1928: The Swedish Flag Pub and the Jug

I was kindly given an historic item from the East End, by my amazing Cockney cousins.

It is a water jug with an engraved message. A Christmas gift perhaps, to my great grandparents. They lived in Swedenborg Street and may have been regulars

The inscription reads:

With compliments from: (this is the line, embellished with holly leaves)

Mr and Mrs M. Barnes

The Swedish Flag

St.Georges E.

Xmas 1928

I am delighted by this amazing gift and am currently researching its story. The jug will be in my latest book. But what story will it tell?

This is my research so far, from comments found on the web.

If you have any further information to add please let me know.



The Swedish Flag was at 2 Swedenborg Street. I would be interested in hearing more as my Granddad owned the pub at the time you lived there, although I think it was managed by my Aunt. Look forward to hearing from you. Phillip Harding


Hello, I lived opposite the Swedish Flag in about 1939-1940 when I was aged 4-5 years old. The turning the pub was in ran from The Highway into Swedenborg Square. I have been trying to find the name of the turning for my family tree records. I lived above the corner shop on the right hand corner of the turning. It may have been called either Princes Street or Swedenborg Street.


Hello, I have been tracing my family tree for about 20 years now. Recently, I have been looking back at my own events and being 76 years of age cannot pin dates etc. to such events. I remember, probably 1939-1940, living above a shop in 2 rooms with my parents and my sister who was 2 years younger than me. Here is the route at that time:
If you walked along The Highway, going towards The Tower of London, and kept to the right hand side, you would, just going by the entrance to Wapping High Street on the left, come to a short turning. On the right hand corner was the shop, which sold bread, milk cigarettes, etc. The first door past the shop was our entrance to our flat above the shop. On the left hand side of the turning and a little way in from the corner was the pub The Swedish Flag. This turning led into Swedenborg Square. In 1912 the Square used to be Princes Square. I was wondering if the turning was either Princes Street or Swedenborg Street. I have searched online and cannot find any maps to determine the name.

5 thoughts on “1928: The Swedish Flag Pub and the Jug

  1. In the year aof 1871 a Swedish woman, Named Elisabeth Gustafsdotter visited the Swedish Church (founded in 1710) at Princes Square where she met the clerk Sven Olsson. She begged for money because she was very poor. Sven Olsson lived at 33 Princes Square which was located in the north side of corner of the Square. He started to work in the Swedish Parish on November 1871. From 1871 – 1888 Elisabeth fequently visited the church. In the year of 1869 Elisabeth married a English carpenter, named John Thomas Stride but in 1881 the couple was divorced. She continued to visiting the Swedish Church and the church reading room, located in the home of Sven Olsson where she met other Swedes. On September, 1888 Elizabeth became he serial killer Jack the Ripper’s third victim. In 1898 the 33 Princes square changed to 8 Princes Square. When the Swedish church was demolished in 1920´s the area chenged to Swedenborg Square, later Swedenborg Gardens. Sven Olsson went back to Sweden at the end of 1898 with his family. He settled down in a small village, named Osby, in the south part of Sweden.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. An amazing piece of history, about Princes Square (later known as Swedenborg Square). Thank you so much for sharing Stefan. Every piece of information, is like a stitch in the tapestry of my family history. I am particularly interested in Swedish history as my DNA test proves I’m 25% Swedish. I am grateful for your insight. Kindest regards, Margaret. 💐


  2. The Swedish Flag was operated by my great, great grandfather, Edward Cookc Jefford, from 1868 until his death in 1881. After his death his widow , Sarah Start Jefford, ran the pub for several years, possibly until 1901.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, thank you so much for sharing. The pub was of great significance for my family. It’s great to meet ancestors of former landlords. Please keep in touch and perhaps check out my book, Betweenwhiles, which tells how the Christmas jug from the pub, was given to my Demmel ancestors. Cheers 🍻


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