Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1878-1914 - Eyre Street Hill (Clerkenwell)

Ice cream seller Luigi Fraulo was born in 1857 in Ravello in the province of Salorno, Campania. He moved to London in 1878 and settled in Clerkenwell (Little Italy) where he set himself up as an ice cream man and made his way up as a supplier to the local army of gelato sellers. The main problem in the pre-refrigeration era was the import of blocks of ice from Scandinavia. Supply was controlled by a cartel of ice merchants. Luigi chartered a ship to import ice on his own account from Norway. Undercutting his competitors, he was soon dubbed the King of Ice Cream, supplying hotels and clubs. He acted as a padrone’ to the Clerkenwell community, generous in helping compatriots, and ruthless in killing off competition (which led to a series of court cases). In the 1881 census he appears as living at no. 28 Eyre Street Hill and working for the merchant Panteleone Manze [Manzi]. By the time of the 1891 census Luigi had moved to no. 8 of the same street, living there with his young wife Annie, their first baby, his mother, and his brother Salvatore. He died in 1914 at the same address, a rich man. The funeral cortege passed through Oxford Street. The hearse, covered with flowers, was followed by forty to fifty carriages containing grieving compatriots.

Up next 1878-1905 - Windmill Street (Fitzrovia) 1370-1400 - Not traced
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