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The White Bear Public House Market Place Woburn

18th century map showing The Bear [R1-351]
18th century map showing The Bear [R1/351]

The White Bear Public House: 4-7 Market Place, Woburn

There have been two public houses of this name in Woburn, at different times. The original White Bear was in the Market Place and is named on a map of the late eighteenth century [R1/351]. Licensees are given in the register of dues owed to the perpetual curate of Woburn [P118/3/1] and in the parochial assessment book [P118/28/1].

It is noted in an inventory of the brothers John and Joseph Morris of Ampthill, brewers, in 1827 and is described as the Old White Bear, a freehold public house occupied by Thomas Britchnell with a good four stalled stable, an old stable for twelve horses and a piggery [Z1043/1]. In 1828 Joseph Morris conveyed his half of the properties of the Ampthill brewery to John. The White Bear is then described as including a malting, brewhouse, butcher's shop and adjoining stable with a garden and walnut tree, necessary house (privy) and use of a yard leading to Abbey Lane (Park Street), it had been purchased by Joseph's father John from George Fossey in 1792 [X21/629].

Evidence from Thomas Evans' 1821-22 survey and the parish rate books suggests that the Bear was the modern 4 to 7 Market Place; these premises were Grade II listed in 1952, at which time Department of Environment considered them to be late 18th century. By 1850 the White Bear in the High Street seems to have closed.

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

1748-1767: John Hatton;
1785-1796: John Weldale;
1802: Mary Weldale;
1806-1810: John Hale;
1811-1812: Cornelius Kinns;
1813-1818: John Rush;
1822-1824: Charles Pearce;
1825-1827: Thomas Britchnell;
1850: John Flecknoe.

List of Sources:

  • P118/3/1: parochial dues: 1709-1796 [1748-1796];
  • P118/28/2: parochial assessment book: 1802-1833;
  • R1/78: Thomas Evans' map accompanying R2/69: 1810;
  • R2/69: Detailed survey of Woburn made by Thomas Evans for the Duke of Bedford: 1822;
  • Z1043/1: listed in inventory of John and Joseph Morris of Ampthill, brewers: June 1827;
  • X21/629: conveyance of properties from Joseph Morris to devisees under the will of John Morris, deceased: 24th June 1828.