Oxford History: The High


15: Whittard’s Teas & Coffees

15 High Street

The present Nos. 13–16 High Street were built in 1773–4 by John Gwynn to form the frontage to the new covered market and were known as “New Parade”. Nos. 13, 14, and 15 are jointly Grade II listed (List Entry No. 1369376, numbered as 12–15). No. 16 on the right is separately Grade II listed (List Entry No. 1047270). The four shops forming the original market front were in the parish of All Saints until that church was deconsecrated in 1971. They are now in the parish of St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church.

There is an avenue into the market in the centre of this group between Nos. 14 and 15 (shown above), and another one each side.

William Jones, a goldsmith in the High, announced in Jackson's Oxford Journal on 30 December 1775 that he had taken over a new shop on the corner of Western Avenue (which became Market Avenue 2, above right, after the market was extended), the present 15 High Street:

WILLIAM JONES, Working Gold and Silver-Smith, Jeweller, &c.
BEGS Leave to acquaint his Friends and the Publick, That he this Day opens his New SHOP, the corner of the Western Avenue in the Front of the Market, upon the New Parade, in the High-street, Oxford; where he has laid in a large Assortment of the newest fashioned Goods of all Kinds, which will be sold upon the most reasonable Terms.
   N.B. Gold, Silver, and Metal Watches, by the best Makers; Watch-Chains, Seals, &c. and Trinkets for Ladies Watches; Silver, Plated, and Dutch Tea-Urns; with great Choice of useful and ornamental Articles of divers Kinds.

Meanwhile his four spinster sisters, Anne, Margaret, Elizabeth, and Jane, who had continued to run the fishmonger's business that had been started by their father Thomas Jones (d.1747) and mother Elizabeth (d.1773), also moved to a shop in front of the market, as announced in Jackson's Oxford Journal on 7 January 1775:

JONES'S, Fishmongers, in OXFORD,
BEG Leave to inform their Friends and the Publick that they are removed from their late Shop to the Front of the New Market in the High-Street, where they humbly request a Continuance of the Favours they have so long experienced; and which from Duty as well as Inclination thus most gratefully acknowledge. They also take this Opportunity of assuring the Nobility and Gentry, that it will be their constant Care to have the earliest Supply, according to the Season, in the various Articles of the Fishmongery; and that all Orders will be attended to with the utmost Punctuality.
N.B. Places are taken for the POST-COACH, as usual, which sets out for London every Morning at Eight o'Clock.

Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 7 November 1788 reported:

Died, after a short illness Mrs [sic] Anne Jones, eldest daughter of the late Mrs Elizabeth Jones of Oxford, fishmonger, by whom in partnership with three sisters the business has been carried on, and is intended to be continued by the survivors.

A fifth sister, Mary Jones (1741–1815) worked for William Jackson, the founder and proprietor of Jackson’s Oxford Journal, and inherited most of his estate. Mary left this shop to her niece Elizabeth Latimer and her husband Edward. He lived at Headington House and was a wine merchant at No. 11 High Street during the first half of the nineteenth century.

When the owner of the shop, Edward Latimer, died in 1845, he bequeathed its rental to his daughter Jane Latimer, with instructions that the shop should be sold after her death. (She died in 1872.)

Edward Bartlett was a draper here by 1837, but in by 5 February 1842 he had declined the drapery business and the shop with immediate possession plus all his stock in trade was advertised for sale.

On 20 January 1849 Levi Greatbatch announced in Jackson’s Oxford Journal that he had moved his glass & china warehouse here from 59 Cornmarket Street.  At the time of the 1851 census he was living upstairs with his wife and five children, two general servants, and two lodgers (undergraduate brothers at Trinity College). (Arthur Mitchell Greatbatch, who was to take over the business after his father’s death in 1903, was not yet born.) By 1861 Greatbatch was living at Diamond Street Villa in Summertown, and by 1871 he was at the Cedars in Park Town.

The premises upstairs were unoccupied in 1861 and 1871, and were presumably used as storerooms. No one lived over this shop at the time of the 1901 or 1911 censuses.

Occupiers of the present shop at 15 High Street  


Jones family, Fishmongers


Edward Bartlett, Mercer


William Loder, China & glass dealer

By 1851–1925

Levi Greatbatch, Glass & china dealer (to 1903)
Arthur Mitchell Greatbatch (1904–1910)
Greatbatch & Co. Ltd (1910–1925)


Webbers (part of)
[see also Nos. 9, 10–12, 13, and 14]


Burnley Building Society

By 1995–present

Whittards Teas & Coffees

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 8 July, 2021

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