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John Pitts


In 1802, John Pitts set up a printing business at 14 Great St Andrew Street, Seven Dials in London. By 1819, he had moved the business to 6 Great St Andrew Street, with his Toy and Marble Warehouse. He allegedly invented the publication of the 'halfpenny ballad'.

John Pitts (1765-1844) traded from 1802-1844 in Great St. Andrews Street, Seven Dials, London: at no. 14 (occasionally recorded as 4) from 1802-1819 and at no. 6 (occasionally recorded as 9), advertised as a Toy and Marble Warehouse, from 1820-1844.

Elizabeth Mary Ann Hodges was John Pitts' housekeeper and a legatee of his estate, from which Shepard infers she "obtained some of his stock of sheets and set up in business ... for a number of years, maintaining a 'Toy and Marble Warehouse', just as John Pitts had done, and issuing broadside ballads" (p. 85). She traded at 31 Monmouth Street, Seven Dials, London, from 1844-1845, when the name of the street was changed to Dudley, and at 31 Dudley Street until 1855. Thereafter she traded at 26 Grafton Street, Soho, until at least 1861.