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The George Public House Shefford

 George Inn about 1900
George Inn about 1900

George Public House: 28 High Street, Shefford

In 1728 [WJ366] William Fowler of Stanford, yeoman and Susannah, his wife, conveyed the George, in occupation of John Townsend, to James Ellerd of Shefford, plumber. In 1751 Ellerd's widow Mary, now remarried to John Norris of Shefford, gentleman, joined with him in conveying the George to Thomas Phip of Shefford, barber for £140. John Phip/Phipp/Phipps sold the George to Hitchin [Hertfordshire] brewers William and Joseph Lucas in 1809. Later licensing registers show the owners as Simpson's Baldock Brewery and by 1927 the owner was Bedford brewer Charles Wells.

In 1927 the town of Shefford was valued under the terms of the Rating Valuation Act 1925; every piece of land and building in the country was assessed to determine the rates to be paid on it. The valuer visiting the George [DV1/C/290/95] noted " Licence withdrawn as from October 1927".

The buildings comprised: a tap room ["fair"], a bar parlour ["small"], a private sitting room and kitchen downstairs with four bedrooms above. There were also a brick, wood and slate skittle room and a brick and tile stable for three horses, another stable for three, a harness room and a hovel, with a loft over whole. A barn and wash house completed the picture. Weekly trade was dwindling, hence the impending closure being less than one barrel and four dozen bottles of beer and less than a gallon of spirits.

The former Department of Environment listed 32 High Street as Grade II, of special interest, and reckoned it to be a late 18th century refronting in brick of an early 18th century timber-framed building. At the time of writing [2008] the former George is a branch of solicitors Knowles Benning.

 former George public House High Street January 2008
Former George public House High Street January 2008

Sources:

  • WJ366: George conveyed by William Fowler to James Ellerd: 1728;
  • WJ368-369: George conveyed by John Norris to Thomas Phip: 1751;
  • WJ379-380: George conveyed by John Phipps to William and Joseph Lucas: 1809;
  • CLP13: register of alehouse licences: 1822-1828;
  • X753/3: sale held at inn: 1834;
  • X753/4: sale held at inn: 1856;
  • X827/2: sale held at inn: 1856;
  • X753/12: meeting of the Manor court held at the inn: 1862;
  • HF143/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1872-1873;
  • HF143/2: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1874-1877;
  • HF143/3: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1878-1881;
  • HF143/4: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1882-1890;
  • HF143/5: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1891-1900;
  • HF143/6: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1900-1914;
  • PSBW8/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1903-1915;
  • DV1/C/290/95: rating valuation: 1927

List of Licensees:

Note that this is not a complete list ; entries in italics refer to licensees where either beginning or end, or both, dates are not known:
1728: John Townsend;
1751: Thomas Priest;
1785-1792: Thomas Phipps;
1809: John Phipps;
1809:  Edward Turner;
1822-1861: William Clark;
1872-1873: Louisa Wagstaff;
1873-1887: James Maindley;
1887-1889: Arthur Kent;
1889-1890: John Dix;
1890: Frank Heathfield [convicted on 30 Apr 1890 of permitting drunkenness,   fined £1/9/- with 9/6 costs]
1890-1892: Albert Few;
1892-1900: William Granger;
1900-1902: Charles Birch;
1902-1903: George Payne;
1903-1914: Harry Robinson Slater;
1927: Mrs H E Slater
Public house closed October 1927