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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 Board

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Smithford Street 1939

NAME BOARD
ADDRESS 9 SMITHFORD STREET
THIS PREMISES HAS BEEN KNOWN BY DIFFERENT NAMES DURING ITS HISTORY FROM TO KNOWN AS
? ? BEERHOUSE
1868 1871 BOARD
1871 LIQUOR VAULTS
1879 1896 CITY VAULTS
1903 1912 CLARENCE HOTEL
Board means 'to board intoxicating liquor'. In some cases the need for a premises to have 'a board' , that is a sign board, suggested this name as some places did in fact display a blank board. However, in this case, the Board identified a person sellling beer from their home; in other words a beerhouse under the 1839 Beerhouse Act, the real origin of the 'public house'.

Until 1868 it was the BOARD/LIQUOR VAULTS. From 1868 it was the CITY VAULTS and must have got its name from its central city location, until it was renamed CLARENCE in 1903.

The Duke of Clarence was William IV before he became King. He had a short naval career and took his seat in the House of Lords as Duke of Clarence. Some Clarence signs show the four wheeled carriage which was named after him.

Known Licensees at the BEERHOUSE are;
1868 A Sumner Wholesale spirit & wine warehouse
1871 James Colley Spirit merchant

Known Licensees at the BOARD are;
1868 Andrew Sumner Wholesale spirit & wine warehouse
1871 James Colley Spirit merchant

Known Licensees at the LIQUOR VAULTS are;
1871 James Colley

Known Licensees for the CITY VAULTS are;
1879 Thomas Ball
1881 E. Barfoot
1886 R. Neil
1890 - 1893 G. H. Bamford
1894 C. H. Wells
1896 John Fenn

Known Licensees for the CLARENCE HOTEL are;
1903 - 1909 H. Wright
1911 - 1912 William Eggington

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Beer July 2008 P9 The Board identified a person selling beer form their home - the first ( Whats Brewing Supplement ) public house - as in the 1839 Beerhouse Act

Dict PN Means ' to board intoxicating liquor '. In some cases the need for an inn to have ' a board ' suggested the name, since some inns did in fact display a blank board.

1871 Census This is referred to as the LIQUOR VAULTS

28.8.1878 LJ Vol 1 P 10 BOARD, Smithford Street Alehouse ( City Vaults )
See the City Vaults

28.8.1878 LJ Vol 1 P44 BOARD, Smithford Street Alehouse
Owner : Andrew Sumner
Licensee : Andrew Sumner
-----------------------23.9.1885 license refused by the Justices

How can both of these be at 9 Smithford Street ??


from 1879 See CITY VAULTS

LICENSEES

WRC A. Sumner Wholesdale Sprit and Wine Warehouse

1868 Buchanan A. Sumner Board, 9 Smithford Street

23.11.1868 Lantern Andrew Sumner Vaults, Smithford Street

1871 Census James Colley 52 yo spirit merchant, Liqiuor Vaults, 9 Smithford [ Street. b Coventry m Harriet, 43 & 2s, 1d, 1 servant, 1 visitor, 1 boarder
1878 LJ Vol 1 P44 Andrew Sumner
1885 LJ Vol 1 P44 Andrew Sumner
CLOSED

OWNERS

1878 LJ Vol 1 P44 Andrew Sumner
1885 LJ Vol 1 P44 Andrew Sumner

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