It is said that although there are numerous individual properties
in London with a greater value, the street with the highest average value of
residence is Kensington Palace Gardens. The average was said to be about £31
million but that was a while ago. The highest individual property on the street
was valued at around £100m. It should therefore come as no surprise that one
gentleman to build a property with that address was one George Moore. Who he? George
Moore was born in Mealsgate which history knows only as a station on the
Maryport-Carlisle Railway. He became a partner in Copestakes, as Cecil B Tubbs,
himself a London based expert in haberdashery, refers to the firm in his
memoirs, and subsequently acquired the mansion in Kensington Palace Gardens. George
Moore went on to use his fortune for philanthropic purposes. I would like to
think he was related to GE Moore the philosopher but have not yet established
According to an 1865 Commercial Directory the London firm of Copestake,
Moore, Crampton and Co were warehousemen for: “lace and sewed muslins, scotch
and Manchester goods, cambrics & lawns, crapes, gossamers, velvets, stays,
artificial flowers, millinery, baby linen, mantles, outfitting, shawl & haberdashery,
umbrellas & parasols” At various times they had premises at 5 Bow
Churchyard, London E. C. ;50 Cheapside London E.C.and Bread Street London E.C. The
senior partner in the firm was one Sampson Copestake. The firm changed its name
to Copestake, Hughes, Crampton & Co. in 1877. At some other time (still to
be established) they were called Copestake, Lindsay, Crampton & Co.
Henry Thomas Tubbs was apprenticed to Copestakes. I guess that
he was a premium apprentice and that would have been around 1844-5. His father was
a respected tradesman and HTT had been to Highgate School, so he was no pauper.
Apprenticeship in such a City warehouse The City was not a prelude to the workhouse.
Like every other apprentice of his era he would have been expected to work for
twelve or fifteen hours a day for next to nothing, but he would have been
learning all the time how to make unprecedented amounts of money in the rag
trade, and so it comes as no surprise that he was in business on his own
shortly after finishing his apprenticeship, forming his partnership with Joseph
Lewis in 1854.