Brewster Sessions of 1858

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 1858 sessions held on 26 August and 28 September 1858.


On the bench:

  • George Armitage (chair), T.P. Crosland, W. Willians, J. Moorhouse, J. Harpin, and T. Mallinson

Armitage started by noting that during the previous year "the public houses in the district had been very well conducted" and the highest number of convictions in one township had been the five in Cartworth. New legislation was clear that on Sundays premises should not be opened before 12:30pm and should be closed between 3pm and 5pm.

The renewal applications were granted with the exception of the following which were held over to the adjourned session:

  • John Brook (Masons Arms, Underbank, Hepworth) for having been brought before the bench on two occasions during the year
  • Henry Crowther (Crosland Hill, Lockwood) for allegedly keeping an irregular house

Superintendent Heaton reported that in Crowther's case, "the police could not get to this house without being seen for some distance" and that he believed Crowther posted look-outs to alert him if the police were approaching.

A total of four applications for new licences were submitted, but three were refused by the magistrates and one left to be decided at the adjourned session.

applicant abode premises granted?
Joseph Sutcliffe[1] Fenay Bridge, Almondbury N
Richard Palmer Red House Junction A
William Holt Cross Grove Street, Huddersfield N
Benjamin Woodhead Lane End, Wooldale N

At the adjourned session, the arguments for and against Richard Palmer's application were heard. Mr. Learoyd complained that there were already three licensed premises "within a distance of 200 or 300 yards and therefore another license was not necessary" whilst Mr. J.I. Freeman noted that the existing premises "were on the steep ascent to Moldgreen, where it was very inconvenient for [horse-drawn] vehicles to stop, whilst this house was most conveniently situated for the purpose." The magistrates were not moved by Mr. Freeman's arguments and the application was refused.

Henry Crowther's licence was renewed once "a promise had been given that [his] house would in future be conducted properly."

The decision on John Brook of the Masons Arms was postponed for a week after it emerged that he had not been given notice to appear.

Finally, the licence of the White Swan Inn on Kirkgate from transferred from Matthew Cowpe to John Badlerson of the Clothiers' Arms Inn.

The following week, Brook's licence was renewed after the local registrar of births and deaths, Mr. Netherwood, gave evidence that "Mr. Brook generally conducted the house well."


  • "Brewster Sessions" in Huddersfield Chronicle (28/Aug/1858)
  • "Adjourned Brewster Sessions" in Huddersfield Chronicle (02/Oct/1858)
  • "Adjourned Licence" in Huddersfield Chronicle (09/Oct/1858)

Notes and References

  1. An "application to sell spirits in small quantities".