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Not Brentford


Vic Rosewarne has researched the histories of several local pubs and beerhouses including the Black Boys. He has also summarised the landlords between 1726 and 1884 in an Appendix (but I recommend the full newspaper accounts which transport the reader back to Victorian Brentford!).

The first record of this house is an entry in the Licensed Victuallers returns for 1726 when a Joseph Scott is listed as licensee of the “Black Boys“, New Brentford. At various times the house is recorded as The Black Boys or The Two Black Boys.

The following list of the licensees of the Two Black Boys for 1726 to 1828 is taken from the Licensed Victuallers Returns, held at the London Metropolitan Archives. Where indicated there are gaps in the returns.

Joseph Scott 1726
Maria Scott 1727
John Cookesley 1729 – 1737

There are no extant returns 1738 – 1742

The name the Two Black Boys is first mentioned in 1743, when Edward Papell is licensee, he is also listed in the returns of 1746 to 1748, but no signs are given in these returns.

Edward Papell 1743 – 1748

It appears his wife, or possible his daughter, then took over the house, as an Esther Papell is listed as a licensee from 1749 to 1751, though the name of the house is not given, there is then a gap in the records from 1752 to 1759, but she is recorded at the Black Boys in the lists for 1760 and 1761

Esther Papell 1749 – 1761
Ralph Slade 1762 – 1765
Talbot Sanger 1766 – 1774
Joseph Smith 1776 – 1777
John Godfrey 1778
Robert Godfrey 1779
William Showell 1780 – 1788
William Smeeton 1790 – 1806
William Parsons 1807 – 1810
Ann Parsons 1811 – December 1812

From 1806 to 1821 the transfers of the licence are recorded in the Brentford Minute Book of Sessions 1806-1822 at the Metropolitan Archives, Ref. MJ/SP/XX/001

At the Three Pigeons 8 Dec. 1812


Wm. Lambert allowed a Transfer (from Ann Parsons presumably) to the Black Boys on entering into the usual recognizances

William Lambert December 1812 – 1815

James Otterway 1816 – January 1821

Soon after taking the house James Otterway was the victim of a forger.



Yesterday John Brooks and Isaac Greenslade were again brought up for examination by Gammon, who charged them with having uttered a great number of forged notes, knowing them to be forged. Upon a further examination, it was stated by the officer who apprehended the prisoners, that he suspected they had disposed of forged notes to many persons residing in the neighbourhood of Turnham Green; and yesterday brought forward Mr. Otaway, of the Black Boy at Brentford, to whom the prisoners had passed a note on the 2nd of August, which was sworn to by Mr. Christian, one of the Inspectors of the Bank, as being forged.

Gammon, the officer stated that he asked Brooks why he had changed so many notes, when he had so much silver in his possession ? -- and Brooks answered that he found the notes and knew the silver could not be so easily identified.

The parties concerned were bound over to prosecute, but in the expectation of other persons coming forward to whom the prisoners had passed forged notes, the were remanded for re-examination on Tuesday week.

(Morning Post – Monday 12 August 1816.)

Brooks and Greenslade were tried at the Old Bailey six weeks later

OLD BAILEY, September 20.W. Chamberlain, Eliz. Stubbs, J. Brooks, I. Greenslade, Jane Brown, and G. Draper, pleaded severally guilty to the lesser offence of having forged Bank of England notes in their possession, which subjects them to the punishment of transportation for 14 years each. The Bank declining to prosecute them capitally, for forging the notes, they were acquitted of that offence.

(Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser – 21 September 1816)



After five years as licensee James Otterway then gave way to Joseph Barnes.

At the Three Pigeons 16 January 1821


Transfer allowed from James Ottoway to Joseph Barnes of the Black Boys P. H.

Joseph Barnes January 1821 – 1828

The renewal of the licence of the Two Black Boys in 1825 is recorded in this document, which was issued to each publican at the Licensing Sessions, it sets out the terms by which the licence is granted.

Middlesex to wit,
At a General Meeting of His Majesty’s Justice of the Peace acting in and for the Division of New Brentford in the said County of --- held at the 3 Pigeons, New Brentford, in the Division and County aforesaid, on Monday, the twenty first day of March One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty five Joseph Barnes at the sign of the Black Boys in the Township of New Brentford in the said County --- Victualler, acknowledges himself to be indebted to our Sovereign Lord the King in the sum of thirty pounds. And Thomas Bradshaw of the Township of New Brentford in the County of aforesaid Baker acknowledges himself to be indebted to our Sovereign Lord the King in the sum of twenty Pounds, to be levied upon their several Goods and Chattels, Lands and Tenements, by way of Recognizance, to His Majesty’s Use, His Heirs and Successors; Upon Condition that the said Joseph Barnes do and shall keep the true Assize in uttering and selling Bread and other Victuals, Beer, Ale, and other Liquors in his House; and shall not fraudulently dilute or adulterate the same; and shall not use, in uttering and selling thereof any Pots or other Measures that are not of full Size; and shall not wilfully or knowingly permit Drunkenness or Tipling, nor get drunk in his House or other Premises; not knowingly suffer any gaming with Cards, Draughts, Dice, Bagatelle, or any other sedentary game in his House, or any of the Outhouses, Appurtenances, or Easements thereto belonging, by Journeymen, Labourers, Servants, or Apprentices; nor knowingly introduce, permit, or suffer any Bull, Bear, or Badger-baiting, Cock-fighting, or any other such Sport or Amusement, in any Part of his Premises nor shall knowingly or designedly, and with a view to harbour and entertain such, permit or suffer Men or Women of notoriously bad Fame, or dissolute Girls and Boys, to assemble and meet together in his House, or any of the other Premises, during the Hours of Night, or early in the Morning, for any other Purpose than the Reception of Travellers; but do keep good Rule and Order therein according to the Purport of a License granted for selling Ale, Beer, or other Liquors, by Retail, in the said House and Premises, for one whole year commencing on the fifth Day of April next, then this Recognizance to be void, or else to remain in full Force.
Taken and acknowledge the Day and Year first above written before Us, - James Clitherow – Wm. Crighton

[The above was from a printed pro forma, with gaps where the individual details were filled in, here printed in Italics.]



Up until 1828 the Clerks of the Peace were required to keep records of licensed houses and their licensees, the Licensing Act of 1828 (9 Geo. IV c.61) omitted this provision, consequently determining the names of the licensees, after 1828, relies on Trade Directories, Census returns, the transferring of licences recorded in newspaper reports (fairly complete from 1860 to 1890), or other newspaper reports about events at the various houses.

Legislation introduced in 1872 obliged the clerks of peace to keep registers of all the licences grant by the magistrates, but for the Brentford Licensing Division, these registers were discarded, except for four books rescued from a skip and deposited at Chiswick Library. These books give a complete list of the licensees for 1907 – 1925.


Up until the late 19th century inquests were routinely held at the public house nearest to where the death took place. The reporter adding an extra boy to the house sign in reporting one at the Two Black Boys in 1838.

On Saturday an Inquest was held at the Three Black Boys, New Brentford, on the body of Matilda Dowding, aged 10 years. It appeared from the evidence of the witnesses, that on Sunday afternoon last, about 2 o’clock, as the father of the deceased, a respectable tradesman, residing opposite the Church, New Brentford, was in his bedroom shaving himself, he was alarmed by loud screams in the parlour. On running down and entering the room his feelings becoming so agonized at seeing the unfortunate deceased enveloped in flames that he instantly fainted away. Mrs. Dowding, however, who followed him into the room, having more strength of nerve, threw a pail of water over the deceased, which extinguished the flames. Several surgeons were sent for, but the unfortunate girl died on Wednesday. Verdict -- “Accidental Death.”

(Berkshire Chronicle 21 April 1838)

James Swithin Trimmer – by 1839 to c. 1843

Pigot’s 1839 Directory – Black Boys – Jas. Swithin Trimmer

1841 Census - (HO 107 655 / 1 – fo. 43, p. 4)
(Two Black Boys), High Street, New Brentford

James Trimmer, aged 28, Publican, born Middlesex
Mary Trimmer, aged 32, born Middlesex
Eliza Trimmer, aged 6, born Middlesex
Ann Trimmer, aged 4, born Middlesex
Charles Banter, aged 12, Servant, born Middlesex
(Plus lodgers),

George Rogers – mid 1840s.

A brief tenancy only recorded in the 1845 Post Office Directory – Black Boy – George Rogers.

John Carter – c. 1850 to mid 1852.

John Carter was the next tenant, for about two years.

1851 Census - (HO 107 167, fo 63v, p. 35, sch. 157)

The Black Boys, High Street, New Brentford

John Carter, Head, Mar., aged 70, A Victualler, born Surrey, Banstead
Lucy Carter, Wife, Mar., aged 66, born Warwick, Birmingham
[Only two in household]

John Carter died in around September 1852, his wife then took over the house.

Brentford Petty Session, Saturday 9 October
The Black Boys, in this transfer a new licence from Thomas Carter, deceased, to Lucy Carter, his widow. [should be John Carter] - (Morning Advertiser 11 October 1852)

Lucy Carter – October 1852 to October 1853

Mason’s 1853 Directory – Two Black Boys, near the Church – Lucy Carter

Lucy Carter was followed was then followed two more female licensees, an almost unique occurrence at this time.

Brentford Petty Session 8 October – The Black Boys, Lucy Carter and Thomas Martin to Mary Ann Wiltshire - (Morning Advertiser 10 October 1853)

[Thomas Martin would most likely have been the administrator of Lucy Carter’s late husband’s estate.]

Mary Ann Wiltshire October 1853 - June 1857

When Mary Wiltshire applied for the annual renewal of the licence in 1855, the renewal was suspended and dealt with at the adjourned sessions two weeks later. This implies there had been some transgression of the licensing laws during the previous year, and the licence would be renewed with a caution by the Chairman of the Bench. Top


Mary Wiltshire was in trouble again the following year, a fine of £3 was exceptional, in these cases there was usually an endorsement of the licence and if this occurred the owners of the house would usually remove the tenant. But it appeared the landlady was allowed to carry on.

Brentford Petty Session Saturday 12 April


Mary Ann Wiltshire, of The Black Boy, New Brentford, was summoned for keeping her house open after 11 o’clock on Sunday night, the 31st of March. Police Sergeant Henry Bailey proved the case, which the magistrates thought a very bad one, and fined the defendant £3 and costs.

(Windsor and Eton Express 19 April 1856).

Brentford Petty Session 13 June, transfer from Mrs Mary Ann Wiltshire to Mrs Sarah South of The Black Boy, New Brentford, near the Church.

(Windsor & Eton Express 20 June 1857)


Sarah South June 1857 – August 1857

Very soon after Sarah South had taken over the house, she married James Brown, in July, and as a married woman she had to transfer the licence to her new husband.

Brentford Petty Sessions, 17 August – Transfer The Two Black Boys, New Brentford, From Sarah Brown, formerly Sarah South, to James Brown, of New Brentford

(Windsor & Eton Express 22 August 1857)

James Brown August 1857 – March 1858

The newly married couple’s life together nearly had a tragic start. Sarah had a daughter in her mid twenties from her previous marriage, who had been troubled since her father death, and her mental state was fragile. In mid August she travelled with her mother to London in an attempt to start a new life away from her mother, but on getting to London she lost sight of her mother and then travelled to Hammersmith, where her parents had run the Red Lion, Lower Mall, Hammersmith. There she took lodgings at the Plough beer-shop in Waterloo Street, where in the night she attempted suicide, but fortunately a fellow lodger heard there was something amiss and he and the landlord went to her room and found she had taken poison and was also trying to strangle herself. A doctor was called and he managed to revive her, she was then brought before a magistrate in Hammersmith for attempting suicide.

At this hearing it was ascertained that her mother had sent letters to her husband and her sister in law saying the when they received the letter “she would be no more.”. James Brown, Sarah’s husband explained that Eliza had resolved to make a new life away from her mother and step father. They travelled to London that day for that reason. His wife had not returned and as he was alone in the house he had no opportunity to search for here. Eliza had come to Brentford on the Monday night, when she told him so many stories about how she had lost her mother that he could not make anything of it.

Eliza was then remanded for a week, but the magistrate requested that the prisoner should be properly looked after.

At the second hearing the mother appeared, which clearly upset her daughter, she cried and became very excited. The mother said that her daughter had frequently threatened to commit suicide, she had been in that state since her father died, and said “what she had suffered was past all bearing. Her daughter had been so strange she did not think her husband would allow her to live at his house.

Eliza Brown was then kept in custody, as it was clear she could not be released without adequate supervision.

[Appendix 2 has the full transcript of the Case]



Whilst all this was going on James Brown had to appear at the Magistrates Court to answer a summons.

Brentford Petty Session 29 August 1857

James Brown, landlord of the Two Black Boys, in New Brentford, appeared in answer to a summons charging him with having his house open for the sale of liquors during the prohibited hours, on Sunday , the 23rd ult.

After hearing evidence, the Bench told defendant that they thought he was beginning early to set the law at defiance, as he had only had the licence transferred to him about a fortnight. They hoped it would be a caution to him, as, if he pursued such a course, he would lose his licence. - Fined 10s.

(Windsor & Eton Express 5 September 1857)

Within a few months James Brown had transferred the house again making three licensees had run the house in nine months.

Brentford Licensing Session, Tuesday, 2 March – Transfer – The Black Boys, New Brentford, from Mr. James Brown to Mr. Thomas Tunstall Saunders.

(Morning Advertiser 3 March 1858)


Thomas Tunstall Saunders March 1858 – April 1864

The new licensee got off to a shaky start as he was charged with assaulting a cab driver within a couple of months of taking over.


Brentford Petty Session Saturday, July 10.

Thomas Tunstall Sanders, landlord of the Two Black Boys, New Brentford, was fined 40s. and costs for assaulting William Blagrove, cab proprietor of Ealing.

Mr. Sleap appeared for the complainant, who it appeared was hired by defendant, as Acton on the previous Tuesday, to drive to Kew Bridge, for which he agreed to pay 2s. 6d., but on reaching Kew Bridge and demanding his fare, defendant refused to pay him. Complainant followed him, and repeated his demand, when defendant knocked him down. Complainant’s face, which was very much bruised, proved the treatment he had experienced.

Defendant said he had paid before starting, and was annoyed by complainant asking him for the fare a second time.

There was a cross-summons, but this was dismissed.

(West London Observer 17 July 1858)


1861 Census - (RG 9 / 777 , fo. 52, p. 27, Sch. 132)

The Black Boys, High Street, New Brentford

Thomas T. Sanders, Head, Married, aged 42, a Victualler & Lighterman, born Middx, Brentford
Louisa Sanders, Wife, Married, aged 42, born Middx, Hanwell
Henry Sanders, Son, aged 15, An Ap. Waterman, born Middx., Isleworth
Thomas T. Sanders, Son, aged 6, a Scholar, born, Middx, Brentford
Florence Sanders, Daugher, aged 4, a Scholar, born Middx, Brentford
James Knoll, Ap., Unmarried, aged 19, an Ap., born, London., Oxford Street


Brentford Petty Session Saturday 9 April – Black Boys, New Brentford, from Thomas Tunstall Sanders to Thomas K. Pain.

(Morning Advertiser 12 April 1864)


Thomas Pain – April 1864 – June 1865

This was a short lived tenancy of the house, but he may have been there when the following fire was reported.


A fire broke out at 3.30 a.m, on Tuesday last, at the Two Black Boys public house, New Brentford, this being the third fire in New Brentford within a few weeks. The damage done is estimated at about £10. The fire was fortunately extinguished by the attention of engine-keepers, Hughes and Poole, and the assistance of the police.

(Windsor and Eton Express 18 March 1865)

[Twenty four hours later the Waterman’s Arms at Isleworth was burnt to the ground; was there an arsonists in the area ?]


At the Brentford Petty Sessions on the 3 June 1865 James Sutch took over the house, presumably from Thomas Pain.

A special licence was granted to James Such of The Two Black Boys, New Brentford (Actually his name was spelt Sutch, as further reports show.)

(Windsor & Eton Express 10 June 1865)


James Sutch – June 1865 – February 1867

Sporting wagers, like the one below, were often held by licensees, a number of other pubs in the neighbourhood are recording as doing the same around this time.

T. Finn of Brentford, will row J. Stiles, of Isleworth, for £5 or £10 a side, from Barnes Bridge to Church Ferry, Isleworth. Man and Money ready at the Two Black Boys, Brentford, on Saturday next, September 16, from eight till ten o’clock.

(Sporting Life – Wednesday 13 September 1865)



Robert Carr, a labouring man, was charged with having been drunk and riotous, in New Brentford, on the night of the 2nd October.

Police constable William Barrett stated that he was passing along the High Street, when he saw Carr with a crowd around him. He was making use of very bad language. Witness tried to persuade him to go away; but he was very violent, and would not do so, in consequence of which, and finding the mob was increasing, he was compelled to take Carr into custody, when he became still more violent, and said, “You ------, I’ll serve you as I have a great many others.”

William Such, son of the landlord of the Two Black Boys public house, stated that he remembered Carr coming into his father’s house, and he was very quarrelsome. Witness would not therefore serve him, and was obliged, on account of his conduct to turn him out of the house. When outside he made use of very violent language, and a policeman came up and took him about eight yards further on. Witness then went in.

Carr’s leg was broken in the attempt by the policeman to get him to the station.

On the following week Carr was fined only 1s. for the affair. 5 to 10 shillings was the usual fine imposed. Possibly the Magistrates thought that having his leg broken was almost punishment enough.

(Windsor and Eton Express 28 October 1865)



Mr. James Sutch, of the Two Black Boys, Brentford, has received £2 each for an engagement between Fred Hawkins and Joseph Fenner, both of Brentford, to run 100 yards, for £5 a side, on May 1, at the West London Grounds, Brompton. A further deposit must be handed in on April 24.

(Sporting Life – Saturday, 12 April 1866)


Public houses had to be closed during the hours of Divine Service on Sundays and the Holy Days of Easter and Christmas, but many landlords ignored this, resulting in a very large number of summons by the magistrates. James Sutch being one of them.

Brentford Petty Session Saturday, 11 August. - PROHIBITED HOURS

James Such, landlord of the Two Black Boys, New Brentford, was summoned for serving during the prohibited hours.

Police constable 131 stated that he was on duty in New Brentford on the previous Sunday morning, when his attention was attracted to defendant’s house, at the door of which defendant was standing; but, on witness going in that direction, he went in and shut the door. Witness knocked, and it was opened, when he entered and saw two soldiers with beer in a pot. He also saw two men leaving the house by the back door, and followed them, when he found three men behind the door of the closet in the yard. Witness then called the defendant’s attention to what he had seen, and said he should feel it his duty to report it.

Mr. Haynes, for the defendant, said that his client was a very respectable man; and there had been no complaint against him previously; and on the present occasion two soldiers had come to him as he stood at the door looking for the early omnibus to town, where a part of his family were going. He at first refused to serve them with refreshment, but, on their saying they came from Windsor, he let them have some bread and cheese and beer. Just as the soldiers went in, two road men rushed in, but he refused to serve them, and they went into the yard just before the constable. He was instructed that nothing was served to anyone but the soldiers, and only to them on the representation that they had come from Windsor that morning.

The Chairman said there appeared in this case a very extraordinary combination of circumstances; but the Bench would have a much better opinion of Mr. Such if he had pleaded guilty, instead of resorting to such a peculiar defence. The magistrates often had extraordinary excuses made by publicans, but in this case it was perfectly ridiculous. -- Fined 40s.

(Windsor and Eton Express 18 August 1866)


There is a Such or Sutch family recorded at Isleworth in the 1851 census, head James Such with a sons James and Joseph. In 1861 James, the father was living at Brentford End. It was obviously the father who was the landlord, as he had a grown up son, William. It appears he transferred the house to another son in 1867.

Brentford Petty Session 2 February – Two Black Boys, New Brentford, James Sutch to Joseph Sutch.

(Middlesex Chronicle – 9 February 1867)


Joseph Sutch – February 1867 to October 1868

The son only lasted a year and a half, transferring the licence in October 1868.

Brentford Petty Session 3 October 1868 -

From Mr. Joseph Sutch to Mr. Michael Hardy, the Two Black Boys, New Brentford

(Windsor and Eton Express 10 October 1868)

[The new landlord was actually Michael Harty – see the note about misreporting names in the newspaper article on the closure of the house.]

Michael Harty -- October 1868 to November 1871

1871 Census – RG 9 / 1319, fo. 157, p. 5, Sch. 21

Two Black Boys, High Street, N. B.

Michael Harty, Head, Mar, aged 37, a Publican, born Ireland Mary Harty, Wife, Mar., aged 30, born Ireland
Thos. Harty, Nephew, aged 12, a Pot boy, born Middx., London
William Nash, Nephew, aged 15, a Pot boy, born Middx., London

[Their next door neighbour was the Vicar of New Brentford, the Rev. Francis B. Briggs.]


Michael Harty lasted four relatively quiet years in the house, there was only one incident reported during his tenure.


Charles Gardiner was summoned for assaulting Michael Hardy, on the 24th inst., at New Brentford.

Mr. Haynes appeared for the defence.

Complainant said : I am landlord of the “Two Black Boys,” New Brentford. Last Saturday night the defendant came into my house and had two pints of beer. He called for a third but I refused to serve him as it was closing time. He then knocked my wife about and I tried to put him out. He hit me in the eye saying, “take that, I give it you, it won‘t wash off doer a week.”

Cross-examined : I did not challenge him to a fight; I was once charged with striking a man on the head with a hammer but was acquitted.

The Chairman said it was their duty to protect the landlords in clearing their house of disorderly persons. The defendant was the aggressor, and would be fined 20s. or 14 days’ imprisonment.

(Middlesex Chronicle – April 1 1871)


Brentford Petty Sessions, Saturday, 11 November 1871 – Two Black Boys, New Brentford, Michael Harty to Richard Nash.

(Middlesex Chronicle – November 18 1871)


Richard Nash – November 1871 to June 1876

The new landlord seems to have got off to a quiet start, for two and a half years no incidents are reported, till the following rather amusing case.

Brentford Police Court Tuesday, April 21st – LETTING PUSS OUT OF THE BAG

Cornelius Benn was charged with stealing a tame rabbit, value 10s., the property of Richard Nash, of New Brentford, the previous afternoon.

Prosecutor said he was the landlord of the Two Black Boys. On Monday about dinner time the prisoner and two other strange men came to the house, and after having something to drink, they went into the backyard, and after sometime returned and left the house. Witness then went out to the yard to feed the rabbits, and missed one of them. He went after the prisoners, but could not find them. Later in the day the prisoner came back to the house, and caused a disturbance, by accusing his wife with having stated he had stolen the rabbit. Witness said “Well, one of you three took it, for nobody else has been in the yard.” Prisoner said “If you say I stole your rabbit, I will make you suffer the law. I am a tailor and no rabbit fancier.” Just then the rabbit put one of its feet through a hole in the prisoner’s pocket, and witness said “Why there it is in your pocket.”

Detective Christie said he apprehended prisoner on Monday afternoon, and on telling him the charge, he said another man took the rabbit, and he brought it back because there was a row about it, and that it was only done for a joke. He would not give the name of the man who took it.

Prisoner denied that he stole the rabbit, but the Justices thought it more than a joke, and committed prisoner to prison for one month with hard labour.

(Middlesex Mercury, Middlesex Chronicle & Richmond & Twickenham Times 25 April 1874)


There was then a quiet sixteen months, then three incidents occurred and a neighbour, Charles Allen, was involved in all of them.


Charles Allen was summoned for assaulting George Hooper, on the 21st October, at New Brentford.

Mr. Mitton appeared for the complainant, and Mr. Philp for the defendant.

The complainant’s case was that on the 21st. ult., he was standing outside the Two Black Boys Inn talking to his wife when the defendant came up and struck him in such a manner as to completely knock him down in the road way.

Mr. Philp, in defence, maintained that the complainant was so drunk that when he accidentally went up against the complainant he fell down without his client using any violence whatever.

This statement, as to the complainant’s elevated condition, was borne out by the evidence of a young gentleman, who was in the Two Black Boys at the time.

The order of things were then reversed.

George Hooper was then charged with being drunk and disorderly, and with refusing to quit the Two Black Boys Inn when requested to do so.

Mr. Philp for the prosecutor, (Mr. Nash) and Mr. Mitton for the defendant.

The evidence went to prove that Hooper went into the Inn in an inebriated state and was refused drink, when he used most obscene and abusive language to the landlady, Mrs. Nash, and although requested to leave the house he refused to do so.

The magistrates convicted the defendants in each case, and fined Allen 10s. and Hooper 20s.

(Middlesex Chronicle 6 November 1875)



Charles Allen, hairdresser, of New Brentford, was summoned for assault, and for using abusive and insulting language towards Mrs. Mary Ann Nash, the landlady of the Black Boy Inn, ; also with refusing to quit the house when ordered to do so.

Mr. Philp appeared for the complainant (Mrs. Nash), and Mr. Lay defended.

Complainant said she was the wife of William Nash, landlord of the Black Boy. On the 28th of March, between nine and ten o’clock at night the defendant, whom she had known previously, came into the house and struck her husband with an umbrella. He afterwards took up another young man’s glass of ale and tried to open the door of the private bar. She was much frightened, and defendant abused her in a very shameful manner. Her husband told him to leave the house, but he refused to go.

Cross-examined : The blow was intended she believed. It was not done for a lark. Defendant called her all the names he could think of. Did not first abuse him. Had been on the best of friendship with Mr. Allen as a neighbour. Did not accuse him of keeping a trollop. No provocation whatever was given to the defendant. She sent for a policeman man to take Mr. Allen into custody, and on the arrival of the constable he husband said, “If he will walk out let him do so.” When she first gave orders for the defendant to be turned out the policeman said “what am I to do, Mr. Nash,” and the defendant then said “I don’t want putting out, for I can walk out of your b----- house myself.

By the Bench : Mr. Allen was sober.

John Gardener, bricklayer, deposed to being at the Black Boy between nine and ten on the night in question, and to hearing defendant call Mrs. Nash by a disgusting name.

Cross--examined : Did not see the beginning of the disturbance; was there when the police came. Heard the landlord say he would have the defendant locked up if he did not go away quietly. Gandy had been there; he was not excessively sober (laughter).

By Chairman : Considered a man to be sober when he can stand upright on his feet.

Chairman : That‘s a new definition of drunkenness (laughter).

Mr. Nash, landlord of the Inn, saw defendant and another man come in. Defendant struck witness with an umbrella and made use of bad language towards his wife; he also compared the bar to a water closet. Called the police in, but did not want Allen to be locked up.

Cross-examined : Did not hear his wife accuse Allen of anything. She rarely cried about what he called her. Allen was not the worse for drink.

Mr. Lay, in defence, remarked that it would be very strange for a young man to enter a public house, and at once insult a woman in a most abominable way without any provocation, and urged that Mrs. Nash was the aggressor, as she commence abusing Mr. Allen upon entering the bar. After the abuse from Mrs. Nash the defendant undoubtedly did make some insulting remarks towards the complainant. Mr. Lay, in support of his defence called Charles Brown and ----- Dickman, who gave evidence as to the provocation given by Mrs. Nash.

The Chairman said the magistrates had no doubt that a considerable amount of provocation was given the defendant, and he would therefore only be fined 10s, including costs, would meet the case.

(Middlesex Mercury 8 April 1876)


Brentford Petty Session 22 April



Richard Nash, landlord of the Black Boys Inn, Brentford, was summoned on the information of his neighbour, Charles Allen, for keeping his house open during prohibited hours, on the 18th April.

Mr. Lay appeared for the prosecution; Mr. Philp represented the defendant.

Charles Allen, hair dresser, said he lived near the defendant, who kept the Two Black Boys, on the night of Tuesday the 18th April he saw a Mrs. Hollis enter the defendant’s premises after 11 o’clock, she come out with a can between 20 minutes and half past 11 o’clock. A policeman was coming past at the time, and witness called his attention to the matter. He saw that she had a can of beer concealed under her apron, and he called the attention of a policeman was near to the fact, and lifted up the apron to show him the can.

Cross-examined by Mr. Philp : When he saw the woman come out of the house he said to defendant, “I have now caught you, and I will make an example of you.” He had not taken this summons on account of having been summoned a short ago by the defendant’s wife for using abusive language. Did not say, I’ve caught you now and I’ll make an example of you,” to the defendant the same night. I live four doors from Mr. Nash, and Mr. Hollis lives two doors from me. The constable was there and Mrs. Hollis was there, but Mr. Nash and Mr. Hollis ere not there when the woman came out.

Mr. Philp : Where were you when Mrs. Hollis came out of the house ?

Witness : I was on the kerbstone watching.

Mr. Philp : Then you are an informer ?

Witness : Yes, I am.

Mr. Lay : Now you’ve got it straight (laughter).

Re-examined : When she saw me she covered up the can with her apron..

Police constable John Robinson, 419 T, said on the night of the 18th he was on duty in High Street, Brentford End, and about 20 minutes past 11 o’clock, and noticed the shop door at Mrs. Hollis’s open. Looked in the shop, but found no one there. He afterwards found Mrs. Hollis had gone up to Mrs. Nash’s. On her returning she told she been to attend to Mrs. Nash’s, who were suffering from measles. Allen was very abusive to Mrs. Hollis, and he took hold of her apron very rudely, and he pulled aside the apron to show it to witness. The witness could not say whether it contained beer, as he neither had a “taste, smell or a look. When Allen spoke of her having a can, he did say, “I’m not supposed to see it.

Cross-examined : Allen used abusive language to Mrs Hollis. The latter stated to witness that she had been nursing Mrs Nash’s children, who were suffering from the measles.

The Chairman expressed himself strongly against the conduct of the constable saying I think you behaved very badly indeed in the matter.

Mr. Philp’s for the defence, said the facts of the case were these : Mrs. Hollis had gone into the house long before 11 o’clock to attend Mrs. Nash’s children, who had the measles; her husband was in the house at the time and purchased the can of beer, and came outside a few minutes before eleven. He stood outside the house in company with the landlord some time after, and his wife on coming out, took the beer off him, and carried it indoors for supper, but on going along Allen caught hold of her by the apron in a very rude manner. Mr. Philp further that it was purely a case of revenge, and that Allen was stated to have said “I’ve been watching for these, now I’ got them..”

He called Richard Nash, the landlord of the Two Black Boys, who stated that Mr. Hollis had been in his house all the evening. Witness had a child ill, and Mrs. Hollins had been in and out several times attending to her; the last time she came in was about ten minutes past eleven. The can of beer was then outside, it was drawn at five minutes to eleven. Hollis took it out about three minutes to eleven. Was outside smoking a pipe and talking to Mr. Hollis, when his wife came out and he handed her the beer, which she carried home.

Cross-examined : Will swear he saw Hollis pass the beer to his wife after she got out outside the door.

Thomas Hollis corroborated the evidence of the last witness.

Mary Ann Hollis, wife of last witness, deposed to her husband handing the beer to her, after she had come out from attending Mrs. Nash’s child, and said whilst she was going home with it, Allen came forward and caught hold of her clothes very rudely, and frightened her very much.

Cross-examined : Had not got the can of beer under her apron.

Charles Fry, a lodger at Mr. Nash’s and William Lake, pot boy, gave evidence showing that the beer was drawn and taken outside just before eleven o’clock.

Chief Inspector Tarling gave evidence as to the way the house was conducted.

The Chairman said the Bench had consulted and could not but consider the charge proved, and they had nothing to do with the motives which had prompted Allen to take this course. The Bench had very seldom to complain of the conduct of the police in the Brentford Division, but in this instance they felt compelled to strongly censure the conduct of the constable, who took good care not to see whether there was beer in the can or not.

A fine of 40s. was inflicted, and the licence ordered to be endorsed.

Charles Allen was then charged with an indecent assault upon Mary Ann Hollis., the alleged assault consisted in defendant pulling aside the complainant’s apron, as detailed in the last case, and the Chairman characterising the charge as trumpery, dismissed the summons. The Justices remarking that it was perfectly ridiculous, as the summons was not even thought off till the summons against Mr. Nash had been served.

(Middlesex Chronicle April 29 1876)


Having his licence endorsed was the end for Richard Nash as licensee, in other cases where this happened the brewers would immediately terminated the tenancy, and this appears to have happened in this case, the licence was transferred some five weeks latter.

Brentford Petty Session 3 June 1876 -

Two Black Boys, High Street, Brentford, Richard Nash to David Cowdrey.

(Morning Advertiser 5 June 1876)

David Cowdrey – June 1876 to October 1878

The next landlord seems to have had a quiet time in charge, only a minor business matter is reported.


A case of some importance to publicans was decided at the last sitting of the Brentford County Court. Mr. Cordery, the landlord of the Two Black Boys, Brentford, sued a man named Mason, in the employ of Mr. S. H. Watkins, Brentford and Uxbridge, for the sum of £1 9s. 7d., in respect of beer supplied, the plaintiff being professionally represented by Mr. G. W. Lay. Mr. Sergeant Wheeler, the judge, held that as the plaintiff did not send the beer to Mr. Watkin’s premises, but had sold it over the counter to defendant, he could not recover, although the beer was not for defendant alone, but also for other workmen, who were employed with him. Judgement was therefore given to the defendant.

(Middlesex Chronicle 10 February 1877)


Brentford Petty Session 5 October 1878 – The Black Boys, New Brentford, David Cowdrey to William John Skinner.

(Morning Advertiser 8 October 1878)


William John Skinner October 1878 – 1879?

The new landlord appears to have taken over the house before the official transfer was made, as he is involved in a court case before the transfer was made.

Brentford Petty Session Saturday 21 September 1878.


William Skinner was summoned by Mary Ann Dickeman for allowing drunkenness on his premises, the Two Black Boys, Brentford.

Mr. Lay appeared for the prosecution, and Mr. Woodbridge for the defence.

After Mr. Lay’s opening statement, Mary Ann Dickeman gave evidence. On the night of the 11th instant she had reason to believe her brother was at the public house in question. At half past six she was there, and sent a boy to fetch him.

Susannah Dickeman said that on Wednesday, the 11th instant, she went to the Black Boys at twenty minutes past eleven, to fetch her brother. About ten minutes afterwards he came out in a state of intoxication. The landlord was with him, and assisted him for a considerable distance.

In cross-examination, witness said she did not like him to obtain drink, hence their actions in the matter. He had a separate establishment, and was not dependant on her or her friends. Her father was a teetotaller; she also was an abstainer. The landlord went to her brother’s house. She did not know whether her brother had promised to return to the Black Boys.

By the Chairman : Her brother was an upholsterer.

Re-examined : She was quite sure her brother was tipsy.

Police-constable Green, 22 T R, said he was on duty near the Black Boys about a quarter past eleven on the night of the 11th. In consequence of what the first witness had told him he went to the public house and asked the landlord if Mr. Dickeman was with him. He replied he was, and said they were going to work all night in the bar. They were both stripped and had their tools, and the landlady was holding a light. The house was all in darkness, excepting the bar. Dickeman was sober at the time, and he had never told Mr. Lay that he had had too much drink. Hw saw Dickeman come out, but did not lead him. Skinner was with him, but did not support him.

By the Chairman : Dickeman did not put his jacket on.

The Chairman here intimated that there was no case in the opinion of the magistrates. The Bench thought that the defendant was conducting his house in a proper manner, and they trusted he would continue to do so.

Mr. Woodbridge said that in justification of his client he must say that he and Dickeman were at work all night at the house of the latter.

(Richmond and Twickenham Times 28 September 1878)


William Skinner’s tenure was short, however, as in less than a year Charles Goodliffe Hunt had taken over as is seen in the following case. It was to be probably the most eventful tenancy of any Brentford publican, until he was also given notice to quit.

[No record of the transfer was found.]


Charles Goodliffe Hunt – c. 1879 – May 1881

Brentford Police Court, Tuesday, 2 September 1879 – A “SMASHING” WOMAN

Mary Beckenham was charged with having been drunk, disorderly, and using obscene language at Old Brentford; also with having wilfully broken nine panes of glass at the Two Black Boys, public house.

Mr. Charles Hunt, the landlord, stated that on the previous day the prisoner was having a bit of a “jib” with her husband in front of his bar. His little girl said “Father you are wanted down below.” He jolly sharply went down, and his old “Queen” said, “We must keep out house orderly.” Told the poor lass (meaning the prisoner) she must get out of the house; and whilst in the act of striking her husband, prisoner “shoved” her hands through the windows, and smashed nine panes of glass. Seeing she “meant it,” he took hold of her “flates,” and she then “by Jove, took hold of me by the whiskers, and look her, sir, by Jove, she took half of them out.” He ordered them either to desist or go outside. The husband obeyed, but prisoner continued making use of bad language, and he was compelled to eject her. She there upon created a great disturbance. Prisoners husband had that morning offered to pay for the damage, and he did not want the poor lass punished, therefore hoped the Bench would deal leniently with her.

Prisoner, who had her wrist bandaged up, denied having the glass intentionally. She threw at her husband, and the missile struck the window.

(Richmond and Twickenham Times & Middlesex Mercury 6 September 1879)


Less than two months later there was a repeat case of breaking windows.

Brentford Police Court, Tuesday 28 October 1879 – WILFUL DAMAGE

Emma Millard, and old offender, was charged under a warrant with breaking three panes of glass, value 5s., the property of George Hunt, landlord of the Two Black Boys, High Street, Brentford. On the previous day prisoner entered the public house in question in a state of intoxication, and asked for some liquor, with which Mrs Hunt declined to serve her. As she became abusive the landlord was called and ejected her from the house whereupon she became violent, she “bashed” her hand through three windows.

It was stated that prisoner had only just come out of gaol and the Bench being unwilling to send her back again, especially as the prosecutor had asked them to deal leniently with her, gave he the option of paying a fine of 10s. for being drunk and 5s. for damaging the glass. In default of payment she went to prison.

(Richmond and Twickenham Times & Middlesex Mercury 1 November 1879)

Having their windows broken by a disgruntled customer was a common problem for licensees, but twice within two months may be something of a record. I hope he had a good glazier.


Brentford Petty Session Saturday 3 January 1880 - BONA FIDE TRAVELLER

Daniel Mack, William Pinnock, Thomas and William Smith were summoned for being found on the premises of the Black Boy public house, Brentford, on Christmas Day, during prohibited hours. Mack and the two Smiths were also summoned for giving false names and addresses.

Inspector Lambert said at 12.25 on the day in question, he was on duty in the High Street, in company with another Inspector, and saw the door of the Two Black Boys open. He entered and found the four defendants and some other men there. Asked where they came from : Mack said, “From the Powerful public house, Woolwich,” which witness had ascertained was false. Both Smiths also gave false names and addresses. Pinnock only gave correct ones.

Mr. Lay appeared for Mack, and said that Mack did come from Woolwich, but he did not think that he was obliged to sleep there a night previously. He was ignorant of the Law in that respect, and he admitted giving a wrong name.

Pinnock was fined 10s., and the three other defendants 20s. or 14 days.

(Middlesex Chronicle and Middlesex Mercury 10 January 1880)

The bona fide traveller question was another common problem for licensees, if they refused to serve them they could be summoned, but if they did and there were not bona fide, they could also be summoned. Some years earlier the landlord of the Chequers at Isleworth, had refused to serve some travellers, was summoned and fined for not serving them.



Brentford Police Court, Wednesday 25 February. - DRUNK AND DISORDERLY

William Pearce was charged with being drunk and disorderly, and also with assaulting P. C. Shorthouse, at Brentford.

P. S. 3 T said on the previous evening he was on duty in the Hugh Street, when the landlord came up and wished witness to eject the prisoner from his house as he was drunk. Went to the Two Black Boys and found prisoner there very drunk. Told prisoner to go away, but prisoner refused to do so, and said I’ll knock your ------ eye out. With the assistance of another constable the prisoner was got to the station.

P. C. Whitehouse deposed to assisting the last witness with the prisoner, and whilst on the way to the station the prisoner kicked him severely on the leg.

Prisoner, who had nothing to say, was sentenced to two months imprisonment.

(Middlesex Mercury 28 February 1880)



Cornelius O’Sheen was charged with being drunk and disorderly at Brentford on the previous day.

P. C. Albert Green proved seeing the prisoner and another man outside the Two Black Boys, very drunk and disorderly. The prisoner went into the public house and called for two-pennyworth of rum, which was served him by the landlady. Prisoner was very drunk at the time.

Mr. Glossop : Oh, we ought to hear some thing more about this.

P. C. Green : I also asked the landlady if she knew the man was drunk, and she said, “Yes, I did it to keep the peace and quietness.” -- Fined 10s.

(Middlesex Mercury 7 August 1880)


Brentford Petty Session – Saturday 14th August – CAUTION TO PUBLICANS

Charles Hunt was summoned for permitting drunkenness in his house, the Two Black Boys, Brentford.

Mr. Stephen Woodbridge for the defendant pleaded “Not guilty.”

Police constable Green said on the 3rd inst., about 10.45 p.m., he was no duty in the High Street, and saw a crowd outside defendant’s house, most of whom were drunk. One man who was behaving in a disorderly manner, and was obviously drunk. After watching him for some time he saw him go into defendant’s house and was served with some rum in a glass, for which he put down six pence in payment and drank it.

Mr. Hunt : Oh, what a lie.

Witness added that he went inside the house, and spoke to the landlady, and called her attention to the fact that the man was drunk, and she owned he was, but said she served him with the rum for the sake of peace and quiet.

Mr. Hunt then came in and asked O’Shea, the man who was drunk, what business he had there, as he had turned him out. Witness then took O’Shea into custody, and he was fined 10s. at the Court, on the following morning.

Mr. S. Woodbridge, who appeared for the defence, was of opinion that the Bench would not convict in the case, as there was not the least evidence to prove that drunkenness took place on the premises. The constable had stated that the landlord was not present at the time the man was served; and further admitted that the moment Mr. Hunt had found the man had been served he ordered him out of the house and took the rum away. There was no wilful breach of the law. The evidence he did not think was enough to convict; and he might state that the morning he had received an intimation from the brewers (Messrs. Fuller, Smith and Turner), that should the magistrates endorse the licence, Mr. Hunt should receive notice to quit at once.

Fined 40s. or one month, and the licence not to be endorsed.

(Middlesex Chronicle, Middlesex Mercury and Richmond and Twickenham Times 21 August 1880)


At the Annual Licensing Session the following March, “there were about 300 applications for renewals of licenses, which in all cases were granted; some of the applicants against whom complaints had been made cautioned to be careful in the conduct of their business. Among those who were cautioned was: Charless Goodliff Hunt, Black Boy, Brentford

(Middlesex Chronicle, 5 March 1881)


1881 Census RG 11 / 1348, fo. 63v, p. 12, Sch. 52

The Black Boys, High Street, New Brentford

Charles Hunt, Head, Married, aged 41, A Licensed Victualler, born Kent., Bermondsey
Elizth. Hunt, Wife, Married, aged 47, born Essex, Saffron Walden
Hannah Hunt, Daughter, aged , 15, born Kent., Bermondsey
Harry Hunt, Son, aged 12, born Surrey, Brixton
Plus 20 boarders



Within a month of the renewal of the licence, Charles Hunt was in trouble again.

Brentford Petty Session Saturday 2 April


Charles Goodliffe Hunt, of the Two Black Boys public house, High Street, Brentford, was summoned for selling intoxicating liquors at an unauthorised place, namely a stable in the Ham, in the previous Sunday morning.

Police-constable Green, 486 T, stated that last Sunday morning, at a quarter past ten a. m., he was on duty in the Ham, New Brentford, when he saw defendant and a man named Cocklin go to a stable in the defendant’s occupation. He followed them, and saw Cocklin in the stables with a glass of gin in his hand and the defendant holding a small bottle which also contained gin. He presented himself, and asked the defendant what he was doing there, when he said it was all right, and that Cocklin was only having a drop of gin which he had given him. Witness turned to Cocklin and asked him where he got the gin from, when he replied “From Hunt.” Witness said -- “Did he give it to you ?” Cocklin hesitated for a little while, and Witness then asked him what he gave for it. He replied “Twopence.” Defendant said “Mike, you have made me fetch gin out of my cellar to betray me.” He (witness) told defendant he should report the case to the inspector. In the meantime Hunt threw the bottle on the stones and broke it to pieces. He then followed him (witness) out of the stable and they went towards defendant’s house, when he said “You’ve nailed me fair this time, Green, but for God’s sake don’t say anything about it; I shall never forget you if you will forgive me, and if you don’t forgive you’ll drive my wife and family into the streets; for God’s sake don’t hang me this time.” Witness then told him to say no more, as he should report the case

Cross-examined by Mr. Woodbridge (who appeared for the defence) : he had no ill feeling whatever against the defendant. He had never said he would find him out some day and ruin him. He had previously seen Cocklin on the towing path, but did not arrange with him for the betrayal of the defendant. A conversation did take place between them with reference to Hunt, and Cocklin told him he had been there previously that morning having some rum. He did not arrange with Cocklin to be in a certain place to watch the defendant. He had given nothing to Cocklin to arrange this matter. Cocklin had told him he was going to the stables to get some more drink and he (witness) said he should follow him down.

In answer to the Chairman, Mr. Woodbridge said he was going to submit that this was an entire arrangement to entrap the defendant.

The Witness, in further cross-examination, said the defendant was stripped in the stable. There was no one else there. He should not think there was more than a quartern of gin in the bottle. Defendant said he had given Cocklin the spirits, and had not sold any to him. He offered to allow witness to search him for money, and pulled out his pockets. He (witness) had not the slightest animosity against the man.

Mr. Woodbridge then asked if Cocklin was present.

Witness said he did not think he was.

The Chairman said he certainly ought to be called, and ordered the case to stand over until today (Saturday) for his appearance.

[The Informer’s names was recorded as both Cochlin and Cocklin.]

(Richmond and Twickenham Times & Middlesex Chronicle, 9 April 1881)

The following week Charles Hunt made, what was most likely, his final appearance before the Magistrates.


Charles Goodliffe Hunt, landlord of the Two Black Boys, New Brentford, again appeared to answer to a summons for selling spirits on unlicensed premises, to wit a stable at the rear of his premises. The case had been remanded for the attendance of a man named Michael Cochlin, who now said on the Sunday morning, the 27 March, he went down to the Ham into a stable, where he saw the defendant, he said to him “I can’t let you have any more beer this morning, because the police searched my house over last night; but I have some spirits in my pocket: you can have some of that.” He then drew a small bottle out of his right hand pocket, and a glass out of the left, and poured witness out some gin, for which he paid 2d. While he was drinking it Police constable Green came in at the door, and defendant dropped the bottle behind him.

In answer to Mr. T. Woodbridge, who defended, Witness then said he had seen the constable before that morning, and told him he already had a glass of rum at defendant’s and very likely should have another.

Mr. Woodbridge contended that it was a case entirely got up by the constable Green, who owed the defendant a grudge, and who on a previous occasion had threatened to ruin him. Those who knew the defendant were aware he was a very eccentric man, and excitable; but he was as generous as he was eccentric. He had been a ship’s carpenter, and could turn his hand to anything, and bore one of the most excellent of characters. On the morning in question he was blowing a joint to one of the pipes in the cellar, and in order to obtain a light the cellar flap was open. Cochlin came by, and asked whether there was a chance for a drop of drink, and defendant said no, but that he should shortly be working in the stable, and should take a drop down there for his own consumption, and Cochlin could have a little of that. The defendant most positively asserted he never took any money for the liquor, and the constable had not told them he saw any money pass, and he had admitted that no money was in his possession at the time. Therefore the magistrates had to rely on the bare assertions of this man Cochlin, the tempter. If the Bench were to fine the defendant, it meant ruin, as the brewers had already threatened to distrain upon his goods and had given him ten days notice to get out; in other words they were going to get another tenant, and throw defendant out on the street. If such had occurred in Ireland they would have heard a great deal of the excessive tyranny of the landlord.

Hunt clasping his hands, begged of the Bench no to be “too hard” upon him.

Charles Bishop said he remembered the day in question. He was speaking to the defendant when Cocklyn came up and asked Hunt would serve him and defendant replied, “No.”

The Bench said it was very hard for defendant to be turned out of his house into the street, but at the same time they had got a duty to perform, and perform it they must. They could nor do less than fine £5.

Defendant : For God’s sake don’t do that.

Mr. Glossop : We are sorry but cannot alter our decision. The best thing you can do is to go to sea again.

Hunt then became very excited and spat and tore his licence, and exclaimed, “Look here, I won’t pay one gott-dammed cent I guess, so there.”

(Middlesex Mercury and Middlesex Chronicle 16 April 1881)


Mr. Hunt was ordered out of the house less than a month after the conviction and the house was transferred. The case was obviously a put up job, but the Magistrates rarely went against the evidence of policemen. It seems in this case that the policeman involved Albert Green had a vendetta against the Two Black Boys as he was the complaining officer on most occasions the landlord had been summoned.

Charles Hunt’s tenure at the Two Black Boys only lasted about eighteen months, but he recorded seven appearances at the Magistrates Court, about once every eleven weeks. It certainly wasn’t a dull place when he was landlord.

The house then transferred to Charles Privett in May. It was to be another brief tenure lasting seventeen months.

Brentford Petty Session Saturday, 7 May 1881 -

Two Black Boys, New Brentford, Charles Goodlife Hunt to Charles Privett.

(Morning Advertiser 9 May 1881)



Charles Privett – May 1881 to October 1882

Like most of the other landlords, he too had an eventful residency.


Mary Townsend and Emily Brown, young women, were charged with uttering and passing a counterfeit florin at the Black Boys public house; also with uttering a counterfeit florin at the Waterman’s Arms, Brentford.

Charles Privett, landlord of the Black Boys public house, said on the 25th of November the prisoners came into his house about five o’clock, and called for half-quartern of gin, putting down a two-shilling piece. He told the prisoners that he thought it was bad, but gave them 1s. 9d. Change He afterwards found it was bad and gave information to the police. A constable followed them, who told the prisoners that the florin was bad, when Brown gave him a good two-shilling piece and asked for the bad one to be given back to her, which the constable refused to do.

P. C. Berry, 468 T, said from a description given him of the prisoners he went after them. On stopping them he told Brown she had given a bad two-shilling piece to the landlord, when she gave him a good one for it. He took Brown into custody, when Townsend ran away and said she would “go and tell her mother.” She came back and he also took her into custody. On being searched he found thirteen good sixpenny pieces on Townsend and some good money on Brown. In a purse he found on Townsend there was a receipt for 10s. paid on account to a lawyer for defending a companion of the prisoners charged with a similar offence.

Henry Littleboy, landlord of the Waterman’s Arms, Brentford, and his daughter, Miss Emily Littleboy, proved that the prisoners called for a pint of beer and tendered a two-shilling piece, and received 1s. 10d. change. Sometime afterwards found that the florin was bad.

(Middlesex Chronicle and Middlesex Mercury 10 December 1881)


At the next Saturday’s Petty Sessions, Mrs. Wilsher, Sessions Warder, proved a previous offence against Mary Townsend, and the two girls were committed for trial at the Central Criminal Court.

At the Old Bailey Mary Townsend was tried on two counts of “Feloniously uttering counterfeit coin.” She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to fifteen months with hard labour.

Emily Brown was tried on one count “for unlawfully uttering counterfeit coin,” but no evidence was offered against her and she was found Not Guilty.



Nicholas Nash was charged with being drunk and disorderly, using obscene language, and kicking James Bailey in the jaw at the Butts, Brentford.

Bailey said on the previous night he was in the Black Boys public-house, and prisoner, who was there also, knocked his money out of his hand, and he lost 5s. of it, the prisoner and others picking it up. On asking for it, he said if he sent up to the White Horse with him he would pay him. When they got to the Butts he knocked him down and kicked him under the jaw. He then called the police and gave the prisoner in charge.

George Edward Love, landlord of the White Horse, said the prisoner came into his house, and was followed by Bailey, who asked him for some money he had taken from him.

The prisoner then threw a pot of beer over Bailey, and the two went away. Shortly afterwards he heard cries of police.

Police constable John Beard said he was called to the prisoner, who was using bad language near the White Horse. He persuaded him to go away, and shortly afterwards he was called to the Butts, where he found Nash and Bailey on the ground, the latter bleeding from a wound under his chin.

Sent to prison for one month with hard labour.

(Middlesex Chronicle 31 December 1881)



Charles Allen then again appears on the scene, again attacking a landlord.


Charles Allen, of High Street, New Brentford, was summoned for assaulting Charles Privett, for whom Mr. Thomas Woodbridge appeared.

Mr. Privett said he was landlord of the Two Black Boys, New Brentford. On the afternoon of Tuesday, the 22nd August, Allen came into his house between one and two and called for some refreshment. He called for glass of ale and then a pint of “five half.” Between 2 and 3 in the afternoon he was in the bar parlour having his dinner; the bar-parlour being a private room, when Allen walked in, and took up some of the meat and the top half of a loaf, which he was eating, and walked away. He told him that he could stand a joke but this was past a joke. Allen then asked him to serve him with a pennyworth of cheese. He went into the bar passage to get some bread and cheese, which he was going to give to defendant, but while he was cutting it, Allen took some more bread and meat. Complainant then sent his boy out to buy some more meat. He had plenty of cold beef in the house, but for a change, was having a piece of ham for his dinner. When the boy came back, Allen took it from him, it was not handed to him. He asked the boy for the meat when he replied that Allen had taken it, telling him (witness) he had paid for it. Allen then threw the ham down on the counter, and said, “take your ----- meat.” Witness picked it up and gave it to his dog, not liking to eat the meat after Allen had handled it.

He then sent is boy for some more ham, when Allen took up a pint of ale and threw it into his face, threw the pot at him, and then walked round the bar, when became very violent, walked round the bar and struck him over the eye with his fist. Allen then took hold of him by the collar, pulled him out of the bar into the passage and struck him twice in the stomach and once in the ribs. He tried to get his dog for the purpose of frightening Allen, but could not. He then took up a stick for the purpose of protecting himself. Allen had been in the bar parlour several times, but he had not given him the privilege of coming in when he liked. When Allen took the meat off the table he gave it to the people in the bar, and the meat Allen took away from the boy was wrapped in paper when Allen threw it on the counter.

In answer to Allen, witness said it was quite true he had been in his private parlour before ; but it was not true that he had told him to give up the ham to the people in front of the bar. Neither was it true that he had been drinking with him, or had taken part in a “Tommy Dor;” or that he was drunk. His wife had not given him a black eye, and not defendant, nor did he turn her out of doors at any time. He had a black eye for a week from the blow Allen gave him.

William Stannard, a labourer, said he was in the Black Boys on the afternoon in question, having his dinner. After finishing his dinner he took up a daily newspaper and was looking at it when Allen came in and called for a glass of ale. The first thing he saw Allen do was to take a hat off a man named Dickman, put some money in it, and asked the landlord and the man to toss; but the landlord refused. Allen then took off his own hat off his head and put some money in it Mr. Privett put a number of coppers on to the counter, and then swept them off again. Witness saw Allen go in and take the bread an meat, and then came out and distributed it amongst the people in the bar. The landlord sent for some more and Allen took it away from the boy when he came back. After some words together Allen took up his (witness’s) pint of ale and threw it over Mr. Privett and the pot at him. There was also a scuffle, Allen struck Privett more than once on the face, and threw him out of the bar.

Mr. Privett produced a pot, which was bent, and Stannard said that was the pot Allen threw at me.

Chairman : You had better take care and have it blocked out, or you will be brought up here and fined for it (laughter).

P. C. Lanes, 6o4 T, corroborated the evidence as to seeing the parties scuffle together and to putting Allen out of the house.

Allen, in his defence, said it was a common occurrence of his going behind the bar. He would admit taking the meat, and throwing the beer over complainant; but denied striking him.

George Dickman was called to prove this, but his evidence went rather to support the Mr. Privett’s statement.

The Chairman told Allen that his last witness had not done him much good as he had corroborated the evidence of Mr. Privett and his witness. There was no doubt he had committed an assault, and that he also went behind the bar, and so would be fined 40s. or one month’s hard labour

(Middlesex Chronicle and Middlesex Mercury 9 September 1882)


After some fifteen months at the house Charles Privett had had enough and the licence was again transferred.

Brentford Petty Session 7 October – Two Black Boys, New Brentford, Charles Privitte to Malina Richardson

(Middlesex Mercury 14 October 1882)



Malina Richardson – October 1882 to January 1884

Malina Richardson was to be the last licensee of the Two Black Boys, in just over a year it was closed for a new house. She had previously been the landlady of the Orange Tree, Isleworth, but had left that house in August 1882, after a brief tenancy. It was to be a quiet time for the new landlady with her only recorded appearances at the Magistrates Court being to deal with the transfer of the licence of the Two Black Boys to a new house at York Road, Brentford. The Brentford Magistrates had rarely granted licences to new public houses after 1870. The Globe, which opened as a beer house around 1868, had made ten consecutive attempts since 1869, to get a full licence. It was only on the eleventh application, in 1879, that the licence was granted, when the brewers offered to close the Plough Inn at Heston. There had been a hint by the Bench the previous year that if a house was surrendered they would probably grant the licence.

The licence of the Two Black Boys was to be transferred to a house about to be built in Braemar Road. This was a transfer of a licence from a area with a large concentration of public houses, which Brentford had, to a new area that had recently been developed, was a process that was followed a number of times over the next fifty years. The Two Black Boys has the distinction of being the first of the twenty four that were to be closed in Brentford, for the opening of new houses. The majority of the houses, so transferred, were to new houses in Ealing , Southall, Norwood and Greenford.


Mr. Haynes supported the application of Malina Richardson, of the Two Black Boys, High Street, New Brentford, for an order sanctioning the provisional removal of the licence to premises about to be constructed at Braemar Road, Brook Lane. Mr. Lyon opposed the removal. Mr. Woodbridge also this application, which, he said, was premature. Petitions were presented for and against the application. The Bench retired to consider, and after and absence of a few minutes returned, the Chairman remarking that they were unanimously of opinion that the licence should be granted to clear the High Street, the present house being situated in close proximity to a number of other houses. He (the Chairman) added that the Bench took in consideration the fact that in granting the application it would not be the means of increasing licensed houses in the neighbourhood.

(Middlesex Chronicle 10 March 1883)


The removal was confirmed at a meeting of the County Licensing Committee on the 25 April 1883.

Richardson, Malina – Braemar Road, Brook Lane, Brentford

Removal of the licence from the “Two Black Boys,” High Street, Brentford, to new premises about to be erected at Braemar Road, Brook Lane, Brentford.

(Provisional Removal)


(Metropolitan Archives – Ref. ILS / C / 16 / 01)


The new house was completed by the end of 1883, and at the Brentford Petty Sessions in January 1884, Mrs. Malina Richardson then asked for the transfer to go forward.

Brentford Petty Session Saturday, 5 January 1884


Mr. Ambrose Haynes, on behalf of Mrs. Richardson, the landlady of the Two Black Boys, New Brentford, applied that the licence of the house might be transferred to a new building in the neighbourhood, according to a promise made by the Bench some time ago, such new building being situated in the Raynor Road, and known as “The Griffin.”

The Chairman said this matter was before the Bench a fortnight before; but the magistrates then thought they ought to have a certificate from a surveyor that the building had been erected in accordance with the plans they had approved. They now had this certificate, and it appeared that every departure from the original plan had been an improvement. The Bench would therefore be very glad to carry out their promise. The Two Black Boys stood at the corner of a churchyard and for that and other reasons he thought the transfer would be an improvement. There were a great many other public-houses in the High Street of Brentford, he should like to see more moved in the same way.

(Middlesex Chronicle 12 January 1884)

The name of the new house, perhaps, should not have been a surprise as the house built by the Fuller’s Brewery, Chiswick.

[The reporting of the name of the road as Raynor and not Braemar in the newspapers, was because Court Reporters were not given access to lists of cases heard at the Court, they had to rely on what they heard during the hearings. Some time earlier the reporters had asked the bench to give them access to these lists, which was common practice in other Magistrates Courts, but the Chairman, Mr. F. H. N. Glossop refused. From the way replied he seemed to feel the reporters should not be there at all.]

Very soon after this the Two Black Boys would have closed it doors for the last time and the new Griffin opened theirs for the first. The comment by the Chairman, when the Bench approved the transfer, were echoed by a local resident : --



For many years past the above public house, has been a source of annoyance to the congregation attending the St. Lawrence’s Church; it has been removed by Mr. D. Harris of Isleworth, who has bought and pulled the property down. Several curiosities have been found.

(Middlesex Mercury 3 April 1886)





Joseph Scott 1726
Maria Scott 1727
John Cookesley 1729 – 37
Edward Papell 1743 – 1749
Esther Papell 1750 – 1761
Ralph Slade 1 1762 – 1765
Talbot Sanger 1766 – 1774
Joseph Smith 1776 – 1777
John Godfrey 1778
Robert Godfrey 1779
William Showell 1780 – 1788
William Smeeton 1790 – 1806
William Parsons 1807 – 1810
Ann Parsons 1811 – 1812
Wm. Lambert 1812 – 1815
James Otterway 1816 – 1821
Joseph Barnes 1821 – 1828
James S. Trimmer 1839 – 1841
George Rogers 1845
John Carter c. 1850 – October 1852
Lucy Carter October 1852 – October 1853
Mary Ann Wiltshire October 1853 – June 1857
Sarah South June 1857 – August 1857
James Brown August 1857 – March1858
Thomas Tunstall Saunders March 1858 – early 1865
James Such after March 1865 – February 1867
Joseph Sutch February 1867 – October 1868
Michael Harty October 1868 – November 1871
Richard Nash November 1871 – June 1876
David Cowdrey June 1876 .- October 1878
William John Skinner October 1878 – by September 1879
Charles Goodlife Hunt by September 1879 – May 1881
Charles Privett May 1881 – October 1882
Malina Richardson October 1882 to January 1884






Eliza South, a respectably dressed young woman, aged 25, who appeared to be in a shocking state of excitement, and who was provided with a seat in the dock, was charged before Mr. Arnold with attempting to commit suicide.

William Dagnell, a painter, living at the Plough beer-shop, Waterloo Street, Hammersmith, stated that the prisoner, who was an entire stranger to him, took lodgings in the same house on Wednesday night, and she occupied the back bedroom. Witness slept in the front room, and about two o’clock that morning he was disturbed by hearing a noise in the prisoner’s room as if there was more than one person there. He supposed at the time they were man and wife, and he therefore did not wish to interfere. The noise, however, continued, and at last witness dressed himself and went to the room with the landlord and another man. They then discovered the prisoner with a handkerchief fastened tightly around her neck, and with every appearance of being suffocated.

Mr. Bush, the relieving officer of Hammersmith, handed his worship a certificate from Mr. Brown, the surgeon who was called to the prisoner, and it stated that he had applied remedies to remove the effects of poison, as he had been informed that she had taken poison as well as attempted strangulation.

Mr. Arnold asked if the prisoner was known.

Mr. Bush said the prisoner was the daughter of Mrs. Sarah Smith, who formerly kept the Red Lion public house, Lower Mall, Hammersmith. It appeared that Mrs. South was married five weeks ago to Mr. Brown, the landlord of the Two Black Boys public house, in Brentford, and she was supposed to have committed suicide.

Mr. Bush said he did, and produced two letters from the mother, stating that when they were received she would be no more. It seemed that on Monday last the prisoner accompanied her mother to town, and upon slighting from an omnibus at the Bank she missed her, and the mother had not been seen since. On the day after Mrs. Jones, the present landlady of the Red Lion, and sister in law of Mrs. Brown, received a note from her, stating that when she received it she would be no more. Her husband also received a similar letter.

Mr. Brown, a middle aged man. The landlord of the Two Black Boys, explained that the prisoner took an idea that she could keep herself; and as she was going away his wife asked him whether she should give her a few things. He said by all means; but his wife said she would not give them to her until she knew what she was going to do, and asked him to accompany her daughter for that purpose, He told her that she was the more fitting person, and she consented to go with the prisoner on Monday last. He asked his wife not to be gone too long, as he was alone in the house, and she said she would be not more than two hours. She, however, never returned, and he had not seen her since, but had received the letter produced. Being single-handed, he had not had an opportunity of searching after his wife, but he intended to do so that day. The prisoner came to Brentford on the Monday night, in a cab, from Shoreditch station, and she gave s many statements as to where she lost her mother that he could not make anything of it. The cabman wanted 10s. for his fare, but he refused to pay it.

Mr. Arnold said it was a very strange affair, and he should remand the prisoner for a week. He also requested that the prisoner should be properly looked after.

(London Evening Standard 28 August 1857)



Mr. Arnold now asked if there was any further evidence ?

The constable said the mother was in court, and upon her presenting herself the prisoner, who had not seen her before, commenced crying loudly, and appeared to become very much excited. She clasped her hands, knelt upon the floor of the dock, and made earnest gesticulations towards her mother.

Mrs. Brown was then sworn, and stated that her daughter had frequently threatened to commit suicide. She had been in that state since the death of her father.

Mr. Arnold observed, that she (witness) had sent some very odd letters.

Mrs. Brown said what she had suffered was past all bearing.

Mr. Arnold said it was quite clear the prisoner was not in a fit state to be left alone. The chaplain of the prison had recommended that she should be sent to a workhouse, but he could do that.

The mother said her daughter’s conduct had been so strange during the last two or three weeks, that she was sure Mr. Brown would not allow her to enter his house again.

Mr. Arnold said he should require bail for the prisoner’s good behaviour for the next six months.

The prisoner was then removed, screaming violently.

Mr. Taylor, the clerk, said it was clear the prisoner was deranged in her mind.

Mr. Arnold fully concurred in that opinion, and said he should not release her without sufficient security.

(Morning Advertiser 4 September 1857).



The pub was at 140 High Street, near to St Lawrence's Church, New Brentford. So far no photos have been found, please get in touch if you happen to have a view of this part of the High Street.

Page published December 2017