No 5 King Street

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5 King Street


No 5 is on the left of the picture behind the man pushing his bicycle towards the camera

In 1861 this small shop on the corner of King Street and Peirson Place was run as a tobacconist by James John Cochrane, who lived there with his two sisters, Rachel and Amelia, and his aunt Susan Sebire. James' great-grandfather, another James Cochrane, moved from Paisley, in Scotland, where he was born, to Guernsey. The majority of the Cochrane family then lived in the sister island, but Thomas, the second grandson of the original James, moved to Jersey and married Rachel Ann Allen. They had five children, the three eldest being Rachel, Amelia and James John.

No 5 is on the right side of the junction of King Street and Peirson Place, which leads through to the Royal Square.

Thomas Tibbles

We do not know what happened to the Cochrane siblings, because there is no record of James John marrying and having children, and by 1871 the corner shop was occupied by Thomas Tibbles and his wife Maria, and run as a stationer and photography outlet.

Little is known about Thomas and Maria Harriet. He came from Camberwell in Surrey and she was born in Ireland, and although Thomas is shown as the proprietor of the family shop in the 1880 almanac street listing, and in the 1871 census he was identified as a bookseller, by 1881, although he is shown as head of household, he is listed as an 'imbecile'. During 1881 he was also identified as an inmate of the General Hospital, so perhaps he was not even living with his family at the time of the census. Also living with the Tibbles is William Morris, shown as a naval pensioner and a nurse, John Kiernan, an Irish sailor, and a 14-year-old servant.

By 1885 Thomas appears to have died, or to be too ill to be listed as running the family business, because an almanac listing shows Mrs Tibbles as a stationer, and in 1890 John Kiernan is shown as the owner of the stationery business. Intriguingly, in the 1891 census, John Kiernan is shown as head of household and Maria Harriet as his wife. She probably did not have long to live because in the 1901 census John Kiernan is shown as the sole occupant of the property.

He was still listed as owner of the business at 5 King Street in a 1912 almanac but in the census the year before he is shown, at the age of 79, with a 45-year-old wife Emma Jane, living in Roseville Street.

By the end of the First World War the business had been taken over by E C Wilkins, who ran it until shortly before the Occupation, when his son Banjamin took over.

By 1949 the proprietor was Mrs N Ozouf, who was one of the characters of King Street through the second half of the 20th century, running the small corner shop until the turn of the century. Today is is an estate agency.

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