Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Pubs and the Publican part 2

During the 1700 and 1800’s inns and public houses were not only drinking establishments but were places where the business of villages, towns and cities was conducted. Manorial courts, coroner’s courts, quarter and petty sessions were all held in these premises as there were no purpose built buildings to hold these sessions and landlords had large rooms for gatherings that they were willing to have used for the purpose, after all such administrative affairs were thirsty business. Inns, public houses and alehouses were, at this time, at the centre of much of the social life of the period.

But fashions change. Public houses had been a place for hobby clubs, friendly societies and unions to meet, these groups gradually came to meet elsewhere as the respectable classes deserted the premises. No matter. Towards the end of the 1800’s the working class found themselves with more purchasing power and more free time. They may have lost their hold on the more respectable members of society but public houses filled a social need for those on the lower rungs of the social ladder.


Garwood, Christine. Mid-Victorian Britain. Shire Publications Ltd., Oxford, 2011

Jennings, Paul. The Local: A History of the English Pub. Tempus Publishing Limited, Stroud, Gloucestershire, 2007

Mingay, G.E. The Transformation of Britain 1830-1939. Paladin Books, London, 1987.

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