Brewster Sessions of 1861

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 sessions held on 22 August and 24 September 1861.


On the bench:

Armitage began by stating that the level of convictions was lower than in some of the previous years, but was concerned at the number of beerhouse licences issued — these being out of the control of the local magistrates at that time — and the fact that conviction rate amongst those was much higher.

Mr. Bradley, the magistrate's clerk, then read out the convictions from the previous 12 months:

  • John Balderson (White Swan Hotel, Kirkgate) for opening during prohibited hours on a Sunday
  • William Howard (Exchange, Upperhead Row) for opening during prohibited hours on a Sunday
  • Benjamin Kaye (Albion Inn, Longroyd Bridge) for opening during prohibited hours on a Sunday
  • Walter Sykes (Hope on Anchor, King Street) for harbouring prostitutes
  • Mary Wood (Kaye's Arms, Quay Street) for three offences (licence suspended until the adjourned session)
  • John Hartley (Cartworth) for permitting gambling
  • Joseph Waterhouse (Hepworth) for "keeping open house on Christmas Day"
  • Law Walker (Honley) for keeping open during prohibited hours
  • John Clayton (Kirkburton) for twice not keeping an orderly house
  • Joseph Hudson (Upperthong) for permitting gambling and opening during prohibited hours

Superintendent Heaton then informed the bench that William Howe (Waggon and Horses, Wooldale) had died in February 1861 but his licence had never been transferred. Although the final decision was left to the adjourned session, at the recommendation of the magistrate's clerk, a temporary licence was made out in the name of Howe's sister-in-law, Elizabeth Roberts.

A total of eleven applications for new licences were submitted, although only one was successful:

applicant abode premises granted?
Joseph Berry Lockwood's Yard, New Street, Huddersfield Farmer's Boy N
Hannah Woodhead Bradford Road, Fartown N
William Hepworth Newtown, Huddersfield N
Alfred Jackson Engine Bridge, Folly Hall N
Joseph Shaw Oakes, Lindley N
Joseph Green Meltham N
Henry Sykes Hardenby, Scammonden N
Joseph Sykes Upper Royal, Scammonden N
John Whiteley Hanhead, Scammonden N
George Walker Carr Lane, Slaithwaite Commercial Inn, Slaithwaite Y
Samuel Blackshaw Turton's Place, Austonley N

At the adjourned session, the licence for the Waggon and Horses, Leeds Road, was renewed on account of the applicant George Mallinson being late to the first session. Similarly, the licence of Mary Wood (Kaye's Arms, Quay Street) was renewed.

The licence for the Fleece Inn, Meltham, was removed from Joseph Green (due to his misconduct) and awarded to Richard Newhouse.


  • "Brewster Sessions" in Huddersfield Chronicle (24/Aug/1861)
  • "Adjourned Brewster Sessions" in Huddersfield Chronicle (28/Sep/1861)