The Blue Lion Inn Girtford
The Blue Lion in Girtford is known only from two references in deeds. The first of these is a conveyance of 1763 [AD2793-1794] when Thomas Single of Eaton Socon, bricklayer, conveyed land in Girtford to his brother John. The conveyance included an agreement that Thomas Single would surrender a cottage called The Blue Lion, with an adjoining close, to the Lord of the Manor, Girtford Manor being held, along with Sandy Manor by the Pym family at this time. Single had been admitted tenant to this copyhold property in June 1753 and would now need to surrender the cottage so that his brother could be admitted tenant.
The other reference is in 1787 when a cottage called The Blue Lion with an adjoining close of three acres in the occupation of Francis Geeves was surrendered by Sarah Tiston, late of Saint Neots [Huntingdonshire], widow to the use of Thomas Croot of Sandy, yeoman [LS259]. Sarah was, presumably, either a daughter of Thomas Single, or his widow who had then remarried or some other female relative such as a niece.
Francis Geeves may be the same as Francis Jeeves who, in 1787, rented land from a Mr. Brown for £12 per annum [AD2862]. The land is described as Brown’s “Land & Meadering In Sandy and Gurford”. Some early references to the occupants of licensed premises in the parish of Sandy are known and include the following, some, or none of which may have been at the Blue Lion:
- John Dolton, innkeeper, buried 7 May 1704;
- William Banes, aleman, buried 14 August 1719;
- Dan Price, aleman, buried 22 June 1722;
- Jonathan Odell, aledraper, buried 20 October 1739;
- John Perry, aledraper, buried 20 July 1746;
- Henry Care, aledraper, buried 3 June 1754;
- James Ayre, publican, buried 4 May 1767;
- Robert Shearman, victualler, buried 18 August 1786;
- Elizabeth Nelson, widow, victualler, buried 3 August 1791;
- Thomas Hardy, victualler, buried 9 August 1791;
- Christopher Clark, innholder, buried 26 January 1802.
- AD2793-2794: conveyance: 1763
- LS259: surrender: 1787
List of Licensees: note that this is not a complete list. Italics indicate licensees whose beginning and/or end dates are not known:
1787: Francis Geeves