The Brewster Sessions were the "annual meetings of licensing justices to deal with the grant, renewal, and transfer of licences to sell intowexicating liquor".
The following report is based on newspaper coverage of the Huddersfield Borough sessions held on 26 August and 27 August 1869.
For the first time, due to a change in the law, licences for premises outside the immediate Huddersfield Borough were held at the separate Upper Agbrigg Division sessions on 31 August 1869.
The main session was held at the Court House in Huddersfield before magistrates Mayor Charles Henry Jones (chair), G. Armitage, Wright Mellor, S.W. Haigh, W. Wrigley, W. Keighley, J. Hirst, Colonel Brooke, Joseph Norton, John Kaye, William Brooke, and James Bradbury.
A new Act of Parliament (Wine and Beerhouse Act 1869) had come into force which brought the licensing of beerhouses under the control of local magistrates. Given this increased the number of licences they had to consider, it had been decided that they would only consider those which lay within the remit of the Borough — this was reported as comprising 170 premises (86 public houses and 84 beerhouses).
The Mayor then read the annual police report which noted that 37 offences had been committed by 35 licencees and 552 people had been prosecuted for drunkenness (which equated to 8½ of the population).
The following public house licencees were then admonished for offences:
The following beerhouse keepers were then admonished:
A number of objections to licence renewals were then heard, causing some renewals to be deferred to the adjourned session:
The licences of Allen Hoyle and David Hyde were revoked.
A total of 13 new applications for full licences were submitted, but all were rejected:
|applicant||abode or location||premises||granted?|
|James Boothroyd||Lower Houses, Almondbury||Mason's Arms||N|
|Enoch Dyson||Berry Brow||Brown Cow beerhouse||N|
|James Clay||Taylor Hill||N|
|Benjamin Brooksbank||Berry Brow||Butchers' Arms||N|
|Henry Brown||Spring Street||Corporation Inn||N|
|Icon Heppenstall||Princess Street||Palace Inn||N|
|Giles Eastwood||Colne Road||Bridge Inn||N|
|Frederick Henry Oclee||Lindley||Harmonium Gardens Inn||N|
|William Henry Eastwood||Crosland Moor||N|
Three applications to keep a beerhouse were then heard, with only Potter's being granted:
The following objections to existing beerhouse keepers were then heard, with some held over the session on 27 August:
The main session was held at the Court House in Huddersfield before magistrates G. Armitage (chair), S.W. Haigh, J.T. Armitage, J. Moorhouse, J. Beaumont, W. Wrigley, W. Mellor, J. Harpin, W. Brooke, and J. Kaye.
The chairman began by stating that of the 153 licensed premises under their control, only two had been fined during the year — both for breaches of the Sunday Act — and of the 115 beerhouses, 3 had been convicted during the year. Of particular concern to the bench were those who had temporarily acquired adjoining land in order to obtain a beerhouse licence, but had then disposed of it, and those cases would be held over over to the adjourned session.
Superintendent Heaton's annual report was then read out, which noted that during the previous six months, 111 people had been convicted for drunkenness.
A memorial from the Holmfirth Permissive Bill Association was then read out, in which the signatories expressed their hopes that the magistrates would "refuse the renewal of licenses [...] of all those who have [...] kept disorderly houses or permitted drunkenness".
Two licencees were then cautioned for offences against the Sunday Act during year:
The following were then called forward for having been identified by the Superintendent for having disposed of land or for having been convicted during the year:
Several beerhouse keepers applied for full licences, but all were rejected by the magistrates:
|applicant||abode or location||granted?|
|Nancy Senior||Honley Moor Bottom||N|
|William Hardy||Shelley Bank Bottom||N|
|George Hall||Roydhouse, Shelley||N|
|Joseph Healey||Jackson Bridge, Fulstone||N|
Nancy Senior's premises had been a beerhouse for 30 years and had been kept by her late husband until his death in 1863. The application noted that it comprised "three rooms and a bar on the ground floor; three spacious bedrooms; and a large lodgeroom, 14½ yards long and 9½ yards wide, capable of dining 180 persons at one time."
William Hardy's premises was "on the Huddersfield and Penistone turnpike road, equidistant from Shelley, Shepley, and Kirkburton" and consisted of "four rooms on the ground floor, three bedrooms, and a lodgeroom 27 feet by 15 feet, with good cellars; stabling for two horses, and shed room for four more".
George Hall's property was on the road from Shelley to Wakefield and comprised "cellaring, three rooms on the ground floor, bedrooms, three-stalled stable, and mistal, and was specially erected four or five years since, by the applicant's father".
Joe Whiteley's premises was situated near Christ Church, Linthwaite, and used by a local lodge of the Oddfellows.
Emir Brook had kept beerhouses for 34 years and had bought the property in the centre of Wooldale in 1865 for £500, and had spent a further £300 on improvements. It comprised "four rooms on the ground floor; bedrooms; a lodgeroom, 30 feet by 17 feet; brewhouse, stabling, cellars, &c."
Joseph Healey's beerhouse was situated "at the junction of four roads" at Jackson Bridge and consisted of "three large rooms on the ground floor, ample cellaring, good bedrooms, and a lodgeroom". However, "there were five other public houses within a very short distance".
Finally, three applications for new beerhouse licences were also submitted but refused:
|applicant||abode or location||granted?|
|Wesley Bray||Crimble, Golcar||N|
|William Shaw||Bushy Grove, Meltham||N|
|John Smith||Whitley Upper||N|
The adjourned session was held on 25 September.