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 Brewster Sessions held on 23 August and 25 September 1866.
The main session was held in front of George Armitage (chair), Thomas Brooke, Wright Mellor, Joseph Hirst, J.T. Armitage, S.W. Haigh, L.R. Starkey, J. Beaumont, and Lieut-Colonel Crosland at the Court House, Huddersfield.
The session began with a lengthy petition presented by the Rev. C.H. Miller and signed by 335 inhabitants requesting that no further licences be granted due to the increased levels of drunkenness in the town. In response, Superintendent Hannan stated that around half of the cases for drunkenness in the town had been brought against people who did not live locally.
During the hearing of the new applications, it was noted that several of the signatories to the deputation which had requested that no further licences be granted had also provided supporting statements to some of the applications. A total 18 applications were submitted, 6 of which were granted:
|James Messenger||Almondbury||The Old Crown||N|
|Hugh Holmes||Deanhouse, Honley||Cricketers' Arms||N|
|Frederick Heap||Oldfield, Honley||Rising Sun||N|
|John Flinn||Kirkgate, Huddersfield||Oddfellows' Arms||Y|
|Mallinson Swift||Upperhead Row, Huddersfield||Victoria Inn||N|
|John Le Blanc||Ramsden Street, Huddersfield||Gymnasium Hall||N|
|George Holmes||Manchester Road, Huddersfield||Richmond Inn||N|
|Mary Payne||King Street, Huddersfield||Diana Inn||Y|
|Giles Eastwood||Colne Road, Huddersfield||Bridge Inn||N|
|Robert Chadwick||Dean Bottom, Kirkburton||Fir Tree Inn||Y|
|Joseph Dyson||Plover Lane, Lindley||Albion Inn||Y|
|George Kinder||Bridge Street, Lockwood||Bridge Tavern||N|
|John North||Manchester Road, Lockwood||Britannia Inn||Y|
|Sarah Hirst||Crosland Moor, Lockwood||Foresters' Arms||Y|
|Thomas Levitt||Buxton Road, Lockwood||Fox & Grapes||N|
|Joshua Kenworthy||Buckstones, Marsden||Rising Sun||N|
|Joseph Sykes||Scammonden||Upper Royal George||N|
|Hannah Shaw||New Mill, Wooldale||Sun Inn||N|
Joshua Kenworthy's application was tainted by the fact he had been pulled in front of the magistrates on 14 August for allowing Sunday drinking during prohibited hours. The chairman had admonished Kenworthy by saying, "Your house has been a notorious house for a long time."
It was noted that the Old Crown in Almondbury was situated next door to the Woolpack Inn and had formerly been a fully-licensed public house before being reopened as a beerhouse circa 1863.
The Rising Sun beerhouse at Oldfield, Honley, had been occupied by Frederick Heap for "five or six years".
The Diana Inn had been a beerhouse for 26 years, with Mary Payne's husband keeping it for 11 years until his death, after which she had kept it for a further 15 years.
The Bridge Tavern at Lockwood was described as "a kind of ornithological museum" and the applicant, George Kinder, was a member of the Naturalists' Society.
Sarah Hirst had kept the Foresters' Arms for 18 years without any complaints against her name.
Joseph Sykes was the Guardian of the Poor for the Scammonden township and had kept the Upper Royal George beerhouse for 7 or 8 years.