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Rummer Tavern, Queen street : London coffee houses and taverns
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THE RUMMER TAVERN.
The locality of this noted tavern is given by Cunningham, as "two doors from
Locket's, between Whitehall and Charing Cross, removed to the water-side of
Charing Cross, in 1710, and burnt down Nov. 7th, 1750. It was kept in the reign
of Charles II., by Samuel Prior, uncle of Matthew Prior, the poet, who thus
wrote to Fleetwood Shephard :
" My uncle, rest his soul ! when living,
Might have contriv'd me ways of thriving :
Taught me with cider to replenish
My vats, or ebbing tide of Rhenish.
So when for hock I drew prick t white- wine,
Swear't had the flavour, and was right wine."
The Rummer is introduced by Hogarth into his picture of " Night." Here Jack
Sheppard committed his first robbery by stealing two silver spoons.
The Rummer, in Queen-street, was kept by Brawn, a celebrated cook, of whom Dr.
King, in his Art of Cookery, speaks in the same way as Kit-Kat and Locket.
King, also, in his Analogy between Physicians , Cooks, and Playwrights, thus
describes a visit : —
" Though I seldom go out of my own lodgings, I was prevailed on the other day to
dine with some friends at the Rummer in Queen-street Sam Trusty would needs have
me go with him into the kitchen, and see how matters went there He assured me
Brawn had an art, etc. I was, indeed, very much pleased and surprised with the
extraordinary splendour and economy I observed there ; but above all with the
great readiness and dexterity of the man himself. His motions were quick, but
not precipitate ; he in an instant applied himself from one stove to another,
without the least appearance of hurry, and in the midst of smoke and fire
preserved an incredible serenity of countenance."
Beau Brummel, according to Mr. Jesse, spoke with a relish worthy a descendant of
" the Rummer," of the savoury pies of his aunt Brawn, who then resided at
Kilburn ; she is said to have been the widow of a grandson of the celebrity of
Queen-street, who had himself kept the public-house at the old Mews Gate, at
Charing Cross. — See Notes and Queries, 2nd S., no. xxxvi.
We remember an old tavern, "the Rummer," in 1825, which was taken down with the
lower portion of St. Martin's lane, to form Trafalgar square.
The 1805 Holdens directory places William Drought, at the Rummer Tavern, in
Lots of references are made to two sources on the
Edward Callows, Old London Taverns &
John Timbs, Club life of London Volume 2
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