Ozinda's Chocolate House
Ozinda's chocolate house stood on the north side
of St. James's Palace, and formed part of a group
of buildings which were demolished in 1748, the
site being laid into the present roadway. (ref. 287) It
faced west, and its front was in line with those of
the houses on the east side of St. James's Street.
From 1694 to 1722 the proprietor was Dominico
Osenda of St. James's, merchant. By his will,
which was proved in 1722, he directed that the
Earl of Carlisle might choose any one of his pictures (except the one by Rottenhamer) and bequeathed the residue of his property to his brother,
Oneratt Osenda. (ref. 288) The ratebooks for 1723 give
'Honorée Osando'. On 28 March 1724 The
Daily Post contained the following advertisement:
'Mr. Ozinda, keeping the Chocolate-house joining to St. James's Gate, being dispos'd to return to
France, intends by Auction to sell all his Household Goods and Pictures, amongst which is that
celebrated one of the History of the Old and New
Testament, painted by Rottenhamer, with a
curious Model of a Ship in a Glass Case, and likewise his Shop Goods, consisting of several Sorts of
Snuffs, as old Havana and Seville, etc. with Several
Sorts of superfine Liquors of his own making, as
Egro de Cedro, Cinamon Water, Piercico, etc.
with a Quantity of Hermitage Wine, which will
be lotted out by Dozens. . . . The House is likewise to be Lett.' From 1726 until the demolition
of the house in 1748 the ratepayer was George
Lodge, a servant of Dominico Osenda, (ref. 288) and it
is possible that he bought the business.
Ozinda's was a popular Tory rendezvous in
the early years of the eighteenth century. (ref. 289) In
his diary William Byrd of Virginia makes it clear
that drinking chocolate, betting and reading
the newspapers were the main attractions of the
establishment. (ref. 290) Swift records that one of the
meetings of the dining club of which he was a
member was held at Ozinda's, and that the meal
was brought in from the Palace: 'dinner was
dressed in the Queen's kitchen and was mighty
fine. We eat it at Ozinda's Chocolate-house, just
by St. James's. We were never merrier, nor
better company, and did not part till after
eleven.' (ref. 291)
||P.R.O., LRRO63/37, p. II; ibid., T1/331,
||R.B.; P.C.C. 103 Marlbro.
||John Macky, A Journey through England, 1722,
vol. i, pp. 167–9.
William Byrd of Virginia. The London Diary
(1717–1721) and Other Writings, 1958, ed.
Louis B. Wright and Marion Tinling, pp. 96,
98, 123, 141.
The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D.D., ed.
Temple Scott, 1897, vol. ii, The Journal to
Stella, p. 363.