Tuesday 12 May 2015

My Great-Great-Great-Grandfather was a Publican

Thomas Pearson was born and raised in Sheldon parish, Warwickshire. He married Mary Smith in nearby Solihull parish in 1823. Their only child, son Charles, was born in Tile Cross, Sheldon, in 1828. Charles’ baptism entry says his father was a victualler, living in Tile Cross. A victualler was also known as someone who operated a pub.

There are documents in the Warwickshire County Council record office that show the names of victuallers in the early part of the 19th century. Thomas’ name appears on the list from 1824 through 1828. The 1826 entry specifically shows the pub name was the White Hart. The Tithe Apportionment list shows Thomas occupying a place called White House Public House, also in Sheldon, which may have been the same place. On the 1841 census for Sheldon, only Mary and Charles are shown, and she is listed as a Publican.

Thomas, Mary and Charles moved to Leamington Prior around 1845 where, according to the 1851 census, he ran another pub called Railway Tavern on Leam Terrace East. By 1861 it appears Thomas had got out of running a pub and was now a full-time baker. Charles eventually took over the business following his father’s death.

The White Hart Inn is still in operation on Gressel Land, in Tile Cross, now part of greater Birmingham. It was originally a timber-framed building erected in the 1600s.

Street view of While Hart public house (from Google street-view) – looking north across East Meadway
Street view of While Hart public house (from Google street-view) – looking west across Gressel Lane
I am still looking for the building that housed the Railway Tavern. It appears the whole block may have been redeveloped into residential housing in the 1900s so the original unit is gone. It may have been near the one that was occupied by the bakery, at 58 Leam Terrace East, later and pictured below.
Former Pearson home and bakery at 58 Leam Terrace East, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
I had another great-great-great grandfather, Samuel Davis, who was also a publican/victualler, in a village called Radford Semele, just a few minutes down the road to the east from Leam Terrace in Leamington. His daughter, Susannah, married Charles Pearson in 1851. I wonder if they met through the common business interests of their fathers – something to ponder. The pub in Radford Semele did not survive into the modern era. I am still looking for where exactly it was located, which might form the basis of a future blog post here.

Wayne Shepheard is a volunteer with the Online Parish Clerk program in England, handling four parishes in Devon, England. He has published a number of articles about various aspects of genealogy and is a past Editor of Chinook, the quarterly journal of the Alberta Family Histories Society. Wayne also provides genealogical consulting services through his business, Family History Facilitated