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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 Royal Oak


PHOTO
NAME ROYAL OAK
ADDRESS 32 EARLSDON STREET
ALTERNATIVE ADDRESSES MOOR STREET
This name is second in popularity to the Red Lion. Following the defeat of the Battle of Worcester in 1651, Charles II, together with his aide, Colonel Carless, hid from noon till dusk in the Boscobel Oak near Shifnal, Shropshire, in order to escape from the Roundhead soldiers pursuing them. After the restoration it was declared that May 29th, Charles II's birthday, should be celebrated as Royal Oak Day, an act of thanksgiving. The popularity of the pub sign may be attributed to genuine rejoicing that the monarchy had been restored but it also comments on the appeal of exciting incidents. It may also refer to one of the many ships that bore this name.

Opened in 1859 by John Sabin, a young man who came from a family of publicans, he was already familiar with the pub business but unfortunately he didn't live long enough either to enjoy it or to make a go of it; he died at the early age of 31, leaving behind a young widow, Sarah. Moving in to help her run the pub, young Richard Welton was obviously on to a good thing and after a short delay for decency's sake the couple were married and Richard took over the license, which he held until his death. Beer was not the only commodity to be sold at the Oak at this time. Richard was also a butcher, killing beasts in a slaughterhouse at the back of the pub and selling the meat over the bar. In 1879 it had a beerhouse license.

Outliving Sarah by 7 years, Richard died in 1895 and the Oak then became the property of Northampton Brewery with William Mayo, a young Earlsdon lad born in Arden Street, as licensee. However, two years later it was taken over by Robinsons Brewery, Burton on Trent,in 1897 and again by Ind Coope in 1929 with Mayo still in charge. Over his 35 years at the Oak, his sturdy figure became a familiar sight to every Earlsdon resident.

He was followed for a short period by JF Taylor, whose successor, Leonard Lawless, was again to serve the Oak for over 30 years. He became just as familiar as Mayo to every Earlsdonite as was his daughters's piano playing audible to and enjoyed by passers-by as she practised in an upstairs room. In the 1950s Harry Lawless took over the tenancy from his father and over the years put together an interesting collection of memorabilia and many items were gifts from customers. There were wine bottles hanging from the ceiling, German bayonets and an old pipe about 2 feet long which hung on the wall. There was an unusual styled 'Laughing Cavalier' and a beautiful brass horse mounted on velvet which adorned the fireplace.

In 1961 it was an Ind Coope house and in 1982 was 'a pleasant local, the meeting place of Earlsdon Morris Men and clog dancers'. In August 2006 the pub was forced to close after storm water flooded the cellar following monsoon- like rainfall. There was damage to the cellar, floors, decoration and furniture. Repairs to the cellar alone cost £50,000 and it reopened in February 2007. In 2011 Ray Evetts left the Royal Oak for the Brooklands Grange Hotel, and Howard Grundy took over the lease.

Thanks to earlsdon.org.uk for the photo and info

Coventry Evening Telegraph clipping from February 1961

Known Licensees are;
1859 - 1861 John Sabin
1868 Mrs. Sarah Sabin
1871 - 1895 Richard Welton
1896 Ellen S. Mills
1903 - 1930 William H. Mayo
1931 - 1936 J. F. Taylor
1936 - 1946 Leonard Lawless
1946 - 1961 Harry Lawless (see clipping above)
1985 Mr W. Byrne
to 2011 Raymond Uveitis, aka Evitts (see also Earlsdon Cottage, Warwick Street)
2011 to present Howard Grundy
Owners
1859 - 1861 John Sabin
1868 Sarah Sabin, widow of John Sabin
1871 - 1895 Richard Welton, who had married Sarah Sabin
1895 - 1897 Northampton Brewery Co. Ltd
1897 - 1929 Robinsons Brewery, Burton on Trent
1929 - 1961 Ind Coope
photo of the royal oak in earlsdon coventry

The Royal Oak today, with an almost unchanged exterior


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Dict PN Second only to the Red Lion. Following the defeat of the Battle of Worcester in 1651, Charles II, together with his aide, Colonel Carless, hid from noon to dusk in the Boscobel Oak, near Shifnal, Salop, in order to escape from the roundhead solkdiers pursuing them. After the restoration of Charles II to the throne it was declared that May 29th, the KIng's birthday, should henceforth be celebrated as Royal Oak Day as an act of thanksgiving. The popularity of the pub sign may be attributed to general rejoicing that the monarchy had been restored, but it also comments on the appeal of peculiar human incidents, comprehensible even to a child, over the great events that shape history.

Indirect reference to the main event occur when a pub is named for one of the ships which have borne this name. The first was lasunched in 1664 and was sunk by the Dutch in 1667.

1859 CSUBS P56 Earlsdon's third pub is the Royal Oak, in Earlsdon Street, which was opened by John Sabin in 1859

c1874 - 1893 Heritage P34 Beer was not the only commodity sold at the Oak at this time as Richard Welton was also a butcher, killing beasts in a slaughterhouse at the back of the pub and selling the meat over the bar.

9.11.1890 LJ Vol1 P61 ROYAL OAK, Earlsdon Alehouse
Owner : Richard Welton
later Northampton Brewery Co
Licensee : Richard Welton
1.1.1896 TOL to William Josiah Mills
21.2.1896 TOL to Helen Selina Mills
9.12.1897 TOL to William Henry Mayo

1879 Beerhouse license

1887 COC Cov Times Inn signs

c1914 E&CE P9 Photo

P67 Within 10 years two public houses had been opened, the Royal Oak and the City Arms.

P68 Photo

c1920 CWL P46 Photo

1961 Citypubs 31 An Ind Coope house, this public house, which is over 100 years old, has never been altered outside since it was built, although at one time at the rear of the building there used to be a butcher's shop, this is now incorporated in the pub .

1982 WRAG3 A pleasant local, meeting place of Earlsdon Morris Men and clog dancers.

18.8.2006 News 2-54 Royal Oak was forced to close its doors after the storm water flooded the cellar during the monsoon type rainfall. The damage to the cellar, floors, decoration and furniture was significant.

14.2.2007 News 2-54 Royal Oak re-opened its doors. The repairs and refurbishment have taken six months. The rerpairs to the cellar alone cost £ 50,000.

6.2011 News 2-70 Ray Evetts leaves the Royal Oak

Howard Grundy takes over

Ray moves to the Brooklands Grange Hotel

LICENSEES

1859 Heritage P54 John Sabin

1861 Census John Sabin 25 yo b Frankton m Sarah, 28

1868 Buchanan Mrs Sarah Sabin

1871 Census Richard Welton 34 yo publican & butcher b Coventry m Sarah, 40 & 1874 C&B R. Welton [ 1 servant

1879 Stevens Richard Welton

1881 C&B R. Welton

20.5.1884 CR 101/8/269 footnote R. Welton & Earl Street butcher

1886 C&B R. Welton
1890 LJ Vol1 P61 Richard Welton
1893 Reporter R. Welton

1894 R&G R. Welton

1895 R. Welton - died
1896 LJ Vol1 P61 Richard Welton
1896 LJ Vol1 P61 William Josiah Mills
1896 LJ Vol1 P61 Helen Selina Mills
1896 R&G Ellen S. Mills
1897 LJ Vol1 P61 Helen Selina Mills
1897 LJ Vol1 P61 William Henry Mayo
1898 LJ Vol1 P61 William Henry Mayo
1903 R&G William H. Mayo

1909 R&G William H. Mayo

1910 LVOA W. H. Mayo

1911/12 Spennell William H. Mayo

1912/13 Spennell William H. Mayo

1919 Spennell William H. Mayo

1921/22 Spennell William H. Mayo

1924 P. James William H. Mayo

1929 P. James W. H. Mayo

1930 W. H. Mayo - died

1931/32 P. James J. F. Taylor

1933/34 P. James J. F. Taylor

1935/36 P. James J. F. Taylor

1935 Citypubs 31 Leonard Lawless

1937/38 P. James L. Lawless

1939/40 P. James L. Lawless

1946 Citypubs 31 Leonard Lawless

1946 Citypubs 31 Harry Lawless

1961 Citypubs 31 Harry Lawless

1985 Ansells Mr W. Byrne

2011 News 2-70 Ray Evetts lessee
2011 News 2-70 Howard Grundy lessee
2011 Lee website Howard Grundy lessee

OWNERS

1859 Heritage P34 John Sabin died leaving a widow, Sarah

? Heritage P34 Sarah Sabin
1871 Heritage P34 Richard Welton
1890 LJ Vol1 P61 Richard Welton
1895 Heritage P34 Richard Welton, who married Sarah Sabin. Died

1895 Heritage P34 Northampton Brewery Co Ltd
later LJ Vol1 P61 Northampton Brewery Co
1897 Heritage P34 Northampton Brewery Co Ltd
1897 Heritage P34 Robinsons Brewery, Burton on Trent

1898 LJ Vol1 P61 Northampton Brewery Co
1929 Heritage P34 Robinsons Brewery, Burton on Trent

1929 Heritage P34 Ind Coope

1961 Heritage P34 Ind Coope

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