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The Jury Beerhouse Colmworth

The Jury Beerhouse about 1920 [BTNegOB5/11]
The Jury Beerhouse about 1920 [BTNegOB5/11]

The Jury Beerhouse: Channels End Road, Colmworth  

This beerhouse seems to have been in existence before 1846 as a schedule of deeds of Higgins & Sons properties implies that it was already a beerhouse when conveyed by W. Wright and his mortgagee to George Higgins in that year. Unfortunately beerhouses are not named in directories but John Carter is noted as a beer seller in Channels End in directories at Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service running from 1864 to 1885 whereas in 1890 and 1894 the beer seller in Channels End is William Parrin (later licensee of the Wheatsheaf). It is not certain that these men were at the Jury but it is clearly a possibility. The licensing registers tell us for certain that those from James Parker to Albert Edward Stanton inclusive were certainly licensees of the Jury. The beerhouse seems to have been owned by Higgins & Sons of Bedford from its inception until 1931 when Higgins & Sons were bought out by Biggleswade brewers Wells & Winch. It closed around 1957 and was sold to Harry Browning in that year. It remains [March 2007] a private house.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1926 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed to determine the rates to be paid on it. Colmworth, like most of the rest of Bedfordshire, was valued in 1927 and the valuer noted it was a detached brick and tile "modern place…good building", it comprised a tap room and living room (both "good"), kitchen and scullery downstairs and three bedrooms above. Outside were a cow shed, two stables and a piggery. Trade was not outstanding - about seven gallons of beer per week. Adjoining the beerhouse and occupied with it was 0.677 acres of arable land

 The former Jury Beerhouse March 2007
The former Jury Beerhouse March 2007

William James Abraham, the licensee between 1923 and 1927, was born in Colmworth but spent much of his life in Sheffield where he was an member of the Labour Party and an active trade unionist. He became president of the Sheffield Trades and Labour Council and in 1920 was elected president of the National Union of Railwaymen. He also served as a member of Sheffield City Council and stood unsuccessfully as a parliamentary candidate in Bolton in the 1922 general election. Shortly after this he became ill and returned to Colmworth, where he died at the early age of 44 in 1927.


  • GK4/6: schedule of deeds to Higgins & Sons properties: 1846;
  • PSS3/3: Register of Alehouse Licences - Sharnbrook Petty Sessional Division: 1904-1930;
  • BTNegOB5/11: BedfordshireCounty Press negative: c.1920;
  • GK297/1: conveyed, with other properties, from Higgins & Sons to Wells & Winch: 1931;
  • GK297/1: sale of former public house to Harry Browning: 1957

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

1864-1885: John Carter;
1890-1894: William Parrin;
1903: James Parker;
1903: William Swales;
1909-1923: Benjamin Dawson Harlow;
1923-1927: William James Abraham;
1927-1928: Emily Jane Abraham;
1928-1940: Albert Edward Stanton
Beerhouse closed about 1957