James Griffiths' Beerhouse, Nailbridge c1873 (General)

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Saturday, March 09, 2013, 01:42 (2714 days ago) @ Jefff

I presume your info re the beerhouse is from this PR ?:

Record_ID: 15125
Entry_Number: 179
Year: 1873
Month: Jul
Day: 13
Parents_Surname: GRIFFITHS
Child_Forenames: Eliza Emily Jane
Fathers_Forenames: James
Mothers_Forenames: Harriett
Residence: Nailbridge
Occupation: Beerhouse Keeper
Officiating_Minister: Wm Barker Vicar
Event: Baptism
Register_Reference: PFC109 IN 1/4
Page_Number: 23
Parish_Chapel: Drybrook
Soundex: G613

This recent thread re one of the Nailbridge pubs doesnt mention any Griffiths', but it may still be of interest altho I suspect you'll have already read it.

If you search the GlosPubs (ex Easywell) website, which is largely researched from Census Returns & Trade Directories, I can only find two references to a "James Griffiths" and they're both in Bristol.
If you search the site for "Nailbridge" the few pubs mentioned don't include history as early as 1873, so it's possible James' beerhouse "became" either the Railway or the Bridge in later years ??

As you say he could have been selling beer from his own house,although it would still be subject to licensing laws. I believe this was sometimes done as a sideline from the main dayjob which I presume was the mine ?. Thatsaid I'm surprised the term "mine owner" wasn't used in the above PR if he indeed was still the owner at that time; no disrespect at all to beerhouse keepers (my grandad was one) but methinks "mine owner" sounds grander than "mine host" ?.

The term "beerhouse" doesn't necessarily infer a house that sold beer, it was effectively a "lower" grade of pub that was only licenced to sell beer not wine & spirits, perfectly suited for the typical Forest cliental of hardworking men.

"By the early 19th century, encouraged by lower duties on gin, the gin houses or "Gin Palaces" had spread from London to most cities and towns in Britain, with most of the new establishments illegal and unlicensed. These bawdy, loud and unruly drinking dens so often described by Charles Dickens in his Sketches by Boz (1835–6) increasingly came to be held as unbridled cesspits of immorality or crime and the source of much ill-health and alcoholism among the working classes.

Under a banner of "reducing public drunkenness" the Beer Act of 1830 introduced a new lower tier of premises permitted to sell alcohol, the Beer Houses. At the time beer was viewed as harmless, nutritious and even healthy. Young children were often given what was described as small beer, which was brewed to have a low alcohol content, as the local water was often unsafe. Even the evangelical church and temperance movements of the day viewed the drinking of beer very much as a secondary evil and a normal accompaniment to a meal. The freely available beer was thus intended to wean the drinkers off the evils of gin, or so the thinking went.

Under the 1830 Act any householder who paid rates could apply, with a one-off payment of two guineas (roughly equal in value to £159 today), to sell beer or cider in his home (usually the front parlour) and even to brew his own on his premises. The permission did not extend to the sale of spirits and fortified wines, and any beer house discovered selling those items was closed down and the owner heavily fined. Beer houses were not permitted to open on Sundays. The beer was usually served in jugs or dispensed directly from tapped wooden barrels on a table in the corner of the room. Often profits were so high the owners were able to buy the house next door to live in, turning every room in their former home into bars and lounges for customers."
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_house


I've tried searching the local Trade Directories for James Griffiths but without success, however I suspect this entry is relevant ??.

"Drybrook, Commercial; Griffiths Solomon, beer retailer"

(Select East Dean)

(Also from that Directory under Cinderford I find "Dykins Enoch, tailor & hatter", re my earlier post.)

I presume this may be the above Solomon, from this site's PRs ?

Record_ID: 93698
Entry_Number: 607
Year: 1893
Month: May
Day: 10
Forenames: Solomon
Residence: Drybrook
Age_at_death: 55
Officiating_Minister: William Barker Vicar
Event: Burial
Register_Reference: P109 IN 1/13
Page_No: 76
Parish_Chapel: Drybrook
Soundex: G613

Or is the 1879 Directory out of date (unlikely?), and it refers to:

Record_ID: 10847
Entry_Number: 626
Year: 1874
Month: May
Day: 31
Forenames: Soloman
Residence: Nail Bridge
Age_at_death: 63
Officiating_Minister: William Barker Vicar
Event: Burial
Cause_of_death: [Not Sta
Memoranda: Name is annotated NY
Register_Reference: P109 IN 1/12
Page_No: 79
Parish_Chapel: Drybrook
Soundex: G613


If you have access to it (eg Glos Libraries) Heather Hurley's excellent book "Pubs of Forest of Dean", Logaston Press 2004, is well worth looking up, it details all the known pubs in great detail.


Finally I found these webpages by search engine that may possibly be of interest to Nailbridge Griffiths researchers:

(this one references Jenny White who has contributed to related threads on this forum)

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