J.K. Rowling Learns Of Award Winning Wine Waiter Ancestor | Who Do You Think You Are

So we are here at the river restaurant
yes Emily yeah which is where drew you won’t
between 1919 and 1927 and this is the restaurant in action
wow I love this 1920s it’s so glamorous it was one of the best if not the best
restaurant in the whole world laughs Zhen Liu he was head winemaker
he was his wine waiter yes and he actually got an award all right
a Frenchman called Chevalier de Mille that you cut your joke no not at all
it’s a very prestigious distinction this was given to him in 1922 here’s his
title in French shape do selfies Viva Savoy Hotel
no fair play to him for a working-class Frenchman who’s come to London he’s he’s
certainly risen in his profession absolutely and we are extremely lucky
and then the Savoy keep an archive of their former employees and this is his
card and the card contains his previous employment history Luise employment card reveals that to
get to the Savoy he had worked his way up through the ranks of his profession
since his arrival in London in the 1890s political instability in France and
cheaper cross-channel transport encouraged many young French men and
women to seek work in the English capital by the turn of the century there
were tens of thousands of poor French immigrants crammed into a part of Soho
known as La Petite honks many sought work in the city’s flourishing
restaurants Louise card records that he was taken on as a junior waiter by the
fashionable Prince’s restaurant in 1899 this is a Prince’s restaurant it can see
very very rich very option and surrounding Wow you can where is this
this is just off Piccadilly it was really very nice place is run by French
people would he have made more money here than he would have done inherits
say this here a French way to have this immense cachet so these kind of places
were looking for Frenchmen exactly the princes restaurant was a training to
the theater crowd so it closed at impossible hours and this would have
been a demanding job yeah I’ve got this letter and this is from
she’s headed the princes restaurant he’s writing to his wife Lizzie she’s gone
back to her parents house in Norfolk and he says you asked me to try and come
over next Sunday indeed I believe you struck it unlucky before we have a
dinner of 60 Frenchmen and they have got a licence so it’s no use thinking about
it for a moment but they couldn’t see why because he had to work late yes and
that’s that’s obviously one of the striking features it was a hard life
yeah Louie would have been working until two or three six days a week
yes very very difficult lifestyle and probably about 40 shillings a month
which works out to be about 80 pound in contemporary terms and he was supporting
by the time that letter was written he was supporting a wife and child on that
as well exactly and we can imagine the strain there was not much time or
married life if we look at the following census in nineteen eleven nineteen there
so we’ve got the Lizzy is listed first as wife and then that’s been crossed out
and foot a head as in head of the family so the marriage had already broken up in
1911 and Stanley and my grandfather was only one really careful and some he’d
he’d gone and here he is Louisville Nolan he’s 33 he’s still married but
they’ve separated he’s now living in six upper Jane Street in one room was so sad all these back in here German want you
to take them with you so look after Louie and easy thumbing
through that thank you so much more look after them because and why did he come
to England we know he came over in the 1890s and he worked over here as a
waiter in place like this void and he J.K. Rowling Harry Potter Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald


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