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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 White Bear

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NAME WHITE BEAR
ADDRESS 41 NEW STREET
ALTERNATIVE ADDRESSES 42 NEW STREET, COX STREET

This is a heraldic reference to the Earls of Kent. It was also the name of a galleon in Drake's squadron at the attack on Cadiz in 1587.

In 1823 this pub was owned by the Free Grammar School, although it was erected by the lessee, William Twycross, at his own expense on the site of an old stable! In 1844 William Twycross' 21 year lease expired. In 1862 it was still owned by the Free Grammar School and at that time it was let to Mr. Poultney for £16. In 1882 it was sold.

In 1915 the pub was owned by Phipps of Northampton and the annual rent was £28. In that year they received £25 1s 5d for the brewing plant, so it is safe to assume that home-brewing stopped at that point. An article in the Coventry Standard tells us that Tom Thorpe (John Thomas Thorpe) was the longest-standing licensee in Coventry with 53 years in the same pub, that is c1903 to c 1956. He was 85 in 1956 and brewed his own beer until 1915. The pub closed on 2nd July 1958.

Known Licensees are;
1822 - 1823 J. Smith
1828 - 1841 Thomas Russell
1845 J. Green
1861 Joseph Rice
1868 John Ainge
1868 - 1871 Sarah Ainge
1874 - 1886 Sarah Graham
1890 - 1896 John Venn
1903 - 1940 John Thomas Thorpe
Owners;
1823 - 1862 Free Grammar School
Brewers;
1887 S. Graham
1887 - 1892 John Venn
1892 - 1915 John Thomas Thorpe

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Dict PN A heraldic refernce to the Earls of Kent and perhaps for that reason the name of a galleon built in 1563 which formed part of Drake's squadron when he attacked Cadiz in 1587.

1823 JA7 Rental of Estates belonging to the Free Grammar School
New Street
A house and premises called the WHITE BEAR. Renewal of lease.
The lessee, William Twycross, at his own expense erected the house on the site of an old stable.

11,10,1838 JA25 PA 244/88/2 Policy. £ 100 upon the White Bear, New Street.

1844 JA34 Charities Enquiry 18.10.1844
Expiration of 21 year lease to William Twycross for the White Bear.
The lessee at his own expense erected the house on the site of an old stable.

1851 Source 49 Board of Health Map

1862 Poole P253 Rental of Estates belonging to the Free Grammar School.
New Street and St Michael's churchyard,
The White Bear public house let to Mr Poultney
16 0s 0d

1864 JA103 Wilson has this property as the Half Moon in 1864. I can't see why.

28.8.1878 LJ Vol1 P17 WHITE BEAR, New Street Alehouse
Owner : Church Charity Trustees, Coventry
later Ratliff, Coventry
later Messrs Ratliff & Jeffrey, Northampton
Licensee : Sarah Graham
1.12.1887 TOL to John Venn

6.6.1882 CR 64/3 ff1,2 Notice of sale with particulars

Source 17 Phipps Estate Ledger D Page 277

White Bear P. H.
Page 277
White Bear, Coventry
Rent £ 28
3.1915. Cash for brewing plant £ 25.1.6

to 1928 Friedrich Home brewery

CS 6 Tom Thorpe is the longest standing tennant of a licensed premises in Coventry with 53 years in the same house. He is 85 years old and until 1915 brewed his own beer.

1954 Source 43 Tom Thorpe, the 85 year old landlord of the White Bear, Cox Street, who, until 1915 brewed his own beer on the premises, is the longest standing tennant of licensed premises in Coventry with 63 years as licensee of the same house.

2.7.1958 Closed

LICENSEES

1822/23 Pigot J. Smith
1828/29 Pigot Thos Russell
1835 Pigot Thomas Russell
1841 Pigot Thomas Russell
1841 Census Thomas Russell 41yo Not b Wks n Mary, 39 & 1 kid
1845 Kelly J. Green

1861 Census Joseph Rice 44 yo b Coventry m Sarah, 42 & 2s, 1d

1868 Buchanan John Ainge

23.11.1868 Lantern Sarah Ainge

1871 Census Sarah Ainge 70 yo b Tamworth & 1 nephew, 1 servant

1874 C&B S. Graham
1878 LJ Vol1 P17 Sarah Graham
1879 Stevens Sarah Graham

1881 C&B S. Graham

1886 C&B S. Graham
1887 LJ Vol1 P17 Sarah Graham
1887 LJ Vol1 P17 John Venn
1890/91 R&G J. Venn

1893 Reporter J. Venn

1894 R&G J. Venn

1896 R&G J. Venn
1898 LJ Vol1 P17 John Venn
1901 Source 43 Tom Thorpe

1903 R&G J. T. Thorpe

1905 R&G J. T. Thorpe

1909 R&G J. T. Thorpe

1910 LVOA T. Thorpe

1911/12 Spennell J. T. Thorpe

1912/13 Spennell J. T. Thorpe

1919 Spennell J. T. Thorpe

1921/22 Spennell J. T. Thorpe

1924 P. James J. T. Thorpe

1926/27 P. James J. T. Thorpe

1929 P. James J. T. Thorpe

1931/32 P. James J. T. Thorpe

1933/34 P. James J. T. Thorpe

1935/36 P. James J. T. Thorpe

1937/38 P. James J. T. Thorpe

1939/40 P. James J. T. Thorpe

1953 LTSD Cox Street
1954 Source 43 Tom Thorpe

OWNERS

1823 JA7 Free Grammar School

1862 Poole P253 Free Grammar School
1878 LJ Vol1 P17 Church Charity Trustees, Coventry
later LJ Vol1 P17 Ratliff, Coventry
later LJ Vol1 P17 Messrs Ratliff & Jeffrey, Northampton
1901 JA Phipps
1936 JA Phipps

BREWERS

1887 Friedrich S. Graham

1887 Friedrich John Venn

1892 Friedrich John Venn

1892 Friedrich John Thomas Thorpe

1914 WB P20 John Thomas Thorpe

1915 Source 43 Tom Thorpe

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