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The Royal George Public House Stagsden

Royal George Stagsden September 2007
Royal George September 2007

Royal George Public House: 57 High Street, Stagsden

The first record of the Royal George held by Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service is in 1814 when Austin Summerlin mortgaged it, along with to three cottages and ten acres to John Morris; the family stayed on as licensees. The Summerlins were also blacksmiths and were still so more than a century later. Presumably at some point either Summerlin, or one of his successors, either failed to keep up payments on the mortgage or decided to convey the equity of redemption because in 1827, in an inventory of the properties of John Morris' sons, John and Joseph, it is stated that the property was considered to be owned freehold.

In 1907 Morris & Company became a limited company as Morris & Company (Ampthill) Limited but in 1926 it was bought out by Luton brewer J.W.Green Limited. In 1926 this part of Bedfordshire was valued under the terms of the Rating Valuation Act of 1925; every piece of land and building was inspected to determine the rates to be paid on it. The valuer visiting the Royal George noted its brick and tile construction and that it comprised a tap room, bar, front room, scullery and cellar downstairs with three bedrooms above; outside were an earth closet and barn, a barn for four animals, a cart shed and fowl house. Trade was reasonable at 1¼ barrels and two dozen bottles of beer, half a bottle of spirits and half a bottle of wine per week. The valuer commented: "Not an attractive front but good draw up".

At some point after its acquisition by J.W.Green the property seems to have been sold to Bedford brewer Charles Wells, presumably because its location was too far from Luton. The Royal George remains a Charles Wells house at the time of writing [2007].


  • X21/629: recital that Augustine Summerly alias Summerlin mortgaged a cottage in Church End called the Royal George, three cottages and ten acres to John Morris: 1814;
  • CLP13: register of alehouse licenses: 1822-1828;
  • Z1043/1 Royal George at Stagsden listed with others in inventory of properties of John and Joseph Morris: 1827;
  • X21/629: conveyance by Joseph Morris to Henry Ashley, Mary Ann Morris and Jane Morris of a half share in the brewery and licensed houses: 1828;
  • PSB1/1: licensing in Bedford Petty Sessions minute book: 1829-1834;
  • WB/M/4/1/VP; mortgage of numerous properties by John Morris to Mary Ann Morris, Jane Morris and Catherine Morris: 1831;
  • CCE5421 Evidence of title: 1831-1926;
  • Bedfordshire Mercury: notice that publican Uriah King had broken his arm gathering acorns: 20 October 1888;
  • WB/M/4/1/VP2: mortgage of numerous properties by John Thomas Green to Susanna Morris, Mary Jane Morris and Sophia Morris: 1882;
  • PSB9/1: register of licenses: 1903-1935;
  • CCE5304/1: properties conveyed to new company of Morris & Company (Ampthill) Limited: 1907;
  • WB/M/4/2/2: particulars of Morris & Company (Ampthill) Limited public houses: 1926;
  • WB/M/4/1/VP8: abstract of title of Morris & Company (Ampthill) Limited to public houses: 1926;
  • WB/M/4/2/1: list of Morris & Company (Ampthill) Limited properties: c.1926
  • DV1/C/36: rating valuation: 1927;
  • PSB9/2: Register of Alehouse Licences, Bedford Petty Sessional Division: c.1955-1995;
  • Z1105/1: Liquor Licence Traders Survey Forms: 1961;
  • WL722/102: refurbishment of Royal Oak noted in Charles Wells in-house magazine Pint Pot: 2000

List of Licensees: note that this is not a complete list. Italics indicate licensees whose beginning and/or end dates are not known:
1822-1830: Thomas Underwood;
1831- 1865 John Summerlin (& blacksmith);
1869-1877: Austin Summerlin (& blacksmith);
1881-1894:  Uriah King;
1898-1910: James Odell;
1910: Edward George Tribe;
1910-1920: George West;
1920-1945: Ernest Solomon John Andrews
1961-1971: Francis Reginald Flute;
1971-1983: Albert Sevenoaks;
1983-1990: John Joseph Newbury;
1990-1996: Stephen Peter Rogers;
1996: Graham Dodds