Pasqua Rosée

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Pasqua Rosée opened the first[1][2] coffeehouse in London in 1652.[3] The coffeehouse was located in St. Michael's Alley, Cornhill.

Rosée was probably born into the ethnic Greek community in Ragusa in Sicily in the early seventeenth century.[4] In 1651 a merchant named Daniel Edwards, a member of the Levant Company and a trader in Turkish goods, encountered Rosée at Smyrna in Anatolia,[5] employed him as a manservant[6] and brought him back to Britain.

Once there, Rosée set up the establishment, its sign a portrait of Rosée.[7] In 1654, to circumvent resistance from local alehouse traders, he accepted Christoper Bowman as a business partner because he was a freeman of the city of London. Bowman had been the coachman of Alderman Thomas Hodges, Edwards' father-in-law.

The Jamaica Wine House now reputedly occupies the same space.[8]

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