The pub history site now covers all of London and the home counties around
The research has been built over a number of years by a team of experts; and
continues to evolve. The best research on this site is for London pubs, taverns
and beer houses over the past two hundred years, but nearly all of the south of
the UK has entries; and much of the entirety of the UK is listed in one format
or another. It has also been aided by my relentless aim to be good at something,
and this is it. The pub history site also continues to evolve into a London
history project, using the many thousands of pubs as part of this. The pub
history research is a major part of this; and is updated every day as new
records of research are always becoming available.
Many of the more astute licensed victuallers were involved in the
Licensed Victuallers Association.
This association was an insurance to protect families in times of hardship. We
now have some form of insurance for those in hard times, but this has not always
been available. The sensible licensee or publican would have bought an insurance
in some format. The licensed victuallers association offered this, to their own
family, or members of an extended family.
the very early beer houses were actually businesses such as a blacksmiths, and to
many of these businesses, the revenue from selling beer was in addition to their
normal trade revenues.
In more modern times, many of these beer houses became the modern pub as we know
it today, with a far wider range of drinks; others closed or remained as an
Some of the later trade directories, e.g. from about
1937, are also very useful sources, as they start for the first time ever to
name these beer houses as pubs.
There are a number of online
sources - e.g. the historical directories site at
University is pretty amazing.
Petty Sessions Victuallers records.
Many record offices hold the victuallers records from the petty sessions for their specific local area. The
petty sessions are the court records in a hand-written bound volume, and name the licensee or beer retailer,
plus the actual name of an establishment. The downside to these court records
are the fact you need to visit a record office to view them, as they are rarely
online, and this presumes they actually still exist.
Many publicans became bankrupt. I am sure you will find many cases in question
where a publican either 'tries' the pub trade for a year or two, or in other
instances just makes too larger an investment and ends up bankrupt, and there
are obviously those whom are on the darker side of publican life, i.e the
crooks. There is an excellent site which lists the bankrupts in society, and
these are listed in the
The London Gazette also lists a whole lot more interesting detail, particularly
relating to military records.
Another good place to look for pub names and publicans etc is obviously at the
Old Bailey online.. I say this is is obviously
a good place to search, as many crimes were perpetrated
in and around the London pubs, and I am not denigrating the publicans
themselves! I am sure there was the odd dodgy publican, but this is London
Wills & document sales.
Sale of the freehold of the Wheatsheaf, Duke Street, Chelmsford - in July 1849
Kindly provided by Colleen
A great source for any research is if you can find a relevant will for a person,
"I leave my estate to my wife, and sons, daughters etc...". The other official
documents are the sale of items, either the relevant building, or its contents.