Edward Mayes (1801-86) entered into partnership with John Cook in March 1830 as a draper and mercer at 174 High Street. The shop, which opened on 10 April, had formerly traded as Cook and Mott. The 1841 census shows the property (known as Commerce House) home to 7 journeymen, 2 apprentices, 6 servants and 3 children. The partnership was dissolved on 20 July 1855, with Cook continuing as tailor and woollen draper and Mayes carrying on as linen draper and mercer. Edward was the first of three generations of the family to run the business. It later expanded to occupy numbers 173 to 178 High Street. The original premises were destroyed in the Blitz. The business was acquired by Owen Owen Ltd in 1947 and the name of the store changed to Owen Owen in September 1964.

Edward Mayes was born in Pulham St Mary, near Harleston, in Norfolk on 21 October 1801. He began his business career in London but moved to Southampton in 1830. The following year he married Mary Ann Metcalf, elder daughter of John Metcalf, solicitor of Basinghall Street, London. He was elected a Conservative town councillor for the ward of All Saints in November 1838. He was mayor in 1842/3 (one of the first tradesmen to be so elected) and sheriff in 1868/9. An evangelical Anglican, he served for many years as minister's churchwarden to the rector of All Saints. He was a borough magistrate and for some time a commissioner of taxes. He died at Waveney, Archers Road on 6 August 1886, aged 84 years. His personal estate was valued for probate at £11,123.0s.4d. Four years earlier he had married for a second time: to Miss Kingsbury of Ringwood. He was, according to his obituary, a man of fine physique: an athlete in his younger days, an excellent horseman, keen sportsman and a fine shot (Southampton Times, 14 August 1886). He is buried in the Old Cemetery. A selection of choice old wines, formerly owned by Mayes, was sold at auction in September 1893.

Advertisement for Edward Mayes & Son

Image Unavailable

Advert showing the High Street shop, 1906.


Obituary, part 1 - (Southampton Times, 14/08/1886)
Obituary, part 2 - (Southampton Times, 14/08/1886)


Browse A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y-Z

Search is temporarily unavailable, we are working to bring it online!

Get Involved

If you wish to

  • suggest additional information for this entry
  • suggest amendments to this entry
  • offer your own research
  • make a comment

then fill in the form on the Contact page.