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When One Door (or Gate) Closes Another One Opens.

I was doing a bit of research for a future post that will feature the Waterloo at Taddington in Derbyshire when a name popped up that rang a bell. There were, and still are, loads of pubs, like this one in Bethesda in Gwynedd, named after this battle of 1815 as well as

a multitude of hostelries that bear the name of the Duke of Wellington. There's one in Matlock that I supped in once when supposedly on a course for work. Those which carry the moniker of his subordinates are somewhat fewer. A quick check threw up the following results:

Sir George Murray, Quartermaster-General? Zero.

Sir Edward Barnes, Adjutant-General? Zilch.

Sir George Wood, C-in-C Royal Artillery? Zip.

Sir Henry Paget, C-in-C Cavalry Corps? Well, he fared a little better in that there used to be a pub bearing his name in Southampton, but that's now called the Griffin. There is also the Marquess of Anglesey, the title to which he was elevated in 1815, in Covent Garden.

So which of these names rang a bell? None of the above, but that of Sir Henry Wyndham. Wyndham was commanding the light company of the 2nd Battalion of the Coldstream Guards and is best remembered for closing the gate at Château d'Hougoumont, one of the advanced defensible positions of Wellington's army, thereby preventing the French from being able to force their way in. Whether he was personally responsible for putting the snib down on the Yale lock I'm not certain, but everybody needs a claim to fame in life. After Waterloo he remained in the army, eventually being promoted to the rank of General in 1854, which is about when the subject of this post first made its appearance.

Wyndham's connection with Great Yarmouth can be calculated by adding together the number of pubs named after Murray, Barnes and Wood but the town did, on Nettle Hill West, have a boozer called the General Wyndham.

The Norfolk Pubs website indicates that a Harriet Horn applied for a full licence for her beer house on 6th September 1859, but because she didn't attend the hearing the request was refused. In all probability that beer house was the General Wyndham as she is shown to be there in the 1861 census. General Wyndham himself didn't make the census as he'd died the previous year.

Extract from the 1861 census.

Hannah, who started a long family association with the pub, was still there a decade later...

Extract from the 1871 census.

...and continued to run the place until her death the following year. Her son from her first marriage, John Roberts, took over until he himself died in the General Wyndham in 1877.

Kelly's directory of 1879 suggests that the family connection with the pub has finished by listing a Frederick Tuck as the proprietor...

Extract from Kelly's 1879 directory.

...but in 1881 he married John's widow Sarah...

Extract from the 1881 census.

...and they continued to run the General Wyndham...

Extract from the 1891 census.

...for more than twenty years...

Extract from the 1901 census.

...before Sarah died in the pub in 1902, which her son John took on...

Extract from Kelly's 1908 directory.

...with help from his wife Mary Ann.

Extract from the 1911 census.

In 1913, just like his mother, John died in the General Wyndham leaving Mary Ann in charge.

Extract from Kelly's 1916 directory.

In 1920 Mary Ann remarried, and whilst her husband's name appears in a number of directories and on the pub itself...

General Wyndham Great Yarmouth
The General Wyndham, and possibly Charles Mede, around 1920. seems that the licence was held by his wife. Charles Mede died in 1934 and Mary Ann left the pub, but that wasn't the end of the family's connection with it. The 1939 Register records a George Nichols in residence with his wife, Emma. Emma, or to give her her full name, Mary Ann Emma was Mary Ann and John Roberts' daughter – Harriet Horn's great granddaughter. And it's with them that the family's connection with the pub does finally seem to come to an end, after an association of around eighty years.

The General Wyndham closed in 1940 for the duration of Word War II, and when it reopened on the 25th August 1945 it survived for just under another dozen years. Its final landlord was Sidney Clements.

Now, why should Wyndham's name have rung a bell with me? Well, when the General Wyndham's door closed another opened for Gorleston's Lifeboat Tavern, the pub that my family ran for two generations and twenty years fewer than the Roberts did with the General Wyndham. Originally just a beer house, the Lifeboat was granted its full licence upon the surrender of the licence that had been granted to the General Wyndham.

Today the former General Wyndham is in residential use, having been converted into flats.

General Wyndham Great Yarmouth
The former General Wyndham in 2012. © Google 2024.

The image of Sir Henry Wyndham is copyright of the Nation Portrait Gallery, London, and is reused under this licence.

If you've read this far, then thank you. Possibly, like me, you may have some sort of interest in bygone boozers. Clicking here will take you to a searchable/sortable index which you can use to see if I've already featured any lost locals from your locality. You can also subscribe to ensure that you don't miss any future posts. Simply click here to return to the home page (opens in a new tab), follow the 'Subscribe' link and complete the form to receive an email notification of any future post. Or you could simply follow the link at the top of this page.


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