Shopping is a main pastime for many in the 21st century. So it should come to no surprise that shopping was also popular during Regency England, especially among the gentry. It was the dawn of the industrial revolution when shoppers’ eyes widened upon seeing the largest selection of goods ever to be made available in history.
Rundell & Bridge
After England’s victories of the Napoleonic Wars, the prince regent decided it was time to improve the city of London. He hired architect John Nash. Nash took very few private commissions after he began working for the Prince Regent. And Nash’s work for the regent was vast. John Nash is praised for his designs of Buckingham Palace, The Royal Pavilion in Brighton, the Quadrant of Regent street, and so much more that I need to dedicate a blog to him, but for now, back to shopping. Regent Street, Portland Place, and Cavendish Square all became fashionable streets during the Regency period and they crossed other shopping streets like Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road.
Of course not only the affluent shopped and there was plenty of shopping to be found in Covent Garden, Cheapside, and Fleet Streets. The Cheapside shops lined the street with the owners of the shops often living above the store.
Some famous Regency Stores
Clark & Debenhams (aka Debenhams) – haberdasher- sells small items and some ready-made clothing. This shop was located in the heart of Mayfair and catered to the gentry.
Harding Howell and Co – the very first department store. A draper shop, haberdashery, jewelry, and many other accessories, including perfumery.
B. Harvey & Company – draper shop
G. Sutton – silk manufacturer
Waithman & Sons – shawl and linen warehouse
Haywards and Carter – lace warehouse
Hoby’s – boot maker
Peal and Company – boot maker
Rundell and Bridge – jewelers to the crown
William Neate – goldsmith and jeweler
Hatchards – bookstore
Lackington Allen and Company – bookstore
Nicholay and Sneiders – furriers on Oxford St.
Burlington Arcade Today