to the interior silk of the case, Lawson & Son give the address
their retail premises as, ‘16 Old Steine, and 131,
Kings Road, Brighton.’ This address has most
interesting historical and social connections.
the Old Steine was an open green area with a stream running through.
It was the place where the fishermen traditionally laid out and dried
their nets. In the late 18th century it was built upon and became the
fashionable centre of the town.
......131, Old Kings Road was
one of the Regency houses built in Brighton between 1818-1828. It seems
that the jewellery shop of Lawson & Son was established at street
level in 1828 while the major part of the establishment became the
home of none other than the remarkable Harriot
Mellon, Duchess of St. Albans.
......For those who
are not familiar with this, ‘Rags to Riches Story’:- From
humble beginnings, as the illegitimate child of travelling actors,
Harriot Mellon became
the wealthiest woman in England.
......As a beautiful young actress, she
attracted the attention of the elderly banker
Mr. Thomas Coutts whom she later married when Mr. Coutts was 80 yeas
old. Because Coutts had frequently obliged the Prince Regent with loans
the couple were accepted into Regency Society in Brighton.
.......On the death
of her husband Harriot inherited £900,000 from Thomas, along with
the bank Coutts & Co. As a widow she spent lavishly and generously
on socializing and parties, at her house 131, Kings Road,
Brighton, which became a centre for the fashionable elite of
society. However she scandalized everyone with marriage to the Duke
of St. Albans who was twenty years younger than herself.
death her home became a hotel, and with Lawson's jewellery shop
remained until 1930, when the hotel was renamed The Beach Hotel
and the jewellery shop became the popular Regency Restaurant
which continues in the same premises to this day.