Market Building Opening - Smithfield, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 31.064 W 000° 06.278
30U E 700878 N 5711375
Quick Description: This market building is at the western end of West Smithfield at the junction with Snow Hill. The building now appears to be derelict but was, at one time, a part of the main market. It was opened in 1888 by the Lord Mayor of London.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 2/28/2014 9:19:23 AM
Waymark Code: WMK8GH
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member razalas
Views: 3

Long Description:

This building was constructed as one of the market halls of Smithfield. It is understood that this building was used for fish storage and distribution. Today, the building is derelict and is unlisted so it will, no doubt, be torn down and replaced by something totally unrelated to the markets.

The memorial stone at the corner of the building between West Smithfield and Snow Hill reads:

This Market
was opened
November 7th 1888
The Right Honourable
Sir Polydore de Keyser Kt
Lord Mayor
James perkins Esqre
Chairman of the Markets Committee
John Edward Sly Esqre
Chairman of the Central Markets
Sub Committee

The London City History website tells us about Sir Polydore:

Sir Polydore de Keyser (1832-1898) hotelier and Lord Mayor was born in Termonde, near Antwerp in Belgium in December 1832. Coming to England at a young age he was educated at a private school in Fulham. His father, Constant de Keyser, was the owner of the Royal Hotel situated on the Victoria Embankment, near Blackfriars Bridge and which the young Polydore was later to jointly manage. His election as Lord Mayor in 1887 was a landmark event, as he became the first Roman Catholic to receive that honour since the Reformation. Perhaps his Roman Catholicism, rather than his alleged reputation as an ‘ale conner’ (a prescribed trade) explains why his appointment was contested by Alderman Herbert Waterlow (0000-0000), and why too a protracted case for his exclusion was heard before the Court of Alderman and the Lord Chancellor, Sir Hardings Giffard.

He seems by this time to have been thoroughly integrated into English bourgeois life, although he was not naturalised until 1853. In 1868 he entered the Common Council as a member for Farringdon Without until 1874 and again from 1879 to 1882. In this year he was elected Alderman until 1892, a year in which he served as Master of both the Spectacle Makers’ and the Poulters’. In the City he was a member of the West London Poor Law Union, a Churchwarden of the Parish of St. Bride, Founder of the Guildhall School of Music and member of the Bridge House Estates Committee. He was also a Freemason (Freemason Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Mason’s, Emulation Lodge and Masonic Order of the Royal Arch, Fidelity Chapter), a Fellow of the Society of Arts and member of both the Royal Geographical Society and the Statistical Society. He gained particular attention when he held the Presidency of the British section of the Paris Exhibition (1889), in the teeth of official resistance. His final status was assured, however, when he was knighted in 1888 after visiting his hometown in Belgium, winning the distinction of the Commander of the Order of Leopold.

He had married Louise Pieron of Brussels in 1862. He died of cancer at his home at 4 Cornwall Mansions on 14 January 1898, but had already outlived Lady de Keyser by three years. He was buried at Nunhead.

What was opened/inaugurated?: Market Building

Who was that opened/inaugurated it?: Sir Polydore de Keyser

Date of the opening/inauguration?: 7th November 1888

Website about the location: [Web Link]

Website about the person: [Web Link]

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