Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

My wife's ancestors - Dicey - Contents

Dicey business, Bow Church Yard, London

The Dicey (previously Cluer) family business, Bow Church Yard, at St Mary-le-Bow church, Cheapside, London.
This was a printing business, printing flyers and posters and music and other short items. They also sold patent medicines.
Exact location was no.10 Bow Church Yard, at "the Maiden-Head", opposite the S door of St Mary-le-Bow church.

John Cluer first ran a printing business here.
The business is described on a visit to Bow Church Yard in 1763 as being run by the family for "fourscore" years, which would make it founded in 1683. This must be inaccurate. Most likely it was founded by John Cluer in 1702-1710.
The earliest surviving item from the Bow Church-yard press is dated 1710.
He died 1728.
His widow ran the business after him.

In 1736, John Cluer's brother-in-law William Dicey of Northampton took over the printing business in Bow Church Yard, London.
His son Cluer Dicey went to London to run it.
Dicey and Co. traded in Bow Church Yard throughout the 18th century.
The business became Dicey and Sutton after 1800.
Later in the 19th century it became Sutton and Co.

It seems the building at the site today is new, from the late 19th century. See below.
See modern satellite view.


A hymn printed in 1714 by John Cluer in Bow Churchyard.
See full page. From British Museum.

St Mary-le-Bow church and Bow Church Yard on 1720 map.
From here.

"Daffy's Elixir" was a patent medicine, sold by the Diceys and others.
The above shows how popular "Daffy's Elixir" was by the 1730s.
Queen Caroline (wife of George II) is using it for her illness in early Nov 1737.
"Daffy's Elixir" could not possibly cure her medical condition and she died on 20 Nov 1737, age 54.
This is from p.231 of [Lord John Hervey's memoirs, 1984 edn].

St Mary-le-Bow and Bow Church Yard, London, on 1746 map.

An ad in the 1780s refers to "Daffy's Elixir" patent medicine, sold by Thomas Dicey in London.
"Daffy's Cordial, warm and spicy, Sold in Bow-Church-Yard by Dicey."
From [Neuburg, 1969]. Neuburg says it "must have been one of the earliest of advertising jingles".

St Mary-le-Bow church and Bow Church Yard on 1792-99 map.
The Dicey business was at no.10 Bow Church Yard, opposite the S door of the church.

Street numbers on 1819 map.
Looks like no.10 Bow Church Yard would indeed be opposite the S door of the church. To the right of no.9 here.
See 1875 map and 1916 map.

Bottle of the patent medicine, "Daffy's elixir", sold by Dicey and Co.
This bottle probably from 1820s-40s.

Bottle of the patent medicine, "Daffy's elixir" (centre).
From Wikimedia Commons.

Early 19th century patent medicine bottles.
Formerly here.
Shows Dicey and Co. still at "No. 10, Bow Church Yard".

An ad for "Dr. Bateman's Pectoral Drops" gives the business as now Sutton and Co., 10 Bow Church Yard.
19th century.
From here. Originally from here.

Extract from 1958 map.
Shows no.10 Bow Church Yard where we expect from above.
See larger and full size.

Modern street view of SE end of Bow Church Yard. Click to rotate.
View from Bow Lane looking towards the W. Church is on RHS here.
Looks like location of Dicey business at no.10 would be on LHS here, between Bow Lane and the alley.


Bow Wine Vaults.
View looking W into Bow Church Yard.
From Bow Wine Vaults gallery.
See also 2010 photo.


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