Smithford Street 1900. Classic old turn-of-the-century view of Smithford Street looking westwards from the junction with High Street, Hertford Street and Broadgate. The Kings Head Inn is on the left. Photo courtesy of Rob Orland
|ADDRESS||56 SMITHFORD STREET|
|THIS PREMISES HAS BEEN KNOWN BY DIFFERENT NAMES DURING ITS HISTORY||FROM||TO||KNOWN AS|
|c1800||1868||LORD NELSON, NELSON|
|1845||1925||GODIVA, GODIVA INN|
|Lady Godiva was the wife of Leofric, Earl of Mercia, in the eleventh century. The story goes that Leofric was being severe on his tenants, which distressed his wife. She asked him to remove his impositions and he agreed to do so - on condition that she rode naked through the streets of the city. She did so and Leofric kept his word.
In 1801 JCM records the name, The ADMIRAL NELSON. By 1822 it was the LORD NELSON, but according to an advertisement in the CH&O in 1846 it was referred to as the NELSON TAVERN and by 1868 the name had changed to the LADY GODIVA. Between 1871 and 1879 it was the GODIVA VAULTS and then from 1881 until 1891 simply the GODIVA.
From 1892 it was leased by Phillips and Marriott for 21 years at £95 per annum, from J. Laxon, 2 Bath Terrace, Holyhead Road, Coventry. In 1903 Phillips and Marriott record that the cellar was taken away and they were allowed £5 per annum off their rent for this.
Finally in 1912, it became the EMPIRE VAULTS. It looks likely that the pub took this name from the Empire Palace of Varieties which was on the opposite side of Smithford Street. In 1928 the license was removed to the MAUDSLEY HOTEL. The ROBIN HOOD, Cox Street, was closed in consideration of this license removal.
Licensees (to be confirmed)
1892 - 1913 J. Laxon, 2 Bath Terrace, Holyhead Road, Coventry
1913 Phillips and Marriotts
to 1910 JA Lady Godiva
4.4.1913 P&M PR Purchased by Phillips & Marriott for £ 6000
CS 5 Photo
Slaughterhouse to rear
1928 Police License removed to Maudsley hotel
Robin Hood, Cox Street, closed in consideration of removal of Empire Vaults.
c1930 CWL P11 Photo
1911/12 Spennell Thomas Phipps
28.8.1912 P&M PR Alfred Hurst
1912/13 Spennell A. Hurst
1919 Spennell Alfred Hurst
18.9.1919 P&M PR Alfred Hurst new agreement
1921/22 Spennell Alfred Hurst
23.5.1922 P&M PR John Leeson manager
1924 P. James J. Leeson
1926/27 P. James W. E. Morley
1929 P. James W. E Morley
1931/32 P. James Licensee not named
No 56 = Cash & Co, boot dealers
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