Wednesday, 1 January 2014

The Royal Oak, Stodman-street, Newark

I've been uncovering all sorts of interesting titbits about the Royal Oak in Stodman Street.

Like who ran it in the 1840's, Mr. William Taylor:

Mr. Edw. Carter White, excise-officer, of Balderton, to Mary Ann eldest daughter of Mr. Wm. Taylor, of the Royal Oak, Stodman-street, Newark."
Stamford Mercury - Friday 25 December 1840, page 3.
Marrying his daughter to an excise man doesn't seem to have helped Taylor because less than a year later they caught him with some dodgy gin:

"Taylor, Wm., publican, of the Royal Oak, Stodman-street, was charged with having 20 gallons of gin in his possession which he could not account for: the liquor was forfeited, and sold by auction by the Excise.
Stamford Mercury - Friday 27 August 1841, page 3.
By 1845 Samuel Taylor was running the pub. Was he the son of William Taylor? Probably.

"Charles Ives, chimney sweep, was convicted in the penalty of £2, including costs, for being drunk in Stodman-street, and breaking the windows of Mr. Saml. Taylor, Royal Oak : ordered to pay 5s. per week until the same be paid, and in default to be committed for 1 month."
Lincolnshire Chronicle - Friday 14 February 1845, page 2.
A few years later and William Taylor was dead:

on the 26th, Mr. Wm. Taylor, formerly of the Royal Oak, Stodman-street, aged 70;"
Lincolnshire Chronicle - Friday 01 January 1847, page 5.
Samuel Taylor was still running the pub in 1853, when this odd event took place:

"Newark.— Disgraceful Proceeding. A case of gross imposture has just transpired at this place. The parties more seriously implicated in the affair are Joseph Geary, tailor, Henry Anderson, bricklayer, both of Newark. The subject of their trickery was a young woman named Ann Graham, who we understand is from Horncastle, and for about six weeks had lived as a servant in the family of Mr. Saml. Taylor, of the Royal Oak, Stodman- Street, Soon after the commencement of her service there she became acquainted with the above parties, and with one Edward Moore, shoemaker, also residing in the town, who were drinking companions, and were all in the habit of frequenting the house. For some time Moore professed great affection for the girl, and had proceeded so far as to induce her to believe that he wished to marry her, but in truth having no such intention. On Wednesday evening Geary and Anderson called to see her, and informed her that "Ted was ready," meaning Moore was ready to make her his wife, and she must therefore leave her place, they would be married by licence on the next day. At first the girl was incredulous, and refused believe the statement; but they solemnly protested that it was true, and furthermore stated that he had requested them assist her conveying her clothes to his (Moore's) residence. At length she yielded, and agreed that her boxes should be taken away in the morning, and they left her. Shortly after six o'clock on Thursday morning they again made their appearance, accompanied by Robert Hemsworth. The girl gave up her clothes, contained in two boxes which were looked, herself retaining the keys. It was then agreed that she should wait in the street whilst they carried the boxes to Moore's place of abode, but instead of doing so they took them to the house of man named Pinkney, Hill-end, and returned to Graham, who accompanied them to the Queen's Head. There they left her, stating that they were going to fetch the man who would soon become her husband. But it seems their only motive was to obtain money to purchase drink, for they went back directly to Pinkney's house, where Hemsworth left them, being unwilling to carry the joke any farther. The girl's boxes were then forced open, and four dresses were taken out and sent to the pawn-shop, where they were pledged for seven shillings. Thus furnished with the means of gratifying their disgusting appetites, they returned to the Queen's Head to treat themselves, which they did, and also had the liberality to invite their unfortunate dupe to partake with Them. In the meantime, Moore had intimation of what what was going forward, and called to ascertain the truth of the matter. On being questioned by Graham about the wedding, to her surprise and mortification he declared his entire ignorance of the trick which had been practised upon her and the whole of the affair came out. Thus disappointed and robbed she made her case known to the authorities of the borough, who caused Geary and Anderson to be apprehended, and brought before them and remanded till Monday, when they again appeared before the Bench. Some difficulty, we find, was felt as to the mode in which they should be proceeded against, and ultimately the charge of illegal pawning was preferred against them; upon which they were each convicted in the penalty of 40s., with 13s.6d. costs, and in default of payment to be imprisoned to hard labour for three months. The money was soon raised, and the defendants were discharged. Some dissatisfaction prevails in the public mind as to the punishment these men have received. However much to blame the girl may have been to have allowed herself to have been imposed upon, it is thought that the men who, by false pretences and as her professed friends, could act so basely to take advantage of her weakness to entice her from her situation, to which she cannot return, and then deliberately break open her boxes, extract her property and appropriate it to their own base purposes as these men have done, ought to have been more severely dealt with."
Stamford Mercury - Friday 16 September 1853, page 2.
Why on earth were they accused of "illegal pawning" rather than straight theft? I'm with the public on this one. They deserved a heavier punishment than a two quid fine.

Oh, and I've found out exactly where it was located. It lies underneath the right hand third of Marks and Spencer.  It's outlined in red on this ordnance survey map from 1900:

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