Charles Speare Tosswill

TOSSWILL, Charles Speare (1796-1863) — London

Chemist and wholesale druggist; engraver and printer; commission merchant; agent; tobacco and cigar importer and manufacturer. In partnership with George David Myers, he printed the text and engraved the maps and plates for George Catlin, “Letters and notes on the manners, customs, and condition of the North American Indians” 1841.

Charles Speare Tosswill had a contemporary and cousin of the same name who died in 1848, also a London chemist, and some details of his career remain tentative. Born in Exeter and baptised 6 Jul 1796, the son of Robert Tosswill, a merchant, and his wife Rebecca Speare. He married (1) Elizabeth Kirkman (d.1840) 1 Apr 1820 at St. Mary Islington and (2) Rebecca Gillman (1809?-1867) at St. Pancras 8 May 1844. Originally a chemist, he became a wholesale druggist in a variety of partnerships until at least 1837. He subsequently became involved in the engraving and printing trade for a few years, before turning to the tobacco trade. In 1843 he was also one of the proprietors of a Patent Fire-Preventive Cement company. He traded as “C. S. Tosswill & Co.” 1839, with George David Myers and James Sparrow, until Sparrow left the concern 10 Oct 1840, then as “Tosswill & Myers” with Myers, until this partnership too was dissolved 27 Apr 1842, and subsequently as “Charles Speare Tosswill & Co.” 1846. The engraving and printing business was taken over by “Le Blond & Co.”, who became the first licensees of the George Baxter colour printing process in 1849. Tosswill’s former partner George David Myers also licensed the process. Tosswill became a freeman of the City of London by redemption 25 Oct 1856. He died 18 Dec 1863, leaving effects valued at under £10,000 to his widow. The lease and goodwill of the extensive premises in Bucklersbury were sold by auction in August 1864. Papers relating to various legal cases in which Tosswill was involved are in the National Archives.

Little Friday Street, Cheapside — 1820
Bouverie Street — 1821
— River Terrace, Islington (home) — 1825-1832
Garlick Hill (drug warehouse) — 1830-1837
24 Budge Row, Cannon Street — 1839-1846
— 1 Duncan Terrace, City Road (home) — 1839-1841
— Mecklenburgh Square (home) — 1839-1845
— and 21 Budge Row — 1845-1846
6 Pudding Lane — 1847-1856
— Lee Terrace, Lee (home) — 1851
6, 7 & 8 Pudding Lane, Eastcheap — 1855
— and 4 Monument Yard — 1855
— 1 Queen’s Terrace, Regents Park (home) — 1855-1863
2 Bucklersbury, Cheapside — 1863

BBTI. BNA. Census 1841-1861. COPAC. LG. NA. Todd. Tooley.

Leave a Reply