Brewster Sessions of 1848

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 1848 sessions.


The session took place at the Guildhall in front of B.N.R. Battye (chair), W.W. Battye, Thomas Hardy, John Charlesworth, and Joseph Armitage.

The chairman began by outlining the new Parliamentary legislation[1] designed to limit the hours of opening on Sundays by ensuring public houses close by midnight Saturday and not open before 12:30pm on Sunday. Beerhouses were still required to close by 11pm on Saturdays. Breaches of the new legislation would result in heavy fines of up to £5 per sale.

Two licences were suspended for "permitting disorderly company to congregate and drink at late hours":

The following were cautioned:

  • James Dyson (Cross Keys Inn High Street)
  • John Bray (Rose & Crown, Meltham) for allowing late drinking on 7 May
  • Jonathan Woodhead (Wooldale) for having persons in his house on a Sunday afternoon

Of the 18 applications for new licences, 2 were granted:

Bagatelle (i.e. billiards) licences were granted to William Moran, William Hepworth, and George Netherwood.

At the adjourned session, Hannah Waite appealed her suspension. Superintendent Heaton had "found two disreputable females in the tap-room, late at night". It was stated she had "kept the house 22 years, and this was the first complaint ever brought against her" and that she had been in bed ill at the time. Heaton confirmed that "he believed the house was generally well conducted", so the licence was renewed.

The renewal appeal on behalf of the Clothiers' Arms was also successful after it was requested it be transferred to Joseph Darley of the Aspley Brewery until a new landlord could be found.


  • "Huddersfield: Brewster Sessions" in Leeds Intelligencer (26/Aug/1848)
  • "Brewster Sessions" in Leeds Times (26/Aug/1848)
  • "The 'Suspended' Licenses" in Leeds Times (30/Sep/1848)

Notes and References

  1. Usually referred to as the Sale of Beer Bill.
  2. Named as "David Bury" by the Leeds Times.
  3. Incorrectly named as "White" by the Leeds Intelligencer.