Pub history and pub wiki

Bag O Nails, 6 Buckingham Palace Road SW1

St George Hanover Square pub history index

The Pub was first licensed in 1775 as the Devil and Bag o' Nails; and rebuilt in 1838, the address is 1 Arabella row in 1839; and the Bag of Nails, 1 Victoria road, Pimlico in the 1849 license transfer and in 1856. **

A listing of historical London public houses, Taverns, Inns, Beer Houses and Hotels in St George Hanover Square -  London; and includes such areas of London as Knightsbridge, Mayfair and Pimlico.

Bag o' Nails, 6 Buckingham Palace Road, SW1 - in November 2007

Bag o' Nails, 6 Buckingham Palace Road, SW1 - in November 2007

Kindly provided by Stephen Harris

The following entries are in this format:

Year/Publican or other Resident/Relationship to Head and or Occupation/Age/Where Born/Source.

My ancestor Thomas George Wake, who was landlord of the Bag of Nails until his death in 1827, and I have attached a history of his life running the Bag of Nails, and as a Royal Servant at Buckingham Palace - see end of the page **


1827/Thomas George Wake/../../../Personal History ***

1833-34/John Wool, Bag of Nails, Arabella Row, Pimlico/../../Pigots Directory

1839/J Shaw/../../../Pigots Directory

1841/G Loddy/../../../Post Office Directory

1843/George Loddy/../../../Kellys Directory

March 1849/G T Luddy/Outgoing Licensee/../../Era Newspaper

March 1849/John Hart/Incoming Licensee/../../Era Newspaper

1851/John Hart/../../../Post Office Directory

1851/John Hart/Victualler/38/Wycombe, Buckinghamshire/Census
1851/Sarah Hart/Wife/37/Whitehaven, Cumberland/Census
1851/Katherine Hart/Daughter/4/Clapham, Surrey/Census
1851/Emma Hart/Daughter/2/St Georges, Middlesex/Census
1851/Fanny Hart/Daughter/9 months/St Georges, Middlesex/Census
1851/James Goodchild/Barman/41/Basingstoke, Hampshire/Census
1851/Henry Osbourn/Barman/18/Clapham, Surrey/Census
1851/Jane Emery/Barmaid/19/Ponders End, Middlesex/Census
1851/Helen Warren/Cook/34/Teigngrace, Devon/Census
1851/Rebecca Batty/Nursemaid/22/Hackney, Middlesex/Census
1851/Elizabeth Williams/Nursemaid/17/Kensington, Middlesex/Census

1856/John Hart/../../../Post Office Directory

1862/John Todd Swainston/../../../Post Office Directory

1869/John Todd Swainston/../../../Post Office Directory

1876/Henry Guest/../../../Post Office Directory **

1881/Henry Guest/Licensed Victualler/35/Middlesex/Census
1881/Henry Pitchford/Manager/21/St Lukes, Middlesex/Census
1881/Sarah A Gould/Housekeeper/37/Somerset/Census
1881/Margaret George/Housemaid/22/N K, Cornwall/Census
1881/George Evans/Barman/18/Surrey/Census
1881/Hanry Hillier/Barman/18/N K, Cornwall/Census
1881/Alfred Chittle/Barman/14/Westminster, Middlesex/Census
1881/Richard Phillips/Barman/16/Westminster, Middlesex/Census
1881/Herbert Sillman/Barman/16/Westminster, Middlesex/Census
1881/William M Durham/Barman/18/Ware, Hertford/Census

1882/Henry Guest/../../../Post Office Directory

1884/Henry Guest/../../../Post Office Directory

1891/Henry Guest/../../../Post Office Directory

1899/Henry Guest/../../../Post Office Directory

1901/Henry Guest/../../../Post Office Directory **

1901/Joseph Jefferies/Licensed Victualler/35/Knightsbridge, London/Census
1901/Mary Jefferies/Wife/36/Filleigh, Devon/Census
1901/Edmond Doherty/Head Barman/23/Ireland/Census
1901/George H Graves/Barman/20/Hertford/Census
1901/Thomas Glover/Barman/23/Yeovil, Somerset/Census
1901/John McCourt/Barman/21/Ireland/Census
1901/Francis A Clarke/Barman/19/Leicester/Census
1901/Florence M Cowper/Cook/27/Richmond, Surrey/Census
1901/Ethel M Baves/Housemaid/17/Battersea, Surrey/Census

1910/Henry Guest/../../../Post Office Directory

1914/Henry Guest/../../../Post Office Directory

1934/Daniel Heathfield/../../../Kellys Directory

1936/Daniel Heathfield/../../../BT Telephone Directory - VICtoria 6540

1938/Daniel Heathfield/../../../Post Office Directory

1944/Clarke, Baker & Co Ltd/../../../Post Office Directory

THOMAS GEORGE WAKE (1784-1827) AND HIS FAMILY ***

Louisa Wake (1807-c.1835),  was my 3x great-grandmother. She was born 10 February and baptised 21 February 1807 at St George Hanover Square, the daughter of Thomas George Wake and his wife Ann Mitchell. She married Charles Jones at St Luke Chelsea on 4 July 1822, when she was only 15 years and four months old, and her husband not much older. Both were minors and the marriage was by licence. Despite the incontrovertible evidence about their ages, Charles Jones made a statement to the Vicar General for the purposes of obtaining the licence on the day before their marriage that they were both “21 years and upwards”. Louisa had three children, Ann (1824), Charles George (1826), and Frederick David (1830). Sadly she died at the early age of 29, and was buried at St George Hanover Square on 17 July 1836, her address being Lower Belgrave Street.

Thomas George Wake (d. 1827). Thomas George Wake was my 4x great-grandfather. He is well known in our family as the subject of the portrait which passed down to my late second cousin Christopher Impey, and which was mentioned in the will of Charles Jones. The portrait had hung in the parlour of great-grandfather Impey’s house in Ottery St Mary, and was known to my grandmother and great-aunts as George Wake, so it seems likely that he was known by his middle name. This would also avoid confusion with his father, Thomas Wake.

Thomas George was baptised at Kingston-on-Thames on 8 September 1784, the son of Thomas and Ann Wake. His father, Thomas Wake, left an estate which was the subject to an administration order in April 1801. This Thomas was described as being of Kew Green in Surrey but late of Pimlico in the parish of St George Hanover Square.

Thomas George was married at St George Hanover Square on 14 June 1803, to Ann Mitchell. His will mentions three children, Mary Ann, Louisa, and George. This is the order they are mentioned in the will, and in fact Mary Ann was the eldest, and George the youngest, with Louisa in the middle. Louisa’s baptism and birth date were recorded in the register of St George Hanover Square in 1807 (see above), whilst Mary Ann was baptised there on 7 April 1805 (born 8 March 1805), and George baptised there 31 May 1812 (born 3 May 1812).

Thomas George had a very colourful life working in the Royal Household at Buckingham House (later Palace), and subsequently as landlord of the Bag o’ Nails pub just outside the back gate of the Palace. It is likely that his father Thomas, who lived at Kew, would also have been in Royal service at Kew Palace (still existing in the grounds of Kew Gardens), which was the main residence of King George III, and it may be that Thomas George started his employment with his father in the establishment at Kew.

Family legend, passed on by Aunty Belle, among others, had it that “Georgie Wake” was “cup-bearer to one of the Georges”. As so often happens with family legends, this one had a grain of truth in it, but proved to be something of an exaggeration. I wrote to the Royal Archives back in 1980, and received confirmation that Thomas George Wake was indeed in the Royal employment, but as “Assistant Porter at the Gate and Sweeper of the Courts at the Queen’s House” i.e. Buckingham House later Buckingham Palace. According to the Royal Archives, he was appointed Third Assistant Porter on 6 April 1801, and promoted to Second Assistant in May 1804. He is shown in the Lord Chamberlain’s papers in November 1818 as Assistant Porter at Buckingham House, and in the Royal Kalendar as such until 1827. Buckingham House had originally been the London residence of the Dukes of Buckingham, but it had been bought by King George III in 1761. The Queen in the official title was Queen Charlotte, the wife of George III. The King lived mainly at Kew Palace.

The letter from the Royal Archives also mentions Thomas Wake (Thomas George’s father), mentioned above, who held the position of First Assistant Porter from 1788 until his death in 1801.

Evidence of Thomas George’s occupation also comes from his will, where he is said to be the owner of £1600 of Navy Stock, and “of the Queen’s House, Gentleman”. In a codicil, he is described as “Assistant Porter in His Majesty’s Palace for several years.”

The will also indicates that Thomas George had died in1827, the year when he ceased to be listed in the Royal Kalendar. George III had died in 1820, to be succeeded by the notorious George IV, who spent most of his time at the
Royal Pavilion in Brighton. However, despite being listed as a Royal employee up to his death, Thomas George had in his later years become a victualler running the Bag o’ Nails pub just outside the back gate of the Palace. This strange name may have been a corruption of the name ‘Bacchanales’, by which it was sometimes known.

The will makes bequests to his three children out of the proceeds of the abovementioned Navy Stock, and also mentions his wife, but without naming her. The original will was made in 1821, when he named James Lys Seager and William Evans as his executors. These two gentlemen are recognisable as the partners in the distilling company of Seager Evans & Co Ltd, famous for its brand of gin, and then based at nearby Millbank. The likely explanation is that this firm either owned or held a mortgage over the Bag o’ Nails. His first wife Ann Mitchell had apparently died in 1817, a burial in the name of Ann Wake being recorded in the register of St George Hanover Square on 23 November 1817. Then on 10 April 1823, the register of St George Hanover Square records Thomas George’s marriage by licence to Ann Newman, a spinster of St Margaret Westminster. A codicil dated 29 December 1823 refers to “my dear wife”, presumably the new one. This codicil was attested in 1827 shortly after his death, by two friends, James Clark and John Milne, by which time Thomas George is described as “formerly of the Bag o’ Nails” and “late of Lower Eaton Street”. I have not yet established the exact date of his death.

The will is also listed in the Estate Duty Registers, where it states: “Business sold before Testator’s death and produce in brewers’ hands” and as regards the Navy Stock, “sold out before his decease”, so it may be that his wife and children did not benefit from either the business assets or the Navy Stock, but there was a residue of £1741 13s 3d which they would have received. This was quite a useful sum in 1827.

The Bag o’ Nails pub was still in existence opposite the Royal Mews at No 6 Buckingham Palace Road when I last visited the area. It would be nice to speculate that perhaps King George IV might have visited Thomas George Wake’s hostelry on one of his rare visits from Brighton, and perhaps Thomas George might have been an unofficial “cup-bearer” to this King, or perhaps his predecessor King George III.

Thomas George Wake and Ann Mitchell had three children, as mentioned above. These were:
(i) Mary Ann. Baptised at St George Hanover Square on 7 April 1805 (born 8 March 1805), and possibly the Mary Ann Wake married to George Eke 11 November 1827 at the same church (witnesses George Griffin and Christina A. Shore). No further information.
(ii) Louisa. My 3x great-grandmother. (see above).
(iii) George. Baptised at St George Hanover Square on 31 May 1812 (born 3 May 1812). Probably the George Wake, grocer, living in Lower Ranelagh Street in 1841, and married to Ursula Peckham. Also in London directories as an oil and colour man at 21 Shaftesbury Terrace, Pimlico, from 1836. ShaftesburyTerrace was near Eaton Square. Ursula Peckham was from Petersham, Surrey, and they were married at St George Hanover Square on 23 June 1834 (witnesses Samuel Nobbs and Maria Norris).

Ann Mitchell. The first wife of Thomas George Wake, and therefore my 4x great-grandmother. Possibly the Ann Wake buried St George Hanover Square 23 November 1817 aged 46, although this would make her year of birth about 1771, and therefore 13 years older than her husband. This entry must therefore be treated with caution, but she must in any case have died by 1823 when Thomas George married Ann Newman. No other information.

Thomas Wake. The father of Thomas George Wake and therefore my 5x great-grandfather. His wife was named Ann and he was First Assistant Porter at Buckingham House from 1788 until his death in 1801 per letter from the Royal Archives. Almost certainly he was also employed at Kew Palace.
He died in 1801 and was buried at St George Hanover Square on 4 April 1801. His estate was subject to an administration order later the same
year, when administration was granted to his “relict”, Anne Wake, the estate being worth under £600. Thomas was described as “formerly of Kew Green in the County of Surrey, but late of Pimlico in the parish of St George Hanover Square in the County of Middlesex.” This strengthens the view that Thomas was probably employed at Kew Palace. Kew is of course not far from Kingston-on-Thames, where Thomas and his wife lived when son Thomas George was baptised in 1784. ***

** Provided By Stephen Harris

*** Provided By John Read

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And Last updated on: Wednesday, 03-Jul-2019 01:18:18 BST