Inherited Craziness
A place to share all the nuts found on my family tree

Monday, 15 February 2021

The Bell Inn and The Graziers Arms, West Haddon

The Graziers Arms in the early 20th century when the public house was run by Phipps Brewery. Image reproduced from the Phipps Archive by permission of Northamptonshire Archives.

This could be where my Thompson and Botterill ancestors first meet and where the penchant for pubs began. We'll say could be, because you can be sure I'll discover some earlier links now I've said that! For now, we know that Stephen Botterill (b. 1804) married Mary Thompson (daughter of Solomon Thompson Jnr and Maria Willis and sister of my 3rd great grandfather, Daniel Thompson) on 2 Nov 1830 in her parish of Cransley, Northamptonshire. 

The only children of the marriage that I can find records for are: 

  1. Daniel Botterill, bap. 20 Dec 1831 in Cransley, Northamptonshire
  2. Alice Botterill, bap. 4 Mar 1838 at ScaldwellSt Peter and St Paul (Died, aged 18 and was buried on 7 Jun 1856 at West Haddon.)
  3. Stephen Bottrell (sic) b. 1841, bap. 3 Apr 1844 in West Haddon
  4. Mary Ann Bottrell b. 1844 
On the 1841 Census Stephen Bottrill is listed as a Publican in West Haddon. This will have been at The Bell Inn. A later article says, "The Bell Inn no longer exists at West Haddon, although the old thatched house, with its picturesque gables, which bore the title, still stands opposite the Wesleyan Chapel."

Wesleyan Chapel in West Haddon. Image provided by West Haddon Local History Group
Being located by both Baptist and Methodist Chapels in the 1840s probably wasn't ideal and conducive to business, which might account for the move to The Graziers Arms. 

At that time, Solomon Thompson (b. 1802), brewer, was staying with the Botterills, while his own wife, Elizabeth (née York) and family are at their home in Cransley. Solomon Thompson (b. 1802), must be Mary Botterill's cousin. Quite handy having a brewer in the family when you run a pub!

Mary Bottrel (sic) (née Thompson) died in 1845. The announcement of her death, which appeared in The Banbury Guardian of Thursday, February 27, 1845, read, "February 12, at West Haddon, Warwickshire, Mary, the wife of Mr. Stephen Bottrell, of the Bell Inn, aged 38; deeply lamented by all her friends." And in The Northampton Mercury, it adds that, "Her illness was short, but she bore it with great firmness and contentment." Whatever that means. Mary was buried at All Saints, West Haddon, on 18 Feb 1845. 

Graveyard, All Saints Church, West Haddon
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Tim Heaton -

On 24 July 1845, Stephen Botterell remarried, to Elizabeth Newton and the marriage appears to have taken place at Christ ChurchSt George in the East, London. In 1851, Stephen Botterill is listed as Victualler Farm of 140 Acres, with new wife Elizabeth (b. 1804), daughter Alice (13), son Stephen (10) and niece, Eliza Newton (9). Alice Botterill died, aged 18 and was buried on 7 Jun 1856 at All Saints, West Haddon. Elizabeth Botterill died, aged 55, and was buried on 26 Aug 1858, also at All Saints, West Haddon. 

The Banbury Guardian of 13 Sept 1849, reported that at the Daventry Petty Sessions, Stephen Botterell was charged with keeping his house open after 10pm and allowing gaming. On this occasion the case was dismissed.

In 1861, Stephen Bottard (sic), Widowed, is listed as a Farmer Of 147 acres Employing 3 men & 3 boys.... Eliza Newton is still living in his household.

The Northampton Mercury of 5 Apr 1862 reported that William Blunsom, veterinary surgeon, was claiming the sum of £13. 17s. (£1,764.89 in 2021) from Stephen Botterill in the County Court. Then the London Gazette of 30 Nov 1867, reported that Stephen Botterill was declared bankrupt. 

There are several reports in the Northampton Mercury of Stephen Botterill being fined for 'Unjust measures': 15 Oct 1864 (2s + 18s costs), on 15 Feb 1868 (£4), 12 Sep 1868 (fined £5 for 4 quart jugs deficient in measure), and again on 13 Feb 1869 (£5), so it looks like this is habitual. He blamed his bankruptcy on the 'badness of trade', but one has to wonder if poor judgement was as much to blame. Did it not occur to him these things might be linked? (Rhetorical question.) Nevertheless, Stephen Boterill was discharged from bankruptcy on 7 Feb 1868 (Northampton Mercury 28 March 1868). 

By 1871, Stephen Boterill (66), Widowed, is merely a farm labourer and is a lodger in the household of Thomas Bull, in West Haddon. Stephen Botterill died, aged 73, in 1878. He was buried on 8 Sep 1878 in West Haddon.

With gracious thanks to Wendy Raybould, Archivist at the West Haddon Local History Group for many of the photos, for identifying the names of the pubs Stephen Botterill was associated with and pointers towards many other records of his life. A brief history of West Haddon (PDF)

The Graziers Arms from above. Image provided by West Haddon Local History Group

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