Some history of the Spread Eagle Inn on Spiceal Street in Birmingham in the County of Warwickshire


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Note: For Herbert Hudson see the King's Head Inn.

Birmingham : Map extract showing the location of the Spread Eagle Inn on Spiceal Street in Birmingham [1888]

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Licensees of the Spread Eagle Inn

1871 - Annie Maria Peters
1872 - Frederick Henry Wiwel
Note : this is not a complete list of licensees for this pub. The dates of early licensees are sourced from trade directories, census data, electoral rolls, rate books and newspaper articles. Names taken from trade directories may be slightly inaccurate as there is some slippage from publication dates and the actual movement of people.

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Related Newspaper Articles

"Edwin Jones, a commercial traveller, giving his address as 7, Kyrwick's Lane, was charged on remand with violently assaulting George Newman, barman at the Spread Eagle, Spiceal Street. Prosecutor stated that on the afternoon of the 13th of June prisoner came into the smoke room and asked for a glass of ale. He was supplied with it, and sat down. Immediately afterwards two drunken women came into the room and prisoner went up to them and asked them what they would drink. Witness told them he could not serve them as they were drunk already. Prisoner made use some offensive remark and left the room with the women. Shortly afterwards he returned with the two women, who were in worse condition than before, and for some beer, but witness said he could not think of drawing any while he was in the company of drunken women. Witness told prisoner he had better leave, but he declined to do so. Finally he had to put him out, but he returned two or three times and threatened to "job his eyes out" with his umbrella. Witness had to push him out into the street, and just as was turning back prisoner rushed at him with his umbrella and poked the ferrule through his face, the wound extending to the inside of the nostril. Witness had been in the Queen's Hospital ever since, and his eyesight was still affected by the injury. Several witnesses stated that as prisoner struck Newman with the umbrella he said, "take that." Mr. Sanders, house surgeon at the Queen's Hospital, stated that the injury consisted of a fracture of the anterior wall of the cheek, lacerating a small artery, thereby causing severe haemorrhage. It was a dangerous wound, and the blow must have been inflicted with considerable force. Prisoner was committed for trial at the Sessions. Mr. Hebbert prosecuted, and Mr. Bickley defended."
"Cowardly Assault by a Commercial Traveller"
Birmingham Mail : June 30th 1882 Page 3

Birmingham : The old Midlands Counties Concert Hall before demolition [1910]

"Another relic of the Birmingham of a past generation is about to pass from our midst in an old concert hall, which was once a successful and popular place of entertainment, but which has been lost sight of for nearly forty years, and which is now forgotten save a few of the older generation. Yet its history goes back but little more than sixty years - so rapidly does history in this quickly evolutionised Midland metropolis of ours. The building still stands, but is about to be handed over to the house wreckers to make way for structures of more prosaic utility. It is in the centre of the city, but is not visible to the public behind the licensed premises of the Spread Eagle Inn, in Spiceal Street, and it not the only Bull Ring place of entertainment which has passed from popular usage during the present generation. In its palmy days it was well-known under the not too modest title of the Midland Counties Concert Hall, as many now living will remember. Its creator and first proprietor was the well-known Herbert Hudson. It was considered at the time a splendid hall, and many thousands visited it for the catering for their entertainment was enterprising. Mr. Hudson took a great pride in his hall, and equipped it well. The history of the establishment of the Midland Counties Concert Hall is interesting. Over sixty years ago a grand dramatic performance was given at Windsor Castle by command of her Majesty Victoria. A special play was presented before her Majesty, the Prince Consort, and the Royal Family. Thackeray, Charles Dickens, Mark Lemon, and Makepeace specially compiled a play for the occasion, while beautiful scenery was painted by the eminent Royal Academicians, Telbin, Roberts, and Stansfield. Mr. Hudson, after the performances, went up to Windsor and bought the stage, scenery, and all effects for £500, and then built in the Bull Ring his hall, in which to place and use this stage and scenery, so that every artist played upon the same stage and with the same scenery as did duty on the great gala occasion at Windsor Castle. We may mention a few of the artists who appeared at the hall from time to time to show the class of entertainment provided. The performers included Mackney, Will George and Mrs. George, Harvey and French, "The Nerves" [The Perfect Cures], McDermot, Vance, Maclagan and other well-known artists, besides Mr. Hudson, who was himself a highly-talented vocal comedian, his great songs, "The Lazy Society" and "The Night Coach," being still remembered. On the 10th inst. there was a meeting of the Midland Counties Licensed House Managers and Tenants Friendly Society, and after their business was over they were invited, through the kindness of Mr. H. F. Mallins, to visit the old Concert Hall, which is about to be demolished. It belongs to the Holt Brewery Company, and the last owner and manager of the hall accompanied the party and gave some the building's history. After Mr. Hudson's occupancy of the hall expired, it came into the hands of Mr. William Barnes, a well-known local amateur dramatic performer and tenor vocalist, about 52 years ago. At that time the public-house was separated from the hall, and those attending the performances who required drinks had to send the waiters to the adjoining Spread Eagle Tavern, now in separate hands. The house now became noted for high-class amateur theatrical entertainments, and many amateurs who played there having turned out good actors. These included Osmond and Edmund Tearle, Harry Breese, John Carter Edwards, who joined Wilson Barrett's Company; Joseph Rainbow, who built the Smethwick Theatre; Robert Hall, who built the Aston Theatre; T. McNatty, J. McNatty, R. Tolly, Medlicott, J. Fox, R. Rowe, Pat Feenv, McDermot, J. Rowen, and others too numerous to mention. Mr. Barnes usually played the leading part. Mr. Barnes, now a white-haired old gentleman, recalls the fact that boxing champion Bob Brettell, had his benefit in this hall soon after the great fight between Tom Sayers and Charles Heenan, and on that occasion there was gathered together of the finest arrays of boxing talent that could be obtained. Among them were two men who fought twice, and contest occupied no less than eleven hours. These indefatigable fighters were Jack Grant and Mike Madden, and the others on bill included Simon Finnety, Morris Roberts, Peter Morris, Tom Sayers, Bob Brettell, Tom Lane and others. Mr Barnes, who relinquished the charge of the hall about 1872, recalls also the fact, as indicative of the class of patronage which his old house commandedm that at the time no man was allowed in the audience without a tall hat. Our photographer has been enabled by courtesy Mr. Mallins, the keeper of the Spread Eagle, to obtain a photo of the interior of the hall which stands unaltered, save that it is filled with the material of a factory, for which purpose it has been used for some years."
"Passing of an old Birmingham Concert Hall"
Birmingham Weekly Post : August 27th 1910 Page 13

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