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  • James Kirk - Music Hall Proprietor

    All information supplied by Bea Nicholson (nee Kirk)

    A listing of historical public houses, Taverns, Inns, Beer Houses and Hotels in  London. The  London listing uses information from census, Trade Directories and History to add licensees, bar staff, Lodgers and Visitors.

    I have recently discovered that my great-grandfather (James Kirk) was carrying out a great deal of business in London (and elsewhere) at the tail end of the 19th century.
    Unfortunately he was bankrupted (hardly surprising) having stretched himself rather too far – and I now discover he probably did the same in Edinburgh, his home town, before he came to London some time in the 1870's. **

    James Kirk, residing at De Montford House, Streatham Hill, in the county of London, carrying on business at The Stirling Castle, 50 London Wall, and The Monument, King William Street, both in the city of London, The Mildmay, 130 Balls Pond Road, the Battersea Palace of Varieties (formerly The Washington), York Road, Battersea, the Green Gate, 220 City Road, the Balmoral Castle, Caledonian Road, and the Pine Apple, 53 and 55 Hercules Road, Lambeth, all in the county of London, licensed victualler.
    Gazette Issue 11120 published on the 18 August 1899. **

    Private address is 22 Hinton Road, Lambeth in 1881 census ****
    1881/James Kirk/Wine Merchant/44/Scotland/Census
    1881/Caroline Kirk/Wife/35/Ealing, Middlesex/Census
    1881/James Kirk/Son/13/Scotland/Census
    1881/Charles Kirk/Son/9/Scotland/Census
    1881/Mary Peddingham/General Servant/19/Camberwell, Surrey/Census

    Private address is  30, Woodberry Grove, Stoke Newington in 1891 census ****
    1891/James Kirk/Music Hall Proprietor/54/Scotland/Census
    1891/Caroline Kirk/Wife/50/Ealing, Middlesex/Census
    1891/Charles Kirk/Son, Naturalist (Bird)/19/Scotland/Census
    1891/Ada Long/Cook/24/Highgate, Middlesex/Census
    1891/Elizabeth Long/Servant/21/Deptford, Kent/Census

    I was also given the following information from a theatrical contact.
    By 1890 he was the Proprietor/Lessee of the Oxford Music Hall in London’s Oxford Street, a very popular Music Hall at which the likes of Marie Lloyd and Dan Leno [’top’ Performers of their day] appeared. [The Oxford Music Hall subsequently became a Variety Theatre, and was ’taken over’ by the very famous Impresario CB (Charles Blake) Cochran. It was demolished in 1926 to make way for a Lyons Corner House.]
    By 1893 he was no longer Proprietor of the Oxford Music Hall, but instead was Managing Director of the Company which opened the Bristol Empire, a Variety Theatre in Bristol.
    In 1896 he bought the Hoxton Varieties Theatre in London’s Shoreditch area.
    In 1898 he became the Proprietor of the Battersea Palace Variety Theatre [formerly the Washington Music Hall] in Battersea, London. He sold it in 1899.
    Between 1883 and 1891 he also owned/part owned and sold several licensed premises [Pubs, Music Halls, etc] other than the above including the Gaiety Music Hall and Scotia Music Hall in Glasgow; the Stirling Castle Pub in London Wall, London; the Green Gate Tavern in City Road, London; the Mildmay Park Tavern in Balls Pond Road, London; the Balmoral Castle Pub in Caledonian Road, London; the Pineapple Pub in Lambeth, London; and the Monument Pub in King William Street, London. [Pubs were often, in part, also Music Halls.]
    He was declared bankrupt in October 1899 with Liabilities of £233,384 [a huge, huge sum] and Assets of £10,290. Of his liabilities, only £14,677 were unsecured thereby leaving a Net Deficiency of £4,386.
    I believe he also had a wholesale and retain wine and spirit outlet in Oxford Street – it was certainly mentioned by his Edinburgh creditors in 1879. I don’t know if he owned or leased the premises (or what the number was) and whether this was how he managed to realise the bulk of that huge debt, I’m not sure. I think it is possible that his son Adam managed it while he was dallying with the music hall and public house business.  **

    Private address is  34 Croxted Road, Norwood in 1901 census ****
    1901/James Kirk/Wine Merchant/64/Scotland/Census
    1901/Caroline Kirk/Wife/60/Brentford, Middlesex/Census
    1901/Rose Wood/General Servant/20/Chevening, Kent/Census

    If you happen to know how I could source more information, I would be grateful. **



    ** Provided by Bea Nicholson (nee Kirk)

    **** Provided By Kevan

    London pub history directory.

    And Last updated on: Sunday, 22-Nov-2020 11:38:56 GMT