now reaching an important stage. All of the Robsons 1832 street directory is now listed in transcript form on the site; there is an individual page for each street or road. The vast majority of the 1842 street directory has also been added to the relevant pages in image format. This latter detail gives a significant amount of additional detail to that of 1832, which is fairly basic.

Both of the Robsons directories are being cross-checked with the Pigots 1833 directory listing of pubs, which has been brilliant in  confirming whether a street did actually exist in 1832 even if not listed. There is nearly twenty years of pub history research on my sites, and it is fairly detailed, and also fairly thorough.

I have also been starting to add the early coffee houses, taverns and hotels to the relevant directory; the early street directories make this so much easier to locate a specific area and parish to add these entries. These street directory listings are in an entirely different format to anything which currently exists, and should be viewed as an incredibly useful and freely available resource.

The addition of mapping an early street address to an early map is starting to take place. The mappings I am using also show the address in modern day format using the National Library of Scotland site in the links.

Basically, the London history site is improving every day, and the current build is all being completed and funded by one person (me), with zero additional funding from any organisations.

I hope you enjoy the site, and other historical sites like the pub history site which is particularly strong in London for extensive earlier research.

Let me know if you wish to help out in anyway, or even an offer to sponsor the sites would be great.


London 1842 street directory, pubs history and RBKC Library

Well, today, as ever, I am continuing to build a complete London street directory for 1842 in addition to that of London in 1832, both Robsons directories. I am now working through letter T, and nearing completion.

All of the Robsons 1832 street directory is on the site, except I keep finding bits missing, e.g. Trafalgar square! It was there in 1832, I checked. Many other streets appear to have been missed, and I am slowly adding these as I see fit.

One street missing was Tichborne street, Edgware road. As usual, I check that it did exist in this period, using my Pigots 1833 pub listing. I then wondered about the spelling, and chucked the address into google. I came across an amazing photograph, and even more amazing is that it is on my pub history site – see previous link.

Further amazing pictures started to be listed, and this led me to Dave. I think either the blog is written by Dave, or he has a friend called Dave; both are plausible. I am noting this here, as I have spent quite a lot of time reading the articles, they are interesting, and I shall read the rest slowly. One of the Daves is a Local Studies Librarian for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Brilliant blog – called the RBKC.

I spend quite  lot of time updating my sites, and adding new sites of historical interest. I hope somebody likes my style, however boring it may look. I keep checking to see how I am getting on in google search for London street directory, currently 6,12 & 13. And for London 1832 street directory, most of the first 40 entries, etc.

The pub history site is also not bad, but a little clinical; and the local search engine only finds the latest updates. All of my 1899 pub listing, with all pubs linked to is ignored, as it is not a recent update. I will have to rebuild all of these pages.

Lots to do. And the house is to be plastered on Thursday & Friday. This makes a change from me being plastered; and lots of clearing still needs to be done. And Blue Planet II music is playing again for about the 50th time in succession. I love the last track which is so beautiful, yet very sad. Track 19 – Walrus: The right piece of Ice.

Yes, a bit sad, but music to be played out to, if you know what I mean.

London street directory in 1842

Its time for the latest updates on History in London in 1842. One street which was of interest is Fludyer street, in Westminster. I originally thought is was an early name for Downing street, apparently I cannot jump to these conclusions lightly, and was slightly wrong. It is very close, but not quite the same street.

What is correct, is that the London 1842 street directory is just getting bigger and better. I have added all of the London 1832 street inhabitants already. I have now spent the day adding the letter C for 1842 and also now working on letter D. The London directory just keeps getting better and more useful. Most of this directory is on the site, but not quite all.

As mentioned in a previous blog, the 1842 London street directory is brilliant for finding people and old London pubs, who are listed in the 1841 census but do not have a clear address, i.e. they are named and in a specific road or street. This directory is a quick way of scanning this listing to find that person, and it is well indexed alphabetically.  The directory for 1842 has not been transcribed, and therefore a visual check is necessary, but if you are searching for just pubs and inns etc, it is likely that other listings on the site also hold similar detail. The 1833-34 Pigots directory is particularly useful. These other listings are available through the London Pub history pages which are also listed by London parish. You can also use the search engine, which is not bad, and searches about 50 thousand + pages on my sites.

One of  the downsides of building such an amazing site is that many people think it is a historical site of the past, built in the past, and that there are few updates to this site. This is far from the truth, and the site/s are updated every day with masses of new / old detail. Just today there have been over three hundred updates which are either new pages or images added to this London street directory of 1842.

I welcome feedback for the site, rather than just the regular emails asking about whether there are any additional pictures available! This site/ sites just keep getting better. I also welcome updates for the site/s.



Spitalfields, Gravesend, Venice & London 1842 directory

Lots to report in this new post. I took a short trip to Venice, the Italian version, and had a wonderful break for a few days. During this time, I started to read a rather brilliant historical book by Dan Cruickshanks on Spitalfields. I had a book token to use, and this book took my fancy! It is rather excellent so far, and more.

I did not know that Spital comes from the word hospital, apparently it does. The book on Spitalfields is quite heavy reading, and more a textbook rather than a light read. That’s OK, it is pretty brilliant so far, after about the first few chapters. Interestingly, amongst the credits are a favourite of mine, Sarah Wise; and also the Spitalfields Life website and many more.

A quick aside, my wife and I had a long, drawn out discussion about the words utmost & upmost; we both use different words, as we were both unaware of the other word. Look these words up if you want to know the general outcome!

Once home from a break, I answered an interesting email on Gravesend. It took me two days of my research time to update Gravesend pub history in about 1851. For the record, Gravesend is not in London, it is fairly near, but in Kent on the southern borders of the River Thames. It made a splash in the news recently because of a Beluga whale from the Arctic spending some time here.

Finally, I am back to updating the London street directory for 1842 / 1832 etc. By tomorrow, all of the letter B should be complete with 1842 street directory images, e.g. Brook street, Ratcliff.



London history mobile app

I get bored very easily, so I thought I would build a mobile app for the London history site using the latest 1832 street directory of London.

I have made a start. It’s very late at night, and I am just setting up the environment. It’s OK, as it is the weekend, but I don’t work any longer so I may have done this during the day. Old habits ……

I have a number of simple tasks to complete. These include making sure I have the latest version of Java development kit installed, and the  Android development kit, and then some idea of what I want to achieve. Here is a brief of steps so far:

Installation :

I am setting up an environment to build mobile webapps

First install java 8

set JAVA_HOME to C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_181

java -version in a cmd window, this is not intuitive but get the latest version whatever it is.

Go to Androids developer site – link from above.
Download 32 bit version (for me) – I stayed with Windows 32 bit as I have a number of older programs I wished to continue with. It was a relatively fast machine once.

If you downloaded a .zip file, unpack the ZIP, copy the android-studio folder into your Program Files folder,
and then open the android-studio > bin folder and launch studio.exe (for 32-bit machines).

This takes a while ……. 30 minutes, maybe less or a lot more ??

What am I planning to do with this?

Well, I have a number of simple files / pages which are the entire street directory of London in 1832.

I want to simply be able to offer users a quick app into finding and viewing these pages. That’s it really. I currently have between 50 and 100 thousand pages on my various sites, and I need a mobile usage / entry into the site. I really do. I need to attract the newer generation into old historical stuff!

These pages may then lead users back to my pub history site, which needs lots of TLC, but that is another story.
Simple stuff.

The Android development kit is a bunch of java apis which should be no different to developing for tomcat or other java server applications. Lets see how we go.  Installation 92% complete … the easy bit.

More tomorrow.

Seven dials in London, what do we know about it

As part of the London Robsons 1832 street directory, which just for you information is nearly complete, I came across Monmouth street, Seven dials, as part of my research.

I have to admit I am a bit of a novice to London history, and I thought Seven dials was near to the Bank of England, and all of the streets which link there. I knew it referred to seven streets making an impact in London, I was completely wrong, but hey ho, I know now.

Seven dials is in St Giles, and near Covent garden. What I could not work out was why I could not find anything about the number of pubs in Monmouth street which were listed in 1832. I could find details about them until 1842, maybe a little later, but not much else.

I also searched in the great search engine, and came across a page on the area which mentioned that Great St Andrew street & Little St Andrew street later became Monmouth street – I have yet to decide whether they are correct, maybe it is true.

Back to Monmouth street, I then searched on the relevant pubs, and driled down looking for similar named pubs in an un-named street in the Seven dials area, and I came across a couple of matches, these were in Dudley street, Seven dials.

I was correct, although these pubs were both only open until about 1882. I then looked again at the mapping, and discovered that this street became part of Shaftesbury avenue at some stage, maybe in the 1880s.

So, we now know that Monmouth street was renamed Dudley street, about 1847. Then sometime in the 1880s, this was to become part of Shaftesbury avenue.  The pubs had already closed by this time, but they were extremely helpful in the search.

There are other pubs in Monmouth street, and I think these may have declined at an earlier date.

And finally, I think the page I read which suggested that Great St Andrew street was later renamed Monmouth street is probably also correct; but it is not this Monmouth street in 1832. Is this clear? Probably not.


It’s what I do with my retirement. It makes me happy.

The London 1832 street directory & pub history

It has been four days since I put pen to paper, well it is actually fingers to keyboard these days. In the meantime, I have been rather busy building the London 1832 and London 1842 street directory. It is nearly complete! Just a few more weeks work, or maybe just a few days.

The sites are getting well spotted in google search, and increasing the numbers of visitors to the sites. At the same time, they (google) have decreased the pennies per click considerably, bastards. That just reminded me of “penny for the guy”, or “bob a job” in Scouts.

I have just  realigned the navigation for this site to make it more interesting for mobile users, i.e. most people these days. I will roll this out onto all of my other sites shortly. It uses lots of dropdowns which seem to work, although I am yet to test it out properly.

Back to the London street directory pages, they are looking really good, I think. If you don’t like them, show me a resource which is as good!

Actually, I will go slightly further and say they are blooming marvellous.