Brewster Sessions of 1839

The Brewster Sessions were the "annual meetings of licensing justices to deal with the grant, renewal, and transfer of licences to sell intoxicating liquor".

The following report is based on newspaper coverage of the 1839 sessions.


The session was held in the Guildhall in front of 9 magistrates with Joseph Walker the chairman.

The following had their licences suspended: John Clayton (Swan With Two Necks, Westgate), William Horsfall (Navigation Tavern, Shore Head), and Samuel Bottomley (Bull's Head Inn Beast Market).

The Leeds Times wryly noted that the chairman was a Tory whilst the rest of the magistrates was split evenly between Tories and Whigs. Whenever a vote was needed, the Whigs voted one way and the Tories went the other. Then the Tory chairman would cast the deciding vote against the Whigs.[1]

According to the Leeds Times, only 1 new licence was granted, to Michael Leech of Ramsden Street.

However, The Northern Star claimed the following were also granted new licences: Joseph Dawson (Shude Hill, Fulstone), Richard Goodhall, Daniel Wood, Nathaniel Bottomley (all 3 "on the new line of road over Standedge"), John Shaw (Bedberry, "on the Sheffield new line of road"), John Bray (Meltham), Amos Hobson (Netherthong), and Amos Helliwell (Smithey Place, Fulstone).


  • "Huddersfield" in Leeds Times (24/Aug/1839)
  • "Brewster Sessions" in Northern Star (31/Aug/1839)

Notes and References

  1. The Northern Star (31/Aug/ 1839) repeated the same story but claimed there only 8 magistrates in total, with 3 Tories. Again, when they each voted against the other, the Chairman's vote was the decider.