Walter Burnell Tubbs (1861-1936) was the oldest son of Henry Thomas Tubbs.
At the time of the 1881 census he was an auctioneer’s clerk resident in
Tonbridge, Kent at the home of a Tunbridge Ware maker named Hollamby. A fellow
lodger also an auctioneer’s clerk was Richard Charles, his future partner and
future brother-in-law. He married Ellen Alice Charles in June 1886.
The firm of Tubbs and Charles had premises for some time at 1 Gresham Street EC, near
the Guildhall, which is within a few minutes’ walk of the business premises of
Tubbs Lewis on Noble Street and his cousin Leonard Tubbs, solicitor at 68 Aldersgate
Examples of their business can be seen in newspaper advertisements:
Just before the Cripplegate fire, on 26 June 1897 (The Times) , Tubbs and
Charles, the auctioneers offered “the exceedingly valuable freehold, ground
rent £150 p.a. amply secured on the fireproof premises at 6-7 Landsdon (?)
Place, Golden-lane EC.” Solicitors Leonard Tubbs. A separate notice later announced
a sale before the date of the auction. One might speculate that this fireproof
building was a PB Tubbs design for his father, and that everything was
therefore in the family, Leonard being HTT’s nephew and Walter of the auctioneers,
In 1897 6 plots at Chiswick were being
offered by Tubbs and Charles of 1 Gresham Street. This would be land bought by
his father from the Duke of Devonshire. On one parcel of this land PBT would
later design and build “Compton” a house for his son Cecil, as a wedding
present, having inherited the land from his father, who died in 1917. Walter
also received an equal share of the estate.
At the same time they were offering
freehold business property at 101 Whitecross Street, EC. There is no reason to
suspect that all of the firms’s business was on behalf of family interests.
By March 1905 W Burnell Tubbs is trading on
his own and gives two London addresses 68-69 Shoe Lane and 37 Barbican
(Telephone Central 3755). Shoe Lane forms one boundary of the former Farringdon
Market site that Henry Thomas Tubbs bought from the Corporation of London.
On 15 March 1905 he offered further building
plots at Chiswick for auction sale.
Tubbs and Charles also had an office in
Littlestone, New Romney Kent. This was to sell land and properties developed by
his father who with Joseph Lewis acquired a large tract of undeveloped land at
Littlestone some time around 1883.