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Here is what we think is the only comprehensive record of pubs and beerhouses within the Coventry city boundaries going back as far as available records allow. This is an ongoing project so contributions, corrections or additions to this archive, especially anecdotes, photos and media are most welcome. Feel free to contact us for a pint and a chat anytime.

The Bird in Hand

photo
The Bird in Hand, Little Park Street. Image from the Trinity Lodge website
NAME BIRD IN HAND
ALTERNATIVE NAMES OLD BIRD IN HAND
ADDRESS 95 LITTLE PARK STREET
The proverbial saying, 'a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush' is of great antiquity and may have suggested this sign, a popular one since the seventeenth century. Traditionally it was illustrated by a mailed fist on which a falcon was perched.

In 1756 six soldiers were billeted here and in a poem of 1800 it was already known as the Old Bird in Hand. One nineteenth century licensee was also a maltster. I wonder if his malt house was attached to the pub? It was bought on 19 July 1907 by Phipps Brewery for £1800 from Mrs E. Gilbert and the tenant's annual rent in 1909 was £25. In 1935 it was advertising 'Phipps Northampton ales and stouts. Choice wines and spirits'.

In 1755 The Bird in Hand was the meeting place of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire (Masons). In 1921 it was the headquarters of the Coventry Premier Homing Society. Presumably this was a homing pidgeon society, rather appropriate for the name of the pub!

It closed on 29.5.1961.
Known licensees
1822 S. Watson
1835 - 1851 Joseph Watson
1861 Thomas Bromwich
1868 - 1874 James Bates maltster
1879 Tom Garrett
1881 J. Garrett
1886 William Lloyd
1890 - 1894 Tom Garrett
1896 Mrs E. Garrett
1903 - 1905 Elizabeth Chapman
1909 Arthur Fennell
1909 A. E. Lucas
1911 - 1922 Albert James Lucas
1924 - 1931 J. Lucas
1933 - 1934 G. H. Greetham
1935 - 1938 Mrs W. L. Greetham
1939 - 1940 R. Spicer
1955 - 1961 George Taylor OWNERS to 1907 Mrs E. Gilbert
from 1907 Phipps
map

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Dict PN The proverbial saying ' a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush ' is of great antiquity and may have suggested this sign, a popular one since the seventeenth century. Traditionally it was illustrated by a mailed fist on which a falcon was perched.

1756 Alderman Hewitt 6 soldiers billeted

22.6.1761 JA10 Wilson Bird in Hand HQ of Lodge 43 of the Freemasons
& JA34 JCM

c1800 COC P42 Napoleonic Poem ( Old Bird in Hand )

1808 JA32 PA 56/108/31-32 Ram Society ( Friendly ? ) now held at the Bird in Hand, Little Park Street.

1808 JA32 Spread Eagle Society ( Friendly ? ) which now meets at the Bird in Hand ( Little Park Street ).

1834 JA32 PA56/108/38-39 The Spread Eagle Society ( Friendly ? ) which now meets at the Bird in Hand ( Little Park Street ).

1851 Source 49 Board of Health Map

18.5.1855 JA143 CH&O Transfer of licensefrom William Watts to William Parker

28.8.1878 LJ Vol1 P18 BIRD IN HAND, Little Park Street Alehouse
Owner : A. H. Masser, Longford House, Foleshill
later R. H. Gilbert, Rugby
Licensee : Tom Garratt
6.8.1885 TOL to William Morris Lloyd
4.11.1886 TOL to Thomas Norman
10.3.1887 TOL to Arthur William Masser
1.11.1888 TOL to Tom Garrett
26.7.1895 TOL to Elizabeth Garrett
27.10.1897 TOL to Elizabeth Chapman

1887 COC P35 Cov Times Inn signs

Source 17 Phipps Estate Ledger C Page 117

Phipps Estate Ledger D Page 273
Bird in Hand P. H.
Page 273
Bird in Hand, Park Street, Coventry
Bought of Mrs E. Gilbert, July 19th 1907 for £ 1800
Rent £ 25
Tenant A. E. Lucas Oct 13, 1909

1935/36 P.James ' PhippsNorthampton ales and stouts. Choice wines and spirits '

1937/38 P. James " " " " " " " " "

29.5.1961 Closed

LICENSEES

1822/23 Pigot S. Watson

1828/29 Pigot T. Watson

1835 Pigot Joseph Watson

1841 Pigot Joseph Watson

1841 Census Joseph Watson 50yo Not b Wks m Jane,40 & 1 child

1845 Kelly Joseph Watson

1850 CS Joseph Watson

1851 Census Joseph Watson 64yo innkeeper b Berkswell m Jane,54 & 1s
1855 JA143 CH&O William Watts

1855 JA143 CH&O William Parker

1861 Census Thomas Bromwich 30yo b Coventry m Sarah, 24 & 2d, 1 visitor

1868 Buchanan James Bates

1871 Census James Bates 50yo maltster b Wolvey m Ann, 49 & 1s

1874 C&B James Bates
1878 LJ Vol1 P18 Tom Garratt
1879 Stevens Tom Garrett

1881 C&B J. Garrett
1885 LJ Vol1 P18 Tom Garratt
1885 LJ Vol1 P18 William Morris Lloyd
1886 C&B William Lloyd
1885 LJ Vol1 P18 William Morris Lloyd
1886 LJ Vol1 P18 William Morris Lloyd
1886 LJ Vol1 P18 Thomas Norman
1887 LJ Vol1 P18 Thomas Norman
1887 LJ Vol1 P18 Arthur William Masser
1888 LJ Vol1 P18 Arthur William Masser
1888 LJ Vol1 P18 Tom Garrett
1890/91 R&G T. Garrett

1893 Reporter Tom Garrett

1894 R&G Tom Garrett
1895 LJ Vol1 P18 Tom Garrett
1895 LJ Vol1 P18 Elizabeth Garrett
1896 R&G Mrs E. Garrett
1897 LJ Vol1 P18 Elizabeth Chapman
1898 LJ Vol1 P18 Elizabeth Chapman
1903 R&G Elizabeth Chapman

1905 R&G Elizabeth Chapman

1909 R&G Arthur Fennell

1909 Source 17 A. E. Lucas

1911/12 Spennell A. J. Lucas

1912/13 Spennell A. J. Lucas

1919 Spennell Albert James Lucas

1921/22 Spennell A. J. Lucas ( Headquarters of Coventry Premier Homing Society )

1924 P. James J. Lucas

1926/27 P. James J. Lucas

1929 P. James J. Lucas

1931/32 P. James J. Lucas

1933/34 P. James G. H. Greetham

1935/36 P. James Mrs W. L. Greetham

1937/38 P. James Mrs W. L. Greetham

1939/40 P. James R. Spicer

1955/56 Barrett George Taylor

1957 Barrett George Taylor

1960 Barrett G. Taylor

1961 Barrett Not listed in street section

1962 Barrett G. Taylor

OWNERS

1878 LJ Vol1 P18 A. H. Masser, Longford House, Foleshill
later LJ Vol1 P18 R. H. Gilbert, Rugby
1898 LJ Vol1 P18 R. H. Gilbert, Rugby
to 1907 Source 17 Mrs E. Gilbert
from 1907 Source 17 Phipps

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