The theme for this week’s Sepia Saturday is ‘signs’.

A bar in London which had operated in one form or another as a seller of alcohol since 1790 until it closed recently in about 2010, bore the surname of my fifth great grandfather.

The Coopers Arms, also known as Plaisteds Wine Bar, in 2008 (photograph from Wikimedia Commons taken by Ewan Munro and uploaded by Oxyman) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (]

On 29 May 1832 my fifth great grandfather Thomas Plaisted (1777-1832) signed his will and added a codicil:

I Thomas Plaisted of the parish of Saint Paul Deptford in the county of Kent being of sound mind and memory do hereby make my last will and testament as follows To my wife Lydia Plaisted I leave the interest and rent of all my property during her natural life at her decease I direct that the whole of the property before named be sold and divided in equal parts John Plaisted Thomas Wilkes Plaisted Elizabeth Plaisted and Lydia Plaisted each having an equal share of the same and to my daughter Tabitha Ewer I direct that a fifth part of the above property when sold that she shall have the interest of for her natural life and at her decease to become the property of her daughter and the same to be invested for better security in one of the public funds of the kingdom I also direct that the interest of the above fifth share be paid to the said Tabitha Ewer exclusively and I hereby appoint my son Mr John Plaisted and Robert Law my sole executors as witness my hand this twenty ninth day of May one thousand eight hundred and thirty two—Thos Plaisted—witness—Frederick Dove—John Ewer—El Miles

Codicil I Thomas Plaisted do hereby acknowledge that the house known as the sign of the Coopers Arms Woolwich Kent has been from the taking of the above house and is now the property of my son John Plaisted and I do hereby direct that the Licences be transferred to him or to whom he shall appoint witness my hand this twenty ninth day of May one thousand eight hundred and thirty two—Thos Plaisted—witness—John Ewer (1832 PLAISTED Thomas, Kent, Jul 463 [PROB11/1803 (451-500) pages 100 R&L] transcribed by Jeanette Richmond)

Thomas died the next day and his will was proved at London on 19 July 1832.

It looks as though in preparing the will Thomas had forgotten that he had already transferred some property to his son John. John Plaisted (1800-1858) was my fourth great grandfather.

The earliest advertisement I have been able to find is from the West Kent Guardian in 1835.

The West Kent Guardian 26 December 1835 page 1

In December 1836 the partnership between John and his brother Thomas Wilkes Plaisted (1811-1886) for operating the Coopers’ Arms was dissolved and Thomas Wilkes Plaisted continued to operate the business.

The London Gazette: no. 19450. p. 2606. 20 December 1836.

In the 1841 census John Plaisted was living with his wife, seven children, sister-in-law, and a female servant at Camberwell. His occupation was described as wine merchant. (Class: HO107; Piece: 1052; Book: 5; Civil Parish: St Giles Camberwell; County: Surrey; Enumeration District: 13; Folio: 6; Page: 6; Line: 9; GSU roll: 474651. Image of census viewed on

In 1842 John Plaisted was a Wine and Spirit Merchant and had been in partnership with John Vickers, John Vickers the younger and Benjamin Vickers. The partnership was dissolved and a new partnership formed without Benjamin.

The London Gazette: no. 20175. p. 3653. 9 December 1842.
An advertisement for Vickers, Plaisted, and Co’s Diamond Grape Sherry in the Times 22 January 1845 page 10

In August 1848 the Vickers Plaisted partnership dissolved.

The London Gazette: no. 20888. p. 3097. 18 August 1848.

In 1849 John Plaisted emigrated to Australia with his family on the Rajah.  I have written previously about how John emigrated probably because he had tuberculosis.

Flickr has an image of a spirit bottle from Plaisted’s of Woolwich at