Love and the Good Life 1830-1832
FOUR Christopher Street, Finsbury Circus, in the City of London, was the home of a prosperous young couple. Every morning the husband departed for his office round the corner, while the young wife devoted herself to running the smooth establishment, super- vising her two small sons, giving the necessary time to the com- plicated dress of the period, and attending to her cultural interests.
John Taylor was a junior partner in the family business which his grandfather, a stern Scotch Puritan, had founded over fifty years ago. The Taylors were drysalters or wholesale druggists. The firm and the family were highly respected, and counted among the more prominent merchants in the City.
But 'young Taylor's' interests were by no means restricted to money-making and the enjoyment of his home, position, and the good things of life, although he had a keen relish for all these. He was one of the leading members of the new Unitarian Chapel at South Place, which his family had helped to found and finance.
The small Unitarian congregations produced a great many of the progressive politicians and administrators and heads of com- mittees. South Place Chapel was an important centre of advanced thought in London. Many links existed between the Unitarians and the group of Radicals round Bentham and Mill.
John Taylor was a convinced Radical. He gave a good deal of his time to public activities. Besides managing the finances of South Place Chapel he represented the London Unitarians on