44, 45, & 46 Cornmarket Street: Leon

45-46 Cornmarket

The three shops (now one) at 44, 45, & 46 Cornmarket Street have always been in the parish of St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church. The old shops on this site together formed the Cadena Café from 1930 to 1970.

In 1970 planning permission (70/22385/AB_H) was granted to Gordon Thoday to demolish Nos. 44, 45, and 46 Cornmarket Street and erect this new building.

Former shop at 44 Cornmarket

At the time of the 1772 Survey of Oxford No. 44 was occupied by Fell and had a frontage of 5 yds 2 ft 6 in.

It was a tobacconist's shop from at least 1839 to 1899. At the time of the 1841 census James Castle (35), a tobacconist, was living here with his wife Ann and their four children, plus two lodgers and three servants.

In 1899 this shop was united to No. 43 to the north. Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 15 July 1899 reported:

“The premises formerly occupied by Mrs. Carter [44 Cornmarket Street] are now in course of removal to enable an addition to Messrs. Bull’s premises [43 Cornmarket Street] to be erected, which will doubtless correspond in style to the Reading firm’s red brick and terra-cottaed edifice next door.”

The photograph below shows part of No. 44 on the left in about 1920, which despite the confidence of Jackson's Oxford Journal ended up looking very different from No. 43 on the right.

43 & 44 Cornmarket Street

Former shop at 45 Cornmarket

At the time of the 1772 Survey of Oxford No. 45 was occupied by L. Thompson and had a frontage of 2 yards 2 feet 9 inches

This was Sutton's china shop from at least 1839. At the time of the 1841 census Edward Sutton, described as a chinaman, was living here with his shopman Edward Barnshaw: both were in their mid-30s.

On 29 June 1850 Richard Spiers, who also had a shop in the High Street, bought Sutton's business and stock, and took possession on 13 July. On 30 April 1853 he announced in Jackson's Oxford Journal that in order to carry on more conveniently their wholesale as well as thei retail trade, they were expanding to include No. 46 next door. Work started on the shop on 29 June 1853, and Spiers opened here on 15 October 1853. In 1857 Spiers also purchased the shop behind in New Inn Hall Street, which provided a back entrance. His servant Thomas Seaman managed the shop and lived upstairs in the 1850s and early 1860s. In August 1863 Spiers held a closing-down sale and retreated back to the High Street.

In about 1867 the Oxford Furnishing Company Ltd took over both this shop and No. 46 to the south, and also the shop in New Inn Hall Street at the back.

Former shop at 46 Cornmarket

At the time of the 1772 Survey of Oxford No. 46 was occupied by Smewing and had a frontage of 3 yards 1 foot 0 inches.

The cutler John Robinson of Cornmarket died after a lingering illness on 24 January 1828, and presumably the Sarah Robinson who had this shop in 1839 was his widow. At the time of the 1841 census she was lving her with her son John Robinson junior (aged about 25) who was also a cutler, and her three daughters. By 1846 the shop was in her son's name.

By the time of the 1851 census the saddler Henry Adams had taken over this shop.

From 1853 it was attached to No. 45 above.

Occupants of 44, 45, and 46 Cornmarket Street listed in directories etc.


No. 46 (left) No. 45 (middle)

No. 44 (right)


Sarah Robinson
Cutler (1839)

John Robinson
Cutler (1846)

Sutton & Son
China & Glass Warehouse (1839)

Samuel Sutton
China dealer

James Castle


Henry Adams


Spiers and Son
China & glass dealers


Spiers and Son
Glass, china, and earthenware warehouses


Oxford Furnishing Co Ltd


Joseph Carter


Wiseman & Blake, Linen drapers


L. Lambert, Millinery & baby linen establishment

(Nos. 45 & 46 numbered simply as 45 henceforth)


Hatch & Co., Japanese Art Depôt


Lloyd’s Oriental Café Ltd


Part of Bull's shop at No. 43


Cadena Café Ltd (Lloyd's Cadena Café in 1907 only
Also Tea merchants 1911–1921

Part of Morton's Drapers at No. 43


Cadena Café Ltd
Restaurant & Coffee Specialists
(included No. 47 to the south from 1935 to the late 1960s)

Early 1970s

New building erected


 Gordon Thoday Fabrics





44–46 Cornmarket Street in the censuses (former old shops)


No. 44: The tobacconist James Castle (35) lived here with and Ann (35), Ann (6), May (5), Elizabeth (2), and Edward (1), plus two independent people and three servants (two female and one male).

No. 45: The chinaman Edward Sutton (35) lived here with one shopman.

No. 46: The cutler Sarah Robinson (50) lived here with John (25), Jane (20), Sarah (15), and Jemima (13).


No. 44. The tea dealer and tobacconist James Castle (49) lived here with his wife Ann (49), and their four children John Riley Castle (18), described as an assistant, Mary (14), Elizabeth (12), Edward (11), and

No. 45: Sutton no longer lived over his shop, and the accommodation was occupied by his manager, Thomas Seaman (32) and his wife Lydia (31), described as the assistant manager. They had four children: Sarah (5), Thomas (4), Hannah (2), and Fanny (less than two months), as well as a governess and a female servant.

No. 46: The saddler Henry Adams (25 and unmarried) lived over his premises with one female servant.


No. 44: The tobacconist James Castle (59) was still living here with his wife Ann (59) and his children John Riley Castle (20), a tobacconist, and Catherine (17). They had one female house servant.

Nos. 45 & 46 were now one shop, and the upstairs was still occupied by Thomas Seaman (42), described as a coal glass and china merchant. He was now a widower living with three of his younger children: Thomas (15), Hannah (12), and Susan (7), as well as his niece Ellen Wells. A governess (described as a boarder rather than a servant) lived with the family.


No. 44: Joseph Carter (42), tobacconist, lived here over his shop with his wife Sarah (38) and their children Florence (14), Montague (12), Emily (10), Sidney (9), and Maud (3). They had one general servant and a lodger.

Nos. 45 & 46: Henry Eyles (57), widowed manager of the Oxford Furnishing Company, lived here above his shop with his daughters Mauricel (24) and Emma (22). They had one general servant.


No. 44: The tobacconist Joseph Carter (52), a tobacconist, still lived here with his wife Sarah (48) and his daughters Emily (21), Maude (13), and Lily (8). They had one general servant.

Nos. 45 & 46 are described as “unoccupied”, implying that Lambert’s millinery shop occupied the whole premises.


No. 44: Joseph Carter (62), tobacconist, still lived here over his shop with his wife Sarah (58) and a general servant.

Nos. 45 & 46: Miss Alice Clara Tipton (39) of the Japanese Art Depôt downstairs lived here with her shop assistant.

1901 & 1911

No. 44: No listing: the Carter shop was now part of Bull's shop at No. 43.

Nos. 45 & 46: No listing

Oxford History Home

© Stephanie Jenkins

Cornmarket Home