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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 Fox and Vivian

This photo dates from the late 1960s as the Toby Jug branding seen on the sign wasn't used until after the merger of Bass, M&B and Charrington's in 1967.

NAME FOX AND VIVIAN INN
ADDRESS 48 GOSFORD STREET
ALTERNATIVE ADDRESSES 49 GOSFORD STREET
A vivian was a type of dog, so the fox and vivian means the fox and dog. In 1846 the Fox and Vivian is mentioned when looms were being sold in a nearby shop. In 1926 this was a Charringtons pub with an annual rent of £60. They sold it in that year, saying that it was 'practically surrounded by the important Morris works'.

In 1970 it was awaiting demolition for extensions to Lanchester Polytechnic (now Coventry University). It had a fourteenth or fifteenth century cellar of massive stones. It closed on 7th january 1971.

From the Coventry Evening Telegraph special publication "Cheers - Pubs, taverns and alehouses of old Coventry", March 1992. "Thomas Hipkiss and his wife were the last licensees when the pub closed at Christmas 1970. Mr Hipkiss had been a butcher with the Co-op in Coventry before he entered the licensed trade, and had only moved from a Measham pub to the Fox and Vivian eight months prior to its demolition.

There has always been much conjecture over the origins of the name. The most likely explanation is that it has hunting associations. Vivian was, according to one source, the mythical god of hunting, but historian Charles Lines was probaby right when he said that the word referred to hunting horses in Warwickshire.

Tradition has it that the original cellars were connected with the Whitefriars, and could have been an old tavern where business was carried out years ago".

Coventry Evening Telegraph newspaper article from 1962

Known Licensees are;
1848 Charles Twaites
1848 John Donald
1850 - 1851 Samuel Beesley
1868 - 1871 John H. Shillcock
1879 - 1881 Isaac Carter
1886 - 1896 J. Bayliss
1896 A. J. Lindon
1901 J. Taylor
1903 Arthur Toney
1905 Joseph Astley
1909 R. Pegg
1911 - 1922 Lewis H. Francis
1929 - 1932 R. Don
1933 - 1936 W. Lomas
1937 - 1938 F. Brown
1948 - 1950 Basil Benn (see also Dolphin, Sherrif Avenue 1950 - 60 and Live and Let Live, Wood End 1960 onwards)
1970 Thomas Hipkiss (see also Minstrel Boy in Allesley Park 1970 onwards) photo of thomas and mrs hipkiss

Thomas and Mrs Hipkiss. From the CET special publication "Cheers - Pubs, taverns and alehouses of old Coventry", March 1992. Tom kept The Minstrel Boy in Allesley Park for several years after the Fox & Vivian.

OWNERS
to 1926 Charringtons
? Atkinsons

The Godiva Procession, 1902, Lady Godiva is passing the Fox & Vivian on her way up Gosford Street and away from Far Gosford Street. The greyed-out tall building to the right is the New Inn. The Co-Op stores nos 49-51 had not yet been built just below the pub when this picture was taken. The Lady is Miss Vera Guedes.


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Name A vivian is a type of dog, so fox and dog

16.10.1846 JA16 CS Fox and Vivian mentioned when looms were being sold in a nearby shop.

23.5.1848 JA62 CH&O Transfer of license from Charles Twaites to John Donald

1851 Source 49 Board of Health Map

17.6.1864 JA141 CH&O Transfer of license from Samuel Beasley to Johnn Shilcock

1871 FDSDC P137 ....he afterwards said he was dying and I put my arms round him to support him. Mrs Brown told me to take him to the Fox and Vivian to give him some brandy

28.8.1878 LJ Vol 1 P11 FOX AND VIVIAN, Gosford Street Alehouse
Owner : Edward Bicknell M. D., Bangor
later James Bayliss - ? - Inn, Little Park Street
later John Taylor, 49 Gosford Street
Licensee : Isaac Carter
8.12.1881 TOL to James Bayliss
20.6.1895 TOL to Alfred John Lindon
4.3.1897 TOL to John Taylor
28.5.1883 fined 5/6 & costs for keeping open
4.2.1884 fined 10/- & costs for selling at Corn Exchange after hours
15.11.1886 fined 20/- & costs or 14 days for opening premises
see letter of 27.1.1887 from clerk of the peace as to conviction of 15.11.1886 being questioned

1887 COC P56 Cov Times Inn signs

1896 JA32 CCA/2/3/757/27 James Bayliss ( of Paterson, New Jersey, USA )....sell this deeds premesis for £ 750 (to) John Taylor ( of the Squirrel Inn, Little Park Street, Coventry, licensed victualler ), the Fox and Vivian ( lately occupied by the vendor, now by Lindon ).

30.6.1896 JA32 CCA/2/3/757/28 John Taylor takes out a mortgage for £ 400 on the Fox and Vivian.

2.7.1901 CR 362/44/8 Letter from J. Taylor to Thynne ( agent for Irby ) enclosing 1/- for rent rather than the 5/- demanded.

7.7.1901 CR 362/44/9 Reply demanding the other 4/-

11.12.1901 CR 362/44/10 Notice from J. Taylor to Thynne with 5/- as he could not possibly attend the audit held at the Queens Head, Coventry.

c1912 CWL P19 Photo

2.1926 News 86 Annual rent £ 60. Sold by Charringtons ' practically surrounded by the important Morris works '.

? News 2 Photo

Atkinsons

28.2.1970 News 2-2 Awaiting demolition for Lanchester Polytechnic. Fourteenth or fifteenth century cellar of massive stone. Licensee Thomas Hipkiss

7.1.1971 JA16 CET Closed

LICENSEES

1848 JA62 CH&O Charles Twaites

1848 JA62 CH&O John Donald

1850 CS Samuel Beesley

1851 Census Samuel Beesley 46 yo b Stoke m Elizabeth, 45 & 1d
1864 JA141 CH&O Samuel Beasley

1864 JA141 CH&O Johnn Shilcock

1868 Buchanan J. H. Shillcock

1868 Lantern John Shillcock

1871 Census John H. Shillcock 63 yo m Sarah, 64 & 2s, 1d
1878 LJ Vol 1 P11 Isaac Carter
1879 Stevens Isaac Carter

1881 C&B Isaac Carter
1881 LJ Vol 1 P11 Isaac Carter
1881 LJ Vol 1 P11 James Bayliss
1886 C&B J. Bayliss

1890/91 R&G J. Bayliss

1893 Reporter J. Bayliss

1894 R&G J. Bayliss
1895 LJ Vol 1 P11 James Bayliss
1895 LJ Vol 1 P11 Alfred John Lindon
1896 JA32 CCA/2/3/757/27 James Bayliss

1896 JA32 CCA/2/3/757/27 Lindon

1896 R&G A. J. Lindon
1897 LJ Vol 1 P11 Alfred John Lindon
1897 LJ Vol 1 P11 John Taylor

1898 LJ Vol 1 P11 John Taylor

1901 CR 362/44/10 J. Taylor

1903 R&G Arthur Toney

1905 R&G Joseph Astley

1909 R&G R. Pegg

1911/12 Spennell Lewis H. Frances

1912/13 Spennell Lewis H. Frances

1919 Spennell Lewis H. Frances

1921/22 Spennell Lewis H. Frances

1929 P. James R. Don

1931/32 P. James R. Don

1933/34 P. James W. Lomas

1935/36 P. James W. Lomas

1937/38 P. James F. Brown
1948 Lee - website Basil Ben

1950 Lee - website Basil Ben

1962 Barrett Licensee not named

28.2.1970 News 2-2 Thomas Hipkiss

OWNERS

28.8.1878 LJ Vol 1 P11 Edward Bicknell M. D., Bangor
later LJ Vol 1 P11 James Bayliss - ? - Inn, Little Park Street
1896 JA32 CCA/2/3/757/27 James Bayliss

1896 JA32 CCA/2/3/757/27 John Taylor ( of the Squirrel Inn, Little Park Street, Coventry ).
? later LJ Vol 1 P11 John Taylor, 49 Gosford Street

to 1926 News 86 Charringtons

? News 2 Atkinsons

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