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The Blue Ball Inn Potton

The Blue Ball Inn: Mill Lane, Potton

Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service has two references to this inn, from 1765 and from 1800. It was a copyhold property, that is to say, it was part of the Manor of Potton Much Manured. People held copyhold properties from the manor and instead of conveying them to someone else had to surrender them to the Lord of the Manor at a manor court and the new owners then had to seek admission from that manor court or a subsequent one. This allowed the manor to claim a fee (or fine) for the privilege.

In 1765 Thomas Thompson of Potton, barber and peruke [wig] maker surrendered the Blue Ball to the use of Ephraim Wilson of Potton, yeoman. The inn was described as formerly in the occupation of John Lyles, now John Ibbot and Cornelius Hankin. The new owner also had the use of a pump in the yard which was on the opposite side of Mill Lane.

In 1800 John Keeling the younger, as heir of his father, also John, was admitted to a property in Potton known by the sign of the Blue Ball, formerly in the occupation of Ann Ibbett, afterwards Henry Webster [X330/6]. The inn must have closed between 1800 and 1822 because it is not listed by the countywide licensing register of 1822 [CLP13].


  • AD345/2/15: surrender: 1765;
  • X330/6: admission: 1800.

List of Licensees: note that this is not a complete list. Italics indicate licensees whose beginning and/or end dates are not known:
before 1765: John Lyles;
1765: John Ibbot and Cornelius Hankin;
before 1800: Ann Ibbett;
1800: Henry Webster