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(Paras. 1 to 5)

Norwich Pubs in 1845

The Official List


2. Brewery Ties   4. Free Houses? :  5. Beerhouses

1. : Introduction

In that year, the  Mayor's Office  of
Norwich City Council  published a list of all
558  premises (Inns and Public Houses)
licensed by the Magistrates, under the
General Licensing Act of George IV.
Helpfully, the list is under Parish headings.

Although it has the benefit of more
authenticity (and accuracy?) than the usual
Trades Directories (e.g.  White's  also 1845),
its most useful feature relates to the
ownership  of the premises - the great
majority being a  brewery company.

However, ownership details are  missing
in very many cases.
This is a somewhat bizarre feature of the lists,
as the Council could (easily?) have obtained
the facts in virtually every case.
That they did not, reveals that their real interest
lay in ownerships : brewery or other  corporate,
rather than individual landlords - literally.

So these voids have been taken, in general,
to imply  Free House  status (see para. 4);
given that  voluntary  brewery ties are
difficult to establish : perhaps often
temporary & spasmodic in nature.

Sadly, only the list of  1845  seems to have
been produced  or  have survived. For the
"tied-house" situation, it only provides one
'snap-shot' for the greater part of the 19th C.
Much better than nothing, however,
as the following paragraphs may reveal.

2. : Brewery Ties

The number of pubs ostensibly (see para. 4 [1] )
tied to a brewery was 418 - almost  75%  of
all pubs : a rather surprising figure - less than
half-way through the 19th Century.

The leading brewer was  Steward & Patteson
with no less than 183 premises (i.e. almost
44%  of all ties)  followed, at some distance,
by - Young's  (71);   Morgan's  (59);
and   Bullard's  (33).

Just to complete the record :-
Weston's  had 32 pubs and Crawshay's  25;
both of which breweries later became part of
Young's  empire. That brewery could therefore
be construed as fast heading towards
a 'competitive' total of 128 houses!.

At the other extreme :-

  • Dotheredge   (later Clarke) had only four
        plus  the brewery-tap.
  • Arnold  and   Massey  each had two,
        but  including  their "taps".
  • Heigham  had only two.
County  brewery holdings are
on a surprisingly small scale :-
  • Dowson  is recorded at two pubs : which
    turns out to be the name of a representative
    of the  Geldeston Brewery.  Similarly -
  • Bircham  ( Reepham ) held the  White Lion
    in Oak Street.
  • Primrose   ( Trunch ) held the  Cellar House
    in St. George's.
The total of all the above is 418 out of 558.
 

3. : The Merchants

It has been noted  elsewhere  that  chains
of pubs are by no means a new idea.
Principal exponents in 19th Century Norwich
were  Seaman's,  who owned 23 houses -
almost as many as  Crawshay's  brewery !!.

Other  merchants  involved directly in
pub ownership were :- Culley (2),
Morrison (4),  Norgate (3),  Raynes (2),
Rose (2)  Tacon (4) and, arguably, Filby (2),

Only 2 other (single) pubs were "externally"
owned, i.e. by individuals or firms  other than
the named landlord.
One was the  Maid's Head  Hotel - essentially
free; and the other Messrs. Bolingbroke's
Vine Tavern  in Upper St. Giles.
Neither is deducted at this stage.

This leaves a total of  98  pubs that  possibly
come under the heading "genuine"  Free
Houses
- which is  17.6%  of the grand total.

4. : Free Houses?

Of the 98 remaining pubs, it is noted that
28  also  traded as Wines & Spirits  Merchants;
and that a  further six  could also, and quite
properly, be described as  Brewery Taps.

[1] It should be noted that these
      ten "home-brewers" were :-

  • not  all  included in the figure of 418 -
        only 4 have already been
        mentioned (in para. 2) ;
  • the  most  tied of all tied houses !!
If we then exclude a further 9 listed
(albeit in 1850) as major  Hotels,  this
reduces the number of plain, ordinary,
unattached and independent pubs to a
mere  55  - out of a grand total of 558
(i.e. just under  10%).

And this was about 170 years ago !

These pubs have their own  separate list.

5. : Beerhouses

Absence of  beerhouses   from the official list is
deliberate - yet, conversely, a likely boost to the
overall number of  free outlets  actually available
to the beer-drinker.

Based on the  White's  Directory, as mentioned,
there would have been at least 35 beerhouses
at the time - perhaps more.

A better gloss can be put on the Free House
situation by including the 35 beerhouses.
This gives a figure of 90 pubs or  16.1% 
of the total.
But many beerhouses will also
have been tied to breweries.

The best scenario would -
also include all merchants and hotels;
thus giving 127 out of 558 or 22.8%


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