Saturday. - (Before Sir H.. Bridges, Chairman, S. H. Lucas, W. A. Wilkinson, and T. Byron, Esqrs.)
This being the annual licensing day, the court was much crowded, considerable anxiety being felt to the result of the applications for new licenses. The police from the various districts were present, order of the Bench, to afford information as to the manner in which the various public-houses had been conducted during the past year.
The number of public-houses in this district are follows-
Parish of Croydon 45,
The evidence of the police being of a satisfactory nature, the whole of the old licenses were renewed.
The license of the Windmill, Croydon-common, was transferred from Mr. Hierons to Mr. Jas. Cross; the Jolly Sailor, Norwood, from Mrs. Eaton to Mr. T. Pascall.
Application for Wine and Spirit Licenses.
– The first application was from Mr, John Watts, of the Castle, Gibbet-green. Mr. Childs, of the firm of Wire and Childs, solicitors, appeared in support of the application. he said that since he had been in court, he understood that an application for a license for a neighbouring house had been withdrawn, but that this application was to opposed.
Mr. Richards said he appeared on behalf of Mr. Strong, owner of the Red Deer beer-house, to oppose application.
Mr. Childs then stated his case at considerable length. This was the tenth application for license to this house. It was the third time Mr. Watts had applied he had kept the house three years a beer-house without the slightest complaint being alleged against him.
The memorial which had been presented to the magistrates bore the signatures many of the oldest and most respectable inhabitants of the neighbourhood. The premises are well built and commodious, and under all circumstances he prayed that the license might be granted.
Mr. Richards said he was not instructed to oppose this on pecuniary grounds, but Mr. Strong considered the time had not yet arrived when a public-house was required in this neighbourhood, he therefore withdrew his own application. The Castle was well enough for a beer house for wagoners to stop at, but would never attract the custom of respectable persons.
Mr. Childs ridiculed the idea of Mr. Strong being considered the guardian of the public interest in this neighbourhood. It was only two years ago that a license was applied for, for his own property, within quarter of a mile of the Castle. As to the respectability the premises, his clients were not ambitious ; they did not expect the patronage of the nobility and gentry tradesmen and even wagoners would do for them.
Mr. Raper applied for a license for a house at the Beulah Spa, Norwood. Mr. Childs, for the applicant, stated that the house was a boarding-house, and all the license was required for, was to accommodate the persons residing in the house. It was not intended to make it a general public-house.
Mr. Richards opposed it on behalf the inhabitants of Norwood, and presented a strongly signed memorial, which stated that in the opinion of the memorialists no such license was required.
Henry Gillingham applied for a licence. His house is situated on Westow-hill, Norwood. An opposing petition was put by Hugh Bowditch, of the Woodman public-house, Norwood; also one the same effect, from John Ledger, of the White Hart, Norwood. Applicant said it was twenty years since a licence had been granted to that part of Norwood, during which time, the inhabitants had nearly doubled ; he had many applications for spirits, but dare not sell them.
Mr. Wilkinson – Then you mean that persons come to your house to enjoy the fine prospect; the view makes them thirsty, and you cannot supply them with drink ? – Yes, sir.
Henry Henden applied for license for a beer-house known as the Prince of Wales, Merton-lane. Mr. Childs appeared for the applicant. He said there were several factories in the neighbourhood; the nearest public-house was the Victory, which is 745 yards distant; the next the Nag’s Head, 1200 yards. The persons engaged in the factories presented a petition supporting the application. The landlord of the Victory opposed the application. Mr. Wood, the brewer, he said, had built the house in opposition to him. The neighbourhood was anything but improving. Mr. Lowman, the Nag’s Head, and Mr. Gale, of the Red Lion, also opposed the application. The printers at the factories had not more than two days’ work a week throughout the winter.
Benjamin Marchant, of Tamworth-lane, in the parish of Mitcham, applied for a license. Mr. Child appeared for the applicant, and Mr. J. Drummond in opposition.
The house is situate in the lane opposite the work-house, at Mitcham-common. The clergyman at Mitcham had signed the petition for the application, which Mr. Childs considered to great and convincing fact.
A plan was put in, and Mr. Chart, of Mitcham, called to prove the signatures to the memorial. In cross-examination, he said many of the witnesses were not rate-payers, also that, the house was not in the high road. Witness afforded much amusement by his apparent determination to make out case, Mr. Drummond remarking that he was a famous hand at evading questions; he only wished he was as good at answering them.
Mr. Watney, in opposition, deposed that most of the signatures the memorial were those of working men.
Mr. Wilkinson – I should apprehend they are persons most likely to require it.
The Three Kings, Mitcham. – A case was then gone into, whether a license should be granted to this house. Mr. Hancock, who had kept it for 30 years, applied to have the license renewed in his name. A person named King also applied, saying he was the proper tenant. Hancock had a lease, which expired in December, 1846, but he refused to give up possession, and had been turned out. The Bench refused to grant the license to either party.
The Court was then cleared for the Bench to deliberate. After a quarter of an hour was again opened, when the Chairman announced that license would granted to John Watts, of the Castle, Gibbet-green, as will seen an advertisement in another part of this paper, and that the other applications were refused.
Source: South Eastern Gazette – Tuesday 09 March 1847 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)
According to Montague in his book Mitcham Histories : 3 Pollards Hill, Commonside East and Lonesome, page 97, in the 1840s Benjamin Marchant was the occupier of The Phoenix, which was renamed the Horse and Groom in 1855.