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Charles Stuart Calverley

16 Market Hill

History of 16 Market Hill


William Bacon, 45, tobacconist [this is the William Bacon whose former property at 63 Sidney Street Charles Darwin lodged at when an undergraduate. In 1851 William Bacon was a widower living at 40 Hills Road]

Mary, 32

Thomas, 16

George, 10

Frederick, 9

Sophia, 1

infant, 3 mos,

Charlotte Speed, 24, servant

Mary Morgan, 15, servant

Ann Barton, 60, servant

Ann Adams, 64, servant

Henry Thompson, 25, independent

Edward Baker, 24, independent


1851 (unnumbered)

James Bacon, tobacconist



James Bacon, 56, tobacconist

Martha Ann

Mary Ann Marsh, 27, servant, b Cambs

Elizabeth Thurby, 21, cook, b Shelford


James Bacon, head, 67, tobacconist, b Norfolk

Martha A, 56, b Cambridge

Ann Pulford, 24, cook, b Norfolk

James J Bacon, head, 37, tobacconist, b Essex

Martha P, 33, b Cambridge

Martha E, 15, b London

Jessie, 11, b London

Minnie,9, b London

Claude E, 6, b London

Eveline M, 6 mos, b Cambridge

Frances Hasler, 17, servant, nursemaid, b Cambridge

Isabella Deane, 18, servant, housemaid, b Gt Shelford


James John Bacon, 47, tobacconist, b Cambridge

Martha P, 43, b Cambridge

Martha E, 25, b London

Jessie, 21, b London

Eveline M, 9, b Cambridge

Leslie R, 7, b Cambridge

Sarah A Nightingale, 20, servant, b Girton

Louisa Harris, 20, servant, b Fulbourn

Archibald C Norman, 18, undergraduate, b Middlesex

John F W Deacon, 21, undergraduate, b Kent

Frederick Musselwhite, 25, groom to J F W Deacon, b Barford



Market Hill circa 1900


16,17,18 Market Hill on the right of picture circa 1910


Bacon Bros, tobacco and cigarette manufacturers and cigar importers

16 Market Hill, Bacon tobacconists

16a: Mrs E Mason

19/10/1929: With the passing of Mrs Eliza Jane Mason of the Livingstone Hotel, Petty Cury, Cambridge has lost a prominent member of the restaurant business. She commenced business with a university lodging house on Market Hill which became known as ‘Masons’ and was converted into a restaurant. It was largely used by cadets and catered for the officers stationed here during the Great War. Almost the first Belgian wounded soldiers were billeted there and she acted as a sort of nursing mother to them. Her next move was to Sadd’s before she bought the Livingstone Hotel which was then only a coffee house. It is now one of the best commercial hotels in Cambridge. She also built the Rendezvous, Magrath Avenue as a skating rink in 1909. (Cam.News)

Bacon’s & Rose Crescent c. 1930 (Mike Petty’s Fenland History Facebook)

1/8/1934: Gonville and Caius College’s scheme for the complete rebuilding of the block of shops and houses on the north side of Cambridge Market Hill has been finally approved. At present the site from Rose Crescent to St Mary’s Court is occupied by a group of houses, mostly of the 18th century. Their disappearance will be regretted, even by those who knew how dilapidated they had become behind their neat Georgian facades. But the whole effect of the completed block should stifle these regrets. The shops will be set back seven feet with upper rooms carried on slender pillars. (Cam.News)

1/8/1934: After a history of 100 years it is hardly surprising that there is a thorough tobacco atmosphere about the shop of Messrs Bacon Bros which has stood on Market Hill since 1805 and the news that it is to be pulled down with cause regret to many. A number of ledgers over 100 years old, containing fascinating information about the smokers have come to light including the original accounts sent to C.S. Calverley whose ‘Ode to Tobacco’ [below] appears on the outer wall of the shop. A new shop will be built on almost the same spot. (Cam.News)

Thou who, when fears attack,
Bid’st them avaunt, and Black
Care, at the horseman’s back
Perching, unseatest;
Sweet when the morn is grey;
Sweet, when they’ve cleared away
Lunch; and at close of day
Possibly sweetest:

I have a liking old
For thee, though manifold
Stories, I know, are told,
Not to thy credit;
How one (or two at most)
Drops make a cat a ghost—
Useless, except to roast—
Doctors have said it:

How they who use fusees
All grow by slow degrees
Brainless as chimpanzees,
Meagre as lizards;
Go mad, and beat their wives;
Plunge (after shocking lives)
Razors and carving knives
Into their gizzards.

Confound such knavish tricks!
Yet know I five or six
Smokers who freely mix
Still with their neighbours;
Jones—who, I’m glad to say,
Asked leave of Mrs. J.)—
Daily absorbs a clay
After his labours.

Cats may have had their goose
Cooked by tobacco-juice;
Still why deny its use
Thoughtfully taken?
We’re not as tabbies are:
Smith, take a fresh cigar!
Jones, the tobacco-jar!
Here’s to thee, Bacon!

Calverley’s Ode to Tobacco


In 1935 S C Roberts wrote:

Apart from certain alterations to the frontage in 1894 Bacon’s shop differed little from the days of its founder. It is therefore with a tinge of regret for things past that one looks upon the new premises, since although the inside of the store still contains many relicts of bygone days, the march of progress has precluded any serious attempt to reproduce the old style of the exterior. Nevertheless, consolation may be sought in the fact that this is now one of the finest tobacco stores of its kind in the kingdom.


Market Hill / Rose Crescent c.1960



Bacon’s closed



French Connection


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