Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 162,539 pages of information and 244,522 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

City Press Supplement: The Great Fire in Cripplegate 1897

From Graces Guide

Note: this is a subsection of City Press.

Supplement from The City Press

1897. St. Mary Axe Fire.
1897. St. Mary Axe Fire.
1897. Queen Victoria-Street Fire.
1897. Queen Victoria-Street Fire.
1897. Cripplegate.
1897. Wood-Street Fire.
1897. St. Mary Axe Fire.
1897. Wood-Street Fire.
1897. Wood-Street Fire.
1897. Wood-Street Fire.

The Extent of The Fire

"It was on the premises occupied by Messrs. Waller and Brown, mantle manufacturers, of 30 and 31, Hamsell Street, that the fire broke out, the alarm being first given at the Whitecross Street station by a stranger at two minutes to one, and the first steamer arriving at two minutes past one, or four minutes afterwards. The buildings on either side-tenanted by Messrs. Oppenheimer and Co., at Nos. 32 and 33, and Messrs. Harrison, Smith and Co., at Nos. 28 and 29 were soon involved. At the same time the flames made their way to the rear of Messrs. Wailer and Brown's premises, and spread to every point in the block between Hamsell Street and Well Street, being also carried by the wind across Jewin Street, and seizing upon the warehouse at No. 45, occupied by Mr. Philip Moses, wholesale furrier.

From the commencement of the conflagration, the flames had been making their way in the direction of the " Grapes " tavern, at the corner of Hamsell Street and Jewin Street, and this whole block was speedily burnt out. The warehouse of Mr. Moses was, in the meantime, being rapidly burnt to the ground, the fire continuing to take a north-easterly direction, and eventually involving a large portion of Jewin Crescent. By half-past three Australian Avenue was reached, and here it was that the fire brigade worked for all they were worth to prevent the destruction of the valuable warehouses lying to the north. This effort was attended by success, but the flames raged so furiously that they turned aside, and soon enveloped a warehouse at the head of Bradford Avenue, the wind helping to fan the fire in that direction.

Messrs. Dent, Allcroft and Co.'s warehouse, in Bradford Avenue, built some years back, was seized upon, and the whole of the stock practically destroyed. Then the fire made straight for Redcross Street, the first building alight in that thoroughfare being that occupied by Messrs. Chave Cox and Co. Here the width of the street arrested the fire's progress, and it burnt itself out. While the firemen were using the most strenuous efforts to extinguish the fire on this side of Jewin Street, the flames had continued to spread from its origin in Hamsell Street in a south-easterly direction towards St. Giles's Church, skirting the churchyard on the southern side, attacking and seriously damaging the vicarage, and going as far south as 7, Wood Street Square, where Messrs. F. Krasa and Co.'s warehouse was the last building to suffer total demolition, though some of the premises between this and the church were seriously damaged. The church of St. Giles, Cripplegate, had a very narrow escape, and its loss would have meant the obliteration of one of the most interesting buildings, historically, in the City and Archdeaconry.

As it was, quite enough damage was done to the edifice to cause the parishioners regret and serious discomfort. The preservation of the church was due, to a large extent, to the presence of mind of a well-known parishioner, who immediately informed Commander Wells that the roof was on fire. The chief officer recognised the seriousness of the position, and detailed several firemen to cope with the fire, which they were subsequently able to do. The famous old church-where Milton lies buried and where Oliver Cromwell was married-was thus saved, but several holes were burnt in the roof, and the plaster on the walls was much disfigured. Alarm of quite as serious a character was felt by lovers of the City Companies in general when it was known that the Barbers' Hall in Monkwell Street stood in jeopardy. As it was, the famous old building was scorched, but happily, the flames got no further. When the Hall was known to be in danger scores of willing hands rendered willing help. The Holbein picture a movement for the presentation of which to the Guildhall Art Gallery a year ago was, it will be remembered, unsuccessful was placed in a position of safety close by. The picture is a most valuable possession of the Barbers' Company, and its loss would have been irreparable."[1]

Firms Affected by The Fire:

Australian Avenue


  • 1- Dixon and Co., Mfrs. Business as usual.
  • IA- J. Prag, pipe manuf. Damaged by water. Insurance £3,635. Business at 9, Fins bury-sq.
  • 2- S. Erhard. toy imp. Damaged by fire and water. Business, 108, Fore street.
    • S. Maier, wholesale stationer and imp. of foreign goods. Damaged by water only. Insurance £700. Business at 9, Fins bury-sq.
  • 2- Atkins and Dott, printers. Burnt out. Business, 23, Castle-st.,
    • A. D. Dormer, belt manuf. Burnt out. Business at 67, Banner·st.,
    • C. Lang and Co., manu f. of electrical sundries. Damaged by fire and water. Insurance £1,500 Business at 28, Minories.
  • 4- H. Ewart and Co., warehousemen. Burnt.
  • 5- E. H. Eckhart, manufs'. ag. Burnt out. Business, 17, Paper· St.,
    • A. S. Gant, dressing-gown maker. Burnt out. Business,3, Milk-street.
  • 6- W. Soley, fancy box maker Damaged by fire and water. Business as usual.
  • 7- Tree, Thomas and Wilson (Limited), blouse manufs. Damaged by fire and water,
    • S. Moore, warehouseman. Damaged by fire, heat, smoke, and water.
  • 8- S. Pulzer, American merchant. Damaged by smoke and water. Insured. Business as usual.
  • 9- J. Cowen and Co., blouse manufs. No damage.
  • 10- J. Gare and Sons. No damage. Business as usual.
  • 11- L. Engelhardt, glass merchant. No damage. Business as usual.
    • W. Nathan & Bros., manufs. of jewellery cases. Escaped entirely. Business as usual.





  • 1 and 3- E- Hughes and Sons, carpet manufacturers. Damaged by breakage.
  • 5, 7, 9, and II- McBride, Orr, and Haswell, manufs of linen collars, scarves, braces, and belts. Damaged by breakage and cracked glass. Insured. Business as usual.
  • 13- E. Maas, pipe maker. Slightly damaged.
  • 14- M. Jacobi, straw hat manuf. Nearly burnt out. Business, 42, Charterhouse-square.
  • 15- W, Coats and May, scarf manufrs. Slightly damaged. Business, 16, Australian Avenue.
  • 16- G. Maltman, export clothier. Burnt out.
    • H. R. Walker, umbrella mkr. Burnt out. Business, 94, Forest.
  • 17- Dyson and Co., stay material makers. Offices only burnt, all books saved. Stock 15, Australian-avenue untouched. Insured. Business as usual.
  • 18- Saunders, Billing, and Barker, clothiers. Totally destroyed. Insured. Temporary premises at 91, Aldersgate-st.
  • 19, 21, 23- J. Callegari, artificial flower manufacturer. Burnt out. Business, 40, Charterhouse-square.
  • 19- Brodziak Brothers, straw goods imps. and general warehousemen. Damaged by fire and water. Fully insured. New warehouse at 23, Paper st.
  • 20- H. R. Walker, umbrella maker. Burnt out. Fallen down. Present address, 94, Fore-st.
  • 21 - M. Arrobus, ostrich feather manufacturer. Wholly burnt out. Business, 8, Redcross·st.
  • 22 - W. J. Jamieson and Co., shirt manufs. Totally destroyed. Business at 41, Charterhouse-square.
  • 23- C. H. Doust, Colonial Merchant. Burnt out. Insured, Northern, £2,500. Business, 103, Fore-st.
  • 24- The Bergmann Patent Automatic Pistol Syndicate. Destroyed, Temporary premises at 7, New Union·st. (Moorgate-st. Stn.).
  • 25- Wathen, Gardiner and Co., wholesale clothiers. Burnt out.
  • 25 and 27 - J. Brager, manuf. of fancy leather goods. Gutted. Insured for £1,250- Temporary address, 10, South-street, Finsbury.
    • A. Double, C.C., solicitor. Severely injured. Deeds and books saved. Insured for £115. Business transferred to 92 and 93. Fore-street, Cripplegate.
    • Abbott, Oram, and Co., New Zealand shipping merchants. Burnt out. Fully insured. Business transferred to 68, Aldersgate-st. Books were saved.
    • W. Diack, bookbinders' cloth ag. Burnt out.
    • F. Marchant, ag. Burnt out.
    • The Albion Bookcloth and Tracing Cloth Co. (Limited). Burnt out. Insured, Manchester. Business, 6 and 7 Stonecutter-st.
  • 26- Edwards and Chynoweth, New Zealand and Australian merchants. Totally destroyed. Insured for £200. Business at 17 and 18, Basinghall-st. Current books saved.
  • 26- Jubb and Kieffer, warehousemen. Burnt out.
  • 27- L. S. Morro, agent. Burnt out.
    • McGregor, manufacturer. Burnt out.
    • W. H. Fleming, woollen agent. Burnt out.
    • J. Warner and Sons (Limited), bell and brass founders and hydraulic engineers. Show-room burnt out. Insured. Letters as usual. Temporary City office and show room, 2, Jewin-crescent.
    • R. Warner and Co., hydraulic engineers. Business, 97, Queen Victoria ·street.
  • 25 and 27- Gunzal and Rosenberger, imps. of tobacconists' goods. Stock destroyed. Fully insured. Temporary address, 8, Addle-st.
  • 28 and 30- Beaker and Hermann, straw hat manufs. Burnt out and partly fallen down.
    • F. Theak and Co., tie and scarf manufs. Totally destroyed. Insured. Temporary address, 5 Butler st., Milton-st.
  • 29 - J. Maygrove, sewing silk manuf. Burnt out. Business, 51, Aldersgate-street.
  • 31- Taylor and Foulsham, leather merchants. Burnt out.
  • 33- J. F. Power, shipping agent. Burnt out.
  • 35- Whittingham and Freund, artificial flower imps. Burnt out. Insured for £2,000, in Royal and Eastern Counties. Business at 17, Playhouse-yard, Golden-lane.
  • 38- C. E. Elliott, pho. apparatus maker. Nearly burnt out.
  • 39- F. Morgan, manufacturers' agent. Partially destroyed.
  • 40- J. Dowling and Co., engineers and machinists. Damaged by fire and water. Business as usual.
  • 41- Sockl and Co., fine art publishers. Damage not serious. Business as usual.


  • Jewin House- Piper, Son, and Phillips, woollen and Manchester warehousemen. Damaged by water. Insured. Business at 33, Aldermanbury.
  • 5- J. Watson and Co., underclothing manf. Not damaged.
  • 9- Davidson Brothers, fine art publishers. Entirely escaped.
  • 10 - L. Andreini, glove ag. Slightly damaged.
  • 17- Ellenburg and Zeltner, waterproof clothing manfs. Nearly burnt out. Business, 14, Chiswell-street.
  • E. Holyman and Co., umbrella manfs. Nearly burnt out. Business, 3, Bayer-st.
  • 18- Deguingard and Son, tobacco pipe makers. Burnt out. Insured for £3,400. Business at 77, Fore-st.
  • 19- M. Frischer, imp. of fancy goods; first floor. Burnt out. Insurance not ascertained. Temporary showrooms at 92 and 93, Aldersgate-st.
  • 20- Norton and Sons, licensed victuallers (The Grapes). Burnt out.
  • 21- Willeringhaus and Co., tie fittings merchants. Everything destroyed. Insured. Business transferred to 30, Addle-st.
  • 21- S. R. Hooper, stick maker. Burnt out.
  • 22 and 23- The Bespoke Tailoring Co. Burnt out. Business, 40, Foster lane.
  • 23- The London Hanover Stationers' Co, manufacturing stationers, artists' colourmen, &c. Entirely destroyed. Insured. Business transferred to 28, Shoe-lane.
  • 24- Garden Restaurant. Roof damaged.
  • 25- R. E. Sempill, ironmonger. Damaged by smoke and water. Insured. Business as usual.
  • 25 and 27- Partington and Norrington. Utterly demolished. Business at 72, Wood-st.
  • 26- J. Mann, tailor, Roof damaged. Business as usual.
  • 27- Berg and Ballard, engravers and sign writers. Damaged by water and smoke. Uninsured. Business as usual.
    • A. N. Goodge, bootmaker. Damaged by water and smoke. Insured. Business as usual.
    • B. D. Langner, imp. of millinery ornaments. Stock injured by smoke. Insured. Temporary premises taken at 21, Nicholl-sq.
  • 27A- Ray Harris, tobacconist. Stock damaged by water and smoke. Uninsured. Letters as usual.
  • 28A- British Tea Table Company (Limited), shop and basement. Damaged by water. Insured for £1,685. Business as usual.
  • 31-34- Harris and Lipman, ostrich feather manufs. Building and stock severely damaged. Business as usual.
  • 35- J. Dowling and Co., engineers and machinists. Damaged by heat and water. Business as usual.
  • 36- C. E. Elliott, imp. Damaged by fire and water.
  • 37, 38, and 39- A. Bromet and Co., jewellers. Burnt out
  • 40- F. and R. Gillett, silk merchants. Burnt out. Books saved. Insured for £10,000. Business at 8, Moor-lane.
  • 40- A. Gray and Co., manufs. Damage not ascertained. Insured. Business at 6, Manchester-avenue.
  • 41- C. W. Faulkner and Co., fine art publishers. Totally destroyed. Business at 23, Nicholl-sq., and 72, Golden-lane.
  • 42- Blume, Greisbach and Co., shoe manufacturers. Burnt out. Business, 83, Fore-st.
  • 43- Cooper and Stone, manufs.' ags. and warehousemen. Burnt out and destroyed. Insured. Premises at 51 and 52, Alderman bury.
  • 44- F. A. Richter, box manuf. Totally destroyed. Insured. Business at 13, Carthusian-st.
  • 45- G. W. Bacon and Co., shoe manufs. Burnt out. Present address, 4, White-st., Moorfields.
    • F. W. Curtis and Co., fancy apron 'manufacturers. Burnt out. Business, 4, Lauderdale-buildings.
  • 45A- Pronier and Co., artificial flower and feather makers. Burnt out. Most important books saved. Fully insured. Address, 5 I and 52, Aldersgate-st.
    • Staveley and Starr, general shipping and express agst. Premises burnt out. All correspondence and instructions lost. Insured for £500. Temporary address, 7, Paper-st.
  • 45B- P. Moses, furrier. Damaged by fire and water. Full insured. Premises at 21, Paper-st.
  • 47- Andrew and Bramall, ags. Damaged by water and breakage.
  • 48- Julius Gluck, fur and skin importer and exporter. No damage.




  • 19- Phillips, Morley, and Co., valuers and assessors of fire claims. No damage.
  • 20- Carter and Co., imps. of straw hats and plait. Damaged by water. Insured. Loss nearly £200. Business as usual.
  • 21- G. M. Long and Co., artificial flower makers. Burnt out. Insured. Business at 6, Paper-st.
    • Thomas Chave Cox and Co., imps. of fancy china, bronzes, pianos, &c. Burnt out. Insured for £3,000. Business transferred to 13, Paper-st.
    • B. Taylor, brace and belt manuft. All machinery and fixtures and greater part of stock destroyed. Insured. Business transferred to 4, Lensden-place, Golden-lane. All books saved.
  • 22 and 23- J. Lyons and Sons, bag manufs. Nearly burnt out. Business at 9, Paper-st.
  • J. Rawson, trimming manuf. Nearly burnt out. Business at 45, Moor-lane.
  • 24- J. Freshwater and Co. (Limited), boot manufs. Severely damaged by fire, smoke, and water. Business at 23, Little Britain.
  • 25 and 26- P. Israel, ag. Damaged by water and breakage.
  • 27- E. Rubie, woollen warehouseman. Damaged by water and breakage.
  • 28- Trice and Chapman, carpet warehouseman. Damaged by water. Insured. Business as usual.


  • 2- B. Freeman, stationer. Slightly damaged.
  • 3- W. J. Tomlinson, ag. Nearly burnt out and roof destroyed.
  • 4- Grierson and Williams, mantle manufs. Severely damaged by fire and water. Business, 20, Castle-st.
  • 3, 4, and 5,- Pitman, Son, and Co., trimming manufs. Burnt out, but account books saved. Fully insured. Removed to 10, Paternoster-square.
  • 6, 7 ,and 8- D. Bernstein and Co., mantle manufs. Totally destroyed. Letters received at 22, Golden-lane.
  • 9 and 10- T. Norman and Son, fancy box manufs. Totally destroyed. Orders executed at 4 and 6, Cripplegate-st.
    • M. Levy, fancy goods imp. Totally destroyed. Insured.
  • 11- Cripplegate Vicarage. Damaged by fire, heat, smoke, and water.
  • 12- Cripplegate Restaurant. Damaged by fire and water. Insured for, £1,400. Business transferred to 59, Barbican.
    • Beynon and Cabban, silk tie manufs. Building destroyed. Stock consumed. Insured for £7,200. Loss fully covered. Premises at 9, Bridgewater-st.
  • 15- W. Lewis, ostrich feather merchant. Completely destroyed. Business transferred to 9, Bridgewater-street, Barbican.
  • 17, 18, and 19- Beardsworth and Cryer, triming manufs. Totally destroyed. Business at 148 and 149, Aldersgate-st.
  • 19 and 20- Roberts and Co., general carriers. Severely damaged by fire and water. Business, 38, Bartholomew-close.
  • 21- A. Brookman, C. C., merchant. Totally destroyed.
  • 22- W. M. Le Plastrier, shirt and collar manuf. Damaged by water. Insured for £3,500- Business as usual.
  • 23- T. B. Swinstead, straw bonnet manuf. Burnt out.
  • 24- Wiseman Brothers., woollen merchants. Burnt and fallen down.


  • 1- Werfel and Bohm, kid glove manufs. ; first floor. Damaged by water. Insured. Business transferred to 9, Hart-st.,Wood-st.
  • 2- Haines, Lee and Co., tailors' trimming warehousemen; ground floor. Part burnt. Insured. Business as usual.
  • 3- Pearse and Son, silk ags.; ground floor. Stock damaged. Business as usual.
    • J. L. Pollock, ag. Damaged by fire and water. Business 42a, Noble-st.
    • R. B. Jepson- Business at 42a, Noble-st.-A. Bemstein. Business at 4211, Noble-st.
    • A. Benstein. Business at 42a, Noble-st.
    • Collier and Hill, ags. Severely damaged. Business, 42a, Noble-st.
    • Morin, glove manuf. Severely damaged. Business, 42a, Noble-st.
  • 4- Edwards and Warden, manuf. children's pelisses, &c. Seriously damaged. Business as usual.
  • 5- W. C. Richardson, glove manuf. of Brussels; first floor. Trifling damage. Insured. Business as usual.
  • 6- Schmitz and Ingelbach, mercers; first floor. Top floor damaged by fire, remainder of premises seriously damaged by smoke and water. Insured for £23,800. Business at 50 and 51, Fore-st.
  • 7- F. Krasa and Co glass and china manufs., ags., and imps. Offices and show-rooms burnt out. Insured. Business at 2, Fell-st., Wood-st.
    • N. Pearce and Co., warehousemen; second floor. Totally destroyed. Business at 118, Fore-st.
    • F. Richardson, manufs.' ag. Burnt out. Business at 118, Fore-st.
  • 7- Louis Rosenthal and Co., trimming manufs. Stock and office furniture destroyed. Premises taken at 118, Fore-st.
    • C. M. Coxon, manufs.' ag. :Roof and floors fallen in. Insured. Business at 118, Fore-st.
  • 8- Salomon and Goldmann, Berlin fancy goods, photo frames, albums, &c. second floor. Burnt out. Insured. Business temporarily removed to 112-113, Fore-st.
    • Kipling, Dennler and Co., silk manufs. Not damaged. Business, 5, Wood-st.-square.
    • Edwards and Straker, chasers. Burnt out.
    • E. Kohn, manufs. ag. Burnt out. Insured. Present address, 22, Barbican.
    • Eiermann and Tabor, bronze powder and leaf metal manufs. Ground floor totally destroyed, and basement drenched with water. Insured for £3,000. Business at 55 and 56, Great Sutton-st.
    • King and Young, ags. and imps. Burnt out. Insured. Premises taken at 46, Aldersgate-st.
  • 9- Hampton and Co., warehousemen. Severely damaged by fire, and roof destroyed.
    • E. Oberlander, glove ag. Severely damaged by fire, and roof destroyed. Business as usual.
    • E. Kaiser, imps.' ag. Contents damaged by water and smoke, counting house partly burnt out. Insured for £2,000. Temporary address for goods, 9, Hart-st., Wood-st.
  • 10- A. Moralt and Co., artificial flower imps. Damaged by water and smoke. Insured for £3,000. Premises taken at 50 and 51, Fore-st.
    • P. Lock, ag. Burnt out. Business, 5, Falcon-sq.
  • 14- Marx Herrmann, merchant, ground floor. Premises damaged and goods spoiled by water, heat, and smoke. Insured for £1,000. Business carried on as usual.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The City Press Supplement November 27th 1897