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Finborough Arms, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10

The Finborough Theatre history

Kensington pub index

A listing of historical London public houses, Taverns, Inns, Beer Houses and Hotels in Kensington, London.

Finborough Arms, Finborough Road - in 1930

Finborough Arms, Finborough Road - in 1930

Kindly provided by Neil McPherson, Artistic Director of the Finborough Theatre

Finborough Arms, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 - by Matt Freestone in April 2014

Finborough Arms, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 - by Matt Freestone in April 2014

Finborough Arms, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 - in October 2003

Finborough Arms, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 - in October 2003

Finborough Theatre, Ifield Road, London SW10

Finborough Theatre, Ifield Road, London SW10

All kindly provided by Neil McPherson, Artistic Director of the Finborough Theatre

Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED in 2018

Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED in 2018

Provided by Neil McPherson, Artistic Director of the Finborough Theatre

Residents at this address

The Finborough Arms was built by Corbett and McClymont in 1868 to designs by the Godwins. See Little Chelsea, Old Earl's Court and Finborough Road. ***

Finborough Arms, Finborough Road - Original ground plan in 1868

Finborough, Finborough Road - Original ground plan in 1868

Provided by Neil McPherson, Artistic Director of the Finborough Theatre


The original ground floor design featured three entrances to separate snuggeries (drinking rooms), intended to keep the various social classes separate. The new refurbishment of the Finborough restores the main entrance door to the original position, but does not discriminate as to who uses it. The first floor has over the years been a restaurant, a Masonic Lodge, a billiards hall and, from 1980, a theatre. ***

One of the Finborough Arms' most regular customers was sanitary pioneer Thomas Crapper (1836-1910). The manufacturer of sanitary goods and improver of the Water Waste Preventer (the syphon fitted in British cisterns) who promoted plumbed bathroom fittings and brought them out of the closet. He founded Thomas Crapper & Co. in 1861 who were based, successively, in Robert Street, Draycott Avenue and the King's Road, and the firm still exists today. He and his brother, George, would regularly begin their working day in the Finborough Arms with a bottle of champagne! ***

The following people were resident on the following census nights: ***
Present on the night of 2 April 1871:
Louise Julia Andrews nee Vile. Publican. Born about 1838 in Stonehouse, Plymouth, Devon. Died Plymouth, Devon, 1919. She was the widow of Walter Andrews (1831-1869), landlord of the Red Lion, Nag's Head Court, Lombard Street, City of London, where he died on 23 November 1869.
Her children:
Emily Julia Andrews. Born about 1855 in Bishopsgate, City of London. Married to George Wilsher (1839-1909), she died in Detroit, Michigan, USA, on 21 July 1947.
Alice Elizabeth Andrews. Born about 1858 in Bishopsgate, City of London. Married to George Durbridge (1856-1894), she died in Poplar, London, in 1887.
Jane Andrews. Born about 1863 in Bishopsgate, City of London.
And her staff:
Edwin Cockrell. Born about 1849 in Lingfield, Surrey.

1871/Q J Andrews/Publican, Widow/38/Stonehouse, Devon/Census
1871/Thos J Andrews/Daughter/16/London/Census
1871/Alice Andrews/Daughter/13/London/Census
1871/Jane Andrews/Daughter/8/London/Census
1871/Edwin Cockerell/Potboy/22/Lingfield, Surrey/Census

The Finborough Arms was run by the Finch family for many years who took up residence sometime between 1873 and 1874. They married on 17 May 1867 at St Peter's, Pimlico, and in 1871 were running the Bee Hive pub, Barnard Terrace, Elm Grove, Holloway (since demolished).  ***

1874/W Finch/../../../Licensed Victualler & Hotelier Directory

Present on the night of 31 March 1881: ***
William Finch. Age 43. Born about 1838 at St George Hanover Square, Middlesex, England. He is described as a Licensed Victualler.
His wife, Mary Ann Lydia Finch nee Shrimpton. Age 34. Born April 1847 in Marylebone, Middlesex.
And their children:
Alice Elizabeth Finch. Age 6. Born about 1874. Alice and the other children are listed as being born in West Brompton, Middlesex, England, i.e. almost certainly The Finborough Arms itself.
Edith Eliza Finch. Age 5. Born about 1875 in The Finborough Arms.
Emily Bray Finch. Age 3. Born about 1878 in The Finborough Arms.
Ernest Shrimpton Finch. Baby. Born about 1881 in The Finborough Arms.
Florence Catherine Finch. Age 8. Born about 1873 in Lower Holloway, Finsbury, Middlesex.
Marion Emma Finch. Age 2. Born about 1879 in The Finborough Arms.
Mary Ann Ada Finch. Age 10. Born about 1871 in Lower Holloway, Finsbury, Middlesex.
And their staff:
Fanny Bridger. Age 22. Born about 1859 in Amersham, Buckinghamshire. Occupation - Servant.
Annie Brown. Age 24. Born about 1857 in Sandhurst, Berkshire. Occupation - Barmaid.
Ruth Channer. Age 29. Born about 1852 in Penn, Buckinghamshire. Occupation - Servant.
Rebecca White. Age 64. Born about 1817 in Isleham, Cambridgeshire. Occupation - Nurse.

1881/William Finch/Licensed Victualler/43/St Georges, Middlesex/Census
1881/Mary A L Finch/Wife/34/Marylebone, Middlesex/Census
1881/Mary A A Finch/Daughter/10/Holloway, Middlesex/Census
1881/Florence C Finch/Daughter/8/Holloway, Middlesex/Census
1881/Alice E Finch/Daughter/6/W Brompton, Middlesex/Census
1881/Edith E Finch/Daughter/5/W Brompton, Middlesex/Census
1881/Emily B Finch/Daughter/3/W Brompton, Middlesex/Census
1881/Marion E Finch/Daughter/2/W Brompton, Middlesex/Census
1881/Ernest S Finch/Son/4 months/W Brompton, Middlesex/Census
1881/Annie Brown/Barmaid/24/Sandhurst, Berkshire/Census
1881/Rebecca White/Nurse, Widow/64/Cambridge, Cambridge/Census
1881/Ruth Channer/Servant/29/Penn, Buckingham/Census
1881/Fanny Bridger/Servant/22/Amersham, Buckingham/Census

1882/William Finch/../../../Post Office Directory

1891/William Finch/../../../Post Office Directory

Present on the night of 31 March 1891: ***
William Finch, age 52
Mary Ann Finch, age 44
Alice Elizabeth Finch, age16
Edith Eliza Finch, age 15
Emily Bray Finch, age 13
Ernest Shrinpton (sic) Finch, age 10
Florence Catherine Finch, age 19
Marion Emma Finch, age 12
Mary A Ada Finch, age 20
and a new child had joined the family - Fanny Elsie Finch. Age 5. Born about 1885 in The Finborough Arms.

and their staff  in 1891 census :
Kate Gould. Age 22. Born about 1869 in Notting Hill, London, England. Occupation - Servant.
Mary Annie Jones. Age 37. Born about 1854 in Newbridge, Radnorshire, Wales. Occupation - Barmaid.
Rebecca White. Age 74. (see above)
The Finch family moved to a more spacious house in Ealing after 1891, but remained as landlords (Mrs Mary Ann Lydia Finch was listed as Landlady in 1910 and 1920), while most of the Finch family went into the licensed trade. Ernest S. Finch married Minnie Crapper (1880-1976), the great-niece of Thomas Crapper (see above), in 1906, and the couple emigrated to Canada in 1911 and settled in Alberta, where they had two daughters – Muriel Emma (1907-1927) who died in childbirth, and Joan Ada (1915-1991).

1891/William Finch/Licensed Victualler/52/St George Hanover Square, London/Census ***
1891/Mary Ann Finch/Wife/44/Marylebone, London/Census
1891/Mary A Ada Finch/Daughter, Assistant School Mistress/20/Holloway, London/Census
1891/Florence Catherine Finch/Daughter/19/Holloway, London/Census
1891/Alice Elizabeth Finch/Daughter/16/Kensington, London/Census
1891/Edith Eliza Finch/Daughter/15/Kensington, London/Census
1891/Emily Bray Finch/Daughter/13/Kensington, London/Census
1891/Ernest Shrimpton Finch/Son/10/Kensington, London/Census
1891/Fanny Elise Finch/Daughter/5/Kensington, London/Census
1891/Rebecca White/Nurse, Widow/74/Isleham, Cambridgeshire/Census
1891/Mary Ann Jones/Barmaid/27/Newbridge, Radnorshire/Census
1891/Kate Gould/General Servant/22/Notting Hill, London/Census

1895/William Finch/../../../Post Office Directory

1899/William Finch/../../../Post Office Directory

The Finch family moved to a more spacious house in Ealing after 1891, but remained as landlords (Mrs Mary Ann Lydia Finch was listed as Landlady in 1910 and 1920), while most of the Finch family went into the licensed trade. Ernest S. Finch married Minnie Crapper, the great-niece of Thomas Crapper (see above), in 1906, and the couple emigrated to Canada in 1911 and settled in Calgary where they had two daughters. ***

Under the Finch management, the pub continued to be run by resident staff:

Present on the night of 31 March 1901: ***
Martha Stephenson, Public House Manageress. She was 25 and born in Battersea.
Percy Frank Hunt, Public House Manager. He was 24 and born in Leamington, Warwickshire.
Alice Hagg. A 20 year old barmaid from Norwich, Norfolk.
Lottie Cook. Another 20 year old barmaid, from Kilburn, London.
Matilda Page. A 26 year old "Cook General (Domestic)" from Lambeth, London.
By 1911, Percy Hunt was running the Blantyre Arms in Blantyre Street with his wife, Georgina Emma Hunt, and Martha Stephenson was a single servant, resident at The Chelsea Potter at 119 King's Road.
Present on the night of 2 April 1911:
George Edward Uwins. Manager. A 29 year old single man from Reigate, Surrey. Licensed for the bar trade in Victoria.
Hilda Louise Ball. Manageress. A 39 year old widow from Cork, Ireland. Licensed for the bar trade in Victoria.
Jade Ann Duff. Servant, Cook and Domestic. A 47 year old single woman from Perthshire, Scotland. She is listed as "Resident" which may mean that the rest of the staff lived off-site.
Margaret Bowen. Barmaid. A 30 year old single woman from Mill End, London.
Constance May Giles. Barmaid. A 22 year old single woman from Battersea, London.
This information provided courtesy of George Edward Uwins’s great-nephew, Cliff Uwins.
George Edward Uwins (1881-1931) was manager of The Finborough Arms between 1910 (when he appears on the Electoral Register at The Finborough Arms, which may mean that he was in residence from 1909) and 15 February 1917 (the birth of his daughter Ada), and possibly to as late as 1920.
George Edward Uwins was born in Reigate, Surrey, in 1881. He married Ada Sharp (1883-1966) at St. Paul's, Bow Common, on 26 August 1914. In 1901, George was employed as a barman, living at The Magpie and Punch Bowl Pub, 58 Bishopsgate Street in the City of London. George and Ada’s first two children were born at The Finborough Arms - George Thomas in the summer of 1915, and Ada Frances on 15 February 1917. Their third child Sidney Leonard was born at 493 Fulham Road on 1 May 1918, when George was described as a Licensed Victualler’s manager, but no place of business was given. By 1920, George was the licensee of The The Latimer Arms, 13 Norland Road, Notting Hill, where his remaining children were born – Doris in 1920, Mildred in 1921 and Stella in 1923.
George Edward Uwins died of alcohol-related disease (fatty degeneration of heart, cirrhosis of liver and chronic gastritis) on 6 March 1931 in Ducane House, Ducane Road, Hammersmith.

1901/Martha Stephenson/Public House Manageress/25/Battersea, London/Census ***
1901/Percy F Hunt/Public House Manager/24/Leamington, Warwickshire/Census
1901/Alice Hagg/Barmaid/20/Norwich, Norfolk/Census
1901/Lottie Cook/Barmaid/20/Kilburn, London/Census
1901/Matilda Page/Cook/26/Lambeth, London/Census

1910/Mrs Mary Ann Lydia Finch/../../../Post Office Directory

By 1911, Percy Hunt was running the Blantyre Arms in Blantyre Street with his wife, Georgina Emma Hunt, and Martha Stephenson was a single servant, resident at The Chelsea Potter at 119 King's Road. ***

Present on the night of 2 April 1911:
George Edward Uwins. Manager. A 29 year old single man from Reigate, Surrey. Licensed for the bar trade in Victoria.
Hilda Louise Ball. Manageress. A 39 year old widow from Cork, Ireland. Licensed for the bar trade in Victoria.
Jade Ann Duff. Servant, Cook and Domestic. A 47 year old single woman from Perthshire, Scotland. She is listed as "Resident" which may mean that the rest of the staff lived off-site.
Margaret Bowen. Barmaid. A 30 year old single woman from Mill End, London
Constance May Giles. Barmaid. A 22 year old single woman from Battersea, London

In 1921, according to the London and Suburbs Hughes Directory in 1921, the pub was still registered to M. A. L. Finch - Mary Ann Lydia Finch.
From 11 November 1935 to 8 October 1942, the pub was leased to The Improved Public House Company Limited. This company, the brainchild of Whitbread director Sir Sydney Oswald Neville (1873-1969), developed and refurbished public houses to make them appeal to a wider public with an emphasis on “fewer and better” pubs, centred around larger, “improved” premises, run by salaried managers instead of independent tenants. The Improved Public House Company was founded in 1920 to assume responsibility for the management of its new large outlets. By 1939, it owned 17 pubs and managed a further 32.
In 1941, the licensee was Richard William Edward Featherstone. He was licensee since 1939, running the pub with his wife and mother-in-law.
From the West London Advertiser, 19 December 1941
LICENSEE AND CUSTOMERS FINED
Late Drinks at the Finborough Arms
Before Mr. Paul Bennett at West London Police Court on Tuesday, Richard William Edward Featherstone, the Finborough Arms public house, 118 Finborough Road, Fulham Road, was summoned for unlawfully selling supplying intoxicating liquor during other than permitted hours. Ernest Newton, 24 Slaidburn Street, Chelsea, Sydney George Price, 74 Gladesmore Road, South Tottenham, Cecilia Berry and Alexander Mitchell Berry, both of 4 Westgate Terrace, Kensington, were summoned for consuming intoxicating liquor during other than permitted ours at The Finborough Arms. All defendants admitted the summonses. The prosecuting solicitor said the summons against Mr Featherstone for supplying the liquor would not be proceeded with in view of the fact that he had pleaded guilty to the summons for selling liquor. A police inspector saw a light shining inside The Finborough Arms on October 18 at 10.50 pm. Closing time was 10 pm. He heard noises inside the public house and the sounds of money being handled. knocked on the door just after 11 pm and the lights inside were turned down and people were heard moving about inside the bar. The door was eventually opened but none of defendants was in the bar. At first the licensee denied there was anybody there but when the inspector said he was not satisfied he said “I give up. I may as well tell the truth.” Defendants were then seen upstairs. They each had a half pint glass containing beer. The glasses were found on the stairs and each defendant admitted that they were their drinks. The licensee said Mr and Mrs Berry were friends but he did not know their address. He added, “I should have known better because I have been connected with this trade for 14 years.” There were no convictions against him. Price told the magistrate he spent Christmas with Mr Featherstone in 1939. Mr Berry said he was a friend of Mr Featherstone.

“Desert Surrounded by An Oasis” ***
Mr Leslie Smith, who defended Mr Featherstone, said all four of the other defendants had been customers in the public house of which Mr Featherstone was licensee. Mr and Mrs Berry were old friends and the other two were just customers with whom Mr Featherstone had become friendly. “Although Featherstone has made an ass of himself.” said Mr Smith “he has been man enough to attend court and tell the truth. Perhaps it is my fault that these houses have to close at 10 o’clock because I made applications for a change from 10 to 11 o’clock and I have not succeeded. Kensington is like a desert surrounded by an oasis of houses open until 11 o’clock at night, whereas we have to close at 10 o’clock.” Mr Smith and said Mr Featherstone had been the licensee for 2 1/2 years. He had been in the trade for 17 years. The business was a small one run by himself, his wife and mother-in-law. He also did stretcher party duties in the A.R.P. service. The licensee was fined £5 with £3 3s costs. The other defendants were each fined 20s.
The Finborough Theatre opened in 1980.

From 11 November 1935 to 8 October 1942, the pub was leased to The Improved Public House Company Limited. This company, the brainchild of Whitbread director Sir Sydney Oswald Neville (1873-1969), developed and refurbished public houses to make them appeal to a wider public with an emphasis on “fewer and better” pubs, centred around larger, “improved” premises, run by salaried managers instead of independent tenants. The Improved Public House Company was founded in 1920 to assume responsibility for the management of its new large outlets. By 1939, it owned 17 pubs and managed a further 32. ***

Present on the 29 September 1939 were, according to the Electoral Register: ***
Henry C Beale. Born 11 November 1900. Publican. Married.
Irene R Beale. Born 26th October 1899. Publican. Married.
June Beale. Born 1929. Child.
Annie R Lush. Born 18 May 1874. Barmaid. Widowed. [Mother of Irene R Beale nee Lush],
William S James. Born 11 February 1870. Barman. Divorced.
Thomas Conway. Born 12 April 1913. Barman. Single.

Harry Beale,  landlord of the Finborough Arms, and his wife, Irene, during the 1930s

Harry Beale,  landlord of the Finborough Arms, and his wife, Irene, during the 1930s

Kindly provided by Neil McPherson, Artistic Director of the Finborough Theatre

Henry Charles Beale, always known as Harry, was born 11 November 1900 in Leeds, Yorkshire. He married Irene Rosina Lush in Christchurch, Hampshire, in 1925. He died on 8 January 1944 of tuberculosis at Cooks Ferry Inn, Edmonton, at the age of 43. They had one child, June, born in 1929 in The Black Raven pub, Bishopsgate. He was landlord of the Finborough Arms until about 1940. Other pubs Harry Beale ran included The Black Raven, Bishopsgate, which like the Finborough Arms, was also owned by Improved Public House Co Ltd. From late 1939-1940, he ran The Lion Hotel, North Road, Caledonian Market, which the family had to leave when a bomb broke all of the windows (although the building survived), and later the Cooks Ferry Inn, Edmonton.
Irene Rosina Lush was born 26 October 1899 in Parkstone, Dorset. She died in Poole, Dorset, in 1962.
Her mother, Annie Rosina Lush nee Gibbons, was born in Turnham Green, London, on 18 May 1874. She died in June 1951 in Bournemouth, Dorset.
Other residents in this period (1938-39) included Harry Beale’s nephew, Brian Beale (1928-2016) together with his mother Edna (1907-1988) who both lived there for several months. ***

A Whitbread delivery to the Finborough Arms - circa 1938

A Whitbread delivery to the Finborough Arms - circa 1938

Kindly provided by Neil McPherson, Artistic Director of the Finborough Theatre

On 18th October 1940, during the Blitz, a bomb hit 2 Leopold Road, Ealing Common – the home of the Finch family, lessees of the Finborough Arms Pub for more than fifty years. Florence Catherine Finch, aged 69, and Mary Ann Ada Finch, aged 70, were killed at the scene. Their mother, Mary Ann Lydia Finch, died of her injuries two days later at King Edward Hospital, Ealing. She was 93 years old. ***

The licensee from late 1939 until at least 1951 was Richard William Edward Featherstone (born Marylebone 26 July 1905-died Southwark, April 1969). He ran the pub with his wife, Ivy Maud Emily Featherstone - nee Foote (born Fulham 28 August 1909-died Southwark 20 August 1987), and his mother-in-law, Ellen Bubb (born 22 Dec 1881-died Bromley 1958), who lived at the Finborough Arms on and off between 1945 and 1951. ***

The pub was owned by Whitbread brewery until 2000. ***

In August 1994, four members of the Chelsea Independent Supporters Association which supported anio-racist campaigns in football were taken to hospital with serious injuries after being attacked in the Finborough Arms by the Chelsea Headhunters, a football hooligan “crew” with links to the far-right group Combat 18. The pub was featured in a World In Action episode for ITV in 1994 about the attack.  ***
The pub was owned by Whitbread brewery until 2000.

Other staff and managers of The Finborough Arms have included: ***
1991-1992 - John Gibson
1996 - Sheila English
1998-2001 - David Teakel (resident)
2001-2002 - Jay Hindmarsh (resident)

Renamed 'The Finborough'  ***
2002-2006 - Joshua Reid
2007 - Andrew Fay

Renamed 'The Finborough Road Brasserie' ***
2008-2010 - Tracey Coles

Renamed 'The Finborough Wine Cafe'
November 2010-21 September 2012 - Rob Malcolm and Monique Ziervogel (resident)
The pub was owned by Enterprise Inns from 2000 to 2012. The building freehold was sold to a private landlord in 2012.
The name reverted back to ‘The Finborough Arms’
February 2014 - 27 May 2015 – Jeff Bell, also landlord of The Gunmakers Arms, 13 Eyre Street Hill, Clerkenwell, London.
27 May 2015 - 21 September 2018- James Sirrell
21 September 2018 to date - Darren Nolan

The pub was then closed until:
The name changed back to The Finborough Arms

2017/../Finborough Arms, 118 Finborough Road, LONDON,SW10 9ED,Kensington and Chelsea/../../Pub Directory



** Provided By Stephen Harris

*** Provided By Neil McPherson - Finsborough Theatre

And Last updated on: Wednesday, 22-Apr-2020 22:11:55 BST