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Vic Rosewarne has researched many beerhouses and licensed houses in Brentford from their opening to closure (or the current day for survivors) making extensive use of contemporary newspaper accounts and licensing records to paint some vivid histories. He has also derived some useful lists of licence transfers and names of licensed victuallers and beersellers. See Vic's pub hub for access to his research.

Here he tackles the Drum and I recommend reading the whole, top to tail. Vics adds 'It turns out the house had a long and very interesting history. According to the title deeds it was originally the "Falcon", though the earliest licensed victuallers list for 1722 has it as the Drum. There is one piece of its history which is very amusing, but another part which is darker. The landlady in 1825 was declared a lunatic, and was confined at the Hanwell asylum.'

319 High Street, Brentford

(Formerly The Falcon)

This house dates back to at least the 17th century, when it was a coaching Inn, known as the Falcon. The former name is recorded the title deeds for the property, which were thoroughly examined by the lawyers for the Chiswick Brewery of Fuller, Smith and Turner, when buying the property in 1845.

[See Appendix 2 for the details of the title deeds and the recording of the Falcon as its previous name.]


The earliest mention in the licensing records is in 1722, by which time it was known as the "Drum" and for the next 99 years almost the only records of the house is the following list of licensees. A full Chronological list of the licensees is given in Appendix 1.

Francis Loach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1722
Richard Doding . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1729 - 1772
Mary Dodding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1773 - 1776
William Rogers . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1777 - 1780
Mary Stevens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1781 - 1783
William Louch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1784 - 1796
Samuel Harris . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1796 - 1807

When Samuel Harris died in 1807 the house was taken over by Lydia Harris, who was most likely his daughter. She is later recorded as an unmarried woman.



Lydia Harris - 1807 to August 1825

The first details of events at the house is this, apparently minor, theft, but the punishment shows the harsh way even petty offences were dealt with 200 years ago.

OLD BAILEY TRIAL 12 September 1821

William Johnson was indicted for stealing, on the 14th August, one handkerchief, value 7s., the goods of Joseph Cornwall.

Lydia Harris, I keep the Drum, public house, at Old Brentford. On the 14th August, between three and four o'clock in the afternoon, I was sitting in the kitchen. A man came in at the back door, and in a few minutes I heard a noise over the kitchen, I went up into the bedroom, saw no one, and came down again, and in a few minutes heard someone coming downstairs. I stopped down in the passage, a man came to the bottom of the stairs, went out at the back door, and went towards New Brentford - he held his face down so low. I could not see his features - my husband gave an alarm, I went up and found my brother-in-laws box broken open - the prisoner was in the house that afternoon, but I will not swear he is the one I saw come down stairs.

Joseph Cornwall, when I came home, I found my box broken open.

Mary Cornwall, I was talking to my aunt in the kitchen, heard a noise, she went up, and came down; I looked after the man, and called my uncle to pursue him.

Thomas Baker, I sell oysters, On the 14th August, I heard a cry in the street, and saw a man following the prisoner; expecting him to be the thief, I attempted to stop him, he jumped suddenly aside, and struck me - I followed and collared him, he turned round and dropped a silk handkerchief, a small chisel, and a crow-bar; I picked them up, and brought him with them to the office.

William Adderley, I heard a cry, crossed the road, and Baker gave me the prisoner and implements, and as I was locking him up, he threw a bundle of picklock keys away.

George Carver, on the 14th August, about two o'clock in the afternoon, I went to this house, and had a pint of beer. The prisoner sat there half an hour, I heard a cry of Stop Thief ! and immediately missed him, ran, and saw him secured.

(Property produced and sworn to.)

Guilty, aged 28, Sentenced to seven years transportation.



In 1826 Lydia Harris was unable to continue as the landlady, her exact symptoms are not given, but there was an examination for lunacy, in July 1826, at the Star and Garter, Kew Bridge, as to her competence to manage her affairs. The commissioners appointed for this task found that Miss Harris was not competent, and she was admitted to the Hanwell Asylum about that time.

Lydia Harris died in the asylum nearly eight years later -

Lydia Harris was buried at Old Brentford 21 May 1834, aged 66, her abode was given as Hanwell Lunatic Asylum.

(Parish Registers of St George, Old Brentford.)


Joseph Harris - 5 August 1825 to 14 July 1832

At the Commission which enquired "In the Matter of Lydia Harris, Spinster", the Jurors reported that Joseph Harris of Old Brentford, Lighterman, was her nearest relative; he was aged sixty three. Joseph Harris was to run the house for the next seven years. He had to produce his accounts for the time he ran the house, and these show a rapid decline in the business.

Joseph Harris was appointed on the 5 August 1825, almost a year before Lydia Harris was committed to the Hanwell Asylum. His tenancy of the property was not a success. He had to keep accounts of his trade at the house, presumably to be examined by an official appointed by a government department. These show that in 1826 the profit on the sale of beer was 164 5s., but by 1831 it had gone down to 92 17s. Also the sale of spirits had declined from 40 15s., in 1826, to 12 6s. 9d. in 1831.

The accounts were made up to the 14 July 1832, when Joseph Harris left the house, and presumably a new tenant came in.

[Extracts of the above account book are given in APPENDIX 3]



Also during Joseph Harris's tenure, there was a renewal of the lease.

Lease 3 Nov. 1828, Mrs. Ann Trimmer and others, Lease of a Messuage called the Drum, Old Brentford - Commences 29 September 1828, Term of Years 28, Expires 29 September 1856. Annual Rent for first 7 years - 30, For remainder of term 35.

Although Joseph Harris was running the house, and acting as landlord, Lydia Harris was recorded both in the licensed victualler's returns and the land tax records as being at the house.


Unknown Tenant - 14 July 1832 to late 1833

It appears a new tenant came into the house around July 1832, the business records of the house have this mention of this change : -

"14 July 1832

Received from the incoming Tenant for goods and Fixtures at the Drum Public House as appraised sold to him - 180 10s.

Licenses - 1 3s. 6d.

A Moiety of the Tavern Expenses - 1 4s. 6d.

Beer, Ale, and spirits in the Public House at the time of Sale - 12 16s. 3d."

It would have been a short tenancy as Thomas Begley was landlord by late 1833. In giving evidence at an Old Bailey trial in September 1834, he says he had been at the Drum for ten months, which means he came to the Drum around November 1833.


Thomas Begley - about November 1833 - 1838

The new landlord was soon at the Old Bailey, though just as a witness.


William Joiner, aged 27, and John Stamp, 19, both labourers, were indicted for feloniously assaulting John May, on the 2nd of July, at Ealing, putting him in fear, taking from his persons, and against his will, 1 purse value 2d; 2 half-crowns, and 13 shillings, his goods and money.

John Mayne, the prosecutor, a deaf man, who could only hear by means of an ear-trumpet, stated that he was a labouring man, and lives near Portsmouth. In the summer he came to Middlesex, to make hay. About nine weeks ago he went into a public house, in Brentford, about seven o'clock in the evening, with both the prisoners, and after drinking some ale together, left the house with them to go to Ealing. They walked together about three miles, and then lay down on a cock of hay. He soon got up and went on his way alone for about ten minutes, when both the prisoners overtook him and pushed him into a hedge, and took his purse, containing 18 shillings, and then ran away.

Mr. Thomas Begley stated that he kept the Drum public house, in Brentford. On Wednesday, the 2nd of July the prosecutor came into my house, in company with the two prisoners, about seven o'clock in the evening. They called for a pot of beer for which the prosecutor payed, I gave him change out of a shilling. The prisoners were sitting close to him at the time, they remained together while they drank the beer. I saw them go away, all three together, about a quarter after seven, or between seven and eight o'clock. When they went from my house, they were all three quite sober, I did not see the prosecutor at all intoxicated. I am sure the prisoners are the men. I have seen them at my house often before, and they always behaved well there.

Cross-examined by Mr. Clarkson, Mr. Begley said I am certain it was near nine o'clock when they left the house. My house is about a mile from Ealing. I have known the prisoners about four or five months, I only know them by their coming to my house for beer. I have only kept the house about ten months.

The prosecutors account was supported by the evidence of George Tame, who saw the prisoners and John Mayne in Hanger Lane, about a mile and a half from the Drum public house. Similar evidence was given by Henry Cole, who also saw them walking towards Ealing.

The prisoners said nothing in their defence, and were both found Guilty.

Mr. Justice Williams addressed the prisoners, and said every thing was kept back from the Jury that might tend to their prejudice; but the Court was well acquainted with their habits of life, and character in the neighbourhood where they lived. He then sentenced William Joiner and John Stamp to death

(Morning Advertiser 5 September 1834)

William Joiner and John Stamp were not executed, they were most likely transported to Australia.



Then the house was damaged by strong winds.


About one o'clock the wind suddenly shifted to the north-west, at which time the arbours and seats in the tea-garden of Mr. Meredith, the Star and Garter Tavern, Kew Bridge, were all blown from their fastenings, and strewed over the grounds, by which they were much damaged.

In Brentford a stack of chimneys were blown down at the house of Mr. Dickens, grocer. At the corner of Drum Lane, leading to Ealing, the roof of the Drummer public house, kept by Mr. Begley, was partly blown off.

(The Constitutional - November 30 1836)

Thomas Begley left the Drum around 1838/9, he then briefly run the Bull public house in Brentford High Street, before moving to the White Hart, Windmill Road, Brentford, from about 1844 to October 1861.


George Norman- by 1839 - late 1841

This was a short tenure, the only detail being that he and his family recorded in the 1841 census return.

1841 Census - (The Drum), High Street, Old. Brentford.

George Norman, 30, Publican, N (Not born in Middlesex)
Mary Norman, 30, N
Mary Norman, 9, N
William Norman, 7, N
Harriet Norman, 5, N
Rosalind Norman, 2, N
With two travellers as lodgers

(Ref. - HO 107 / 689 /7, fo. 27, p. 1)


James Greenaway by December 1841 to June 1847

In the 1840s there was great agitation in Ireland for the repeal of the 1800 Act of Union, whereby Ireland became part of the United Kingdom, and the Irish parliament in Dublin ceased to exist. It appears the Drum at Brentford was a local centre of activity for this purpose.


(From a correspondent.)

A large and numerous meeting was held at the above inn on Monday, the 14th inst. It having been intimated that Mr. W. J. O'Connell, Inspector General of the Repeal Wardens of England, would attend, the large room was crowded at an early hour. Messrs. Reading and Lally, Repeal Wardens of London, on entering the room, were loudly cheered.

Mr. Redshaw, Repeal Warden for the Brentford District, addressed the meeting, and was followed with great ability by, Messrs. Lally and T. R. Reading.

Several Englishmen spoke in favour of Repeal.

A number of associates were enrolled, and the meeting separated.

Another meeting will be called in a few days to nominate wardens and collectors.

(Dublin Weekly Nation - 19 November 1842)




A numerous meeting was recently held at the Drum Tavern, Brentford; the chair was filled by Mr. Radshaw, an Englishman, who delivered an appropriate address. Mr . Reading, R. W., observed that he never addressed any meeting with greater pleasure than he felt on the present occasion, for the majority of the company were composed of Englishmen. Who could have imagined that there would be a meeting of zealous Englishmen in such a town as Brentford for the purpose of restoring her legislature ? Both Englishmen and Irishmen only gained their rights by acting on the fears of the British Government. The present position of England will force her very soon to require the active assistance of Ireland, and perhaps the former will concede to the latter those rights which she now withholds.

How could England, for example, in waging war with Russia, stir up the flames of rebellion in Poland, when Russia might do the same in discontented Ireland. ? Mr. R., after adducing several statistical details, to show the ruin of Irish commerce, concluded by handing in the Repeal subscription of his daughter, who, he said, "was made a present to him that morning". The young member was admitted amidst loud cheers. Several Englishmen addressed the meeting, and several members were enrolled. W. J. O'Connell, Esq., was to have presided, but was prevented from doing so by indisposition.

(Dublin Morning Register - Monday 28 November 1842)

There were several other brief reports of meetings regarding Irish home rule, over the next couple of years.


Then, for a brief moment, the Drum was headline news across the country.


On Friday, a young man named, Thomas Robins, dressed as a farmer's labourer, was brought before Mr. G. Baille, the sitting magistrate at New Brentford, in the custody of the police, on a charge of having stolen a quantity of wearing apparel, consisting of various silk dresses, shawls, body linen, &c., with a number of books, the property of Mr. G. Willavyse, an extensive farmer, near Newbury, Berks., from whose employ he had absconded on the 7th inst.

Mr. Willavyse stated that he had known the prisoner from his childhood, his father and mother, and other members of his family, having been for years in his employ. During the last five or six years, the prisoner had also worked for him occasionally, and at Michael last he hired him as a yearly farm servant, at 9s. per week, and lodging &c. The prisoner gave every satisfaction until the night of the 7th inst., when he absconded with his (witness's) daughter, who was only fifteen years old, taking with them the articles in question.

He did not discover the abduction till the following morning, when he galloped to Reading in pursuit, thinking they would probably gone to the Great Western Railway to the metropolis. At Reading he could learn no trace of them, and he consequently returned home. The next day believing them to be in London, he went to town, and applied to the commissioners of police on the subject, but after a week he returned home. On the previous day, however, he received a letter from Mr. Greenaway, the landlord of the Drum public house, Old Brentford, inquiring if any member of his family had improperly left home, as a young man and a young female, who had every appearance of being respectably connected, had been lodging for week at his house. Witness immediately started for Brentford, having first obtained a warrant for the prisoner's apprehension, On arriving at Brentford, he ascertained that they had taken lodgings at the house of a shoemaker in the town. Having procured the assistance of police constable Smith T 92, he went to the house, where he found both his daughter and the prisoner, the latter of whom he immediately gave into custody on the charge of felony.

By Mr. Baillie : -- The value of the articles was considerable, as his daughter had removed the whole of her wardrobe, with all her books, including her Bible and Prayer Book. Until he discovered their absence, he was not aware there being the slightest intimacy between his daughter and the prisoner.

The prisoner, in answer to the charge, declared that all that had taken place between him and Miss Willavyse had been with her own free consent.

Miss Jane Willavyse was then called in. She is a fine looking girl, about five feet four inches, of considerable embonpoint, and about fifteen years of age. She gave her evidence with reluctance. It was elicited from her that having consented to elope with the prisoner, she had, at midnight, on the night of Tuesday, quitted her father's house, by means of her chamber window, and descended by a ladder, which had been placed for her by the prisoner, bringing with her, of her own accord, the property the prisoner was accused of stealing. They started out on foot to Maidenhead, where they arrived in the early part of the morning, and rested them selves. They then found that neither of them were in possession of any money, and were compelled to pledge some of her clothes to procure refreshment.

Being fearful of discovery at Maidenhead, they returned to Brentford, walking all the way, upwards of twenty miles, and took lodgings at the Drum, as had been stated. While at Brentford, they supported themselves by pledging various articles, but the prisoner had got a situation to go to on Monday, as a farm servant, at 9s. a week, at a farmer's in the neighbourhood of Brentford.

Mr. Baillie said, after the evidence of Miss Willavyse, the charge of felony could not be maintained; and he suggested to Mr. Willavyse, the propriety, as his daughter was so young, and matters had gone so far, of arranging the affair. Mr. Willavyse refused to adopt the suggestion, and declared his determination to prosecute the prisoner for the abduction, his daughter being under sixteen years of age, which made his carrying her off a felony.

Mr. Baillie said, under those circumstances he had no alternative but to send the prisoner before a Berkshire magistrate, to deal with the case. He was accordingly conveyed to Newbury, and Saturday morning he was taken before a magistrate of Berks., where the charge of abduction was preferred against him. After the examination of several witnesses, he was remanded for the production of other evidence, and was afterwards conveyed to Reading Gaol.

(Taken from the Bristol Mercury and the Salisbury & Winchester Journal - 1 June 1844)


The trial was held at the Berkshire Summer Assizes, in Reading, on Friday 12 July 1844.


Thomas Robins, a good-looking youth, aged 18, was charged with having, on the 7th May, at West Woodhay, taken Jane Wellavize, out of the possession of and against the will of William Willavize, her father, being an unmarried girl of the age of 15 years and 7 months.

Mr. Selfe conducted the prosecution, and Mr. J. J. Williams defended the prisoner.

Mr. Selfe stated the case to the jury. The prisoner was a carter living in the service of the prosecutor, a respectable farmer residing at West Woodhay, near Newbury; and it would be proved in evidence that on the 7th May, early in the morning, Mr. Wellavize found his daughter and the prisoner were missing; he pursued them but without overtaking them, and he heard nothing of them until three weeks later, in consequence of information he received he went to Old Brentford, in Middlesex, where he found them cohabiting as man and wife, upon which he brought his daughter home with him, but gave Robins in charge for the abduction. The learned gentleman proceeded to contend that the fact of the prisoner taking the prosecutor's daughter, she being at the time, under 16 years of age, against the consent of her father out of his possession, brought him within the punishment of the Act of Parliament applicable to offences of this description; while the fact that whether the daughter gave her consent to the abduction or not was immaterial. Mr. Selfe after requesting the jury not to allow their sympathy with any of the parties to interfere with their verdict called

William Wellavize, who said I am a farmer, and reside at West Woodhay, in this county, and rent 600 acres of land. I have 8 Children, my daughter is not entitled to any property. I formerly lived at Hannington in Wiltshire, where my daughter was born; she is now 15 years and 9 months old. The prisoner, Thomas Robins, was in my service as a carter, and had been so since the previous Michaelmass. I recollect Monday the 6th of May, my daughter was at home that day. I missed her in the night about 1 o'clock, having occasion to take one of my children, who was unwell, into the room where she slept. The prisoner was in the habit of sleeping in my house, and on entering his room I found him gone also. I searched the house and premises, but could not find them. On examining her room, I found a loft communicating with the next room open, and from the window a rope ladder was suspended. I heard nothing more of them until the 22nd May, when in consequence of a letter which I received from Old Brentford, I went there and found my daughter and the prisoner living together in private lodgings.

Cross-examined by Mr. Williams -- My daughter was not my servant; she may sometimes have milked the cows. I kept no female servant. The prisoner lived with me before Michaelmass; he went away to another place, but returned again to my service. When I went before the magistrates at Brentford, I first charged the prisoner with stealing clothes, and then with absconding from my service; the magistrates told me I could not sustain those charges, but the only charge I could make was for abduction. The prisoner and my daughter were not thrown much together. I once saw them talking to each other in the yard, and that was the only time. I never suspected there was anything between them.

Miss Jane Willavize was next examined by Mr. Selfe.

The appearance of this young lady caused quite a "sensation" in the court. She is a remarkable fine dark girl buxom, or, to use a common phrase, "forward" for her age, and might easily have been supposed three or four years older than she actually was. She gave her evidence in a low tone of voice, and with an undisguised reluctance. In reply to the questions of the learned gentlemen, she said --

I live at West Woodhay with my father. I was at home on the 6th May. I got up and left home that night between 12 and 1 o'clock. I went through a loft out of my bedroom into another room, where I saw a ladder at the window. I got out of the window and descended the ladder; the prisoner was there to receive me. We went away together and went to Reading and afterwards to Brentford.

Cross-examined by Mr. Williams. - It was previously settled that we should go. I had worked at my father's in Robin's company, and the sweet hearting followed. It was my proposal that we should go. I proposed to go off with the prisoner. (Laughter) We agreed to be married, but were not. Witness here lowered her voice.

The Learned Judge. - If you could go down a ladder you can speak up. (Laughter)

Examination continued. - He told me he was not 18. He did not say where we were to be married. We went to Reading and slept together for the first night and every night afterwards until my father came to Brentford and took me home.

Mr. William here raised an objection that "the taking" of the witness was not such a taking as that contemplated by the Act of Parliament under which his client was indicted, and cited cases in confirmation.

Mr. Selfe replied, and the learned Judge overruled the objection.

Mr. Williams, in a very humorous speech, addressed the jury on behalf of the prisoner at the bar. He said his client was in one of the most unfortunate situations in which it is possible for an unhappy creature to be placed. It was necessary, he would contend, in order to sustain a charge of abduction, that it should be shewn that the other party was induced to leave her home through force or fraud, or was "beguiled" to commit the act; but there was not the slightest title of evidence to show that Robins had been guilty of either On the contrary, the "beguiling was plainly on the other side. (Laughter)

I am reminded him of an anecdote of a similar circumstance which occurred in James the Second's reign. A young gentleman, a barrister, asked the advice of Chief Justice Groby. He said, "I am going to run away with a young lady of fortune, and I want to know how I can do so legally." The Chief Justice replied, "Go off on horseback together, but let her ride in front and you behind, because your defence will be that she ran away with you and not you with her." (Laughter) This advice was acted on; but what was the learned Chief Justice's astonishment on getting up the next morning to find that his daughter had fled. (Loud laughter.)

The learned counsel went on to argue that the "unlawfulness" of the act -- which was an essential ingredient in the charge of abduction -- was wholly wanting in the present case, for Miss Willavize had distinctly sworn that it was her proposition to go off; and then what was more likely than that she should have told Robins that she was more than 16 -- for so fine and forward a girl might easily pass herself off as 18 or even 20 years of age; it would, therefore, be a manifest injustice to visit him with punishment for a mere mistake, because if the age of the young lady had been 16 the charge could not have been preferred.

It was proved that the lady distinctly proposed the elopement; the fault therefore was hers rather than the prisoner's, and it would be a great injustice to consign this unhappy man to prison for running away with as good looking a young lady as he (the learned counsel) must say he ever saw in his life. Was it at all likely , he would ask, that a lad earning only five shillings a week, would propose such a thing to his young mistress ?

No; common sense told them the contrary. They (the jury) must have some evidence to show the prisoner knew she was under the age of sixteen. The luckless carter was not only the victim of ill requited love, but also the victim of persecution; first of all a felony was thrown at him, that missed the mark -- then he was accused of absconding from his employ, that also failed -- and last this present prosecution was instituted. Had Mr. Willavize been "well advised," he would have taken the lad home again, and brought about a happy consummation of the affair by marrying them.

He thought this prosecution ought never to have taken place; indeed it was evident from Mr. Willavize's own statement that he never would have thought of it if others had not put it into his head. In conclusion, he appealed to the jury to take all the circumstances into their consideration, that by returning a verdict of acquittal they might give the parties an opportunity of going to church to be married. (Laughter)

The Learned Judge, in summing up the evidence, clearly defined the law under which the prisoner had been prosecuted, intimating plainly his opinion that the act with which the accused was charged was illegal, and that his criminality had been established beyond a doubt. At the same time he told the jury that whether they found Robins guilty or not, it would make very little difference in the amount of punishment. After commenting on the evidence -- in the course of which it was manifest that the Learned Judge considered that the age of the prisoner -- the appearance of Miss Wellavize, who might easily have persuaded him that she was 16 years of age or more -- and the fact he was not the proposer of taking her from her father's protection -- made the punishment which would suffice in such a case a light one.

The jury immediately returned a verdict of guilty.

The Learned Judge sentenced Robins to pay a fine of one shilling to the Queen, and to be discharged.

The verdict was received with applause and clapping of hands, which the Learned Judge immediately repressed.

(Taken from the Berkshire Chronicle, Saturday July 20 1844 & Reading Mercury - 13 July 1844)

[The details of this affair was widely reported across the country, over 20 newspapers printed the details of the trial etc., in local newspapers from Westmoreland to Bristol, Greenock, and even Wexford, Ireland.]




My thanks to Jim Storrar who provides the following details of Jane Willavise's later life.

It seems that Jane Willavise (parents William and Elizabeth) was christened at Radley in Berkshire in 1828. Radley is about seven miles from Newbury. Now, the next event in Jane's life, her marriage, is fascinating. On 9th October 1850 (aged 22) she married James Robbins (aged 50) at West Tytherly in Hampshire. Jane and James went on to have three sons before James died in 1877. I can't trace a direct link between James and Thomas Robbins (or Robins) but this all seems to be a bit too much to be a pure coincidence.


The fact of the couple going to Brentford, may not have been a random choice. The surname Welladvise / Welladvice is very rare, but it was the name of a Brentford publican, who ran the Seven Stars public house from 1785 to 1806, and as late as 1839 the name is recorded in Brentford. Did Jane have relatives in Brentford, and was there a connection between Jane and the Brentford Welladvice ?


Then a short tenancy: -

Richard Douglas Costar by June 1847 to May 1848

Having only come to the house early in 1847, by December Richard Costar was advertising its sale.

in thorough repair, doing 30, per month, situate in the
market town of Brentford. The present occupier leaving
in consequence of illness.

Address, post paid, to Mr. R. Coster, Drum, Brentford.

(Morning Advertiser - Tuesday 21 December 1847)


Richard Coster, after less than a year at the house, had transferred the house to a new landlord.

Transfer Kensington Division - EALING, OLD BRENTFORD - The Drum, Richard Douglas Coster to William Mapleson.

(Morning Advertiser 9 May 1848)


William Mapleson - May 1848 to c. 1850

Another brief tenancy, with no reports found about the house at the time.



Thomas Hadley Sen. - c. 1850 to 1868 (Death)

The Hadley family were to run the house for the next 22 years, though there is some discrepancy in the records, as to who was the landlord.

1851 Census - (The Drum), High Street, Old Brentford

Thomas Hadley, Head, Mar., 59, Bricklayer, born High Wycombe, Bucks.
Sarah Hadley, Wife, Mar., 58, born Ware, Hertfordshire
Thomas Hadley, Son, Mar., 25, Plasterer, born Brentford, Middx.
Ann Hadley, Dau., Mar., 25, At Home, born Brentford, Middx.
Richard Lunn, G/son, 10, Scholar, born Brentford, Middx.
Plus 7 Lodgers

(Ref. - HO 107 / 1699, fo. 252v, p. 9, sch. 35)


John Hadley - c. November 1854 to 25 July 1868

Although Thomas Hadley is always recorded in the trade directories as the landlord from 1852 to 1868, the Poor Rate records have a John Hadley as landlord, possibly a son or brother, from November 1854 to November 1857 ? There is no other record showing this John Hadley at the house, so it may just be an error by the compiler of the rate books.


In the 19th century the passing of counterfeit coins was quite common, a large number of cases were reported by shopkeepers, and especially by publicans.

BRENTFORD - PETTY SESSIONS, Saturday, 15 November


John Ferns, an elderly and knowing-looking man, and James Bishop and John Cann, two youths having the appearance of grooms or helpers in a stable, were charged under the following circumstances : --

Ellen Welch stated : My husband keeps a beershop. On Wednesday Cann came in and had some beer. He tendered me 1s. to pay for it, which I put in my pocket, and gave him the change. I took another shilling from Bishop, which I at first put on one side, but afterwards put in my pocket with other money. I know the 2s. produced to be those I received from Cann, because I had but 2s. in my pocket.

Sarah Monk, wife of William Monk, Fox and Hounds, Old Brentford : I remember Ferns and Cann coming into my house on Wednesday, about four or five o'clock. They called for half a quartern of gin, and tendered me 1s. to pay for it. I gave them the change. Ferns had one glass, and Cann the other. They said it was good gin, but they could not drink much as it made their heads ache in the morning. Did not notice the shillings they gave me was bad until they were gone. There was only 2s. more in the till. I should not like to swear the shilling produced is the one they gave me, because I had two more in the till.

John Smith, police constable :From information received on Wednesday, about six p.m., while I was on duty in Old Brentford, I went to the Drum, where I found the three prisoners together. They had a pint of beer before them. I took the two younger men in custody. Searched Cann, and found on him, 8s. 3d. in sixpenny, four penny and threepenny pieces, one bad shilling, and a half penny; also an envelope and a sheet of notepaper.

Edward Fielder, police constable M: on the 12th I was with Smith. Went to the Drum and took Ferns in custody. On searching him I found 9s. 7d. in small silver and 6s. 10d. in copper, a memorandum as to lodgings in Windsor, a pocket-book, eye-glass, and umbrella. He said he knew nothing of the other prisoners. I made inquiries and found they had been to Mrs. Monk's. She gave me a counterfeit shilling, which she said she took of them. Mrs. Welch also gave me two shillings, which were also bad. I did not see the three together.

The three prisoners were committed for trial.

(Windsor and Eton Express & West London Observer - 22 November 1856)

[No record of a trail was found at the Old Bailey, so it can be assumed that the Grand Jury rejected the case.]


The landlord was then summoned for serving at illegal hours on a Sunday, an offence the police were very persistent in prosecuting.


Brentford Petty Sessions - Saturday, 31 December

Thomas Hadderley (Hadley), landlord of the Drum, Old Brentford, was summoned for serving beer on a Sunday Morning, when the house should be closed.

Police constable Charles Thompson stated : "On Sunday morning last I was on duty in Old Brentford, about seven o'clock in the morning, when I saw a man knocking at the door of the Drum. He had a stone bottle with him. When he saw me he went to the side door, and I then saw Hadderley draw four pots of beer and put it in the stone bottle, which he took to the Gas Factory. When Hadderley had drawn the beer he came out first, and the man followed him. There was another man drinking at the bar. I said, "Hello, Hadderley, you are at it early this morning." He replied, "I hope you'll not take any notice of it; I shall not. Come, what will you have to drink !" I said "Nothing, thank you; I don't do business like that."

It appeared to be Hadderely's first offence, and he was fined 20s. and costs; but the bench warned him against repeating the offence, as the matter would be remembered on licensing day.

(Windsor & Eton 14 January 1860)



1861 Census - RG 9 / 779 - fo. 3, p. 1

(Drum), High Street, Old Brentford

Thos. Hadley, Head, Mar., 68, Drum, Licensed Victualler &Lodging House Keeper, born High Wycomb
Sarah Hadley, Wife, Mar., 71, born Ware, Herts.
Thos. Hadley, Son, Mar., 35, Plasterer, born Old Brentford, Middlesex
Ann Hadley, Wife, Mar., 36 , born Old Brentford, Middlesex
Sarah Hadley, G/dau., 10, Scholar, born Old Brentford, Middlesex
Ann Hadley, G/dau., 6, Scholar, born Old Brentford, Middlesex
Ann Hodge, Dau., Widow, 44, born Old Brentford, Middlesex
Mary Ann Hodge, G/dau., 10, Scholar, born St. Luke, Middlesex
Sarah Hodge, G/dau., Scholar, born St. Luke, Middlesex
Caroline Hodge, G/dau., 6, Scholar, born, St. Luke, Middlesex
Richard Lamm?, G/Son, Unm., 21, Waterman, Old Brentford, Middlesex
With 17 Lodgers

The large number of persons recording as living at the Drum, was due to the house having three adjacent cottages, and presumably these housed the lodgers.


Then someone celebrating on a Friday evening.

Brentford Petty Sessions - Saturday 11 October 1862


Ellen Sullivan was charged with being drunk and causing a disturbance in Old Brentford.

William Foy, police sergeant, stated that on the previous night he found the prisoner outside the "Drum" public house, in Old Brentford. She was very drunk, and making use of bad language, calling the landlord a vagabond, &c. He persuaded her to go away, but as she would not go, he was compelled to take her into custody.

The prisoner, who said she had been greatly aggravated, was admonished, and on her promise not to offend in a like-manner again she was discharged.

(Buckinghamshire Advertiser - 18 October 1862)



The landlady, Sarah Hadley died in early 1863, aged c. 73. (No other details were found)




Thomas Hadley, landlord of the Drum, public house, Old Brentford, was fined 10s. for allowing a cart to stand at the door of his house an unnecessary long time, thereby causing an obstruction, the street being very narrow in this part of the town.

(Buckinghamshire Advertiser - 21 March 1864)



Thomas Hadley died 25 July 1868, aged 74

Thomas Hadley, Probate Record - 24 August 1868

Letters of Administration of the Personal estate and effects of Thomas Hadley, late of the Drum Inn, Old Brentford, in the County of Middlesex, Victualler, a widower, deceased, who died 25 July 1868, at the Drum Inn aforesaid, were granted at the Principal Registry to Thomas Hadley, of the Drum Inn aforesaid, Yeoman, the Son and one of the next of kin of the said Deceased, he having been first sworn.

Effects under 450

Thomas Hadley was buried 2 August 1868, at the Ealing and Old Brentford Cemetery, Ground Division C, Grave Number 58/t, Interment Number 2521.


A special licence was granted to Thomas Hadley of The Drum, Old Brentford, the executor of his late father, Thomas Hadley, the landlord.

(Morning Advertiser 6 October 1868


Thomas Hadley Jun. - July 1868 to August 1874

1871 Census - The Drum, High Street, Old Brentford

Thomas Hadley - Head, Widower, 47, Plasterer & Licensed Victualler, born Middlesex, Brentford
Sarah Hadley - Daughter, Unm., 17, born Middlesex, Brentford
Mary Hadley - Daughter, Unm., 11, born Middlesex, Brentford
Ann Hodge - Sister, Unm., aged 51, born Middlesex, Brentford
Caroline Hodge - Niece, Unm., 14, born Middlesex, London
Plus 22 Lodgers.

(Ref. - RG 10 / 1319, fo. 47v, p. 8, sch. 32)



At the 1872 Licensing sessions, Thomas Hadley, of the Drum, public house, had his renewal delayed to the adjourned session, as he had been fined for serving during prohibited hours during the preceding year. (No report of the case was found.)

Thomas Hadley soon gave up the running of the house.

BRENTFORD PETTY SESSIONS 3 Aug. - The Drum, Old Brentford, Thomas Hadley to James Turner

(Morning Advertiser 5 August 1872)


James Turner - August 1872 to mid/late 1873

This was a brief tenancy, the only detail recorded is at the renewal of his licence at the annual licensing sessions in March 1873.


The Chairman before the proceedings were commenced, intimated that those cases about which there were any doubts, and in which convictions had taken place, would be adjourned until Tuesday March 11th, at ten o'clock in the morning.

The lists for the various parishes were gone through and the following were postponed for a week for the reasons the Chairman had stated.


Drum, Old Brentford

James Turner of the Drum, Old Brentford, was put back last, because there was a conviction against a former landlord. The applicant was advised to be careful, and was allowed his license.

According to the case recorded against James Gomm 8 months later, James Turner was fined 3, one of the largest recorded for that offence. So it is no surprise he soon after left the house.

(Middlesex Chronicle - March 8 1873 and Morning Advertiser 6 March 1873)


For the rest of its time as a public house, the Drum was run by members of the Gomm family.

James William Gomm - mid/late 1873 to March 24 1893

Soon after taking over the house, James Gomm was up before the Magistrates, not an unusual position for licensees.

BRENTFORD PETTY SESSIONS, Saturday, November 1st.


James William Gomm, landlord of the Drum, Old Brentford, was summoned under the Licensing Act, with permitting drunkenness to take place on his premises; and Henry Thomas, a costermonger; and Ann Beesley, his paramour, were summoned for being drunk.

Mr. Woodbridge, defended Mr. Gomm.

Police constable William Morgan, 297 T, stated at 5 minutes to 11 on the night of the 25th ult., he heard a great noise as of someone tussling in the "Drum." Soon after some persons left, one being so very drunk that he had the assistance of two men to get him away from the house. At five minutes past eleven o'clock, Gomm came to the door, and he asked him (Gomm) if he was aware that it was past 11 o'clock. Soon afterwards he was called away to another disturbance, and on his returning to the "Drum" at 13 minutes past 11, there were still men in the house, and Gomm's son was drawing beer. The men soon drank up their beer and left the house. The woman Beesley used most disgusting language towards him, and she was drunk.

By Mr. Woodbridge : He first noticed the house at 5 minutes to 11. He had not been "watching" the house. Beesley and Thomas he did not see enter the house, but he saw them leave drunk, about 11 o'clock. The landlord had told him that Beesley and Thomas had entered the house drunk, and he had refused to serve them, where they had been for a quarter of an hour Gomm did not ask him to turn the persons out of the bar, owing to his inability through being paralysed. He had never spoken to Gomm before that night.

By the Bench : Did not see the defendant drink anything.

Mr. Woodbridge, for the defendant, urged in mitigation of the offence, that his client was formerly a basket maker, and held a good position. He was now about to give up the house owing to the neighbourhood being so noisy and low. At eleven o'clock when the police constable came to the door, the scuffle he heard was owing to some of the customers being ejected. Beesley and Thomas came, and his client refused to serve them, by the police constables own admittance. The defendant Gomm, did ask for help to clear his house, but perhaps the police constable did not notice his request.

Thomas pleaded guilty, as did also Beesley, who stated that Gomm served her at three minutes past eleven.

Mr. Montgomery remarked that it was one of the most badly conducted houses in Brentford. He had the other day noticed a row outside the Drum by persons leaving the house, and he looked for a police constable, but could not find one.

The Chairman said in dealing with the case, that the last landlord was fined 3 for a similar offence, and if the defendant was not careful, besides a fine, he would loose his licence; he was then fined 40s., or in default , one month's imprisonment; Beesley and Thomas 10s., each, or in default 7 Days imprisonment.

Then James Gomm was on the other side, being the prosecutor in the following case:


James Body, a labourer, of Brentford, was then summoned by the last defendant, Mr. Gomm, for refusing to leave the house, being disorderly and quarrelsome, at the same time viz., on the 25th ult.

The defendant pleaded guilty and the complainant having stated that the defendant was one of those who caused the disturbance, in the night in question, breaking a pane of glass and doing other damage.

The Bench fined him 20s., or in default 14 days imprisonment.

(Middlesex Chronicle 8 November 1873)




The adjourned annual Licensing day was held at the Town Hall, on Tuesday, when the magistrates were present:- F.H.N. Glossop Esq., (Chairman), J.R. Hogarth Esq., J. Montgomery Esq., Col. Elsey and G.G. Mackintosh Esq.


James William Gomm, The Drum, Old Brentford - there had been a disturbance outside his house at a time when the Lord Mayor was passing, - renewed.

(Middlesex Chronicle - March 14 1874)


Brentford Police Court - Tuesday September 14th


George Bennett was charged with assaulting James Gomm, whilst drunk, at Old Brentford, on Monday night.

Complainant stated that he was landlord of the "Drum" Inn, and after 11 o'clock on Monday night he heard the defendant knocking at the door. He told him to go where he had got drunk, and a short time afterwards heard him in the back yard, to get into which he had busted the gate open. Complainant went outside, but as it was dark could not at first see the defendant, who subsequently caught hold of him by his shirt collar, and tore all the buttons off his shirt, and raised his arm with the intention of striking a blow. Complainant at last threw the defendant on a muck heap, and there kept him till a policeman arrived.

Police constable Richard Pearce 393 T., said when he took the defendant into custody he was drunk, and behaved in a very violent manner.

Defendant said he had been about the district for 21 years, and he was never locked up before.

The magistrates fined defendant 10s., or, in default of payment, 7 days imprisonment.

(Middlesex Chronicle 18 September 1875)


At this time the Drum seems to have a large number of prosecutions of unruly customers. This was a very common occurrence pre 1870, but in the latter years of the 19th century, the landlords had to be much more careful in how their houses were run. From the 1870s there were a number of cases at the magistrates court, involving the Drum, that show the troubles that beset publicans at the time.



Harry Chilton was summoned for behaving in a disorderly manner in the house of James Gomm.

James Gomm, landlord of the Drum, said defendant came into the bar, and began using bad language, and refusing to leave the house, said witness put him out.

There was a cross summons, that James Gomm, landlord of the Drum public house, Brentford, had assaulted Henry Chilton.

Complainant said he went to defendant's house for a pint of beer, and defendant was drunk; after defendant had called him several names he knocked complainant down.

Chief Inspector Tarling said Gomm's house had been well conducted for the last two years.

The tables were turned entirely against Chilton, and he was fined 10s., the summons against Mr. Gomm being dismissed.

(Middlesex Chronicle & Buckinghamshire Advertiser - 23 March 1878)


As can be seen in the census returns, the Drum also was a lodging house, and there were several incidents involving them that led to court appearances.

Brentford Police Court, Wednesday 26 June


Ellen Pearce was charged with stealing nine yards of stuff and two yards of lining, the property of Ellen White.

Complainant said she lived at the Drum public hose, Brentford, and prisoner lodged in the same house. She delivered the stuff in question to the prisoner for the purpose of making a dress, but on asking where it was, prisoner said it was in pledge.

The Chairman said this was a bad case, and fined prisoner 40s.

(Buckinghamshire Advertiser - 29 June 1878)

[The word stuff can mean a piece of material for making clothes.]



Brentford Police Court, Monday 7 April 1879


James Driscoll was charged with being drunk and disorderly, also with refusing to quit the Drum public house, at Brentford.

Detective Richard Christie (124T) said on Saturday last he was sent for by the landlord of the Drum to eject the prisoner off the premises, which he did. When outside he requested the prisoner to go away, but as he refused to do so witness took him into custody. On the way to the station prisoner became very violent and tried to throw prisoner down; but not succeeding in that, he took hold of him (witness) by the throat and nearly strangled him.

Prisoner had nothing to say and was fined 20s.

(Middlesex. Mercury - 12 April 1879)


1881 Census - (Drum), 319 High Street, Old Brentford

James Gomm, Head, Mar., 41, Publican, born Middlesex, Brentford.
Sarah Gomm, Wife, Mar., 41, born Kent, Dartford.
James Gomm, Son, Unm., 21, Stone Mason, born Middlesex, Brentford.
Stephen Gomm, Son, Unm., 18, Lath Render, born Middlesex, Brentford.
Charles Gomm, Son, Unm., 16, Lath Render, born, Middlesex, Brentford.
Sarah Gomm, Dau., Unm., 14, born, Middlesex, Brentford.
Robert Gomm, Son, 13, Scholar, born Middlesex, Brentford.
Jane Gomm, Dau., 6, Scholar, born Middlesex, Brentford.
John Gomm, Son, 4, born Middlesex, Brentford.
Eliza Gomm, Niece, Unm., 15, Domestic Servant, born Middlesex, Brentford.
Plus 30 Lodgers.

(Ref. - RG 11 / 1349, fo. 34v, p. 12, sch. 6)


Brentford Petty Sessions - 2 May 1885


James Berry, 42, general dealer of 2 Sussex place, Back Lane, Old Brentford, was charged on remand with assaulting Charles Baker, a gas stoker, of 18 Cambridge Cottages, Kew, by striking him in the face with a stone, at the Drum public house. On the first hearing of the case the prosecutor did not appear.

On the afternoon of the 29th inst. the prisoner and others were in the bar at the Drum, wrangling about a trotting match. The prisoner said he should leave, and went out of the door; but almost immediately came in at another door and struck Baker in the face; although Baker appeared to have taken no part in the quarrel.

The prosecutor, who was marked under the eye, said he did not wish to press the charge against the prisoner, and said he did not think he intended to hurt him.

Berry had been locked up for three days, and was now fined 40s., on in default a month's hard labour.

(Middlesex Chronicle 9 May 1885)



A week later James Gomm had more trouble in his house, the names of the defendants was a cause for some merriment.

Brentford Police Court, Wednesday, May 13


William Angel, 23, of 2 Warden Cottages, Back Lane, Brentford, and Annie Angel, 27, his wife, were charged with being drunk and disorderly in High Street, Old Brentford, and the female was further charged with attempting to rescue her husband from custody.

Police constable Warren said on the previous evening, about half past eight, he was called to the Drum public house, to eject the prisoners, who upon being put out made a disturbance. As they refused to go away, he took the male prisoner into custody. His behaviour became so violent that it took four other constables to get him to the station. On the way the woman repeatedly tried to get him away.

Inspector Rowling stated that the male prisoner had been bound over to keep the peace. The woman prisoner had been several times previously convicted, and was on one occasion sent to prison for two months for an assault.

Both prisoners complained of the conduct of the police.

Prisoner were each fined 20s. each, or fourteen days in default. They went to prison.

(Middlesex Chronicle & Richmond & Twickenham Times, 16 May 1885)


Brentford Police Court Tuesday, May 22nd 1888


Ellen Donovan, of Sunbury, aged 22, was charged with being drunk and disorderly at High Street, Brentford.

Police constable Larking said that about ten o'clock he was on duty in the thoroughfare in question when prisoner was ejected from the Drum beerhouse. She was drunk and very disorderly. He requested her to go away several times, and on her refusing, he took her to the station.

Prisoner, who expressed her sorrow at the occurrence, was fined 2s. 6d.

(Middlesex Chronicle, 26 May 1888)


Most if not all public house had their windows broken by drunken or irate customers, but no doubt good business for the local glazier.

Brentford Police Court Tuesday, July 3rd.


Margaret Hodger, with neither a home or occupation, was charged with wilfully breaking nine panes of glass, value 9s., the property of James Gomm, of the "Drum" public house. Brentford, on Monday morning.

William Sedgewick deposed that about one o'clock he was called to the house to obtain some refreshment, when he saw the prisoner smash the windows.

The woman, who pleaded guilty, said she received great provocation, and called Annie Martin, who gave evidence in support of this, and stated that the prosecutor and his son made grimaces at the accused.

A sentence of seven days' imprisonment was inflicted.

(Buckinghamshire Advertiser, 7 July 1888)


1891 Census - RG 12 / 1031, Folio 94v, p. 56, sch. 325

(The Drum) 319 High Street, Old Brentford

James W. Gomm, Head, Widower, 51, Publican (& Lodging House Keeper), born Brentford, Middlesex
Robert Gomm, Son, S, 23, Barman, born Brentford, Middlesex.
Jane Gomm, Dau., S, 16, Barmaid, born, Brentford, Middlesex.
John Gomm, Son, 14, Barman, Brentford, Middlesex.
Plus 13 lodgers.

(A barman aged 14 ??.)



James William Gomm died 28 March 1893, and his eldest son, James William Gomm junior, took over the house.

Probate - James William Gomm of the "Drum" Inn, Old Brentford, Middlesex, Licensed Victualler,
died 28 March 1893. Probate London 4 May to William Tayler, Licensed Victualler and William Ricket,
tobacconist. Effects 888 4s. 6d.

James William Gomm was buried 4 April 1893, at the Ealing and Old Brentford Cemetery, Grave no. 52/g - Interment no. 1243.


To sort out his affairs there was this notice in local papers.


PURSUANT to an Act of Parliament, NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that all Creditors and other
persons having any claims or Demands against the Estate of JAMES WILLIAM GOMM late of the
DRUM Inn, Old Brentford, Middlesex, Licensed Victualler, (who died 28th March 1893, and of whose
will Probate was granted by the Principal Registry of the Probate Division of Her Majesty's High Court
of Justice on the 4th day of May 1893 to WILLIAM TAYLER AND WILLIAM RICKETT ARE
HEREBY REQUIRED to send the particulars in writing of their Claims and Demands to us the
undersigned before the 31st of July next after which date the said Executors will proceed to distribute
the assets of the said Deceased amongst the persons entitled thereto having regard only to the Claims
And Demands of which they shall then have had notice.

Dated the 15th day of June 1893

WOODBRIDGE & SONS - 5 Serjeants Inn, London
Solicitors for the said Executors.

(Middlesex Independent - 24 June 1893)


His eldest son James William Gomm then took over the house.

James William Gomm (2) - March 1893 - 24 November 1899

This six and a half year tenancy appears to have passed without incident, or without it being recorded in the newspapers. In late 1899 in quick succession, James William and his wife, Sarah, both died within a week of each other.


Considerable interest was manifested in a double funeral which took place in the town on Monday afternoon. The internment which took place in the town on Monday afternoon and which excited this sympathetic interest, was of Mr. James William Gomm, landlord of the Drum Inn, High Street, and his wife. Both had been ill a long time together, and death claimed them within a day or two of each other.

(Middlesex Independent 6 December 1899)

James William Gomm, died 24 November 1899, aged 39, he was buried 4 December 1899, at the Ealing and Old Brentford Cemetery, in Ground Div. B, gr. No.53g - Int. No. 1777.

Probate Record - James William Gomm - of the Drum, public house, High Street, Old Brentford, Middlesex, died 24 November 1899. Administration (with Will) (Limited) London 3 January to Edward Bird, Bricklayer. Effects 470 11s. 1d.

Sarah Gomm died 30 November 1899, and was buried, along side her husband, on the same day, as above.

Probate Record - Sarah Gomm of the "Drum" public house, High Street, Old Brentford, Middlesex, widow, died 30 November 1899, Administration (Limited) London 30 December to Edward Bird, bricklayer. Effects 329 5s.



Stephen James Gomm - December 1899-to July 1905

The next landlord was the second son of the deceased couple, James and Sarah Gomm.

Stephen James Gomm, Aged 20, occupation - Lath Render, son of James William Gomm, married Louisa Gardiner 29 May 1882 at St. Paul's, Brentford, daughter of Richard Gardiner, Bricklayer.

Like his predecessor twenty years before he also had to deal with the unruly customers, with two in just over a .year since taking over.


Frederick Thomas Payne, 39, market porter, of the Drum lodging house, Ealing Road, was charged with being drunk and disorderly and using obscene language in High Street, Brentford, on Saturday evening.

P. C. Ambrose 203 T stated that at half past seven on Saturday night he was fetched to the Drum, and there found the prisoner carrying on as per the charge. He had been previously convicted.

Prisoner expressed his sorrow but was fined 10s. and costs.

(Middlesex Independent 14 March 1900)



Dennis Collins was charged with being drunk and disorderly at Brentford. P. C. 736 T said that on Saturday night he was called to put prisoner out of the "Drum." When in the road prisoner said he wanted his rights and would not go. Witness took him into custody.

Prisoner said the landlord knocked him down; he had paid 15 pence for his lodging and could only get 13 pence back. The constable never gave him a chance to go away.

Albert George Green an employee at the "Drum," said prisoner had been lodging there for over week. As he used such filthy language witness asked him to go away; prisoner had been charged 2d. for the use of the kitchen for the day.

Prisoner said witness caused a row because his (Prisoner's) friends would not pay for beer for him. There had been an argument and witness thought he was going to take his friends' part.

Fined 2s. 6d.

(Middlesex Independent 9 February 1901)


1901 Census - The Drum Inn, 319 High Street, Old Brentford

Stephen J. Gomm, Head, Mar., 38, Licensed Victualler - Own Account, At Home, born Middlesex, Brentford
Louisa Gomm, Wife, Mar., 38, born Middlesex, Brentford
Louisa Gomm, Niece, 12, born Middlesex, Brentford
Frederick Gomm, Nephew, 9, born Middlesex, Brentford
James Bates, Nephew,11, born Middlesex, Brentford
Albert Hagreem?, Serv., S, 47, Potman, Barman born Salop, Ludlow
With 18 Boarders.

(Ref. - RG 13 / 1194, fo. 86, p. 1, Sch. 1)


At an Inquest in March 1901, the landlady, Louisa Gomm, gave evidence about a lodger at the house, who died whilst at work.


One of the lodgers at the Drum, died in March 1901. William Gray had been employed to knock some plaster off cottages in Market Square. He only used a ladder to reach the area where he was to work, although, Richard Fitch, the man employing him thought he should use planks, About 11,20, Gray fell from his ladder and when a doctor came he advised his removal to the Union Infirmary at Isleworth.

"Louisa Gomm, landlady of the Drum Inn, Brentford, said she had known deceased for 20 years as William Gray; he had lodged at the "Drum." Deceased left on Tuesday morning, witness did not know where he had gone to. She believed deceased had one brother. He had told her he had a good job and would pull himself round as he had not done much work lately. On Wednesday morning witness saw deceased at 9.30 and he was all right."

The medical evidence showed the man had a number of fractured bones and extensive haemorrhaging, due to the fractures. Death was due to the shook caused by the fractures. The Coroner remarking "the deceased had enough injuries to kill half a dozen men." A verdict was given in accordance with the medical evidence.

[The Inquest may have taken place at the Drum, but no mention in the report is made of the location.]

(County of Middlesex Independent - 20 March 1901)




The following year Louisa Gomm died, the following notice appeared in the newspaper:

"The Death is announced of Mrs. Gomm, wife of Mr. S. J. Gomm, of the Drum Inn, High Street, Brentford."

(Middlesex Independent 6 January 1902)

Louisa Gomm was buried 9 January 1902, at the Ealing and Old Brentford Cemetery.


Stephen Gomm very quickly married, Elizabeth Jane Kinner, the granddaughter of Robert Kinner who had ran the Eight Bells, in Brentford High Street, for 25 years from the 1840s to the 1860s.

Marriage : --Stephen James Gomm, aged 40, Widower, Lather Render, of Brentford, father James William Gomm, Licensed Victualler.

Married 3 November 1902, St. Phillip and St. James, Whitton, Twickenham

Elizabeth Jane Kinner, aged 34, Spinster, Whitton, Father Robert Kinner, a Wheelwright



From 1903, the Brentford magistrates were very occupied with attempting to close a number of public houses in Brentford, considering the town was over supplied with such establishments. In February 1903, just before the Annual Licensing Sessions, the Licensing Magistrates publish a document, which the Middlesex Chronicle titled : -


The Justices were the body interposed between the licensee and the public for the protection of the latter, and they were considering what was the reasonable requirement of the Brentford Division. As a result of inquiries they now gave notice that the renewal of all the licenses in Brentford would be adjourned, and specifically mentioned the Express and the Gardiner's Arms, there being prima facie proof that the district was excessively licensed. The Bench had issued a memorandum giving particulars of the congested districts of Brentford. The number of licenses in Brentford was 75 and the population was about 15,000, there being one license for every 202 persons. In Chiswick the proportion of population was 384. Enfield 392, Edmonton, 689, and Willesden 897. The Brentford licenses were:

Public Houses - - - - .- - - - 38
Beerhouses - - - - - - - - - - - 27
Wine Merchants - - - - - - - 10

Of these licenses -

20 were held by Fuller, Smith and Turner;
16 by the Royal Brewery
10 by Gomm
2 by Sich
and the other Breweries 2 each.

As a comparison, taking the population of Brentford most likely to use public houses, he found that with a population of 11,040, there were 65 public houses and 103 convictions; whilst in Southall the corresponding population was 9,870, the number of public houses 25, and the number of convictions 25.

There were 38 fully licensed houses, 27 beerhouses and 10, off licences, total 75.

The corresponding totals for 1870 were 37 full licences, and 43 beerhouses, total 80.

The High Street was divided into sections, and that near the Drum, was picked out as especially over supplied with licensed premises.

"Taking a point at the Jolly Gardeners beerhouse, Ealing Road, within a radius of 50 yards, there are 6 licensed premises

The Drum, alehouse
The Red Lion alehouse
The Jolly Gardeners, beerhouse
The Royal Horse Guardsman
The Volunteer, beerhouse
High Street, Off Licence

(Middlesex & Surrey Express, 23 January 1903)



At the Licensing Sessions in 1903, no action was taken to close any houses in Brentford that year, BUT the writing was on the wall. For the Drum, the licence was renewed at the adjourned sessions, "which had been put back in order that certain structural repairs might be carried out, these having been done, the licence was renewed."

(Middlesex Chronicle - 7 March 1903)


The following year the renewal of the licence was again adjourned : -


Objection was also raised to the renewal of the Drum, public house, High-street - Mr. Woodcock appeared for Mr. Gomm, the tenant and Mr. L.P. Grain for the brewers. Mr. S. Barnes, surveyor, gave evidence of the condition of the house, the needs of the locality, and the evident improvement if the licence was suppressed. - Inspector Digby also gave figures showing the number of houses in the locality. - Mr. Woodcock and Mr. Grain made appeals for a renewal of the licence, the latter basing his arguments on the fact of the coming compensation Bill in Parliament, of the business done at the house, and the length of tenancy of the landlord. - The Chairman intimated that there had been certain costs incurred by the justices, and if these were paid the licence could be renewed. - Mr. Grain at once assented.

(Middlesex Chronicle 5 March 1904)


Whilst the fate of the Drum was in the air, there was another unruly customer:

Brentford Police Court Wednesday, December 28 1904


James Williams, 62, a rag and bone collector of no fixed abode, was charged with wilfully breaking seven bottles of Scotch whisky, and one pane of glass, value 1 11s., the property of Stephen Gomm, landlord of the Drum public house, high street, Brentford.

Prosecutor said that on the previous evening the prisoner came into his house and starting chucking pots out of the window and all over the bar, smashing a number of bottles of whisky. He was not drunk.

Prisoner said someone started throwing flour about, and he did not like it.

Charles Painting, a labourer, lodging at the Drum, said there was a little discord. Someone was throwing flour, and the prisoner picked up all the pots he could lay his hands on and retaliated.

Police Constable C. Williams deposed to taking the prisoner into custody. He saw the damage done at the public house.

Prisoner said "I have as much right to break bottles of whisky as they have to throw flour at me." There was some flour on his shoulder. Prisoner told the Bench he did not aim the pots at anybody.

The Chairman said that the prisoner had no excuse, and he would have to pay 5s.and the costs, or go to prison for 14 days.

(Middlesex Chronicle 31 December 1904)




There was an Act of Parliament passed in 1903, which allowed Magistrates to close houses in districts where it was considered it was over supplied with licensed premises, compensation would be paid to the owners and tenants. This came into force in 1904, and immediately at the licensing session in February that year, the Brentford Magistrates chose a number of houses to be closed. The reaction of the brewers, who by then owned most of the public houses around Brentford, was to propose moving licensed houses from an area over supplied with drinking facilities, to newly developing areas. Previously there had already been a number of house removed from Brentford, for this purpose, the Two Black Boys, Eight Bells, Volunteer, Cannon, etc., the brewers now proposed to transfer even more houses.

In 1905 this notice appeared in local newspapers around Brentford which foreshadowed the end for the Drum:--


To the Overseers of the Poor of the Borough of EALING, in the County of Middlesex,
to the Superintendent of Police in which the said Borough of Ealing is situate, to the Clerks
to the Justices of the Brentford Division, and to all whom it may concern.

I, HENRY FLEETWOOD FULLER, of the Griffin Brewery, Chiswick, a member of the
Firm of Messrs. Fuller, Smith and, Turner, of Chiswick, in the County of Middlesex, Brewers.

DO HEREBY GIVE NOTICE, pursuant to the Licensing Act, 1872, and the Acts incorporated
therewith, that it is my intention to apply at the General Annual Licensing Meeting, to be holden
in and for the Licensing District comprising the Division of Brentford, at the Town Hall,
New Brentford, within the said Division on the Seventh day of February, One Thousand Nine Hundred
and Five, for an Order sanctioning the Provisional Removal of the Licence authorising the Sale by Retail
of Intoxicating Liquors to be consumed on or off the premises at the house and premises at the house and
premises known as the Drum Public House, High Street, Old Brentford, in the said County, to certain
new premises about to be constructed on a piece of land situated in the Borough of Ealing, in the County of
Middlesex, with a frontage of about 50 feet to the Ealing Road, and a depth of about 120 feet on the south side
of South Ealing Station, on the District Railway, and about 80 feet there from, bounded on the east by the
Ealing Road and on the south by a new road now in course of construction running east to west, in the said
Licensing District, for the purpose of being used as a house for the Sale of Intoxicating Liquors, to wit, Spirits,
Beer and Wine, to be consumed on or off the premises, and which said proposed new premises are intended to be
called or known by the sign of the Mitre Tavern, in pursuance of the Acts 35 and 36 Vic. Cap. 94. Sec. 50, 37
and 38 Vic., Cap. 49, sec. 22, and the Acts incorporated therewith.

Given under my hand this 11th day of January, One Thousand Nine Hundred and Five.


Painters' Hall, London E. C.
Solicitors for the said Henry Fleetwood Fuller.

(Middlesex Independent 21 January 1905)



A month later the planned removal was discussed at the licensing sessions :--



Henry Fleetwood Fuller applied for the provisional removal of the Drum public house, Brentford, to the Mitre Tavern, a house proposed to be built in Ealing Road, South Ealing.

Mr. C. F. Gill supported the application, and Mr. Woodcock and Mr. C. Robinson opposed.

Mr. Gill said he asked the sanction of the Bench to remove a licence from Brentford to Ealing under the removing section of the Old Act, which he contended, applied to such cases. It was also proposed to surrender two other licences, so that in effect the granting of the licence would have the effect of taking three licences from a congested district. The only question was whether the site of the proposed house, The Mitre, was a proper position, having regard to all the circumstances, and he thought he could show that it was. It was situated near South Ealing station, on a railway about to be electrified and in the route of the proposed electric trams between Ealing and Brentford.

The site was the property of the Ecclesiastic Commissioners. Since last year some 104 houses had been built in the neighbourhood. There was no sort of doubt that this was a district that would develop very rapidly in a short time. The building of the house which it was proposed to erect would cost something like 3,000. There would be ample accommodation in the house. In accordance with the expressed wishes of the Bench, Mr. Fuller, of Fuller, Smith and Turner, said they would give an undertaking to supply meals at the house, according to the requirements of the customers, if the licence was granted. There were no other licensed houses within a considerable distance.

Mr. Daniel Watney, a surveyor, was called and stated that one estate near the site had been let to a Mr. Rhodes, a builder, on the understanding that he should erect at least 215 double tenement houses, and six houses had already put up. The houses were let as soon as they were up.

For the District Railway it was contended that the existence of the house would deteriorate the character of the neighbourhood, and that the transfer of a licence in this way merely saved the brewers the compensation which sooner or later would have to be given for the house given up. In other words under this arrangement the ratepayers lost the monopoly value of a new house.

Mr. Robinson said he appeared for the neighbouring houses, and also for several residents, and he based his objection on the unsuitability of the site.

The Chairman said the Bench had already decided that the spot was one of the best that could be chosen. It was only a question of the general convenience of the public, and also of the legal point raised.

Mr. Robinson protested that the site was not a proper one, being very near some schools and opposite large houses, the residents of which did not require this public house. Further he contended that the application was premature. The arguments to the suitability of the site was based on houses not yet built. He called Dr. Oliver, the Vicar of Ealing and others, who gave evidence against the application.

Mr. Woodcock argued on the legal point already raised, contending it was a new licence, and therefore the monopoly value should be paid by the applicant instead of surrendering other licences in place of such value. It was a very important point, because if the Bench held that this was a removal and not a new licence, then the brewers could avail themselves of this removal section to avoid paying the monopoly value which the new Act intended that they should pay for every new licence granted.

Mr. Gill contended that it was not a new house but a removal, in the same way as the licences of a house demolished for street improvements might be removed to another site. If Mr. Woodcock was correct the Bench would not consider surrenders at all, but would simply fix the monopoly value in each case, and surrenders, as a consequence, would cease to take place, and thus the compensation fund would not be saved. In any case he suggested that the licence might be granted, and the legal point held over until Confirmation day, when fresh light would have been thrown on it by other tribunals.

Mr. Woodcock replied that his contention was that it was a new licence without exacting monopoly value. If they granted the licence under any other terms the Conformation Committee would have nothing before them to confirm.

The Chairman said that was Mr. Woodcock's view. After retiring the Chairman said the application was refused by a small majority.

(Middlesex Chronicle 11 Feb. 1905 & Middlesex & Surrey Express 10 Feb. 1905)



Five months after the failure of the application above, Stephen James Gomm died. He was buried 7 July 1905, at the Ealing and Old Brentford Cemetery, Ground Division B, 45/g, interment number 1861.

From a search of the Probate Registry Records It appears Stephen James Gomm had not made a will, therefore to settle his estate, this notice appeared : --


Pursuant to the Law of Property Amendment Act, 1859, entitled "
An Act to further amend the Law of Property, and to relieve Trustees".

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that all creditors and other persons having any debts,
claims or demands against the estate of Stephen James Gomm, late of the Drum Inn, High Street,
Brentford, in the County of Middlesex, licensed victualler, (who died on the 4th February, 1905),
and letters of administration (with the will annexed), to whose estate was granted to James Stephen
Gomm, in the Principal Registry of the Probate Division of His Majesty's High Court of Justice on
the 7th day of March, 1905, are hereby required to send particulars in writing of their, debts, claims
or demands to us, the undersigned, the Solicitors for the said Administrator on or before the
20th day of April 1905.

And Notice is hereby given, that at the expiration of that time the said Administrator will proceed
to distribute the Assets of the said Testator among the parties entitled thereto, having regard only to the
debts, claims or demands of which he shall then have notice; and that he will not be liable for the Assets
or any part thereof so distributed to any person or persons of whose the debt, claim or demand he shall
not then have received.

Dated this 16th day of March, 1905.


Surrey House, Victoria Embankment, W. C.


James Stephen Gomm - April 1905 to late 1907 / early 1908


Transfer : - Drum P. H., Brentford, to James Stephen Gomm

(Middlesex Independent 19 April 1905)

James Stephen Gomm was born 6 January 1882, the son of James William and Sarah Gomm, and baptised 29 January 1882. He married 12 May 1902 Rose Ethel Barnes, a spinster aged 20, daughter of Robert Barnes, a baker.

The new landlord was soon facing the normal problems of running a public house, but at the same time was wondering if he would be at the house for very long. One incident occurred during his tenancy that was reported in the newspapers.


Sidney Samuel Bodle, 28, of North Road, Richmond, was indicted on a charge of having obtained 1s. by means of a trick from Catherine Mumford of the "George IV" public house, High Street, Brentford. The accused was further charged with having attempted to obtain by similar means 2s. 6d. from James Gomm of the "Drum," Brentford.

To he first charge he pleaded "guilty", and to the second "not guilty." The latter charge was not proceeded with.

Several previous convictions were proved and prisoner and prisoner, who had been very smartly captured by Detective Mullins, in the act of "palming" a coin, was sentenced to three years penal servitude.

(Middlesex Independent 29 November 1905)





At the Brentford Licensing Sessions on Wednesday, Henry Fleetwood Fuller applied for the provisional removal of the Drum public house, High Street, Old Brentford, to Ealing Road, Ealing. Mr. C. F. Gill, K. C., with Mr. J. P. Grain, appeared in support, and opposing were Mr. Arthur Hutton, Mr. Woodcock and Mr. C. Robinson.

Mr. Gill said the site belonged to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who said they would assent to licensed premises being erect, if the licensing Bench would grant the licence, and three existing licenses were surrendered. In 1904 it was agreed the site was a good one, when the locality was fit for a licence. In 1906, without expressing an opinion as to development of the locality, the Bench refused the application by a small majority. In view of this he was encouraged to think the Bench this year would come to the conclusion that the needs of the locality required the licence. He knew the desire of the Bench to reduce the number of licences, and he considered that, in asking the removal of one from a congested area, he was assisting the views of the Bench. There was nothing against the house, it had been in the hands of one family twenty or thirty years. He also agreed that he would surrender two other licences.

The Chairman : Are they on the redundant list ?

Mr. Gill replied they were. Since last year there had been 94 shops and houses built around the site, and the prime cost of the house should be 1,200, but the plans and specifications would work out at something like 3,000.

In reply to the Chairman, he said that the house would contribute a larger sum to the compensation fund than the Drum.

Mr. Watney, architect, gave evidence as to the development of the district, and stated there were 779 houses in the quarter mile radius, and 745 were inhabited. Mr. Woodcock, Mr. Robinson and Mr. Hutton, who all opposed cross-examined him to shew that a large number of the new houses were nearer the Ealing Park Tavern and Coningsby Stores.

Mr. Woodcock opposed on behalf of the Ealing Park Tavern, and said that there had been no change in circumstances since last year. There had been 94 new houses, and all were nearer to existing licensed premises. For three years the house was to be known as the Mitre, but the church militant had been aroused, and now it came along as the Drum, which he might say came within the definition of the "militia militant" (laughter). The applicant had another house in the immediate locality, and that should be surrendered and so to help the spot around the site. He urged that the Bench should not turn a deaf ear to the monopoly value, because a new house would be worth more than a removed one. Then there was a church coming near.

The Chairman : But the public house was in the air first (laughter). And doesn't the church come when the public need it ? (hear, hear).

Mr. Hutton, in his speech, argued there was no necessity for the house, and the residents in the locality did not want it and referred to the fact that Mr. Leopard De Rothschild had signed a petition against.

The Chairman said he would like to see Mr. Rothschild in the box so that he might ask him why (laughter).

Dr. W. E. Oliver, vicar of Ealing, said that he had twenty years knowledge of the locality. There was no necessity for another licensed house. There was a young men's institute close by, and also a big school, and the presence of a public house near these would be a disadvantage.

Cross-examined : He was amazed to find that the Ecclesiastical Commissioners sanctioned the site for the schools after granting this one for a public house. He was not quite sure the Bench had agreed to the site subject to the needs of the locality; he knew the Bench last year only rejected the application by a small majority. Yet knowing this he got on with his young men's institute and club, and his workmen's club.

Mr. Cushing, a builder, said that another licensed house was not required.

Among the witnesses called were Lady Seymour, who is a member of the Brentford Board of Guardians. She said she did not think the neighbourhood needed another public house.

To the Bench : She was not a total abstainer.

Mr. Robinson said that the surrenders offered were of little value and were all on the "redundant list," and would be abolished in due course.

Mr. W. F. Cope, Mr. Murphy, Mr. William Chambers, head master of St. Mary's Boys School, Mr. Baker and Mr. Charles MacLachanm assistant secretary to the District Railway corroborated. The latter produced a resolution of the District Railway directors that the application should be objected to.

Mr. C. Robinson opposed on behalf of the Coningsby Arms. He said that surely in no case had the wishes of the inhabitants been so powerfully represented. It was unfair to his clients to interfere with his area. There was not a single inhabitant called in favour of the applicant.

Mr. Robbins, a private resident, also opposed on the ground that the licence would jeopardise his property at Richmond Terrace.

The Chairman : Why don't you come and indicate the place where these houses could exist for the benefit of the inhabitants ?

Mr. Robbins said that he had never been asked.

The Chairman said that he was often told that licensed premises depreciated the value of property, but he never found it proved. Could witness show a case in point ?

Mr. Robbins said that he could not do so.

The Chairman : Perhaps the wish is father to the thought.

Mr. Robbins said that if a public house was put next door to him he should in his own estimation think that his house was injured.

The Chairman : Some people think these geese are swans. The test of the injury to a house is its market value.

The Bench retired to consider its decision, and on assembling said that by a majority the application was refused (applause).

(Richmond & Twickenham Times - 9 February 1907)



This seemed the end of the matter, but a month later, at the adjourned sessions, it was revived : -



At the adjourned Licensing Sessions on Tuesday, Henry Fleetwood Fuller renewed his application for the transfer of the licence of the Marquis of Granby, Hounslow, to a new site at Scott's Road, Ealing, Southall.

Mr. J. P. Grain appeared for the applicant. Mr. Valentine Ball opposed on behalf of the proprietors of Scott's Emulsion, Mr. C. Robinson for the owners of licensed houses, and Mr. Turner for the churchwardens and overseers of Norwood.

At the original hearing the opposition contended that the proposed new house would be detrimental to the interests of the working men employed at Scott's Emulsion factory and other factories in the neighbourhood. The Bench thought the question was one for the working men, and adjourned the hearing for evidence to be called on their behalf.

Mr. Grain, in opening the case, said that since the adjournment an application had been filed for the provisional removal of the Drum public house, Brentford, to a site at Northcote Avenue, Southall, and he suggested that this should be heard. If granted, the one connected with the Marquis of Granby would be dropped, and would not be renewed next year.

The Bench and the opposing parties agreeing, Mr. Grain proceeded to open the case for the Drum. He said that in addition to the removal of the house in a congested neighbourhood, another would be surrendered. The site was a good one, for there was a locality to be served, and there was not another licensed premises within the quarter mile radius.

Mr. Fitch opposed on behalf of the Hamborough Tavern, and said that at the first licensing meeting the Bench refused a new licence for this very locality.

The Chairman : That was on the main road, and it was held that another main road house was not wanted.

Mr. Fitch proceeded to argue that the bulk of the inhabitants were nearer another of Mr. Fuller's houses than the proposed one, so what could he want another for. There were open fields on one side of the site, and the application was merely for the purpose of keeping the site warm till open land was developed. He was informed that building had ceased and that some of the existing shops in the neighbourhood had had to close on account of the lack of business.

Mr. Turner also objected that the site was undeveloped.

The Chairman pointed out that if the Bench waited until the land was developed then applications would be met with the plea that people had bought in the belief that there would be no public house near. The Bench would like to see spots marked out for licensed sites, and so arrange that each should serve a quarter mile radius.

Mr. Turner called Mr. Clements, a builder, who stated that building had stopped in the locality, and the public house would put off the resumption much longer. He had several tenants in the neighbourhood but they did not drink anything (Laughter). They objected to the application.

Mr. Willis said that a public house would depreciate the value of property in the locality. The estate was laid out on the understanding there should be no licensed house upon it, and on this condition he built houses to the value of 3,000. Houses were falling empty and rates could not be paid.

By the Bench : If the neighbourhood was full of houses he thought a licensed house would not be necessary.

The Chairman : That is the view of the non-drinker, but we have to steer between both classes - the drinker and those who are not.

Mr. Grain called Mr. Nowell Parr, surveyor, who gave details of the characteristics of the locality around the site.

The Bench decided after lengthy deliberations, decided to recommend the application.

(Middlesex Chronicle March 9th 1907)



The Drum had closed by the time of the annual licensing sessions in February 1908, as there is this entry from the Brentford Licensing Records, held at Chiswick Library:

The Drum : Licensee - James Stephen Gomm, "No application for renewal, Closed for the opening of the Northcote Arms, Southall.




Francis Loach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1722
Richard Doding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1729 - 1772
Mary Dodding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1773 - 1776
William Rogers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1777 - 1780
Mary Stevens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1781 - 1783
William Louch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1784 - 1796
Samuel Harris . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1796 - 1807
Lydia Harris . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1807 - August 1825
Joseph Harris . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1825 - 1832
Thomas Begley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . c. November 1833 to 1838
George Norman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by 1839 to late 1841
James Greenaway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by December 1841 to June 1847
Richard Douglas Costar . . . . . . . . . . by June 1847 to May 1848
William Mapleson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 1848 to c. 1850
Thomas Hadley Sen. . . . . . . . . . . . . c. 1850 to 1868 (Death)
(Possibly John Hadley . . . . . . . . . . . c. November 1854 to November 1857)
Thomas Hadley Jun. . . . . . . . . . . . . 1868 - 1874 - Retired
James Turner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . August 1872 to mid/late 1873
James William Gomm . . . . . . . . . . . mid/late 1873 to March 24 1893 (Death)
James William Gomm (2). . . . . . . . . March 1893 - 24 November 1899 (Death)
Stephen James Gomm . . . . . . . . . . December 1899-to 1905 (Death)
James Stephen Gomm . . . . . . . . . . April 1905 to late 1907 / January 1908 - Closure of the House.




Made in 1845 at the time Fuller, Smith & Turner acquired the Drum.

Trimmer to Fuller, Smith and Turner.

Further Abstracts No. 3 - Delivered to . Kent - 22 Jany. 1845

Abstract of the title of Adolphus Leopold Harvest Trimmer to The Drum.

Dated 12 & 13 July 1774 -

The sale of The Drum to A. L. H. Trimmer by Sarah Brown, Spinster, only daughter of Robert Brown late of Ealing, Gardener, & Mary Brown, his wife, of the one part and Thomas Cracknell of Old Brentford, the other part, sold the Drum to him. All that messuage. or tenement. in two tenements, on corner of Drum Lane and Ealing Lane, and known by the name or sign of the Falcon, formerly in the occupation of William Harrington, his under tenants or assignees and then of there late called by the name and sign of the Drum with the apputts. As the same was in the occupation of Richard Dodding and then of Mary Dodding, Widow and abutting east on other premises of the said Sarah Brown, then in the occup. of the Widow Honour and on premises of Thomas Goodman, west upon Ealing Lane, north on other premises then or there late of the said Sarah Brown leading towards the back lane and South on the King's Highway, which said messuage hereditments premises conveyed to him the said Robert Brown the 13 & 14 June 1718, the release made between Samuel Waterman ? Of Christ Church in Surrey, Waterman, and Sarah his wife & Mary Parrett of the same place widow of the one part and the said Robert Brown then of the parish of Ealing in Middx., Gardener, of the other part.

(Title Deeds, Drum - ACC / 0891 / 01/ 03/ 0031)




George IV by the grace of God etc., To Thomas Evans, William Wolfitt, William Phillimore, Thomas Carr, and Francis Whitmarsh Esquires greeting know ye that we have Assigned ye or any three of ye to inquire by the Oath of good and lawful Men of our County of Middlesex as well within Liberties and without by whom the Truth of the matter may be better known whether Lydia Harris of Old Brentford in the Parish of Ealing in the said County of Middlesex Spinster is a Lunatic or enjoys lucid intervals so that she is not sufficient for the Government of herself her Manors Messuages Lands Tenements Goods and Chattels and if so from what time after what manner and how and if the said Lydia Harris being in the same Condition hath Alienated any Lands or Tenements or not and if so what Lands and What Tenements to what Person or Persons where when and after what manner and how and what lands tenements goods and chattels as yet remain to her and what manner and how and how much they are worth by the Year in all Issues ? And who is the nearer Heir and of what age and therefore and therefore we Command ye or any three of ye That at certain days and places which ye shall for this purpose appoint ye diligently make Inquisition in the Presence and the same distinctly and plainly made to Us into Our Chancellery under the Seal of ye or any three and the Seals of those persons by whom it shall be made without delay ye send and these our Letters Patent for we command by the Tenor of these Present Our Sheriff of Our County of Middlesex aforesaid That at certain days and places within ye shall make known to him He cause to come before ye or any three of ye so many and such good and lawful Men of this Bailiwick as well within Liberties as without by whom the truth of the matter in the Premises may be better known and Enquired into IN TESTIMONY whereof we have caused these Our Letters to be made Patent WITNESS Ourself at Westminster the Twenty first day of July in the Sixth year of Our Reign our Sovereign Lord George.


(The Commissioners met at the Star and Garter, Kew Bridge on 2 July 1826.)

AN INQUISITION taken at the House of Thomas Matthews situate near Kew Bridge in the Parish of Ealing in the County of Middlesex commonly called by and known by the name of the Star and Garter Kew Bridge the twenty second day of July in the sixth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George (etc.) in 1825 before William Welfitt William Phillimore and Thomas Carr Esquires Commissioners of our said Lord the King by Virtue of His Majesty's Commissioners in the nature of a Writ de Lunatic Inquirende under the Great Seal of Great Britain bearing date at Westminster 21 July Instant to them the said Commissioners and others in said Commission named directed and to this Inquisition annexed to inquire amongst other things of the Lunacy of Lydia Harris Spinster residing at Old Brentford in the said County of Middlesex upon the Oaths of Richard Birnie Knight William Torssteen ? William Crighton Francis Stedman Richard Carpenter Benjamin Burchell John Kenson John Lewis Blackmore Charles Knevett John Round William Churton Thomas Richard Reed John Groom and Charles Biggs Esquires, good and lawful men of the said County who being Sworn and Charged Upon their Oath say that the said Lydia Harris is at the time of taking this Inquisition a Lunatic and does not enjoy lucid Intervals so that she is not sufficient for the Government of herself her Manors, Messuages, Land, Tenements, Goods, and Chattels, and that the said Lydia Harris hath been in the same state of Lunacy from the fifth day of July in the year 1822, but how and by what means she the said Lydia Harris so became a Lunatic, the Jurors aforesaid know not, unless by the Visitation of God. And the Jurors aforesaid upon their Oath aforesaid further say that whether the said Lydia Harris being in the same Condition hath alienated Lands or Tenements as also what Lands and Tenements, Goods and Chattels, as yet remain to her the said Lydia Harris, the Jurors aforesaid know not. And the Jurors aforesaid upon their Oath aforesaid, further say that Joseph Harris of Old Brentford, aforesaid, Lighterman, is the nearer heir of the said Lunatic, and is now of the age of Sixty three years. IN TESTIMONY whereof as well the said Commissioners as the Jurors aforesaid.

(National Archives Ref. - C211 / 12 / H171)



Matter of Lydia Harris, Spinster.

Account Book of Joseph Harris - Running the Drum

In the Matter of Lydia Harris, Spinster, a Lunatic.

The Account of Joseph Harris the Elder the Committee of the Estate of the Lunatic of his Receipts & Payments as such Committee including his account of carrying on the Lunatic's business in the Drum Public house at Old Brentford in the County of Middlesex from 5th day of August 1825 the time of his appointment to the 31 st December 1832 passed in pursuance of an Order made in this Matter on the 28th June 1832.

1826 RECEIPTS<,/p>

Jany. 3rd

Cash in the Drum Public House after the removal of Lunatic - 154. 8. 6.
The value of the Beer & Spirits in the Lunatics Public House at the time of the Commission 11 1. 6.
Sept. 8th. - By Sale of 200 Consols the property of the Lunatic directed to be sold by Order in this Matter dated 14th August 1826 - 168. 18. 4.

Decr. 31st - Profit upon 219 barrels of Beer received in 1826 @ 15s. per barrels - 164. 5s.
Ditto - Five barrels Ale @ 26 /- 6 10..

Ditto - Five do. @ 24 /- - 6
Ditto - 266 Gallons Gin 2/6 per Gallon - 33 5s.
The like upon Spirits including 3 for Lodging - 12 15s. 4d.


Decr. 31st Profit upon the Sale of Beer received in 1827 192 Barrels @ 15 /- per barrel - 144
Ale 12 Barrels @ 24s / - 14 8s.

Gin 326 Gallons @ 2/6 per Gallon - 40 15s.
On other Spirits including 3 for Lodging - 15 16s. 10d.

Carrd. Forwd. 772. 3s. 6d

1828 RECEIPTS<,/p>

Decr. 31st - Profit upon the Sale of Beer received in 1828 - 130 10s., 178 Barrels @ 15s /. Per barrel - 15 12s.
Ale 13. Barrels @ 24s / - 20 17s. 6.
Gin 167 Gallons @ 2/6 per Gallon - 15 2s. 6d.
The like upon Spirits including 3 for Lodging - 12 15s.4d.

1829 RECEIPTS<,/p>

Decr. 31st .

Profit upon the Sale of Beer received in 1829 146 Barrels @ 15s /. Per barrel - 109 10s.
Ale 6. Barrels @ 24s / - 7 - 4s.
Gin 166 Gallons @ 2/6 per Gallon - 20 15s.
The like upon Spirits including 3 for Lodging - 10 0s.

1830 RECEIPTS<,/p>

Profit upon the Sale of Beer received in 1830 - 120 barrels @ 15s/- per barrels - 90
Ale 6 Barrels @ 24s. / - 7 4s.
Gin 150 Gallons @ 21/2 d. per Gallon - 16 5s.
The like upon Spirits including 3 for Lodging, 12 4s. 8d.

1831 RECEIPTS<,/p>

Decr. 31st .

Profit upon the Sale of Beer received in 1831 123 barrels & 29 Gallons @ 15/- per barrel - 92 17s. 1d.
Also 5 Barrels @ 24/- - 6
Gin 118 Gallons @ 2/2 per Galllon - 12 16s. 9d.
The like upon other Spirits including 3 for Lodging - 8 15s.


July 14th
Profit upon the Sale of Beer received up to the time of Leaving the Public House (July 14th 1832) Beer 46
Barrels @ 15s. /- per barrel - 34 10s.
All 2 Do. @ 24s /- 2 8s.

Gin 43 Gallons @ 2/2 per Gallon - 5 2s. 3d.
The like of other Spirits including 30s /. for Lodgings - 2 14s. 6d.

Received from the Incoming Tenant for Goods and Fixtures at the Drum Public House as appraised sold to him - 180 10s.
Licenses - 1 3s. 6d.
A Moiety of the Tavern Expenses - 1 4s. 6d.
Beer Ale and Spirits in the Public House at the time of Sale - 12 16s. 3d.

Carried forwd. 1585 9s. 8d.

Lydia Harris held two copyhold properties in Twickenham :-

William Coxen for a House at Church Street, paying a yearly rent of 14.
Richard Stuckey for a Cottage at Twickenham Common, paying a yearly rent of 8.

Total amount of Receipts 1739 9 8.



Payments made by the Committee on carrying on the Public House called the
Drum at Old Brentford the property of the Lunatic & in the Maintenance of the Lunatic,
Costs and other Expenses : -


Jany. 7th
Paid James Crooke for Coals - 7 5s.
do. - Wilbraham Linen Drapery - 1 6s. 8d.
do. - 9th Messrs. Booth & Co. Distillers for Spirits supplied in Carrying on the Business - 10 17s. 6d.
do. - James Drewe for Newspapers supplied to the Lunatic - 3 10s.
do. - The like for the year 1826 in the business - 9 2s.
do. - 12th Messrs. Thompson & Co. Brewers for the Business - 62 13s. 4d.
do. - 29th Mr. Watson Stay maker - 10s. 6d.
Feby. 1 - Messrs. Richards & Co. Distillers for Spirits for the Business - 35 7s. 1d.
April 3rd Mr. Ralfs Surgeon- 2 2s.
do. - Mr. Sleap Solicitor to the Commission his Bill & Expenses - 194 18s. 5d.
do. 29th - Ditto 25 16s.-
Decr. 31st Mr. Knight Lunatic Asylum for Maintenance and Custody of Lunatic during the year 69
do. - Rent one year of the Drum Public House to Christmas - 30
do. - Paid King's Taxes Poor Rate & Highway Rate for the year 1826 - 8 5s. 5d.
do. - Beer & Spirit License half year - 2 12s. 6d.
do. - do. - For the previous year - 5 5s.
do. - Tobacco Do. - 5s.
do. - Drayman upon laying in Beer - 5s. 4d.
do. - Paid Housekeeping Expenses including the keep of Mr. J. Harris in the Care and Management of the Public House & Exclusive of the Wages & Keep of a female Servant &of the Expenses of Coal Candles Wood & Pipes - 52.
do. - Keep and Wages of Female Servant - 22 12s.
do. - Coals Candles & Wood - 25.
do. - Bad Debts arranged at - 8.
do. - Repairs - 2.
do. - Insurance of Goods at the Drum Public House 3 Years - 5 12s. 6d.

Carried forward - 589 4s. 11d.

(The records for the next five years are almost identical, and have not been included.)

In 1832 when the house had a new tenant, there were these charges :-

July 14 1832

Damaged Windows at the Drum - 1 9s. 6d.
Gauging Beer &c. on Leaving do. - 10s. 0d
Mr. King Broker for appraisement - 6 6s. 0.
Mr. Sleap half of the Expenses of Agreement - 1 1s.
Stamps for Receipts - 2s. 6d.

Total - 1857 1s. 8d.


The amount of Money received by the Committee on this account - 1739 9s. 8d.
The amount of the Committees payments and allowances - 1902 7s. 0d.
1833 Mar. 19th Balance due to the Committee on this account - 162 17s. 4d.
Rent one year of the of Public House due Christmas last - 30
Beer & Spirit License - 5 5s.
Tobacco Do. - 5s.
Paid King's Taxes, Poor Rates & Highway Do. - 11 15s. 5d.
Drayman upon laying in Beer - 2 13
Newspapers in the year - 9 2s. 7d.
Coals 12 12 6. Wood 1 6. 3. Candles 7 16 0 -- 21 14s. 9d.
Paid Housekeeping Expenses including the Keep of Mr. S. Harris in the Care & Management of
the Drum Public House & Exclusive of the Keep & Wages of a Female Servant & of the
Expenses of Coals Candles Wood & Pipes - 52
Servant Keep and Wages - 22 12s.
Repairs - 2
Bad Debts Estimated at - 3
Sundries during the year - 2
Window Curtains - 7s 7d.


(National Archives Ref. - C 101/2854)



The property notes for 319 High Street add little to Vic's comprehensive account of the Drum but include details of neighbours to the east and links to photos and maps of the area. The site has no photos of the Drum as yet...
The Harris family ran the Drum for over 30 years, the last of that family being Joseph Harris, the closest relative to Lydia Harris who was removed to Hanwell Asylum. An abstract of Joseph Harris's will from 1841 shows he lived across the road from the Drum, on Smith Hill. He was a lighterman, evidently running a pub was not his strongest suit!
See research into the Gomm family, who were at the Drum for over 30 years.
Some of the other names, both of publicans and witnesses to events, to testify to Lydia Harris's insanity, etc, feature elsewhere on the site, try a name search from the home page.

Page published January 2020