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The Queens Head Public House Potton

The Queens Head Public House [formerly Maidenhead; also Old Queens Head]: 22 Sun Street, Potton

Elevation of the Queen's Head 1878 [CDE168/2]
Elevation of the Queen's Head 1878 [CDE168/2]

The first mention of this public house is in 1720 when, as the Maidenhead, it was devised by George Pedly in his will to his son John, along with the Cock, King's Arms and White Lyon also in Potton [WG88]. Pedley died in the same year.

The property was copyhold, that is, it was held from the Manor of Potton Much Manured. In 1758 the owner was still John Pedley and he sold the property (shown by his absolutely surrendering it before the steward of the manor) to John Cox of Potton, innholder [Z1578/POT/1/1]. It is unclear whether Cox was innholder of this property or of another at this date. The inn is described as being a part of a cottage. Cox made his will in 1783 [Z1578/POT/1/4], devising the Maidenhead to William Warner, son of his daughter Elizabeth and to Elizabeth, daughter of his son Robert jointly. Elizabeth was admitted to her share, aged seventeen, in 1785 [Z1578/POT/1/5] and, in 1790, sold that half share to William Warner, who thus now held all of it [Z1578/POT/1/6]. He was admitted in 1794 [Z1578/POT/1/7].

In 1800 Warner, who lived in Stevenage [Hertfordshire] sold the Maidenhead to James Ind of Baldock [Hertfordshire], brewer [Z1578/POT/1/8]. In 1815 Edward Ind, James' son, sold the inn, now remaned the Queen's Head, along with his whole brewing business, to John Izard Pryor of Baldock, brewer [Z1578/POT/1/10]. Pryor then sold it, again along with the business, in 1854 to Joseph Simpson of Baldock, brewer [Z1578/POT/1/12].

In 1878 the building was damaged in a fire which affected properties in a square formed by Sun Street, Bull Street, Chapel Street and Blackbird Street. The newspaper report commented that the Queen’s Head was “utterly burnt”. Plans from that year show the building in its current form [CDE168/1-2].

The licensing register of 1903 shows the Queen’s Head continuing in the ownership of Simpson and Company; it was in good repair. The property was sixteen yards from the nearest licensed property and had one front and one back door. The Queen’s Head closed for the last time in 1919 becoming a private house, lnown as 22 Sun Street, sold to Alfred Allen Sargent of Potton, hotel keeper, the tenant, for £416 [Z1578/POT/1/16-17].

22 and 24 Sun Street August 2013
22 and 24 Sun Street August 2013

References:

  • WG88: probate of will of George Pedly: 1720;
  • Z1578/POT/1/1: absolute surrender of the Maidenhead: 1758;
  • Z1578/POT/1/2: conditional surrender of the Maidenhead: 1759;
  • Z1578/POT/1/4: will of John Cox: 1783 proved 1784;
  • Z1578/POT/1/5: admission of Elizabeth Cox to the Maidenhead: 1785;
  • Z1578/POT/1/6: absolute surrender of the Maidenhead: 1790;
  • Z1578/POT/1/7: admission to the Maidenhead: 1794;
  • P64/5/1-4: bill from inn: 19th century;
  • Z1578/POT/1/8: absolute surrender of the Maidenhead: 1800;
  • Z1578/POT/1/9: admission to the Queen's Head: 1815;
  • Z1578/POT/1/10: absolute surrender of the Queen's Head: 1815;
  • CLP13: Register of Alehouse Licenses: 1822-1828;
  • CRT110/102: note of deeds of Simpsons of Baldock brewery and licensed houses held by Hertfordshire Archives Service: 1853-1854;
  • Z1578/POT/1/12: absolute surrender of the Queen's Head: 1854;
  • Z1578/POT/1/13: admission to the Queen's Head: 1854;
  • HF143/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1872-1873;
  • HF143/2: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1874-1877;
  • HF143/3: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1878-1881;
  • CDE168/1-2: plans: 1878;
  • HF143/4: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1882-1890;
  • HF143/5: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1891-1900;
  • Z1578/POT/1/15: admission to the Queen's Head: 1897;
  • HF143/6: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1900-1914;
  • X704/123: Savings Club contribution cards: 1907-1908;
  • Z1578/POT/1/16: sale of the former Queen's Head: 1919;
  • Z1578/POT/1/17: absolute surrender of the former Queen's Head: 1919;
  • Z1578/POT/1/18: admission to the former Queen's Head: 1920;
  • Z1578/POT/1/23: conveyance of the former Queen's Head: 1933;
  • Z1578/POT/1/24: assignment of leasehold interest: 1935;
  • Z1578/POT/1/26: vesting assent: 1943.

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

1720: John Compton;
John Snitch;
1755-1758: John Pedley
1758-1784: John Cox;
1790: Samuel Mann;
1794-1830: William Dear;
1839-1862: Mary Dear;
1864-1888: Joseph Shearman;
1888-1889: James North;
1889-1891: Thomas Preston Elliott;
1891-1914: Alfred Allen Sargeant
Public house closed 1919