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The Shoulder of Mutton Public House Wootton

5 to 7 Leighton Street March 2012
5 to 7 Leighton Street March 2012

The Shoulder of Mutton Public House: 6 Leighton Street, Woburn

This public house has not left a huge legacy of documents behind it. From references that do exist it appears that it was operating by at least 1713 when the licensee is recorded as paying dues to the perpetual curate of Woburn [P118/3/1].

A court roll of the Manor of Woburn of 1717 records the admission of Simon Taylor the younger as chief tenant to the property, which was copyhold.  After 1759 the Shoulder of Mutton does not appear in the register of dues, though it is noted in the parochial assessment book beginning in 1802 [P118/28/2]. It is possible that the establishment was closed for a time in the late eighteenth century, though it is also possible that it was simply not noted by name in the later entries of the register of dues, with the tenant only being recorded. The last mention in a directory is in 1877 indicating that it closed some time shortly after that date.

The public house is shown and described by Thomas Evans' 1821 map and survey and seems to be on the site of the modern 6 Leighton Street.  A public house is noted on the first edition 25 inches to the mile Ordnance Survey map of Woburn, of 1882, again, at the modern 6 Leighton Street confirming this as the site of the Shoulder of Mutton. 

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

  • P118/3/1: parochial dues: 1709-1796 [1713-1759];
  • RBox 237: Manorial court rolls: 1717
  • P118/28/2: parochial assessment book: 1802-1833;
  • R1/78: Thomas Evans' map accompanying R2/69: 1821;
  • R2/69: Detailed survey of Woburn made by Thomas Evans for the Duke of Bedford: 1822;
  • QSR1871/2/5/7: suspected counterfeiter seen at the Shoulder of Mutton: 1871.

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

before 1717: Edward Moreton;
1713-1736: Richard White;
1743-1746: John Clark;
1748-1759: Widow Clark;
1802-1813: John Dell;
1814: William Fenwick;
1815: George Odell;
1818-1847: James Francis - tavern;
1850: Sarah Francis;
1853: George Smith (also tailor);
1854-1862: George Smith;
1864: John Smith;
1869-1877: George Kemp.