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  1. #1
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    Default Oil & Italian Warehouse

    In the course of trying to locate likely premises for an ancestor usually described as a victualler, I came across a possible entry for him in a London trade directory of 1800 in which 'Oil & Italian Warehouse' follows his name. I can't find any further information about what this actually was (olive oil?), although such warehouses are listed in various locations around the country. Does anyone know any more?

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    As you say, they appear quite often. the general opinion is that they mainly sold Italian products and were something like a delicatessen. The addition of oil to the title would emphasise that they sold all types of cooking oils. Olive oil is not just from Italy (however much the Italians would like to think), and there are other (then) exotic oils available for cooking in addition to olive

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    Thanks, Mike - That does sound logical, doesn't it?

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    It's a century later but the Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921 has -

    Italian Warehouseman

    a retail shopkeeper (q.v.) who sells edible oils, sauces, macaroni, preserved foodstuffs, etc., especially those of foreign origin.

    In the 19th century I think fat (high cholesterol!) rather than oil was used in cooking. Oil in this case might imply non-edible oil.

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    Thanks, Peter. If my ancestor was importing goods from Italy, the fact that Napoleon declared himself King of Italy in 1805 may well have ruined his business!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Goodey View Post
    It's a century later but the Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921 has -

    Italian Warehouseman

    a retail shopkeeper (q.v.) who sells edible oils, sauces, macaroni, preserved foodstuffs, etc., especially those of foreign origin.

    In the 19th century I think fat (high cholesterol!) rather than oil was used in cooking. Oil in this case might imply non-edible oil.
    In isolated circumstanced, Peter, I would agree with you. but I but the italian connection does seem to indicate food, and I would not have thought heating or lighting oils would be sold by the same firm as one that specialised in more expensive food items.

  7. #7

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    Public Ledger & Daily Advertiser, 27 July 1805
    "MARK LANE, LEASE, FURNITURE, PLATE, CHINA, LINEN, STOCK, in the OIL and ITALIAN TRADE
    By Messrs GIBBONS and JACKSON
    On the premises, No. 64, Mark Lane, the corner of Crutched-Friars, on Tuesday, the 30th instant, and following days at eleven.
    The valuable LEASE of the commanding Premises, most advantageously situated the corner of of Crutched-Friars, in Mark-lane, which have been many years established in the Oil and Italian trade, and is presumed to be one of the first situations either for the wine, bottle beer or any trade requiring premises with extent of front. Held for 15 years at a low rent. The neat and gentle household furniture, plate, china, linen, Stock in Trade, 70 dozens of bottled porter, &c of Messrs Man and Spragg who have dissolved partnership; comprising lamp, sperm and sallad (sic) oil, about 50 gallons of India, soy, anchovies, several hogsheads of pickles, sauces and every article in the oil and italian trade, colours, jars, casks, scales and weights, large tin oil cisterns.
    To be viewed on Monday to the Sale, when Catalogues and Particulars may be had of W Walton, Esq, Girdler-hall, Basinghall Street; and of Messrs Gibbons and Jackson, Bucktersbury".

    Tad of victualling involved in the above.
    "dyfal donc a dyr y garreg"

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    Good research, Helachau!

    Edible and non-edible oil! The point here is that the title is shown as "Oil and Italian...". Glancing at the City & County directories on Amazon, there are plenty of Oil and Italian warehouses. The phrase must have meant something reasonably specific at the time.

    By the way, there are examples from 1940 (not 1840) when we can be pretty sure that Italian goods as such would have been in extremely short supply!

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    In 1909 the 17th annual Grocery, Provisions, Oil and Italian Warehouse and Allied Trades' Exhibition was held at the Royal Agricultural Hall in Islington.

    https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/1909_G...%27_Exhibition

    Peter

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