Some history of the Coventry Cross
In the 21st century this business, trading as The Cross at Kenilworth, had evolved into a Michelin restaurant. Located on the southern side of New Street, the pub, formerly known as the Coventry Cross, is of some antiquity. The licence first seems to appear in 1813 when Mary Morris was the publican. She kept the tavern for many years before her death in April 1832, aged 67. However, her will of the previous year revealed that the Coventry Cross was occupied by the tenant William Randle. She retained the freehold and she left it to her daughter Sarah, wife of Edward Bury, and daughter Elizabeth Morris. Her son Thomas received other premises in Kenilworth.
William Randle was both glazier and maltster. A successor, John Manton, was also a maltster so it is likely that homebrewed ales were being sold at the Coventry Cross. John Manton, also documented as a farmer, kept the pub with his wife Mary. They were succeeded at the Coventry Cross Inn by William Freeman. He was licensee for over two decades. Born in Kenilworth in 1801, he married Alice Warren at Priors Hardwick in May 1829. The couple kept a busy pub in which they employed several servants.
In October 1860 the annual Court Leet and Courts Baron, of the Earl of Clarendon, were held at the King's Arms Inn and here at the Coventry Cross Inn. It was reported that "the usual officers were appointed, and the routine business transacted. The respective Juries afterwards dined together, and spent the afternoon and evening in a pleasant and convivial manner."
Following the death of William Freeman in May 1868, a notice was placed in the local newspapers inviting tenders for the lease of the Coventry Cross Inn. The notice affords an appreciation of how the old place looked in the mid-19th century. Tap, Smoke Room and Bar overlooking a large garden sounds idyllic. The notice stated that the Coventry Cross Inn was "one of the best houses in the Midland Counties."
Mr. Chamberlain injected some Victorian oomph into the Coventry Cross Inn by staging music and dancing on Whit-Tuesday in May 1870. In addition, he strove to find the 19th century version of Usain Bolt by organising what he billed as "A Great All-England Handicap" race over 120 yards.
In September of the following year  the Coventry newspapers reported on a bicycle race between Joseph Flint and Joseph Tebbutt who pedalled as hard as they could from Grey Friars' Green to the Coventry Cross Inn and back. Joseph Flint beat his opponent by about two miles, completing his ten miles in fifty minutes. One has to remember that bicycles were very rudimentary machines at this stage. There were no cranks back then and front wheel drive was the normal design and there were no inflatable tyres in those days. However, I have read of wheelers recording speeds of over 20mph in later years when riding penny farthings. I wonder if the competitors sought refreshment at the Coventry Cross Inn before heading back towards Grey Friars' Green?
The cycle race would have been a welcome return to business for Harriet Page who was the licensee at this time. She had landed in hot water with the magistrates in August 1871 and her licence was suspended until next the next adjourned licensing session. The offence which had upset the police and the Bench was not disclosed. In September the magistrates renewed Harriet Page's licence, with a caution as to the future management of the house.
Harriet Page hailed from Oxfordshire and was a widow when she took over the Coventry Cross Inn. Indeed, she had been a widow for some time. She was recorded as such in 1861 when working at the Bear Inn at Berkswell when it was kept by Henry Britain. It was at that ancient hostelry that she learned much about the licensed trade and was able to take the plunge and run her own public-house. She was helped by her nieces and employed a servant at the Coventry Cross Inn.
Harriet Page had a successful run at Kenilworth. Her estate was substantial when she passed away at the Coventry Cross Inn during June 1886.
George Whale, licensee of the Coventry Cross Inn during the late 1880s, was seemingly an intemperate man. In November 1889 he was taken to court by the florist Henry Whateley after the publican assaulted him in the bar. Two years later he was found guilty of causing an accident when drunk in charge of his horse and trap. The son of a tanner, George Whale was born in Newbury in Berkshire around 1847. In his early twenties he was working as a currier in London. He was a man who flew under the radar and I suspect he spent some time behind bars. What is certain is that his final resting place was in the nearby cemetery when he died in the autumn of 1893. His will suggests that the Coventry Cross Inn was still owned by the Morris family. Thomas Sergeant Morris was both postmaster and bank manager.
George Whale was succeeded by Harriet Alderman, the licence of the Coventry Cross Inn being transferred to her on December 6th, 1893. She was one of the nieces who worked at the pub under Harriet Page. She and her brother Walter had been sent to the workhouse as young children, suggesting their mother had fallen on hard times. Harriet Page may have been her salvation.
Harriet Alderman had only been running the Coventry Cross Inn for twelve months when she was hauled before the magistrates on a charge of selling brandy adulterated with 21 per cent of water. It was stated in court that, although she had pleaded guilty, the publican had seen her predecessor "fire up" on several occasions and she simply followed what he did. The publican was fined £2 and costs.
Harriet Alderman's life took an extraordinary direction at the turn of the 20th century when she married Robert Hannah, Deputy Chief Constable of the Warwickshire Constabulary. Born at Cardiff in August 1848, Robert Hannah joined the Warwickshire Constabulary in December 1874, having previously served four years in the Metropolitan Police Force. According to his obituary "he gained rapid promotion, being appointed sergeant in 1877, inspector in 1879, and superintendent the following year, when he was transferred to Atherstone in 1882. It was during his connection with Atherstone that he had his experience of industrial warfare, it being his duty to preserve order during the strike of the hatters, and afterwards of the colliers."
Robert Hannah became Deputy Chief Constable in April 1898 when he was for time stationed at Kenilworth as head of the Warwick County Police Division. This is how his path crossed with that of publican Harriet Alderman. I often wonder how romance blossoms? Perhaps their involvement was scandalous, or maybe to avoid objections to their marriage, they tied the knot at Marylebone in London during July 1900. It was in that year that Superintendent Walker resigned and Robert Hannah was posted to Aston. Robert and Harriet lived in the large residence next to the police station on Victoria Road. In 1911 when the Greater Birmingham scheme was carried through Robert Hannah took charge of the Sutton Coldfield division. His name appeared in the New Year Honours list of 1912 when he was awarded the King's Police Medal. He remained in his post in charge of the Sutton Coldfield division until his retirement October 1917, after 42 years of service in the Warwickshire Constabulary.
In his retirement years, Robert and Harriet Hannah lived at a property named Dalry on Little Aston Road at Aldridge in Staffordshire. Harriet, a former workhouse girl, had become part of the establishment.
King Edward VII was on the throne when Joseph Lee was mine host at the Coventry Cross Inn. The publican kept the public-house with his wife Catherine. Both of them hailed from London. Joseph had moved north some years before and, together with his first wife Rosa, kept the King Edward VI at No.17 Parade in Birmingham in the early 1880s. Indeed, he was licensee of a number of public-houses in Brum. Joseph Lee was clearly a man with taverns in his blood for he would still be running a pub in his seventies when he and Catherine moved to Watford in Hertfordshire.
Joseph and Catherine Lee knew how to throw a party at the Coventry Cross Inn. On New Year's Eve in 1902 they staged a fancy dress ball, the third such event of a similar character promoted to celebrate the coming of the new year, and also to commemorate the birthday of the hostess Catherine Lee. According to a post-ball report in the local press "the alcove was utilised for the ballroom, and the decorations were in accordance with the festive season. About 60 invitations were issued, and most of these were accepted. A number of the dresses worn were exceedingly pretty and effective whilst others were of a decidedly humorous character, and evoked much amusement. Amongst the guests were Mr. Joseph Selman, "Troop Sergeant-Major" Warwick I. Yeomanry, Miss Tandy, "Poppy"; Miss Robbins, "Gipsy"; Miss Edith Nutt, "Nurse of the Red Cross Society"; Miss Ethel Heatley, "Violets"; Miss Doris Wringrose, "The Belle of New York"; Miss Dencer, "Nancy Lee"; Miss Davis, "Spanish Girl"; Mr. Rogers, "Gordon Highlander"; Mr. Albert Lawrence, "Khaki"; Mr. Arthur Dencer, "Tennis"; Miss Hilda Wringrose, "Shepherdess"; Mr George Glenn, "Cricketer"; Dancing commenced at 9 o'clock and terminated at 2 a.m. The music was supplied Mr. Fred Rees, of Kenilworth. Supper was served at 11 o'clock, and at 12 o'clock the guests joined hands and sang "Auld Lang Syne" and danced the old year out and the new year in. During an interval Mr. Selman, on behalf of the guests, presented to Mrs. Lee a nicely-fitted case of perfumery, and in doing so said the guests desired to thank her very much for her kindness in giving the ball on this and past occasions."
From the report of the New Year's Eve Ball it was probably a loss to the residents of Kenilworth when the Lee's moved on. But move on they did and the licence of the Coventry Cross Inn was transferred from Joseph Lee to William Ormson in September 1905. He was quick to advertise the facilities offered at the hostelry, including a bowling green and tennis lawn. Note that cyclists were offered prompt attention. The Coventry Cross became a favourite destination or port-of-call for cyclists in the Edwardian period. For example, in July 1905 the Coventry Cross provided a late meal at 22.00hrs for members of the Birmingham Cyclists' Club House who staged a moonlight ride that took in a circuit from Swallow Street through Small Heath, Stonebridge, Coventry, Kenilworth, Warwick, Charlecote, Stratford-on-Avon and Henley-in-Arden. As a keen cyclist myself I have to doff my helmet to these pioneering riders who rode on roads with no tarmac in the dark with bike lights offering little illumination. Chapeau.
In May 1906 inclement weather conditions did not prevent a good number of the Helicon Cycling Club pedalling in the evening to the Coventry Cross Inn where William Ormson and his wife Mary provided a hearty repast before the riders enjoyed several musical items contributed by the members during an enjoyable evening. They did, of course, have to ride home late at night with full bellies and some of the good ales offered by William Ormson.
Evening riders once again piled into the Coventry Cross Inn during another moonlight ride in August 1910 when an incredible 150 cyclists took part in the event.
Amid the cycling craze, William and Mary Ormson did not forget about all the other traditional events held in the hostelry. A large number of clubs held dinners here or based their headquarters at this noted tavern. For example, the annual gathering and supper of the Noah's Ark Allotment Association was held at the Coventry Cross in November 1911 when over 40 members attended. The licensee and his wife were enthusiastically toasted and this was followed by a good old sing-song.
William Ormson was born at Liverpool in February 1869. His father, also named William, travelled widely as a seaman. His voyages took him to the United States, Brazil, Africa and the West Indies. One of his children was born in Brooklyn in New York so his Scottish-born wife Isabella must have travelled with him on some of his voyages. As land lubbers, the couple were running the Uxbridge Arms at Hednesford in the 1880s. Living at the Uxbridge Arms whilst working as an engine fitter, William jnr. met Brereton-born Mary Ann Smith and the couple were married in October 1899. The couple's son William was born at Hednesford before the family moved to Kenilworth. In 1926 he emigrated to Argentina. I am not sure when William, publican of the Coventry Cross Inn, died. However, Mary Ann remained in the town and, as a widow, lived in Waverley Road. A wealthy woman, she died in the summer of 1944.
Florence Mager placed advertisements in the local newspapers when she took over the management of the Coventry Cross Hotel. This advertisement from December 1914 shows similar facilities to that offered in Edwardian times, though the tennis lawn seems to have vanished! In April of the following year she married Albert Taylor so the licence register had a new name but recorded the same person.
In July 1916 the Coventry Cross Inn was sold at an auction held at the Craven Arms Hotel in Coventry. The auctioneers were Messrs. Humbert and Flint of Watford, suggesting that the property was in the ownership of the Lee family who had moved to Hertfordshire in 1905. The auction notice stated that the freehold hotel comprised of a smoking-room, tap-room, sitting-room, bath, and four bedrooms, offices, large dining or concert hall, yard with stabling, and attractive garden with bowling lawn. The property was offered with possession, and in submitting it to those present at the sale the auctioneer described it "a good house with big possibilities." Bidding for the Coventry Cross Inn started at £1,000, and advanced in bids of £50 to £1,250. The next offer was £1,275. then £1,300; afterwards the bidding rose to £1,320. at which price the property was sold to Mr. W. A. Coleman, on behalf of Messrs. Lucas and Co. Leamington.
Charles Thomas was an early manager for the Leamington brewery. He moved from the Crown Inn on Broad Street in Coventry. The pub remained quite traditional and was still home to a number of clubs and societies. In February 1919 the Kenilworth and District Fanciers' Society held their fifth table show for rabbits and cavies at what was their headquarters. Mrs. Ansell romped the event, winning first prizes in both the Flemish and Cavies categories. In September of the same year a successful flower and vegetable show was held at the Coventry Cross in aid of the Coventry Cross Sick and Dividend Fund.
In the late autumn of 1919 a new fence was being erected at the rear of the Coventry Cross Inn. During the excavation of a post-hole the workmen found three live shells buried in the ground. It was reported that "two were of 2-inch diameter and the other a 4.5, and bore evidence of long internment, being also out-of-date types." It was presumed that some nervous person buried them for safety!
Early in August 1921 Charles Thomas was summoned under the Defence of the Realm Regulations, for selling whiskey to Charles Hedley Young, an inspector with the Birmingham Board of Trade, at price exceeding the maximum, on June 15th 1921. Mr. W. A. Coleman put forward a plea of not guilty on behalf of the defendant. Mr. H. Upton appeared to prosecute on behalf of the Food Department of the Board of Trade. Charles Hedley Young said "he was served with a fifth of a gill of whiskey for which he was charged 8d. The lady who served him admitted that the room in which he was served was a public bar." The measure was quite correct. The defendant came in and said "my wife made a mistake charging you 8d., I always charge 6½d." After some wrangling over whether is was a public-bar the Chairman said that a technical offence was committed, and the defendant was fined 10s.
A notable event held in the Coventry Cross was a presentation to James Everett Jackson on February 23rd 1921. In his earlier years James Everett Jackson was one of Kenilworth's prominent public men. He was born in the High Street and went into business as a cabinet maker and undertaker. He continued in this role for 54 years, 30 of which was conducted at the corner of Station Road and Warwick Road.
James Everett Jackson was associated for many years with the Kenilworth Fire Brigade, his services in connection with which extended over a period of 40 years. Elected a member of the Brigade in August 1880, he served as a fireman for sixteen years and four months, as a lieutenant for six years, as second officer for six years, and as chief officer for twelve years. On his retirement in 1921 his length of service constituted a record since the formation of the Brigade in 1863. James Jackson held the National Fire Brigade's silver medal for 25 years' service, with three bars for each additional five years. At the gathering held in the Coventry Cross, he was presented with a handsome clock from the members of the Brigade.
The above photograph of the fire brigade and their manual pump fire engine was taken on Upper Rosemary Hill and almost certainly features James Everett Jackson. The taller property to the left still stands on the corner of Richards Close still stands. At the time of this photograph the engine was housed in a building around the corner in what was then Savage Lane.
The licence of the Coventry Cross was transferred from Charles Thomas to Norman Hill a few days before Christmas Day in 1921. The former colliery worker from Cannock was a well-known figure in Midland sporting circles after his exploits as a professional cricketer with Staffordshire County Club. His cricket career was inevitably interrupted by the First World War. However, it was to come to an end after he was wounded at the Dardanelles whilst serving with the Warwickshire Yeomanry. He lost the use of one arm and was discharged from the army in 1916.
Following the war Norman Hill would become a Chairman of the Coventry branch of the Warwickshire Yeomanry Old Comrades' Association. Despite his injuries from the conflict he was regarded as a fine shot and won numerous competitions.
Working for Lucas and Co. Ltd. of Leamington, Norman Hill kept a traditional house in an orderly fashion. Perhaps he was a little too strict if the report of his assault is accurate. Norman Hill also obtained occasional licences in order to operate a mobile bar at farm stock sales.
Norman Hill fostered traditional pub games which became an important part of social life during the inter-war years. He would host smoking concerts at the Coventry Cross on the evening when trophies were presented to teams of Kenilworth's public-houses. Looking at the above league tables published on February 8th, 1930, most of the cups were not going to travel further than the pub's trophy cabinet. The Bagatelle league was tight but those prodding cues for the Coventry Cross were in second place; the dominoes team were strolling to a league victory having won 10 out of 13 matches. In Cribbage the other teams may as well have thrown in the towel as the Coventry Cross were romping it. However, the performance of the darts team was dreadful. Having only won one match, the team was propping up the league table. They may have been propping up the bar a little too much!
Norman Hill may have hung up his bar towel when ownership of the Coventry Cross changed. The property was taken over by Ansell's Brewery Ltd. when they acquired the historic Leamington brewery of Lucas & Co. Ltd. in 1929. The Coventry Cross was one of more than 120 tied houses to be taken over in the business deal.
In something of a radical career change, after his spell at the Coventry Cross, Norman Hill became a poultry dealer at Coventry. He later became the proprietor of a chain of pets' meat stores around Warwickshire, and he was also connected with a riding school at Myton. During the Second World War he served in the Special Constabulary. However, he fell ill towards the end of the war and died at Selly Oak Hospital.
The licence of the Coventry Cross was transferred from Henry John Pratt to William Naylor on the first day of July in 1931. The above photograph was taken whilst he and his wife Emily were running the place. The former tool-maker was born in Coventry in 1879. His wife Emily was the same age and hailed from Leamington. The couple were married at the Church of Saint Thomas in Coventry in August 1899. I believe that there were complications at his birth and that he suffered from medical issues as a result. In 1939 he was recorded as incapacitated. By this time the family were living at Kensington Road in Earlsdon.
The Coventry Cross was kept for a brief spell by Arthur Faulkner in the mid-late 1930s. During World War One, when serving as a corporal in the King Edward's Horse, a cavalry regiment, he married Emma White at Long Ditton. She was the daughter of a farm bailiff. The couple had been running a shop in Dunchurch prior to their brief foray into the licensed trade. The returned to shop retailing and ran a general store on Lime Avenue in Leamington.
Succeeding Arthur Faulkner as publican, William Harrad was granted the licence of the Coventry Cross in September 1938. The former law clerk from Coventry married Cheltenham-born Eveline Slack in October 1906. Her parents had a shop on Foleshill Road where her father was a baker and pastry chef. Following their marriage, the couple established a home in Grafton Street. The couple would later keep the Plough and Harrow at Whitnash. They were running that pub in August 1938 when their daughter Joan married Kenneth Russell. The newly-weds were planning to live at No.91 Dulverton Avenue in Coventry but were living at the Coventry Cross in 1939.
At the end of the Second World War Alfred and Annie Parris were running the Coventry Cross. Before the war they were managing the Weymouth Arms in Gerrard Street at Lozells. Annie was the manageress at that public-house as Alfred was listed as an automobile and general engineering manager. The couple had run a number of public-houses in Birmingham. Alfred Parris was also joint trustee with the late Sir William Waters Butler to the Licensed Victuallers' Protection Society. The publican died at the Coventry Cross in the summer of 1846. A very large crowd attended his funeral at St. Nicholas' Church.
Although his star may have faded somewhat Frank Stokes became a 'celebrity' publican of the Coventry Cross in the post-war years. He was a professional footballer for Birmingham when they were known as Small Heath Alliance. During his ten years with Birmingham he was reserve to the England full-back and Blackburn Rovers legend Bob Crompton. After his playing days he and his wife May kept a number of pubs. Click here to read more about the life of this publican. Frank and May Stokes finally hung up their bar towels around 1952 and moved to Hill View at Baddesley Clinton near Chadwick End. Frank Stokes died there in 1957 at the age of 76.
Sidney Tallis was an enormously popular landlord of the Coventry Cross. He and his wife Mary organised a social club for regular customers and they would enjoy excursions and trips. Sidney Tallis worked in the licensed trade all his life and was president of the Leicester branch of the Licensed Victuallers' Association from 1949 to 1953. One of the pubs he used to run was the Junction Inn near Abbey Park in Leicester. When the couple took over the Coventry Cross in 1953, they enlarged it by opening a new lounge. Son Bill and daughter Janet took over when Sidney Tallis went into semi-retirement, but he kept himself involved in the life of the pub.
Licensees of this pub
1813 - Mary Morris
1831 - William Randle
1835 - John Manton
1866 - William Freeman
1871 - Harriet Page
1888 - George Whale
1896 - Harriet Alderman
1901 - Joseph Lee
1905 - William Ormson
1915 - Florence Mager
1915 - Florence Taylor
1920 - Charles Edwin Thomas
1921 - Norman Victor Hill
1930 - Henry John Pratt
1931 - William Naylor
1938 - Arthur D'Wight Faulkner
1938 - William Harrad
1946 - Alfred Parris
1953 - Sidney William Tallis
Note : this is not a complete list of licensees for this pub.
If you have a genealogy story or query regarding the Coventry Cross you can contact me and I will post it here in addition to including your message within the website pages for Warwickshire Genealogy.
Have Your Say
If you would like to share any further information on this pub - perhaps you drank here in the past? Or maybe knew a previous publican? Whatever the reason it would be great to hear of your stories or gossip. Simply send a message and I will post it here.
Photographed in 1971, this image shows the inn sign of the Coventry Cross by the Ansell's signwriter. It is an ecclesiastical sign and shows the arms of the Bishopric of Coventry, the Gules a Cross potent quadrate within a Bordure Argent charged with eight Torteaux. The arms date from 1918 when the current diocese was formed from part of the Diocese of Worcester. The Torteaux of Worcester is featured around the cross potent quadrate of Lichfield.
Related Newspaper Articles
"The anniversary of the Operative Bricklayers' Society took place on Saturday last, when upwards of 45 members assembled at the Green Man
and, after a pleasant drive, partook of an excellent dinner at the Coventry Cross, Kenilworth. After the cloth was drawn, the chair was occupied by the secretary,
Mr. Samuel Hirons, and the vice-chair Mr. George Bagnell. The usual toasts were enthusiastically drunk, the evening passing very cheerfully."
"Operative Bricklayers' Society"
Coventry Herald : July 30th 1875 Page 2
"Before Majors Molyneux and Marsland, George Whale, publican, Kenilworth, was summoned by Henry Whateley, florist, for assaulting him in
the Coventry Cross Inn, Kenilworth, on the 5th November. Mr. Crowther Davies appeared for the prosecutor, and Mr. Minster [Coventry] for the defendant. Mr.
Crowther Davies suggested that, as there were a number of cross summonses connected with the case, they should be taken, as far as possible, together. Mr. E. Field
said the practice of the Court, in a case like that, was to take the evidence in the first case, and only read through the necessary evidence of the cross summonses.
Mr. Davies said the complainant was a well-known inhabitant of Kenilworth, carrying on business as a florist. Mr. Whale was landlord of the Coventry Cross. On
the day of the assault, Whately, and a friend named Arnold, drove up to the Coventry Cross, and, entering the bar, had something to drink. As he was instructed, Mr.
Whale proposed to Whately that they should toss for drinks. His client declined so, and Whale thereupon picked a quarrel with him, in the course of which he came
round the bar, and, without warning, struck Whately a blow on the eye, knocking him down, and falling on him. Mr. Whately took out a summons against defendant, and
a curious circumstance connected with the case was that, although the assault occurred on the 5th, cross-summonses were issued upon Mr. Arnold, a perfectly
innocent man, whose only action had been to try and prevent a disturbance; and upon his client, for assault on the 11th, several days after the occurrence. Mr.
Whately then entered the witness box, and, in reply to Mr. Crowther Davies, said that the evening of the 5th inst., he called at the Coventry Cross Inn, Kenilworth,
kept by the defendant, with a friend named Arnold, and they had something drink. The defendant and a man named Spiers were behind the counter. Defendant invited
witness to toss with him for drinks round, and witness declined. Some high words followed, and witness was taken by surprise by Whale, who came from behind the bar
and, without provocation, knocked him down. Witness got up and followed defendant into an inner room, where there were two strangers. Directly he got into the room,
his legs were knocked under him by one the three men, and Arnold came in at the door while he was still on the floor. Witness could not swear that it was Whale that
kicked him in the room. Examined by Mr. Minster, witness said he knew a man named Latham, but he did not see him on the day in question. Defendant did not offer to
treat Arnold in the public house, and witness did not ask defendant to treat him. No bad language was used by anyone but defendant, and witness was not ordered out
or put out of the house by defendant. He did not take off his coat and throw it to the ground before any blow was struck, and Arnold did not hold Whale while witness
struck him. After leaving the house, witness went back again to find out why he had been assaulted. He was not turned out a second time; he believed all the doors
were bolted to prevent him doing so. John Arnold, butcher, Castle End, Kenilworth, said was in the Coventry Cross with Mr. Whately on the evening named. They had some
drink together, and there were some high words between Whateley and Whale because Whale asked Whateley to toss for drinks. Whateley refused to toss, and, after more
words, Whale came from behind the bar and struck Whateley, knocking him down. Witness pulled Whale off his companion. In reply to Mr. Minster, witness said defendant
did give him something to drink, gratis, after Whateley would not toss. Andrew Spiers, joiner, Kenilworth, said he was in the public house when Whateley and Arnold came
in and called for two whiskeys. Whale offered to toss them for drinks, and Whateley agreed. Whale put down his coin on the counter, and said, "I shall toss when
I'm ready." Some words followed, in the course of which both Whale and Whateley used bad language. Whateley pulled off his coat and threw it to witness, and
Whale then came round and struck at Whateley. He was certain that Whale struck first. Before the blow was struck, he did not hear the landlord request Whateley to leave
the premises. P.S. Alcott deposed to having had his attention called to the Coventry Cross, and outside there seeing a dispute between the landlord and Whateley. There
was a cross-summons by George Whale, against Whateley and Arnold, but the Bench said that there was evidently blame on both sides. It was a case of six of one and
half dozen of the other, and they believed they would be doing right by dismissing both cases, each party to pay their own costs. The solicitors agreed to this course
"Squabble in a Public House"
Leamington Spa Courier : November 16th 1889 Page 7
Related Newspaper Articles
"At the Kenilworth Petty Sessions on Wednesday, George Whale, landlord of the Coventry Cross Inn, Kenilworth, appeared to a summons
charging him with being drunk while in charge of horse and trap, on the 6th inst. Mr. Crowther Davis said he held a watching-brief for Mr. Dempster, who owned a
carriage run into by the defendant. Mr. Laxon, grocer, 29, Earl Street, Coventry, said while being driven on the Kenilworth Road he saw a vehicle in front and warned
his driver to look out. He then shouted, but those in front took no notice, and as the vehicle did not move out of the way he made no attempt pass it. He then saw a
vehicle coming in opposite direction, and he could see that an accident was inevitable. The traps collided, and the occupants of both vehicles were thrown out. He
jumped out and helped two ladies to get up. They were in the trap which was coming towards Leamington. The accident was in the centre the road. Whale's trap was
in the centre of the road, and there was no space for another vehicle to pass. The other trap was trying pass on the proper side, but there was no room. After helping
the ladies he turned to the man who had been in the trap. He was lying in the road. Witness helped him to rise, and asked his name, and it was given him. Defendant:
"He knew my name well enough.' Witness, continuing" When he had helped him up he fell down again, and on being again helped to stand he enquired where his
mare was. Witness told him to follow, but on trying to walk, he fell down again. Witness then went after the mare, but found it had been stopped by a man, and he
returned to the scene of the accident. The defendant was still lying in the road. He was drunk. Witness could tell that by his unsteady walk. The defendant was alone,
but he could not say if he carried lamps. Defendant characterised witness's evidence as "tissue of lies." William Kitchen said he was coachman for Mr.
Dempster, of Dormer Lodge. On the night of the accident the trap was driven by Mrs. Dempster towards Leamington. About half-way between Major Brooks' and the
last house on the Kenilworth Road the trap driven by the defendant came into collision with them. Mrs. Dempster was driving on the proper side of the road and carried
lights. They were all thrown out, and the trap was overturned. The defendant was lying in the road crying for help. Witness told him to help himself, and turned to
assist his mistress. The last witness was supporting Mrs. Dempster's niece, who was unconscious. Witness went for some brandy. The defendant was drunk. He staggered
across the road, and he smelt strongly of drink. The defendant was alone in the trap, and carried no lights. Police Constable Fletcher said he found Mrs. Dempster's
trap broken by the roadside. The defendant was about 100 yards ahead, and his trap was also broken down. He was holding up by the trap with the reins in his hands. Witness
asked him if he was alone, and he said "Yes," and he told him he should not allow him to have charge of the horse as he was drunk. Defendant said "All
right; I'll give you my card. I am not drunk, though I have had a drop." A carrier came up and volunteered to take defendant, and another man took the trap.
He saw defendant in Leamington next day, and he then said he was not "properly drunk." Defendant [sworn] said at the time of the accident he had stopped
to light some matches. He had thrown the reins on the back of the mare and was lighting a cigar at the moment of the collision. His horse was standing still, and he was
pitched out on the road. He was the only one who was hurt. He was not drunk. He gave the horse to the man, as he was too much hurt and the axle was broken. The Chairman
said it was very bad case, and the defendant would be fined £1 10s. and 18s. 11d. costs. The fine was paid."
"Trap Accident Near Kenilworth"
Coventry Herald : January 16th 1891 Page 8
"Yesterday, before Mr. Stanger Leathes, General Radcliffe, Major Molyneux, Captain Starkey, and Councillor H. Bright, a trio of Coventry men,
John Dipper, 21, Chapel Street, Coventry, Thomas Kane, Jordanwell, and William Sanders, Jordanwell, were charged with having, on the 3rd inst., falsely represented
themselves to be bona-fide travellers and obtaining intoxicating liquors from Frederick Kings, the landlord of the Globe Commercial Hotel, Kenilworth, during
the time his licensed premises were closed. Sanders and Dipper pleaded guilty, and Kane pleaded not guilty. P.C. Mellor, who proved the case, said he was on duty in New
Street, Kenilworth, on Sunday, the 3rd inst. at 2.30. when he saw Kane go into the Coventry Cross Inn. He walked past the place and stood at the corner of New Street,
and he saw defendant drive past in a cab a few minutes later. He then walked up High Street and round by the Castle, and at 3.30 p.m. he found the three defendants in
the yard of the Globe Commercial Hotel. He asked them what they were doing there, and Sanders replied that they had only come to look at the animals. The landlord,
Frederick Kings, was present and he asked them if he had supplied them with anything to drink and he said he had supplied them with one glass of ale each, but before
doing so he had asked them if they were bond-fide travellers, and the defendants replied that they were, as they had come from Coventry. The constable told
them that he had seen them go into the Coventry Cross Inn, just after half-past two, and Sanders replied that they did go in. He took their names and addresses and
was walking down the yard when one of them said, "Well, we will go and finish our beer," and all three went into the bar. He followed them, and saw them each
drink from glasses containing beer. He afterwards went back to the Coventry Cross Inn, close to which he met the defendants, and asked them to go with him, and he asked
the landlady, Harriet Alderman, in their presence, whether she had supplied them with anything to drink, and she said she had supplied them with a glass of ale and a
cigar each. She had asked then if they were travellers, and they had said they were, as they had come from Coventry, and were going to Warwick. Harriet Alderman and
Frederick Kings gave corroborative evidence. In answer to the Bench, Kane said he was visiting a relation at Warwick. Mr. Stanger Leathes, summing up, said the case
would be adjourned for one week to allow them to consider it."
"Offence Against the Licensing Laws"
Leamington, Warwick, Kenilworth & District Daily Circular : January 14th 1897 Page 2
"The Shop Assistants' Walk is the latest of its kind in Coventry. The Assistants will have their contest on August 20th, and it was
suggested at a meeting on Wednesday evening that the route should be from Queen Victoria Road to the Coventry Cross, Kenilworth, and back - a distance of
between ten and eleven miles. The walk has not yet been fully made known amongst the Assistants, so at present there are but 15 entries. A committee was formed on
Wednesday night to make the final arrangements for the event. The prizes will be for those in first and for the winners of the sealed handicap. The hon. secretary
is Mr. T. Stagg, who will receive entries."
"Shop Assistants' Walk"
Coventry Evening Telegraph : July 23rd 1903 Page 3
"Ansell has not been convicted before, but I should like to mention that the publicans of Kenilworth have had difficulty in dealing with
these Coventry people, and I do think that when they try to carry out their duties well they should be upheld." Such were the remarks of D.C.C. Ravenhall when
Arthur Henry Ansell, of 110, Lower Ford Street, Coventry, was summoned for assaulting Norman Victor Hill, licensee of the Coventry Cross, Kenilworth,
on June 6th. Hill said at 9.57 p.m. on June 6th he was in charge of the public-bar when he called time, requesting the customers to finish drinking. He noticed
Ansell with a glass of beer in his hand, and, seeing that he made no attempt to drink it, he asked him again. Witness told him that unless he finished up his drink he
would take the glass away from him. Defendant refused to drink his beer, and witness attempted to take away the glass. Ansell then turned round and struck him under
the jaw. Witness said he closed with defendant and managed to get him outside. In doing so, a glass window was broken. The police were then telephoned for. P.C. Sutton
said about 10.10 p.m., in response to a telephone message he went to the inn at New Street, Kenilworth, where he saw the defendant, and Hill was standing outside. Hill
told him that the defendant had been asked to leave and refused, and was subsequently ejected. Witness said Hill's left jaw was swollen. Asked if that was correct
by witness, Ansell admitted striking Hill, and said he was drinking his beer when time was called. He heard nothing else until his drink was taken from him by the
licensee. He did not like that attitude, and struck Hill under the left jaw. Charles Arnold said he was in the public-bar when he heard Hill call time at 9.57p.m.
and saw defendant, who refused to drink his beer after being told to two or three times. Witness said he saw Ansell strike Hill. Ansell said he arrived at the
public-house at about 6.30. At about 10 p.m. Hill took away his glass, caught hold of him from the hack of the neck, and put him outside. Asked by D.C.C. Ravenhall
if he hit Hill, Ansell said he did, but it was under provocation. He did not strike until he had been hit first. A fine of one guinea and 10s. costs was imposed."
"Kenilworth Publican Assaulted"
Warwick & Warwickshire Advertiser : June 18th 1927 Page 3
"A young man of no fixed abode wept pathetically in the Milverton Police Court on Wednesday when he was brought up on a charge of false
pretences. When the chairman of the magistrates [Mr. H. C. Parry] announced that the accused would be sent to prison for three months he walked calmly from
the dock, and very meekly, "Thank-you, sir!" Then, shaking his fist at Mr. Parry, he cried out passionately: " When I come out I will have
my revenge!" The prisoner was Horace Seviour, and he was charged with falsely pretending that he was in a state of exhaustion from want of food, thus
obtaining food to the value of 6d., and 1s. in money, from Reginald Turner, 4, Chapel Street, Warwick. Mr. Turner said that on Saturday he was driving a motor-lorry
down Rosemary Hill, Kenilworth at 1 p.m. when he saw Seviour being carried off the road by two men. Witness thought there had been an accident and pulled up. He said:
"What's the matter, old chap?" and Seviour replied: "I have had nothing to eat for three days." Witness took him to a refreshment room,
gave him some tea, and asked if would have some bread and cheese, but prisoner said he would rather have a cake. Mr. Turner bought him some biscuits valued at 6d., and
gave him 1s. Inspector Woodward said that at 12.30 p.m. the same day [before the previous incident happened], he went to New Street, Kenilworth, and saw Seviour
sitting in the doorway of the Coventry Cross Inn with his head bent down between his hands. The Inspector said he had been told that Seviour had collapsed in the road,
and so he asked what was the matter with him. Seviour replied that he had had no food for three days and he could walk no further. Witness asked Seviour several questions
and then the man said, "I am answering no more questions here - that won't get me a dinner." Some time later witness saw the man in Priory Road, and
showed signs of exhaustion. The Inspector told him that he was not satisfied with what he had said, and would detain him to make enquiries. In prisoner's possession
he found 1s. 5½d. and a good cheese-buttered sandwich. There was also an address which prisoner had had bread and milk that morning. P.C. Selwyn said that the
prisoner was given a double brandy at the Coventry Cross Inn, and that the man remarked to the landlord that it was rather weak! Seviour pleaded "not guilty."
He said that he had been suffering from an epileptic fit Saturday and had had no food for three days. He admitted that the story he had told the Magistrates about his
parents being blown up on a fishing smack during the war was a fabrication. D.C.C. Ravenhall said that the prisoner had been convicted in London for stealing. He had
been carrying this mode of living since he had left an epileptic home three years ago. Seviour was sentenced to three months' imprisonment."
"Shook His Fist at Magistrate"
Leamington Spa Courier : May 10th 1929 Page 7