History of the Albert Hotel at Tamworth in the county of Staffordshire


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Some history of the Albert Hotel at Tamworth

The Albert Hotel has been operated by a number of individuals, along with breweries large and small, so the variety of ales that have been exchanged for the hard cash of Tamworth's citizens has been quite numerous. Indeed, few public houses have had such an array of ales on offer down the years. Sure, in the 21st century there are pubs selling many different real ales but the Albert Hotel's beer range changed when most others remained the same for a good century or so.

Map showing Albert Road and The Albert Hotel at Tamworth [1902]

Arguably, the most exciting period for drinking beer in the Albert Hotel was during the mid-19th century when the publican probably brewed his own ales in the back yard. A walk along the side of the former hotel reveals some of the old stabling block and other outbuildings where homebrewed ales may have been produced.

How long the first licensee, William Spencer, maintained the tradition of homebrewed ales at the Albert Hotel is not clear. Certainly, there was the temptation of buying consistent quality beer from the nearby brewery established in Albert Road by Thomas White in 1860, though he had been operating as a brewer in Tamworth from around 1844.

Born in Bolehall in 1822, Thomas White was formerly a cabinet maker and established a small business in Bolebridge Street. His wife may have died during childbirth because he was a widow when the census enumerator recorded him as a widow living with his two year-old daughter Ann. When he moved to Albert Road as an established maltster and brewer, he was accompanied by his sister Catherine. The beers produced by Thomas White proved popular and within a decade he had a small workforce engaged at the site. He re-married in the 1860's; his wife Mary Ann hailed from Husbands Bosworth in Leicestershire. The profitable business enabled the couple to employ servants in the house.

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Thomas White was well-known in the district where, in a quiet and unostentatious way, he reportedly distributed gifts from his private purse among the poor people of the town. He also represented Bolehall and Glascote on the Board of Guardians, and for several years was the highway surveyor for that parish.

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Born on the Isle of Skye, the wholesale wine and spirits merchant Norman McFie established a business next to the brewery and shared part of the brewery yard with Thomas White. Nearing the end of his working life, Thomas White went into partnership with John Combe, a younger brewer from Gloucestershire. By 1897 the business was trading as White and Combe. Thomas White died in January 1898 but the brewery continued until the First World War. Thomas White left much of his business interests to his nephew Alfred Pegg who continued to work with John Combe. Indeed, they were known to purchase pubs and off licences in order to develop a tied estate. In an auction held by Messrs. Winterton and Son in July 1906 they bought the freehold of the Seven Stars, an old pub situated on Watling Street at Wall. The company paid £1,055,0s.0d. Prior to this, John Combe had acquired the Green Man Inn at Clifton Campville. There is a record of C. Paulton brewing in Albert Road in 1876 but little is known of this enterprise.

Albert Road and The Albert Hotel at Tamworth [c.1905]

Dating from the early Edwardian period, this photograph shows the Albert Hotel around 1905. Note that the trees, probably planted at the time Albert Road was laid out, are well established by this date. A well-dressed man appears to be addressing someone inside a first floor window but there is somebody standing on the step - the wife of the publican perhaps? There is a lot of activity in the street and plenty of horse dung! It's a splendid scene and helps to explain why Albert Road was such a desirable place to live in the Victorian and Edwardian eras.

Albert Road formed part of the 'new' Tamworth development of the mid-19th century and competed with Victoria Road as the main route in and out of the town to-and-from the railway station. Erected in 1847, the station initially served the London and North West Railway's Trent Valley line. Indeed, this company laid sidings just beyond the plot on which the Albert Hotel stands. These terminated in a goods shed that was just a stone's throw from the pub. The Midland Railway also built a goods shed on the opposite side of the road where Albert Road meets Victoria Road. Consequently, it's a fair bet that, in those days, the tap rooms of the Tweeddale Arms and the Albert Hotel would be chocker with railwaymen. The two pubs also vied for custom from those arriving at the station looking for refreshment and accommodation.

Tamworth Railway Station [c.1908]

It was a former publican of the Tweeddale Arms who seemingly became the first licensee of the Albert Hotel in 1864. Born in 1826 at Clifton Campville, William Spencer kept the Albert Hotel with his Gloucestershire-born wife Mary. Although the street had already been named Albert Road, William Spencer named the hotel in honour of Prince Albert of Saxe-Coborg and Goth who had recently died.

After a few years at the Albert Hotel, William and Mary Spencer went on to run the Newdegate Arms, a large hotel in Nuneaton and were succeeded by William Henry Eastland. In fact, William Spencer retained ownership of the Albert Hotel but granted William Eastland a tenancy to operate the business. The new incumbent hailed from the Kent village of Lamberhurst. After receiving a sound education at Hawkhurst, William Eastland came to Tamworth and worked as an assistant chemist at Frederick Ruff's pharmacy in George Street. He met and married his wife Emma who was born in New Basford, home of the famous Shipstone's brewery. The couple's daughter Florence was born after their arrival at the Albert Hotel. William Eastland employed two servants to keep the hotel running smoothly.

Advertisement for the Albert Hotel Wholesale Beer Stores [1875]

This advertisement from December 1875 shows that William Eastland was not content with one lot of takings generated by retail sales in the Albert Hotel. He expanded his business to operate a wholesale beer stores from the yard behind the public house. The Albert Hotel's location next to the railway goods yard was ideal for this type of business. The advertisement shows that he was acting as an agent for Thomas Salt and Co. Ltd.

The Albert Hotel was put up for sale in the autumn of 1876. William Spencer instructed Messrs. Bindley & Son to sell by auction on Monday, November 27th, 1876 at the pub itself, a little disconcerting one would imagine for the residing tenant and family. The property was advertised as the "valuable premises known as the Albert Hotel, having a large frontage to the Albert Road, and extending from thence to the Trent Valley Railway. The Stations of the London and North-Western and Midland Railway Companies are within a short distance, from which good views of the front and side of the Hotel can be obtained, and the Land of the former Company alone intervenes between the Stations and this Property." The sale advertisement advised prospective buyers that the house was in the occupation of "Mr. W. H. Eastland, as yearly Tenant, and that a first-class Family and General Business was being carried upon the premises." Bidders were notified that "the Albert Road was one of the main thoroughfares between the Town and Railways and that the Albert Hotel had a capital connection with the country manufacturing and mining districts near the Town." The sale included the "hotel, the yard with commodious stables and coach-houses, etc."

Advertisement for the Albert Hotel by George T. Fox [1879]

William Eastland later moved his family to Stafford where he worked as a commercial traveller. However, he would later return to Tamworth to run the Market Vaults. He died in Tamworth in 1889.

In January 1878 the licence of the Albert Hotel was transferred to George T. Fox. He was the son of Thomas Fox and Eliza Webster who ran the Old Crown Inn on Bore Street in Lichfield. His father was formerly a clockmaker and worked in London's Westminster where George Fox was born around 1854. His mother was originally from Lichfield and the family returned to the home of the Three Spires where they entered the licensed trade. George Fox had worked with his parents at the Old Crown Inn. He married Sarah Martin in 1875 before moving to Tamworth.

Dating from March 1879, the above advertisement shows that George Fox was another publican of the Albert Hotel who was prepared to have a go at business diversification. This was one of a long series of adverts that he placed in the local press during 1879. The advertisement shows that the stabling behind the pub was of some substance in the Victorian period. As an agent for the Trent Valley Brewery Company's ales, he no doubt sold these in the Albert Hotel in addition to selling them to other outlets. George and Sarah Fox's stay was however brief - within a few years the couple returned to Lichfield where they kept the Feathers on Beacon Street.

Workers at Gibbs and Canning [c.1966]

The new publican running the Albert Hotel at the beginning of the 1880's was Edward Canning. His father was Charles Canning who, with his partner John Gibbs, founded a quarry and terracotta works in 1847 at Glascote. The company employed around 300 people by the end of the 19th century. The firm supplied the decorative building materials for many famous buildings including the Royal Albert Hall and the Natural History Museum. The company's products were used in ecclesiastic, commercial and domestic architecture. In addition to many houses in and around Tamworth, the company's products were used in the construction of prominent buildings such as Lloyd's Bank and the building later used by the Halifax Building Society, both in George Street.

The Albert Hotel at Tamworth in Livery of Ind Coope and Allsopp's [c.1949]

Edward Canning's tenure at the Albert Hotel was brief. He fell in love with and married Sarah Jane Bradley, daughter of William Bradley, licensee of the neighbouring Tweeddale Arms. Following William Bradley's premature death, his wife Mary took over the licence of the Tweeddale Arms. However, despite having the experience of running the Queen's Head in Nuneaton's Church Street, her two daughters moved into the Tweeddale Arms where they managed the pub as a family unit. Although Mary Bradley retained the licence, son-in-law Edward Canning was appointed manager. A popular figure, he played cricket for Tamworth. With his wife Sarah Jane dying at the Tweeddale Arms in August 1891, Edward himself died of a broken heart in the following year. He was 36 years of age.

Samuel Tromans was the licensee during 1887 but it was to prove an unhappy experience for the publican. He was the son of Isaac Tromans who once kept the Railway Inn at Glascote. The former boiler-maker went into business as a mineral water manufacturer at the same time as taking on the Albert Hotel as a tenant in January 1887. He only had £18 of his own capital and borrowed the remainder to make up the £87 required to move into the premises. He also purchased from a Mrs Biddle, his wife's aunt, a ginger beer business and some furniture. Samuel Tromans got into difficulties from the outset and was later bankrupt. He left the hotel on October 21st, 1887. He later told his creditors that the business had been carried on at a loss since the commencement.

Samuel Tromans probably borrowed money from the Trent Valley Brewery Company. The firm were among his creditors and it was they who pressed him for money. This resulted in the publican handing over the business to them in the autumn of 1887. This despicable practice was rife in the 19th century and many a brewery managed to get a foot in the door of taverns in this manner.

Samuel Tromans returned to Glascote Heath where he made another attempt to make a go of things in the aerated water trade. He later moved to Tipton where, living with his family close to the Country Girl Inn, he worked as a carter for a mineral water firm.

On Wednesday November 23rd, 1887, there was a complimentary dinner at the Albert Hotel for the new landlord. Mr. R. H. Griffin, of the Castle Hotel, presided over some forty guests. The catering was reported as "excellent, and a most enjoyable evening was spent." There was a toast of "The representatives of the Trent Valley Brewery Company" and replied to by Mr Johnson, senior traveller for the firm, Mr Simpson, representing the wine and spirit department, and Mr Rowland, traveller. During the evening several members of the company contributed songs. One can only hope that Samuel Tromans was not walking along Albert Road on that evening.

Advertisement by Ambrose Robotham for the Albert Hotel at Tamworth [1889]

The son of a woolstapler, Ambrose Robotham had grown up on Lichfield Street next to the White Horse Hotel on the corner of Silver Street. His childhood sweetheart was Clementina Brookes, daughter of the hotel's owner and publican. They married in June 1874 and, together, the happy couple kept the White Horse Hotel for over a decade. They had three sons before Clementina died prematurely in 1888. After a few years the publican did find happiness again and, marrying a Handsworth-born woman called Mary Ann, he moved to a new life in Melton Mowbray where he managed a farm. Before his first marriage he had been managing Oak Farm at Drayton Bassett.

Albert Road and The Albert Hotel at Tamworth [c.1973]

The licence of the Albert Hotel was transferred to Edward Andrews on April 13th 1892. He kept the pub with his wife Alice. Born in Yoxall in 1863, Edward Andrews had previously worked as a butler. Within a year the couple had to face questions at a Coroner's Court over the death of Amy Allsopp, a young girl from Burntwood who had been in service at the hotel [see newspaper article]. The details of the case were published in the local press and this may have had an impact on custom at the Albert Hotel. In March of the following year the couple quit the business and an auction was held for the household furniture and effects of the family. Edward Andrews moved to Colville Road in Derby but was soon summoned for non-payment of rates. Facing imprisonment, he paid 10 shillings on account and promised to pay the remainder of the money at the rate of 8 shillings per month.

James Eadie's Stores at No.1 Albert Road in Tamworth [c.1914]

By the end of the 19th century James Eadie Ltd. established a stores at the 'other' end of Albert Road and this was used to distribute beers in the local area. The office was registered at No.1 Albert Road.

Edward Andrews was succeeded at the Albert Hotel by George Rose. Born in 1853 in the Black Country town of Darlaston, he and his wife had previously kept a pub in Oldswinford near Stourbridge. Agnes Rose had taken a rather circuitous route to the Albert Hotel. She was born in Tamworth and, growing up in Kettlebrook, met the Black Countryman who was living near the Bull's Head at Two Gates. George's father had moved to Watling Street in search of work as a clay miner. The family lived in the old Co-operative store. An early endeavour to establish a co-operative society on the corner of Tamworth Road was attempted in 1872 but the venture failed.

George and Agnes Rose had run the old Coffee Pot Inn, which later became The Empire, and were responsible for the opening of a music hall. The couple enjoyed a spell of eight years running the place before moving to Packington and later at Stourbridge. On taking over at the Albert Hotel, they were making a return to Tamworth.

By the time George and Agnes Rose arrived at the Albert Hotel the couple had eight children. And just to make sure there was little room to swing a cat in the upstairs accommodation, they employed a live-in servant. As tenants for the Lichfield Brewery, the Rose family remained at the pub throughout the Edwardian period. This brings us back to the first photograph above dated around 1905 - is that George Rose shouting to one of his children upstairs and is that his wife Agnes on the front doorstep?

The Albert Hotel at Tamworth in Livery of Ind Coope and Allsopp's [c.1949]

Having attempted to identify the people in the first photograph, I can now turn my attention to this image dating from the post-war years and explain how the building came to have the livery of Ind Coope and Allsopp Ltd. From the time of George and Agnes Rose being tenants, the Albert Hotel was owned by the Lichfield Brewery Co. Ltd. who had acquired the aforementioned Trent Valley Brewery Company in 1891. The Lichfield Brewery Co. Ltd. was registered in July 1869 to acquire two brewing operations in Lichfield - J. A. Griffith & Company and the Lichfield Malting Co. Ltd. The first of these enterprises was established by the wine merchants John and Arthur Griffith. The brewery, located in Beacon Street behind Cathedral House, was operational by 1847. The company had two malthouses in the city, one of which could, in recent times, still be seen next to the railway line close to Upper St. John Street. Located in Tamworth Street, the Lichfield Malting Co. Ltd. was founded in 1864 by John, Henry, and William Gilbert. Following the merger of these two firms, a new brewery was erected on the west side of Upper St. John Street, the offices of which still stand next to the railway bridge. Often experiencing trading difficulties to the extent of being reconstructed in 1890, the company was eventually acquired by Samuel Allsopp and Sons in 1930. The sale included the estate of 182 public houses which, of course, included the Albert Hotel.

Landaulettes Advertised by George Rose of The Albert Hotel at Tamworth [c.1911]

George and Agnes Rose's son, George, proved to be quite an entrepreneur and started up a cab business operating from both the Albert Hotel and the nearby railway station. As can be seen from this advertisement dated 1911, he branched out into vehicle hire. He and his brother James later opened a garage in the town. George Rose Jun. was also responsible for the opening of the Marmion Billiard Hall in Tamworth [see newspaper article]. He also received an award from the Royal Humane Society after bravely saving the life of a child who was drowning in the River Anker.

George Rose retired from the licensed trade in 1915, after which he and his wife Agnes took up residence at Lady Bank. It was there that he died in 1927, aged 73. Agnes Rose died seven years later. Their eldest son Edwin also worked in the licensed trade. In the mid-Edwardian period he moved to Lichfield to run the Chequers Inn on Stowe Street. After two years he took over the Prince of Wales on the corner of Bore Street. After a spell trading as a fishmonger, he was publican at the Warrener's Arms at Brownhills.

The Albert Hotel at Tamworth [2003]

George Rose was succeeded by Jesse Harman as licensee of the Albert Hotel. Jesse originated from Caterham in Surrey but his wife Ethel Redfern was a Tammy. How they met would be nice to know - Caterham and Tamworth are not exactly a few miles apart. They were married in 1899 at Tamworth's parish church and initially lived in Caterham where they were employed in service to the Hall family. Jesse was a gardener whilst Ethel was the family cook. Entering the licensed trade, the couple later kept The Woodman in Sutton, roughly halfway between Caterham and Kingston-upon-Thames.

Jesse Harman remained as licensee for only a year, possibly because in October 1915 he was convicted of selling alcoholic liquor during prohibited hours on a Sunday. Found guilty he was fined £5.0s.0d. The fine was small considering the fact that selling alcohol out of hours during the war was deemed to be a very serious offence. In the year that Jesse Harman was convicted, Lloyd-George, then Chancellor of the Exchequer made his famous declaration that "Drink is doing more damage in the war than all the German submarines put together...We are fighting Germany, Austria and Drink, and the greatest of all these deadly foes is Drink." One of the main problems for government and local authorities was how to tackle the drunken state of munitions workers on whom they depended for the continued supply to France. The trouble with the workers was that they were earning more money than ever before. Interest in the war in the early months was minimal and with little to do but drink that's exactly what they did. Several Defence of the Realm Acts were passed to restrict the hours that public houses were allowed to open. Sunday was particularly restricted in order to reduce the traditional Monday absenteeism. It was not until 1921 that pubs were allowed to open eight hours a day but not during the afternoon. This regime stayed in place until August 1st 1988 when all-day opening was finally restored.

Jesse and Ethel Harman were living at 34 Glascote Road in August 1948 when they celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary.

The Albert Hotel at Tamworth [2006]

In 1916 Jesse and Ethel Harman were succeeded by William and Agnes Ashwood. The Ashwood family would be associated with the Albert Hotel for the next twenty years. William Ashwood was a hairdresser by trade. He married Agnes Todd, daughter of the plumber George Tood, in the autumn of 1897 at St John's Roman Catholic Church in Tamworth. The couple operated a barber's and tobacconist's shop in Lichfield Street for many years before opting to run a pub. Following William's death in 1925, Agnes continued to run the business, assisted by her sister, Emma Ratcliffe. She died in 1938.

During the Second World War, the Albert Hotel was kept by Alfred Burdett. A former miner at Kingsbury Colliery, he took over the licence on July 17th 1939. He died in 1953 aged 71.

The Albert Hotel in a Hoskin's Advertisement [1989]

In the late 1980's the Albert Hotel formed part of the small estate of pubs operated by Hoskins of Leicester. Courtesy of Mark Shirley, the above advertisement is taken from a 1989 edition of The Leicester Drinker, a CAMRA newsletter. The advert lists the pub as the Albert Arms. Mark added that this was during the period when Barrie and Robert Hoar, the then owners of Hoskins' Beaumanor Brewery, were expanding the firm's pub estate. Much of the company's tied houses were sold to Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries Ltd. around 1992. Mark was lucky enough to sample their beers in the Albert Hotel. He told me that: "I only remember this particular pub because in those days my drinking chums and I spent an awful lot of time in the various Hoskins pubs. They were a guarantee of good quality and an interesting beer range at a time when guest beers and the like were uncommon in Leicestershire."

Interior of The Albert Hotel at Tamworth [2006]

The first licensee to keep the pub under the ownership of Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries Ltd. was Carole Cartwright. The brewery carried out substantial structural alterations to the building in 1996, the year that the old interior layout vanished.

Kate Casey of The Albert Hotel at Tamworth [2006]

Kate Casey arrived in 2002 and took over the licence on January 21st 2003. She employed Bev Rolan who was working behind the bar in 2006 during one of my visits to the pub. Kate Casey was later running The Kitchen Cafe in Marmion Street. I'm not sure why she didn't stay at the Albert Hotel as she seemed to have the place running fairly well. The beer was good when she kept the place. The pub was featured in CAMRA's Good Beer Guide. However, I know she kept the beer in good condition because I visited a couple of times during Kate's spell at the helm and I found myself drinking more than I should have done - at least it was only a short wobble back to the railway station!

Sadly, The Albert closed around 2012-3, I am not sure of the exact date. I believe that the property was sold and the proprietor was going to let the pub out to a tenant whilst converting the upper rooms into flats. This was probably unacceptable to both prospective licensee and residents, the result being that the whole of the building was converted into flats, thus ending the life of this notable Tamworth hostelry.

Related Newspaper Articles

"A commission of the Birmingham and District Football Association was held at the Albert Hotel, Tamworth, on Wednesday evening. The commission consisted of Messrs. Round, Cooknell, G. Capes, and Campbell Orr. Mr. Round presided. The business of the meeting was to consider complaints against four players of the Glascote St. George's Club. Mr. Sharpe, the referee in the last semi-final of the Tamworth Charity Cup, Glascote vs. Kettlebrook Oakfield, reported the brothers Chiles and Smith for misconduct on the field. After evidence had been given all three players were suspended for a month. Smith of late has played for Kettlebrook. The Commission also considered a complaint lodged by Mr. E. A. Hatton, secretary of the Tamworth Nursing Cup Association, with reference to the conduct of Dewis, the Glascote goalkeeper, in the League match, Tamworth vs. Glascote, at Glascote, on November 12th. The charge against Dewis was that he deliberately kicked Peel, after he had cleared the ball. The result of the investigation was that Dewis was suspended for two months."
"Glascote Footballers Suspended"
Tamworth Herald : December 10th 1904 Page 5

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Licensees of this pub

1864 - 1870 William Spencer
1870 - 1878 William Henry Eastland
1878 - George T. Fox
1880 - Edward Walter Canning
1882 - 1883 Thomas Henney
1883 - John Bradbury
1887 - 1887 Samuel Tromans
1887 - 1892 Ambrose Robotham
1892 - 1894 Edward Andrews
1894 - 1915 George Rose
1915 - 1916 Jesse Harman
1916 - 1926 William Ashwood
1926 - 1939 Agnes Emma Ashwood
1939 - Albert Burdett
1967 - 1974 James Wesley Hine
1974 - 1975 Derrick Alfred Grove
1975 - 1982 Abraham Millard
1982 - 1995 Dorothy Millard
1995 - 97 Carole Rosemary Cartwright
1997 - 2003 Paula Lesley Hutchings
2003 - 2004 Catherine Jane Daniels
2004 - Catherine Jane Casey

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Ind Coope Advertising Panel [c.1910]


Plan Showing the Albert Hotel and Tweeddale Arms [1884]

This extract from a plan drawn up in 1884 shows the Albert Hotel and Tweeddale Arms Hotel, along with the goods shed and yard of the L. & N. W. Railway. The employees working on the railway represented important local trade to both public houses.

Inn Sign

Inn Sign of The Albert at Tamworth [2012]

Although the street had already been named Albert Road, William Spencer, the first publican, named the hotel in honour of Prince Albert of Saxe-Coborg and Goth who had recently died. A visitor to Tamworth shortly after the opening of the railway station, Prince Albert married his cousin Queen Victoria in 1840. This was three years after she had been called to the British throne following the death of her uncle King William IV. Albert and Victoria had nine children. He played an influential role on the queen who was very submissive and hardly made a decision without consulting him. In this role he replaced Lord Melbourne, the Prime Minister in the early years of her reign. He was a keen supporter of the sciences and helped to organise the Crystal Palace Exhibition in 1851. He died at Windsor Castle in 1861 from typhoid fever and Victoria went into a self-imposed seclusion for the next decade.

Related Websites

Lichfield, Sutton & Tamworth CAMRA
Tamworth Borough Council
Tamworth Herald

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Related Newspaper Articles

"On Monday evening the body of a girl named Amy Allsopp, aged 15, daughter of a miner, residing at Burntwood, was found by two men floating in the river Anker, near the Railway Station. Amy Allsopp was engaged as domestic servant at the Albert Hotel, having been there about a fortnight. She had been missing since the previous Thursday evening. An inquest was held on Wednesday, by Mr. Topham, deputy coroner, at the Tweeddale Arms Hotel, touching the death of the deceased. Mr. T. Luby was chosen foreman of the Jury. Mr. M. G. Atkins, watched the proceedings on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Andrews, the deceased's employers. George Allsopp, miner, Burntwood, step-father of the deceased, indentified the body. Amy Allsopp was 15 years of age. Witness last saw her alive in June last, when he brought her to Tamworth. She was very cheerful, and he knew of no circumstance that would induce her to destroy herself. She went to the Albert Hotel for a month on trial; that time had not expired. He had not seen deceased since she left home. He was not aware that she had any young men acquaintances, or was in any way in trouble. She had been in the habit when at Lichfield of walking with other girls; that was the reason he brought her to Tamworth. Mrs. Andrews sent for him and his wife on Saturday, notifying that the deceased was missing. She complained that the deceased had been putting her hands on things that did not belong to her; she spoke of fetching the police. When witness and his wife arrived on Saturday Mrs. Andrews asked him, as deceased had not put in an appearance, to communicate with the police, but he replied that it was more in her place to do that as she had charge of the girl. Witness's opinion was that Mrs. Andrews frightened the girl, and that she went straight to the river the same evening and committed suicide. In reply to questions by the coroner, witness said he did not think that deceased's temper was of a particularly hasty character. Mrs. Andrews on Saturday said she hoped the girl would be found in order that the question of dishonesty might be cleared up. Witness said he hoped she would; he was anxious that the dispute might be settled. Mrs. Andrews informed witness that deceased had made a certain allegation against her husband who, however, had denied it. As the girl did not make an appearance witness and his wife went home on Saturday evening. On Tuesday morning they received a letter from Mrs. Andrews stating that the girl had been found drowned in the river. Edward Robinson, porter, employed by the London and North Western Railway Company, living at No. 3, Temple Road cottages, Tamworth, spoke to seeing the body of deceased in the River Anker shortly before seven o'clock on Monday evening, and to bringing it out with the assistance of a man named Edward Gray. Mary Jane Thorley, domestic servant, Wilnecote, said she knew the deceased, having made her acquaintance about a month ago. On Wednesday afternoon she went with her in company with several children along the Bonehill Road. When they reached the canal deceased told her that she was going to leave Tamworth. Witness asked her the reason, and she said she was going to drown herself. She alleged that Mrs. Andrews, her mistress, had not given her sufficient food, nor spoken a kind word to her since she had been in her employ. She also added that Mrs. Andrews had "driven her to it." Witness told her that she thought of getting a situation in Lichfield, but deceased advised her not to go, adding a statement about the soldiers there and herself. Replying to Mr. Atkins, witness said the conversation took place at Bonehill. Deceased put her foot into the water of the canal, and she said she would drown herself then if she had not Mr. Andrews' children with her. This was on the day previous to that on which she left the hotel in the evening. Deceased gave no reason for threatening to drown herself other than those she had mentioned. She asked her to say nothing about what she had told her until she had gone. On Wednesday afternoon deceased bought a penny cake; she had a few pence in her possession, but she did not say from where she had the money, except that her mother gave her six shillings before she left home. The Coroner : Did she seem much distressed in in mind? Witness : Yes, she seemed tired of life. When she put her foot in the water she seemed to have a great weight upon her mind. She did not say she had been charged with theft. By Mr. Jones [a juror] : Neither did she allege anything against Mr. Andrews. Mr. Allsopp recalled, said in reply to questions by Mr. Atkins, that he was pleased to get deceased from Lichfield, she had got fond of walking about the streets with other servant girls. Mr. Andrews asked witness to take deceased's box away when he went home. Witness said it did not matter about removing the box, and Mrs. Andrews said she should not let it go until the girl was found and the matter cleared up. Witness did tell deceased when he brought her to Tamworth to try to keep her place, as work being so bad and he an invalid, he could not keep her at home. Witness had been in the Wolverhampton Eye Infirmary 19 weeks, and was only receiving 5/9 per week, out of which five persons had to be kept. Alice Andrews, wife of Edward Andrews, landlord of the Albert Hotel, said the deceased had been in her employ as a servant for a fortnight and three days. Her parents lived at Burntwood, and she came for a month on trial. On Thursday evening the deceased left the house unknown to witness. The last she saw of her was when she was in her bedroom, between eight and nine o'clock. They were in the bedroom together, and witness spoke to her about being untruthful, and asked for an explanation about some clothes and money that had been missed. Deceased had been spending money in the town, had purchased a hat, and had some pence in her possession. Witness knew when she came to the hotel she had no money. She told deceased that she would not suit her, and that at the end of the month her services would not be required. Deceased was a cheerful girl, but witness thought at times she had trouble upon her mind. She had never heard her threaten to drown herself. Examined by Mr. Atkins, witness said she went to London on the Saturday after deceased came to the hotel. She stayed there a fortnight. On the Thursday evening when she was with deceased in her bedroom she asked her to turn out the chest of drawers in which she kept her clothes. She did so, and witness found several pieces of velvet and two blouses in the drawers which belonged to her. Deceased admitted she had taken the things, and then made a statement against witness's husband. Witness told her if that was so she would send for the police, her mother, and a doctor. Witness went down stairs and asked her husband it was true, and he came upstairs with witness and asked the girl what she meant by saying such a thing, but she made no reply. The Coroner : Did Mr. Andrews deny it her presence? Witness : Yes, the girl never spoke, but began to cry. Continuing, she said her husband and herself then went downstairs, and she told deceased to remain in her room. Witness went upstairs again about five minutes afterwards and she found deceased had gone. Further examined, Alice Andrews said she had always treated Amy Allsopp kindly. She had never spoken an unkind word to her since she had been in her service; she merely asked for an explanation about articles which were missing. Deceased had always had sufficient food. She had the same as witness and her husband. She was never restricted, and she always had an opportunity of helping herself. Whilst witness was in London, her sister-in-law, Mrs. Dent, assisted in the hotel. She slept in the next room to her husband's, and the deceased slept in another room on the same landing. Mr. Alfred Jones [a juror] : Did deceased take any of the articles alleged to have been stolen off your premises? Witness : No. Was the chest of drawers exclusively for the use of deceased Yes. Mr. Luby [foreman] : When you found that deceased had left her bedroom on the Thursday evening what course did you adopt? Witness: I wrote a letter the same night to her mother informing her that deceased had suddenly left the house. Mr. Atkins : How long did you sit that evening waiting for deceased. Witness : Until after one o'clock. Answering questions by Mr. E. Goode [a juror], witness said she did not report the matter to the police on the following day, Friday. On the Saturday when deceased's parents came to Tamworth she asked them to communicate with the police, but Mr. Allsopp said, "No, she will come back shortly; she is amongst her friends." The reason witness asked deceased to account for sixpence that was missing was because her husband dropped it on the floor, and it being forgotten for a few minutes was allowed to remain there. Her husband looked for the coin, and, finding that it was gone, witness asked if she had picked it up. She made no answer. When deceased left the house on Thursday night, witness never thought she intended to destroy herself. She had neither heard nor been told that deceased had threatened to commit suicide. Mr. Millington [juror] : How long was deceased in her situation at Lichfield? Witness : About nine months. What kind of character had she for that service? They don't keep people for nine months to be dishonest. The Coroner : That is quite true. He added that he did not think there was any accusation against Mr. Andrews. The character of deceased from Mrs. Gilbert, Lichfield, in whose employ she was for nine months, showed that she was a strong girl, and a splendid worker when she liked; she required, however, a great deal of looking after. She was very long when sent on errands; she thought it would be better if she left the town away from her numerous relations and companions. When she first came she was willing and obliging; but she was sorry to say she had grown careless over her work. Under another servant she thought she might suit. Edward Andrews, landlord of the Albert Hotel, totally denied the accusations which had been made against him by the deceased. Mr. Atkins said if it was necessary he would call the sister-in-law, who slept in the house on the same landing as all the parties during the absence of Mrs. Andrews, and she would tell the jury that the allegations could not be true. The Coroner said he thought Mr. and Mrs. Andrews had been cleared of any charge which might have been brought against them. Mr. Atkins said he was glad to hear that intimation. Unless it was the desire of the jury, he would not call any further evidence. The Coroner : I do not think it is necessary. He then proceeded to review the evidence, when several jurymen asked that the mother of the deceased might be called to prove the statements made by her husband. Amy Allsopp, mother of deceased, was then called. She said she did not think there was anything the matter with her daughter when she left her last situation. Witness had been told that deceased had threatened to drown herself. The reason she did not communicate with the police on Saturday was because Mrs. Andrews told her she would take the responsibility. Witness only gave deceased three pence after she had purchased some articles for her use. She did not know from where she had got other money. She could not account for the new hat she had in her possession. Mr. Atkins said he should like to address a few words to the jury, but the coroner stated that was not usual. The coroner briefly summed up, and the jury unanimously returned a verdict of "Found drowned". They were unanimously of the opinion, the foreman said, that Mr. and Mrs. Andrews were to blame for not making enquiries on the Friday morning as to the girl's whereabouts. The funeral took place the same afternoon, the remains of the unfortunate girl being interred at Glascote cemetery, the Rev. W. MacGregor officiating. Mr. Andrews provided a hearse for the use of the mourners, and Mrs. Andrews also followed. Two wreaths were placed on the coffin - one from the brothers of the deceased, and one inscribed "In affectionate remembrance, from the children at the Albert Hotel."
"Sad Death of a Servant Girl"
Tamworth Herald : December 10th 1904 Page 5

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Charles Lamb

"If I ever marry a wife, I'll marry a landlord's daughter, For then I may sit in the bar and drink cold brandy and water."
Charles Lamb

Newspaper Articles

"Former publican of the Albert Hotel, Samuel Tromans [32], mineral water manufacturer, Harry Tromans [38], boiler maker, Isaac Tromans [36], mineral water manufacturer, all of Glascote Heath, and Albert Sharp [2l], butcher, Glascote, were summoned by William Carter, farmer, Amington, for trespassing in the daytime, on May 6th, on land in the occupation of William Allen, in pursuit of game. The defendants pleaded not guilty. Mr. E. Argyle, who prosecuted, said he appeared for Mr. Allen, the tenant, and the trustees of the Tamworth Grammar School, who were the owners of the land. The trespass was one the most impudent it was possible to imagine. The defendants, in company with several soldiers, visited in the morning a field which was cropped with broccoli, and afforded cover for game. The defendants were accompanied by dogs, and in beating the field much damage was done. On the afternoon of November 6th, the defendants again beat the field, with five soldiers, and fired shots. The defendants were men who ought to have known better. He had been informed that the Tromans's supplied Whittington Barracks largely with mineral waters, and had invited the soldiers to day's shooting upon land on which they had no right. Defendants had since offered to Mr. Allen a sovereign each to withdraw the charge. William Carter, occupying the Callis farm, gave evidence to seeing defendants on the land. They carried several guns. Sharp carried a spade and a bag, the latter being of the kind used for carrying ferrets. Witness heard shots fired, and saw defendants beating the land, on which he had seen game. Samuel Tromans went to him and offered him a bottle, asking him to "have a drink," which he declined. Sharp was not with the defendants in the afternoon. William Allen, the occupier of the field, said he had not given the defendants permission to shoot over the land. Samuel Tromans on Saturday told him "he would give him anything" to settle the matter. The brothers Tromans had also offered him money. His crops were much damaged. Samuel Tromans urged that two years ago Mr. Allen gave him permission to shoot over the land. Mr. Allen denied the assertion. Samuel Tromans next submitted a paper signed "George Brain, Jacob Turner, George Glover, and Benjamin Mason," giving him permission to travel over their land. He pleaded that as Mr. Allen had never rescinded his authority he thought they had a right to over the land. The Chairman said that Mr. Allen had sworn that permission had not been given; it would, therefore, not improve the case by inferring that he was acting within his rights. Samuel Tromans denied that any game had been shot. The other defendants submitted they had been innocently drawn into the matter, believing that Samuel Tromans was not exceeding his authority by inviting them. Sharpe said he supplied a leg of mutton for the winner and was asked to join the party. He added that they only shot a lark; Mr. Argyle : it was anything but a lark for Mr. Allen to have his crops destroyed. The Chairman said the offence was rendered the worse because the defendants were not want of meal. There was no doubt Samuel Tromans had asked his friends to have a day's shooting, and did not care where they went. It was gross impertinence, and Samuel had made the offence worse by telling lies. Samuel denied this, but the Chairman repeated his assertion. Samuel Tromans was fined £2 costs; Harry, £1 and costs; the other defendants 5/- and costs each."
"Gross Impertinence by a Shooting Party"
Tamworth Herald : December 1st 1894 Page 8.

Ansell's Bruno Sweet Brown Ale

"Jesse Harman, licensed victualler, of the Albert Hotel, was summoned for selling intoxicating liquor during prohibited hours, between 10.30 and 11am on Sunday, September 26th. Mr. W. H. Breton of Longton prosecuted, and Mr. T. Fisher Jesson of Ashby-de-la-Zouch defended. Jesse Harman pleaded not guilty. Mr. Breton said in consequence of complaints the police had received, P.S. Robinson and P.C. Henson had instructions to hide themselves at the rear of the premises. He suggested that it was a flagrant case of selling during prohibited hours, and in dealing with it the magistrates would no doubt be guided by the surrounding circumstances. P.S. Robinson said in accordance with instructions from Inspector Hall, he concealed himself in the goods yard of the Railway Station. He had a view of the rear of the premises occupied by the defendant. He saw three railway employees, Bartholomew Tiernan, George Smith, and William Miles, go up the railway embankment to the fence at the end of defendant's garden. Tiernan got over the fence, leaving the other two men on the embankment. Tiernan disappeared from view for a short time, and then returned to the two men. Shortly afterwards he saw defendant, come to the fence and hand the four pint bottles [produced] to the three men. Miles received one, which contained beer, and went away. The other two men came from the top of the embankment in the direction of the goods shed. Witness and P.C. Henson then came out of hiding and followed them, and they overtook them and spoke to them. They received three of the bottles [produced], containing beer, two from Tiernan and one from Smith; He took the bottle from under Smith's waistcoat, and one from out of the bib of Tiernan's apron, and one from underneath the apron, where he was holding it with his hand. He invited the two men to go back with him, and left them near the fence with P.C. Henson. Witness then went to Miles' house in Rosy Cross. In consequence of something he said to him he handed him the other bottle, which was on the table. Witness invited Miles back with him, and he did so. All five of them afterwards went to defendant's house. Witness said to defendant : "How do you account for selling those bottles of ale to these men this morning?" Defendant replied, "They told me they were on Government work, and I supplied them." Witness pointed to the bottles which P.C. Henson had, and said "those are the bottles," and defendant replied, "that's right." Cross-examined: As far as witness knew, apart from this case, defendant was a respectable licensee. This was the first Sunday he was watching. Defendant was carrying the beer quite openly when he approached the fence. He did not see any money pass. He asked defendant how he accounted for selling and supplying the men with drink. He had been to the premises since with the Inspector, and he made some statement about the beer being ordered on Saturday. Re-examined : Defendant made no statement when he was first asked for an explanation about the beer being ordered Saturday night. P.C. Henson gave a corroborative testimony. Mr. Jesson admitted that the garden was part of the licensed premises. He was much obliged to Mr. Breton for the fair way in which he had conducted the case. He blamed Harman for not giving at the time the explanation would give that day, because had he done so the proceedings would never have been brought. It had been the practice for certain railway men to go to the defendant's premises on a Saturday afternoon, and for one them named Miles to inquire how many men would be working on the following day who would require beer. Beer had been ordered on the Saturday afternoon, and paid for and called for at night for consumption the next day. On this occasion the house was closed on the Saturday night when Miles went for it. Mr. Jesson maintained that the beer having been paid for on Saturday, and was ready for delivery on Saturday, it was appropriated to the purchaser, and the fact that it was not delivered till Sunday morning owing to a mistake did not entitle the Bench to record a conviction against defendant. He quoted cases bearing on the point. Mr. Breton stated that if the magistrates found it was perfectly true that the beer was ordered and paid for, and was to have been called for on the Saturday, and that it was forgotten, they would have to dismiss the case, because if the whole of the contract and the whole of the sale had taken place on the Saturday there could not be any sale the Sunday. To come to that decision the Bench would have to believe the whole story set up by the defence, and which was not given at any time when the men were brought back for the specific purpose allowing defendant the chance explaining why the beer was sold. Defendant said he had been the licensee of the Albert hotel just over twelve months, having had ten or twelve years' experience in London. A number of men were engaged on the railway on a Sunday. Generally on a Saturday the men come in during the afternoon and had a drink. One of the men, Miles generally, ordered the beer then for Sunday. It was paid for then, and was put into bottles on Saturday nights and was taken away the same night during opening hours. It had been the custom ever since he had been at the Albert Hotel. On Saturday, September 25th, Miles, Tiernan and Wolff came to his house. Miles said they would be on Government work the next day, and ordered four pints of beer, for which he was paid 1s.4d. on the same afternoon by Miles. His wife put the beer in the bottles, and he placed them on a table in the passage. The beer was not called for on the Saturday night. This was the first time it was forgotten during the whole of his career at the Albert hotel. He saw the beer was there on Sunday morning. At about 10.30am, while he was swilling his yard, he heard a knocking at the garden gate. Going there he saw Tiernan, and asked him if he was after that beer. Tiernan went away, and he [defendant] took the beer to the men at the railway embankment. By Dr. Sculthorpe : He told the man to get off the licensed premises, and then there would be no bother. Defendant, continuing, said the sergeant asked him for an explanation of supplying the men with drink. A week later Inspector Hall called, and he went into the matter fully. Cross-examined : The man knocked at the swing gate, which was not fastened. The men had never been for the beer previously on a Sunday. He did not know that the police were there in consequence of complaints of eye witnesses seeing the way he had been supplying beer on a Sunday, during closing time. He had never delivered any before on a Sunday. Men might have been seen coming from Mr. Wolff's house by his garden with beer. Ethel Harman, wife of defendant, said she put up the beer in the bottles [produced], on the Saturday night previous to the date in question. Her husband was paid for it. Cross-examined : Beer ordered for Saturday night had never been left behind on any other occasion. William Miles, a railway employee, said it had been his custom to order beer on Saturday for men at work on the Sunday following. He went into the defendant's house on September 25th, in the afternoon, and ordered four pints of ale for lunch time Sunday, as Smith, Tiernan and himself were going to work the next day. He paid for the beer on the Saturday afternoon. The beer was usually called for on Saturday night. On Saturday, September 25, it was the Union meeting night, and when he got to defendant's premises they were closed. With this exception the beer had always been taken away on Saturday night. Cross-examined : He did not tell defendant he was on Government work when he fetched the beer. They had not had the beer on Sunday before. He did not know what the police were watching for that particular day. Bartholomew Tiernan, another railway employee, said he went to the defendant's premises at lunch time. He rapped at the door of the yard, and defendant came to the door. Witness returned to his work, and defendant afterwards brought the beer down to them. He had never had to go to the defendant's house for beer before Sunday morning, and he did not know anyone who had. Cross-examined : It was a sign for the beer when knocked the door; there was previous arrangement. Re-examined : There was no arrangement between defendant and himself that when he knocked the door defendant should bring the beer. The magistrates having consulted, the Mayor said they found defendant guilty, and he would be fined £5 inclusive. Personally he felt the men who fetched the beer were equally guilty, and it was a pity they could not be punished. In reply to Mr. Jesson who said he did not know whether the case would remain there, the Mayor said they found there was no appropriation on the Saturday."
"Publican Fined"
Tamworth Herald : October 23rd 1915 Page 3.

Ansell's Bitter Playing Card

"Mr. R. H. Briggs applied on behalf of William Ashwood, of the Albert hotel, for an order permitting him to keep open the hotel from 2pm to 3pm on Mondays, when the cattle sale is held. Inspector Brammer formally opposed the application, stating that they were getting further away from the market. It was opening up the wide ground for others having stabling to come forward with similar applications. Mr. Briggs stated that the Statute made provision for common practice for all licensees to make application, and it was common for licensing justices in the country to grant such facilities. The Magistrates' Clerk [Mr. E. Argyle] said they could only give the extension to a house within the immediate neighbourhood of the sale ground, and it should also be understood that only persons who attended the sale had the right to be supplied. The licensee had no right to supply general customers, it was simply for market. Mr. Briggs said it was for the convenience of those people that the application was made, and those who stabled at the hotel. Mr. Frost asked Mr. Briggs if he could tell them the house in the town or the place where the greatest quantity of farmers put up. Mr. Briggs said he should not like to exercise any discrimination in that matter. He knew, but he did not think he should tell them. Mr. Frost said he did not press it. Applicant gave evidence, and said he accommodated vehicles and horses belonging to at least a dozen persons who came regularly on cattle sale days; there might be more. The Magistrates' Clerk said the Bench had probably noticed the words of the section, "for the accommodation of any considerable number people attending the market." The Mayor said the application would not granted."
"Licensing Application"
Tamworth Herald : April 28th 1923 Page 8.

Ansell's Pioneer Bitter

"The Marmion Billiard Hall, Market Place, Tamworth, brought about by the enterprise of Messrs. Rose Bros., had an encouraging send off on Wednesday afternoon, when the premises were opened in the presence of a large and interested company by the Mayor of Tamworth [Mr. W . T. Oliver, J.P.]. In asking the Mayor to perform the ceremony, Mr. George Rose said his interest in sport was very well-known to all of them, as he had gained distinction in golf, cricket and tennis. The Mayor said he felt sure they would agree with him that that was an occasion rather more for action than words. He would, however, as he felt sure they would wish him to do, like to congratulate Messrs. Rose Bros, on the great enterprise which they had shown, in converting what was after all a more or less derelict building into a really beautiful one. They had spared neither money nor pains to make it a really first-class hall. There were twelve billiard tables with room for two smaller ones in alcoves for beginners. The decoration was in keeping with the place. He felt perfectly sure the hall would be an asset to the town. It used to be said that to play billiards well was a sign of a misspent youth; if that was the sign, his and that of many others must have been a very immaculate one. A man who played billiards in these days was a good sportsman, and did not necessarily mean that man had to get "tight" because he was a good billiard player. There they would be able to play a quiet game of billiards at various hours of the day without being disturbed and without having to drink. When they saw a place like Nuneaton with one hall with thirty tables and persons being unable to get a game, there must be lot of scope in Tamworth. He felt that Messrs. Rose Bros, had done a good thing for the town, and they wished them very good luck in their enterprise [applause]. He hoped they would all have some excellent games there. He had great pleasure in declaring the hall open for billiards, and hoped the people of Tamworth and district would well support it. The Mayor added that Messrs. Rose Bros, had arranged to pull down buildings outside, which would allow lots of room for cars to park, so that people from the country would be well catered for in that respect. Arthur L. Goundrill, the one-hand champion billiards player, endorsed the remarks of the Mayor with regard to the enterprise of Messrs. Rose Bros, on the wonderful room which they had established in Tamworth. He hoped the inhabitants of Tamworth would support that enterprise, and enjoy many happy hours in that excellent hall. Mr. Goundrill gave a first-class exhibition of billiards shots and tricks. He opened with a series of nursery cannons a la Lindrum. Following difficult screw shots. Mr. Goundrill scored a cannon after the ball had struck four cushions, which, he said, showed that the angles of the cushions were perfect. included several amusing trick shots in his entertaining display. At the conclusion he expressed thanks to the Mayor for opening the premises. The building, a three-storey one, has been admirably adapted to its new purpose. Twelve Padmore Premier Club tables have been installed, four being on each floor. There are two ante-rooms, one serving as a buffet and the other containing a three-quarter size table for learners. The lighting is by electricity, and the tables are provided with the "Skidmore" patent shade. The three main rooms have been tastefully decorated, and special carpet-like linoleum has been laid on the floors. There is adequate seating. The hall is reached by an attractive entrance, which has considerably improved the part of the Market Place where the premises are situated. Mr. Goundrill played a match and gave another entertaining display in the evening."
"Tamworth Enterprise"
Tamworth Herald : May 23rd 1931 Page 5.

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