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Norwich Brewers

Steward & Patteson

Pockthorpe Brewery : Barrack Street1 - 6

2. Enter Stewards : 3. More expansions   4. Consolidations : 5. Post-WWI : 6. The Downfall

1. : Origins

Oddly, like  Bullard's,  this was originally called
the  Anchor  Brewery, owned by Charles Greeves,
until  John Patteson  bought it in 1793.
Patteson was probably connected with
the brewery, as a partner, in 1792.
He had been Mayor as recently as 1788.

He was expansion-minded from the outset, and
a couple of years later had acquired the Norwich
breweries of  James Beevor  (1794)
and  Jehosophat Postle  (1795).
In 1793/94 Fisher's  North Quay  brewery in
Great Yarmouth was also taken over; but was
sold-off to Paget & Co. in 1804 (reclaimed in
1845 - see below).

In 1794 and 1797, many  St. Martin's Brewery
pubs were offered for sale by auction.
Patteson bought only 4 from the 1794 list,
all in the County.[1]
Most of the remainder of the  St. Martin's
tied-estate ended up with S. & P. eventually,
i.e. when George Morse (see below) quit in 1831.
Apparently 29 of the pubs on offer in 1794 - 1797
were then included.[2]

The former Mayor also remained socially mobile,
even inviting HRH Prince William Frederick to
lunch at the Pockthorpe Brewery, in 1797;
held in a large, newly-manufactured vat.
He then became a Norwich M.P.
between 1806 and 1812.
He retired in 1820; moved to Cringleford in 1831,
having just finished 50 years service on the
City Council, but died two years later.

[1] He had an aversion to leasehold acquisition
     (especially short-term !!), so must have found
     these up for freehold sale.
[2] Unless some (unrecorded) purchases
     had been made in 1797.

2. : Enter Stewards

His successor, John Staniforth Patteson, lived
opposite the  Cat & Fiddle  in Magdalen Street.
This was a house formerly part of the Beevor
properties, taken over in 1794.

He was joined, in 1820, by four members of the
Steward family from Great Yarmouth, namely :
Wm. Steward and brothers Ambrose H. and Timothy.
There was also Timothy's son, Timothy Junr.,
around at the time.

Patteson became Sheriff in 1811 and Mayor in 1823.
Timothy Snr. took charge in 1832, when Patteson
died - a year earlier than his father.
The Patteson interests were then primarily with his
fourth son, Henry Staniforth, then only 16 years old.

Steward, in turn, became Sheriff of Norwich in 1855.

By the time of the  Licensing Act  of 1830 the
brewery controlled (owned/leased) some 120 pubs,
80 of them in Norwich.

The name "Steward, Patteson & Stewards"
did not last long, owing to two important further
acquisitions :

  • George Morse  in 1831 and
  • Peter Finch  in September 1837
- both in the  St. Martin at Oak  area.

The Morse takeover yielded 77 pubs,
62 of them in Norwich.
The brewery title was amended to :
"Steward, Patteson & Co."

The Finch takeover yielded some 55 pubs,
40 of them in Norwich. Now the title was :
"Steward, Patteson, Finch & Co.".

In mid-century the name  Pockthorpe Brewery
was adopted for the premises.
The 1845  Official List  shows the brewery had
a whopping 44.6% of tied houses (=183)
within the City. [% of major breweries only]

3. : More Expansions

Nevertheless, S. & P. pursued their ambitions to
become a regional brewer. Aquisitions proceeded
steadily from at least 1845.

The  Coltishall Brewery  was sold in Sept. 1841,
buyer unknown. But some of the pubs may well
have passed to S. & P.
In 1845 there were two acquisitions :-

  • Samuel Paget & Son,  Gt. Yarmouth -
          with 25 or 27 pubs (re-purchased)
  • Bell's Brewery,  Gorleston - with 20 pubs,
          leased until 1866.
In 1852 the important partners, George Morse and
Peter Finch both died : George in July and Peter
in October.

Charles Morse inherited a large share of the business,
but Finch was succeeded by only a godson.
Interestingly, the godson was obliged to change
his name to Peter Finch, in order to benefit -
his original name being Peter Finch Steward.

Continued . . .


3. : More Expansions (contd.)

Further expansions were :-

  • 1866 :  Bell's  leases were converted to freeholds
  • 1878 :  Bircham & Sons,  Reepham - with 52 pubs
A twenty-year Partnership Agreement expired in
1883, at which time only 2 Directors had survived :
Henry Staniforth Patteson and Donald Steward.

The re-named Peter Finch had died at the age
of 41 in November 1881. George Henry Morse
and others joined the new Board.

Shortly afterwards (1884) a takeover was made of
Ferrier & Co.,  Great Yarmouth - with 27 pubs

It should be emphasised that all expansions since
1845 had involved breweries with little or -
probably - no tied-estate in Norwich itself.

4. : Consolidations

They were still listed in 1890 as
Steward, Patteson, Finch & Co. :-
  • wine and spirits merchants,
  • mineral water manufacturers,
  • maltsters and brewers.
A Private company "S. & P." was formed in
July 1895, controlling 489 pubs; although a
Public company was not formed until 1936.

In November of 1895 Morse and Woods
Swaffham Brewery  - with 51 pubs,
and 2 maltings, was taken over; which
had prompted the change of legal status.
In 1897 the  Weybourne Brewery
of William Bolding was added to list.

Following the 1904  Compensation Act,
126 of the firm's pubs (overall) were closed.

In 1905 they owned 12 malt-houses in Norwich.
They were also represented in Yarmouth, Lynn,
Ipswich, Colchester and London.

These forays into Norfolk  and beyond  resulted,
by 1914, in  S. & P.  being surpassed by  Bullards
by 133 to 126  tied-houses  within Norwich;
S. & P.  having just 28% of the ties
(of the major brewers only).

Nevertheless, in that very year, the  Eye Brewery
(ex-Adnam's) - with 20 pubs, was taken over.

In 1934 the brewery received the
Royal Appointment to King George V.
In 1938 branches in Gt. Yarmouth, King's Lynn,
Ipswich and Eye testified to the regional scope
of the business.
In that year an advertisement read :-
    Beer from the bottle, and beer from the wood,
    If it is S&P it is sure to be good.

5. : Post- World War I

The final list of acquisitions is :-
  • 1923 :  Crown Brewery  Cooper Brown,
          East Dereham
  • Aug. 1929 :  W. & T. Bagge's  Brewery,
          King's Lynn - with 74 or 75 pubs
  • 1929 :  Everard's  Brewery - with 15 pubs
  • 1949 :  Soames & Co.  Brewery, Spalding
  • Jan. 1957 :  Flowers Group  in Lincolnshire -
          with more than 66 pubs
  • Aug. 1957 :  E. Anglian Breweries Ltd.
          of Ely and Huntingdon
The last of these mergers added 400 pubs
to a portfolio now totalling 1250.
The Ely brewery continued production until 1968.
In 1964 some 1200 properties were said to be
controlled by the brewery; stretching from
Lincoln to the Essex borders.

6. : The Downfall

Jointly  with Bullards Brewery, S. & P. took over
the  tied-houses  of  Morgan's  Brewery in 1961.
See the  Bullard's  notes re the sharing
of the spoils : 400 - 450 tied houses.

Also see the  Watney's notes  re the Trading
Agreement also signed in 1961; along with
the transfer of the actual  brewery  to them.

By the time of the  Watney  takeover (Nov. 1963)
632 pubs were owned, throughout East Anglia.
The final settlement with Watney's, in February
1967, yielded 7,666,270 pounds.

Brewing at Pockthorpe ceased in January 1970.
Most of the 12 acre site has since been
re-developed for housing.
The chimney was finally demolished in 1974.

A fairly late photo, facing West, is on p. 80 of
PLUNKETT, George  : Commemorative Collection


Much of the material in this summary is from a
publication  of the  Centre of East Anglian Studies.