Cache-Control: public, max-age=1024000 The Percy Coffee House


Rathbone-place, Oxford-street, no longer exists; but it will be kept in recollection for its having given name to one of the most popular publications, of its class, in our time, namely, the Percy Anecdotes, "by Sholto and Reuben Percy, Brothers of the Benedictine Monastery of Mont Benger," in 44 parts, commencing in 1820. So said the title pages, but the names and the locality were supposť. Reuben Percy was Thomas Byerley, who died in 1824; he was the brother of Sir John Byerley, and the first editor of the Mirror, commenced by John Limbird, in 1822. Sholto Percy was Joseph Clinton Robertson, who died in 1852; he was the projector of the Mechanics' Magazine, which he edited from its commencement to his death. The name of the collection of Anecdotes was not taken, as at the time supposed, from the popularity of the Percy Reliques, but from the Percy Coffee-house, where Byerley and Robertson were accustomed to meet to talk over their joint work. The idea was, however, claimed by Sir Richard Phillips, who stoutly maintained that it originated in a suggestion made by him to Dr. Tilloch and Mr. Mayne, to cut the anecdotes from the many years' files of the Star newspaper, of which Dr. Tilloch was the editor, and Mr. Byerley assistant editor; and to the latter overhearing the suggestion, Sir Richard contested, might the Percy Anecdotes be traced. They were very successful, and a large sum was realized by the work.

John Timbs
Club Life of London Vol. II
London, 1866