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The White Lion Inn Bedford Street Woburn

4 Bedford Street May 2012
4 Bedford Street May 2012

The White Lion Inn: 2 or 4 Bedford Street, Woburn

The third, and last, White Lion in Woburn was in Bedford Street and is first noted there in the parochial assessment register from 1802 [P118/28/2]. It is interesting that the final known licensee of the White Lion in Park Street was named Evans, a name shared by the first licensees of this inn suggesting that the family simply changed premises after the Duke of Bedford bought the Park Street premises in 1799, which would account for the name of the inn being the same.

The inn is last mentioned in a directory held by Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service in 1854 indicating that it must have closed around that time. From 1816 the Union of Mechanics Benefit Society meetings were held at the inn [R4/608/35].

Thomas Evans' survey of 1821 [R1/78] indicates that the site was the modern 2 and 4 Bedford Street (next door to the Black Horse) and included not only the inn but three houses, two shops a barn and a stable with a total of five separate occupiers. The inn may have been either side of the gateway into the yard behind which is a normal feature on a old building which had been a licensed premises but is more likely to have been Number 4 because there has been a post office in Bedford Street since at least 1823 and this might always have been at Number 2.

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

1802: Catherine Evans;
1806: Thomas Goodman;
1813-1814: Catherine Evans;
1815-1847: Thomas King;
1850: John Evans;
1853: Henry Pursell (also carrier);
1854: Henry Pursell.

List of Sources:

  • P118/28/2: parochial assessment book: 1802-1833;
  • R6/63/3/19: draft lease of former White Lion by Duke of Bedford to Thomas Goodman and Mary Woods: 1803;
  • R6/608/35: Union of Mechanics Benefit Society meetings held at the inn: 1817;
  • 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;
  • CLP13: register of licensed premises: 1822-1828;
  • QSR1841/4/5/11a: theft of a watch from the inn: 1841.