“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
London Borough of Camden in Greater London County, England, United Kingdom

Friend at Hand

Friend at Hand Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, October 11, 2017
1. Friend at Hand Marker
Inscription. Friend at Hand was built in 1735 at the time of the Marylebone Road and adjoining Nash Terraces. The first ever omnibus service from Holborn stopped here. The original service of one coach each way was soon being increased to a dozen journeys per day. In later years, the worlds first underground railway, the Metropolitan Line was constructed under the road, a few feet from the tavern.

Many famous and infamous characters have been patrons of the Globe including Charles Dickens who learned of the tragic death of his daughter whilst delivering a lecture. William Pitt the Younger was born close by and was certainly a customer. He was prescribed alcohol for pleurisy as a baby and by the age of 12 was an alcoholic. He continued drinking steadily, so much so that, by the age of 24 he was made Prime Minister. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle worked in nearby Park Road and would have been a regular diner along with the writers, critics and glitterati who frequented the tavern.

In 1836 the publican, one William Thornton, being ill in bed from overconsumption, sent his barmaid to the cellar for liquour. When she returned she found him dead with his throat cut, at least that was her story. Suicide was accepted by the coroner but perhaps not by William whose ghost still walks here from time to time.

Today, the Tavern remains
Friend at Hand Marker - Wide View image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, October 11, 2017
2. Friend at Hand Marker - Wide View
much as it did in the 18th Century serving traditional English food and ale.

Enjoy your visit, pay no attention to "Old William"
Location. 51° 31.372′ N, 0° 7.479′ W. Marker is in London Borough of Camden, England, in Greater London County. Marker is at the intersection of Herbrand Street and Colonnade when traveling south on Herbrand Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2-4 Herbrand Street, London Borough of Camden, England WC1N 1HX, United Kingdom.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Roger Fry (within shouting distance of this marker); Wing Commander Yeo-Thomas (about 120 meters away, measured in a direct line); Sir George Williams (about 120 meters away); Sir Thomas Lawrence (about 150 meters away); Sir James Matthew Barrie (about 180 meters away); Charles Fort (about 210 meters away); William Henry Hunt (about 210 meters away); John Skinner Prout (about 210 meters away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in London Borough of Camden.
More about this marker. The marker is mounted to the left of the pub entrance on Herbrand Street.
Also see . . .  Friend at Hand (Greene King). "Friend at Hand is truly a quirky venue that plays host to equally eccentric famous patrons such as Noel Fielding. The pub was established in 1797 and was formerly known as the Handsome Carriage. Arguably one of the most notable historical figures that have ever frequented the pub is Thomas Stearns Eliot (September 26, 1888 to January 4, 1965). He was a publisher, playwright, literary and social critic who wrote about Friend at Hand pub in his book the ‘Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats’. This book was a collection of poems about the psychology of cats, which later inspired Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Catz...." (Submitted on November 9, 2017.) 
Additional keywords. Pub
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Credits. This page was last revised on November 9, 2017. This page originally submitted on November 9, 2017, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 74 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 9, 2017, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.
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