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Cock Battlesden

Given the tiny size of modern Battlesden it is, perhaps, surprising that the parish has ever contained an inn. The Cock was on Watling Street very close to the Hockliffe boundary and was often referred to as being in that parish, given its greater size. Of the inn itself we know little, save that in an estate survey of 1724 it is described as having stabling for 60 to 70 horses, as one would expect for an establishment on a main road. The parish registers for Battlesden record a large number of burials of travellers and it is likely that most of these died at the inn rather than along the highway in the parish. The occurrences for 1602-1812 are as follows:

- 3 Mar 1614: "one Margery Abbott, a poor woman and a passenger by the waye together with hir child that was stille born";

- 20 Aug 1615: "an unknown traveller";

- 8 Feb 1624: "an unknown cripple";

- 29 Mar 1624: "an unknowne passinger";

- 2 Sep 1625: "an unknowne passenger from London to Moulsoe";

- 22 Oct 1625: "an unknowne passenger from London to Lancasher";

- 15 Jul 1635: Richard Taylor "a passenger";

- 13 May 1706: "A vagrant";

- 9 Aug 1741: "a stranger suppos'd to be an Irish woman";

- 9 Jun 1760: Thaddaeus O'Sullivan "an Irish Traveller or Harvestman, a papist as appeared by a Certificate from his pastor at Innishonane & a String of Beads"

Given that the last of the travellers' deaths is 1760 this suggests that the inn was still in operation at this date, however, it had closed by 1822 as it is not noted in the countywide list of licensees for that year.

List of Licensees: note that this is not a complete list ; entries in italics refer to licensees where either beginning or end, or both, dates are not known:

1676 - 1705: Thomas Quinnee (will)

to 1718: Thomas Coot;

1724: William Reed.

List of Sources at Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service: CRT130/Battlesden6: notes; - T9/3: conveyance by Robert Mylton to Richard Saunder; 1532; - T31/2: mortgage by William Duncombe to Sir Algernon May; 1676; - HSA1678/S/67: indirectly mentioned in evidence regarding sheep stealing: May 1678; - HSA1680W89: evidence against pickpocket caught at inn: 1680; - Bedfordshire Parish Register Vol.37: Thomas Quinny (see licensees above) married Sarah Dyer at Battlesden on 24 May 1686; - Bedfordshire Parish Register Vol. 37: Thomas Coot innkeeper buried in Battlesden 18 May 1718 (his wife Susan had been buried on 8 Apr); - T46/2: rental of Battlesden estate: 1724.