Nostalgia: Landlord was deported over stolen bran

PUBLISHED: 13:21 07 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:48 06 May 2010

46 High Street was occupied by Gees Seeds in 1981

46 High Street was occupied by Gees Seeds in 1981

46 High Street, Biggleswade THE shop at 46 High Street (formerly 12 Stratton Street) has a long history. It is thought that in the 19th century, it may have been The Yorkshire Grey, an alehouse. The landlord, William Studman, was convicted in 1819 at Bed

46 High Street, Biggleswade

THE shop at 46 High Street (formerly 12 Stratton Street) has a long history.

It is thought that in the 19th century, it may have been The Yorkshire Grey, an alehouse.

The landlord, William Studman, was convicted in 1819 at Bedford Assizes of receiving bran and pollard (a type of flour) from Radwell Mill.

According to the evidence presented to the court Thomas Halworth, a servant boy, agreed to get bran and pollard for Studman from Radwell Mill, without telling the owner.

After he left on his second trip the mill foreman discovered the discrepancy and reported this to the miller James Pestell, who gave chase and finding the boy asleep in the cart, was able to overtake him.

James Pestell then watched from the Rose opposite, catching Halworth and Studman red-handed.

Thomas Halworth was given 14 days in Hertford gaol and whipped, but Studman was sentenced to transportation for 14 years and 112 inhabitants of Biggleswade signed a petition protesting at this harsh sentence, for receiving bran valued at a guinea.

The sentence was carried out and in all probability the pub closed.

Among the brewery deeds there is a surrender of properties including several cottages in Stratton Street by William Studman to Samuel Wells, finalised April 1821, that fits in with his departure.

Descendants of Samuel Wells the Biggleswade Brewer opened the present Yorkshire Grey in London Road in 1839, perpetuating the name.

The next record of 46 High Street is as a bakery in 1839 when Edmund Powers was the owner.

Ebenezer Curry followed in 1850 and in 1851 it was owned by a partnership of Cornelius Bennett and Robert Twelvetrees.

Cornelius Bennett moved to Sun Street and Robert Twelvetrees continued as a baker.

His family stayed at the premises until 1925 when the business was sold to Walter Savage, who was there for 15 years.

Sadie's dress shop was the next occupier before moving next door to no 48.

Bernard Gee a seed merchant took over the shop in 1957. After he retired, the shop traded as Gee's Seeds until 1981.

Peter Hutchinson and Richard Headford had been established as H & H Electronics since 1972, and were based across the road at number 87. They moved to 46 in 1981.

Peter Hutchinson retired in 1991 but Richard Headford is still with the business.

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