Some history of the Shoulder of Mutton at Yoxall in the County of Staffordshire
The Shoulder of Mutton was a beer house, the premises of which, as the inn sign suggests, was also a butcher's shop. The premises were located in Hadley Street. In the early years of Queen Victoria's reign the tavern and shop was run by the Berrisford family, widow Maria Berrisford being succeeded by her son James. He remained as publican and butcher throughout the mid-19th century until his death, aged 67, in September 1885.
This excellent photograph is courtesy of Lyndon Taswell. It was sent to his late father in the 1960s from his grandson Clifford Taswell and his wife Joy, both deceased. They were researching the family tree and contacted Lyndon's father to see if he was related. Thomas Taswell was 93 when this photograph was taken in 1956. Great to see he was still supping a drop of ale - and smartly turned out too!
In November 1958 the Rugeley Times printed: "By the death of Mr. Thomas Taswell, of the Alms Houses, Abbot's Bromley, whose funeral took place last week, the village has lost its oldest inhabitant. Ninety-five years of age, Mr. Taswell retired from his regular employment 30 years ago, but he continued to be very active, working as a gardener and handyman in the village up to about three years ago. He was a native of Yoxall, where several generations of his family lived before him. Records show that his ancestors were in Yoxall as far back as 1780. Formerly licensee of the Shoulder of Mutton, he was also at one time a post-office driver. In the days when horses were used on the roads he took mail from Yoxall to Burton-on-Trent. He is survived by three sons and two daughters."
As can be seen from the above article, Thomas Taswell had a varied career, possibly the lot of many rural folk getting by doing whatever work was available in the locality. The son of a labourer, he was born in the village in March 1863. As soon as he was of working age, he was despatched to Victory Farm near King's Bromley where he was a servant to Herbert Batkin. He married Alice Ford in April 1885. She hailed from Newborough but she went into service and spent some time in London. By 1891 the couple were living in Yoxall from where Thomas worked as a mail driver. At the end of the Victorian era, the family were residents of Victoria Street where Thomas worked as a joiner's labourer, possibly to Charles Twamley.
"Charles Hancock, of Yoxall, was charged with assaulting Robert Deakin on the 27th ult., as he was going home from the
Shoulder of Mutton Inn, Yoxall. A cross-summons had been also issued. The Bench thought that Deakin was the worse of the two and fined him 5s. and 22s. 6d. costs,
and dismissed the case against Hancock."
Burton Chronicle : July 9th 1874 Page 4
"At the Elford Petty Sessions, yesterday, Thomas Barnes was summoned for using threatening language to Charles Twamley on
the 18th ult. Complainant stated that on the 18th, he was in the Shoulder of Mutton Inn, at Yoxall, when defendant came in. After having a glass of ale, defendant
asked him if he could speak to him. They went out of the house, and defendant asked him what he had say about him and his wife. Complainant replied, "nothing."
Defendant then said, "I will kill you, you bastard." He also threatened to blind him. In consequence of the threats he was afraid defendant would injure him.
In cross-examination, complainant admitted stating that defendant's wife had drowned herself, and also that defendant was a scamp. Barnes was bound over with
one surety, in the sum £10, to keep the peace for six months."
Lichfield Mercury : October 1st 1880 Page 8