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Not Brentford


224 High Street, New Brentford.

The Beer House Act of 1830 allowed a householder who paid the local poor rate to obtain a licence, costing 2 guineas, from the Customs and Excise, for his or her house for the sale of beer or cider but not wine or spirits. Many thousands of these new “Beerhouses” were opened in the years following the Act, possibly between forty and fifty had opened in Brentford by 1870.

When a house became a Beer House is difficult to determine, as they were often run by men who had a main occupation, often in the labouring, watering, building or gardening trades, where work could be seasonal, so they are often recorded in the Census Returns by their Trade. Also there are few Directories prior to 1851, and these often the list just fully licensed premises, and those after often do not name the house but just the licensee.

Thomas Davis – c. 1851

The first evidence for the house dates from 1851.

A Thomas Davis was listed as a Beer Retailer in the Post Office Directory of 1852. In the 1851 census the house occupied by Thomas Davis was on the corner of Half Acre. He gives his occupation as a carpenter, but it was very common at this time for beer house keepers to be working men and they would list their day job, whilst their wife ran the house. The location fits with the later site of the Crown and Anchor beer shop.

1851 Census – HO 107 / 1699, fo. 8v, p. 8, sch. 35

High Street, New Brentford, (On the corner of Half Acre).

Thomas Davis, Head, Mar., aged 27, a Carpenter, born Middx., Brentford
Ann Davis, Wife, Mar., aged 30, a Carpenter’s Wife, born Warwickshire, Norton Pindley
Joseph Davis, Son, aged 5, a Scholar, born Warwickshire, Norton Pindley ?
Abigail Davis, Daughter., aged 2½, a Scholar, born Warwickshire, Solyhull
Jane Davis, Daughter, aged 1, born Middx., Brentford
Louisa Hobday, Servant, Unm., aged 17, a Maid Servant, born Middx., Brentford

William Minchin – c. 1852 – c.1854

In 1853 the house is first named in Mason’s 1853 Directory : -

Crown and Anchor, High Street – William Minchin

Richard Lunn – c. 1854 – c.1864

By 1854 the house was in the occupation of Richard Lunn, as he is listed at the Crown and Anchor, High Street in the 1855 Post Office Directory. The information for directories was collected at the end of the year previous to which they are dated.

The Census returns show it was also a Lodging House as between 1861 and 1881 there are between 5 and 11 lodgers there. In the 1881 Census it is described as a “Licensed Lodging House.” This was quite common for the larger Beer Houses.

1861 Census RG 9 / 777, fo. 15, p. 25, sch. 129 & 130

(Crown and Anchor), High Street, Brentford (on the corner of Half Acre)

Richard Lunn, Head, Mar., aged 41, a Beer House Keeper, born Middlesex Chelsea
Sarah Lunn, Wife, Mar., aged 42, born Middlesex, Brentford
Caroline Lunn, Daughter, aged 12, born Middlesex, Brentford
Harry Lunn, Son, aged 10, born Middlesex, Brentford
Emily Lunn, Daughter, aged 6, born Middlesex, Brentford
Mary Lunn, Daughter, aged 4, born Middlesex, Brentford
With 7 lodgers in the following schedule.

Francis Reed c. 1864 – March 1874

Francis Reed had taken over the house by 1865 as he is listed as a Beer Retailer in the High Street, Brentford in the 1865 Post Office Directory.

1871 Census RG 10 / 1319, fo. 128v, p. 8, sch. 35

(Crown and Anchor), 28 High Street, New Brentford

Francis Reed, Head, Mar., aged 57, a Beer Seller, born Sussex, Fl,,,,t
Mary Ann Reed, Wife, Mar., aged 38, born Surrey, Lambeth
Edward Reed, Son, Unm., aged 13, a Scholar, born Middlesex, St. Luke
Henry Reed, Son, aged 4, born Middlesex, Brentford
Charlotte Reed, Daughter, aged 1, born Middlesex, Brentford
With five lodgers.

In August 1869 an Act of Parliament transferred the licensing of beerhouses from the Customs and Excise to the local magistrates. Over the next four years there was a determined attempt by the Brentford Bench to close the worst run beerhouses or those considered unnecessary. A number were closed at these sessions. In 1873 the Crown and Anchor came up for consideration for closure at the Licensing Sessions that year. At the Adjourned Licensing Sessions that year, the Chairman of the Magistrates, Mr. F. H. N. Glossop made the following remarks about beerhouses.


With reference to the beer-houses in the division, the magistrates, acting under the powers given them in the new Licensing Act, instructed Mr. E. H. Burnett, surveyor (who had valued the property at the instance of the Assessment Committee of the Union), to value a number of them, for the purpose of ascertaining whether they were of a proper standard to be licensed. He surveyed 75 out of the number, and as each occupier came up for his certificate he was required to pay £1 1s., the fee for Mr. Burnett’s valuation.

On the beer-house list being taken, the Chairman said in all the cases to which the houses did not comply with the requirements of the statute as to the value of the houses, they would stand over until the adjournment day, for the parties to consider whether they kept their houses up to the proper standard.

In consequence of this determination on the part of the Bench, a considerable number of applications for renewals of certificates were ordered to stand over till Tuesday next, the day appointed for the hearing of new applications, and the disposal of the remainder of the business.

(Middlesex Chronicle March 15 1873)

Over 50 houses were ordered to stand over to the adjourned sessions, easily a record for the Brentford Licensing Sessions. The main objection was the low Rate Assessment for some of the houses, facing closure many houses then made improvements to bring them up to the required assessment.

The licence of the Crown and Anchor was renewed at these Adjourned Sessions, without comment, for many of the other houses the Chairman of the Magistrates made comments or issued a warning as to their future conduct of the house, but none are recorded for the Crown and Anchor.


Death of Francis Reed

Francis Reed died aged 60, on 1 March 1874, and was buried 8 March 1874, at the Ealing & Old Brentford Cemetery.

Probate Record – 19 March 1874 – Francis Reed - Effects under £50

Francis Reed’s wife then applied at the next meeting of the Magistrates for the licence to be transferred to her, this was the Second Adjourned Licensing Sessions for 1874

Mary Reed, wife of the late Francis Reed of the Crown and Anchor, New Brentford, applied for a transfer from her husbands name to her own, which was granted.

(Middlesex Chronicle – March 28 1874)


Mary Reed – March 1874 to c. 1875

After about a year ot two Mary Reed had transferred the house on.

Robert Pidgeon c. 1876 to October 1877

At some point between 1874 and 1876, the licence was transferred to Robert Pidgeon, he is first recorded there in 1877.

Brentford, Ealing etc. Directory 1877 - New Brentford, Crown and Anchor, High Street, R. Pidgeon

After a brief residency Robert Pidgeon handed it on John Taylor who was to be the last licensee, remaining there until its closure around 1882.

Brentford Petty Sessions, Saturday 6 October 1877, Transfer – Crown and Anchor, New Brentford, Robert Pidgeon to John Taylor.

(Morning Advertiser 8 October 1877)


John Taylor – October 1877

Attempting to pass counterfeit coins or notes has been a common occurrence, possible since coins were first issued; and writing this just after the recall of the old one pound coin, because it is so easy to forge, it is still prevalent. Up until 1832 it was a capital offence, though the guilty very often had their sentenced commuted. The common slang terms for this were “uttering and “smashing,” both of which are used in the following case.

Brentford Police Court Monday, May 31 – SMASHING

Michael May, of 11 Great Arthur Street, Goswell Road, was charged with attempting to utter to Sarah Taylor, at the Crown and Anchor beerhouse, New Brentford, a counterfeit florin, well knowing the same to be counterfeit.

Sarah Taylor said she was the wife of the landlord of the Crown and Anchor. On Saturday night prisoner came in, and called for a half pint of beer, which she served him with. He pulled out some bronze from his pocket, and threw the 2s. piece down. She picked it up, and began rubbing it, and prisoner said “That’s one of my own making; it is as good as I can make them.” She did not like the look of it, and he said “he could not make them any better.” He then asked her to give it back to him, but she refused, and he began abusing her. She then gave him into custody.

A constable said he was called by the last witness to take the prisoner into custody. He found him standing in front of the bar, very drunk. He told him the charge, and searched him, and found 4s. 6d. in silver and some bronze on him, all good money.

Remanded till next Saturday, for the Mint Authorities to be communicated with.

It appears all cases where there was counterfeiting the magistrates would contact the Royal Mine to see if they wanted to prosecute, obviously they didn’t in this case. At the adjourned hearing, on the following Saturday, he was released with a caution, as “enquiries made about the prisoner’s antecedents being proved satisfactory.”


1881 Census – RG 11 / 1348, fo. 63v, p. 28, sch. 113

224 High Street, New Brentford, Beer House, Crown & Anchor – Registered Lodging House

John Taylor, Head, Mar., aged 61, A Carman & Carpenter, born Surrey, Bagshot
Sarah Taylor, Wife, Mar., aged 57, Middx., born Ealing
Elizabeth Ellis, Serv., aged 14, a Gen. Dom. Serv., born Middx., Brentford


The house was licensed at the Brentford Licensing Session in March 1882, but was not licensed the following year. The printed list of the licensed houses for the Brentford Division for 1882 has a hand written note by the side of the Crown and Anchor - “Now a Bank.”

The most likely reason for the closure was that the premises at 223 High Street was rebuilt at this time and the adjoining premises at 224 was bought up and a new bank building was built on the site of the two properties. The bank was in the process of building by April 1882, as there was a complaint made at the time as to the line of the building, it was said the building was encroaching on the footpath.



1851---Thomas Davis
1853---William Minchin
1855 – 1862 ---Richard Lunn
1864 – 1874 ---Francis Reed
1874---Mary Reed
c. 1874 to Oct. 1877 ---Robert Pidgeon
Oct. 1877 – 1882/3 ---John Taylor

Read more about 224 High Street


Page published November 2017