Some history of the Horse and Jockey Inn at Hadley End in Yoxall in the County of Staffordshire
The Horse and Jockey Inn was located on the northern fringe of Hadley End in the parish of Yoxall. The premises were marked on the 1902 map extract shown below.
Of the three taverns that once traded in the hamlet of Hadley End the Horse and Jockey Inn was the one to survive into the mid-20th century. Victorian residents of Hadley End were spoilt for choice in their time. The ratio of licensed houses per head was more favourable than most other places.
The tenancy of the Horse and Jockey was advertised in the autumn of 1857. Sale notices like the one above appeared between August and November, indicating that it took a few months to attract a new tenant. A new publican was found in November, following which the proprietor, John Mayer, held an auction to sell off the household furniture, along with barrels, brewing vessels, hops, malt, bacon, horses, cows, old and new hay, and a rick of barley. One can reasonably assume that the Horse and Jockey Inn sold homebrewed ales and that the house formed part of a farming enterprise.
I am not sure if John Mayer was owner or tenant. However, had no need of the brewing plant and ingredients as he and his wife Hannah were based at Morrey where they operated a 30-acre farm.
Sampson Phillips may have been the person who responded to the sale notice. He was certainly the licensee by 1860. The widower was both seedsman and victualler. However, his stay was brief as the furniture and effects were offered for sale in December 1861 due to him relocating.
Courtesy of Staffordshire Past-Track, this photograph shows licensee Howard Benwell, licensee of the Horse and Jockey, with his wife Irene and daughter Jenny. Oh, and Tim the dog. Howard Benwell was previously an inspector in the Burton division constabulary, retiring from the police force in 1949. Succeeding Inspector Haynes in 1933, he had transferred to Burton-on-Trent after serving in West Bromwich.
Early in 1955 the Benwell family suffered a bereavement following the death of eldest son Howard. He had undergone six years of treatment at the Outwoods Hospital at Burton. Trooper Benwell signed up as a regular soldier in 1947, and during that year served for six months in Palestine, before being brought back to the UK. It was while he was serving in Palestine that he contracted his fatal illness. Prior to joining the regular army he had been a member of the local Army Cadet Corps, and when he was younger had quite a reputation locally as a boy soprano. He was a keen member of the St. Chad's Church Choir and also sang in many musical festivals in and around Burton.
Howard Benwell was the last licensee of the Horse and Jockey Inn. In March 1958 at the general annual county licensing meeting, the magistrates provisionally renewed the licence, but referred the house to the compensation authority. Howard Benwell had only sold 38 barrels of beer so the magistrates deemed that the licence of the pub was unnecessary.
During the First World War Howard Benwell, lying about his age, signed up as a boy and served in France and Salonica. I was delighted to find that an oral history of his exploits was recorded in 1983 as is available on the website of the Imperial War Museum. I was also pleased to hear that he had managed to maintain some of his accent from his early days in Handsworth and West Bromwich.
"Henry Challinor, labourer, Tamworth Street, was summoned for having on the 18th of September given cause to Superintendent Hernaman
to suspect that he had been unlawfully in search of game, and that he had in his possession certain game and certain nets and engines used for taking game. Mr. Mears
defended. Police-Constable Small, stationed at Yoxall, stated that on Friday the 18th of September he was on duty about 7.15 a.m.. at Hadley End, and saw the
defendant in company with a man named Joseph Lindsey, who was wheeling an empty barrow, and they were going in the direction of the Horse and Jockey public-house.
Joseph Lindsey, butcher, Hadley End said that on the morning of the 18th of September last he was called up about half-past four by two strangers, who asked if he
could lend them a box. Witness borrowed a box to lend them, but did not know at the time what the box was wanted for. He saw some rabbits and nets near his house, and
one of the strangers gave him a rabbit. He saw the box put on to Mr. Sabin's van. John Kidd, landlord of the Horse and Jockey, Hadley End, said that on the
morning in question the last witness and another man came to his house, and Lindsey asked him to lend him a box, and he did so. He drew the defendant one pint of ale,
and his wife drew another. The box produced was his property. John Sabin, carrier, Hadley End, on the day in question saw the defendant about a quarter to ten
o'clock in company with the witness Lindsey. They had a box, and it was put on to witness's cart by the defendant, who requested him to take it to the Acorn
Inn, Lichfield. Witness brought the box to Lichfield, having previously received the carriage from the defendant. When he got to Lichfield he put up at the Three Crowns
Hotel, and Challinor came by and asked what time he was going back as he wanted him to take the box back. Defendant offered to send for the box, and two strange men
came to witness for it, but they did not take it away as it was too heavy. Directly afterwards Supt. Hernaman came up and took charge of the box. About twenty minutes
after the defendant beckoned witness up the Three Crowns yard, and wanted to know "what the bobbies were messing about for?" Witness replied that he [the
defendant] knew. Defendant then requested him to take the box to where it was addressed; it contained nothing but rabbits. Supt. Hernaman said on the day in
question, which was Friday, in consequence of information received, he went into Bread Market Street, and there saw the box produced. He raised the lid, and found it
to contain rabbits. He afterwards had the box removed to the police-station, and found in it 35 rabbits, three nets, one line, two bags, and a number net-pegs.
The nets and line were quite wet. The Bench considered the case proved, and inflicted a fine of 20s. and costs, amounting in all to 9s. 6d., The defendant asked what
the imprisonment would be in default? Mr. Barnes : A month. Defendant : I can eat that out; I shall be back again, tell them, when I've done
"Poaching Prevention Act"
Lichfield Mercury : October 23rd 1885 Page 5