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Queens Arms, 3 & 4 Bird in hand court, St Mary Colechurch EC2

St Mary Colechurch pub history index

By 1921 this address appears to have been renamed Simpsons; who is the incoming licensee in 1853!

Queen's Head Tavern (Simpson's), Bird-in-Hand Court, Cheapside.

Queen's Head Tavern (Simpson's), Bird-in-Hand Court, Cheapside.

The New Simpson's in Cheapside.
When Simpson, the original Simpson — who first started the fish dinners of Billingsgate, sold his business some years before the pulling down of his place and the alteration of the market, it was stipulated that he should not open another similar establishment for fish dinners within certain limits as to distance under a penalty of £500.
He retired into private life to enjoy his otium cum diguitate, but, like the old tallow chandler, he missed his melting days when out of business — Simpson sighed for his former occupation. At that time the Queen's Head in Bird-in-Hand-Court, Cheapside, between Bucklersbury and Queen Street, had fallen upon evil days and was to be sold. Simpson saw it and closed for it.
The temptation was too strong. Like a man, he paid down his £500 forfeit, before he was asked for it by the purchaser of his Billingsgate place, and opened the Queen's Head.
Discarding the Royal appellation he called the house " Simpson's," and restarted fish dinners.
This was the version of new "Simpson's" as related to me some years ago by one who ought to know. Se non vero e ben trovato.

A fish dinner at Cheapside is an exact replica of the old Billingsgate meal in every way, except that the Customs House officials are not present.
City men of all sorts patronize the place. The same old punch is served there, made from the same old recipe, and I give the same opinion and warning concerning it.
The late Sir John Bennett, up to within a few years of his death, was a regular customer, and it was seldom that his velvet coat and snow-white curls were absent from the table.
The New Simpson's has lately been greatly extended and improved, and but for the back windows looking out over the churchyard to Pancras Lane, the greenery of which in summer time forms a pleasant and refreshing view; it would be difficult to recognize its being the Old Queen's Head of forty years ago. The place is
fitted with smoking and billiard rooms, luncheon bars and grill-room, in a style not dreamed of by Simpson.

A listing of historical London public houses, Taverns, Inns, Beer Houses and Hotels in  St Mary Colehurch parish, City of London.

Residents at this address

John Edmonds, by will, bearing date 14th of December, 1708, gave to the society of Cirencester, then held at the Three Tons, in Wood-street, after the decease of his two sisters, the sum of 10l. per annum, towards the putting out of two boys apprentices, every year, to be paid out of “three houses in Bird-in-hand-alley, being a freehold estate.” He also gave to the parish of Battersea, 10l. per annum, to be paid out of the same premises, for putting two boys apprentices, every year, out of the said parish. He also gave to the parish of St. Mary Colechurch, 10l. per annum, to be paid out of the said estate, after the decease of his sisters, towards the putting out two poor boys yearly ; and he directed, that the several annuities should be, “in trust of the two churchwardens of Battersea, and the stewards of the said society, and the churchwardens of St. Mary Colechurch;” and that they should “be at equal proportion towards maintaining the said estate to the proper use before-mentioned.” We have not been able to learn any thing respecting the society of Cirencester, mentioned in this will ; nor do we find that any persons under that description have applied for a participation in the benefits of this charity. The premises charged with the respective annuities, have, for many years, been dealt with as the joint property of the parishes of St. Mary Colechurch and Battersea, which have divided the rents between them, and the churchwardens of which have acted as joint landlords. The property now consists, partly of premises lately added to the Queen's Arms Tavern, in Bird-in-hand-court, Cheapside, and partly of a building now forming the watch-house of the ward of Cheap, with some rooms over it. The old tenements mentioned in the will had fallen into decay, and, previously to the year 1811, did not so enough to pay the sums charged to them. In that year, they were let under a building agreement, in two parcels, to Thomas Arnold Loxley, esq. and Mr. Richard Abbott, for the purpose of having the present additions to the tavern built, upon the portion let to Abbott, and the ward watch-house, upon the portion let to Loxley, according to a plan settled by the surveyor for the parishes. The buildings were accordingly erected by the lessees ; and in the following year, leases were executed to them respectively, for sixty-one years, from Midsummer, 1811, at the respective rents of 20l., each lessee paying 10l. per annum to each parish. Elevations and plans of the buildings were made, and placed in the vestry, to secure an accurate knowledge of the property.

The churchwardens of St. Mary Colechurch, receive 20l. a year, 10l. from each tenant.

1833-34/James Innes, Queens Arms Tavern, Bird in Hand court, Cheapside/../../Pigots Directory

1851/James Innes/Hotel Keeper/54/Vauxhall, Surrey/Census
1851/Robert Innes/Brother, Manager to Hotel Keeper/49/Vauxhall, Surrey/Census
1851/James Wiggen/Bar Boy/14/Limehouse, Middlesex/Census
1851/William McReay/Porter/22/Scotland/Census
1851/Mary Martin/Cook/31/London, Middlesex/Census
1851/Mary Coleman/Chambermaid/36/Hyde St Lawrence, Hertford/Census
1851/Samuel Moyle/Visitor, Civil Engineer/62/Kerwin, Cornwall/Census
1851/John Champion jun/Visitor, Mining Agent/34/Newlin, Cornwall/Census
1851/_ Turner/Visitor, Draper/31/New Buckingham, Norfolk/Census
1851/George Godber/Visitor, Linen Agent/53/near Chesterfield, Derbyshire/Census
1851/Richard Webb/Manager of Billiard Rooms/27/Cambridge, Cambridgeshire/Census
1851/Walter Heathorne/Waiter/17/Godalming, Surrey/Census

May 1853/Richard Botteroyd Kay/Outgoing Licensee/../../Era

May 1853/James Gillson Simpson/Incoming Licensee/../../Era

1861/Susan Dodson/Housekeeper, Widow/63/Downham, Essex/Census
1861/Mary A Cornish/Barmaid/44/Worlingworth, Suffolk/Census
1861/Luisa Platt/Barmaid/34/Poplar, Middlesex/Census
1861/Helen Twinn/Kitchenmaid/26/Hatfield, Essex/Census
1861/Hannah Bishop/Kitchenmaid/24/Oxford, Oxfordshire/Census
1861/Eliza Sear/Housemaid/23/St Pancras, Middlesex/Census
1861/Sarah J Stone/Housemaid/21/Chelsea, Middlesex/Census
1861/Charles King/Porter/25/Chelmsford, Essex/Census
1861/George Glasier/Waiter/20/Hollington, Sussex/Census
1861/Edmund Hatton/Waiter/21/Barking, Essex/Census
1861/Samuel Taylor/Waiter/18/Stepney, Middlesex/Census

1869/Newton & Durbin/../../../Post Office Directory

1874/W P A G Chard/../../../Licensed Victualler & Hotelier Directory

1884/Thomas H Holloway/../../../Post Office Directory

1891/Charles Willis/../../../Post Office Directory

1899/Frank Henry Callingham/../../../Post Office Directory

1910/Frank Henry Callingham/../../../Post Office Directory

1921/Frank Henry Callingham/Simpsons/../../Post Office Directory



* Provided By Tris

References :  Lots of references are made to two sources on the internet archive :
Edward Callows, Old London Taverns &

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    And Last updated on: Monday, 30-Sep-2019 10:35:38 BST