Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Library
Research Report Series - 0050
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Library
|I. Coffeehouses in England:|
|In London||1 - 9|
|II. Coffeehouses in the British-American Colonies:|
|In Boston, New York, and Philadelphia||10 - 11c|
|In Norfolk & Fredericksburg, Virginia||12 - 13|
|In Williamsburg, Virginia||14 - 31|
|III. Coffee-making and Coffee Apparatus||32 - 33|
|IV. Notes from authors on Coffeehouses:|
|In London||i - xviii|
|In Boston, New York, and Philadelphia||xix - xxvi|
|In Williamsburg from Byrd's Diary||xxvii - xli|
|London Coffeehouse interiors - 17th and early 18th Centuries||1.|
|London Coffeehouse interiors - early 18th Century||2.|
|Coffeehouse Tokens (English) - 17th Century||3.|
|Booth in Coffeehouse (ca.1720); and Coffeehouse interior (London) ca. 1772||5.|
|"French Coffeehouse," London; and "Lloyd's Coffee-house, London||6.|
|"Tippy Bob" (a Fop in a London Coffeehouse)||7.|
|Club gatherings in Landon Coffeehouses or Taverns||8.|
|Meetings of the "Tuesday Club," Annapolis, Maryland||11a.|
|Court or Assembly in Session in London Tavern||27.|
In England, and in her colonies, there was a distinct difference between the coffee-house of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and the tavern, inn, and ordinary.
The coffee drink became popular in England during the last half of the seventeenth century, and with it came the establishment of the coffee-house as an institution.1 Coffee-houses flourished, and by the beginning of the eighteenth century - the century that saw their heyday and their decline - there were between 2000 and 3000 in London alone.2
The typical London coffee-house had a "bar" presided over by a proprietress or a "barmaid." "Coffee-boys" or waiters filled the cups or "dishes" from the large coffee-pots before the fire. Tables and chairs, or booths, were provided for the customers, as well as newspapers, tobacco, pipes, "lights" and beverages.5 Usually a small fee (a penny) was charged for the use of the accommodations of the house, which customers placed on the bar on arrival or 3. at departure. Coffee was from one to two-pence a "dish."6 Small coins being scarce in England, many of the coffee-house keepers issued "tokens" of brass, copper, or pewter - usually of a halfpenny value - stamped with the name or sign of their coffee-houses, which could be purchased by customers for use in their houses.7
Although women were sometimes proprietors of coffee-houses, and women served as barmaids in them, they did not frequent these institutions.8
Coffee-houses soon became popular gathering places for all types of men, for no other public place offered such comforts for so small an expenditure. Men could spend the between-meal hours of the day for a few pennies, smoking, talking, reading and discussing the news, writing letters, playing cards, etc.
It was natural that the competition the coffee-houses offered the ale-house keepers caused a wave of protest. In 1663 a satirical broadside was issued against the coffee-drink, which claimed that it turned "men and Christians" into Turks, and made apes of the Englishmen who, were it the "mode", 4. would "learn to eat Spiders too."9 There followed a series of pamphlets in defence of coffee and coffee-houses in general. In 1675, Charles II was persuaded to issue a proclamation suppressing coffee-houses as being "the great resort of Idle and disaffected persons" in which many tradesmen and others did "mispend much of their time"; and in which "diverse false, malitious and scandalous reports" were spread to the "Defamation of his Majestie's Government." The proclamation stated that if, after January 10, 1676, any persons presumed to keep "any Public Coffee House" or sell retail "any Coffee, Chocolate, Sherbett or Tea," they would do so at "their utmost perils." This brought about such a storm of protest, however, that the king felt it wise to recall the proclamation, issuing another two days before the first was to go into effect.10 Coffee-houses continued to thrive and, as already noted, reached their heyday in the eighteenth century.
In the eighteenth century, alcoholic drinks were added to the beverages served in the coffee-houses. In 1714, when coffee-house keepers raised the price of coffee to two-pence a dish, "green tea" was sold at one-and-a-half pence a dish, liquor at "two pence per dram."11 One coffee-house keeper, in 1731, advertised his London-Coffee-House and Punch House as using only "the best old Batavia Arrack, Jamaica Rum, and French Brandy…made into Punch." 5. To insure quantity and quality, his "Sherbet" was always brought in by itself, and the "Brandy, Rum, or Arrack in the Measure." He noted the usual price of a quart of Arrack as 8 shillings, and a quart of rum or brandy made into punch as 6 shillings - a bowl of punch "seldom less than 1 s. 6 d." He also mentioned prompt service, with "the best of Eating, Attendance, and Accommodation."12 This is the first contemporary reference we have seen to food in a coffee-house, and it is to be assumed that in some coffee-houses light refreshment was served on request.
Soon men of certain interests congregated in certain coffee-houses: members of Parliament and politicians frequented some — the Whigs and the Tories using separate places; lawyers had their favorites, and doctors theirs. Fops, and men who gamed for high stakes, frequented the fashionable coffee-houses near St. James's. Speculators and stock-jobbers had coffee-houses in Change Alley; and merchants and men with shipping interests frequented coffee-houses in Cornhill. Among these last were the Jamaica Coffee-House, the Virginia Coffee-House, and Lloyds Coffee-House, the latter - much later in the century - developing into the famous Lloyd's insurance business. Booksellers and publishers gathered at the Chapter Coffee-House in Paternoster Row. In this manner, coffee-houses became the most convenient places for meeting friends and acquaintances with similar interests; and for discussing and transacting business. Writers and men of literary interests also gathered in certain coffee-houses. The names of many seventeenth and eighteenth century authors and wits - among them Pope, Dryden, Johnson, Boswell, Addison, and Steele - were associated with particular coffee-houses. Addison and Steele made the 6. rounds of most of them, to collect material for publication in the Spectator and the Tatler.13 John Macky14 described the London coffee-house clientele as follows, in his Journey Through England:
"We rise by nine,… about twelve the beau monde assemble in several coffee or chocolate houses; the best of which are the Cocoatree and White's chocolate houses, St. James', the Smyrna, Mrs. Rochford's and the British coffee houses; and all these so near one another that in less than an hour you see the company of them all. We are carried to these places in chairs (or sedans), which are here very cheap, a guinea a week, or a shilling per hour, and your chairmen serve you for porters to run on errands, as your gondoliers do at Venice.
If it be fine weather we take a turn into the park till two, when we go to dinner; and if it be dirty, you are entertained at picquet or basset at White's, or you may talk politics at the Smyrna or St. James'. I must not forget to tell you that the parties have their different places, where, however, a stranger is always well received; but a Whig will no more go to the Cocoatree than a Tory will be seen at the Coffee House, St. James'.
The Scots go generally to the British, and a mixture of all sorts go to the Smyrna …
At two we generally go to dinner; ordinaries are not so common here as abroad, yet the French have set up two or three good ones for the convenience of foreigners… but the general way here is to make a party at the coffee house to go to dine at the tavern, where we sit till six, when we go to the play, except you are invited to the table of some great man which strangers are always courted to and nobly entertained."15
Macky also stated that "in all the coffee houses you have not only the foreign prints but several English ones with foreign occurrences, besides papers of morality and party disputes."16
Another traveller, one DeSaussure,17 writing in 1726, described the London coffee houses as follows:
"In London there are a great number of coffee-houses, most of which, to tell the truth, are not overclean or well furnished, owing to the quantity of people who resort to these places and because of the smoke, which would quickly destroy good furniture. In the coffee-houses, you can partake of chocolate, tea, or coffee, and of all sorts of liquors, served hot; also in many places you can have wine, punch, or ale. What attracts enormously, in these coffee-houses are the gazettes and other public papers. Workmen habitually begin the day by going to coffee-houses in order to read the latest news. I have often seen shoe-blacks and other persons of that class club together to purchase a farthing paper… Some coffee-houses are a resort for learned scholars and wits; others are the resort of dandies or of politicians, or again of professional newsmongers; and many others are temples of Venus. You can easily recognize the latter, because they frequently have as a sign a woman's arm or hand holding a coffee-pot. … they pass for being chocolate-houses and you are waited on by beautiful, neat, well-dressed, and amiable, but very dangerous, nymphs."18
The following description is taken from A Brief and Merry History of Great Britain:
"There is a prodigious number of Coffee-Houses in London, after the manner I have seen some in Constantinople. These Coffee-Houses are the constant rendezvous for Men of Business as well as the idle People. Besides Coffee, there are many other Liquors, which People cannot well relish at first. They smoak Tobacco, game and read Papers of Intelligence; here they treat of Matters of State, make Leagues with Foreign Princes, break them again, and transact Affairs of the last Consequence to the whole World. They represent these Coffee-Houses as the most agreeable things in London, and they are, in my Opinion, very proper 8. Places to find People that a Man has Business with, or to pass away the Time a little more agreeably than he can do at home; but in other respects they are loathsome, full of smoak, like a Guard-Room, and as much crowded."19
The above account listed the important Coffee-Houses in London, with the type of clientele which was attracted to each.20
From this gathering of men of similar interests, there developed the club as we know it today. Groups in coffee-houses formed themselves into clubs, first using the general room and later demanding special rooms to themselves. Occasionally these clubs took over the whole Coffee-House, in which the public was no longer welcome; and from this they established houses of their own. Clubs usually had sets of rules, and weekly gatherings for special suppers, which were served in their club-rooms in the Coffee-Houses.21
It was the development of clubs in the Coffee-Houses that caused their gradual decline in London. The social aspect of the institution was taken over by the clubs, and men had less reason to frequent the coffee-houses. They were never places for regular meals, as were taverns, inns, and ordinaries; although many of them served food on a limited scale. Sir Walter Besant described this decline, after the general development of the club, as follows:
"They [coffee-houses] were then frequented by men who came not to talk, but to read; the smaller tradesmen and the better class of mechanic now came to the coffee-house, called for a cup of coffee, and with it the daily paper, which they could not afford to take in. Every coffee-house took three or four papers; there seems to have been in this latter phase of the once social institution no general conversation. The coffee-house as a place of resort and 9. conversation gradually declined; one can hardly say why, except that all human institutions do decay. Perhaps manners declined; the leaders in literature ceased to be seen there; the city clerk began to crowd in; the tavern and the club drew men from the coffee-house."22
Concerning this decline, Mr. Ukers also attributed it in part to the establishment of clubs:
"Starting as a forum for the commoner, the coffee house soon became the plaything of the leisure class; and when the club was evolved, the coffee house began to retrograde to the level of the tavern. And so the eighteenth century, which saw the coffee-house at the height of its power and popularity, witnessed also its decline and fall. It is said that there were as many clubs at the end of the century as there were coffee houses at the beginning.
A few houses survived until the early years of the nineteenth century, but the social side had disappeared. As tea and coffee entered the homes, and the exclusive club house succeeded the democratic coffee forum, the coffee houses became taverns or chop houses, or, convinced that they had outlived their usefulness, just ceased to be."23
The coffee-drink became popular in the British-American colonies during the last quarter of the seventeenth century. Inns, taverns, and ordinaries had been established there for many years before coffee-houses were opened. In 1689 the London Coffee-House was opened in Boston. The King's Arms Coffee House was established in New York City in 1696-97. In Philadelphia, ca. 1700, Samuel Carpenter, who ran the Globe Inn, opened a coffee-house adjoining it.24
These coffee houses were patterned after those in London.25 They had the room common to all coffee-houses, where men could sit, read the newspapers provided, smoke, drink coffee or other beverages, and discuss news, politics, and business. Some had private club rooms upstairs. While they did not become the gathering places for wits and writers (there being no such groups in the colonies), they had their share of patriots and business-men of note.26 In New York, especially, a coffee-house served sometimes as the meeting place for the general assembly, council, or court.27 Like Lloyd's in London, they sometimes grew into business institutions. The Exchange Coffee-House in Boston became the center of marine intelligence for that city - its first floor devoted to business, with dining rooms upstairs.28 In the early nineteenth century, Tontine's Coffee-House in New York was headquarters for the stock market, and developed into the New York Stock Exchange.29
Colonial coffee-house-keepers sometimes advertised food also; and some of them seem to have combined the business of tavern and coffee-house keeping. 11. During the Revolution, the North End Coffee-House in Boston featured "dinners and suppers" in "small retired rooms for small company -- oyster suppers in the nicest manner."30 In 1781 a New York tavern-keeper purchased a coffee-house and gave notice that he would "pay attention not only as a Coffee House, but as a tavern," under the name of "City Tavern and Coffee House." He would serve "Breakfast from seven to eleven; soups and relishes from eleven to half-past one. Tea, coffee, etc. in the afternoon as in England."31 It was probably necessary for some of the coffee-houses to combine tavern and coffee-house activities to cover the up-keep of the coffee-house accommodations. In 1775, one citizen of New York wrote in the New York Journal of the advantages of coffee-houses to any city; and bewailed the local custom of coming and going "without calling for or paying anything to the house", adding: "In all the coffee houses in London, it is customary for everyone that comes in to call for at least a dish of coffee, or leave the value of one, which is but reasonable", because "the keepers of these houses have been at the expense of setting them up providing all necessaries for the accommodation of company."32
Dr. Alexander Hamilton, a Scotsman born in 1712, settled at Annapolis, Maryland in 1739, and became a member of the "Tuesday Club" there. For a number of years he kept a record of the meetings of this club, with semi-facetious illustrations. (See opposite page for two illustrations from Volume I - 1745-1755 - of his record.)
In May, 1744, Hamilton set out an horseback for a tour of the northern colonies, returning to Annapolis in September of that year. His journal of this trip contains several references to coffeehouses. As was the custom, Hamilton stopped at coffeehouses to meet people, drink coffee or tea, and gather information, but dined elsewhere. His references follow:
Carl Bridenbaugh, ed., Gentleman's Progress- The Itinerarium of Dr. Alexander Hamilton, 1744. (Chapel Hill: 1948)Pages 19-20: [In Philadelphia] "Wednesday, June 6" 1744. …
"I delivered my letters, went to dine with Collector Alexander, and visited severall people in town. In the afternoon I went to the coffee house where I was introduced by Dr. Thanas Bond to severall gentlemen of the place, where the ceremony of shaking of hands, an oki custom peculiar to the English, was performed with great gravity and the usuall compliments. I took private lodgings att Mrs. Curie's in Chestnut Street."Pages 25-26: "Monday, June 11th. I dined with Collector Alexander…
In the evening I drank tea with Mrs. Cume and went to the coffee house. Att 7 a' clock I went to the Governour's Club where were a good many strangers… The conversation run . chiefly upon trade and the late expedition att Cartagene. Severall toasts were drank, among which were sane celebrated ones of the female sex."Pages 47-48: [In New York City. On June 15, 1744, Hamilton arrived in New York and met Dr. Colchoun who "carried me to the taveren which is kept by one Todd, an old Scotsman, to supp with the Hungarian Club of which he is a member and which meets there every night. … After supper they set in for drinking… They filled up bumpers att each round, but I would drink only three which were to the King, Governour Clinton, and Governour Bladen, which last was my own…I left the company att 10 att night…" [p.42-3.] "Monday, June 18. … I dined att Todd's with Dr. Colchoun and a young gentleman, a stranger. After dinner the doctor and I went to the coffee-house and took a hitt att backgammon. He beat me two games. Att 5 in the afternoon I drank tea with Mrs. Boswall [where he lodged] and went to the coffee house again, where I looked on while they playd att chess. It continued 11-b to rain very hard. This night I shunned company and went to bed att nine . "
Tuesday, June 19th. At breakfast with my landlady, I found two strange gentlemen that had cane from Jamaica… We dined att Todd's, with seven in company, upon veal, beef stakes, green pease, and rasp berries for a desert. …
Afternoon I drank tea with Mrs. Boswall [his landlady's sister] … Att night I went to a taveren fronting the Albany coffee house along with Doctor Colchoun, where I heard a tollerable concerto of musick performed by one violin and two German flutes. The violin was by far the best I had heard playd since I came to America…"
Wednesday, June 20. I dined this day att Todd's… I made an agreement to go to Albany with him [Mr. Milne] the first opportunity that offered. I enquired accordingly att the coffee house for the Albany sloops, but I found none ready to go. …Page 89: [New York City]
"There are two coffee-houses in this city, and the northeren and southeren posts go and came here once a week. I was tired of nothing here but their excessive drinking, for in this place you may have the best of company and conversation as well as att Philadelphia."Page 151: [In Newport, Rhode Island] "Monday, August 20.  I made a tour round the town this morning with Dr. Moffat. I dined with him and, in the afternoon, went to the coffee house, and after drinking a dish of coffee we went with Mr. Grant…and took a walk across one end of the island…
Att 7 o'clock I went with one Mr, Scat to a club which sits once a week upon Mondays called the Philosophical Club; but I was surprized to find that no matters of philosophy were brought upon the carpet. They talked of privateering and building of vessels… disgusted with such a stupidsubject of discourse, I left this club and went hone."
Page 153-154: "Tuesday, August 21. … I walked out betwixt 12 and one with Dr. Moffat… Returning from thence we went to the coffee house, where, after drinking same punch, the doctor and I went to dine with Mr;,. Grant. After dinner I rid out of town in a chaise with Dr. Keith… We returned to town att seven a clock and spent the rest of the night att the coffee-house where our ears were not only frequently regaled with the sound of 'very welcome, sirs' and 'very welcome, gentlemen' …to such as came in and went out by Hassey, a queer old dog, the keeper of the coffee-house, but we were likewise allarmed (not charmed) for half an hour by a man who sung with such a trumpet note that I was afraid he would shake down the walls of the house about us. I went home betwixt 9 and 10 o'clock."
"Wednesday, August 22. I stayed att have all this morning, and betwixt twelve and one, going to the coffee house, I met Dr. Keith and Captain Williams. We tossed the news about for some time. Hassey, who keeps this coffee house, is a comicall old whimsical fellow. … I dined with Captain Williams and att 6 o'clock went again to the coffee house. Att seven we called 11-c. upon some ladies in town and made an appointment for a promenade…"Page 155-156: [Thursday, August 23.] "It rained hard all this morning, and therefor I stayed att home till 12 o'clock. Dr. Moffat came to breakfast with me, and he and I went to the coffee-house betwixt twelve and one. We saw there some Spainiards that had been taken in the snow prize. …
I dined att Mr. Grant's …"Page 189: [At :Philadelphia, Saturday, September 15, 1744.]
"This morning proving rainy I stayed att home till eleven o'clock att which time my barber came to shave me… I payed a visit to Dr. Thomas Bond and went and dined att Cockburn's in company with two staunch Quakers… Att 6 o'clock I went to the coffee house and thence with Mr. Alexander to the Governour's Club, where the Governour himself was present and severall other gentlemen of note in the place. The conversation was agreeable and instructing…"
Page 191: "Monday, September 17. This day was very sharp and cold for the season, and a fire was very gratefull. … I dined att the taveren and walked out to the country after dinner to reap the benefit of the sharp air. When I returned I drank tea with Mrs. Cume [his landlady], and there being sane 1iys there, the conversation run still upon the old topic, religion. … Att the coffee house I could observe no new faces, nor could I learn any news."
"Tuesday, September 18th…
I dined att Cockburn's… I payed a visit to Collector Alexander in the afternoon and att night going to the coffee house. I went from thence along with Messieurs Wallace and Currie to the Musick Club where I heard a tollerable concerto performed by a harpsicord and three violins. We dismissed att eleven o'clock lifter having regaled ourselves with musick and good viands and liquor."
The Virginia Colony was in close contact with the Mother Country during the seventeenth and the first half of the eighteenth centuries. Many Virginians were familiar with the coffee-houses of London.
William Byrd of "Westover," in London in 1688, made arrangements to meet Dr. Lister, an eminent physician and zoologist, at the "Rainbow Coffee House by Temple-Bar."33 The Virginia Coffee-House, in Cornhill, London,was a gathering place for Virginians in England, and for London merchants who had business with Virginia.34 In 1714, during a disagreement over the appointment of a member of the Virginia Council, who was backed by a London merchant, Lieutenant-Governor Spotswood of Virginia complained to a friend: "I think it is doing little honor to the Government to have its Council appointed in the Virginia Coffee House, and I believe a Governor…is as capable of Judging of the qualifications requisite for Persons for that Port as an Merchant in London."35 One young Virginian, in 1796, killed another in a duel over an argument which started in the Virginia Coffee House.36
It is not surprising, then, that Virginia had coffee-houses which were patterned after those in London. Nor is it surprising that Williamsburg, the seat of government at the beginning of the eighteenth century, was the first Virginia town to have a coffee-house. Later in the century, coffee-houses were 13 established in other Virginia towns. Norfolk had the "Norfolk coffee-house" where goods and slaves were sold at public auction in 1766-1768.37 In 1771, Terese Pearse gave notice that at "the Sign of the King's Arms Coffeehouse, in Church Street, Norfolk, is established a very genteel and convenient INN and TAVERN (with good Stabling for Horses) and for the Accommodation of Travellers and others; supported by a Society of Gentlemen…"38 A tallow chandlers' business was carried on at the "NORTH AMERICAN Coffee-house" in Norfolk in 1771.39
In Fredericksburg, Meredith Muse gave notice, in 1777, that he had "opened a COFFEEHOUSE in the House lately kept by Mrs. Julian as a Tavern," where "Gentlemen may be genteely accommodated with Lodging, &c. for themselves, Servants, and Horses."40 The coffee-house in Fredericksburg was mentioned in the Gazette from time to time, and on February 11, 1780, it was the scene of "an elegant ball" in celebration of General Washington's birthday.41
However, the Williamsburg coffee-houses are of special interest in this report.
The City of Williamsburg was laid out by act of General Assembly, passed in 1699, as the new seat of government for the Virginia Colony. The capitol building was completed at the eastern end of the city in 1705, and taverns and ordinaries soon grew up around it. A coffeehouse may have been established in Williamsburg around that date, but the first reference we have found to a coffeehouse is dated June 20, 1709. It appears in a diary of William Byrd of "Westover,"42 who stated that on the evening of June 20th he "sent for Mr. Clayton [John Clayton, later attorney general] from the coffeehouse" to whom he "gave a bottle of white wine."43
When in Williamsburg Byrd frequently visited the coffeehouse, but he never mentioned its proprietor by name in his diary; nor did he locate it, save to indicate that it was very near the Capitol.4415.
Because William Byrd is our only source of information as to the first Williamsburg coffeehouse during 1709-1712, we are appending his references to it in full.45 They give a detailed description of how a man spent his time in Williamsburg while attending meetings of the General Assembly, General Court, and Council. Byrd stayed in lodgings where he had his breakfast - usually only "boiled milk" - saw early callers, and wrote letters. He sometimes went to the coffeehouse to see friends or fellow-members of the Council in the morning before going to the Capitol. He often dropped into the coffeehouse (nearly always dining elsewhere first) in the late afternoon, and more often in the evening. Sometimes he just dropped in to talk; once or twice he went there to get his "papers in order" before going to the Capitol, and he occasionally wrote or received letters there. Most frequently he went there to join in a game of cards or dice, often spending the evening from 8 until 11, (and occasionally until 2 or 4 a.m.) gambling at the coffeehouse. He carefully recorded his winnings and losses at cards or dice (mentioning whist and piquet frequently). Of some one-hundred-and eleven visits to the coffeehouse during the 1709-1712 period, at least 68 of them were spent in gambling. From a few references to men who were rooming there, we know that the coffeehouse offered lodgings for a few men who were in Williamsburg on business.46
Byrd was familiar with the London coffeehouses, and took the accommodations of the Williamsburg coffeehouse as a matter of course.16.
From his diary, it is apparent that the coffeehouse was similar to the London coffeehouses. While there was no reference to "clubs" at this period,47 the Governors, members of the Council, the House of Burgesses, officers from British ships, and other men having business in Williamsburg, gathered at the coffee-house in the mornings, afternoons and evenings. They rarely ate meals there, but partook of coffee, tea, wine, and other light refreshment, while they discussed the news, politics, business, and played cards and dice. The coffee-house obviously had its main room where the men gathered to talk, read, write, smoke, and drink coffee, tea, wine, etc. It may have had separate rooms for gaming and for light meals, when specially ordered. Byrd was meticulous in noting what he ate during each day. With a few exceptions - and those only when it was expedient to remain at the coffeehouse rather than going elsewhere for a meal - Byrd dined elsewhere, as did his fellow-councilors and friends. His support, in so far as refreshment was concerned, would have done little to maintain the establishment. It is to be hoped that his fellow gamesters proved more remunerative. In one hundred and eleven visits to the coffeehouse Byrd only mentioned the purchase of refreshment of any kind 14 times. As of interest here, we quote these occasions:
October 29, 1710: "… About 5 o'clock we…walked to the coffeehouse where I drank two dishes of tea. Here I sat till 8 o'clock…"[Byrd, Diary, p. 249-50.]
April 20, 1711: "At night I walked to the coffeehouse and drank two dishes of tea. Then I returned to my lodgings…" [Ibid., p. 332.]
July 25, 1711: "… About 11 o'clock I went to the coffeehouse and ate some bread and butter and drank some tea until my room was put in order. …"[p. 379]17.
July 26, 1711: "… About 11 o'clock I went to the coffeehouse and drank some tea and ate some bread and butter till 12… [About 2 went to dinner at the governor's.] I went to see Mrs. Bland and from thence to the coffeehouse where I drank some tea and about 9 went home to bed…"[p. 379]
July 27, 1711: "… Then I sealed up my letters and at 11 I went to the coffeehouse and made my second breakfast of tea and bread and butter. Then I returned to my lodgings…"[p. 379.]
September 20, 1711: "… About 11 o'clock I went to the coffeehouse but before I went I gave [Harry] four greet pomegranates for the Governor which grew at Westover. Mr. Holloway was better this day. About 1 o'clock we went to dinner at the coffeehouse and I ate a fricassee of chicken for dinner. In the afternoon we played at piquet till the evening…"[p. 408.][Note: One o'clock was a most unusual hour for dinner — Byrd and his companions usually dined between 3 and 5 — but he had only arrived in Williamsburg the evening before, and was looking for some of his friends who were in Williamsburg. The Assembly was not meeting at this time, and Byrd was only in Williamsburg a couple of days.]
November 10, 1711: "… At night I went to the coffeehouse where came some other gentlemen. I played at cards and won 5 shillings. Then I went to my lodgings… At the coffeehouse I ate some chicken pie and drank a bottle of the President's wine."[pp. 435-36.]
November 21, 1711: "… About 2 o'clock we rose and went to dinner … Then we took a walk and afterwards went to the coffeehouse and played at whisk but lost 15 shillings. Then we played at dice and after losing £10 I recovered my money and won £8. … About 12 o'clock we drank a bottle of wine and then went home…[p. 441.]
November 24, 1711: "… About 10 I went to the coffeehouse and drank some tea and then we went to the President's…"[p. 442.]
November 29, 1711: "… About 9 I went to the Governor… Then I returned to the coffeehouse where I ate some toast and butter and drank milk tea on it. …" [p. 445.]
December 24, 1711: "… Then I went to the coffeehouse, where I met all my brothers of the Council [waiting for the Governor to come and adjourn the Assembly for Christmas holidays.] … dined with them at the coffeehouse and I ate some beef for dinner."[p.458.]
March 31, 1712: [In late afternoon] "… Then went to the coffeehouse and I ate some cold roast beef and Will Robinson gave me a bottle of wine. Then he and I played at piquet and I lost 50 shillings. About 11 I went home…"[p. 508.]18.
June 11, 1712: "… About 9 o'clock I went to the coffeehouse and drank some tea and stayed there till 12 o'clock…" [p. 542.]
This is all we know of the first Williamsburg coffeehouse at this time. Some years later, in another diary, William Byrd, (who was still a member of the Council, although he had spent a number of the intervening years in England)48 again mentioned visits to the coffeehouse in Williamsburg. Whether this was the coffeehouse of 1709-1712, or another, we cannot say. Byrd was a much older man - in his mid-sixties - at this time, and had given up frequent gaming. In his diary covering the period August 10, 1739 through August 31, 1741,49 Byrd only mentioned the coffeehouse on the four following occasions - and never mentioned having refreshments there:
May 1, 1740: "… At 9 went to court and sat close till 3 and ate roast veal with Wetherburn. After dinner we walked to the race but were soon forced to retire for the rain. I walked to the coffeehouse, and from thence home…"[Byrd, Diary, p. 63.]
May 3, 1740: "… I paid my debts and about 9 went to court… There we sat till one, then went to the coffeehouse and from thence to Mr. Needler's and ate sturgeon. After dinner walked…"[p. 63.]
June 11, 1740: "… I had several visitors and about 10 went to the capitol where we sat till 3, then dined with Wetherburn and ate broiled chicken. After dinner I walked to the coffeehouse and read news, then received some money of Lidderdale [John Lidderdale, merchant], then walked to Lady Randolph's and drank tea and talked with the girls…"[p.75.]
December 11, 1740: "… I went about 12 to Colonel Grymes's, who was gone; then to the coffeehouse and then dined with Mr. Needier and ate hog's head…"[p. 119.]19.
The next reference we have found to a coffeehouse in Williamsburg appears in the journal of Daniel Fisher, an English coffee-and-tea merchant, who, in 1750, came to Virginia from England. In 1751, he noted that he had leased "a large house near the Capitol" which had just become vacant, which was "known by the name of the English Coffee House."50 This building, on the south side of Duke of Gloucester Street, several houses above the Capitol, was the building operated by John Marot as an ordinary some years earlier.51 It was there that William Byrd frequently dined in the 1709-1712 period, before going to the coffeehouse. As Fisher's is the only reference we have discovered to the place as the "English Coffee House," we do not know whether the former keepers had, for a brief period, operated it by that name, or whether Fisher himself attempted to do so. In any case, Fisher gave up an attempt to have a public house after a month or so, and turned the place into "Apartments to let," where he also kept his store for the sale of coffee, tea, wines, etc. The files of the Virginia Gazette are not complete for the 1740-1750 period, but the October 3, 1751, issue contained Fisher's notice to the public that "The Tavern lately kept by Mr. James Shields, near the Capitol…will be opened, by the Subscriber, on Monday next" where Gentlemen "shall be sure of the best Accommodation in my Power."
In the 1760's and 1770's there was another coffeehouse in Williamsburg, which may have been operated as such even earlier. A building on the north side of Duke of Gloucester Street, a little above the Capitol, was leased prior 20. to 1739, and run as a tavern or ordinary by John Burdette, until his death in 1746.52 There is reference to "The sign of Edinburgh Castle with the irons, etc." in connection with the ordinary during that period; but we have found no direct reference to it as a coffeehouse at that time. In 1755, Robert Lyon, a wigmaker, advertised that "I now keep Tavern at the Sign of Edinburgh Castle, near the Capitol."53 Lyon leased the property from Benjamin Waller, a Williamsburg attorney, who sold it, in 1757 to John Pearson Webb for £275 current money of Virginia. Webb was a merchant and his wife a milliner. Webb died in 1764, and his widow had died by 1766. We do not know whether they occupied or leased the property. But we do know that by 1774 it had passed to a John Webb, attorney in Halifax, North Carolina, by whom it was offered for sale, and who still owned it in 1777. After the deaths of John Pearson Webb and his wife, the property was rented. And during the ca 1766-1777 period it was run as a coffeehouse.54
In 1769 an advertisement concerning the brick house now known as the "Palmer House" (Block 9, lot 27), it was described as "…the large and commodious BRICK HOUSE, opposite to the Coffee-House and nigh the Capitol."55 Later in the year, the occupant of the "Palmer House" gave notice that he intended "opening shop at the brick house opposite the coffeehouse."56 This places a coffeehouse on the north side of Duke of Gloucester, near the Capitol. In 1774, John Webb, of 21. Halifax, i.C., advertised for sale the building which had formerly been Budette's, [Block 17, lot 58-west] as that "valuable and well situated Lot in Williamsburg where the Coffeehouse is now kept."57 This ties the coffeehouse down to Lot 58-west, and subsequent references continue it there as late as 1777.58 In 1772 and 1773, Mary Dickinson, whose shop sold millinery and other goods, gave notice that she had "removed to the Store above the Coffeehouse, near the Capitol"; and that she had goods for sale "next Door above the Coffee House."59 Mrs. Dickinson was then on the site of "Walthoe's Storehouse," [Block 17, Lot 58-east], immediately above the Capitol, and to the east of the Coffeehouse on lot 58-west.
In 1777, John Webb of Halifax, N.C. again advertised his property on the north side of Duke of Gloucester Street (lot 58) offering:
"For SALE, MY house and lot in Williamsburg, at present the COFFEE HOUSE."60
As noted, we do not know who leased and operated "the coffeehouse" on this 22. site during the 1769-1777 period, except for a brief time. In May, 1771, the property was occupied by Mrs. Christianna Campbell, but when she moved there we do not know. We know that she had moved from lot 58 to a site back of the Capitol on Waller Street by October, 1771, where she "opened TAVERN."61 In 1760 she occupied the site of the present James Anderson House (lot 18) on Duke of Gloucester Street.62 She leased this property from William Withers, merchant, and probably continued to lease it from William Holt, who purchased it from Withers in 1760. In May, 1771, her location was noted as "the C0FFEE-HOUSE in the main street, next the Capitol, where Mrs. Campbell lives."63 Although the building, for some years known as the "coffeehouse," was so-called in the above notice, there is no indication that Mrs. Campbell conducted it as such. Neither Mrs. Campbell nor anyone else mentioned her place as a "coffeehouse" prior to 1772 - and she herself referred to it as a tavern. As women and children stayed and dined with Mrs. Campbell during the period in question, it was obviously not run as a coffeehouse - although she evidently had a room in which "the club" could meet and dine by 1770.
Whether on lot 18 (James Anderson site) or lot 58, which we know Mrs. Campbell occupied in May, 1771, George Washington first mentioned dining "at Mrs. Campbell's, where I had spent all my Evenings since I came to Town," on November 5, 1768.64 In 1769 he dined at Mrs. Campbell's some 27 times, supped there 12 23. times, and spent a number of evenings there. He had "1 Bowl of P[unch] and Toddy" there on the evening of November 17th; ate "a Mutton Chop at Mrs. Campbell's with Colo. Bassett" on November 18th; dined there "with Mrs. Washington and J.F.C., as also did Colo. and Mrs. Bassett" on November 25th. "Mrs. Washington, J.F.C. and Mrs. Bassett dined at Mrs. Campbell's" alone on November 26th. On December 2, 1769, "Mrs. Washington and children, myself, Colo. Basset, Mrs. Basset and Betsey Bassett, all Eat Oysters at Mrs. Campbell's abt. one oclock" before going to Eltham.65 In June, 1770, Washington frequently "Dined at the Club at Mrs. Campbell's," or "Dined at the Club" - which sometimes met elsewhere - while in Williamsburg.66
In May, 1771, when Mrs. Campbell was definitely located on lot 58, the Washington family stayed there.67 During this period Washington, who was in Williamsburg for medical advice concerning his step-daughter, Patsy Custis, wrote:
[May, 1771] "3. Dined at the Speaker's and went to the Play; after wch. Drank a Bowl or two of punch at Mrs. Campbell's.
4. Dined at Mrs. Campbell's (and paid for Dinner and Clue, and went to Eltham…
9. Dined at Mrs. Campbell's, and Spent the Evening at Southall's [Raleigh tavern] …
10. Dined at Mrs. Campbell's and went to Bed early.
11. Returnd to Eltham with Colo. Bassett after dining at Mrs. Campbell's. "68
The next entries in Washington's diary concern Mrs. Campbell's place back of the Capitol, which she opened as a tavern in the fall of 1771: 24.
WILLIAMSBURG, October 3, 1771."I BEG LEAVE TO ACQUAINT THE PUBLIC THAT I have opened TAVERN in the House behind the Capitol, lately occupied by Mrs. Vobe; where those Gentlemen who please to favour me with their Custom may depend upon genteel Accommodations, and the very best Entertainment. -- ? I shall reserve Rooms for the Gentlemen who formerly lodged with me.
In 1765 Mrs. Jane Vobe was operating this house behind the Capitol - apparently as a coffeehouse. In April of that year, a French traveller stayed there, describing his visit as follows:
"…aipril the 25th set out Early for Williamsburg…at 9 arived at this Capitol…
on our arival we had great Difficulty to get lodgings but thanks to mr sprowl I got a room at mrs vaube's tavern, where all the best people resorted. I soon got acquainted with several of them, but particularly with Colonel Burd, sir peton striper, Capt Russel, Capt le fore, and others, which I soon was like to have reason to repent, for they are all professed gamesters, Especially Colonel Bard, who is never happy but when he has ye box and Dices in hand. …
aipril the 28th …Never was a more Disagreable place than this at present. In the Day time people hurying back and forwards from the Capitoll to the taverns, and at night, carousing and Drinking In one Chamber and box and Dice in another, which continues till morning commonly, there is not a publick house in Virginia but have their tables all batered with ye boxes…"70
In November of the same year, the lieutenant-governor, Francis Fauquier mentioned "the Coffee house" in a letter describing the reception of Col. Mercer in Williamsburg, when he arrived to distribute the stamps required by the hated Stamp Act:
"… I then thought it proper to go to the Coffee house (where I occasionally sometimes go) which is situated in that part of the town which is call'd the Exchange, tho' an open street where all money business is transacted.25.
… they [the crowd who were in town] followed him [Colonel Mercer] to the Coffee house, in the porch of which I had seated myself with many of the Council and the Speaker [John Robinson] who had posted himself between the crowd and myself…"71
The Frenchman's account indicates that this building had separate rooms for drinking and gaming; and the governor's reference mentions a porch.
The Virginia Gazette (Joseph Royle, ed.) for October 25, 1765, also gave an account of the arrival of George Mercer as "Chief Distributor of the Stamps for the colony," and described the crowd which "attended him as far as the Coffee House, where the Governor, most of the Council, and a great number of Gentlemen were assembled." On July 23, 1767, William Rind's Virginia Gazette contained a letter to the editor from Hugh Mercer, concerning Dr. Lee's challenge to a duel, in which Mercer stated what he had "already repeated in the coffee-house in the presence of numbers." All of these references spoke of the coffee-house; and only Francis Fauquier's letter mention its location in reference to "the Exchange"-which it has been assumed was immediately east and back of the Capitol. Fauquier's letter also mentioned a porch, Repairs to Mrs. Campbell's house in 1782 noted "the Barr & 2 porches." (Humphrey Harwood Ledger B, page 47.)
However, we know that Mrs. Vobe, whether a tavern or coffee-house keeper, was situated on lots 21 and 22, back of the Capitol, prior to Mrs. Campbell's removal to that site in the fall of 1771. In his diary, George Washington mentioned Mrs. Vobe twice during her occupancy of the site: On November 6, 1769, he "supd. at Mrs. Vobe's with Colo. Fitzhugh"72; and on May 6, 1771, he "Dined at Mrs. Vobes; and Suppd at Anderson's."73 Mrs. Vobe offered her household and 26. kitchen furniture for sale at public auction in July, 1771.74 In September of that year she gave notice that she intended "to leave the Colony in a few Weeks."75 But by February, 1772, she had opened "Tavern opposite to the Raleigh, at the Sign of the King's Arms."76
As already noted, Christiana (or Christianna) Campbell moved to the location behind the Capitol in the fall of 1771, giving notice that she had "opened TAVERN in the house, the other side of the capitol, lately occupied by Mrs. Vobe; where those Gentlemen who please to favour me with their custom may depend upon genteel accommodations, and the very best entertainment." She added that she would "reserve rooms for the Gentlemen who formerly lodged" with her.77 In 1773, the "HOUSE and two LOTS…where Mrs. Campbell keeps Tavern, below the Capitol," were offered for sale by Benjamin Waller, the executor of Nathaniel Walthoe's estate.78 Mrs. Campbell purchased the property from Walthoe's heirs for £598-10s. current money of Virginia, several Virginia gentlemen signing her deed of trust.79
With the exception of references to Mrs. Campbell in Washington's diaries, we have little further information as to her operations on the site. In November, 1774, "Mrs. Campbell's House was broke open" and some trunks and clothing stolen.80 That same month a John Pringle, deceased, was mentioned 27. as "late Bar Keeper to Mrs. Campbell."81 In 1776, a dark bay horse strayed "from mrs. Campbell's, early on Friday morning."82
Christiana Campbell had given up tavern-keeping , "for some years" by 1783;83 and she offered her "HOUSES & LOTS…Whereon I now LIVE. ALSO A QUANTITY OF FURNITURE" for sale in 1787.84 She had died by 1792, after which her property was again advertised for sale.85
We can discover no reference in which Mrs. Campbell described her public house on this site as anything but a tavern, where she also had rooms for Gentlemen lodgers. She served meals, and Washington's club met there - as it did on occasion at other taverns. She evidently had a separate room for "the club." 86 As of interest here, we quote from Washington's diary all of the references to Mrs. Campbell's after October 1771, when she started operations on this site:
John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Diaries of George Washington. 1748-1799 (Boston & New York: 1925) Volume II, 1771-1785, pages 40, 57-59, 104, 130-132, 152, 158-159.
[In Wi1liamsburg October 29 - November 7, 1771.]
p.40: [November.] "6. Dined at Mrs. Dawson's and Spent the Evening at Mrs. Campbell's."
[In Williamsburg March 2 - April 9, 1772.]
p.57: [March.] "9. Returnd to Williamsburg [from Col. Bassett's1 by 12 Oclock and Dined at the Club at Mrs. Campbell's.
11. Dined and Spent the Evening at the Club at Mrs. Campbell's.
12. Dined at the Club87 and went to the Play.
13. Dined at the Club and Spent the Evening at Southall's.
28. 14. Dined at the Club and Spent the Evening there also.
16. Dined at the Club, and spent the Evening there also.
17. Dined at the Club and went to the Play in the Afternoon.
18. Dined at the Club and Spent the Evening at the Burgesses' Ball in the Capitol.
p.58: 21. Dined at the Club and Spent the Evening there also.
23. Returnd to Williamsburg before 10 Oclock, and dined at the Club and spent the Evening at the same.
24. Dined at the Club and spent the Evening at Mr. Anderson's.
26. Dined at the Club, and went to the Play.
27. Dined at the Club and Spent the Evening in my own Room.
28. Dined at the Club and Spent the Evening at Mrs. Campbell's.
30. Dined and Spent the Eveng. at Mrs. Campbell's.
31. Dined at Mrs. Campbell's and spent the Evening there also.
p.59: [April] 1. Dined and Spent the Evening at Mrs. Campbell's.
2. Dined and Spent the Evening at Mrs. Campbell's.
3. Dined at Mrs. Campbell's and went to the Play; then to Mrs. Campbell's again.
6. Returnd to Williamsburg; Dined at Mrs. Campbell's. Went to the Concert and then to Mrs. Campbell's again.
7. Dined at Mrs. Campbell's and went to the Play; then to Mrs. Campbell's again.
8. Dined at Mrs. Campbell's and Spent the Evening at my lodgings."
[p.59-fn.] "Among the expense memoranda in Williamsburg at this time are the following… dentist accounts, Dr. Pasteur for Miss Custis, Mrs. Charlton's accounts for Mrs. Washington and Miss Custis, etc; also 'By Ditto for my board there since the 1st of March £11:0:0'. Also 'By Dinners & Clubs thereat, at Mrs. Campbell's during my stay in Williamsburg £7.7.6.']
[In Williamsburg March 4 - March 13, 1773. Lodged at Mr. Charlton's.]29.
p.104:[March] "6. Dined at the Treasurer's and Spent the Evening at Mrs. Campbell's.
7. Dined at the Governor's and Spent the Evening at Mrs. Campbell's.
8. Dined, and Spent the Evening at Mrs. Campbell's.
10. Dined at Mrs. Campbell's and Spent the Evening there also.
11. Dined and Spent the Evening in the Club Room at Mrs. Campbell's.
12. Did the same."
[Note: 'By Sundry Evening Clubs at Mrs. Campbells. £1.4.0. (Ledger B.) ]
[In Williamsburg November 1 - December 1773]
pp.130-131: [November] "19. Came to Williamsburg with Colo. Bassett. the Eveng at the Coffee House.88
20. Dined at Mrs. Dawson's, and spent the Evening at the Coffee House.
22. Dined at Mr. Southall's [the Raleigh], and spent the Evening again at the Coffee House.
24. Dined at the Speaker's and spent the Evening at the Coffee House.
25. Dined at Southall's and spent the Evening again at the Coffee House.
29. Went to Williamsburg again [from Col. Bassett's] and Dined at Southall's, spending the Evening at the Coffee House.
p.132:[December] "2. Dined at Southall's, and spent the Evening at Mrs. Campbell's."
In Williamsburg May 16 - June 18, 1774.]
p.151: May "16. Came to Wms.burg, dind at the Governor's and spent the Evening at Mrs. Campbell's.
18. Dined at the Club at Mrs. Campbell's and spent the Evening at Southall's.
19. Dined and spent the Evening at Mrs. Campbell's.
20. Dined at Mrs. Campbell's and spent the afternoon at my own lodgings.
30. p.152: 24. Dined at the Speaker's and spent the Evening at Mrs. Campbell's.
28. Dined at Mrs. Campbell's and spent the Evening at my Lodgings."
[In Williamsburg August 1 - August 7, 1771]
p.158: [August] "1st. Went from Colo. Bassett's to Williamsburg to the Meeting of the Convention. Dined at Mrs. Campbell's. Spent the Evening in my Lodgings.
p.159: 6. Dined at Mrs. Campbell's and spent the Evening at my own Lodgings."
There were at least four, and possibly five, coffeehouses in Williamsburg during the eighteenth century:89
The first coffeehouse was operating in 1709, and possibly earlier. We have some one hundred and eleven references to it in the diary of William Byrd of "Westover," between the years 1709-1712. However, we do not know the name of its keeper or its exact location, except that it was near the Capitol. Like the London coffeehouses, it was a gathering-place for men, to discuss and read the news, write or receive letters, play at cards and dice, and drink coffee, tea, wines, punch, and other beverages. Although it was not customary to dine at the coffeehouse, light meals - or light refreshments other than beverages - were sometimes served there. In 1739-1741 Byrd mentioned "the coffeehouse" in another diary. We do not know whether this was the same coffeehouse, or whether it was on some other location.*31.
In 1751 the building previously known as Marot's (Block 9 lot 25) was referred to as "The English Coffee House." How long this building operated as a coffeehouse prior to 1751, when it was divided into apartments to let, we do not know. It may have been a coffeehouse in the late 1740's.**
In the 1760's, and as late as 1777, the building occupied earlier in the century by John Burdette, and also known as "Edinburgh Castle," (Block 17, lot 58-west) was operated as a coffeehouse. Again, we do not know the name of its keeper. For a time prior to her move to the 'Taller Street site behind the Capitol, Mrs. Christianna (or Christiana) Campbell operated her tavern in this coffeehouse. It was called "the coffeehouse" when offered for sale in 1777.***
The house on Waller Street, behind the Capitol, (Block 8, lots 21,22) which was occupied by Mrs. Jane Vobe prior to Mrs. Campbell's ownership, was referred to as a coffeehouse in 1765. It was also referred to as a tavern at the same period. Whether Mrs. Vobe operated a coffeehouse and tavern, or first one and then the other, we do not know. After Mrs. Campbell's removal to the house in the fall of 1771, she operated a tavern on the site, if her advertisements are to be believed. She continued to own the property until her death in 1792, but had ceased to operate her tavern some years prior to 1783.****
There were two approved ways of making coffee after its introduction into England and the English-American Colonies. The first described in 1662:
"To make the drink that is now much used called coffee. The coffee-berries are to be bought at any Druggist, about three shillings the pound; take what quantity you please, and over a charcoal fire, in an old pudding-pan or frying-pan, keep them always stirring until they be quite black, and when you crack one with your teeth that it is black within as it is without; yet if you exceed, then do you waste the Oyl, which only makes the drink; and if less, then will it not deliver its Oyl, which must make the drink; and if you should continue fire till it be white, it will then make no coffee, but only give you its salt. The Berry prepared as above, beaten and forced through a Lawn Sive, is then fit for use.
Take clean water, and boil one-third of it away what quantity soever it be, and it is fit for use. Take one quart of this prepared Water, put it in one ounce of your prepared coffee, and boil it gently one-quarter of an hour, and it is fit for your use; drink one-quarter of a pint as hot as you can sip it."90
As already noted, in England the coffee was sometimes "mixed with sugar candy, and even with mustard," but was usually served black in coffee-houses, without milk or sugar.91
In 1722 a coffee merchant in England objected to boiled coffee, and wrote a treatise on "the True Way of Preparing and Making Coffee," in which he recommended the following method, which soon gained popularity in England, France, and, doubtless, in the colonies:
"Put the quantity of powder you intend, into your pot (which should be either of stone, or silver, being much better than tin or copper which takes from it much of its flavour and goodness) then pour boiling-hot water upon the aforesaid powder, and let it stand to infuse five minutes before the fire. This is an excellent way, and far exceeds the common one of boiling…33.
Some, make coffee with spring water, but it is not so good as river, or Thames-water, because the former makes it hard, and distasteful, and the other makes it smooth and pleasant, lying soft on the stomach. If you have a desire to make good coffee…I cannot conceive how you can put less than two ounces of powder to a quart, or one ounce to a pint of water; some put two ounces and a quarter."92
In Ukers, All About Coffee, there are illustrations of coffee apparatus and utensils which were used in England, France, and the English colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries. The earliest manner of roasting coffee was in an open pan, or iron spider (with legs and long handle), over a bed of coals or charcoal. Cylinders, with long handles, or to hang on cranes over the coals, were developed in the seventeenth century.93 The earliest method of "powdering" coffee was with mortar and pestle; but coffee mills or grinders were developed in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Some of these were table grinders, and others were attached to the wall.94 In 1798 a coffee-mill was patented in the United States. There are also illustrations of tin, pewter, silver, stoneware and porcelain coffee pots, and coffee-services - including the cups, or dishes, in the volume.95
William H. Ukers, All About Coffee (New York: 1935) pages 49-75.p.49] "'The first coffee house in London,' says John Aubrey (1626-97), the English antiquary and folklorist, 'was in St. Michael's Alley, in Cornhill, opposite to the church, which was sett up by one…Bowman…'p.51]… Concerning London's second coffee-house keeper, James Farr, proprietor of the Rainbow, … Edward Hatton says: 'I find it recorded that one James Farr, a barber, who kept the coffee-house, which is now the Rainbow, by the Inner Temple Gate (one of the first in England), was in the year 1657, prosecuted by the inquest at St. Dunstan's in the West, for making and selling a sort of liquor called coffe, as a great nuisance and prejudice to the neighborhood, etc., and who would then have thought London would ever have had near three thousand such nuisances, and that coffee would have been, as now, so much drank by the best of quality and physicians?' [Hatton, Edward, New View of London. London: 1705 (vol. i, p.3O.)]p.52] …
Women played a not inconspicuous part in establishing businesses for the sale of the coffee drink in England, although the coffee houses were not for both sexes, as in other European countries. … Mary Stringar ran a coffee house in Little Trinity Lane in 1669; Anne Blunt was mistress of one of the Turk's-Head houses in Cannon Street in 1672. …p.54] …
The coffee drink at one time was mixed with sugar candy, and also with mustard. In the coffee houses, however, it was usually served black; 'few people then mixed it with either sugar or milk.'p.56] … The following set of regulations in somewhat halting rhyme was displayed on the walls of several of the coffee houses in the seventeenth century :
["RULES AND ORDERS OF THE COFFEE HOUSE" follow]p.57] …
In the beginning, only coffee was dispensed in the English coffee houses. Soon chocolate, sherbet, and tea were added; but the places still maintained their status as social and temperance factors. …
p.61] Opposition to the Coffee House.
It is easy to see why the coffee houses at once found favor among men of intelligence in all classes. Until they came, the average Englishman had only the tavern as a place of common resort. But here was a public house offering a non-intoxicating beverage, and its appeal was instant and universal.ii.
As a meeting place for the exchange of ideas it soon attained wide popularity. … The publicans and ale-house keepers, seeing business slipping away from them, made strenuous propaganda against this new social center; and not a few attacks were launched against the coffee drink.
All through the years remaining in the seventeenth century, and through most of the eighteenth century, the London coffee houses grew and prospered. As before stated, they were originally temperance institutions, very different from the taverns and ale houses. …
At prices ranging from one to two pence per dish, the demand grew so great that coffee-house keepers were obliged to make the drink in pots holding eight or ten gallons.
The seventeenth-century coffee houses were sometimes referred to as the "penny universities'; because they were great schools of conversation, and the entrance fee was only a penny. Two pence was the usual price of a dish of coffee or tea, this charge also covering newspapers and lights. It was the custom for the frequenter to lay his penny on the bar, on entering or leaving. Admission to the exchange of sparkling wit and brilliant conversation was within the reach of all.So great a Universitie
I think there ne're was any;
In which you may a Schoolar be
For spending of a Penny.
'Regular customers,' we are told, 'had particular seats and special attention from the fair lady at the bar, and the tea and coffee boys.'
It is believed that the modern custom of tipping, and the word ,'tip', originated in the coffee houses, where frequently hung brass-bound boxes, into which customers were expected to drop coins for the servants. The boxes were inscribed 'To Insure Promptness,' and from the initial letters of these words came 'tip'.
The National Review says, 'before 1715 the number of coffee houses in London was reckoned at 2000.' Dufour, who wrote in 1683, declares, upon information received from several persons who had staid in London, that there were 3000 of these places. However, 2000 is probably nearer the fact.p.71] °
Evolution of the Club Every profession, trade, class, and party had its favorite coffee house. 'The bitter black drink called coffee,' as Mr. Pepys described the beverage, brought together all sorts and conditions of men; and out of their mixed association there developed groups of patrons favouring particular houses and iii. giving them character. It is easy to trace the transition of the group into a clique that later became a club, continuing for a time to meet at the coffee house or the chocolate house, but eventually demanding a house of its own.
Starting as a forum for the commoner, the coffee house soon became the plaything of the leisure class; and when the club was evolved, the coffee house began to retrograde to the level of the tavern. And so the eighteenth century, which saw the coffee house at the height of its power and popularity, witnessed also its decline and fall. It is said there were as many clubs at the end of the century as there were coffee houses at the beginning.
A few houses survived until the early years of the nineteenth century, but the social side had disappeared. As tea and coffee entered the homes, and the exclusive club house succeeded the democratic coffee forum, the coffee houses became taverns or chop houses, or, convinced that they had outlived their usefulness, just ceased to be.
Pen Pictures of Coffee-House Life. [pp.71-72]
From the writings of Addison in the Spectator, Steele in the Tatler, Mackay in his Journey Through England, Macaulay in his history, and others, it is possible to draw a fairly accurate pen-picture of life in the old London coffee house.
In the seventeenth century the coffee room usually opened off the street. At first only tables and chairs were spread about on a sanded floor. Later, this arrangement was succeeded by the boxes, or booths, such as appear in the Rowlandson caricatures, the picture of the interior of Lloyds, etc.
The walls were decorated with handbills and posters advertising the quack medicines, pills, tinctures, salves, and electuaries of the period, all of which might be purchased at the bar near the entrance, presided over by a prototype of the modern English barmaid. There were also bills of the play, auction notices, etc., depending upon the character of the place.
So every man of the upper or middle classes went daily to his coffee house to learn the news and to discuss it. The better class houses were the meeting places of the most substantial men in the community.
Macaulay gives us the following picture of the coffee house of 1685:
'Nobody was excluded from these places who laid down his penny at the bar. Yet every rank and profession, and every shade of religious and political opinion had its own headquarters.
There were houses near St. James' Park, where fops congregated… Tobacco in any other form than that of richly scented snuff was held iv. in abomination. If any clown, ignorant of the usages of the house, called for a pipe, the sneers of the whole assembly and the short answers of the waiters soon convinced him that he had better go somewhere else.
Nor, indeed, would he have far to go. For, in general, the coffee-houses reeked with tobacco like a guard room. Nowhere was smoking more constant than at Will's. That celebrated house, situated between Covent Garden and Bow street, was sacred to polite letters. There the talk was about poetical justice and the unities of place and time. Under no roof was a greater variety of figures to be seen. There were earls in stars and garters, clergymen in cassocks and bands, pert Templars, sheepish lads from universities, translators and index makers in ragged coats of frieze. The great press was to get near the chair where John Dryden sate. In winter that chair was always in the warmest nook by the fire; in summer it stood in the balcony. …
There were coffee-houses where the first medical men might be consulted.
There were Puritan coffee-houses where no oath was heard…'
p. 74] In the eighteenth century beer and wine were commonly sold at the coffee houses, in addition to tea and chocolate. Daniel Defoe, writing of his visit to Shrewsbury in 1724, says, 'I found there the most coffee houses around the Town Hall, that I ever saw in any town, but when you come into them they are but ale houses, only they think that the name coffee house gives a better air.'
Mackay, in his Journey Through England (1724) says:'We rise by nine, and those that frequent men's levees find entertainment at them till eleven, or, as in Holland, go to tea-tables; about twelve the beau monde assemble in several coffee or chocolate houses; the best of which are the Cocoatree and White's chocolate houses, St. James', the Smyrna, Mrs. Rochford's and the British coffee houses; …'
p. 75] 'After the play,' writes Defoe, 'the best company generally go to Tom's, and Will's coffee houses, near adjoining, where there is playing at picquet and the best of conversation till midnight. …'
Men had their coffee houses as now they have their clubs--sometimes contented with one, sometimes belonging to three or four. ,.."
A.S. Turberville, Johnson's England (Oxford: 1933) Vol. I, pages 177-180.
"But it was in the coffee-houses that the national passion for politics found its chief expression. The coffee-house and the tavern played a very important part in London life. Indeed, Coleman and Thornton begin their 'view of the town' [Connoisseur, No. 1, Jan. 31, 1754] with a survey of the principal v. coffee-houses. Different professions and classes and groups had their favourite coffeehouses. To these men went at all times of the day (often beginning with breakfast in dressing-gown and slippers) to read the newspapers, and there the writers for the newspapers went to learn the news and the 'latest lie of the town.' [In The Idler, No. 48, March 17, 1759.] The staple of the coffee-man was as much news as coffee; the character of the news differed: merchants frequented the coffee-houses that clustered thickly round the Royal Exchange, notably Garraway's, Jonathan's, Thom's and Lloyd's. The booksellers met at the Chapter off Paternoster Row, the doctors at Batson's. Temple Bar and Covent Garden were the centres for authors and wits; men of fashion were to be found there, but their chief resort was to the coffee-houses and chocolate-houses of St. James's Street and Pall Mall.
The coffee-house was a godsend especially to the young men who came to town, as Johnson did, to earn a living from the booksellers. … By spending threepence in a coffee-house he might be for some hours every day in very good company.
As the coffee-houses were embryo clubs, so when the formal club developed out of them it was a sign that their decline was beginning. When Johnson came to London the club in this modern sense had recently come into being at White's Chocolate-house in St. James's Street. This had been a resort of men of fashion for high play since the end of the seventeenth century. Shortly before 1736 its habitues formed a club (one black ball to exclude) with rules to keep outsiders from their 'Subscription Rooms.' The rest of the house remained open to the public, but before long the whole building was absorbed by the club, and eventually the members became owners of the premises. Other coffee-and-chocolate-houses went through a similar evolution: …
It was White's that fascinated and horrified the public for its deserved reputation for extreme fashion and high play. …
City coffee-houses had a corresponding development but their outcome was an embryo Stock Exchange and (ultimately) the modern Lloyd's. By Addison's day, Lloyd's coffee-house was one of the chief commercial sale rooms in the City, especially for those interested in shipping and foreign trade. Its early possession of accurate shipping news led to the publication of Lloyd's List. …
These coffee-house clubs had their own activities: as that of Lloyd's was (inter alia) the sale and insurance of ships, and that of Jonathan's and Garraway's was stock jobbing, so that of the fashionable clubs of St. James's was betting and high play with the occasional organization of a ball or masquerade.
Covent Garden was the centre for wits, authors, actors, and to some extent artists. The Bedford coffee-house 'under the Piazza' (not to be confused with the Bedford Head tavern close by) was their head-quarters. It was the resort of Fielding, Hogarth, Murphy, Foote, and Coleman, as Button's or Will's had been that of Dryden, Addison, and Steele. …
Though the literary coffee-houses are naturally prominent in the writings vi. of 'authors by profession', most coffee-houses were places for talking politics and reading the newspapers. Foreigners invariably comment on the passion of Eng]ishmen for politics and news.…
It is with the tavern more than the coffee-house that Johnson is associated."
E. Beresford Chancellor, The 18th Century in London (B.T. Batsford, London - New Issue: 1933) pages 129-137.
"Coffee-Houses, -- As we have seen, clubs had their origin in such places, and indeed, during the earlier years of the century, the two were more or less synonymous. Mission who visited this country at the close of the 17th century, says that 'Coffee-Houses which are very numerous in London, are extremely convenient. You have all manner of news there; you have a good Fire, which you may sit by as long as you please; you have a Dish of Coffee; you meet your Friends for the transaction of Business, and all for a penny, if you don't care to spend more'; while Miralt, a contemporary visitor, observes that the national character could be carefully studied in such centres, even by those unacquainted with the language. His further remark that it is usual to see the clergy with pipes in their mouths in coffee-houses, is confirmed at a later date, by the pencil of Hogarth and of Rowlandson.
The Coffee and Chocolate Houses of the period were as the sands of the sea in number, and those in the City were as popular as those in what are now more fashionable quarters. For instance, there was the noted Garraway's,, in Change Alley, where tea was first sold in England, and where the speculators in the South Sea and analogous companies, congregated at the time of that mania, in large and heterogeneous crowds. It dated from the middle of the 17th century, but the hey-day of its prosperity was during the following hundred years, and its rebuilding after the disastrous fire which destroyed it and a large number of neighbouring premises, in 1748, probably gave it a fresh lease of life. The references to the place in the Spectator, indicate that besides being a coffee-house in the more limited acceptation of the term, Garraway's was the resort of merchants, and the centre of foreign, as well as domestic, news. …
Another Change Alley Coffee-House was Jonathan's, mentioned by both the Spectator and the Tatler, as the meeting-place of stock-jobbers. …
Among other places of similar resort in Change Alley, was the Turk's Head Coffee-house, originally opened in 1662; but the better remembered resort, of the same name, was in Gerrard Street, Soho, where the Literary Club was founded…
Such places as the Jerusalem and Jamaica Coffee-houses, both in Cornhill, were rather subscription houses for merchants trading in the Indies and elsewhere, than coffee-houses in the more ordinary acceptation of the word; while Lloyds, the predecessor of the present great institution, which was, however, not established till 1770, had also this special character. It was here that Addison humorously records the loss of one of his contributions to the Spectator, in No. 40 of that publication; and the latter to Isaac Bickerstaff, in the Tatler for 26th December 1710, is dated from Lloyd's Coffee-House.vii.
The Chapter Coffee-House, close by in Paternoster Row, was the great resort of publishers and booksellers. Here it was, at a meeting of the club called the Conger, that the edition of the Poets, with lives by Dr. Johnson, was arranged for…p.133] …
One of the numerous Turk's Head Coffee-Houses was situated in the Strand at No. 142; readers of Boswell will remember various references to the place--a place patronized by Johnson because, as he once said, 'the mistress of it was a good civil woman, and had not much business.' We may be sure that if anything was calculated to improve her trade, it would be the presence of so famous an 18th-century figure as that of Johnson.
Concerning the great Covent Garden Coffee-Houses, Will's, Button's, Thom King's, the Bedford, and the Piazza, the literary history of the period teems with anecdotes and allusions. °
p.135] …viii. p.136] …
The well-known description given by Macky [Journey through England, 2 vols. 1722] of such resorts in the West End will bear repetition here, because it not only gives a list of the chief coffee-houses at this end of the town, but also records the daily routine of a Londoner of the period. 'I am lodged,' he writes, 'in a street called Pall Mall, the ordinary residence of all strangers, because of its vicinity to the King's Palace, the Park, the Parliament House, the Theatres, and the Chocolate and Coffee Houses, where the best company frequent. If you would know our manner of living, 'tis thus: We rise by nine, and those that frequent great men's Levees, find entertainment at them till eleven. About twelve the Beau Monde assembles at several Coffee or Chocolate Houses: the best of which are the Cocoa-Tree and White's Chocolate Houses; St. James's, the Smyrna, Mrs. Rochford's and the British Coffee-houses, and all these so near one another that in less than an hour you see the company of them all. We are carried to these places in chairs (or Sedans) which are here very cheap, a guinea a week or a shilling per hour, and your chairmen serve you for porters to run errands. If it is fine weather, we take a turn in the Park till two, when we go to dinner, and it it be dirty, you are entertained to Picket or Basset at White's, or you may talk politics at the Smyrna and St. James's. I must not forget to tell you that the Parties have their different places, where, however, a stranger is always well received; but a Whig will no more go to the Cocoa-Tree or Ozinda's, than a Tory will be seen at the Coffee-House of St. James's. The Scots go generally to the British, and a mixture of all sorts to the Smyrna. .. At two we generally go to Dinner: ordinaries are not so common as abroad; yet the French have set up two or three pretty good ones, for the convenience of foreigners, in Suffolk Street, where one is tolerably well served; but the general way, here, is to make a party at a coffee-house to go to dine at the tavern, where we sit till six, till we go to the play, except you are invited to the table of some great man, which strangers are always invited to, and nobly entertained.'
As affording us a foreign point of view of the subject, an interesting word picture of the London coffee-houses, during the reigns of the first and second Georges, is given be De Saussure who, writing in 1726, thus speaks of them: 'In London there are a great number of coffee-houses, most of which, to tell the truth, are not overclean or well famished, owing to the quantity of people who resort to these places and because of the smoke, which would quickly destroy good furniture. In the coffee-houses, you can partake of chocolate, tea, or coffee, and of all sorts of liquors, served hot; also in many places you can have wine, punch, or ale. What attracts enormously in these coffee-houses are the gazettes and other public papers. Workmen habitually begin the day by going to coffee-houses in order to read the latest news. I have often seen shoe-blacks and other persons of that class club together to purchase a far-ping paper… Some coffee-houses are a resort for learned scholars and wits;* others are the resort of dandies or of politicians, or again of professional newsmongers; and many others are temples of Venus. You can easily recognise the latter, because they frequently have as a sign a woman's arm or hand holding a coffee-pot. There are a great number of these houses in the neighbourhood of Covent Garden; they pass for being chocolate-houses and you are waited on by beautiful, neat, well-dressed, and amiable, but very dangerous, nymphs."
Sir Walter Besant, London in the Eighteenth Century (London: 1903) pp. 310-319.
p.310] … "Among the 3000 coffee-houses which flourished in London during the century [18th], many were connected with illustrious names. Most, of course, belong to the unknown multitude. For a picture of a coffee-house of that time we may go to Ned Ward. The house he describes is Old Man's, Scotland Yard:- 'We now ascended a pair of stairs, which brought us into an old-fashioned room, where a gaudy crowd of odoriferous Tom-Essences were walking backwards and forwards, with their hats in their hands, … We squeezed through till we got to the end of the room, where, at a small table, we sat down, and observed that it was as great a rarity to hear anybody call for a dish of Politician's Porridge, or any other liquor, as it is to hear a beau call for a pipe of tobacco; their whole exercise being to charge and discharge their nostrils, and keep the curls of their periwigs in their proper order. The clashing of their snush-box lids, in opening and shutting, made more noise than their tongues. Bows and cringes of the newest mode were here exchanged … We now began to be thoughtful of a pipe of tobacco; whereupon we ventured to call for some instruments of evaporation, which were accordingly brought us, but with such a kind of unwillingness, as if they would much rather been rid of our company; for their tables were so ix. very neat, and shined with rubbing, like the upper-leathers of an alderman's shoes, and as brown as the top of a country housewife's cupboard. The floor was as clean swept as a Sir Courtly's dining-room, which made us look round, to see if there were no orders hung up to impose the forfeiture of so much Mop-money upon any person that should spit out of the chimney-corner. Notwithstanding we wanted an example to encourage us in our porterly rudeness, we ordered them to light the wax-candle, by which we ignified our pipes and blew about our whiffs; at which several Sir Foplins drew their faces into as many peevish wrinkles as the beaux at the Bow Street Coffee-house, near Covent Garden…'The following is from A Brief and Merry History of Great Britain, A.D…
'There's a prodigious Number of Coffee-Houses in London, after the manner I have seen some in Constantinople. The outsides have nothing remarkable or worth describing, so that I'll speak only of their Customs, which deserve some Notice, because most of the Men resort to them to pass away the Time. These Coffee-Houses are the constant Rendezvous for Men of Business, as well as the idle People, so that a Man is sooner asked about his Coffee-House than his Lodgings. Besides Coffee, there are many other Liquors, which People cannot well relish at first. They smoak Tobacco, game, and read Papers of Intelligence; here they treat of Matters of State, make Leagues with Foreign Princes, break them again, and transact Affairs of the last Consequence to the whole World. In a word, 'tis here the English discourse freely of everything, and where they may in a very little time be known; their Character like-wise may be partly discovered, even by People that are Strangers to the Language, … They represent these Coffee-houses as the most agreeable things in London, and they are, in my Opinion, very proper Places to find People that a Man has Business with, or to pass away the Time a little more agreeably than he can do at home; but in other respects they are loathsome, full of smoak, like a Guard-Room, and as much crowded. I believe 'tis these Places that furnish the Inhabitants with Slander, for there one hears exact Accounts of everything done in Town, as if it were but a Village.
At those Coffee-Houses near the Court, called White's, St. James's, William's, the Conversation turns chiefly upon Equipages, Essence, Horse-Matches, Tupees, Modes, and Mortgages; the Cocoa-Tree upon Bribery and Corruption, Evil ministers, Errors and Mistakes in Government; the Scotch Coffee-Houses towards Charing-Cross, on Places and Pensions; the Tilt-yard and Young Man's on Affronts, Honour, Satisfaction, Duels, and Recounters. I was informed that the latter happen so frequently, in this part of the Town, that a Surgeon and a Sollicitor are kept constantly in waiting; the one to dress and heal such Wounds as may be given, and the other in case of Death to bring off the Survivor with a Verdict of Se Devendendo, or Manslaughter. In those Coffee-Houses about the Temple, the Subjects are generally x. on Causes, Costs, Demurrers, Rejoinders, and Exceptions; …and all those about the Exchange, where the Merchants meet to transact their Affairs, are in a perpetual hurry about Stock-Jobbing, Lying, Cheating, Tricking Widows and Orphans, and committing Spoil and Rapine on the Publick.'
Tobacco, we observe, had fallen into disuse, except in the form of snuff.
The practice of snuff-taking, which is first mentioned as early as 1589 … flourished among us until the middle of the nineteenth century, when it rapidly fell into disuse. …p.315] … The Chapter Coffee-house must not be omitted. The men of letters and the wits frequented Will's, Button's, the St. James's, the Bedford, and the Smyrna: but the Chapter Coffee-house was sacred to the trade which grew rich on the men of letters and the wits. The meetings of the booksellers took place in the great room of this house; here they bought and sold their copyrights and stock; here they arranged about sharing the risk of a new venture; here the literary hacks used to go on search of employment. The house is described as containing many small rooms, low and having heavy beams running across them; the walls were wainscoted breast-high; the staircase was shallow and broad and dark. …p.316]…
At Old Slaughter's, coffee was not the only beverage called for: wine and punch could also be obtained, and were called for every evening. …
p.318] [After the development of private clubs]
The coffee-house rapidly ceased to be a place of resort for people of the better kind, but it acquired a new lease of life when the demand for news-papers and the habit of reading newspapers descended the social ladder and there-fore increased enormously. They were then frequented by men who came, not to talk, but to read; the smaller tradesmen and the better class of mechanic now came to the coffee-house, called for a cup of coffee, and with it the daily paper, which they could not afford to take in. Every coffee-house took three or four papers; there seems to have been in this latter phase of the once social institution no general conversation. The coffee-house as a place of resort and conversation gradually declined; one can hardly say why, except that all human institutions do decay. Perhaps manners declined; the leaders in literature ceased to be seen there; the city clerk began to crowd in; the tavern and the club drew men from the coffee-house."
A.S. Turberville, English Men and Manners in the Eighteenth Century (Oxford: 2nd ed. 1929) pp. 88-91.
"From the reign of Anne till the beginning of the nineteenth century gambling was a national disease among the leisured classes of both sexes. Games of skill and games of chance, horseracing, lotteries, and commercial speculations--all made an irresistable appeal. While the men spent most of the day, and sometimes of the night also, round the card-tables at the fashionable clubs of Almack's, White's, and Boodle's, the ladies occupied themselves in similar fashion in their own drawing rooms. Thousands of pounds would be won or lost at a single sitting. It is recorded that Charles James Fox would occasionally sit for night twenty-four hours at play, losing £500 an hour. Before he was twenty-five he had squandered £140,000, mostly at cards. He played whist and piquet very well, but it was the element of chance that really attracted him, and it was in such a purely gambling game as the popular 'faro' that he lost most of his money. Men would take wagers on anything--that X would be made vice-admiral by such and such a date, that Y would be found wearing a certain suit on a particular occasion.…
Less exalted than the fashionable clubs were the more numeroud ordinary coffee-houses, where tea, coffee and chocolate could be drunk, picquet and basset played, where the best of political and literary conversation was to be had, and where mine host could retail the latest gossip of the town and introduce his clients to samples of the latest fashion in coiffure and the latest craze in walking-sticks. The coffee-houses, which were at the zenith of their popularity in the reign of Anne, speedily became identified with particular professions and with the different political parties. Addison in the first number of the Spectator wrote: 'There is no place of general resort wherein I do not often make my appearance : sometimes I am seen thrusting my head into a round of politicians at Will's, and listening with great attention to the narratives that are made in those little circular audiences; sometimes I smoke a pipe at Child's [the favourite resort of the clergy], and while I seem attentive to nothing but the potman, overhear the conversation of every table in the room. I appear on Saturday nights at St. James's coffee-house, and sometimes join the little committee of politics in the inner room, as one who comes to hear & improve. My face is likewise very well known in the Grecian and the Cocoa Tree… I have been taken for a merchant upon the exchange for above these ten Years, and sometimes pass for a Jew in the assembly of stock-jobbers at Jonathan's.'
p.90] [A Coffee-House advertisement from "The Grub-street Journal" of 16 March, 1731]"WHEREAS other Coffee-Houses, and other Publick Houses, take of their Customers 8 s. for a Quart of Arrack, and 6 s. for a Quart of Rum or Brandy made in to Punch, so that it is now become the settled Price through-out the Town, and seldom less than a Bowl of 1 s. 6 d. is to be had: Therefore, for the better accommodating all Gentlemen, that are Lovers of Punch,
This is to give Notice, xii. That I have opened on Ludgate-hill, the London-Coffee-House and Punch-House, (Two Punch-Bowls on Iron Pedestals before my Door,)
Where the finest and best old Batavia Arrack, Jamaica Rum, and French Brandy, are made into Punch, with the finest Ingredients, viz.
A Quart of Arrack made into Punch for 6.s. and so in Proportion to the smallest quantity, which is half a Quartern for 3 d. And Gentlemen may have it as soon made, as a Gill of Wine can be drawn, with the best of Eating, Attendance, and Accommodation.
This Undertaking has occasion'd many, whose Interest it is to possess Gentlemen with such an Opinion, that the Liquors by me used are not good. The Publick is hereby assured, that I buy my Goods on the Keys, and at the best Hand, with Ready Money, and am at this Time provded with as well-chosen Brandies, Rum and Arrack, as any in Town, and will at all times procure the best that is imported. But what may convince Gentlemen of the Truth hereof, is, (not only by the Encouragement I meet with) that the Sherbet is always brought by itself, and the Brandy, Rum, or Arrack in the Measure, so there can be no Imposition, either in Quantity or Quality; for the Proof whereof I appeal to all Gentlemen who have done me the Honour to call at my House.
The Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. XXXI (London: 1761) page 556-567.
"Coffee, House Rules, or Rules necessary to be observ'd in all Coffee Houses.
IN the first place, no politician has any right to sleep over a paper; or, in other words, to read it as slow as if he was perusing some long-laboured metaphysical tract, or any other studied composition.
All news-papers (especially when the coffee-house is full of company) should be constantly read with a little polite, genteel, well-bred hurry.
For any one to enter upon a regular re-reading of the advertisements before he has delivered the paper to another gentleman, is by no means the thing; because it not only discovers little or no genius, for news-papers, but, at the same time, it creates a very considerable stagnation in the general stream of politics, and may possibly favour of the Nimis severa scrutandi methodus.
To the following rule I beg all proper attention may be paid: No one should be too sedulous in reading out in a coffee house, or in descanting upon any political point, unless he is prodifiously deep in matters of state, at the same time, particularly desired by a select junto of the most approved politicians.
If any one, in reading of a newspaper, should meet with an ingenious sentiment of any sort, … he should be vastly cautious how he breaks xiii. out into sudden, instantaneous, vociferous, oh! or ah! or any other laconix expression; because such sort of laconism is often too much of-the startling kind to the rest of the company, and is fruitful of bad consequences in all political assemblies.
To hold a paper quite snug and quiet in one hand, and to read another at the same time, is very injudicious, if not selfish, and partakes of what the ingenious gentlemen of the law call a monolopy.
To peep over a gentleman's shoulder in order to read a paper (or rather to partake of one) is being in too great hurry to gratify a political spirit. This is a method which I beg leave to discountenance
As for the act of bowing, either at coming into a coffee-house, or going out, I could never see the necessity of propriety of it. It seems to make no difference between a public and a private room, and every body knows that a mis-application of good manners degenerates into no manners at all.
But not to be too serious.
In order to preserve a proper decency and decorum, no one should loll upon his chair, or incline too much either to the right hand or to the left. Because a considerable number of lollers at the same time (according to my rule of perspective) makes a very awkward and ridiculous appearance.
Worcester, Oct.10. H. (Z) Y.
E. Beresford Chancellor, The XVIIITH Century in London (B.T. Batsford, London: New Issue, 1933) pages 120-137.
"The club is an essentially British institution, but the club as we know it to-day has little in common with the club of the 18th century. Some of the most important now in being are, it is true, survivals from the earlier period, such as White's and Brook's and Boodle's, but they have undergone as many changes in constitution as they have in architecture, or in the dress of their members. Yet salient features linking the two periods still obtain, for it was during the reign of Anne that the club, somewhat as we know it, first came into existence. In those days such meetings were held in taverns, and their primary object was, more or less, food. In the Spectator for 10th March 1711, we read that 'The Beefsteak and October Clubs are neither of them averse to eating and drinking, if we may form a judgment of them from their respective titles,' and Addison, who wrote these words, was a famous clubman and knew what he was talking about. In the same paper, a proof of the popularity of such institutions is given thus: xiv. 'I remember,' he says 'upon my enquiring after lodgings in Ormond Street, the Landlord, to recommend that quarter of the Town. told me there was at that time a very good Club in it.' The Beefsteak has new its regular headquarters, but in the days of Addison and Steele and Swift, it met, as I have said was the custom, at various taverns or coffee-houses; at one time, even, its members met together 'in a noble room at the top end of Covent Garden Theatre.' [The Connoisseur for 6th June 1754…] There was a kind of analogous society called the Rumpsteak or Liberty Club, which first foregathered at the King's Arms, in Pall Mall, on 15th January 1734; but this was rather political than social, being one of the many such set up in opposition to Walpole's Government. The October Club was thus chiefly political, its members were many of the protagonists of the Tory Party, and it is Swift who stands in the forefront of those who frequented the place: the Swift of politics rather than of literature. His first mention of the fraternity, in his Journal to Stella, hardly indicates, however, the prominence of his later connection with it: 'We are plagued,' he says, 'with an October Club, that is, a set of above a hundred Parliament men of the country, who drink October beer at home, and meet every evening at a tavern [fn. The Bell, in King Street, Westminster] near the Parliament to consult affairs and drive things on to extremes against the Whigs.'
Swift was almost as great a club-man in his day as was Johnson at a later time, and besides the October, he was a member of the Saturday Club, which was only quasi-political, and the Brothers Club, which was wholly so. The latter is constantly mentioned in the Journal, and the writer speaks, rather grudgingly, of being made President for the week, and so being under the necessity of spending five or six pounds over the good cheer. [20th December 1711]. The meetings were generally held at the Thatched House Tavern in St. James's Street, close to the site on which the present club of that name ha$ its headquarters.
Indeed, it was in this highway of fashion [St. James's Street] that many of the best known clubs first came into existence: White's, which enjoys so large a share in the political and social history of the 18th century…Its origin, as of many another club of the period, was in a Chocolate House, and White's Chocolate House was opened by one Francis White, in 1693… White himself died in 1711, but about 1697 he had crossed the street to a house three doors south of St. James's Place… Here his widow carried on the business, contemporary advertisements showing that tickets for the Opera,… and for a variety of similar amusements, could be obtained there. The widow White was succeeded, in 1730, by John Arthur who had been associated with her in its management, and it was three years after that the fire took place, which is described in the Daily Courant for the 30th April 1733, and of which Hogarth has left a well-known record in Plate 6 of 'The Rake's Progress'… Arthur then removed to Gaunt's Coffee-House, next door to the St. James's Coffee-House… Three years later (1736) the Chocolate House became a private club, and in 1755, moved to its present quarters on the east side of St. James's Street. There is hardly a volume of memoirs or letters, or a diary of the period, to say nothing of newspapers and magazines, wherein mention, more or less frequent, of White's does not find a place. Its members have included all the well-known men of the Tory Party, for close on two centuries." …[Hogarth's picture of "White's Club" between pages 129-123.]xv.pp.123-128] [The author describes other eighteenth century London clubs: Brookes's Club; Almack's Club, inaugurated in 1764, a "hot-bed of gambling"; Boodle's, noted for good food and "good cheer"; the Kit Kat Club; the Scribbler's Club; the Royal Society Club; the Ivy Lane Club; the Essex Head Club; The Literary Club or The Club," - all of these early or mid-eighteenth century clubs which first met in taverns, coffee or chocolate houses.]
p.127]… The Literary Club or The Club was "founded in 1764 by Sir Joshua Reynolds and Dr. Samuel Johnson, and for some years met on Monday evenings at seven. In 1772, the day of meeting was changed to Friday, and about that time, instead of supping, they agreed to dine together once in every fortnight during the sitting of Parliament. In 1773, the club, which soon after its foundation consisted of twelve members, was enlarged to twenty; 11th March 1777, to twenty-six; 27th November 1778, to thirty; 9th May 1780, to thirty-five; and it was then resolved that it should never exceed forty. It met originally at the Turk's Head, in Gerrard Street, and continued to meet there till 1783, when their landlord died, … They then removed to Prince's in Saztile Street…
"The pages of Boswell are full of references to the Club and the large part it occupied in the life of its chief founder. The talk of Johnson and Burke which dominated the meetings; …
Sir Walter Besant, London in the Eighteenth Century (London: 1903) p. 319-320.
"The club at its first beginning was a gathering of a small circle of friends for social intercourse and drinking. Its members were a selection from the general body of frequenters at a coffee-house. Early in. the century [18th] there sprand up a profusion of clubs. A dozen shopkeepers in Cheapside agreed to meet together every Friday evening, perhaps from seven till ten. They drew up rules: every man_. was to spend so much and no more; there were fines for non-attendance; they could not bring strangers--it was their own club for themselves alone. In Ned Wards Secret History of Clubs, there is found a list of clubs which never existed save in the writer's imagination; but there were so many clubs and so various in kind that this book has actually been received and quoted as if it were a true account. …
In the early years of the club there were many which played a distinguished part in history. The October, a club of Tories, for instance; the Brother's Club; the Scribbler's Club; the Kit-Kat, all are well known for the position and rank of their members.
There were as many clubs towards the close of the eighteenth century as there had been coffee-houses at the beginning. Some of them had their own house, but most of them were very small clubs meeting once or twice a week. Many of the coffee-houses became clubs; in this way, for the first time, clubs began to have their own houses; thus White's became a gambling club. Many of the clubs, again, were political rather than social."
Bernard Darwin, British Clubs (London: 1947)
p.16] The Social Club
"CLUBS, in the sense of more or less loosely knit associations of people interested in some common object, must have existed from time immemorial; but the club, as a place for eating and drinking, conversation and news, can be more exactly dated, for it owes its origin to the coming of coffee and coffee houses in the seventeenth century. …
p.17] Different coffee houses gradually got different clienteles. There were merchants in the city who could not get to the west end and wished to talk about their business. So the original Lloyd set up his coffee house in Tower Street and later in Abchurch Lane and found his patrons among marine insurers. For city men there was likewise Garraway's, whence much later Mr. Fickwick was to write to Mrs. Bardell his innocent but misinterpreted letter as to Chops and Tomata sauce. Soldiers frequented Young Man's and stockjobbers Old Man's; lawyers the Grecian near the Temple and clergymen Child's in St. Faults Church-yard. There were the men of fashion who wanted to talk their own particular talk, so interesting to themselves, so tiresome to those who have not the clue. White's Chocolate House in St. James's Street was from 1693 their place of resort. Finally there were the wits and the literary gentlemen who wanted to talk of books and talked for glory, so that people would leave their chairs and draw nearer to listen to them. The most famous coffee-house in the days of its zenith was Will's in Covent Garden, where Dryden held undisputed sway 'magisterially presiding over the younger writers and assuming the distribution of literary fame.' The Spectator, in the shape of the great Mr. Addison, once went to the coffee houses to discover the truth as to the rumour of the French king's death. When he reached Will's, he says, 'I found their discourse was gone from the Death of the French King to that of Monsieur Boileau, Racine, Corneille, and several other poets which they regretted on this occasion…'
Anybody could go to a coffee house; all that the visitor had to do was to pay down his penny or some slightly larger entrance fee and he was, technically at any rate, as much a freeman of the house as the great Dryden himself. In fact, however, there were graduations, and some casual newcomer would no more have dared to take the seat near the fire than a new member would have taken his place in the bow window at White's in the days of Beau Brummell. It is easy to understand how step by step the house would become less public and more private and so take on more and more the characteristics of a club.
Of the final stages of transition from a band of friends meeting in a coffee house to a formally constituted club we know much less than we should like. …
White's Chocolate House began to flourish a few years from the end of the seventeenth century and from the first its company consisted of the fashionable and well born who had plenty of time on their hands and liked to play and play high. The original White died in 1711 and his widow continued to carry on the business. Hers was a good address from which to address the fashionable world.xvii.
Tickets for the opera or the Haymarket were to be obtained from Mrs. White … Mrs. White was assisted in her prosperous business by one Arthur, who ultimately succeeded her… Soon after Arthur took over the house came the fire, but he reopened it in other premises and three years later, in 1736, comes the first mention of the club. It has been known for some while as the Old Club at White's: now there eighty-two members and a set of rules was drawn up as to ballot, subscription and other such matters. It had not yet become a club in the sense of having the house to itself. On the contrary, they way to election was to frequent the coffee house in the hopes of finding favour with the members. Undesirable visitors were doubtless discouraged… Those who were likely to make suitable members when they had served their apprenticeship were encouraged, and in 1743 was formed the 'Young Club at White's' on lines almost exactly similar to those of their seniors. …in 175; they passed a rule that 'no person be admitted to this Club from ye 24th of June until ye 30th of October inclusive but those gentlemen who are members of the other Club.' This would seem to show that the two clubs between them now kept the house largely to themselves and doubtless Mr. Arthur would find it worth while to oblige such good customers. Four years later at any rate the general public were finally and completely excluded, since the two clubs moved to the 'Great House in St. James's Street' which is still the home of White's; but it was not for nearly another thirty years that the Old and the Young were finally fused.
The high play which had formed part of the life of White's from its chocolate house days and was to a great extent transferred to Almack's and Crockford's in the middle of the eighteenth century, is outside the scope of this sketch. Something however may be said of the betting book because betting books were common to all such societies and may still be found whether in clubs or in those pleasant companies…which meet over their wine in the Common Rooms or Combination Rooms of colleges at the universities. … The subject of the bets naturally varied with the company. … The betting book at White's, which is set out at length, … shows the members chiefly occupied with two subjects, the comparative longevity of their male friends and the fertility of their female ones."
[Account continues with dining clubs, "Catch" or musical, clubs, and cricket clubs, etc. mg]
William H. Ukers, All About Coffee (New York: 1935) Pp. 101-109: "Chapter XI. Introduction of Coffee into North America."p.101] UNDOUBTEDLY the first to bring a knowledge of coffee to North America was Captain John Smith, who founded the Colony of Virginia at Jamestown in 1607. Captain Smith became familiar with coffee in his travels in Turkey.
Coffee houses patterned after the English and Continental prototypes were soon established in all the colonies. Those in New York and Philadelphia are described in separate chapters. The Boston houses are described at the end of this chapter.
p.102] Coffee, tea, and chocolate were introduced into North America almost simultaneously in the latter part of the seventeenth century. …
According to early town records of Boston, Dorothy Jones was the first to be licensed to sell 'coffee and cuchaletto,' … This license is dated 1670, and is said to be the first written reference to coffee in the Massachusetts Colony. It is not stated whether Dorothy Jones was a vender of the coffee drink or of 'coffee powder,' as ground coffee was known in the early days.
There is some question as to whether Dorothy Jones was the first to sell coffee as a beverage in Boston. Londoners had known and drunk coffee for eighteen years before Dorothy Jones got her coffee license. …
The name coffee house did not come into use in New England until late in the seventeenth century. Early colonial records do not make it clear whether the London coffee house or the Gutteridge coffee house was the first to be opened in Boston with that distinctive title. In all likelihood the London is entitled to the honor, for Samuel Gardner Drake in his History and Antiquities of the City of Boston, published in 1854, says that 'Benj. Harris sold books there in 1689.' …
Granting that the London coffee house was the first in Boston, then the Gutteridge coffee house was the second. The latter…was named after Robert Gutteridge, who took out an innkeeper's license in 1691. Twenty-seven years later, his widow, Mary Gutteridge, petitioned the town for a renewal of her late husband's permit to keep a public coffee house.
The British coffee house, which became the American coffee house when the crown officers and all things British became obnoxious to the colonists, also began its career about the time Gutteridge took out his license. It xix. stood on the site that is now 66 State Street, and became one of the most widely known coffee houses in colonial New England.
Of course, there were several inns and taverns in existence in Boston long before coffee and coffee houses came to the New England metropolis. Some of these taverns took up coffee when it became fashionable in the colony, and served it to those patrons who did not care for the stronger drinks.
[Notes on taverns and other eating places which also served coffee follow: Cole's inn, the Red Lyon, Ship tavern, the Blue Anchor, pp. 104-105.]
In the last quarter of the seventeenth century quite a number of taverns and inns sprang up. Among the most notable that have obtained recognition in Boston's historical records were the King's Head, … the Indian Queen… the Sun, … and the Green Dragon, which became one of the most celebrated coffee-house taverns.
The King's Head, opened in 1691, early became a rendezvous of crown officers and the citizens in the higher strata of colonial society.
The Indian Queen also became a favorite resort of the crown officers from Province House. Started by Nathaniel Bishop about 1673, it stood for more than 145 years as the Indian Queen, and then was replaced by the Washington coffee house, which became noted throughout New England as the starting place for the Roxbury 'hourlies,' the stage coaches that ran every hour from Boston to nearby Roxbury.
The Sun tavern lived a longer life than any other Boston inn. Started in 1690 in Faneuil Hall Square, it was still standing in 1902, …
The Green Dragon, the last of the inns that were popular at the close of the seventeenth century, was the most celebrated of Boston's coffee-house taverns. It stood on Union Street, in the heart of the town's business center, for 135 years, from 1697 to 1832, and figured in practically all the important local and national events during its long career. Red-coated British soldiers, colonial governors, bewigged crown officers, earls and dukes, citizens of high estate, plotting revolutionists of lesser degree, conspirators in the Boston Tea Party, patriots and generals of the Revolution--all these were wont to gather at the Green Dragon to discuss their various interests over their cups of coffee, and stronger drinks. In the words of Daniel Webster, this famous coffee-house tavern was the 'headquarters of the Revolution.' It was here that Warren, John Adams, James Otis, and Paul Revere met as a 'ways and means committee' to secure freedom for the American colonies. Here, too, came members of the Grand Lodge of Masons to hold their meetings… The old tavern was a two-storied brick structure with a sharply pitched roof. Over its entrance hung a sign bearing the figure of a green dragon.
p.107-8] Patrons of the Green Dragon and the British coffee house were decidedly opposed in their views on the questions of the day. While the Green Dragon xx. was the gathering place of the patriotic colonials, the British was the rendezvous of the loyalists, and frequent were the encounters between the patrons of these two celebrated taverns. It was in the British coffee house that James Otis was so badly pummeled, after being lured there by political enemies, that he never regained his former brilliancy as an orator.
It was there, in 1750, that some British red coats staged the first theatrical entertainment given in Boston, playing Otway's Orphan. There, the first organization of citizens to take the name of a club formed the Merchants' Club in 1751. The membership included officers of the king, colonial governors and lesser officials, military and naval leaders, and members of the bar, with a sprinkling of high-ranking citizens who were staunch friends of the crown. However, the British became so generally disliked that as soon as the king's troops evacuated Boston in the Revolution, the name of the coffee house was changed to the American.
The Bunch of Grapes, that Francis Holmes presided over as early as 1712, was another hot-bed of politicians. Like the Green Dragon over the way, its patrons included unconditional freedom seekers, many coming from the British coffee house when things became too hot for them in that Tory atmosphere. …
After the beginning of the eighteenth century the title of coffee house was applied to a number of hostelries opened in Boston. One of these was the Crown, which was opened in the 'first house on Lang Wharf' in 1711 by Jonathan Belcher, who later became governor of Massachusetts, and still later of New Jersey. The first landlord of the Crown was Thomas Selby, who by trade was a periwig maker, but probably found the selling of strong drink and coffee more profitable. Selby's coffee house was also used as an auction room. The Crown stood until 1780, when it was destroyed in a fire that swept the long Wharf.
Another early Boston coffee house on State Street was the Royal Exchange. How long it had been standing before it was first mentioned in colonial records in 1711 is unknown. …
In the latter half of the eighteenth century the North-End coffee house was celebrated as the highest-class coffee house in Boston. … During the Revolution, Captain David Porter … was the landlord, and under him it became celebrated throughout the city as a high-grade eating place. The advertisements of the North-End coffee house featured its 'dinners and suppers--small and retired rooms for small company--oyster suppers in the nicest manner.'
The Boston coffee-house period reached its height in 1808, when the doors of the Exchange coffee house were thrown open…This structure…was the skyscraper of its day, and probably was the most ambitious coffee-house project the world has known. Built of stone, marble, and brick, it stood seven stories high… Charles Bulfinch…was the designer.
Like Lloyd's coffee house in London, the Exchange was the center of marine intelligence, and its public rooms were thronged all day and evening with mariners, naval officers, ship and insurance. brokers, who had come to talk shop xxi. or to consult the records of ship arrivals and departures, manifests, charters, and other marine papers. The first floor of the Exchange was devoted to trading. On the next floor was the large dining room, where many sumptious banquets were given… The other floors were given over to-Living and sleeping rooms, of which there were more than 200. The Exchange coffee house was destroyed by fire in 1818…
The coffee houses of early New York, like their prototypes in London, Paris, and other old world capitals, were the centers of the business, political and, to some extent, of the social life of the city. But they never became the forcing-beds of literature that the French and English houses were, principally because the colonists had no professional writers of note.
There is one outstanding feature of the early American coffee houses, particularly of those opened in New York, that is not distinctive of the European houses. The colonists sometimes held court trials in the long, or assembly, room of the early coffee houses; and often held their general assembly and council meetings there.
The early coffee house was an important factor in New York life. What the perpetuation of this public gathering place meant to the citizens is shown by a complaint, evidently designed to revive the declining fortunes of the historic Merchants coffee house, in the New York Journal, of October 19, 1775, which, in part, read:
'To the Inhabitants of New York:
It gives me concern, in this time of public difficulty and danger, to find we have in this city no place of daily general meeting, where we might hear and communicate intelligence from every quarter and freely confer with one another on every matter that concerns us. Such a place of general meeting is of very great advantage in many respects …… To answer all these and many other good and useful purposes, coffee houses have been universally deemed the most convenient places of resort, because, at a small expense of time or money, persons wanted may be found and spoke with, appointments may be made, current news heard, and whatever it most concerns us to know. In all cities, there-fore, and large towns that I have seen in the British dominion, sufficient encouragement has been given to support one or more coffee houses in a genteel manner. How comes it then that New York, the most central xxii. and one of the largest and most prosperous cities in British America, cannot support one coffee house? It is a scandal to the city and its inhabitants to be destitute of such a convenience for want of due encouragement. A coffee house, indeed, there is, a very good and comfortable one, extremely well tended and accommodated, but it is frequented but by an inconsiderable number of people; and I have observed with surprise, that but a small part of those who do frequent it, contribute anything at all to the expense of it but come in and go out without calling for or paying anything to the house. In all the coffee houses in London, it is customary for everyone that comes in to call for at least a dish of coffee, or leave the value of one, which is but reasonable, because when the keepers of these houses have been at the expense of setting them up and providing all necessaries for the accommodation of company, every one that comes to receive the benefit of these conveniences ought to contribute something towards the expense of them.
A FRIEND TO THE CITY.'
… the earliest authenticated record they have presented is that on November 1, 1696, John Hutchins bought a lot on Broadway, between Trinity churchyard and what is now Cedar Street, and there built a house, naming it the King's Arms. …
The King's Arms was built of wood, and had a front of yellow brick, said to have been brought from Holland. The building was two stories high, and on the roof was an 'observatory', arranged with seats, and commanding a fine view of the bay, the river, and the city. Here the coffee-house visitors frequently sat in the afternoon. …
The sides of the main room on the lower floor were lined with booths, which, for the sake of greater privacy, were screened with green curtains. There a patron could sip his coffee, or a more stimulating drink, and look over his mail in the same exclusiveness affected by the Londoner of the time.
The rooms on the second floor were used for special meetings of merchants, colonial magistrates and overseers, or similar public and private business.
The meeting room, as above described, seems to have been one of the chief features distinguishing a coffee house from a tavern. Although both types of houses had rooms for guests, and served meals, the coffee house was used for business purposes by permanent customers, while the tavern was patronized more by transients. Men met at the coffee house daily to carry on business, and went to the tavern for convivial purposes or lodgings. …
For many years the King's Arms was the only coffee house in the city…
Under date…1709, the Journal of the General Assembly of the Colony of New York refers to a conference held in the 'New' coffee house…xxiii.
That the Exchange coffee house was the only one of its kind in New York in 1732 is inferred from the announcement in that year of a meeting of the conference committee of the Council and Assembly 'at the Coffee House.'
In the year 1750, the Exchange coffee house had begun to lose its long-held prestige, and its name was changed to the Gentlemen's Exchange coffee house and tavern. …
It is not certain just when the Merchants coffee house was first opened. As near as can be determined, Daniel Bloom, a mariner, in 1737 bought the Jamaica Filot Boat tavern…and named it the Merchants coffee house. …
The building housing the original Merchants coffee house was a two-story structure, with a balcony on the roof, which was typical of middle eighteenth century architecture in New York. On the first floor were the coffee bar and booths described in connection with the King's Arms coffee house. The second floor had the typical long room for public assembly.
During the British occupation, the Merchants coffee house was a place of great activity. As before, it was the center of trading, and under the British regime it became also the place where the prize ships were sold. The Chamber of Commerce resumed its sessions in the upper long room in 1779, having been suspended since 1775. The Chamber paid fifty pounds rent per annum for the use of the room to Mrs. Smith, the landlady at the time.
In 1781, John Stachan, then proprietor of the Queen's Head tavern, became landlord of the Merchants coffee house, and he promised in a public announcement 'to pay attention not only as a Coffee House, but as a tavern, in the truest; and to distinguish the same as the City Tavern and Coffee House, with constant and best attendance. Breakfast from seven to eleven; soups and relishes from eleven to half-past one. Tea, coffee, etc. in the afternoon as in England.' But when he began charging sixpence for receiving and dispatching letters by man-o'-war to England, he brought a storm about his ears, and was forced to give up the practise. He continued in charge until peace came, and Cornelius Bradford came with it to resume proprietorship of the coffee house.
Bradford changed the name to the New York coffee house, but the public continued to call it by its original name, and the landlord soon gave in. He kept a marine list, giving the names of vessels arriving and departing, recording their ports of sailing. He also opened a register of returning citizens, 'where any gentleman now resident in the city,' his advertisement stated, 'may insert their names and place of residence.' This seems to have been the first attempt at a city directory. By his energy Bradford soon made the Merchants coffee house again the business center of the city. When he died, in 1786, he was mourned as one of the leading citizens. His funeral was held at the coffee house…
The Merchants coffee house continued to be the principal public gathering xxiv. place until it was destroyed by fire in 1804. During its existence it had figured prominently in many of the local and national historic events, too numerous to record here in detail.
The last of the celebrated coffee houses of New York bore the name Tontine coffee house. For several years after the burning of the Merchants coffee house, in 1804, it was the only one of note in the city.
Feeling that they should have a more commodious coffee house for carrying on their various business enterprises, some 150 merchants organized, in 1791, the Tontine coffee house. …According to the New York Tontine plan, each holder's share reverted automatically to the surviving shareholders in the association, instead of to his heirs. There were 157 original share-holders, and 203 shares of stock valued at £200 each.
The stock market made its headquarters in the Tontine coffee house in 1817, and the early organization was elaborated and became the New York Stock and Exchange Board. It was removed in 1827 to the Merchants Exchange Building, where it remained until that place was destroyed by fire in 1835.
It was stipulated in the original articles of the Tontine Association that the house was to be kept and used as a coffee house, and this agreement was adhered to up to the year 1834, when, by permission of the Court of Chancery, the premises were let for general business-office purposes…
The Tontine coffee house did not figure so prominently in the historic events of the nation and city as did its neighbor, the Merchants coffee house.
pp.121-126] Coffee Houses of Old Philadelphia [Chap. XIII]
There were four classes of public houses--inns, taverns, ordinaries, and coffee houses. The inn was a modest hotel that supplied lodgings, food and drink, the beverages consisting mostly of ale, port, Jamaica run, and Madeira wine. The tavern though accommodating quests with bed and board, was more of a drinking place than a lodging house. The ordinary combined the characteristics of a restaurant and a boarding house. The coffee house was a pretentious tavern, dispensing, in most cases, intoxicating drinks as well as coffee. The first house of public resort opened in Philadelphia bore the name of the Blue Anchor tavern, and was probably established in 1683 or 1684; .. As its name indicates, this was a tavern. The first coffee house came xxv. into existence about the year 1700. … [Opened by Samuel Carpenter]
Carpenter owned also the Globe inn, which was separated from the coffee house by a public stairway … [It was later owned by Henry Flower, who was postmaster for a number of ears, and it is believed that the "coffee house also did duty as post-office"]
Philadelphia's second coffee house bore the name of the London coffee house, which title was later used for the resort William Bradford opened in 1754. The first house of this name was built in 1702…
The first London coffee house resembled a fashionable club house in its later years, suitable for the 'genteel' entertainments of the well-to-do Philadelphians. Ye Coffee House was more of a commercial or public exchange.
p.123-4] Probably the most celebrated coffee house in Penn's city was the one established by William Bradford, printer of the Pennsylvania Journal …and was named the London coffee house, the second house in Philadelphia to bear that title. The building had stood since 1702…Bradford was the first to use the structure for coffee-house purposes, and he tells his reason for entering upon the business in his petition to the governor for a license: 'Having been advised to keep a Coffee House for the benefit of merchants and traders, and as some people may at times be desirous to be furnished with other liquors besides coffee, your petitioner apprehends it is necessary to have the Governor's license.' This would indicate that coffee was drunk as a refreshment between meals, as were spiritous liquors for so many years before and after, up to 1920.
Bradford's London coffee house seems to have been a joint-stock enterprise, for in his Journal of April 11, 1754, appeared this notice: 'Subscribers to a public coffee house are invited to meet at the Courthouse on Friday, the 19th instant, at 3 o'clock, to choose trustees agreeably to the plan of subscription.'
The building was a three-story wooden structure, with an attic that some historians count as the fourth story. There was a wooden awning one-story high extending out to cover the sidewalk before the coffee house. [Illus. of house ]
The London coffee house was 'the pulsating heart of excitement, enterprise, and patriotism' of the early city. The most active citizens congregated there-- merchants, shipmasters, travelers from other colonies and countries, crown and provincial officers. The governor and persons of equal note went there at certain hours 'to sip their coffee from the hissing urn, and some of those stately visitors had their own stalls.' It had also the character of a mercantile exchange-- [auctions being held there].
p. 125] The last of the celebrated coffee houses in Philadelphia was built in 1773 under the name of the City tavern, which later became known as the Merchants coffee house, possibly after the house of the same name that was then famous in New York. …xxvi.
The City tavern was patterned after the best London coffee houses; and when opened, it was looked upon as the finest and largest of its kind in America. It was three stories high, built of brick, and had several large club rooms, two of which were connected by a wide doorway that, when open, made a large dining room fifty feet long.
Daniel Smith was the first proprietor, and he opened it to the public early in 1774. Before the Revolution, Smith had a hard struggle trying to win patronage from Bradford's London coffee house…But during and after the war, the City tavern gradually took the lead…
The gentlefolk of the city resorted to the City tavern after the Revolution as they had to Bradford's coffee house before. …it once was near destruction at the hands of the Tories, who threatened to tear it down. That was when it was proposed to hold a banquet there in honor of Mrs. George Washington, who had stopped in the city in 1776 while on the way to meet her distinguished husband, then at Cambridge…taking over command of the American army. Trouble was averted by Mrs. Washington tactfully declining to appear at the tavern. …
The exact date when the City tavern became the Merchants coffee house is unknown. When James Kitchen became proprietor, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, it was so called. …
Louis B. Wright & Marion Tinling, eds., The Secret Diary of William Byrd of Westover 1709-1712 (Richmond: 1941)
p.50. June 20, 1709:] "I rose at 3 o'clock and went in my boat to Weyanoke where I arrived at 5 o'clock and got on my horse and rode to Williamsburg, where I got by 9 o'clock. … I dined at Mr. Bland's and ate beans and bacon for dinner. In the evening I sent for Mr. Clayton from the coffeehouse, to whom I gave a bottle of white wine. I did not go to see the President [of the Council] but sent for some letters he had of mine…"
[Left Williamsburg on June 22, 1709.]
p. 98. October 27, 1709:] [Byrd, a member of the Council, attended the General Court in Williamsburg from October 15 - November 3, 1709; visiting several plantations on his way home.]
"I rose at 6 o'clock… and ate milk for breakfast. … We went to court and sat till 4 o'clock. Then we went to dinner and I ate boiled beef for my dinner. In the evening we played at cards and I won £5. We drank some of Will Robinson's cider till we were very merry and then went to the coffeehouse and pulled poor Colonel Churchill [William Churchill of Middlesex County, a member of the Council] out of bed. I went home about one o'clock in the morning. …"
p.99. October 30, 17091 "… After church I went to Mr. Blair's to dinner with all the Council in attendance. I ate boiled beef for dinner. About 5 o'clock we returned home and then went to the coffeehouse where we sat an hour and then went home. …"
p.101. Nov. 1, 1709:] "… about 12 took my place in court. I sat there till about 4 and could not go out of town because I had accounts to settle with several people. About 5 o'clock we went to dinner and I ate boiled beef. Then the President took us home to his house, where I played at cards and won 35 shillings. We were very merry and in that condition went to the coffeehouse and again disturbed Colonel Churchill. About 11 o'clock I went home…"
p. 241. October 9, 1710:] "… proceeded to Williamsburg where I arrived about 12. … I ate some roast beef for dinner. In the afternoon we drank a bottle of claret and then we took leave of the Governor and went to the coffeehouse where after we had settled some accounts of the naval officers we played at cards till 11 o'clock. Then I went to my lodgings…"
p. 245. October 20, 1710:] "… About 10 o'clock I took leave of Captain Isham Randolph, who came to see me. Then I went to court and gave my judgment in several cases… there we sat till 3. Then I wrote a letter to my wife and after that went to dinner and ate roast beef for dinner. Then I went to the coffeehouse, where I played at hazard and lost £7 and returned home very peaceful. …"xxviii.
p.247. Oct. 23, 1710:] "… Then we went to court. I sat a little while then returned to my lodgings and prepared my public accounts and continued at them till 3 o'clock. Then I went to C-t to dinner and ate boiled mutton for dinner. Then Colonel Duke and I took a walk and then went to the coffeehouse. There I stayed till 7 o'clock and went home and wrote a letter to England. …"
p. 247. Oct. 24, 1710:] "… About 9 o'clock I went to Council…and about 11 we went to court and [sat] till one. Then I went home to write and settle accounts with Colonel Digges. About 3 o'clock we went to dinner and I ate boiled beef. Then I went to the coffeehouse where I saw Captain Robinson and a [lieutenant] of the [marines]. I went with them to the Governor's where we supped and played at cards till 10 o'clock. Then I returned to my lodgings…"
p. 247-248. Oct. 25, 1710:] … About 9 o'clock we went to Council…Then we went to court where we sat till 3. Then I went to dine at the Governor's where was the Commodore and Mr. Hamilton the postmaster general and Captain Garlington. I ate wild duck for dinner. Soon after dinner I waited on the Governor to the capitol where the House of Burgesses were met and chose Major Reverly for speaker… Then we went to the coffeehouse and about 8 o'clock I went to my lodgings to write…"
p.248. Oct. 26, 1710:] "… About 9 o'clock we went to court and from thence to Council where the Governor approved of the choice the House of Burgesses made of their speaker. Then he made a speech and delivered it with the best grace I ever saw anybody speak in my life. … Then we went to court, where we sat till 4 and then went to dinner. I ate boiled beef. Then I went to the coffeehouse and from thence home. …"
p.248-249. Oct. 27, 1710:] … About 10 o'clock I went to court, where we sat till 4 o'clock; then we went to Council for half an hour. I went to dine at the Governor's where I ate roast mutton for dinner. After dinner we drank a bottle of wine and then took our leave. I went to the coffeehouse where I found several of the Council playing at dice and I played with them and won 40 shillings. Then I went home…"
p.249-250. Oct. 29, 1710:] "… I went to church about 11 o'clock… Then Colonel Duke and I went to Mr. Commissary's [James Blair's] to dinner… I ate roast mutton. I had a great deal of wit this day, more than ordinary. … About 5 o'clock we took our leave and walked to the coffeehouse where I drank two dishes of tea. Here I sat till 8 o'clock and then returned to my chambers …]
pp. 250-251. Oct. 31, 1710:] "… Then we went to court, where we sat about two hours, and then went to Council and then back again to the court, where we sat till 4 o'clock. Then we went to dinner and I ate turkey. Then Colonel Lewis and I walked to see the Governor's house and then went to the President's where we played at cards… Then several of us went to the coffeehouse where we played at hazard and I won 23 shillings. I wrote a letter to my wife. I did not come home till 11 o'clock; …"xxix.
p. 252. November 1, 1710:3 "… I came to court where we sat till 4… then Colonel Carter and I dined at the Governor's. I ate mutton for dinner. Then we drank three bottles of French wine. It rained very hard so that we went home about 8 o'clock in the Governor's coach and Colonel Carter set Colonel Corbin and me down at the coffeehouse where we made Colonel Digges treat us. …"
pp. 252-253. November 2, 1710:3 "… About 10 o'clock I went to court… About 4 o'clock we went to dinner, and I ate roast beef. Then I took a little walk with Colonel Duke and then came to the coffeehouse, where I sat till 8 o'clock and then returned to my lodgings. Soon after I went from the coffeehouse there happened a quarrel between Colonel Smith and Mr. Holloway…"
p. 253. November 3, 1710:]" … About 9 o'clock I went to court… I dined with the Governor and ate fish for dinner. … About ____ o'clock we went to the coffeehouse where I stayed about an hour and then went home. …"
p. 255. Nov. 8, 1710:] "About 3 o'clock I went to the Governor's where I dined and ate fish. Here I stayed till about 8 and then went to the coffeehouse where I played at cards till about 9, when the Doctor [Dr. Cocke] and the President came. We drank out Colonel Digges' brandy and were merry till 12 o'clock. Then I went home to bed…."
p. 255. November 9, 1710:] "…ate boiled milk for breakfast. Several gentlemen came to visit me and I settled some accounts with some of them. About 11 o'clock I went to the coffeehouse and from thence to the capitol. Then we went into Council. We continued there till 4 o'clock and then went to dinner. I ate chicken and bacon for dinner. After that Colonel Smith and I walked to see the Governor's house and visited Mr. Cary [the builder of the Palace.] In an hour we returned to the coffeehouse where we played at cards and I won  shillings. I ate some bread and butter for supper. …"
p. 256. Nov. 10, 1710:] "… About 12 o'clock we came to the capitol and went into the Council, where two bills were read of no consequence. Colonel Lewis was very drunk with drinking canary. About 4 o'clock we went to dinner and I ate boiled beef. Then we went to the coffeehouse where I lost 40 shillings at cards and dice. …"
pp. 257-258. Nov. 14, 1710:] "… About 11 o'clock I went to the capitol and Mr. Jacquelin.. sent me 24 oranges. [Edward Jacquelin, sheriff of James City Co.] We had several disputes in Council concerning the coin… About 4 o'clock we went to dinner and I ate boiled pork for dinner. In the evening I took a walk about the town and then went to the coffeehouse and played at cards and lost 30 shillings. About 11 o'clock I returned to my lodgings…
p. 258. Nov. 15, 1710:] "… I went to court about 11 o'clock… about 4 o'clock we went to dinner and I ate salt fish for dinner. Then we went to the coffeehouse where I wrote a sham letter to Dr. Cocke under the name of xxx. Mary F-x. Soon after he came and the letter was delivered to him. Then we played cards and I lost 10 shillings. About 9 o'clock I came home…"
p. 258. Nov. 16, 1710:] "… About 12 o'clock we went to Council… About 4 o'clock we went to dinner, and I ate boiled beef. Then I took a long walk about the town and returned to the coffeehouse where I played at cards and lost £3 to Colonel Smith. About 9 o'clock I went home…"
p. 259. Nov. 17, 1710:1 "…About 10 o'clock I went to wait on the Governor and found several of the House of Burgesses there… I went with them to the Governor's house [the Palace] where he showed them all the conveniences he proposed. … About 1 o'clock I went to the capitol where we…sat till about 4 and then I waited on the Governor to dinner. I ate fish for dinner. About 8 o'clock we went to the coffeehouse where I played at cards and lost 40 shillings. Captain Smith and Garlington came this night from Kiquotan. About 11 o'clock I returned to my lodgings…"
p. 259. Nov. 18, 1710:] … About 10 o'clock I went with him [Colonel Bassett] to the Governor's and on the way met the two captains of the men-of-war, Captain Smith and Captain Garlington. They told us there was a change in the ministry in England… we went to the Governor's, where we drank chocolate. About 12 o'clock we came to the capitol and sent the money bill and the hogs-head bill to the House of Burgesses with amendments. About 4 o'clock we went to dinner and I ate goose. In the evening I went to see Colonel Duke, who was sick of a fever. Then we went to the coffeehouse where we stayed about two hours and then went home. …"
p. 260. Nov. 19, 1710:1 "… About 11 o'clock I walked to church… After church Colonel Harrison took Colonel Carter and me to dine at Mr. Blair's where I ate boiled beef for dinner. In the afternoon we walked to church again to hear Mr. Blair preach Mr. Whately's funeral sermon, which he performed very well. After this ceremony was over we walked to the coffeehouse, where we stayed the rest of the evening. About 11 o'clock I went home…"
p. 260. Nov. 20, 1710:] … About 11 o'clock I went to the Governor's but found nobody. I wrote a letter to Barbados which I gave to Captain Smith when he gets leave of the Governor to go there. I ate some toast and cider with Colonel Carter at Marot's. About 1 o'clock we went to the capitol where we did very little. About 4 o'clock we went to dinner and I ate boiled beef for dinner. In the evening I went to see Colonel Duke who was much better… Then I went to the coffeehouse and played at cards till 12 o'clock. …"
p. 261. Nov. 21, 1710:] "… About 10 o'clock I went to court… About 4 o'clock we went to dinner and I ate roast goose. In the evening I took a walk and returned in an hour to the coffeehouse where I played at cards and lost my money and went home about 9 o'clock and wrote some verses on the House of Burgesses. …"
p. 261. Nov. 22, 1710:] … I went to court about 10… We did very little business and about 4 went to dinner and ate roast beef. In the Evening I walked for half an hour and then came to the coffeehouse and lost 40 shillings. About 9 I went home where I found my man from Westover with letters…"
p. 261. Nov. 23, 1710:] "…ate boiled milk for breakfast. Several gentlemen came to see me and about 1C I went to the coffeehouse and from thence to the capitol. … About 4 o'clock Colonel Carter and I went to dine with the Governor and I ate wild fowl. … We drank two bottles of claret and then went to the coffeehouse where I stayed about an hour and then went home…"xxxi.
p. 262. Nov. 24, 1710:] "…ate rice milk for breakfast. Several persons came to see me… Then I went to court where we did some business. I directed a letter to Nat Burwell with a lampoon in it and threw it into the capitol and Mr. Simons [John Simons, burgess for Surrey Co.] found it and gave it to him, which put the House of Burgesses into a ferment, but I discovered to nobody that I had a hand in it. I went to my chamber in the capitol… About 4 o'clock we went to dinner and I ate boiled pork. Then we went to the coffeehouse, where I played at cards and I lost may money but was diverted to see some of the burgesses so concerned at the lampoon. About 10 o'clock I went home…"
p. 263. Nov. 26, 1710:] "… It rained all night and this morning so as to hinder my going to church. I wrote several things till about two o'clock and then went to Marot's to dinner with the burgesses. I ate roast goose for dinner. In the afternoon we sat and drank a bottle of cider till about 5 o'clock and then adjourned to the coffeehouse. Before we had been there long, in came George Mason [George Mason of Stafford Co., grandfather of George Mason of Revolutionary War fame] very drunk and told me before all the company that it was I that wrote the lampoon and that Will Robinson dropped it. I put it off as well as I could but it was in vain for he swore it. About 9 o'clock I went home…"
p. 263. Nov. 27, 1710:] "…ate boiled milk for breakfast. I wrote more verses against the burgesses. About 9 o'clock Colonel Randolph and Mr. Bland came to see me. About 10 o'clock I went to the coffeehouse where I found several of the Council and from thence went to the capitol… About 4 o'clock five of the Council went to dine at the Governor's where I ate boiled beef. In the evening we went to cards and I won 10 shillings. We stayed till 10 o'clock and then the President's coach carried us to the coffeehouse where I stayed about half an hour and then returned home…"
p. 264. Nov. 28, 1710:] "…About 11 o'clock I went to the capitol where we dispatched some business. … About 3 o'clock Colonel Digges and I dined with the Governor again and I ate fish for dinner. In the evening we drank a bottle of wine till 9 o'clock and then I went to the coffeehouse where I stayed half an hour and then returned home…"
[Byrd's wife came to town for several days, during which time he did not go to the coffeehouse.]
p. 267. Dec. 4, 1710:] "…ate boiled milk for breakfast. Several gentlemen came to see me at my lodgings. … About 11 o'clock I went to the capitol and I learned by Colonel Ludwell that my wife stayed at Green Springs this day xxxii. but I could not go there to her because I was ordered to draw an address to the Governor. About 4 o'clock we all went to dine at the Governor's… I ate giblet pie. We stayed till about 8 o'clock and went to the coffeehouse where we played at cards and I won about £4. It was one o'clock before I got to bed. …"
p. 268. Dec. 5, 1710:] "…ate boiled milk for breakfast. Several were to see me this morning… About 11 o'clock I went to the capitol where we stayed till 4 o'clock and my address was read and approved by the Council. We read the Book of Claims and then went to dinner at C-t where I ate boiled mutton. Then we went to the coffeehouse where we played at cards and I won 20 shillings. About 10 o'clock I returned home…"
p. 268. Dec. 6, 1710:] "… about 9 o'clock I went with Mr. Eppes to the Governor's and drank chocolate. We stayed there till 10 and then I went to the capitol, where we did a great deal of business till about 4 o'clock and then I and the Commissary [James Blair] went and dined with the Governor where I ate fish for dinner. We drank a bottle after dinner till about 8 o'clock and then went to the coffeehouse where I stayed talking till about 10 with several gentlemen…"
p. 269. Dec. 8, 1710:] "…About 10 o'clock I went to the capitol where I wrote a letter to my wife. … About 3 o'clock we went home with the Governor but the servants were out of the way, but when they came the Governor chastised them. I ate boiled pork for dinner. In the evening we drank a bottle till about 9 o'clock and the Governor gave us some oranges which he had sent him from the Barbados. From thence we went to the coffeehouse where I lost 40 shillings at cards. About 12 o'clock I went home…"
p. 269. Dec. 9, 1710:] "… About 10 o'clock I went to the capitol…The Governor prorogued the Assembly till April. Then a particular company of us went to dine at the French ordinary where I ate some fish for dinner. We were exceedingly merry and stayed there till about 7 o'clock and then rode to Williamsburg. We stayed at the coffeehouse till 10 o'clock and then I went home. …"
p. 271. Dec. 12, 1710:] "… Several gentlemen came to see me at my lodgings. About 11 o'clock I went to the coffeehouse where I found several gentlemen of the Council. From thence we went to the Court of Oyer and Terminer and adjourned as soon as we had sworn the jury and went to dine at the Governor's, where I ate some boiled goose and onion sauce. About 4 o'clock we returned to court … Then we went to the Governor's again, it being the Governor's birth night, and stayed till 10 o'clock and drank a bowl of punch. …"
p. 330. April 16, 1711:] "… rode to Williamsburg where we arrived about 11 o'clock. I set myself in order and then went to court. … The court rose about 2 o'clock. We stayed at the coffeehouse till 4 o'clock and then went and dined with the Governor. I ate fowl and bacon for dinner. … About 8 o'clock I went home…"xxxiii.
pp.331-332. April 18, 1711:] "… ate boiled milk for breakfast. Several gentlemen came to see me. … About 10 we went to court where we sat till about 3 o'clock… I went with some of my brothers to dine with the Governor. I ate some fowl and bacon. About 5 o'clock we went away and took a walk to the new house [Palace.} and from thence went to the coffeehouse. There came several of the [courteous] young men and we went to gaming and I won five pounds. We played till about 10 o'clock and then I went to my lodgings…"
p. 332. April 19, 1711:] "… We had no criminals this court. The court rose about 4 o'clock and some of us went to dinner at Mrs. G-r-t's where we had good victuals and no drink. After dinner Colonel Smith and I took a walk and overtook the Governor and walked with him to the Governor's new house. We walked with him till it was dark and then took our leave and went to the coffeehouse. I stayed there about half an hour and then went home to my lodgings. I wrote a little…"
p. 332. April 20, 1711:] "…About 9 o'clock I went into court where we sat till past 5 dispensing justice. … I went to dine with the Governor and ate roast mutton for dinner. … At night I walked to the coffeehouse and drank two dishes of tea. Then I returned to my lodgings…"
p. 336. April 27, 1711:] "…ate boiled milk for breakfast. Several people came to me; however I used no ceremony but wrote on till I had finished my business and then I went to court where I just saved my day, because the court was just on rising. Then we went to Council… About 6 o'clock the Council rose and I went to dinner with the Governor where I ate boiled beef. It rained a little in the evening. At night I went to the coffeehouse where I stayed about an hour and then went to my lodgings where I settled some accounts.…"
p. 336. April 28, 1711:] "… They passed my quitrent accounts in Council and got the warrants signed. … I dined with the Governor and ate salt fish for dinner. In the afternoon my man came with my horse… I took leave of the Governor… and then took a walk and afterwards went to the coffeehouse where I took leave of more of my friends and then went to my lodgings where I settled some accounts. …"
p. 359. June 13, 1711:] "… I rose about 6 o'clock… However I ate my milk first and then went to the coffeehouse and got my papers together and went to court where one of the prisoners was burnt in the hand and the other ordered to the whip. Then we went to council… Then we had a meeting of the directors of the town and agreed to build a market place to which we all contributed. About 4 o'clock we went to dine with the Governor and I ate boiled veal for dinner…"
p. 379. July 25, 1711:] "… About 8 I had some water gruel and then wrote more letters. Several gentlemen came to see me, and I did business with Mr. Bland and others. About 11 o'clock I went to the coffeehouse and ate some bread and butter and drank some tea till my room was put in order. Then I returned and wrote more letters and did more business till about 2 o'clock and then I went to the Governor's to dinner where I ate some beef. After dinner xxxiv. I returned soon to my lodgings…"
p. 379. July 26, 1711:] "… I rose about 5 o'clock… I wrote several letters… About 8 o'clock I ate some milk and baked pears for breakfast. … About 11 o'clock I went to the coffeehouse and drank some tea and ate bread and butter till 12. Then came Colonel Ludwell and Mr. Custis about business. I wrote a letter to England and about 2 o'clock went to the Governor's to dinner. I ate some fowl for dinner. After dinner I went to my lodgings… I went to see Mrs. Bland and from thence to the coffeehouse where I drank some tea and about 9 went home to bed…"
p. 379. July 27, 1711:] "I rose about 5 o'clock… Then I wrote several letters to England and then I ate some milk and pears… at 11 I went to the coffeehouse and made my second breakfast of tea and bread and butter. Then I returned to my lodgings and had several persons come to me… about 2 o'clock I went to the Governor's… It was extremely hot so that we sat without our [capes] notwithstanding the ladies. I ate some boiled beef for dinner. … Then I went… to Colonel Ludwell's where was much company… I drank some tea and about 10 o'clock went to bed. … This was the hottest weather I ever felt."
p. 408. September 20, 1711:] "… I rose about 6 o'clock… and about 9 o'clock went and drank tea with the Doctor and ate some bread and butter. Then I read the news. … About 11 o'clock I went to the coffeehouse but before I went I gave [Harry] four great pomegranates for the Governor which grew at Westover. … About 1 o'clock we went to dinner at the coffeehouse and I ate a fricassee of chicken for dinner. In the afternoon we played at piquet till the evening…"
p. 426. October 23, 1711:] "… It rained all the way I rode to Williamsburg, where I got about about 3 o'clock pretty wet. Then I got ready to go to court that I might not lose my day… We sat in court till about 5 o'clock and then the Governor took me home to dinner… I ate boiled beef for dinner. … About 8 o'clock we went to the coffeehouse where I played and won 50 shillings. About 10 I went to my lodgings…"
p. 427. October 24, 1711:] "… About 9 o'clock I went to court where I sat diligently till noon… We sat till the evening and I went again with the Governor to dine, as he said, to eat some of my own venison. … About 8 o'clock I went to the coffeehouse, where I fell to playing with some of the young men and won £9. About 10 o'clock I went to my lodgings…"
p. 427. October 25, 1711:] "I rose about 7 o'clock… I settled accounts with some of the naval officers. I had several gentlemen come to see me… and ate boiled milk for breakfast. … About 9 o'clock I went to court… About noon I returned to my chambers and wrote in my journal and then went into court again and we sat till it was dark and then I went home again with the Governor because the rest of the Council sneaked away in the dark. I ate some boiled beef for supper. About 8 we went to the coffeehouse and got Mr. Graeme with us. We played at whist and I lost 5 shillings. About 10 o'clock I went to my lodgings…"xxxv.
p. 427. October 26, 1711:] "…about 9 o'clock went into court, where I sat till noon and then I went up stairs and wrote in my journal. … we sat till about 5 o'clock and then I slipped away lest the Governor should ask me again to dine with him. Several of us went to dine at Marot's where I ate a good fricassee of chicken, and drank Virginia wine that was [tolerable]. When dinner was over went to the coffeehouse, and played at cards and I lost 5 shillings. About 10 o'clock I went to my lodgings…"
p. 429. October 29, 1711:] "… About 11 o'clock I came with the Governor to court where we sat till about 3 and then I went up stairs…and wrote a letter to England. Then I returned to court where we stayed till about 5 and then I went home with the Governor and ate venison for dinner and then drank a bottle till 8 o'clock. Then we went to the coffeehouse, where we played at cards till 10 and I won 25 shillings. Then I returned home…"
p. 429. October 30, 1711:] "… About 10 o'clock I went to court where I sat till about 2 and then went up stairs…and wrote a letter to England. Then I returned into court where we sat till about 5. Then I went with the Governor to dinner… I ate venison pasty for dinner and then we drank a bottle till 8 o'clock. Afterwards we went to the coffeehouse where I played at piquet and won 5 shillings. …"
p. 430. October 31, 1711:] … About 10 o'clock I went to court where I sat till about 3 and then I went up stairs…and wrote a letter to England. About 4 I returned to court and we at till past 5. Then we went to dine at Marot's and I ate roast veal for dinner. About 8 o'clock we went to the coffeehouse and I had not been there half an hour before Eugene came and told me that my wife was at my lodgings. I instantly went home and found her there. …"
p. 432. November 3, 1711:] "…About 10 I went to the capitol to write letters…my wife went to see her sister [at Queen's Creek] About 5 o'clock I returned to my lodgings… Then I went to the coffeehouse and had the misfortune to affront the President without saying anything to provoke a reason-able man. After that we went to [p-1-y] and I won X18 and got home before 11 o'clock…"
p. 432. November 4, 1711:] "… About 10 o'clock came my sister Custis to dress here… About 11 the coach was sent by the Governor to carry the women to church and I walked. … When church was done we went to the Governor's to dinner and I ate some boiled venison… About 4 o'clock we went to see the new house… When we had tired ourselves there the coach set the women home and the Governor and I went to the coffeehouse where we stayed about half an hour and then I went home to my lodgings…"
p. 433. November 6, 1711:] "… About 11 o'clock I went to the capitol… and wrote several letters to England… I stayed and wrote at the capitol till about 5 o'clock because it rained so hard that I could not get away. However at last I ran through it to the coffeehouse, where I sat an hour before anybody came. At last came Mr. Clayton from York but had no news. Soon after came xxxvi. Mr. Robinson and he played at piquet with me and we neither won nor lost. About 10 I went home to my lodgings…"
p. 434. November 7, 1711:] … I could find no company to dine with. About 3 o'clock I went to the capitol and wrote letters to England… About 5 o'clock Mr. Clayton came to me and told me my wife and the other gentlewomen had returned from Gloucester and were at my lodgings. … My sister and Mrs. Dunn went to queen's Creek and my wife went to bed and I went to the coffeehouse where I won 5 shillings and stayed till 9 o'clock. …"
pp. 434-5. November 8, 1711:] "… my wife was preparing to go away home … About 9 we went to the Governor's… I drank some tea till about 11 and then went in the Governor's coach to the capitol… About 2 o'clock I dined with the Council at Marot's and ate mutton for dinner. … I took a walk to see the College and the Governor's house and in the evening returned to the coffeehouse where we played at cards and I won 20 shillings. I returned home about 10 o'clock…"
p. 435. November 9, 1711:] … I went to prayers with the Burgesses and then we met as upper House but did nothing more than adjourn… About 2 o'clock we dined at Marot's and I ate roast veal for dinner. In the afternoon we went to the [?j coffeehouse where we fell into gaming and I won about £8 in all at piquet and dice. About 10 o'clock I returned to my lodgings…"
pp. 435-6. November 10, 1711:] "… I had several people come to see me this afternoon; … I asked the Governor if he had any service at Westover, and took my leave and went to the capitol… About 5 I went to Mr. Bland's … At night I went to the coffeehouse where came some other gentlemen. I played at cards and won 5 shillings. … At the coffeehouse I ate some chicken pie and drank a bottle of the President's wine."
pp. 437-8. November 14, 1711:] "I rose about 7 O'clock and gave all the necessary orders to my people. … about 3 o'clock we got to Green Springs …we stayed but half an hour and then went on to Williamsburg where we got about 5. I dressed myself and went to Colonel Bray's where the wedding [Angelica Bray to Llewellyn Eppes] had been kept and found abundance of company there. I dined and ate some chicken pie then we went to dancing and the bride was my partner… we went away before 10 o'clock to the coffeehouse where I won 5 shillings of the President. …"
p. 439. November 17, 1711:] "… About 1 o'clock I went again to the capitol … and wrote in my journal. Then I read Italian for an hour. After which I took a walk round the town till about 5 o'clock, and then went to the coffeehouse and won 5 shillings of the President. About 9 I went to my lodgings…"
p. 440. November 20, 1711:] "… Then I went to the capitol… We sat till two o'clock and I went to dinner at the Governor's and ate roast beef. About 4 we went away and I went and wrote in my journal. … went to the coffeehouse where I won of Dr. Cocke 45 shillings at piquet. About 12 o'clock I went home…"xxxvii.
p.441. November 21, 1711; "…had boiled milk for breakfast. Then I went to the capitol…and did some business with Mr. Holloway. Then I went down to the Council… About 2 o'clock we rose and went to dinner and I ate fish. … Then we took a walk and afterwards went to the coffeehouse and played at whisk but lost 15 shillings. Then we played at dice and after losing 210 I recovered my money and won £8, [by holding in 13 hands together.] About 12 o'clock we drank a bottle of wine and then went home. …"
pp. 441-442. November 22, 1711:] "… About 11 I went to the capitol…About 3 o'clock we went to dinner and I ate some roast goose. Then I took a walk to the Governor's new house with Frank W-l-s and then returned to the coffeehouse where I lost 12 pounds 10 shillings and about 10 o'clock returned home very much out of humor to think myself such a fool. …"
p. 442. November 23, 1711:] … About 10 o'clock I went to the capitol where I…wrote in my journal… About 11 o'clock I went to the coffeehouse where the Governor also came and from thence we went to the capitol… We stayed till 3 o'clock and then went to dinner at Marot's but could get none there and therefore…dined with Colonel Duke and I ate broiled chicken for dinner. After dinner we went to Colonel Carter's room where we had a bowl of punch of French brandy and oranges. We talked very lewdly and were almost drunk and in that condition we went to the coffeehouse and played at dice and I lost £12. We stayed at the coffeehouse till almost 4 o'clock in the morning talking with Major Harrison. Then I went to my lodgings…"
pp. 442-3. November 24, 1711:] "… About 10 1 wentto the coffeehouse and drank some tea and then we went to the President's… Then I went to the capitol… and wrote in my journal and read Italian. This day I make a solemn resolution never at once to lose more than 50 shillings and to spend less time it gaming … Then I took a walk, notwithstanding I had a good cold on me and the weather was also very cold. Then went to the coffeehouse but returned to my lodgings about 5 o'clock and wrote two letters to England. …"
p. 443. November 26, 1711:] "… we did not meet to do business till almost 2 o'clock because we had not enough in town. … We…then went to dinner and I ate chicken pie… In the evening we went to the coffeehouse where I received a letter from Mr. Perry and an account of 25 a hogshead for tobacco. About 9 o'clock I went to my lodgings…"
p. 444. November 27, 1711:] "… The weather was very cold and threatened snow… We sat at the President's house where he had a good fire… We sat till about 4 o'clock and then went to dinner and I ate some roast mutton. In the evening we went to the coffeehouse where I played at cards and won 25 shillings. About 9 I returned to my lodgings…"
p. 444. November 28, 1711:.] "… About 10 o'clock I went to the capitol… and then went to the coffeehouse where I found several of the council but not ready to go to council, and so some of us took a walk to the Governor's house … Then we returned to the President's lodgings where we read some bills and afterwards adjourned to the capitol where the House of Burgesses brought an address to the Governor… About 4 o'clock we went to dinner and I ate some xxxviii. roast beef…"
p. 445. November 29, 1711:] "… About 9 I went to the Governor but he was so busy nobody could speak with him. Then I returned to the coffeehouse where I ate some toast and butter and drank milk tea on it. Here I learned that Captain Smith, commander of the 'Enterprise,' was come and that Dr. [Barrett's] house was burnt last night. … About 10 o'clock I went to the capitol… wrote in my journal and then went to the President's lodgings, with the rest of the Council… the Governor came to us and I went in his coach with him to dinner, and I ate some fish. … In the evening I went home… Then I went to the coffeehouse where I played at cards and won---- shillings. Then I returned to my lodgings…" [Left for Westover the next day.]
p. 449. December 5, 1711:] "[Returned to Williamsburg Dec. 4th.} … I went to the capitol in my boots because of the snow. … We sat till about 3 o'clock and then went to dinner. I ate some roast chicken. We sat and discoursed till the evening and then went to the coffeehouse where I lost 10 shillings at whisk. It was 11 o'clock when I returned to my lodgings…"
p. 449. December 6, 1711:] "… About 11 o'clock we went to the capitol… About 3 we adjourned and I went to dine at the Governor's and I ate some venison for dinner. Then I went to the coffeehouse where I lost £4 at piquet. About 11 o'clock I returned to my lodgings…"
p. 450. December 7, 1711:] "… About 11 I went to the capitol, where we sat in council about Mr. Cary's accounts [for work on Palace] … We went to dinner about 3 and I ate some wild duck for dinner. Then Colonel Smith and I took a walk and in the evening went to the coffeehouse, where I played again at piquet and won of the Doctor about £4 and about 11 o'clock went home…"
p. 451. December 10, 1711:] "… Then I went to the capitol where we read the money bill the first time… About 3 we went to dinner and I ate chicken pie and then went to the coffeehouse where we played at whisk and I won 20 shillings. About 10 I returned to my lodgings…"
p. 452. December 11, 1711:] ".. Frank Eppes came to see me but I was in great haste to go to Council… Then we [went] into court where we were sworn as judges of the Court of Oyer and Terminer and then we went to church to hear the Commissary [Blair] preach the [assize] sermon, … Then we returned to court… About 5 o'clock we went to dinner and I ate some boiled pork for my dinner. Then we went to the coffeehouse where I won 40 shillings and returned to my lodgings about 11 o'clock…"
p. 452. December 12, 1711:] … We sat till about 4 o'clock and then went to dinner. .,. I ate some roast chicken for dinner and then went to the coffeehouse where I played at piquet and won 5 shillings of Mr. Walker and about 10 o'clock went home to my lodgings…"xxxix.
p. 453. December 13, 1711:3 "… About 10 o'clock I went to the capitol where a jury of matrons were impanelled to inquire if Betty J-r-d-n was quick with child… We rose about 4 o'clock and then went to dinner and I ate roast duck. My man Tom came from home and told me poor L-s-n died… Then I went to the coffeehouse where I played at piquet and lost 25 shillings. About 10 o'clock I went home…"
p. 453. December 14, 1711:] "… Then I walked to the capitol… then we went to Council and read some bills… About 4 o'clock we went to dinner and I ate a fricassee of turkey. Then we went to the coffeehouse and I won £5. About 11 o'clock I went home…"
p. 455. December 18, 1711:; "… Mr. Bland came to my lodgings… Then we went into Council and read some of the claims… We settled the rangers and then went to dinner and I went with the Governor home and ate boiled beef for dinner. Then we drank a bottle of claret and then went to the coffeehouse where I lost 30 shillings. About 11 o'clock I returned to my lodgings…"
p. 456. December 19, 1711:] "… Then I went home with the Governor to dinner and ate salt fish and after dinner we drank a bottle of claret. About 8 I went to the coffeehouse where I won 15 shillings and went home about 11 o'clock …"
p. 456. December 20, 1711:] "… About 4 o'clock we went to dinner and I ate some roast chicken and after dinner we drank a bowl of punch and were merry with Colonel Carter, who went away about 7 o'clock in the evening. Then we went to the coffeehouse where we played at dice and I won £4.
p. 456-7. December 21, 1711:] "… About 9 o'clock I went to the Governor's to settle accounts with him but he was not at leisure. When I returned I went to the coffeehouse where I played a game at piquet and won 15 shillings. Then I went to Mr. Clayton's… Then I returned to the capitol… About 4 o'clock we went to dinner and I ate some wild duck for my dinner. From thence we went to the coffeehouse where I lost 20 shillings at piquet and returned to my lodgings about 11 o'clock…"
p. 457. December 22, 1711:] "… About 10 o'clock Mr. Bland came and he went with me to the Governor's where we balanced accounts with him… About 12 I went to the coffeehouse where the gentlemen of the Council were and I told them the Governor's mind… About 2 o'clock I went again to the Governor's in the President's coach to dinner and ate beefsteak. In the evening we drank a bottle and about 8 went to the coffeehouse where I lost 7 shillings at piquet and at 10 went home to my lodgings…"
p. 458. December 24, 1711:] "…[had spent night before at Queen's Creek] about 10 we took leave and rode to Williamsburg. … Then I went to the coffeehouse, where I met all my brothers of the Council that were in town. About 12 o'clock Colonel Ludwell and I went to the Governor's to learn from himself how long he intended to keep us and to persuade him to give leave to the House of Burgesses. to adjourn for a month without their asking, which he at last xl. consented to. He asked us to dine but we [---] to the rest of the Council and dined with them at the coffeehouse and I ate some beef for dinner. I paid all my debts and about 3 o'clock we went to the capitol to expect the coming of the Governor, who adjourned the assembly till the 24th of January and then we all took leave and went away and I went to Queen's Creek…"
p. 475. January 25, 1712:] "… About 2 o'clock Colonel Smith and I went to the Governor's to dinner and I ate some cod sounds… We stayed there till about 7 o'clock and then went to the coffeehouse, where I lost £2 at piquet. About 10 I went to my lodgings…"
p. 475. January 26, 1712:] "… About 3 o'clock we dined at Mrs. [Serjenton's] and I ate roast chicken for dinner… In the evening we went to the coffeehouse where I lost £6 at piquet. …"
p. 475-6. January 27, 1712:] "… we walked to church… After, we went home with the Commissary [Blair] to dinner and I ate some roast goose and we were very merry… We were well entertained both with victuals and company till about 5 o'clock and then walked to the coffeehouse where we talked till about 8 o'clock and then I went home…"
p. 477. January 29, 1712:] "… We met just to adjourn and then went to dinner and I ate some wild duck. In the afternoon I took a walk to the Governor's new house and so returned to the coffeehouse where we played at dice and I played with good luck and won 50 shillings clear and the Doctor was among us. About 10 I went home…"
p. 477. January 30, 1712:] "… The Governor went to church but I did not because I heard of it too late but went to the coffeehouse where I played at piquet and won 50 shillings. Then I went to the capitol… till 3 o'clock and then went to dinner and ate some roast turkey. After dinner I took a walk… and then returned to the coffeehouse where I stayed about an hour…"
p. 478. January 31, 1712:] "… Then we rose and I went home with the Governor in his coach to dine with him. I ate some boiled goose for dinner. … About 5 o'clock I took my leave and went to the coffeehouse where I played till about 2 o'clock in the morning and neither won nor lost. …"
p. 479. February 1, 1712:] "… I took leave of Mrs. Bland and thanked her for all her kindness and ordered G-r-l to give her servants money. Then I went to the coffeehouse to pay my debts and went from thence to the Commissary's games Blair where I stayed to dine and I ate goose giblets for dinner. …"
p. 488. February 20, 1712:] "… I went with several gentlemen of the Council to wait on the Governor but he was not at home… Then we returned to the capitol to Council… I ate some beaver for dinner at the Governor's and about 8 o'clock we went to the coffeehouse where I played at cards till 2 o'clock in the morning and I won 27 shillings. …" [Returned to Westover the next day.]
p. 508. March 31, 1712:1 "… did not reach Green Springs till about 3 o'clock … we proceeded to Williamsburg and found the governors of the College sitting. xli. … Then we went to the coffeehouse and I ate some cold roast beef and Will Robinson gave me a bottle of wine. Then he and I played at piquet and I lost 50 shillings. About 11 I went home to my lodgings…"
[Left Williamsburg April 1st.]
p. 516. April 16, 1712:] [reached Williamsburg on 15th] "… about 11 o'clock went to court where we sat till near 3 o'clock… Then we went to dinner and I ate some roast beef for dinner and afterwards took a walk till it was dark and then went to the coffeehouse where I was got into a game and won £3 and about 11 o'clock got to my lodgings…"
p. 516. April 17, 1712:] "…sat till 3 and then went to dinner and ate some pork. After dinner I went to Mrs. [Whaley's] … Here we drank some tea till the evening and then I took leave and went to the coffeehouse, where I played at cards and won 40 shillings but afterwards I played at dice and lost almost £10. This gave me a resolution to play no more at dice and so I went to my lodgings…"
p. 518. April 20, 1712:] "… About 11 I went to visit the President and went with him to church, where Mr. Commissary gave us a good sermon. I took the Holy Sacrament [it was Easter Sunday] and then went with Mr. President to dine with the Governor, where I ate some boiled mutton. … In the evening I went to the coffeehouse, and then it began to rain violently and thundered. Here I tarried till about 9 o'clock, and then returned to my lodgings…"
p. 519. April 22, 1712:] "… About 11 o'clock I went to court… About 6 o'clock I went home with the Governor to dinner and ate some roast beef. … About 8 o'clock I went to the coffeehouse and from thence home, about 10. …"
p. 521. April 26, 1712:3 "… About 10 o'clock I went to court… About 6 I went home with the Governor to dinner… About 8 I took my leave and went to the coffeehouse where I sat an hour and then returned to my lodgings…"
p. 523. April 30, 1712:] "… In the evening I went to supper at Mr. Bland's, … and then went to the coffeehouse where I paid off my score and talked till about 10 o'clock…"
p. 542. June 11, 1712:] "… [arrived at Williamsburg June 10 - left June 12th] About 9 o'clock I went to the coffeehouse and drank some tea and stayed there till 12 o'clock and then went to the capitol … About 4 o'clock the Doctor and I went in his coach to the Commissary's where we dined and I ate some fowl and bacon. About 6 we went in the Doctor's coach to Green Springs …"