sobota, 31 marca 2018

Simbelmynë reactivation

Together with Adaneth and Tom Goold we have reactivated our magazine Simbelmynë. It is published in pdf and epub, and it has new formula and numeration. This is published in Polish. Next issue (Spring 2018) will contain a unique remembrance of late Professor Tolkien by his friend, Professor Pelczynski (in English and in Polish) as well as the most comprehensive version of the #TolkienAncestry essay. We will publish also the Silmarillion apocrypha by Wilwarin and Erulissë and the poetry by Konrad Dziadkowiak. 

If you only want to publish your essays, poetry, art in the Simbelmynë, write to us: derdzinski(at)gmail.com

wtorek, 27 marca 2018

John Benjamin Tolkien (1752-1819): a summary

This text was revised in March 2018 after new discoveries in the archives of St Salvator church in Gdańsk – R.D.
"Certainly the story - typical of the kind of tale that middle-class families tell about their origins - gave colour to the presence of Tolkiens in London at the beginning of the nineteenth century, making their living as clock and watch manufacturers and piano-makers. And it was as a piano-maker and music-seller that John Benjamin Tolkien, Arthur’s father, had come to Birmingham and set up business some years later."
(...)
"These stories had begun during the Leeds years. John, the eldest son, often found difficulty in getting to sleep. When he was lying awake his father would come and sit on his bed and tell him a tale of ‘Carrots’, a boy with red hair who climbed into a cuckoo clock and went off on a series of strange adventures."
H. Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien. A Biography

John Benjamin Tolkien's signature. In 1777 he wrote his name in the German form
Johann

John Benjamin Tolkien's grave in London
John Benjamin Tolkien (earlier Johann Benjamin Tolkien) was born in June 1752 in St Salvator Lutheran parish of the famous Polish port town Gdańsk (German form Danzig) and died on 27 January 1819 in Clerkenwell, London. 

He is buried at the Methodist cemetery of Bunhill Fields, near his brother, Dan Godleip Tolkien (earlier Daniel Gottlieb Tolkien), b. in June 1747 (Gdańsk) and d. in May 1813 in Shoreditch, London. The "London Brothers" had also at least one sister, Eleonora Renata Bergmann, née Tolkien (1756-1829) whose son, Daniel Gottlieb Bergmann joined the uncles in England in the 18th century.

Daniel Gottlieb, Johann Benjamin and Eleonora Renata were children of Christian (b. 1706 – d. after 1784) and Anna Euphrosina Tolkien, née Bergholtz (d. after 1784) and their earliest years were spent in Gdańsk between the Lutheran churches of St Salvator and St Catherine (where the Tolkiens were buried: Michael – their uncle, a master-furrier, Euphrosina – their aunt and other Tolkiens from Gdańsk). The Tolkiens roots are in a small town Kreuzburg in East Prussia where we meet J.R.R. Tolkien's ancestors in the 16th-18th centuries (see here)! One of their cousins was Christian Tolkien (1762-1821) who was a member of the Gdańsk middle-class, an antiquarian and a member of the city council. Their uncle (father's brother), Michael Tolkien (spelled also Tolckin and Tolkiehn) lived in the years 1708-1795 and was a master-furrier, an elder of the craft guild of the furriers of Gdańsk, a rich man. Daniel was probably his apprentice before two brothers emigrated to London.

Daniel, Johann and Eleonora were baptized in this font in St Salvator Lutheran church
in the Gdańsk suburb Petershagen (Zaroślak)
Daniel Gottlieb and Johann Benjamin emigrated to the United Kingdom in the years 1766˜–1772 when Gdańsk was blockaded by the Prussians (during the first partition of Poland). Daniel was 20 when he left Gdańsk for Amsterdam, and Johann Benjamin joined him in c. 1772. One of the inspirations for their migration had the religious character. It was connected with the religious revival of the 18th century! Their start was quite successful in London where John and Dan found wifes soon and began their bussinesses. Daniel Gottlieb Tolkien received (bought) the British citizenship in 1794 (see his Act of Naturalization with the name "Dantzig", 'Gdańsk' and with the names of his parents – here).

Baptism of Johann Benjamin, son of Christian Tollkühn (in other documents Tolkien and Tollkien)
and Anna Euphrosina – 11 June 1752, St Salvator church, Petershagen, Gdańsk
The earliest document which tells us about the Tolkien brothers in London comes from 27 April 1777 from St James church, Clerkenwell, London. This is the act of marriage between John Benjamin (24) and his first wife, Mary Tolkien, née Warner (who died in 1780). About the possible Christian denomination ("Countess of Huntingdon's Connection") of John and Mary read here. Mary Tolkien gave birth to two daughters of John Benjamin: Anna Maria Tolkien (1779-1815) and Elisabeth Tolkien (1780-). Mary died probably when giving birth to Elisabeth. (See the document of the marrage). Their children are baptized in the Lutheran Chapel in Savoy!

German Lutheran Church in Savoy, London. The first church of the Tolkiens in England!
(now not existing)
First wife of John died in 1779. On 22 April 1781 John Benjamin (28) got married for the second time. The act of the marrage comes from St Sepulchre church in Holborn, London. His wife was Mary Tolkien, née Wall (1746-1837), seven years older lady from London. John and Mary had three children: Benjamin Tolkien (1782-1787), George Tolkien (1784-1840; this is J.R.R. Tolkien's great-grandfather!) and John Benjamin Tolkien (1788-1859).

On 7 April 1782 John Benjamin (29) is a witness during his brother's wedding with Ann Austin.

Original signatures of Daniel and John
We don't know what was John Benjamin's profession before 1790s. Maybe he was an apprentice to a watch and clockmaker in London. In 1792 in the age of 39 John Benjamin Tolkien became a co-owner of the clock and watchmaker firm which is known as Gravell & Tolkien. Its address was 49 St John Street, London. It belonged earlier to the famous Eardley Norton (who was born 1728 and died 1792; he was a London clockmaker between 1760 and 1792. He became a freeman of the Clockmaker Company in 1770**). One of the earliest clocks made by Gravell & Tolkien can be seen in the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Russia (see here)!

Gravell & Tolkien clock in The Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia
Gravell and Tolkien took over Eardley Norton's business in 1792 maintaining the firms reputation. In the early 1790s some of the clocks were signed "GRAVELL & TOLKIEN AND EARDLEY NORTON", or “EARDLEY NORTON" on the dial and "GRAVELL & TOLKIEN" on the movement. It appears Gravell and Tolkien continued to use Eardley’s stock of cases and dials when they took over his business after his death in 1792/94. Soon they started to use "Gravell & Tolkien, Successors to Eardley Norton". They continued working from the same premises in 49 St John, London until 1820, followed by William Gravell & Son (1820-50), and Robert Rolfe (from 1850). 

By a Special Command Of
HER MAJESTY CATHERINE II
EMPRESS OF RUSSIA,
THIS CLOCK was designed and
commenced by
EARDLEY NORTON,
49, St. John Street, London;
and finished by his successors:
GRAVELL and TOLKIEN,
in 1792.
In 1799 John Benjamin's son, George Tolkien (J.R.R. Tolkien's great-grandfather) is an apprentice to John's brother, Daniel, the City citizen and a furrier. George is described as "son of [John] Benjamin Tolkien of White Lyon Street, Clerkenwell in the County of Middlesex, Watchmaker". His master became "Daniel Tolkien of Cheapside, London Skinner and Furrier". Daniel was John Benjamin's brother.

George Tolkien, John Benjamin's son, was an apprentice to Daniel Tolkien, a London furrier
In 1808 John Benjamin (55) has his new business: "Tolkien & Dancer" Watch-movement & Tool-manufacturer at 145 St. John's Street:

 
May 1813 is hard for John Benjamin Tolkien (60). His brother Daniel Tolkien dies on 23 May (he is buried on the Methodist cemetery by the Wesley Chapel by City Road, London – about 100 meters to John Benjamin Tolkien's grave). We also read in the newspaper The News (from 9 May 1813) that in the same month John Benjamin Tolkien, "china and glass-seller from St Paul's church-yard, London") bankrupted:


So we can see that after John Benjamin finished his cooperation with Gravell (the clock and watchmaker) and Dancer, he was a china and glass-seller in the City or in Covent Garden (where there is another St Paul's church). It is interesting that in the same time his possible younger brother living still in Gdańsk, Christian Tolkien, was in the same time an antiquarian (having his antiquary on Tagnetergaße and Klein Schirrmachergße – read about this here and here).

In 1815 (he is 62) his oldest daughter dies, Anna Maria Tolkien.

On 27 January 1819 John Benjamin Tolkien dies in the age of 66. He and his wife are probably the Methodists and could know personally John Wesley, the founder of Methodism (Daniel Gottlieb and Johann Benjamin's names are proofs of the Pietist Lutheranism of the 18th century – in England it was quite natural that the Pietists became Methodists). John Benjamin Tolkien and his wife Mary are buried in the same grave with William Shrubsole, an English musician and composer of the hymn-tune "Miles Lane" (Tolkien Gateway). It was set to the hymn by Edward Perronet, All hail! the power of Jesus' Name. Shrubsole knew Perronet at Canterbury, and Perronet left him property. The first notes of "Miles Lane" were cut on Shrubsole's tombstone.

I want to thank Oronzo Cilli from Italy and Professor Adam Szarszewski for their help in writing this text.
_______________________________

* Eardley Norton was one of the most famous and talented clockmakers of the second half of the 18th Century and was based at 49 St John St, Clerkenwell, London. He was born in Lincolnshire in 1728 and apprenticed to Robert Dawson, a clockmaker in Alford (Lincolnshire) on 17 September 1743 for the usual period of 7 years. Eardley's mothers name was Elizabeth and she was a widow at the time. He was accepted into the Clockmakers Company in 1762 and is noted as a maker from 1771 to 1794. In 1771 he patented (Pat. No. 987) 'a clock which strikes the hours and parts upon a principle entirely new; and a watch which repeats the hours and parts, so concisely contrived as of being conveniently contained not only in a watch but also in its appendage...' (see Britten's Old Clocks and Watches and Their makers, London, 1956, p.446).

He was appointed Royal Clockmaker to King George III and made an Astronomical Clock for him with four dials that is considered his finest work, which he made to stand in the library of Buckingham House (now Buckingham Palace, London). He was paid at the time 1,042 pounds sterling, quite a considerable sum at the time, and it is now a part of the Royal Collection. (see Cedric Jagger Royal Clocks, London, 1983, Figs.151-152).

Some of his more notable works have been noted at the National Museum of Stockholm (small cartel clock), Cassel Landes Museum, France (clock), Palace Museum, Peking (elaborate automator clock with organ), Virginia Museum, USA (bracket clock) and the Ibert Collection, British Museum (marine chronometer) and an elaborate automaton clock with organ in the Palace Museum, Pekin. In addition three watches made by him are part of the collection of “The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers” (“The Guildhall Collection”) and housed in the City of London. He also made a fine musical clock for Empress Catherine of Russia (Old Clocks and Watches and Their Makers, Spon, Seventh Edition 1956, p.446).

A musical clock by him adorns the front dust jacket of Richard C R Barder's The Georgian Bracket Clock 1714-1830, Antique Collectors' Club, 1993.

He is believed to have built up a thriving export business, particularly for his watches. Whilst these may have not been made to the highest quality those made for the domestic market were of top London Manufacture. These were sometimes signed “Yeldrae Notron” (Eardley Norton backwards) possibly to avoid taxes.

He usually numbered his clocks either on the dial or on the backplate. The highest number recorded is 3792. No. 3766 is signed "Gravell & Tolkien, Successors to Eardley Norton" on the backplate.
On 30 May 1760 Eardley Norton, in St John Street London, took James Harrison as an apprentice for 7 years.

In 1772 Sarah Norton, the daughter Eardley Norton, has married clockmaker Samuel Green, at St Andrew in Holborn. About this time Samuel has established himself as an organ builder in Red Lion Street, Holborn.

Gravell and Tolkien took over his business in 1792 maintaining the firms reputation. In the early 1790’s some of the clocks were signed "GRAVELL & TOLKIEN AND EARDLEY NORTON", or “EARDLEY NORTON" on the dial and "GRAVELL & TOLKIEN" on the movement. It appears Gravell and Tolkien continued to use Eardley’s stock of cases and dials when they took over his business after his death in 1792/94. Soon they started to use "Gravell & Tolkien, Successors to Eardley Norton". They continued working from the same premises in St Johns St London until 1820, followed by William Gravell & Son (1820-50), and Robert Rolfe (from 1850). [source]

The Tolkiens' London


See also here

(1) 60 Cheapside, City of London (Daniel Gottlieb Tolkien, a furrier)
(2) 145 Saint John Street, Clerkenwell, London (John Benjamin Tolkien), today No. 78
(3) 28 King William Street, London (Henry Tolkien, George's son)

I present three nice drawings of the houses inhabited by the Tolkien family in London in the nineteenth century. Between 1838 and 1840 London publisher John Tallis created a series of 88 pamphlets titled a 'Tallis's London Street Views'. Read about them on the website London Street Views. I hope Baldwin Hamey, the owner of this website will one day descript the first two houses, which belonged to Daniel Gottlieb Tolkien (1746, Danzig/Gdańsk – 1813, London) and John Benjamin Tolkien (1752, Danzig/Gdańsk – 1819, London) and his descentants (George Tolkien and his son, John Benjamin Tolkien, JRRT's grandfather). The third house is well described by Baldwin here.

Kogo właśnie znalazłem w Gdańsku (1770)?

Mój wielki dobroczyńca, prof. Szarszewski z Gdańska, przysłał mi bardzo dokładne fotokopie dwóch kolejnych spisów obywateli. Tym razem jest to APG 300,31/103-104 czyli księgi dla Starego Miasta z 1770. I oto mam troszkę detali dotyczących ważnych dla Tolkienów w Gdańsku osób. Przypatrzmy się uważnie tym wpisom:

APG 300,31/104, str. 12
Johann Carl Bergmann urodzony w Gdańsku, w 1770 jako "Handwerks Bursche" ('chłopak rzemieślniczy') u mistrza stolarskiego i mieszczanina o nazwisku Leonhard Schwemmer z ulicy Tischlergasse (Stolarskiej) nr 30 (stara numeracja). To ponad wszelką wątpliwość Johann Carl Bergmann (1743-1813), mistrz stolarski i były artylerzysta, przyszły mąż Renaty Eleonory Tolkien, siostry "Londyńskich Braci", z którą ożenił się w 1774 roku (wtedy występuje już jako czeladnik stolarski) i z którą spoczął na cmentarzu przy kościele św. Bartłomieja. Więcej o nim tutaj, tutaj i tutaj.


APG 300,31/103, str. 157
Johann Carl Bergeman, urodzony w Gdańsku w 1718 (?) i ochrzczony w kościele św. Bartłomieja. Czyżby ojciec naszego Johanna Carla Bergmanna, związanego z rodziną Tolkienów? Ten wpis pokazuje, jak trzeba uważać z tak popularnym nazwiskiem jak Bergmann/Bergeman. Stary pan Bergeman może być rzeczywiście rodziną młodszego Bergmanna, bo tamten wyraźnie związany był z kościołem św. Bartłomieja, przy którym został też pochowany. Kościół św. Bartłomieja to kościół garnizonu wojskowego Gdańska. Z wpisów wynika, że stolarz Bergmann był jednocześnie artylerzystą (pamiętajmy, że kuśnierz Michael Tolkien był jednocześnie porucznikiem gdańskim).


APG 300,31/103, str. 150
Benjamin Sonnenström z Kumstgasse nr 8 (stara numeracja; to przedłużenie ulicy przy kościele św. Bartłomieja), mieszczanin oraz Faßbecher Meister (mistrz wytwarzający metalowe beczułki-kufelki – patrz zdjęcie). Ważna postać dla prapradziadka J.R.R. Tolkiena – Johanna Benjamina Tolkiena (1752-1819), bo to jego chrzestny (patrz tutaj), po którym Johann Benjamin otrzymał swoje drugie imię (tak często obecne w linii Profesora w Anglii – przypomnijmy, że jego dziadek to też John Benjamin Tolkien). Zawód Benjamina Sonnenströma jest dla mnie ważny przy tworzeniu kręgu rodzinnego i zawodowego Tolkienów w Gdańsku.


Jeżeli to u Sonnenströma przed 1770 terminował Johann Benjamin (przyszły londyńczyk z Saint John Street, John Benjamin Tolkien), to już wiemy, skąd u niego umiejętności w pracy z metalem. Wiemy, że w Londynie pomagał tworzyć zegary w spółce Gravell & Tolkien oraz zajmował się potem tworzeniem metalowych narzędzi. Od fassbecherów do obudowy zegara niedaleka chyba droga. A przy okazji możemy się już domyślić, że "Londyńscy Bracia" opuścili Gdańsk, bo ich ojciec, Christian Tolkien – jako człowiek urodzony w Królestwie Prus (w Krzyżborku) bez obywatelstwa gdańskiego – mógł być traktowany jak zbieg. W 1770 Prusy domagały się deportacji Prusaków do ich pierwotnej ojczyzny (stąd omawiany dokument, w którym spisano mieszkańców Gdańska z podaniem miejsca ich urodzenia), bo Król w Prusach potrzebował młodych ludzi do armii. Może Daniel i Johann Benjamin obawiali się poboru? To pasowałoby do rodzinnej legendy, że Tolkienowie uciekli do Anglii przed wojskiem pruskim.

To jest fassbecher


poniedziałek, 26 marca 2018

"Z Prus do Anglii" – mój nowy tekst o Tolkienach



Muszę się pochwalić. Mam już dwa punktowane naukowe artykuły o moim "Tolkien Ancestry". Sprawa ważna, bo przyda się do planowanego awansu naukowego. Właśnie wczoraj, przy okazji Dnia Czytania Tolkiena krakowski magazyn Ośrodka Naukowego Ficta Facta – Creatio Fantastica nr 2 (57) 2017 opublikował mój najbardziej aktualny i kompletny tekst o genealogii rodziny Tolkienów (całe czasopismo tutaj). Jest oczywiście mnóstwo, mnóstwo materiału, którego nie zmieściłem w artykułach (kolejny ukaże się w czasopiśmie naukowym Przegląd Środkowo-Wschodni). To rzeczy, które kiedyś (może całkiem niedługo?) znajdziecie w książce, którą powoli zbieram (parma, w quenya 'książka' to "coś, co się zbiera razem"). A na razie myślę nad dobrym tekstem po angielsku (dla Tolkien Studies lub Mallorna) oraz artykułami dla Aiglosa, Gens, jakiegoś czasopisma luterańskiego itd. Galadhornie – dasz radę! Tymczasem zapraszam do lektury mojego tekstu z Creatio Fantastica:




wtorek, 20 marca 2018

"On J.R.R. Tolkien's Ancestry" by R. Derdzinski
(text from November 2017)

My text can be now downloaded in pdf (see below)
My #TolkienAncestry research has reached very advanced state. I am now preparing an article about the genealogy of the Tolkien family for an English magazine and two scientific texts in Polish will be published soon in the university periodicals. Today I want to present my earlier text on the discovery of J. R. R. Tolkien's roots which was prepared in November 2017 and translated by Juliusz Żebrowski. This essay presents the beginnings of my research.

Download "On J. R. R. Tolkien's Ancestry"


poniedziałek, 19 marca 2018

J. R. R. Tolkien, Goblin Feet (1915)

 Goblin Feet by the young Ronald Tolkien was one of the first poems by our author which was published in English periodicals. Would you like to see how it looked like?




niedziela, 11 marca 2018

Newly discovered documents concerning Daniel Tolkien (1794)

This is probably the house where Daniel G. Tolkien lived in the 1780s and 1790s.
27 Bedford Street, Covent Garden, London
About the first address of Mr. Daniel Gottlieb Tolkien in London – 27 Bedford St, Covent Garden (27 New Street) – read here. About Daniel Tolkien's Act of Naturalization (1794) read here. For The National Archives see here.
______________________________________________________

HO 42/28/114
Folios 291-293.

Minutes of the House of Lords including the third reading and passage of a Bill for naturalizing Mr Hullman, and the first reading of a Bill for naturalizing Mr Tolkien. Bills for the naturalizing of Mr Benjoin and Mr Heintz were brought from the Commons and read a first time. Enclosed is a statement that a Bill for naturalizing Daniel Tolkien, son of Christian Tolkien, born at Danzig, was presented this day and read a first time.

Date: 1794 Feb 14

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
______________________________________________________

HO 42/28 - HO 42. Letters and papers
Folio 232.

Certificate signed by the minister, churchwardens, overseers of the poor, and... This record has been digitised as part of the larger record: HO 42/28/97


Description: Folio 232. Certificate signed by the minister, churchwardens, overseers of the poor, and 7 other inhabitants of the parish of St Paul, Covent Garden, Middlesex, that Daniel Tolkien of Bedford Street, intending to apply for an Act of Naturalization, has resided in the parish for a number of years, is believed to be an honest respectable man, a good and loyal subject of this realm, and in every way deserving of naturalization.

Date: 1794 Feb 10

Held by: The National Archives, Kew

How the London Tolkiens' houses looked like?

There is a wonderful website London Street Views where a mysterious author, Mr. Baldwin Hamey using John Tallis' street views produced in 1838-1847 describes lost houses, shops and workshops of the eighteenth and nineteenth century London. John Tallis produced 88 street views in small oblong booklets between 1838 and 1840, with an additional 18 revised and enlarged several years later.

Mr. Hamey sent me these pictures of John Benjamin Tolkien's workshop and house at 145 Saint John Street (about this place today read here; see that the lower part of this house seems to be the same today!) and Daniel Gottlieb Tolkien's furrier shop at 60 Cheapside (about this place you can read here) and recently the picture of J. B. Tolkien's house at 21 Skinner Street:

Here John Benjamin Tolkien, the Professor's grandfather was born
About today's view of this part of London read here
60 Cheapside with Daniel Gottlieb Tolkien's
Skinner and Furrier shop and his house
21 Skinner Street where John Benjamin Tolkien and George Tolkien
had china and glass shop in 1814

About Daniel Tolkien's address at 60 Cheapside I have written in 2017:


Michael Flowers from the Tolkien Society has provided me today with this interesting entry from the Evening Mail from 15 November 1820:
CHEAPSIDE
We never saw this wealthy neighbourhood more generally or more splendidly lighted up. The inhabitants seemed emulously to vie with each other in giving the best and most brilliant effect to the illumination. Paynter and Co. displayed a transparency of the Queen, drawn by four white coursers, in a triumphal car. In her hand she bore a scroll, with the words: "God defend my rights." The front of Saddlers'-hall presented the letters "C.R." beneath a triumphal arch in brilliant yellow lamps. The house of Mr. Tolkien was ornamented with a transparency representing the Thistle, the national emblem of Scotland; and, on a tablet near it was the inscription– "Scotia, the land of Wallace, Bruce, and Knox" – "Nemo me impune lacessit."
All this was on the occasion of the coronation of Caroline (Caroline of Brunswick), Queen of the United Kingdom as the wife of King George IV (she reigned from 29 January 1820 until her death in 1821). Michael Flowers described the events at Cheapside as "the sycophantic preparations". This is of course something many individuals and businesses did at the time.

"Mr Tolkien" was probably Charles Tolkien (born 1789), son of Daniel Tolkien (born 1746 in Gdańsk). His house was probably 60 Cheapside where Master Daniel Tolkien had his "Skinner and Furrier" shop.

 
I have also gathered these London addresses of J. R. R. Tolkien's male ancestors:
___________________

John Benjamin Tolkien (1752–1819)
his churches: German Lutheran Chapel, Savoy, London; Spa Fields Chapel, London
  • 1777 – area of St James's, Clerkenwell
  • 1779 – area of St Andrew's Holborn
  • 1793 – 49 St John Street, Clerkenwell (William Gravell and John Benjamin Tolkien, Clock and Watchmakers
  • 1795 – White Lion, Clerkenwell (Watchmaker)
  • 1807 – 145 St John Street, Clerkenwell (Dancer and Tolkien, Toolmakers)
  • 1809 – 111 Guildford Street (Dealer in China and Glass)
  • 1814 – 21 Skinner Street, Snow Hill (China and Glass Man, with son)
George Tolkien (1784–1840)
baptism: German Lutheran Chapel, Savoy
marriage: St Bartholomew the Great, Holborn
death: St Pancras district
  • 1808–1810 – 145 St John Street, Clerkenwell (Ironmonger, Toolmaker) 
  • 1814 – 21 Skinner Street, Snow Hill (China and Glass Man, with father)
  • 1830 – 3 Bidborough Street, Burton Crescent (Gent)
John Benjamin Tolkien (1807–1896)
  • born 1807 – 145 St John Street, Clerkenwell

sobota, 10 marca 2018

The Tolkiens' House found!
145 St. John Street, London

From a London address book from 1808
Analysis of the maps and help of the British History Online (BHO) website – and here it is! I have found the exact place where John Benjamin Tolkien (1752–1819) and his son George Tolkien (1784–1840) lived and where J.R.R. Tolkien's grandfather, John Benjamin Tolkien was born. I mean 145 Saint John Street, Clerkenwell, London. The house was demolished and new one was built on its place. But first let us see a map of London from 1821 and let us compare our information with the BHO:

1821 plan of the parish of St. Sepulchre by B.H. Gardner;
see 49 and 145 St John Street
As we can see on the right of the building at 145 Saint John Street there is a passage to Mitre Court. If so this house must have lied on the same place as today's 78 Saint John Street. The BHO describes it as follows:
No. 78 was erected in 1891–2 by Alfred Allard, builder, of Pentonville, for William George Bodecker or Boedecker, presumably as a speculation. Bodecker, who briefly appears in the Post Office Directory as a 'builder' with an office in Queen Victoria Street, had acquired the ground as a cleared site. (fn. 27) The architect responsible for the design is not known. The new building was evidently used at one time by the printers Perry Gardner & Co., whose letterhead in the late 1890s carried an engraving showing both No. 78 and—rebuilt to match—No. 80, as 'warehouse and stock rooms'. (No. 80 was not in fact rebuilt.) (fn. 28) Palmer & Co., tyre manufacturers, took up occupation about 1903. (fn. 29) The façade, with a Gothic-style opening spanning three floors, is faced in red wire-cut brick. The ground-floor incorporates the entrance to Mitre Court (Ill. 306).
Ill. 306. On this place there was the Tolkien family house!

What is most interesting, to the left of this Gothic-style house there is a block of houses from the Tolkiens' times! The BHO describes them as follows:
The five houses at Nos 80–88 make up the most substantial Georgian remnant of lower St John Street (Ill. 307). Not all can be dated with much accuracy.

No. 80, though described as 'new erected' in a deed of 1786, seems to be a rebuilding carried out in the early 1770s of a house bought in 1753 by John Watson, distiller. The long plot provided space for stills and stores behind the house. After Watson's death in 1763, his widow Alice and son John carried on the business here in partnership, and about 1772 Mrs Watson appears to have taken up residence in the house adjoining (on the site of No. 78). (fn. 30) Both houses were probably rebuilt at this time as a pair: Tallis, in the late 1830s, shows the next-door house to have been similarly proportioned, though by that date embellished with pilasters and perhaps stuccoed (Ill. 257).
A fragment of blue-and-white trellis-patterned flock wallpaper, dating from the second half of the eighteenth century, was recovered from the first floor in 1992. (fn. 31)
(...)
Nos 82 and 84. These two houses are closely matched in style and probably erected at or about the same time. No. 82 was certainly built in the mid-1750s, replacing half a dozen small buildings comprising 'Marriott's tenements' or Rising Sun Alley. (fn. 32) From about 1768 the house, with a rear workshop and warehouse, was occupied by Edward Jones and Samuel Ware, leather merchants. Ware and his son Richard Cumberlege Ware remained in business here for many years, taking over the present No. 84 and enlarging the workshops and warehousing in Hat & Mitre Court.
The two houses were still occupied by leather-workers in the 1950s. R. C. Ware was the father of the architect Samuel Ware, who trained under James Carr of Clerkenwell.
Though documentary evidence is lacking, it is likely that No. 84 (on the site of an inn called the Goat and Harp) was also rebuilt (or at least modernized and refronted) in the 1750s. Both houses retain wooden chimneypieces, with lugged surrounds and ornamented with fret patterns, and other internal details characteristic of the period (Ill. 309). Externally, the smaller house, No. 84, is distinguished by brickwork laid almost entirely in header bond, in contrast to the conventional Flemish bond of No. 82.

No. 86.
Surviving internal features suggest a 1720s or 30s date, but there is no documentary evidence to support this, and the house has probably been refronted.

No. 88
(formerly 88 and 88a) is an asymmetrical pair of houses, probably built about 1837 when after a rapid succession of tenants, including at least one absconder, both houses (then numbered 150 and 151) were taken by Coats & Brockmer, linen-drapers and silk mercers, John Coats staying for several years. (fn. 33) In 1878 a Home for Working Girls was established here, with 37 beds for girls 'anxious for the comfort and cleanliness of the home'; this had closed by 1886 and the houses reverted to commercial occupancy. (fn. 34) In the early 1900s rear warehousing was erected on the site of old cottages in Hat and Mitre Court for the latest tenants, Gedge & Co., polishers and lacquerers, who were based here until the 1960s. No. 88 was refurbished in 1998 as a bar-restaurant, with a singlestorey glazed rear extension (by Karen Byford of Design Solution, architects), which overlooks the Tudor outer wall of the Charterhouse. (fn. 35)
307. Nos 80–92 St John Street in 2004
So here it is! The puzzle is resolved and we can be sure that the Tolkiens lived at today's 78 St. John Street (old numeration 145 St. John St)!

Tolkiens' Saint John Street, London (18th–19th c.)

What important we could see at St. John Street in the Tolkiens' times? According to Lockie's Topography of London (see here):

Golden Lion Inn, behind 111 St. John St, on the east side
Gun Court, at 161 St. John St
Hat and Mitre Court, at 150 St. John St
Jerusalem Court, six doors north of Albemarle St
St John's Lane, at 68 St. John St
Mitre Court, at 143 St. John St
Pardon Court and Parton Passage, a few yards on the right of 163 St. John St
Red Lion Court, at 160 St. John St
Rose and Crown Yard, at 126 St. John St
Sander's Court, at the north end of St. John St

Few photos from my visit to Saint John Street, London (7 March, 2018):

My plan was to visit St. John Street in Clerkenwell, London and to find the house No. 145
Houses from the 18th c. were two-storey buildings

St John Street seemed very nice to my eyes

Maybe this house remembers the times of the Tolkiens?

After I bought Horwood's maps of London (1813) I realized that today's numeration
is different from that of the Tolkiens' times

My two important boughts

Daniel Gottlieb Tolkien's Amsterdam (1766–1770)


Old Lutheran Church in Amsterdam by the Singel Chanel.
It might have been the German chuch where Lutheran Tolkien attended


From The Methodist Magazine for the year 1813, p. 949–950:
"[Daniel G. Tolkien, 1746–1813] coming [from Danzig/Gdańsk] to Amsterdam, at the age of twenty, he was providentially placed in a religious family, in which, by the instrumentality of social prayer and religious conversation, he was awakened to a sense of his guilt and danger. So painful were his convictions for sin, and so strongly was he tempted to despair of mercy, that he was ready to wish he had never been born. In this state of despondency he remained, until he opened his mind to a religous friend, whose conversations and prayers the Lord blessed to his profit. Coming to London in 1770, he attended on the ministry of Mr. Burgman, then minister of the Lutheran church in Savoy (...)"

Furrier Johannen's house is very close (300 m)
to the Old Lutheran Church and Begijnhof
with its English Church
My theory is that Daniel Gottlieb Tolkien in the years 1766-1770 lived at Kalverstraat 100, Amsterdam (Johan Godliep Johannen's house, a furrier; another furrier of that time was George Benjamin Kreitzig from St.-Luciensteeg 5) and he had only 300 m to the Old Lutheran Church by the Singel Channel. Kalverstraat is "Calf Street", after the cattle market that was held here from 1486 until 1629. Daniel could meet the religious friends in the English Reformed Church at Begijnhof, about 150 m from the Johannen's furrier workshop. He left Holland for London in 1770 and immediately joined the Pietist London Lutherans and then John Wesley.

I was to Amsterdam on the very frosty day of March 1, 2018. The chanels were to my wonder completely frozen. The Beast from the East – as the English say. I could walk to Kalverstraat which is the main street in the center of Amsterdam. I also visited the famous Begijnhof, the centre of religious piety and the place where Daniel could meet English Proto-Methodists in its English Reformed Church. I also visited the Amsterdam Museum where I saw many traces of the eighteenth century life. I was also to the famous Rijksmuseum. My most favourite Dutch painter is of course Vermeer. Below I present few photographs from my Amsterdam walk:

Amsterdam furriers in the 18th c. (see here)

Ice on the Amsterdam chanels
100 Kalverstraat, Amsterdam. Daniel Tolkien lived here?
English Reformed Church in Begijnhof
Jesus from Begijnhof
About the English church
Begijnhof, the Christian centre of Amsterdam
Amsterdam has some similarities to Gdańsk.
Or Gdańsk to Amsterdam
Tolkien's Amsterdam could look like Vermeer's paintings
(from Rijksmuseum)