Brewster Sessions of 1866

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.[1]


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:

applicant location premises granted?
James Messenger Almondbury The Old Crown[2] 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 (Rising Sun, Buckstones) 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.


  • "General Annual Licensing Meeting" in Huddersfield Chronicle (25/Aug/1866)

Notes and References

  1. Although the Adjourned Session was reported as taking place on 25 September, it was not included in the write up from that day in the Huddersfield Chronicle.
  2. Noted as being "opposite the Parish Church."