Royal Exchange

It was Queen Elizabeth I who conferred the name Royal Exchange on the market place established by Sir Thomas Gresham in 1566 at Cornhill (Threadneedle Street, London). Intended to usurp the position held by the Bourse at Antwerp the building was twice destroyed by fire and each time was rebuilt on the same site. In 1720 the Royal Exchange Assurance Company was established the premises was long the HQ for the Company. The company incidentally merged with the Guardian Assurance in 1968 to form the Guardian Royal Exchange group and in 1999 it became part of the now massive AXA Insurance group.

The Royal Exchange pub on the corner of Pembroke Street and James Street, Devonport, appears to have started trading before Sir William Tite designed a new Royal Exchange in London, in 1842. Plymouth also had a Royal Exchange pub (in Tin Street) and there was another in Barnstaple.


1838 - Peter Earle
1850 - John Simmonite
1857 - William Syms
1864 - W Harris
1867 - William Thomas
1880 - E Steed
1888 - Charles Helston
1893 - Samuel Bouch
1895 - John Goodman
1901 - SJ Dodd
1905 - F Williams
1907 - Mrs Kate Fowkes
1909 - G Prideaux
1913 - J Jeffery
1913 - A Polkinthorne
1920 - W Williams