41–42 Cornmarket Street: American Candy

41 & 42 Cornmarket

Nos. 41 and 42 are a pair of seventeenth-century houses that were probably refronted in the eighteenth century and now have a modern restored front. They are Grade II listed (list entry 1047328).

They have always been in the parish of St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church.

These two houses were occupied as follows in 1772, when a survey of every house in the city was taken in consequence of the Mileways Act of 1771:

  • 41: Mr Bartlet (frontage 4 yards, 1 ft. and 4 in.)
  • 42: Mrs Cole (frontage 3 yards, 2 ft. and 5 in.)

This pair of houses was advertised thus in Jackson's Oxford Journal on 28 June 1828:

To be LET, with immediate possession,—A HOUSE, SHOP and extensive WAREHOUSES, YARD, STABLE, &c. in the Corn Market, late in the occupation of Mrs. Bannister.—Also a PUBLIC HOUSE and SPIRIT SHOP adjoining, called the Blue Lion, either together or separate. Apply at Mrs. Syms's Counting House.—The above premises are well adapted for business requiring room.

The Blue Lion pub was at No. 41 on the right in the nineteenth century. James Prior was the landlord here by 1830, and he can be seen in the 1841 census as a victualler, aged about 40, living at this pub with his wife Eliza and daughters Emma (9) and Harriet (6), plus two servants. Next door at No. 42 on the left was the grocer George Garlick, aged about 30, with his wife Anne and daughter Lucy, plus an apprentice, a shopman, and two servants.

On 18 June 1842 it was announced that there would be a sale on the premises of the Blue Lion of all all James Prior's household furniture as he was moving to the Bell Inn.

George Garlick, the grocer at No. 42, also took over the Blue Lion at No. 41, and on 21 December 1843, and again on the same date in 1844, he was granted a University wine licence for the following year

In 1846 this pair of shops was taken over by Shillingford & Phillips. On 24 June 1848 they announced they had taken the auctioneer John C. Blake into partnership, and that henceforth the firm would be known as Shillingord, Phillips, & Blake.

On 26 April 1856 the following advertisement appeared in Jackson's Oxford Journal:

To Brewers, Wine & Spirit Merchants, & Innkeepers.
To be LET,—All those very desirable PREMISES, situated in the Corn Market-street, Oxford, now in the occupation of Messrs Shillingford and Blake; comprising the BLUE LION INN, together with suitable cellars, and general convenience for carrying on both the wholesale and Retail trade. May be entered upon at Mid-summer.—To view the premises apply to the present occupiers, Messrs. Shillingford and Blake; and for further particulars apply to Messrs. E. and J. H. Peel, brewers, Watlington, Oxon.

On 10 January 1857 the freehold of the premises at 41 & 42 Cornmarket was advertised as coming up for auction:

All that FREEHOLD PUBLIC HOUSE, well known as “The Blue Lion” on the west side of Corn Market-street, Oxford, with the DWELLING HOUSE adjoining; containing together two front rooms and back parlour on the ground floor, and 13 rooms and attics on the first, second, and third floors; capital wine and beer cellars in the basement, and extensive warehouses, sheds, and yard, at the back, with entrance thereto from New Inn Hall-street [probably St Michael Street rather than the present New Inn Hall Street], the whole extending a depth of 121 feet, and late in the occupation of Messrs. Shillingford and Blake, wholesale wine and spirit merchants, at a rental of £175 per annum.

The premises were then split. On 1 May 1858 the Oxfordshire Wine Company announced that they had purchased the business here, and James Slatter Steane was the manager. (His mother Jane Steane had transferred the family wine business at 34 Cornmarket Street to this company.)

In 1962 they were reunited into one shop by Salisbury’s Leather goods (photograph).

Occupants of 41–42 Cornmarket Street listed in directories etc.


No. 42

No. 41


William Roberts
Corn & Flour dealer

Landlords (subject to 19C wine licences):
Thomas Bartlett (1794)
James or Jason Prior (1830–1842)


George Garlick, from 16 Sep 1840)


BLUE LION: Landlord George Garlick


Shillingford & Phillips, later Shillingford, Phillips, & Blake, later
Shillingford & Blake, Wine & spirit merchants


James Slatter Steane & Co.
Wine and spirit merchants

Part of either Slatter premises at No. 42
or Lillingston premises at No. 40


William Lillingston,
Ladies’ boot-maker (also at No. 40)



F. Blagrove
Watchmaker, jeweller,& electric gilder (also at No. 40)


Walter Tompson
Fancy draper


William Mayo
Wine & spirit merchants


William Mayo, Wine & spirit merchants


Millin & Co Ltd, Tailors

S. Tetley & Sons Ltd


Frank S. Smith, Confectioner


J. Molloy
Gown specialist, costumier & milliner


Ye Old Northgate Café


S. H. Barnett Ltd, Costumiers (1947)

Barnett-Hutton Costumiers (1953)


Salisbury’s Leather goods


Bewlay Tobacconists Ltd


Salisbury’s Leather Goods

By 2007– 2017

Orange Mobile Phones (later EE)

2017 & 2018

Children's Air Ambulance charity shop


American Candy

41–42 Cornmarket Street in the censuses


No. 41 (Blue Lion): James Prior (40), victualler, lived here at the pub with Eliza (40) and Emma (9) and Harriet (6). Living with the family was one female servant, and an independent lady aged 50.

No. 42: The grocer George Garlick (30) lived here with Anne (30) and Lucy (40), plus an apprentice shopman and one male and one female servant.


No. 41: Not listed: presumably part of the Shillingford & Phillips business premises to the south and still being run as the Blue Lion, with the staff living over the adjoining shop at No. 42

No. 42: John C. Blake (30), described as a wine merchant, lived over this side of the shop with his wife Louisa (30) and two wine merchant’s clerks. They had one servant.


No. 41: Described as uninhabited.

No. 42: Jane Steane (64), described as the widow of a wine merchant, lived here with her bachelor son James Slatter Steane (32), a wine merchant. They had one female servant.


No. 41: No listing.

No. 42: James Slatter Steane (42), wine merchant, lived here over his shop with his wife Eliza (32) and their children Marian (6), Ruth (5), Amy (4), and Edward (2), plus his widowed mother-in-law Rebecca Allin. They had a 15-year-old servant girl.


No. 41: Frederick Blagrove (40), a watchmaker and jeweller, was living over this shop and No. 40 to the north with his wife Ellen (32) and their three daughters.

No. 42: Walter E. Wheeler (34), a wine merchant, was living over his shop here with his wife Catherine (27) and their one-year-old son, plus their general servant.


No. 41: Walter Thompson (33), a fancy draper, lived here over his shop with his wife Lucy (29) and their son Reginald (1) plus one domestic servant. A draper's assistant also lived with them.

No. 42: Listed as uninhabited, but named as the Blue Lion.


No. 41: Described as uninhabited and not in occupation.

No. 42: Described as uninhabited but in occupation.


No listing for either shop.

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