No 55½ King Street

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55½ King Street

Northcott551 2KingSt(cap).jpg

It is not known when William Northcott was trading at 55½ King Street; nor, indeed, when this shop was first listed separately from No 55. It is likely to be before 1880, but the only reference which can be found in the Channel Island censuses to a W Northcott living in Jersey is William, who was aged 30 and a debtor in the town gaol in 1841

The building

The Historic Environment Record treats No 55½ and No 55 as separate properties, with almost identical descriptions. The two buildings are of identical design from the first floor upwards and were undoubtedly built together, probably originally as a single unit.

HER: This building contributes to the character of this block of King Street with its late Victorian articulation and decorative features with many historic features remaining. 3 storey, 2 bay. Original gutter tray remains. Wall rendered with ashlar effect. Arched windows have moulded hoods with decorative tassels and apexes.


The first reference we have found to 55½ King Street as a separate property was in the 1881 census, which shows the premises occupied by lamp and oil merchant Florence Becquet (1857- ) and her two-year-old son Edward. Mrs Becquet is described as 'married' not a widow, but there is no sign of her husband Edward, who was listed as the occupant in an almanac published the year before.

By 1885 W W Woods was running a millinery business at No 55½, and in 1891, when the premises were described in the census as 55a, they were occupied by draper Charles Woods (1863- ), presumably his son, wife Isabella (1868- ) and their year-old daughter Kathleen.

By 1900, and probably a few years earlier, Wilfred Baker (1878- ) was running the millinery business. He was shown in the 1901 census as a draper, living with his wife Adela (1878- ), daughters Winifred (1893- ), May (1894- ), and son Wilfred (1900- ), and Wilfred's grandfather Clement (1831- ), a retired master mariner. However, the distinction between No 55 and No 55½ is confused by advertisements placed when Wilfred Baker gave up his business in 1908. He advertised that the business at No 55 would close, but the auctioneer tasked with selling his goods and equipment showed 55½ in the advert below

From about 1930 until the 1980s the premises were occupied by Beuzeval's tobacconist, started by H P Beuzeval, whose ancestry we have been unable to trace. This business continued until the 1980s, when the premises were taken over by jewellers Sapphiro, and more recently travel agents Lunn Poly and Thomson Holidays have operated from No 55½

The property now appears in some official records as 55a King Street

Chronology [1]

  • 1880 - E Becquet, paraffin lamp and oil depot
  • 1885-1890 - W W Woods, milliner
  • 1900-1919 - Wilfred Baker, milliner
  • 1930-1980 - H P Beuzeval, tobacconist
  • 1990 - Sapphiro, jeweller
  • 2000 - Lunn Poly, travel agent
  • 2010 - Thomson Holidays
Looking west in the 1970s. Beuzeval's is on the left

Notes and references

  1. Many of the start and end dates given for businesses are approximate. As more business advertisements and other records are discovered the dates will be adjusted
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