Seven Stars

There are a lot of pubs and inns with this name, and there are a lot of theories as to where it comes from – my vote goes for this one, from the Epicure’s Almanack:

“the Seven Stars at No. 53 Carey Street, north side, celebrated its 400th birthday in 2002, although the building itself probably dates from the 1680s. .. It was originally known as ‘the League [later corrupted to ‘Leg’] and Seven Stars’, a reference to the seven provinces of the Netherlands and a reminder that the original clientele included Dutch sailors who had settled in the area.

Today it faces the rear entrance to the Royal Courts of Justice, and, recently expanded, is still much frequented by members of the legal profession.

There is a 7 stars pub in Bristol, also once famous with sailors, where campaigner Thomas Clarkson collected information on the slave trade, so is important in the history of abolition.

As another example of how Britain’s trade made ports so multinational, here’s another, less likely nation:

“As son as we have passed the many good things exhibited in Clare Market, and feasted our eyes thereon, we will proceed down Blackmoor Street, for the purpose of entering Clare Court; there to recognise two of the best a-la-mode beef-houses in London – the old thirteen Cantons and the New Thirteen Cantons, both regularly licensed as public houses. The beef and liquors, at either house, are equally good, and the attention of all who pass is attracted by the display of fine sallads [sic] in the windows, which display is daily executed with great ingenuity and comprehends a variety of neat devices, in which fine slices of red beet root are pleasingly conspicuous.”

These Cantons refer to the old Swiss Confederacy.

btw the Almanack often mentions salads, and occasionally vegetables, with one pub in particular specialising in Irish fruit, ie potatoes. This book was written in 1815, when the English were not known for their vegetable consumption, but there is a lot of mentions of non animal food in the book, which is interesting.


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