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The Guinea Public House Mogerhanger

The Guinea about 1900
The Guinea about 1900

The Guinea Public House: Bedford Road, Mogerhanger [also the Old Guinea]

This public house has a long history. An entry in Blunham's parish register for 1728 notes the burial of a victualler (public house keeper) from Mogerhanger called John Gilbert. He may not have been the landlord of the Guinea, but later evidence of the Guinea having been open in Mogerhanger later in the century means that it is, at least, a possibility.

In 1784 an unnamed public house was down to be sold at auction along with other property by Lord of the Manor Robert Thornton. Again there is no proof that this was the Guinea but an abstract of title to the Guinea produced in 1885 refers back to a marriage settlement of 1794 involving Stephen Thornton (son of the new Lord of the Manor Godfrey Thornton) and the Manor of Mogerhanger and so it seems reasonable to suggest that Godfrey bought the property from Robert in 1784 and that the public house thus was the Guinea. Other marriage settlements involving the Thornton family followed in 1821 and 1831. A string of mortgages and further advances secured on Mogerhanger Manor and its lands then followed from 1835 to 1851 and the Manor was sold at auction in 1857 under the will of Godfrey Thornton to Rev.Edward Henry Dawkins and his trustees William Honywood and Henry Lake. The Guinea public house and a close of land measuring 8 acres, 1 rood, 4 perches were sold along with the rest of the manor.

Edward Dawkins mortgaged the manor in 1875 with further advances following in 1880 and 1884. The Guinea was sold by Edward Henry Frederick Dawkins and Edward Charles Honywood Dawkins to Lewis Page Jarvis, Robert Page Jarvis and Walter Jarvis, partners in the Bedford brewery established by Thomas Jarvis in 1873. Thomas Jarvis & Company mortgaged the Guinea on purchase and did not redeem the mortgage until December 1909, the company being sold to Bedford brewer Charles Wells the following year. The Guinea became known as the Old Guinea in the 20th century, not reverting to its original name until 1962. It remains a Charles Wells house at the time of writing [2007].

In 1927 Bedfordshire was valued under the terms of the Rating Valuation Act 1925; every piece of land and property was valued to determine the rates to be paid on it. The valuer visiting the Old Guinea noted accommodation as comprising a parlour, tap room, smoke room, living room, bar, scullery, five bedrooms, a washhouse, barn and garden. Water was laid on to scullery. Weekly trade in winter consisted of a 36 gallon barrel of mild and half a barrel of bitter. In summer this rose to 1¾ barrels of mild and half barrel of bitter. Very little spirits were sold and bottled beer averaged five or six dozen a week.

Picture of the Guinea public house taken in November 2007
Guinea November 2007

Sources:

  • Bedfordshire Parish Register Series Vol.19 [Blunham]: John Gilbert, victualler, buried 8 April 1728;
  • X612/50: reference to public house in sale catalogue: 1784;
  • WL1000/1/Mog1/1: recited marriage settlement involving Mogerhanger Manor: 1794;
  • WL1000/1/Mog1/1: recited marriage settlement involving Mogerhanger Manor: 1821;
  • CLP13: Register of Alehouse Licenses: 1822-1828;
  • WL1000/1/Mog1/1: recited marriage settlement involving Mogerhanger Manor: 1831;
  • WL1000/1/Mog1/1: recited mortgage of Mogerhanger Manor: 1835;
  • WL1000/1/Mog1/1: recited mortgage of Mogerhanger Manor: 1840;
  • WL1000/1/Mog1/1: recited further advance on security of Mogerhanger Manor: 1841;
  • WL1000/1/Mog1/1: recited further advances secured on Mogerhanger Manor: 1842;
  • WL1000/1/Mog1/1: recited further advances secured on Mogerhanger Manor: 1845;
  • WL1000/1/Mog1/1: recited further advances secured on Mogerhanger Manor: 1851;
  • WL1000/1/Mog1/1: recited sale of Mogerhanger Manor: 1857;
  • HF143/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1872-1873;
  • HF143/2: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1874-1877;
  • WL1000/1/Mog1/1: recited mortgage secured on Mogerhanger Manor: 1875;
  • HF143/3: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1878-1881;
  • WL1000/1/Mog1/1: recited further advance secured on Mogerhanger Manor: 1880;
  • HF143/4: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1882-1890;
  • WL1000/1/Mog1/1: recited further advance secured on Mogerhanger Manor: 1884;
  • WL1000/1/Mog1/1: repayment of various mortgages and further advances: 1885;
  • WL1000/1/Mog1/2: position of the public house shown on Ordnance Survey map: 1885;
  • WL1000/1/Mog1/3: indemnity by Edward Henry Frederick Dawkins and Edward Charles Honywood Dawkins to Lewis Page Jarvis, Robert Page Jarvis and Walter Jarvis on sale of public house: 1886;
  • HF143/5: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1891-1900;
  • WL1000/1/Mog1/4: transfer of mortgage: 1899;
  • HF143/6: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1900-1914;
  • PSBW8/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1903-1915;
  • WL1000/1/Mog1/5: reconveyance of Guinea to Jarvis & Company on redemption of mortgage: 1909;
  • DV1/C/219: rating valuation: 1927;
  • PSBW8/2: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1956-1972;
  • PSBW8/3: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade and North Bedfordshire Petty Sessional Divisions: 1976-1980;
  • WL733/32: photograph in Charles Wells in-house magazine Pint Pot: 1981

List of Licensees: note that this is not a complete list. Italics indicate licensees whose beginning and/or end dates are not known: 

1728: John Gilbert, victualler;
1828: John Garratt;
1847-1854: Ann Fisher;
1840: Thomas Fisher;
1840-1857: Ann Fisher;
1861-62: Samuel Cox;
1864: Mrs. S. Cox;
1869: Charles Lucas;
1872-1914: Frederick King;
1914- 1962: Walter James King;
1962-1968: Bryan Robert Ambrose;
1968-1969: George Arthur Green;
1969-1979: Eric Evans;
1979-1984: Robert Edward Jennings;
1984-1988: Ian Goldman;
1988-1995: Roger Wells