On Thursday 27th June 1780, an un-named
Public-House-Keeper was convicted and paid a Forty Shilling fine for selling
beer by retail and sending the same from his house in a quart measure,
which, having a false bottom, did not hold more than one pint and a half.
In 1842 :-
HOTELS, POSTING HOUSES, AND COMMERCIAL INNS.
The principal houses in Norwich for the accommodation of private families
and commercial men are, the Norfolk Hotel, in St. Giles Broad Street; the
Royal Hotel, Market place; the Rampant Horse Inn, St. Stephen's ; the Swan
Hotel, St Peter's ; the Bowling Green Tavern, Chapel-field ; the Castle
Inn, Castle Hill ; Maids Head Inn, St. Simon and Jude ; and the Bell Inn,
Orford Hill. Besides these are many extremely well conducted houses in all
parts of the city, suited to the accommodation of the public in general.
A letter to the Norfolk Chronicle asked ` if the custom, peculiar to Norwich? of
emptying privies into the street, where their contents remain for hours, until
collected in farmer's waggons; where their effluvia remains for days until dried
out by the winds and dissipated it, could be abolished by the willingness of the
Today, Friday 23rd April 1848, nobody can pass from the town to the Close, nor
from the precincts to Queen Street, along the flagstones, without feeling sick.
If the nightsoil of a dwelling-house must be deposited on the pavement before
collection could it not be deodorised with Ellerman's liquid to purify the air?
Could not such Ellermantic liquid be provided at the trifling expence of the
10th September 1851
40 inhabitants of the City complained to the Magistrates that with a little less
than 70,000 inhabitants, there were `upwards of 600 public-houses' a much larger
proportion than other towns. They added that `several' new licences had been
awarded in the previous 12 months.
Signatures to the memorial included Mr. Coleman and Mr. Gurney.
Mr. Springfield, one of the Magistrates pointed out that there were only 550
public-houses, not 600 and he thought this `put it out of Court'.
Mr. Bignold, another of the Magistrates asked if it was true that the number of
licenses had increased. The Court was advised that one licence had been granted
for the Railway Refreshment Room, another for the Brewery of Mr. Phillips and a
third to house owned by Messrs Steward & Patteson, in return for their surrender
of the licence of another house, the Whalebone.
A third Magistrate, Mr. Palmer, thought that the gentlemen who had signed the
memorial had no means of knowing the state of the City and ought not to have
taken upon themselves to dictate to the Magistrates. They had either signed the
memorial in ignorance or falsehood. Magistrate Captain Money seconded the motion
on the grounds that the gentlemen were mistaken, but wished to convey no
disrespect to them.
Magistrate Willett was however on the side of the gentlemen and said the
memorial was worthy of attention, he further added that he would object to any
future licence application.
His argument that the crime level was high because of the quantity of licensed
houses was refuted by Mr. Palmer, who argued that even if the number of houses
was halved, there would still be means for those persons to get drunk who were
There were 20 applications for licenses. There was insufficient time to discuss
2 of them, of the rest 14 were refused, being new licences in the neighbourhood
of existing public-houses. 4 were granted. ( Two in Union Place, one in Rose
Lane and one for the Surrey Tavern. The other three yet to be identified. )
In 1852 it was reported to the Magistrates that there were 567 licensed houses
77 had changed tenant twice during the year, 28 had changed three times and 2
had four changes of tenant.
At the Annual Licensing Meeting of 21st August 1855 it was reported that
595 licenses in force when the magistrates assembled.
4 were refused as the result of complaints and 8 lapsed since they had
not traded within the previous twelve months.
16 new licenses were granted making the new total 599.
There were however 50 unlicensed houses in the city.
With 70,000 inhabitants that was one outlet for intoxicating liquors for
every 43 adults.
At the Annual Licensing Session held in Norwich, Monday 23rd August 1858
it was heard that 180 houses in the city held a full licence, but only
This was claimed to be a method of gaining a licence to sell beer, with
all the benefits of a public house over a beerhouse, at a much cheaper
rate. Once a full licence had been gained the house could remain open
all night so long as their houses were properly conducted, whereas
beerhouses had to close at 11 p.m. By only taking out a licence to sell
beer, the cost was about half that which a beerhouse keeper had to pay.
It was considered by some of the magistrates that by not taking on the
spirit licence the revenue was being defrauded.
It was pointed out, that regulations made it impossible to licence a beerhouse
the property had an annual value of less than £15. This restriction did not apply to
a full licence. It was further observed that 100 of the houses had been
public houses for 100 years and 50 of them fell foul of the required
There were then 617 public houses under magisterial licence and 124 of
those were licensed to sell wine.
The motion to withdraw the 180 licences, and force beerhouse licenses to
be applied for, was withdrawn following information that the court could
not handle 180 appeals.
A report published 17th May 1890 claimed that Norwich had the almost
greatest number of fully licensed public houses ( per head of population
) in the Kingdom, beaten only by Liverpool.
The direction in Norwich was to gradually torture out of existence the
number of houses by heavy taxation and a diminishing trade.