Pub history - London and the UK 1600 to modern times.

Important notice - the pubwiki has now moved back to being pubshistory.com! All old links still work.

The Roman tavernae (taverns) were the forefathers of the modern pub apparently. I don't have records of any of these.

My pub history site does record minute details of research of people, buildings and streets from diverse sources, including Pepys diaries and taverns visited, pub tokens, newspaper reports, masonic records of meetings, Sun Fire insurance records, early maps and street directories, and surveys of London, window and hearth taxes, licensing petty sessions records, census detail, births, christenings, marriages, deaths and wills. There are also a significant number of images of the buildings, business cards and other related material.

The 1830 beer act allowed anyone to sell beer out of their front room for just two guineas (forty two shillings, just over 2 quid). By 1869, a new law restricted this by more control over licensing by the courts only.

In addition to public houses, are the many coffee houses and taverns, Inns, chop houses and hotels. Many of these pre-date public houses, and many are now the exchanges for business, and formerly a place for meeting associates, reading newspapers and share dealings. Here are the wine merchants, victuallers, coffee houses etc in 1809 from the London Holden directory. I am building the latest listing on the london taverns blog. Here are many thousands of London listings.

Here is more detail on my pub research and the merger and requisitions of the pub trade by Grand Metropolitan before transferring to Charringtons

I am also lucky to have a lot of records listed by the CAMRA London East and City who are very good at recording minute changes over many years, in the London pubs, absolutely brilliant. This is what a brilliant CAMRA site does. Thanks to Keith Emmerson and others.

Use the search box below to research your ancestors by surname, street name, pub name etc. etc.
Do you have detail to add, please contact me : Kevan

Some of the victuallers joined the freemasons societies and their lodges. Here are some listings of the Grand Lodge memberships; and a second listing of Grand Lodge memberships. And a third listing, from a second book of Grand Lodge freemasonry records; and a fnal list finishing this book of Freemasons initiation Grand Lodge records with very useful dates and sometime their ages.

Pubs are closing every day for a variety of reasons, mainly financial. During the early part of the 20th century, and in particular between 1904 and the first world war in 1914, a series of measures through the temperance movement, were executed where too many public houses were spoiling a neighbourhood. This led to the Licensing Act in 1904; which allowed Notice by the way of a Compensation authority to recommend to close down licensed premises for a fee, or compensation. The licences were of varying types, some were full licences, others were beer, some listed themselves as ante-1869 which meant they could have been bought for two guineas a year without any magisterial licensing issues as was the case in the earlier beer act of 1830. Here are a some newspapers reports on Compensation which also often aid in naming an early beer house.

Another brilliant resource was the Licensed victuallers institution. This had royal patronage, and therefore it was a charitable institution which was popular, and quite wealthy.

Many of the more astute licensed victuallers were involved in the Licensed Victuallers Association. This association was an insurance to protect members of licensees families, in times of hardship.
A considerable number of children, were named in a list of those most in need of reward at the Institution, and their detailed reasons. There was then a vote to choose those who should receive this help. This was limited by numbers. Those children who were lucky enough were then educated to a standard which enabled them to learn a trade.
Older ex licensees, or their wives, were sometimes offered a place to live out their lives.

The Licensed Victuallers Association is also brilliant in naming many of the early victuallers at a licensed house.

This history of any old London building, whether it be a pub, a church, or any other landmark that is identifiable in history is important in how to understand where, and how, London evolved through time, and what originally existed before the masses of modern architecture was built.

I do have some of my London pubs listed by postcode, and now time to concentrate on this a bit more, maybe. Or by postcode and sorted, you could try a few new php pages e.g. Postcodes sorted

I am slowly working on some of the modern pubs, you know, the last fifty years! Here is a short description of the biggest pubco now in existence - Stonegate.

And Last updated on: Wednesday, 16-Nov-2022 08:25:48 GMT