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The Angel Public House Toddington

The Angel March 2016
The Angel March 2016

The Angel Public House, 1 Luton Road, Toddington

The Angel which stands at 1, Luton Road, Toddington is an ancient inn dating back to at least the sixteenth century. It is shown on the Agas map of 1581 overlooking the town pond in the same position it occupies today, but has since been much enlarged by the incorporation of the former stables.

It is clear from a deed of 1799 that the inn originally formed part of the Manor of Toddington [WE44]. In that year Mrs Rebecca Osborn was admitted at the manor court to the Angel Inn and a number of other properties in Toddington following the death of her father John Potts. The inn had formerly been occupied by James Martin and was now in the hands Rebecca and her husband John Osborn. John Potts had held the inn by copyhold tenure from the then lord of the manor, Thomas Conolly, to him he paid a rent of 17s 10d per annum In his will dated 1798 Potts left all his copyhold property to his daughter for her lifetime on condition that she paid £1 1s to his son, another John Potts, within six months of his death [WE44].

By 1801 the Angel had come into the hands of the Morris family, brewers of Ampthill; in that year it was one of a number of properties purchased by John Morris senior from his son John Morris who held the property as trustee [X21/629]. In 1827 a brewery inventory describes the Angel as a freehold public house, occupied by Thomas Spufford, with a small yard and garden and a four stalled stable. Part of the property was leasehold [Z1043/1]. Four years later Thomas Spufford was occupying "a messuage in Toddington called Angel with outbuildings, barns, stables, yards, orchards etc."

In 1844 there were nefarious goings on at the Angel. James Waller was accused of stealing money from William Strange. John Roberts of Toddington, labourer said in evidence at the Quarter Sessions that he went into the Angel on a Thursday afternoon. "William Strange was there and Jem Waller and many others. Waller was there all afternoon, backwards and forwards. Mr Strange was quite drunk in the evening. He was pretty much the same. He remembers Strange taking out his purse to pay a man for a hat. He did not see him pay for any beer. It was about 7 pm when Strange was quite "fresh" that Strange stood up to dance and Waller held him up. It was only for 2 or 3 minutes. After this he was out at the back door making water and Strange was in another corner of the yard doing the same. Jem Waller came out and said to him [Roberts] "Damn you, go into the house and I'll have his money". At this time Waller had hold of Strange as if holding him up. He saw Waller's hand on Strange's left hand breeches pocket – outside the pocket not inside. He went into the house. Strange and Waller came in together soon afterwards. He went home and was in bed by 9 pm. He saw Strange and Waller go out before he went home".

James Waller was a bad character. He had been accused of stealing pigs in 1827 but acquitted [QGV10/1]. The next year he was in the debtors' cells at Bedford Gaol [QGV15/1]. In 1843 he had been given two months' hard labour for stealing fowls [QGV10/2]. Then came the business with William Strange, for which he was transported for ten years [QGV10/2]. The gaol register describes him as being 44, with no education. Previous registers tell us that he was 5 feet 8 inches tall, with brown hair and grey eyes and that, though living in Toddington, he had been born in Sundon.

In 1926 Morris and Company (Ampthill) Limited were taken over by Luton brewers J. W. Green Limited. Under the terms of the Rating and Valuation Act 1925 every piece of land and building in the country was assessed to determine the rates to be paid on them. When Toddington was assessed in 1926 the Angel Inn was owned by J.W. Green Ltd. and occupied by Mrs. R. Pilgrim at a rent of £12 per annum which the valuer stated was a "fair tied rent". It was described as a brick and slate end of terrace property with a bar parlour, tap room, living room and scullery downstairs, and three bedrooms upstairs. Outside the property included stables, a coach house and a shed constructed of brick and slate, and a coal barn and wood barn of timber and tile. The public house trade consisted of one barrel (36 gallons) a week, another 9 gallons of bitter a week, and half a gallon of spirits per month. The valuer noted that the bars were "better than New Inn" on the opposite corner of Luton Road [DV1/C83/64].

J. W. Green merged with Midlands brewers Flowers in 1954, taking the Flowers name. The new firm was taken over by Whitbread in 1962. Although Whitbread ceased to brew or own public houses in 2002 the Angel remains, one of Toddington's last public houses.


  • WE44: admission of Rebecca Osborn to property at Toddington, 1799;
  • Z1043/1: inventory of John & Joseph Morris, brewers of Ampthill, 1827;
  • X21/629: deed relating to properties owned by Morris family, 1828;
  • WB/M/4/1/VP1: appointment, release and assignment and covenant to surrender by way of mortgage in respect of Morris properties, 1831;
  • QSR1844/3/5/4: evidence in the trial of William Strange for theft: 1844;
  • QSR1852/2/5/3-7: evidence of the landlord regarding sheep theft: 1852;
  • QSR1853/2/5/8: evidence of the landlord regarding sheep theft: 1853;
  • WB/M/4/1/VP2: Mortgage of property of Morris brewery: 1882;
  • SF69/39: auction sale at the inn: 1884;
  • HN10/274/Chappell3: poster for auction sale at the inn: 1884;
  • WB/M/4/2/1: list of Morris & Company properties: c. 1925;
  • WB/M/4/1/VP8: abstract of title of Morris & Company to properties: 1926;
  • WB/M/4/2/2: list of Morris & Company properties: 1926;
  • DV1/C83/64: valuation book for Toddington, 1926;
  • WB/M/4/2/1-2: lists of properties with information about tenure, tax and trade, c.1926;
  • WB/Green4/2/2: ledger detailing payments to landlords for premises, wayleaves etc. including: 1927-1953;
  • WB/Green4/2/4: properties belonging to J. W. Green Limited: 1936-1952
  • WB/Green6/4/1: trade analysis ledger of licensed premises, 1936-1947;
  • WB/Green4/2/4: certificates of title to properties belonging to J. W. Green Limited, 1936-1952;
  • WB/Green4/2/10: schedule of deeds and documents for properties owned by J. W. Green, c.1949;
  • WB/Green6/2/9: wines and spirits transfer book: 1950-1951;
  • WB/Green4/2/5: list of J. W. Green licensed premises: c. 1952;
  • WB/Green4/2/16: letter as to J. W. Green Limited titles: 1952;
  • WB/Green4/2/17: J. W. Green Limited trust deed: 1952-1972;
  • WB/Green4/2/19: loose schedules of deeds and documents relating to various licensed premises, c.1954;
  • WB/Green4/5/Tod/Ang1: photograph of exterior front on Luton Road, 1950s;
  • WB/Flow4/5/Tod/Ang-2: photographs of exterior front and side, 1960s

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:

James Martin;
1799: John and Rebecca Osborn;
1822-1825: Thomas Chance;
1826: Sarah Chance;
1827-1830: Thomas Spufford;
1847-1850: Sarah Kent;
1852: Charles Denton;
1853-1854: James Fossey;
1862-1869: Benjamin Roberts;
1876-80: Elizabeth Roberts;
1880-1895: Richard Pilgrim;
1895-1896: John Cooper;
1896-1927: Richard Pilgrim;
1927-1934: Minnie Pilgrim;
1934-1951: Lizzie Randall;
1951-1954: Cyril Smith;
1954-1956: Henry Aubrey Jones;
1956: Norman Leslie Johnson;
1984: Keith Baldwin and Paula Elaine Baldwin.