Grecian Coffee House

Grecian Coffee House

Grecian Coffee House

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The Grecian Coffee House was first established in about 1665 at Wapping Old Stairs in London, England, by a Greek former mariner called George Constantine. The enterprise proved a success and by 1677 Constantine had been able to move his premises to a more central location in Devereux Court, off Fleet Street. In the 1690s the Grecian was the favoured meeting place of the opposition Whigs, a group that included John Trenchard, Andrew Fletcher and Matthew Tindal. In the early years of the eighteenth century, it was frequented by members of the Royal Society, including Sir Isaac Newton, Sir Hans Sloane, Edmund Halley and James Douglas, and the poet and statesman, Joseph Addison. Classical scholars were also said to congregate there and on one occasion two of them fought a duel in the street outside because they fell out over where to position the accent on a Greek word. By 1803, however, the Grecian was no longer the meeting place of radicals, scholars and scientists but of lawyers and it finally closed in 1843. The site is now occupied by the Devereux Public House.

The Grecian was the favourite coffee-house in London of the renowned Shakespearean scholar Edmond Malone. In April 1776 he wrote his father letter from there, boasting "I am at present writing in a coffee-house, in the midst of so much noise and bustle—the celebrated anti-Sejanus (Mr. Scott) on one side and Mr. Macklin on the other—that I can't add anything more at......
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