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The Duke of Wellington Beerhouse Potton

The Duke of Wellington Beerhouse: 17 Blackbird Street, Potton

17 Blackbird Street March 2007
17 Blackbird Street March 2007

Potton History Society compiled a list of old licensed premises in the town and their modern addresses [CRT130Potton27]. This list equates the Duke of Wellington with 17 Blackbird Street. The countywide licensing register of 1876 states that the beerhouse was first licensed in 1859 and the owner was Ashwell [Hertfordshire] brewer Edward K. Fordham

In 1875 Thomas Vincent, a police sergeant stationed at Potton, reported that at 5.30 on the evening of 23rd July he was on duty in Blackbird Street when he saw Jeremiah Campling, of Potton, tailor [of Horslow Street] and that he was very drunk. Vincent told him to go home but he said he wanted another drink and went into the Duke of Wellington. Vincent followed Campling and told the landlady not to serve him. Campling then came out and went towards his home; he was subsequently fined five shillings with eight shillings costs [HF147/4/780].

The countywide licensing register of 1891 gave the owner as W. A. Fordham and that of 1903 as Fordham and Company. The Duke of Wellington was then in good repair and was 69 yards from the nearest licensed premises (the Three Blackbirds); it had one front and one back door. The Duke of Wellington closed its doors for the last time in 1913.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. Potton, like most parts of the county, was assessed in 1927. The valuer visiting the former beerhouse [DV1/C25/97] found that the owner and occupier was a man named Jennings. His accommodation comprised a living room, a pantry and a kitchen with four bedrooms above. There was also a wood and corrugated iron hovel and stable, which the valuer characterized with the word “neglect”. Another hand has written: “No garden. Bad position”.

References:

  • HF143/1: Register of Alehouse Licenses - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1872-1873;
  • HF143/2: Register of Alehouse Licenses - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1874-1877;
  • HF147/4/780: a drunk at the Duke of Wellington: 1875;
  • HF143/3: Register of Alehouse Licenses - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1877-1881;
  • HF143/4: Register of Alehouse Licenses - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1882-1890;
  • HF143/5: Register of Alehouse Licenses - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1891-1900;
  • HF143/6: Register of Alehouse Licenses - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1900-1914;
  • PSBW8/1: register of Alehouse Licenses - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1903-1915

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

1872-1881: John Brown;
1881-1889: Sarah Brown;
1889-1896: Frederick William Giles;
1896-1908: Henry Warren;
1908-1913: Walter Meeks Bentley
Beerhouse closed 27th December 1913