Brewster Sessions of 1868

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 20 August and 30 September 1868.


The main session was held at the Court House in Huddersfield before magistrates George Armitage (chair), J.T. Armitage, Joseph Hirst, L.R. Starkey, Thomas Brooke, Wright Mellor, James Bradbury, and W. Keighley.

The chairman began by remaking that the number of offences during the last 12 months was lower than at any time in the previous 20 years — "I think this is creditable to the publicans themselves; and I only hope that they may take a pride in conducting their houses well; and I am sure the Bench will have pleasure in renewing most, if not all, of your licenses."

Prior to the renewing of the existing licences, an objection was made by a member of the public to the renewal of the Freemasons' Arms in Whitley Upper on the grounds that the "landlord permitted gambling." However, Superintendent Heaton informed the Bench that he had made enquiries and found nothing to substantiate the claim.

The following applications for new licences were submitted in advance of the session:

applicant abode or location premises granted?
James Boothroyd Lower Houses, Alondbury Masons' Arms N
Levi Beaumont Park Gate, Almondbury Royal Albert N
John Henry Whiteley Clough Head, Golcar Imperial Inn N
Nancy Senior Moorbottom, Honley Foresters' Arms N
Allen Booth Deanhouse, Honley Cricketers' Arms N
George Dransfield Durrans Church Street, Honley Live and Let Live N
William Vickers Market Walk, Huddersfield Vickers' Refreshment Rooms Y
Abraham Craven & George Marshall Buxton Road, Huddersfield West Riding Hotel Y
Icon Heppenstall Princess Street, Huddersfield Palace Inn N
Mark Mellor Kirkgate, Huddersfield Foresters' Arms N
James Taylor Northgate, Huddersfield York Hotel N
George Holmes Manchester Road, Huddersfield Richmond Inn N
Jonathan Marsden Queen Street South, Huddersfield Zetland Arms N
Adam Oddy Westgate, Huddersfield Paragon Inn Y
Allen Lodge Northumberland Street, Huddersfield Waterloo Inn N
Joseph Sykes Paddock Foot, Huddersfield Talbot Inn Y
Henry Harper Paddock Brow, Huddersfield Tam o' Shanter Inn N
George Kinder Bridge Street, Lockwood Bridge Tavern Y
Henry Senior Crosland Hill, Lockwood Sands House Inn N
William Richardson Moorhouse Meltham Shepherds' Inn N
John Hollingworth Wall Sides, Meltham Railway Hotel Y
George Hall Royd House, Shelley Plough Inn N
Henry Hampshire Royd House, Shelley Cherry Tree Inn N

The Masons' Arms had been kept by the Boothroyd family since it was first registered in 1830, with James taking over from his widowed mother in 1853.

Levi Beaumont has kept the Royal Albert Hotel on Parkgate, Berry Brow, for 2 years and was previously a landlord in Birstal.

The Imperial Inn had been built as a beerhouse circa 1851 although the applicant had only lived there for 14 months.

Nancy Senior and her late husband had kept the Foresters' Arms at Moorbottom for 29 years without any convictions against them.

The Cricketers' Arms had been a beerhouse for several years and was situated near the workhouse at Deanhouse and there was reportedly "considerable traffic in the direction of Netherthong".

William Vickers stated that the property on Market Walk had previously been licensed but that he had previously transferred the licence to the Argyle Rooms. He claimed that travellers staying at the premises had "complained of inconvenience of having to go out if they wanted a 'night cap'", which caused some laughter in the Court House.

At the previous sessions, the application for the West Riding Hotel had eventually been refused as the premises were not completed. It was reported that £800 had been spent and the hotel "was fitted up with an amount of taste and care that would reflect credit upon any house in the town."

Icon Heppenstall told the magistrates that the proximity of the Palace Inn to the Court House "would be very convenient for persons having business to transact before the magistrates".

The Foresters' Arms on Kirkgate had been a beerhouse for 30 years, although Mellor had only been the tenant for about a year.

Jonathan Marsden claimed that on average 28 people dined at Zetland Arms each day, and that 1,080 people were employed in the mills which immediately joined the premises.

The landlord of the Swan With Two Necks opposed the application for the Paragon Inn which was situated next door. However, the memorial submitted with the application by Adam Oddy was "influentially signed".

Joseph Sykes had kept the Talbot Inn for 26 years and "enjoyed an unsullied reputation".

George Kinder had purchased the Bridge Tavern for £800 and had spent a further £200 on improvements. A keen ornithologist, he had a large collection on display and the premises was used as a meeting place by the local Naturalists' Society. The Tavern had been kept as a beerhouse for 30 years.

The Shepherds Inn had been fully licensed for over 30 but this was withdrawn when the licencee failed to attend the previous Brewster Sessions, having apparently left the premises without notice and owing £40 to the owner of the property.

The Adjourned Session was held before magistrates J.T. Armitage and William Brooke, who considered apologies from the following existing licencees who had managed to miss the first session:


  • "General Annual Licensing Meeting" in Huddersfield Chronicle (01/Aug/1868)
  • "Brewster Sessions" in Huddersfield Chronicle (22/Aug/1868)
  • "Adjourned Brewster Sessions" in Huddersfield Chronicle (03/Oct/1868)