Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Publican brewers

In a recent post about Scottish Twopenny, I mentioned that publican brewers had disappeared much earlier in Scotland than in England. I knew there must be figures somewhere. Today I found them.


Brewers, Vuctuallers, etc 10th October 1848 to 10th October 1849 totals collected
number of persons Number of persons who brew their own beer
licensed to sell beer licensed to sell beer
Collections Brewers Victuallers To be drunk on the premises Not to be drunk on the premises Victuallers To be drunk on the premises Not to be drunk on the premises Bushels of malt consumed by the whole
England 2,257 59,335 34,800 3,270 25,985 12,201 972 27,676,714
Scotland 154 15,081 181 871,586
Ireland 96 14,080 1,204,875
total 2,507 88,496 34,800 3,270 26,166 12,201 972 29,753,175
Source:






"Statistics of British commerce" by Braithwaite Poole, 1852, page 5.

Column 6 gives publican brewers. 25,985 in England and Wales, 181 in Scotland, none in Ireland. Pretty conclusive evidence. But it gets even better than that. Because the figures are broken down even further. The picture they paint is even more captivating.


Brewers, Vuctuallers, etc 10th October 1848 to 10th October 1849, England
number of persons Number of persons who brew their own beer
licensed to sell beer licensed to sell beer
Collections Brewers Victuallers To be drunk on the premises Not to be drunk on the premises Victuallers To be drunk on the premises Not to be drunk on the premises Bushels of malt consumed by the whole
Barnstaple 9 595 236 24 547 182 8 158,281
Bath 43 722 451 139 415 151 29 679,127
Bedford 54 1101 778 78 153 54 10 399,513
Bristol 25 666 872 77 453 207 10 461,372
Cambridge 86 1264 978 132 151 105 33 624,064
Canterbury 53 882 345 55 11 22 5 310,169
Chester 43 1037 358 14 592 187 1 221,332
Cornwall 11 747 277 21 505 128 3 154,368
Coventry 23 1497 519 65 1334 398 31 542,648
Cumberland 24 1352 235 29 128 27 25 195,148
Derby 20 1166 516 31 1139 454 12 564,541
Dorset 53 511 477 125 213 76 35 259,871
Durham 91 2068 304 38 404 34 247,514
Essex 50 738 459 147 158 108 63 286,576
Exeter 25 737 203 23 529 63 3 240,101
Gloucester 28 774 701 82 555 420 34 345,719
Grantham 55 1104 656 57 603 186 16 385,106
Halifax 57 1334 1258 42 914 872 37 488,975
Hants 63 725 700 126 98 168 41 433,576
Hereford 4 756 294 11 701 265 6 113,781
Hartford 47 1020 840 53 40 32 16 554,992
Hull 74 1114 227 36 154 10 1 208,463
Isle of Wight 61 769 637 96 103 157 37 463,658
Lancaster 29 1109 865 21 760 286 1 507,852
Leeds 25 1015 848 52 900 570 39 615,724
Lichfield 11 1030 1008 35 1001 849 16 305,345
Lincoln 49 915 367 60 604 110 13 306,665
Liverpool 77 1551 1205 22 19 14 1 763,123
London 79 4223 2054 65 1 50 8 6,289,908
Lynn 70 1156 866 80 102 70 15 640,092
Manchester 96 1706 3102 157 971 1074 54 979,907
Newcastle 84 1949 280 29 145 5 3 404,183
Northampton 24 1038 381 122 761 175 37 325,441
Northwich 30 1197 706 16 668 149 1 392,040
Norwich 49 1441 329 76 87 33 22 372,053
Oxford 29 891 393 99 421 121 33 337,695
Plymouth 40 948 476 56 431 42 6 345,250
Reading 41 888 760 115 51 54 21 496,466
Rochester 77 1191 849 74 14 20 6 443,088
Salisbury 28 577 264 101 351 117 44 297,956
Salop 3 600 376 15 569 331 4 266,350
Sheffield 32 1428 584 84 726 152 10 492,019
Stafford 30 772 782 6 733 592 1 638,268
Stourbridge 7 1383 1460 62 1328 1385 34 799,499
Suffolk 52 728 409 111 259 170 66 328,776
Surrey 83 1108 977 91 7 48 21 846,841
Sussex 71 829 693 90 66 80 29 465,762
Wales, East 40 1781 1523 19 1537 882 1 375,006
Wales, Middle 1 724 104 1 657 94 91,150
Wales, North 30 1139 162 7 627 23 151,606
Wales, South 8 1293 45 4 1296 26 112,835
Worcester 5 531 366 53 501 309 23 205,813
York 58 1515 245 46 492 64 7 241,106
total 2,257 59,335 34,800 3,270 25,985 12,201 972 27,176,714
total (given in source) 2,257 59,335 34,800 3,270 25,985 12,201 972 27,676,714
Source:






"Statistics of British commerce" by Braithwaite Poole, 1852, page 4.

Look at the column for brewing victuallers. The areas with large numbers - over 900 - are all in the Midlands, the North and Wales: Coventry, Derby, Halifax, Lichfield, Manchester, Stourbridge, Leeds, Wales East, Wales South. The Areaes with the fewest - fewer than 100 - are all, except for Liverpool, in the Southeast: Canterbury, Hants, Hartford, Liverpool, Norwich, Reading, Surrey, London, Rochester, Sussex.

Most significant is the area with by far the fewest publican brewers: London with just 1. Brewing was already completely in the hands of commercial brewers and pub brewing as good as extinct.

The pattern is much more complex, with enormous regional variations, than I would have imagined. But I can state this with some confidence: in some regions of Britain pub breweries disappeared in the first half of the 19th century.

4 comments:

Barm said...

Not just publican brewing but also private brewing remained more widespread in England longer than in Scotland. I have something somewhere that refers to this.

Barm said...

Ooh. I just remembered this:

"Birmingham is a thriving town, and much beer must be consumed there, but like Manchester it is cursed with the licensed victuallers brewing their own. Now this practice is little known in L'pool. In all my travels I have seen no place where I feel so certain a Brewer of a genuine article might so certainly be successful as L'pool." (Letter from William McEwan to his uncle, August 1852)

And the figures prove him right for Manchester and Liverpool. But why is Birmingham not in the table?

Martyn Cornell said...

Birmingham, I believe I'm correct in saying, came under the "Lichfield" collection - excise districts did not automatically correspond to county boundaries, nor did they automatically take the names of large towns/cities, and in any case Brum was probably still quite small - smaller than Lichfield, which had the cathedral – when the excise "collections" were first drawn up in the 17th century.

Incidentally, I only just discovered that the name Birmingham quite possibly means "the ham of the descendants of Beorma", "Beorma" being a name meaning "frothy" or "yeasty", of course, and the same root as the word "barm". So there we are - it's YOUR city, Barm …

Barm said...

I've always wanted my own city. Can I get them to pay tithes, do you think?

Looking at the Lichfield figure it confirms McEwan's statement again, with 1030 victuallers, a mere 22 of whom did not brew their own beer. Fascinating.