|St Paul, Covent Garden. I have indicated the north side of its churchyard |
where at No. 60 there was John Benjamin Tolkien's shop
–Engraving by Thomas Girtin 1775–1802
I have bought new service on Ancestry.co.uk (where you can find The Tolkien Family Tree made by me with 1028 persons included) and I could find our "Dantzick-Brothers-In-London" in the archival The Times magazines from the 18th and 19th centuries. I love this advertisement from 21 June 1813:
"ALL the remaining elegant STOCK in TRADE of Mr. J[ohn] B[enjamin] Tolkein [should be Tolkien], glass and china manufacturer, a bankrupt, on the premises, No. 60, the north side of St. Paul's Church-yard. The stock in extensive, and consists of very rich china, in the rich cut glass, in a profusion of useful articles, a variety of table and desert services of china, an infinity of ornamental and useful articles, together with a large quantity of earthenware. May be viewed on the sale; and catalogues had on the premises, and in Covent-garden."
We can find here rich and beautiful assortment of Tolkien's shop, all these china, glass, services, patterns etc. J. R. R. Tolkien's great-great-grandfather born in Danzig/Gdańsk in 1752 was in London first a watch- and clockmaker (see here), but from 1809 he became a china and glass-seller and manufacturer. His first business of this kind was in 1809 at 111 Guilford Street, Bloomsbury ("J. B. Tolkien, Dealer in China and Glass" – there is a nice Starbucks there now) then he moved to 60 (or 3) St Paul's Churchyard, Covent Garden ("China and Glass Seller") and in from 1814 we can find his shop at 21 Skinner Street, Snow Hill ("J. B. Tolkien & G[eorge] Tolkien, China & Glass Man", "Cut-glass and China Manufacturers"). As we can see first profession of George Tolkien, J. R. R. Tolkien's grandfather, after his unfinished furrier apprentice, was manufacturing and selling china and glass with his father.
About Tolkien's bankrupcy we can also read in the newspaper The News (from 9 May 1813). Tolkien bankrupted in May 1813 after his older brother, Daniel, died:
Another interesting fragment of the The Times comes from 31 October 1794, just after Daniel Gottlieb Tolkien received his act of naturalization (see here):
This text reads:
TOLKIEN, SKINNER and FURRIER, No. 60, Chaepside, second house from the corner of Bow-lane.I would like to remind that Daniel's uncle, Michael Tolkien (his father's, Christian, brother) was a furrier master in Danzig (Gdańsk) from 1742 to 1795.
TOLKIEN thankfully acknowledges the favours he has received from his friends, at his original Shop, No. 28, Bedford-street, Covent Garden, and most respectfully acquaints the Ladies and his Customers in general, of his having opened another large, commodious, wholesale and retail Warehouse, for the accomodation of the Public, at No. 60 Cheapside; and the encouragement he has met with [...] his first commencement in business, has induced him to enlarge his Stock very considerably, and conceives himself absolutely obliged to thus express his gratitude for past favours, and hoping for the continuance of future.
Tolkien has just manufactured an extensive assortment of the most fashonable Muffs, Tippets, Trimmings, and ready-made Cloaks for the present season.
The above articles for goodness may challange competition, as being manufactured out of the most valuable and beautiful Furs that the universe can produce, and is enabled to do the article as low as any other Manufacturer in London.
Country dealers may be supplied with the above articles on the lowest and most reasonable terms.