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The Falcon Inn Southill

Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service is lucky enough to hold the archive of the Whitbread family and this archive has a series of deeds referring to this inn which would otherwise be unknown. In 1624 a property in the West End of Southill, with four acres of pasture was conveyed by John East senior to John East junior [W1760], who conveyed it to Sir John Keelinge in 1667 when it was described as a "capital messuage [in other words a substantial property] in Southill between the messuages of William Hurst, shoemaker east and Edward Crawley west, the King's Highway leading towards the church north and Church Field south in occupation of Edward Bate and Widow Wells" [W1761]. By 1680, when Sir John Kelynge conveyed the property to Thomas Hawkins of Southill, butcher [W1764], it was known as the Falcon Inn, the four acres being known as Goodbodyes Close. The inn was part of the marriage settlement of Hawkins' son William when he married Elizabeth Norris in 1693 [W1765] and was mortgaged by Thomas Hawkins in 1717 to the great admiral, Sir George Byng [W1766-1767]. Finally, in 1722 Hawkins conveyed the inn to Byng, now Viscount Torrington and Treasurer of the Royal Navy [W1769-1770].

The Falcon Inn does not appear in the countywide Register of Alehouse Licences which begins in 1822 [CLP13]. It is, therefore, reasonable to conclude that it closed between in the hundred years between 1722 and 1822.

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:

1667-1674: Edward Bate;
1680-1772: Thomas Hawkins?