Brewster Sessions of 1869

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.

Huddersfield Borough Brewster Sessions

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:

  • Elizabeth Fearnley (King's Arms Inn, Lowerhead Row) — recently fined 40s. plus costs for permitting drunkenness and disorderly company
  • John Poppleton (Clothiers Arms Inn, Kirkgate) — due to the number of convictions since 1864, including a sentence to 12 months' imprisonment
  • Allen Hoyle (Cambridge Arms, Upperhead Row) — multiple offences including permitting drunkenness, harbouring prostitutes, and "permitting stage plays of an immoral character without a licence"
  • David Hyde (Dublin Hotel, Kirkgate) — reportedly the "resort of prostitutes, thieves, and receivers of stolen goods"
  • William Ward (Bath Hotel, Lockwood) — for keeping improper hours and permitting drunkenness

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
Alfred Rushworth Parkgate N
Benjamin Brooksbank Berry Brow Butchers' Arms N
Henry Harper Paddock beerhouse N
Henry Brown Spring Street Corporation Inn N
Icon Heppenstall Princess Street Palace Inn N
Joseph Ives Castlegate beerhouse N
Giles Eastwood Colne Road Bridge Inn N
Frederick Henry Oclee Lindley Harmonium Gardens Inn N
William Henry Eastwood Crosland Moor N
Delilah Ferrand Rashcliffe N

Three applications to keep a beerhouse were then heard, with only Potter's being granted:

  • Jesse Kilner (Dalton)
  • James Womersley Potter (Dalton Gardens)
  • David Firth (Lindley)

The following objections to existing beerhouse keepers were then heard, with some held over the session on 27 August:

  • John Conroy (Huddersfield Arms, Kirkgate), formerly of the Masons' Arms on Castlegate
  • Thomas Crowther Crossley (Red White and Blue, Kirkgate) — fined £20 in 1868 for embezzlement
  • Allen Chambers (Painters' Arms, Kirkgate)
  • Lydia Earnshaw (Castlegate) — declared by Inspector Moore to be the "worst house in the town"
  • Joshua France (Friendly Beerhouse, Lowerhead Row) — had appeared in front of the Bench earlier on in the day in a state of intoxication and was "marched out of court under the escort of two officers, amid much laughter"
  • Francis Ford (Green Stile Race Ground, Lindley)
  • Hannah Hopwood (Brown Cow, Castlegate)
  • Alfred Heeley (Castlegate)
  • Joe Platts (Castlegate)
  • Henry Haigh (Union Inn, Leeds Road)
  • John Haigh (Black Horse, Upperhead Row)
  • Joseph Laycock (Turnbridge Tavern, Quay Street)
  • Elizabeth Lockwood (Griffin Inn, Kirkgate)
  • Michael Tyas (Q Inn, Lowerhead Row)
  • Alfred Heeley (Lads at Home, Castlegate)
  • Robert Whiteman (reported as "York Inn" but probably Duke of York Inn on Shorehead)
  • John Wilson (Mechanics Arms, Castlegate)
  • Trevor McDermott (Masons' Tavern, Kirkgate)
  • Joseph Netherwood (Commercial Inn, Castlegate)
  • Sarah Marshall (Viaduct Tavern, Bradford Road)
  • Joe Platts (Boiler Makers' Arms, Lowerhead Row)
  • John Smith (Butchers' Arms, Castlegate)

Upper Agbrigg Division Brewster Sessions

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.[1]

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[2] 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:

  • Timothy Ellis (Cumberworth-Half)
  • John Moss (Hepworth)
  • Joel Baxter (Linthwaite)
  • Thomas Grange (Linthwaite)
  • Edwin Lumb (Lockwood)
  • Thomas Dennis Jnr. (Marsden-in-Almondbury)
  • Jack Littlewood (Upperthong)
  • Henry Hirst (Upperthong)
  • Henry Mellor (Whitley Upper)

Several beerhouse keepers applied for full licences, but all were rejected by the magistrates:

applicant abode or location premises granted?
Nancy Senior Honley Moor Bottom Foresters Arms N
William Hardy Shelley Bank Bottom N
George Hall Roydhouse, Shelley Plough Inn N
Joe Whiteley Linthwaite N
Emir Book Wooldale N
Joseph Healey Jackson Bridge, Fulstone N

Nancy Senior's premises (Foresters Arms) 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 (Plough Inn) 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[3] N
William Shaw Bushy Grove[4], Meltham (previously Lamb Inn) N
John Smith Whitley Upper N

The adjourned session was held on 25 September.


  • "Brewster Sessions" in Huddersfield Chronicle (28/Aug/1869)

Notes and References

  1. Under the terms, a beerhouse applicant had to property rated at £10.
  2. The three signatories were: W. McNish (President), Henry Thorp (Vice-President) and Albert Wood (Secretary).
  3. This is possibly the Swan Inn.
  4. This was an error by the Chronicle and should have been Rushy Grove, near Holt Head.