Music Hall Proprietor

John Moy (1790-?)

John Moy was born during 1790 at Epsom in Surrey. It is not clear whether it was his second marriage, but Emma Reffell had become his wife some time before 1851, she was some 33 years younger than him.

The Royal Standard Hotel was originally built in 1832 as a small hotel and tavern in Stockbridge Terrace, opposite where the frontage of Victoria mainline railway station stands today. John Moy had become the proprietor by 1840 and had obtained a licence for singing and dancing on the premises. This became a big success and as a result he had the building enlarged. At this time the building was known as Moy’s Music Hall, but in 1854 it was renamed as The Royal Standard Concert Rooms and is seen on the right.

John (aged 60), Emma (28), daughter Jane (1) and mother-in-law Elizabeth Reffell (63) are all shown in the 1851 census living at The Royal Standard 38 Stockbridge Terrace, together with house servants Anne Tongerman & Jane Lane and waiter William Absolom.

Emma died in the second quarter of 1863 and this may have been the reason why the premises were put up for sale by auction on 15 October 1863, as announced in The Times. In the announcement it was stated that John Moy retiring after ’36 successful years’. They were sold to a man called Alfred Brown who had the building refurbished and renamed as The Royal Standard Music Hall, opening on December 26th of that year. 

These premises were however completely demolished in 1886 for the London & Brighton Railway railway station and was replaced by a building the other side of Victoria Street. In turn, this was demolished in 1911 and replaced by the building that is today the famous Victoria Palace Theatre.

By 1871, John and the unmarried Jane together with a grandson called Hubert Ernest Reffell Moy are back in Epsom. She had another child shortly afterwards called Arthur Walter Reffell Moy. This probably came about as Jane was the unfortunate victim of a bigamous marriage. On 27 August 1865 she married Henry Frederick Stocker Mignot in Fulham. At the trial at the Old Bailey on 9 April 1866 he was sentenced to five years imprisonment for this, as he was at that time already married to Mary Jane Parker Wadsworth. Jane had a further two children after she married William Watts in 1882.

Royal Standard Concert Rooms image by kind courtesy of Matthew Lloyd of the Arthur Lloyd Music Hall and Theatre History Website