Skip Navigation

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Community Histories > Woburn > The White Lion Inn Park Street Woburn

The White Lion Inn Park Street Woburn

2 Park Street, site of the White Lion March 2007
2 Park Street, site of the White Lion March 2007

The White Lion Inn [formerly The Old Falcon, then The Green Man]: 2 Park Street, Woburn

The first White Lion in Woburn was in the Market Place and later became the Wheatsheaf. The second White Lion was in Park Street and was sold by Daniel Giles of Winslow and his son William to Daniel Snagg of Woburn, park keeper in 1720, for £84, at this date it is described as the Old Falcon [R6/63/31] . Daniel Snagg died in 1730. Daniel's widow Martha married John Geary of Newport Pagnell, victualler in 1733 [R6/63/3/6] and each put two public houses into the marriage settlement, he two houses in Newport Pagnell, she the Robin Hood & Little John and Green Man in Woburn; clearly the Old Falcon had now been renamed the Green Man.

In 1734 Martha Geary devised the Green Man, after the deaths of both her and her husband, to Thomas Cawne and Joseph Monk as trustees for her nephew Joseph Monk of Marston Moretaine, her siblings Thomas Monk of Heath and Reach, Francis Monk of Aspley Guise, Elizabeth Pearse of Marston Moretaine and Hannah Geeves of Woburn [R6/63/3/12]. Martha died in 1756 and John Geary sometime later. In 1765 John Geary released his right to the Green Man to George Harris [R6/63/3/9], son of Joseph Harris who had lent £100 secured on the property in 1725 [R6/63/3/4], Joseph having died in 1734 [R6/63/3/8]. 

In 1797 Martha's siblings (or their children where they had since died) gave the Green Man, now called the White Lion, to Thomas Harris, executor of George, because the 1725 mortgage was now "much more than the same (i.e. the Green Man) is now worth to be sold" [R6/63/3/12].

Thomas Harris sold the Green Man, now called the White Lion, to Francis, Duke of Bedford in 1799 for £400 [R6/63/3/13-14]. It looks as if the Duke closed the inn either on purchase or shortly thereafter as a deed on 1803 refers to a cottage "now divided into two tenements or dwellings and late called or known by the name of the White Lion…" [R6/63/3/19]. The inn was on the site of the current 2 Park Street leading to the assumption that the old inn was pulled down in the 19th century.

Map showing three inns in Park Street [R1/351]
Map showing three inns in Park Street [R1/351]

List of Licensees: note that this is not a complete list. Italics indicate licensees whose beginning and/or end dates are not known:

1720-1733: Daniel Snagg;
1733-1734: Francis Weldale and Elizabeth Grey;
1765: Thomas Caustin;
1796-1797: William Evans;
1799: William Evans and John Evans;

List of Sources:

  • P118/3/1: parochial dues register: 1709-1796;
  • R6/63/3/1: feoffment: 1720;
  • R6/63/3/4: assignment mortgage with further advance: 1725;
  • R6/63/3/6: marriage settlement: 1733;
  • R6/63/3/8: will of mortgagee: 1734;
  • R6/63/3/12: recited will of Martha Geary: 1734;
  • R6/63/3/9: release of right to mortgagee: 1765;
  • R6/63/3/12: release: 1797;
  • R1/351: map of the centre of Woburn: late 18th century;
  • R6/63/3/13-14: conveyance: 1799;
  • P118/28/2: parochial assessment book: 1802-1833;
  • R6/63/3/19: draft lease of former White Lion by Duke of Bedford to Thomas Goodman and Mary Woods: 1803;
  • R1/78: Thomas Evans' map accompanying R2/69: 1821;
  • R2/69: Detailed survey of Woburn made by Thomas Evans for the Duke of Bedford: 1822