No. 9 Spencer Street – History of the Occupants from 1875-2006

1875-1880 Mr Charles Pratt

Charles Pratt was a Picture Dealer who had been born in Leicester in 1825. In 1871 Charles was living at 10 London Road Leicester were he owned an old China and Earthenware shop, Working for him as a servant was Elizabeth Ann Westbury, aged 22. She had come to Leicester to work from a small village named Rothley, in a district outside of Leicester town. Her father James was an agricultural labourer and her mother was named Ann. Elizabeth was a member of a large family and she had left, as many young girls did, to help with the family income. In the early 1870’s Charles moved his China and Earthenware shop from Leicester to No 5 Spencer Street Leamington Priors and in 1875 was running his shop at this address. Around 1876 renumbering of Spencer Street took place and by 1877 Charles’s was living at No 9 Spencer Street. This maybe that the property was renumbered rather than him moving properties. When he moved from Leicester to Leamington he bought Elizabeth Ann Westbury with him to help him run his shop. He had trained her to become a dealer in fine art. When they were at no 9 Spencer Street the shop was called an Old China, Glass & Earthenware Shop and Picture Dealers.

Whilst living at No. 9 Spencer Street, and working for Charles Pratt, Elizabeth Ann met Thomas William Bone. Thomas restored Oil paintings and so, through his business, would have come into contact with Charles Pratt, picture dealer, and Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Anne Westbury married Thomas William Bone in February 1879 in The Parish Church. Thomas was living at 68 Clarendon Avenue, running a Decorators business with his brother John Henry Bone, when he married. Thomas moved into 9 Spencer Street after their marriage where they lived above the Antique Shop. Thomas was 29 years old. Thomas was a Decorative Artist who had trained under Tony Dury a Warwick artist who had studios in Smith Street Warwick. Tony Dury was a renowned french artist who had been painter to the late Louis Philippe of France; he had decorated the celebrated ceiling of St Mary’s Church, Moorefield’s, London; and several other Churches, Public Buildings and Theatres in both England and France. He was also Decorator to the Royal Pavilion at Brighton

After finishing his training under Tony Dury Thomas travelled to Brighton and the Provinces to work and gain further experience. On his return to Leamington he went to live with his parents at 14 Wise St and from here set up a Painting and Decorating business.

Thomas had been born in Saltisford Warwick in 1850, son of Thomas William Bromidge and Maria Bone and had lived both in Warwick and Coventry before moving to Leamington Priors with his parents in 1865. He was one of eight children and his father, since 1865, was the local relieving officer, who later also took on the other duties of Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, School Attendance Officer and Trustee to Spencer Street Church. As a Relieving Officer he worked for the Warwick Union, implementing the Poor Law, to bring relief to the poor and needy of the town. Thomas William Bromidge Bone, Relieving Officer, died in 1890 and his wife Maria Bone died in 1902. Both are buried in Leamington Cemetery.

1880-1921 Thomas and Elizabeth Bone

After their marriage Elizabeth continued to work in the shop while Thomas restored oil paintings, and worked in his Decorating business. After the death of Charles Pratt Thomas and Elizabeth became owners of the shop. They named the shop the Old Curiosity Shop and sold antique furniture, old china, and curios. In 1882 they had their first child, son William Charles and in 1887 a daughter Mabel Elizabeth. By 1891 they had living with them, a servant, named Edith M Windsor who was aged 16. She was born in Long Itchington in 1875 (registered in Southam district). Her full name was Etheline Edith M Windsor. She later married Mark Wing in March 1892, in Southam, (registered in Rugby district which Southam came under). Thomas and Elizabeth did not have anymore children after Mabel.

Thomas and Elizabeth become well known in the town as shopkeepers and also through Thomas’s Decorating business, and as the son of the local Relieving Officer.

They advertised their businesses in all the local papers and Theatre programmes and regularly attended the Theatre and social events in Leamington. Elizabeth also regularly attended Auction rooms to purchase furniture and items for the shop.

In 1899 son William became an apprentice to an ironmonger in Oswestry and so left home.

On 6th March 1901, Elizabeth passed away at 9 Spencer Street after spending three months in a coma. The family story is, though no official reports have yet been found, that whilst at an Auction sale a wardrobe fell on Elizabeth which resulted in her death. She died with Thomas her husband by her side, Elizabeth was buried on the 11th March at the New Leamington cemetery in Brunswick Street. She was buried in a grave along side her father-in- law, Thomas William Bromidge Bone.

After Elizabeth’s death widower Thomas remained at 9 Spencer Street and ran the antique shop with his daughter Mabel, then aged 14. Living with them was a servant Jane Heath aged 22 (born in 1879). Son William, after his apprenticeship, went to work in Coventry from where he married in 1906. In 1912 aged 62 Thomas remarried. He married Louisa Annie Wallace in Spencer Street Church. Louisa, was the daughter of a postmaster, now deceased, and lived in Willes Terrace, Leamington Priors although she had been born in Sunderland in 1861.

Thomas Louisa and Mabel remained at 9 Spencer Street and it was there that Thomas died in April 1921. Thomas left the property to his wife Louisa, son William and daughter Mabel.

1921-1924 Louisa and Mabel Bone

After Thomas’s death Mabel and Louisa remained at 9 Spencer Street. In 1922 Mabel married a doctor but remained running the shop. She was now a silversmith. In 1924 Mabel died in childbirth. After Mabel’s death Louisa left 9 Spencer Street and moved to Northampton.

Louisa and William were now the owners of the property

1925-1939 Property Leased to W. H. Shakespeare, Owners – The Bone Family

From 1925 Louisa and William Bone rented the property to WH Shakespeare an Antique dealer who continued to run the shop as an Antique shop.

In 1936 Louisa passed away in Northampton and from August 1936 William became sole owner of No 9 Spencer Street

The property continued to be rented to W. H. Shakespeare until the late 1930’s when the tenant changed.

1939

The property was occupied by Victoria Dairies; the proprietor being J. Smith & Son.

1950

Woolman’s were running the shop as a Garden Supplies shop

1954-1975

Wilkinson’s now ran it as a flower shop, proprietor Alex C. Wilkinson.

William Bone, property owner, died in Coventry and he left the property “in Trust” to his wife and four daughters. In 1965 William’s wife died and the property passed “in Trust” to his four daughters.

William’s four daughters now became joint owners of No. 9 Spencer Street. Wilkinson’s continued to rent the property from the William Bone Trust. Mr Wilkinson continued to run the shop until 1975 when his lease ran out

Sold by The Bone Family in 1975 to Mr Meneno.

After the lease for Wilkinson’s Flower Shop ran out The Daughters of William Bone decided to sell No 9 Spencer Street. The property now passed out of the Bone family after having connections to the property for nearly a century. Their grandmother Elizabeth Ann Westbury had first moved into No 9 Spencer in 1875.

The Bone Family had started their life at No 9 in March 1879 when Thomas and Elizabeth married. They raised a family whilst running the Antique shop and had a reasonably comfortable life. Tragedy struck when Elizabeth, Thomas’s “beloved wife” died. Thomas lived with his daughter and saw his son married and raise a family giving Thomas four granddaughters, who regularly visited No. 9 Spencer Street. Thomas remarried late in life and lived through seeing his son fight in the First World War. After he died his daughter Mabel married but sadly tragedy struck again when Mabel died in childbirth. His second wife then left 9 Spencer Street but the property remained in the family and was rented out. It remained in the family until 1975 when his granddaughters, now in their 60’s, decided to sell it. The ownership of No. 9 Spencer Street finally passed from the Bone family after being connected to the family for nearly a century.

1975 – 1986 Mr Mereno

Mr Mereno bought the property from the Bone family and opened it as a Spanish Restaurant. In 1986 Mr Meneno sold No. 9 to the owner of No. 7, the property next door.

1986 -2006 Piccolino’s Italian Restaurant

No. 7 Spencer Street was occupied by Piccolino’s Italian Restaurant, a family run business which had been established since 1979. On the purchase of No. 9 the two properties became one restaurant and the living accommodation above the shop was converted into flats. The Restaurant is run by Domenico; proprietor, and provides genuine Italian cuisine.

Census Information

1878 Charles Pratt (Employer) and Elizabeth Westbury (employee) Old China, Glass & Earthenware & Picture Dealer Dealer in Fine Arts.
1879 Thomas William and Elizabeth Bone, née Westbury Decorative Artist & Antique Dealer
1880 Thomas William and Elizabeth Bone née Westbury. Charles Pratt (Year of Death) Picture Dealer, Old China, Glass & Earthenware. Dealer.
1881 census Decorative Artist & Antique Dealer
1888 Thomas William and Elizabeth Bone Decorative Artist & Antique Dealer
1889 Thomas William and Elizabeth Bone Decorative Artist & Antique Dealer
1900 Thomas William and Elizabeth Bone Decorative Artist & Antique Dealer
1901 census Thomas William and Elizabeth Bone Decorative Artist & Antique Dealer
1902 Elizabeth Ann Bone Death of Elizabeth Ann Bone
1921 Thomas William Bone Death of Thomas William Bone
1922 Miss Mabel Bone Daughter Silversmith & Antique Dealer
1924 Miss Mabel Bone Daughter Silversmith & Antique Dealer
1925 W H Shakespeare Antique Dealer
1928 W H Shakespeare
1930 W H Shakespeare Antique Dealer
1939 Victoria Dairy, J Smith & Son Prop Dairy
1950 Woolmans Garden Suppliers
1954-1975 Wilkinson Flower Shop Alex C. Wilkinson Flower Shop
1975 Mr Mereno Spanish Restaurant
1986,
16th April
Mr Meringo Picallino’s Italian Restaurant
2005 Mr Meringo Picallino’s Italian Restaurant

 

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