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Bird Cage, 80 Columbia Road, Bethnal Green E2

Bethnal Green pub history index

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This pub was established by 1760 and may have been called the Kings Head in its earliest days. The Bird Cage, Virginia row in the 1849, 1854 and 1878 license transfers. The 1861 census and 1862 directory lists the address as 1 Birdcage Walk. It is mentioned as being in Barnet street in an 1852 newspaper article, and again in Barnet Street in 1869 and 1873 directories, and 1 Wellington Row  in 1871 census. Earlier address is at 68 Columbia Road. ** In 1831, the Bird Cage is in Crabtree Row, near Novia Scotia Gardens. * In the 1841 census the address of the Bird Cage is between Wellington Row Cottages and Barnet Street. *+

Bird Cage, 68 Columbia Road - circa 1930 (Landlord H Joel)

Bird Cage, 68 Columbia Road - circa 1930 (Landlord H Joel)

The Birdcage

The Birdcage

Kindly provided by Ken Finch

Birdcage, 80 Columbia Road, Bethnal Green E2

Birdcage, 80 Columbia Road, Bethnal Green E2

Kindly provided by John Carnaby

Birdcage, 80 Columbia Road, Bethnal Green E2 - in February 2013

Birdcage, 80 Columbia Road, Bethnal Green E2 - in February 2013

Kindly provided by Stephen Harris

Residents at this address.

1787/Samuel Lazonby/../../../British History On-Line **

1808/Joseph Spurling/Victualler/../../Sun Fire Insurance records

1810/Joseph Spurling/Victualler/../../Sun Fire Insurance records

1816/James Waller / Publican /../../House of Commons Committee Report/Police of the Metropolis 1817 **

1829/George Gissing/Victualler, Bird Cage Walk/../../Baptism of daughter.
1829/Elizabeth Gissing/Wife/../../Baptism of daughter.
1829/Amelia Elizabeth Morgan Gissing/Daughter/../../Baptism of daughter.

1831/George Gissing/Publicans Son/12 years/../Old Bailey Online - the case of May & Bailey (body snatchers) - read the 'Italian Boy' by Sarah Wise. *

1833-34/George Gissing, Bird cage, 1 Barnet Street, Bethnal green/../../Pigots Directory

George Gissing is at the Kings Head, Upper Kennington Lane, Lambeth by 1841.

1839/Edward Jones/../../../Pigot's Directory **+

1841/Ed Jones/Licensed Victualler/36/Middlesex/Census *+
1841/Dinah Jones/Wife/50/Middlesex/Census
1841/Jane Jones/../18/Middlesex/Census
1841/Ed Jones/../12/Middlesex/Census
1841/John Jones/../10/Middlesex/Census

1842/Edw. Jones/../../../Robson�s Directory **

Edward Jones Licensed Victuallar died aged 39 at 1 Bird Cage Walk in early April 1842 of Pneumonia ( Bethnal Green District); his death was registered on the 6th April 1842 by Joseph Kendall also of 1 Bird Cage Walk who was present at the death. *+

1844/Dinah Jones/../../../Thompson�s Directory **

September 1849/Dinah Jones/Outgoing Licensee/../../Era

September 1849/William Belton/Incoming Licensee/../../Era

Bird Cage, Wellington Road :
1851/Alexander Mills/Licensed Victualler/42/Frome, Somerset/Census
1851/Christianna Mills/Daughter/20/Shoreditch, Middlesex/Census
1851/Elizabeth Mills/Daughter/16/Shoreditch, Middlesex/Census
1851/Emma Purches/Domestic Servant/39/Bethnal Green, Middlesex/Census
1851/Edward Woodard/Domestic Servant/19/Walthamstow, Essex/Census
1851/Sarah Stokes/Domestic Servant/18/Islington, Middlesex/Census

November 1852/Richard Algar/Outgoing Licensee/../../Era Newspaper

November 1852/Robert Bowell/Incoming Licensee/../../Era Newspaper

October 1854/James Watmore/ Outgoing Licensee /../../The Era

October 1854/Edward Barker Johnson/ Incoming Licensee /../../The Era

September 1855/Richard Algar/Outgoing Licensee/../../Era

September 1855/John Leighton/Incoming Licensee/../../Era

Bird Cage, 1 Bird Cage Walk :
1861/Caroline Leighton/Victualler, Widow/38/St Pancras, Middlesex/Census
1861/Edward Leighton/Brother, Gold Beater/40/St Pancras, Middlesex/Census
1861/Robert Pomeroy/Potman/18/Bethnal Green, Middlesex/Census

1862/Mrs Caroline Leighton/../../../Post Office Directory

July 1862/Caroline Leighton/Outgoing Licensee/../../East London Observer

July 1862/Samuel Wray/Incoming Licensee/../../East London Observer

January 1863/Samuel Wray/Outgoing Licensee/../../Era Newspaper

January 1863/Henry Havelock Billinghurst/Incoming Licensee/../../Era Newspaper

January 1864/Henry Havelock Billinghurst/Outgoing Licensee/../../East London Observer +

January 1864/Peter Harrison Richardson/Incoming Licensee/../../East London Observer +

11th March 1865/Peter Harrison Richardson/Outgoing Licensee/../../East London Observer +

11th March 1865/William Aitken/Incoming Licensee/../../East London Observer +

1869/William Aitken/../../../Post Office Directory **

1871/William Aitken/Licensed Victualler (Bird Cage)/44/Longford, Warwickshire/Census
1871/Barbara Aitken/Wife/42/Farnshurst, Sussex/Census
1871/Alfred Aitken/Son/14/Bloomsbury, Middlesex/Census
1871/John Aitken/Son/13/Bloomsbury, Middlesex/Census
1871/Arthur Aitken/Son/8/Bloomsbury, Middlesex/Census
1871/Edward Aitken/Son/6/City, Middlesex/Census
1871/Eliza Aitken/Daughter/4/Bethnal Green, Middlesex/Census
1871/James C Aitken/Son/2/Bethnal Green, Middlesex/Census
1871/Donald Noyer/Visitor, Naval Officer/40/Bristol, Somerset/Census
1871/Susanna Adshead/Barmaid/17/Whitechapel, London/Census
1871/Lizzie Adshead/General Servant/15/Whitechapel, London/Census
1871/Annie Keys/Nursemaid/22/Cambridge, Cambridgeshire/Census
1871/Thomas Godfrey/Potman/27/Bethnal Green, Middlesex/Census

May 1872/Barbara Aitken, married but deserted by husband/ Incoming Licensee /../../The Era

1873/William Aitken/Bird Cage, Barnet Street/../../Post Office Directory

1876/William Aitken/../../../Post Office Directory **

30th September 1876/Barbara Aitkens/Outgoing Licensee/../../East London Observer +

30th September 1876/Elisa Sophia Billinghurst/Incoming Licensee/../../East London Observer +

July 1878/W Lawrence/Outgoing Licensee/../../East London Observer

July 1878/J Billinghurst/Incoming Licensee/../../East London Observer

1881/George Leeder/Manager Of Licensed Victualler/28/Watton, Norfolk/Census
1881/Emma Leeder/Wife/34/Attleborough, Norfolk/Census
1881/Kate Leeder/Daughter/13/Islington, Middlesex/Census
1881/Mary Leeder/Daughter/2/Bethnal Green, Middlesex/Census
1881/Annie Leeder/Daughter/11 months/Bethnal Green, Middlesex/Census
1881/Isabella Middlemiss/Visitor, Milliner/18/Kelso, Scotland/Census
1881/Emma L Cornes/Nurse/48/St Giles, Middlesex/Census
1881/Eliza Jay/General Servant/19/Ipswich, Suffolk/Census
1881/Alice Coleman/General Servant/17/Lowestoft, Suffolk/Census
1881/William Russell/Barman/23/Warwick, Warwick/Census
1881/William Haynes/Barman/19/Chelsea, Middlesex/Census
1881/John Mifhill/Barman/14/St Andrews, Norfolk/Census

1882/Billinghurst & Clifford/../../../Post Office Directory

1884/Thomas Harwood/../../../Post Office Directory

1885/Couston & Harris/../../../Post Office Directory **

1886/Couston & Harris/../../../Business Directory of London **

1891/Francis Brien & Co/../../../Post Office Directory

1891/George Buffery/Licensed Victualler/37/Camden Town, London/Census
1891/Susannah Buffery/Wife/36/Great Yarmouth, Norfolk/Census
1891/Ada Buffery/Daughter/8/Canning Town, Essex/Census
1891/Ethel Buffery/Daughter/7/Shoreditch, London/Census
1891/George T Buffery/Son/5/Shoreditch, London/Census
1891/Elizabeth Lark/Relative, Housekeeper, Widow/34/Great Yarmouth, Norfolk/Census
1891/Jane M Cole/Relative/27/Great Yarmouth, Norfolk/Census
1891/Alfred V Buderell/Barman/24/Camberwell, Surrey/Census
1891/John A Key/Barman/22/Grays, Essex/Census
1891/Arthur Rushton/Barman/18/Trysull, Staffordshire/Census

1895/Frank Brien & Co./../../../Post Office Directory **+

1899/Frank Brien & Co/../../../Post Office Directory

1901/George James Sharp/Licensed Victuallers Manager/36/London/Census
1901/Mary Elizabeth Sharp/Wife/39/Hatherleigh, Devon/Census
1901/George Carlel Sharp/Son, Assistant/16/London/Census
1901/William George Sharp/Brother/46/London/Census
1901/Mary Ann Milan Sharp/Sister in Law/37/Doncaster, Yorkshire/Census
1901/Albert Archer/Barman/20/London/Census
1901/James Delaney/Barman/20/Ireland/Census
1901/Nellie McNamara/Domestic Servant/19/London/Census

1902/Frank Brien & Co./../../../Post Office Directory **

1903/Francis Brien / Licensed Victualler, deceased / Died 8 April 1903 /../../London Gazette, 3 July 1903 **

1906/Brien & Co/../../../Morris� Business Directory of London **

1910/Mrs Agnes Mary Arnold/../../../Post Office Directory

1915/Mrs Agnes Mary Arnold/../../../Post Office Directory

1921/Mrs Agnes Mary Arnold/../../../Post Office Directory

1934/Harry Joel/../../../Kelly's

1938/Harry Joel/../../../Post Office Directory

1944/Harry Joel/../../../Post Office Directory

Mrs R Joel, died on October 2nd, 1955, widow of the late Harry Joel, she had served the public for sixty years, first at the Spread Eagle, Whitecross Street, and from 1928 at the Birdcage - Black Eagle Quarterly Journal ***

1962/Nat Joel/../../../Black Eagle Journal ***

Mr and Mrs Joel with two of their regulars: Mr Matt Peers (standing) and Mr Charlie Mossell, whose combined patronage of the Bird Cage adds up to nearly 80 years. - Black Eagle Journal [1962] ***

The pattern of life in the east End is changing, but Mr and Mrs Joel at the Bird cage in Columbia Road still have a house which retains the atmosphere of a good Cockney Pub. They claim that thay have the "longest living customers in Bethnal Green" and this may help to account for the Bird Cage being unique as a family house. When Nat Joel first took over a public house in 1922, he was the youngest licensee in the Trade, being just 21 years of age on the day the licence was granted. His grandparents were in the Trade and Nat was born in the Spread Eagle, Whitecross Street, then a Trumans house. he has more than 50 years experience selling beer to the public; his family were at one time the largest family in the Trade. His brother in Law is our own Alfie Harris at the Princess Alice, Whitechapel.
Mrs Joel, nee Phillips, born in Covent garden, was a childhood friend of Jessie Matthews and appeared with her recently in the BBC "This is Your Life". Her grandparents and parents were well known in Trade circles. Nat has lots of memories of the old days when the Columbia Market was still in operation. During the 1939-45 War, the market was bombed and the Bird Cage became a casualty clearing station; the late King George VI with Queen Elizabeth and Winston Churchill visited the market on this occasion. Although the windows of the Bird cage were blown out during the Blitz, the house remained open and Mr and Mrs Joel slept in the cellar between spells of fire watching.

Mr and Mrs Joel, Bird Cage, Columbia Road in 1962

Mr and Mrs Joel, Bird Cage, Columbia Road in 1962

Kindly provided by Alex Wilkinson

1988/R T Wager/../../../Trumans Watney List ***

+ Provided by Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park

* Provided By Dan

*+ Provided By Karen Wilson

** Provided By Stephen Harris

**+ Provided By Ewan

*** Provided By Alex Wilkinson

And Last updated on: Wednesday, 03-Jul-2019 01:01:04 BST