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Rose and Crown Public House Woburn

Plan from deeds showing the Rose and Crown (in pink) in 1872, the former Ram was the small building directly to the left [R6/63/5/17]
Plan from deeds showing the Rose and Crown (in pink) in 1872, the former Ram was the small building directly to the left [R6/63/5/17]

Rose and Crown Public House: Park Street, Woburn

The Rose and Crown was one of several public houses, such as the Ram and White Lion, to be situated in Park Street, none of which remain. The Rose and Crown was immediately behind, and, through the Ram, joined to, the shop now [2006] numbered as 1 to 3 Market Place. The first reference to it is in 1725 when it was sold by Daniel Giles of Winslow, draper and his son William to Thomas Cooke of Woburn, cordwainer, for £110 [R6/63/5/1]. It is then described as a messuage in Woburn in occupation of Joseph Marshall bounding a tenement of John Iredale west and of Daniel Snagg east with Abbey Lane [modern Park Street], or the road leading to Bedford, south. With it went a piece of ground 22 feet by 15 feet on which a double stable had stood until burned down in the great fire of June 1724.

By 1745, when he assigned his mortgage [R6/63/5/2] on the premises to another lender [R6/63/5/3], Cooke is described as "victualler" indicating that the building had become a public house, though the deeds do not explicitly say this. Cooke died in 1764 and left the building, now called the Rose & Crown to a trustee to sell, the proceeds to be divided between his three daughters, Elizabeth Booth of St.Sepulchre, London, Hannah Iredale of Fleet Ditch, London, and Martha Hook of Deptford [R6/63/5/5]. In 1765 the trustee sold it to Thomas Iredale of Woburn, cooper for £150 [R6/63/5/5].

Thomas Iredale died in 1796 and, in his will of that year [R6/63/5/7] he devised the Rose and Crown to his brother Woodell Iredale and Woodell's wife Hannah for their lives and, after their deaths, to trustees for sale, the money to be distributed between Thomas' nephews and nieces. Thus, in 1805, the two trustees sold the inn to brewer Thomas Burr of Dunstable for £215 [R6/63/5/9] and he, in his will of 1835 devised it to his nephew Edward [R6/63/5/12].

Edward Burr sold the inn, and the whole Dunstable Brewery business to the Luton brewers Frederick and Charles Burr in 1844, the Rose & Crown fetching £730 [R6/63/5/13]. Charles sold his half of the business to his brother Frederick in 1850 and then in 1852 Frederick sold his business to Thomas and Robert Sworder of Luton, the Rose & Crown going for £400 [R6/63/5/14]. Robert conveyed his half to Thomas in 1855 [R6/63/5/15] and finally Thomas Sworder sold the inn to the Duke of Bedford in 1872 for £600 [R6/63/5/17]. The Duke seems to have closed the inn almost as soon as buying it, presumably demolishing it not long afterwards; certainly it had been demolished by the time of the first Ordnance Survey 25 inches to the mile map of Woburn of 1882.

Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service is lucky enough to have the sale particulars from the auction sales of 1805 [BO1042], 1843 [BH409] and 1851 [X95/251], corresponding to the sales of 1805, 1844 and 1852. The 1805 particulars describe: two cellars, a kitchen, two parlours, a washhouse, a pantry, a brewhouse, four "exceeding good" bedchambers "with convenient closets", a large yard, stabling for twenty horses and "other detached Offices; the whole in complete Repair".

In 1843 the description refers to: a tap, two parlours, a washhouse, a pantry and liquor closet, a cellar and arched vault containing a well "of fine Water" and four bedrooms, one of which was over the gateway and reached by a separate staircase. Outside was a paved yard, with public right of way, a brick built stable for five horses with a loft over, an outhouse with a pump of water and a woodhouse. Not surprisingly the 1851 description is little different but mentions a sitting room in addition. 

 The rear of 1 to 3 Market place, site of the Ram and Rose and Crown March 2007
The rear of 1 to 3 Market place, site of the Ram and Rose and Crown March 2007

List of Sources Held at Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service:

  • R6/63/5/1: messuage conveyed by Daniel Gyles and William his son to Thomas Cooke: 1725;
  • R6/63/5/4-5: Rose & Crown conveyed by children of Thomas Cooke and his trustee to Thomas Iredale: 1765;
  • BO1040 and R6/63/5/7: devised in will of Thomas Iredale to his brother Woodell Iredale remainder to trustees for sale: 1796;
  • BO1042-1044: sale catalogues: 1805;
  • P118/28/2: parochial assessment book: 1802-1833;
  • R6/63/5/8-9: conveyed by trustees for sale to Thomas Burr of Dunstable, brewer: 1805;
  • R6/63/5/12: devised in will of Thomas Burr to his nephew Edward Burr: 1835;
  • BH409: sale catalogue: 1843;
  • R6/63/5/13: conveyed by Edward Burr to Frederick and Charles Burr, brewers: 1844;
  • X95/251: sale catalogue: 1851;
  • R6/63/5/14: conveyed by Frederick Burr to Thomas and Robert Sworder of Luton, brewers: 1852;
  • R6/63/5/15: conveyed by Robert Sworder to Thomas Sworder: 1855;
  • X95/291/96: Rose and Crown deeds deposited with the bank by way of mortgage by Thomas Sworder: 1857;
  • WB/S4/1/7/6: Mortgage of property, amongst others, by Thomas Sworder of Luton: 10 May 1861;
  • X95/292/31: letter regarding deposit of deeds: 1862;
  • X95/268: mortgage of by Thomas Sworder: 1864;
  • X95/304: rent share in barrels of various locensed properties: 1867;
  • R6/63/5/16: abstract of title of Thomas Sworder: 1872;
  • R6/63/5/17: conveyed by Thomas Sworder to Francis Charles Hastings, Duke of Bedford: 1872;
  • Z210/81: Thomas Sworder of Luton to sell, along with other properties, to redeem mortgage to Thomas Sworder of Hertford: 15 Feb 1873;
  • X95/240: copy agreement regarding Thomas Sworder's brewery: 1878;
  • X95/245: draft reassignment of Thomas Sworder's brewery: 1889

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

c.1725-1764: Thomas Cooke
1764-1765: Ursula Cooke
1796-1812: William Attwood;
1813-1818: William Mills;
1820: Charles Pearce;
1822-1844: John Capel;
1847-1873: Charles Thurlow