No 16 King Street

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16 King Street


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Frederick Plint's pharmacy in 1890


King Street in 1903 showing Nos 6 to 16 behind blinds on the right

No 16 was the last King Street property acquired by department store Noel and Porter. The business had been growing steadily since it opened in 1871, and successive neighbouring properties were acquired on the north side of King Street in the latter part of the 19th century. No 16, which makes the corner with Don Street was not acquired until after the turn of the century and the expanding business began to trade from there in 1903.

1834 directory

The first recorded occupants of the property were draper E Boudier, who is listed in a 1834 trade directory, together with Rachel Norman, grocer and wines and spirits merchant. Perhaps Mr Boudier worked from the first floor, with the grocery shop on the ground floor. By the time of the 1841 census the only occupant is listed as Rachel Norman (40), grocer.

The property is not listed in the 1851 census, but the 1852 Post Office Directory shows linen draper Philip John Benest trading there. Philip (1828-1878) was the son of Philip and Jenny Le Bas. He married Elizabeth Jane Rive (1828-1891) and they had ten children, the last born only three years before Philip died. We have only been able to find a baptism or birth record for the first of the ten, Philip Rive Benest (1854- )

In 1861 Sigmund Liebman Leopold was running his tobacconist business there. He would later move across the road to No 13 King Street.

The premises had probably become a pharmacy by 1871 but the only occupant recorded in the census was Edmund Kearley, a 21-year-old chemist's assistant.

Pharmacists

He was followed by a succession of pharmacists: Wellman and Finney, Daniel Le Brocq, C Baker and F A Plint. Before Noel and Porter moved in the property was occupied by G Le Seelleur, whose occupation is unknown. His stay must have been a short one, because by the 1901 census all the properties which constituted Noel and Porter are shown without residents occupying them.

The Wellman of Wellman and Finney was William Richard Wellman, born in St Helier in 1827, and married to Anne. He was the son of William and Susanne Ann Le Gallais, who were married in St Helier in October 1818. William Richard is shown in the 1871 census living in St Clement's Road with Anne. By 1881 he had been elected a Deputy for St Helier and was described as a wholesale export merchant. Before he went into partnership with Mr Finney, William Wellman ran a pharmacy at No 13 King Street.

His partner was James J Finnie, born in St Helier in 1848, married to Lucy and with a daughter Edith. James was descended from a Scottish family. After he and William Wellman left 16 King Street, he went into business at No 63.

The next occupant, Frederick Arnold Plint, had taken over by 1887. He was born in Leeds in 1851, and was living at No 16 at the time of the 1891 census with his wife Maria Mitchell, nee Tosland, born in Wantage in 1848, daughter Louise Marjory (1882-1964) and son Alexander Frederick (1885-1948), both born in Sheffield, and three-year-old William Butler (1888-1941), born in St Helier.

Daniel Le Brocq was probably born 1840, the son of Jean and Ann Elizabeth Bisson. It is not certain whether he was running his own business; it is more likely that he was an employee of Wellman and Finney, living above the shop.

We have not been able to identify C Baker or G Le Seelleur.

Chronology

  • 1834 - E Boudier, draper; Rachel Norman, grocer, wine and spirits
  • 1841 - Rachel Norman, draper
  • 1851 - Not listed in census
  • 1852 - Philip John Benest, linen draper
  • 1861 - Sigmund Liebman Leopold, tobacconist (later moved to No 13)
  • 1871 - Edmund Kearley, chemist's assistant
  • 1880 - Wellman and Finney, chemist
  • 1881 - Daniel Le Brocq, chemist (may have been employee living on premises)
  • 1885 - C Baker, chemist
  • 1887 - Frederick Plint, chemist
  • 1900 - G Le Seelleur
  • 1903-1965 - Noel and Porter
  • 1970 to date - British Home Stores
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