Paul Gibson’s Hull and East Yorkshire History

Some references over the centuries

The following are a series of references and statistics relating to the inns and brewers of Beverley, compiled from secondary sources and based in small part on a chronology first produced by Chris Ketchell as ‘Beverley’s Pubs’.


‘No innkeeper (hospes), wineseller, brewster or female seller ('Vendatrix') called tippler shall permit any inhabitants or strangers to reside or remain by night in their taverns after nine o’clock has struck in the night, except true and honest persons for whose doings their hosts will answer to the lord the King and the community of the town (Report of the Manuscripts page 57)


‘The said innkeepers shall not bake or cause to be baked in any way any horse-bread, but shall buy it from the common bakers aforesaid and of no one else ... the common bakers shall yearly for ever serve the said innkeepers with such horse-bread good and sufficient viz. 15 to the dozen as often as required by the said innkeepers.’ (Report on the manuscripts page 87/88


38 brewsters listed in Beverley. (Report on the Manuscripts page 180)


‘Nine persons fined two shillings each for selling beer contrary to the ordinance.’ (Report on the Manuscripts page 181)


’62 persons fined for brewing without licence.’ (Report on the Manuscripts page 183)


‘45 brewsters fined for selling ale with unlawful measures.’ (Report on the Manuscripts page 183)


‘Every person hereafter licensed to keep an alehouse typling house, inn or taverne shall pay yearly to the town 20 shillings. The mayor and justices shall not admit above 45 alehouses etc. to be kept within the town. The persons to be of honest fame credit and behaviour and to be bound with sureties to pay the yearly payment.’ (Beverley Borough Records page 97)


‘It was ordered in 1592 that no more than 40 alehouses should be allowed in the town. Several are known by name like the Bull outside North bar, the Swan within the bar, the Hart in Wednesday Market, and the Tabard in Eastgate.’ (Victoria County History page 87)


‘Every inhabitant of the town who shall at any time resort, use, or frequent any alehouse or typling house inn or taverne (except for some urgent cause or for the benefit of the town…and remain more than two hours in any day) or in any place shall be drunk or otherwise misbehave himself in word or deed. Forfeit 12 shillings and for misbehaviour 40 shillings.’ (Beverley Borough Records page 38)

17th Century

‘The inns included the George and the Talbot in Highgate, the White Horse, and the Bell.’ (Victoria County History page 110)


‘In 1686 it was reported that there were 182 guest beds in Beverley and stabling for 460 horses.’ (Victoria County History page 110)


A coin or check exists with the legend ‘Wm. Johnson at the Coffee House in Beverley’ dated 1671.

18th Century

‘Notable among those meeting places were two inns in North Bar Within, the Blue Bell, renamed the Beverley Arms after rebuilding was completed in 1796, and the Tiger. When the Blue Bell was offered to let in 1752 it was said that ‘at the said inn the justices of the peace for the riding at the two general quarter sessions in every year, the commissioners of the sewers, and likewise the commissioners of the land tax and window money meet there, and the excise office is there’. The two inns were also the meeting places of the enclosure commissioners and turnpike trustees, and it was there that the gentlemen and clergy of the riding considered topics as diverse as the preservation of game and Roman Catholic emancipation. From the 1760s both inns also entertained the East Riding Agricultural Society and the Tiger was the meeting place of a freemasons’ lodge established in 1793 and of a hunt club formed in 1808.’  (Victoria County History page 112)

‘The facilities of the Blue Bell included a Bowling Green in 1752 and a subscription coffee room by 1793. (VCH page 113)

‘As the number of maltsters declined (28 between 1715 and 1734, nine in 1774 and only three in 1830...) that of brewers increased, from one in 1774 to six in 1830 and the larger businesses combined malting and brewing. Among the brewers was Robert Stephenson who bought the Golden Ball and its brewery in Toll Gavel in 1797. Earlier brewing had been carried on in inns and alehouses of which there were 48 in 1725. (VCH page 115 


64 innkeepers listed. (VCH page 114)


48 inns and alehouses. (VCH page 115)


‘There were reported to be 222 guest beds in the town in 1756, with stabling for 361 horses.’ (VCH page 115)


27 innkeepers. (VCH page 104


25 innkeepers in 1830. (VCH page 115)


50 drinking places including 13 beer houses.’ (VCH page 115)


‘Beverley’s Total Abstinence Society formed.’ (Jan Crowther)

‘One Temperance Hall of circa 1846 still survives in Well Lane.’ (Chris Ketchell)]


Licensing Sessions in August revealed that there were 43 public houses in the town, 16 beer-houses and five 'Sweet licenses' giving a total of 64. A proportion of one licensed house for every 179 inhabitants. No new licenses had been granted in the year but the licenses of 11 public houses and one beer-house had been transferred. Four inn-keepers had been proceeded against, three of whom were convicted and one was waiting trial. No beer-house keeper had been summoned. The total number of persons proceeded against in the year was 112 (81 males and 31 females). Of these 90 were fined, 21 committed to prison and two discharged. This was a decrease of 28 on the previous year.


The annual Beverley Licensing Sessions for the year ended 31st December 1908 noted: -

Public houses, including spirit merchants and railway refreshment rooms – 42, Beer-houses (on) – 12, Total public and beer-houses – 54, Shops selling beer (off) – 3, Shops selling wine (on) – 1, Shops selling wine (off) – 3, Shops selling wine and spirits (off) - 2. Total licenses of all kinds – 63.

‘The proportion is one public-house or beer-house to every 244 inhabitants’

‘For drunkenness etc.; proceedings were taken against 79 males and 34 females, total of 113, of whom five were discharged, 53 committed to prison, 53 fined and two ordered to find sureties. 42 of these persons were known to have been previously convicted, one a non-resident, over 80 times.’


Public houses with a full licence – 36, Public houses with a six-day licence & early closing – two, Public houses with a six-day licence – one, Beer houses (on) – 10, Beer houses  (off) – three, Beer houses with a six-day licence – one, Sweets and wine (off) – one, Wine (off) – three, Wine & spirits (off) – one, Total licenses of all kinds – 58.The population according to the 1911 census was 13,654. This meant that there was one public house or beer house for every 273 inhabitants. 


The population of Beverley in 1988 was approximately 21,000, which meant that there was one pub for every 583 inhabitants.


In the year 2000 there were 38 pubs in Beverley and the population was still approximately 21,000, which suggests one pub for every 552 inhabitants.


In the year 2001, 19 of Beverley’s pubs were Grade II listed buildings, three of which are Grade II Star listed. Of its surviving buildings that were previously pubs – another 13 were Grade II listed, one of those also Grade II Star listed.


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