Some history of the Golden Cup Inn at Yoxall in the County of Staffordshire
This pub has traded as the Golden Cup Inn and the Cup Inn. The 'Golden' element appeared quite early and then seemingly disappeared and resurfaced within the census and trade directories. I believe the Cup Inn was the earliest name when the old tavern was trading in the 18th century.
The Golden Cup enjoys a prominent position on Main Street looking across to the Church of Saint Peter, along with the churchyard. The memorial cross seen in the above photograph is the Arden family war memorial. It was erected by the Rev. William Henry Percival Arden and his wife Emily as a memorial to their son Humphrey Warwick Arden who was killed at Messines in June 1917 at the age of 25.
The hostelry can be seen on this map extract of 1902, to the south of the road junction where a lane continued to Longcroft Hall. The section in the village is known as Victoria Street. It possibly commemorates Queen Victoria but there is a possible alternative. The aforementioned vicar was once the incumbent of Saint Mark's Church at Victoria in British Columbia before his appointment of acting chaplain to H.M. Forces at Malta. Humphrey Arden was indeed born in Victoria. He was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 156th Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery. He was educated at Mr. Lynam's preparatory school at Oxford, stroked the first eight twice at Henley, and Queen's College, Cambridge, graduating with second-class honours. He rowed twice in the University trial eights, and stroked his College boat to victory in the Wyfold Cup at Henley in 1912. He was about enter Ripon College Cuddesdon to prepare for Holy Orders when the war broke out.
In the register of listed buildings, it states that the Golden Cup dates from the late 18th century. It is possible therefore that James Woolley was the first publican to run the tavern. He was listed here by 1797. In February 1803 it was Mrs. Woolley listed as landlady. In September 1805 the name of Thomas Woolley is listed as the householder. I suspect that he was the son. There is a record of Thomas Woolley of Yoxall marrying Mary Gildart in 1811. However it was Mary Woolley who was running the house by 1818.
Mary Woolley would remain as landlady of the Cup Inn for a couple of decades. She was tenant to the leaseholder. This arrangement held good despite the lease being offered for sale in March 1820. The rent was moderate for a house with stabling, barn and garden. This sale was one of many to be held on the premises. Most sales in the village were generally held here or in the nearby Crown Inn.
Thomas Brandon was the licensee in the 1840s. The above notice shows that he acted as local agent for those tempted to seek a free passage to Australia. This was a period when unemployment in England was high so, despite the voyage being somewhat perilous, many farm labourers made the journey to Australia where settlers in the colony sought labourers to clear and plough the land, cultivate crops and for animal husbandry. Although convict labour was used, there was still a significant labour shortage. Moreover, some farm owners preferred to hire people without criminal records.
Born in 1793 at Sutton Coldfield, Thomas Brandon was both licensed victualler and saddler. He kept the Cup Inn with his locally-born wife Jane. Two sons, Thomas and John, also worked as saddle and harness-makers. The premises were also home to Jane's father, John Snape, and her sister Mary who worked as a barmaid. Thomas Woolley was still working on the premises as brewer so the Cup Inn was almost certainly a homebrew house.
Thomas Brandon was licensee for over two decades before his death in April 1866. The business of saddle and harness-making was continued at the Cup Inn by Charles Hancock. Born at Dunstall but already a resident of Yoxall, he later moved to premises close to the Crown Inn where he concentrated on his career as a saddler. By this time the inn sign of this house was known as the Golden Cup Inn. I have seen references as early as 1850 with this sign but most records simply used the Cup Inn until the late Victorian period.
The sign of the Golden Cup is often a heraldic reference to the arms of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, one of the one of the Great Twelve Livery Companies of the City of London. However, this old tavern was, for some years, known simply as the Cup. Given its close proximity to the parish church, this was probably a reference to the religious goblet which, in religious practice, is used for drinking during a ceremony or may carry a certain symbolic meaning. These are linked to the Holy Chalice, the vessel that Jesus used at the Last Supper to serve wine.
"On Monday afternoon, the 29th ult., a little boy, named Isaac Smith, four years of age, was severely burnt on the body and head,
in consequence of his clothes taking fire, from the effects of which he died on the following morning. The accident occurred during the absence of the poor little
fellow's parents, who are poor persons, and were both engaged at work, having left him in charge of an elder child. An inquest was held upon the body, on the
3rd instant, at the Golden Cup Inn, Yoxall, before Mr. W. W. Ward, coroner, when a verdict of "Accidentally burnt" was returned."
"Fatal Accident From Burning"
Staffordshire Advertiser : May 11th 1850 Page 4
"At the licensing sessions a complaint was made by Superintendent Gilbridge against Mr. Fearn, landlord of the Golden Cup Inn, Yoxall,
that refreshments had been refused to travellers who had called at the house. Mrs. Fearn [the landlord being at home ill] said that the travellers went to
the Crown Inn and could not get anything there, and then they came to the Golden Cup. Superintendent Gilbride explained that Mr. Hooper [the coroner] had
engaged all the accommodation at the Crown Inn, and the other travellers were compelled to go to the Golden Cup. Major Probyn [chairman] pointed out to
Mrs. Fearn that she had no right to refuse refreshments, as licenses ware granted for the benefit of the public. A person who refused to supply reasonable
refreshments was not a fit person to hold a licence. After some conversation Mrs. Fearn promised that no ground for further complaint should be given, and the
licence was renewed."
Lichfield Mercury : August 31st 1888 Page 2
"Accidental death" was the verdict returned at an inquest held on Wednesday afternoon at the Golden Cup Inn, Yoxall, on the body of
Edwin Leedham, a painter, aged forty-seven, who died from injuries received by falling off some roundabouts at the Yoxall Flower Show on Saturday. From the
evidence given it appears that the unfortunate man was just about to alight from the "animal" on which he had been riding, and the roundabouts were slowing
down, when he caught his foot and was thrown to the ground, falling heavily on his head and shoulders. Dr. F. Armson, of Yoxall, was standing near at the time, and
did what he could for the deceased, who was unconscious. The doctor afterwards attended
him, but he did not again regain consciousness and died on Tuesday from
concussion of the brain. The jury returned a verdict as stated."
"Flower Show Accident"
Burton Chronicle : August 29th 1912 Page 6