Some history of the Bell Inn at Cradley in the county of Worcestershire.
This beer house was listed as the Blue Bell Inn by the enumerator collecting the data for the 1861 census. However, the 'Blue' element of the name was often dropped or perhaps forgotten and appears as the Bell Inn within other directories. The beer house was located in New Street, a road that led from the High Street down to Lodge Forge. Also known as Bedcoat Street, this was once lined with small cottages occupied by the people who grafted in the chain shops or perhaps in the brick and tile works next to the clay pit just to the east of New Street. Living conditions in many of the households was poor. In one case, there were eleven people living in one house with two bedrooms.
"At the Police Court on Friday, before C. E. Swindell, J. Hunt, and W. E. Firmstone, Esqrs., Alfred and Martha Priest [husband and
wife] were charged with having feloniously received 19s. 6d., the money of William Bunn, of Cradley, knowing the same to have been stolen. The prosecutor is a
publican, at Cradley and also keeps a provision shop. The male prisoner is a chainmaker at the same place. The public-house was managed by his wife, and the
provision shop by his daughter, Mrs. Adams. Complainant had a daughter, aged 13, and she had been tutored by the defendant and his wife to convey away sums of
money. This had been proceeding for ten months, during which Mrs. Bunn had been ill. Mrs. Priest had been in the habit of being in the house continually, and
knew where the money was kept. She had induced the daughter, to go to those places and take the money, and then give it her. Jane Bunn, the girl in question,
proved having, front time to time, stolen money belonging to her father, and given it to one or other of the prisoners. The robbery had been committed in an
ingenious manner. After consulting, the Bench said that there was no evidence against the woman of having received the particular sum specified in the charge,
but Alfred Priest they should commit for trial. Mr. Swindell said they were of opinion that the wife was as bad, if not worse, in having corrupted this child in
the first instance. Fortunately for her the summons only comprised one certain charge of taking 19. 6d., which she did not appear to have taken, but that she had
received other sums they were quite satisfied. The woman then left the dock."
"Singular Case of Receiving Stolen Money"
Worcestershire Chronicle : January 8th 1862 Page 4