The Brewster Sessions were the "annual meetings of licensing justices to deal with the grant, renewal, and transfer of licences to sell intoxicating liquor". n The following report is based on newspaper coverage of the 1844 sessions.
The sessions were held at the Guildhall in front of Joseph Walker (chair), J. Armitage, B.N.R. Battye, and W.W. Battye.
Walker began by stating that "there is a great deal of vice in this district" before explaining that they intended to implement a new system by which the Constable of each district would ensure that each premises was visited nightly to ensure that nothing unlawful was occurring. The cost of this extra policing was to be £40 in the Huddersfield, £10 in Almondbury and £10 in Lockwood, and a strict log book was to be kept.
There then following a strict review of current licences which saw suspensions for Edward Bradley (Clothiers' Arms Inn, Kirkgate) for harbouring prostitutes and for John Kaye (White Lion Inn, Cross Church Street) for "keeping irregular hours". The landlords of the Golden Lion on Castlegate and the Hope on Anchor Inn on Kirkgate were cautioned for similar offences.
Moses Sharp, landlord of the White Hart Inn on Cloth Hall Street, was reprimanded for allowing music to be played on Sunday evenings, "to the annoyance of pious people returning from their places of worship." Sharp responded that they only ever played sacred music, but was ordered to "lock up his organ on Sundays [to] prevent parties from playing profane tunes on the Sabbath days."
At the end of the proceedings, the Chief Constable, Mr. Leech, approached the bench to ask for advice if the game of "the Devil among the Tailors" was classified as gambling. Unfortunately the magistrates were unaware as to what that was and could give no guidance.