By Diane Halford (Updated 18 July 2021 – Acre Lane relatives)
This blog follows the footsteps of Ann Walker’s 5 days in London from 8th – 12th June 1834, finding out more about the places she visited, and what the buildings (if they still stand) look like in July 2021. You can read Ann’s entire diary entries at the Diary Comparison Portal
8th June 1834
Number 26 Dover Street was a private hotel owned by Mr T. Hawkins. Unfortunately, there was no room when Ann and Anne arrived on 8th June 1834, so they were recommended 13 Albemarle Street, just around the corner, instead. In 1830 and 1835, these rooms were called “Escudier’s Hotel” in the Robson London Directory. According to that directory in 1835, Hawkins also ran 29(b) Albermarle Street as a hotel.
Later on in its history, in 1874, 13 Albemarle Street became the Albemarle Club. On 28th February 1895, an incident at the Club led to Oscar Wilde, who was a member, suing the Marquess of Queensbury for libel but ended with his own criminal prosecution.
9th June 1834
Charles Dumergue (1776-1852) was a renowned dentist in London, and attended the royal family. His practice was located at 42 Albemarle Street, and it appears that there was still a dental practice under Charles’s name as late as 1940. Ann Walker attended this practice on June 9th to have a tooth extracted and her teeth filed.
Ann went to Hammersley’s bank on 9th, 10th & 12th June to do business. Hammersley’s was a private bank that was established in the 1780’s. The bank moved its premises several times on Pall Mall, but by 1834 it was based at number 69. In 1840, the bank was taken over by Coutts & Co after the death of the senior partner. Its records are now part of the NatWest group. It was here in 1839, that both Ann and Anne left their wills and letters before going on their Russian adventure (West Yorkshire Archive Service Calderdale SH:7/ML/E/23/0074)
Ann visited two different shops run by business owners called Lund during her five days in the capital in 1834.
On 9th June she visited Thomas Lund’s, who was a cutler, manufacturer, and importer, selling his wares from 56-57 Cornhill. Ann bought blue spectacles here, which she later encouraged her sister, Elizabeth, to buy too.
Ann, always enjoying her shopping, bought a watch ring from Rundell & Bridge. This firm was actually called Rundell, Bridge & Rundell, a well respected business, and goldsmiths to the royal family. More information about the firm can be found on the British Museum site here.
Ann visited Samuel Jones of 201 Strand for patent lights. Even though Ann’s diary does not give the address, we know from Anne Lister’s diary entry of 28th August 1834 that it was this address they visited to buy “more promethean lights” (West Yorkshire Archives Calderdale SH:7/ML/E/17/0080)
On this day, Ann also visited a business owned by Barker. Unfortunately, there is not enough information to find out exactly where this shop is. There are more than 35 Barkers in the 1835 Robson London Directory, with no indication in either Ann or Anne’s diaries of an address, or what they bought.
10th June 1834
After going to Hammersley’s bank again, Ann then went on to the second Lund business, this time Christopher Lund, tea-dealer & grocer, whose premises were at 51 Newgate Street. Many of the businesses on this street have been replaced with modern office blocks. This photo was taken in the approximate area that 51 Newgate Street was located, based on the street numbers of the older buildings that still stand.
Lastly, Ann bought art supplies to take with her to the continent from a business that still exists today, Rowney and Foster (actually called Rowney and Forster). Today they are known as Daler-Rowney, but no longer operate from this address as they are now an international art supplies business. Ann bought a sketching stool and drawing paper.
Ann spent the evening at Acre Lane, in present-day Brixton, and visited her Aunt and Uncle Plowes. Lucy Edwards Plowes was her mother’s sister and lived with her husband John and children. The children mentioned were John Henry, Frederick, Ann, Louisa (Looly), Eliza, George and Maria, there was also Henrietta and William who are not mentioned. Henrietta was Ann Walker’s goddaughter. Uncle Thomas, mentioned in the diary when Ann leaves him a note because she won’t get to see him, is Thomas Grove Edwards. He is her mother’s brother, who never married and lived at 8 York Terrace, Regent’s Park. Incidentally, this address is also where George Mackay & Elizabeth Sutherland stayed in 1843.
11th June 1834
On the 11th June, Ann was unwell and did not leave the rooms.
12th June 1834
On their last day in London on the outgoing journey, 12th June 1834, Ann and Anne called at 26 Dover Street (photo above), and left boxes and drawings with Mr Hawkins. They then left a note for Mariana Lawton at Warren’s Hotel in Waterloo Place, Lower Regent Street.
Anne Lister writes in her diary on 11th June about the note:
“ …then wrote a 1/2 sheet filled and 1 page and ends of envelope to ‘Mrs Lawton, Warren’s hotel, Regent Street’ to be left there tomorrow he not knowing of her and Miss Cholmley’s coming, but sure he shall know where they are, if they do come – tell Mariana she had better persuade Miss Cholmley to go with her to Rotterdam, take a proper servant there and then go along the Rhine etc. – but I think she, Mariana, should not attempt to come back from Schwalbach (having her uncle Robert and Louisa) by herself – glad she is with Miss Cholmley – the more she sees of her the better – bid her cheer up – she knows not what a comfort I shall be to her – very kind affectionate letter …”West Yorkshire Archive Service, Calderdale, SH:7/ML/E/17/0042
After returning to Hammersley’s bank (see photo above) to drop off a parcel and two letters, they made their way out of London. They made an impromptu stop at a coach maker near Greenwich Toll Gate to fix a broken carriage wheel cap. This was most likely to have been Gowar & Sons, coach makers based on Blackheath Road where the toll gate was located.
Making their way to Dover, their next overnight stop would be Canterbury. Ann’s journal pauses after 26th August but we know from Anne Lister’s entry that they stopped in London on the return to England from 27th – 29th August 1834.
Ann Walker’s journal – West Yorkshire Archives Calderdale WYC:1525/7/1/5/1
Anne Lister’s diary –
- 2nd July 1839 West Yorkshire Archive Service, Calderdale SH:7/ML/E/23/0074 Transcription by Frankie Raia
- 28th August 1834 West Yorkshire Archives Calderdale SH:7/ML/E/17/0080 Transcription by Helen Childers
- 11th June 1834 West Yorkshire Archive Service, Calderdale SH:7/ML/E/17/0042 Transcription by Dorjana Širola
With thanks to Alexa Tansley for being my navigational aid around the streets of London.
Thanks to Louise Godley and Ivana Nika for editing the blog
Thanks to Ivana Nika for the information about the Albemarle Club and the blue spectacles.
Thanks to Dorjana Širola for the Hammersleys 1839 reference.
In Search of Ann Walker’s research into Ann’s life is ongoing, therefore new discoveries may change the way we chronicle her life in the future.
How to cite this article:
Diane Halford (2022) “Ann Walker’s 5 Days In London”: In Search of Ann Walker [Accessed “add date”]