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London Tavern

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London Tavern

The City of London Tavern or London Tavern was a notable meeting place in London during the 18th and 19th centuries. A place of business where people gathered to drink alcoholic beverages and be served food, the tavern was situated in Bishopsgate in the City of London (the site today of Nos. 1–3 Bishopsgate). The original tavern was destroyed in a fire on 7 November 1765 and the new building was designed by William Jupp the elder (with support from William Newton, 1765–1768) and opened in September 1768. In 1828, the proprietor was Charles Bleaden. The building was demolished in 1876. The tavern boasted a large and well-decorated dining room with Corinthian columns. It hosted numerous public and private meetings held to rally support to various political, charitable and other causes.


In 1841, Charles Dickens presided at a meeting for the benefit of the Sanatorium for Sick Authors and Artists, and in 1851 at the annual dinner for the General Theatrical Fund. While he was attending a dinner at the London Tavern on 14 April 1851, Dickens learned of the death of his daughter Dora Annie Dickens.

Notable meetings

  • 1769 – The Society of Gentlemen Supporters of the Bill of Rights was founded at the London Tavern on 20 February to support John Wilkes after he was expelled from the House of Commons.
  • 1788 – The London Tavern hosted a meeting of the Revolution Society discussing the French Revolution.
  • 1789 – In 1789, pro-slavery campaigner George Hibbert spoke at a meeting of Merchants at the London Tavern, seeking to demolish William Wilberforce’s speech on abolition of slavery in a 40-minute address entitled 'The Slave Trade Indispensable…'.
  • 1791 – On 4 November a Revolution Dinner was held at the London Tavern, with Thomas Walker, Joseph Priestley, Tom Paine, and Jérôme Pétion de Villeneuve.
  • 1805 – On 23 May the London Tavern hosted a meeting chaired by Sir Francis Baring that led to the formation of the London Institution.
  • 1822 – Supporters of Francisco Antonio Zea and South American independence movements held a dinner on 10 July at the London Tavern to show support and raise money for Colombia.
  • 1824 – The National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck (today the Royal National Lifeboat Institution) was founded on 4 March 1824 at a meeting in the London Tavern.
  • 1851 – A March meeting of coffee merchants condemned the high price and the adulteration of coffee sold to "the lower class of consumer".
  • 1852 – The first general meeting of The Marine and General Mutual Life Assurance Society was held at the London Tavern.
  • 1859 – The British acclimatisation society was founded following a meeting held on 21 January at the London Tavern attended by Richard Owen and others.
  • 1863 – A 15 December meeting at the London Tavern agreed the formation of Middlesex County Cricket Club.
  • 1865 – The London Tavern is depicted in a painting An Infant Orphan Election at the London Tavern, "Polling" by George Elgar Hicks.
  • Fictional meetings

  • In Dickens' Nicholas Nickleby, the London Tavern is the location for the public meeting held "to take into consideration the propriety of petitioning Parliament in favour of the United Metropolitan Improved Hot Muffin and Crumpet Baking and Punctual Delivery Company."
  • References

    London Tavern Wikipedia

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