Oxford History: The High


9: Crafter's Emporium

9 High Street

No. 9 was rebuilt in the Georgian style by G. T. Gardner in 1934. It was part of Webber's from 1956 to 1971.

Former building on this site

In 1772 a survey of every house in the city was taken in consequence of the Mileways Act of 1771. According to H. E. Salter, No. 9 was then in the occupation of a Mr Millachip, and its frontage measured 7 yards 0 feet 4 inches.

This building was in the parish of All Saints until that church was deconsecrated in 1971. It is now in the parish of St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church.

The 1841 census shows Mrs Emily Bartlett living upstairs with four young draper's shopmen, a clerk and three servants.

The forthcoming sale of this shop by private contract was advertised in Jackson's Oxford Journal of 21 May 1842:

The desirable FREEHOLD PREMISES in Oxford, now occupied by Mr. Robert Bartlett, mercer and draper; consisting of a very superior and roomy Dwelling House, with every accommodation for domestic purposes; a commodious Shop, fronting the High-street, and in that part of the street universally considered to be the best situation in Oxford for trade, wherein an old-established business of a mercer and draper has been carried on for the last 50 years and upwards; a warehouse underneath the shop, two good parlours on the ground floor, and two spacious sitting rooms in front, on the first and second floors; eleven bed rooms, two kitchens, under-ground cellarage, &c. with capital private entrance to the dwelling house from the High-street, and other conveniences; also a six-stall stable, at the back of the dwelling house (now occupied by the proprietors of the Cross Inn), with yard, garden, and convenient out-buildings, having a back entrance from the Corn Market-street. The property comprises a depth of 180 feet, and the whole is in most excellent condition. The Land Tax on the Dwelling House is redeemed. A favorable [sic] opportunity is here presented to any person wishing to commence the trade of a mercer in Oxford, as the present occupier will have no objection to enter into an arrangement for the sale of his Stock in Trade, on moderate terms.

At the time of the 1851 census No. 9 was still a draper’s shop. Edward Beaumont, the proprietor (described as the employer of 32 men) lived over the shop with his wife and baby son Edward Beaumont junior, and with them lodged no fewer than six draper’s assistants, four draper’s apprentices, two draper’s milliners, a housekeeper, and two general servants.

There was a fire here in 1858, and on 4 September that year Edward Beaumont offered for sale several thousand pounds worth of drapery saved from the fire, including silks, shawls, mantles, baby linen, quilts, counterpanes, sheetings, table linen, towellings, table covers, curtains, carpets, and hearth rugs. By the late 1850s he was also conducting funerals and selling mourning clothes.

At the time of the 1861 census Edward Beaumont had just died, and the upstairs was occupied by Robert Goodwin, a mercer and draper who lived here with his wife, four apprentices, nine assistants, and a female apprentice dressmaker.

In 1871 it was occupied by a shop walker, ten assistants, and two apprentices

By the time of the 1881 census Edward Beaumont junior had taken over his father's business, and over the shop lodged 18 of his employees: two male draper’s clerks, twelve male draper’s assistants, two female draper’s assistants, a housekeeper, and a general servant.

Edward Beaumont junior joined No. 10 on to this shop in 1882, and in 1884 he moved out of this shop and opened a large new shop at Nos. 10–12 to the east, which he renamed the City Drapery Stores.

No one lived over these premises in 1901.

In 1908 alterations were made to the former shop on this site for Mowbray's, the church publishers. No one is listed as living here at the time of the 1911 census.

The shop was rebuilt for Mowbray's in 1936, and they continued to occupy it shop until 1954. It then became part of Webber's to the right.

Occupiers of 9 High Street  
Grey shading indicates an earlier building on the site


Fox, Robinson, & Foster, Linen draper & silk mercer (Foster is Charles Foster senior)


Cox & Foster, Linen draper & silk mercer (Foster is Charles Foster senior)


Foster & Bartlett, Linen drapers
Partnership between Charles Foster senior & Robert Bartlett dissolved on 30 March 1841
and thereafter Robert Bartlett only


Richard Chilton, Linen draper (died 1846)
Mrs Chilton, Millinery & cloack rooms (1846–7)


Chilton & Beaumont, Linen drapers
(Richard Holbrook Chilton and Edward Beaumont, originally of London, went into partnership
in March 1848 and dissolved their partnership on 21 February 1856)


Edward Beaumont (died 31 March 1861)
Very briefly in 1861 named Beaumont & Goodwin


E. Beaumont & Son, Linen drapers & silk merchants [also at No. 10 from 1882]




Standen & Co., Tailors & robe makers


A. R. Mowbray & Co., Church publishers [rebuilt in 1936]


Part of Webbers (see Nos. 10–12)


Costa International Menswear (also at Nos. 10–13)


Jean Machine Co.

By 1988–2020

Whistles, Ladies’ fashion


Crafter's Emporium (from 20 August 2021)

Upstairs (accessed from Market Avenue 1):
Formerly The Avenue Bar and now The Varsity Club

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 3 September, 2021

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