Some history of the Roebuck Inn at Chapel-en-le-Frith in the county of Derbyshire.
The Roebuck Inn stands on a prominent position overlooking the Market Place of Chapel-en-le-Frith. The old stocks are positioned a few metres from the building. Also in the square is the ancient cross and war memorial.
In 2023 the official website for The Roebuck stated that it "actually dates back to the 13th century when it was a family house for the Duely family. Rebuilt in 1700 by Ino Shallcross, it became a beer house in 1720 known then as the New Hall. In 1750 the building became a local court house, and by 1850 had returned to a beer house. In 1870 it was re-named The Roebuck." ¹
There is possibly some truth in some of this but, from some of the evidence I have seen, some of it does not add up. The use of the term beer house does not sit right for a start. Furthermore, as can be seen from the above notice, the Roebuck was trading in the late 18th century when kept by William Potts.² This, along with listings in trade directories, suggests that it was a fully-licensed house. It was recorded as the Roebuck Inn throughout the early 19th century long before the suggested date of 1850.
1. Official website for The Roebuck [https://www.roebuck-inn.co.uk/] accessed on 6th December 2023.
2. "To Be Sold" in Manchester Mercury, 13th May 1783, Page 4.
© Image taken by author on April 4th, 2003. DO NOT COPY
Sadly, there was no hand-painted inn sign when I took a photograph of this pub in 2003. The sign was possibly apposite for the house in days of old when roe deer roamed the High Peak. However, after the sharp decline in numbers over the centuries, there has been a reverse in fortunes for the species in more recent times, a change attributed to the planting of new forestry, downscaling of arable farming and a decrease in hunting. It was probably the latter, with the 'sport' being popular with the gentry, that the house was bestowed with this sign.
"At the Chapel-en-le-Frith Petty Sessions, on Thursday, September 28, before Captain Greaves, Enoch Jowle, labourer,
was charged by Inspector Temperley, of the Nottingham Branch of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, with having on the 6th day of September
last, cruelly abused and tortured a cow. Mr. Hextall, solicitor, Derby, appeared for the prosecution, and Mr. Goodman, of Chapel-en-le-Frith, for the
defence. It appeared from the evidence that on the day in question the defendant was observed driving a black and white cow along the street of the place. The cow
was bleeding from one of its feet, which had been cut, and the defendant was seen to go into the stable of the Pack Horse Inn, and there cut the hoof of the cow
with a knife close to the fetlock, leaving it hanging merely by a strip of flesh, and causing the extremity of the leg bone to come in contact with the ground at
every step taken by the cow. The case was fully proved by the evidence of Mrs. Swift, wife of the landlord of the Shoulder of Mutton; police-sergeant
Hibbert, Joseph Ford, and Inspector Temperley. The magistrate expressed his decided opinion that a case of gross cruelty had been made out, but as the defendant
appeared to have expressed contrition, he fined him in the mitigated penalty of £3 17s. 6d., including costs, or in default fourteen days' hard labour.
It was suggested for the defence that the cow was wild and dangerous, and that the course pursued was rendered necessary in consequence, but the magistrate stated
that nothing could justify such cruel treatment, and it was hoped that the present case would be received as a caution by butchers and others, among whom such
practices were, it was feared, far too common."
"Gross Cruelty To A Cow"
Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal : October 6th 1871 Page 7
This article is included as Enoch Joule was, for a short spell, licensee of the the Roebuck Inn.