No 52 King Street

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52 King Street


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A photograph of A de Gruchy and Co at the turn of the 19th century by Albert Smith. Nos 50 and 52 King Street are immediately to the right of Brooks, with No 52 closer to the camera


No 52 was the first of the King Street properties acquired by Abraham de Gruchy, which would eventually constitute a department store with access from King Street, New Street and Dumaresq Street. He opened here in 1825, but never lived on the premises, so his name does not appear in the census returns.

In 1851 Susan (baptised Susannah Mary) Sohier, a 50-year-old fancy shop keeper is shown living at No 52 with her daughters Mary and Ellen, and 75-year-old Eliza Thompson, who is shown as the head of household’s ‘grandmother’. This is something of a mystery, because Susan, nee Boyne, was married to Thomas Sohier. Eliza was not old enough to be her grandmother, and had the wrong name to be the children’s grandmother. Whether Susan worked for Abraham de Gruchy or was a tenant of residential accommodation is not known.

The 1861 census shows draper Francis Nicolle (1817- ) (baptised Francois) living at No 52, together with his wife Mary Ann, nee Filleul, (1816- ) and children Mary Ann de Gruchy (1841- ) and Francis (1846- ). Francis was the son of Francois Nicolle of Trinity and Elizabeth de Gruchy, who married in St Helier in 1816. He may have been a staff member of A de Gruchy and Co, or possibly a relative, given that his mother was a de Gruchy.

There were a large number of residential properties behind 52 King Streeet in the second half of the 19th century, but their occupancy falls outside the scope of these articles on commercial undertakings in the street.

Chronology

  • 1825 - A de Gruchy and Co
  • 1837 - Thomas Sohier, carver and gilder
  • 1841-51 - Susanna Sohier, gilder
  • 1861 - Francis Nicolle, draper
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