From Islington Council:"Four inns are known to have occupied this site, with the earliest dating from 1564. The Peacock has been immortalised both in print and on canvas. In 1823, James Pollard painted his North Country Mails at the Peacock.
In the novel 'Tom Brown's School Days', Tom spends a night at the Peacock before catching the 'Tally Ho' coach to Rugby. Dickens also mentions the Peacock in his story 'Boots at the Cherry Tree Inn.' The importance of the Peacock declined with the demise of the four-in-hand carriage; the travelling public now entrusted itself to the railways. In 1857 the distinctive exterior of the Peacock was transformed with large plate shop windows and shop fittings, but it continued as a public house until 1962."
Matt Brown of Londonist told us: "The Peacock also gets a mention in Nicholas Nickleby. The protagonist stops briefly here on his coach journey north to Yorkshire." And Byron Anthony tells us Dickens mentions it in one of his Christmas stories titled "The Holly Tree".
2023: Now having read it we can report that in 'Tom Brown's School Days' there are 4 pages (70-74) describing what it was like to stay at the Peacock in the 1830s, to be woken before 3am to catch your coach.