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The Ironfounders Arms(179 Bridge Street)

Also: The Foundrymens Arms

Thomas Halford is listed as a Beer-Retailer at this address from 1847 to 1858. By 1862 Edward Halford had taken over from him and Thomas had moved to 56 Adelaide Street (see the entry for: The Horse and Jockey). It seems that this is but an alternative name for the Foundrymen's Arms.

The Ironmongers Arms(Location unknown)

NN&Q 1886 refers to two tokens of 1652 and 1668, the 1652 token has:

OB. THOMAS.COOPER.IN = The Ironmongers' Arms ¼d.

Thomas Cooper served in the office of Town Bailiff in 1647.

The Jolly Bricklayers(69-71 Horsemarket)

Also: The Jolly Brickmakers

It was reported in a local paper in 1907 that an Owne Young (26) of the Jolly Brickmakers was sent to prison for stealing a money-belt from a man in the Plume & Feathers, Bradshaw Street. It contained 10/6d (52½p.) - Young had 16 previous convictions. Twenty-six is young for a landlord and the directories give H. Ware as the proprietor, so I conclude he was either an employee or a guest. It is recorded from 1877 to 1907.

The Jolly Crispin(134 Great Russel Street)

Also: The Russell Arms

Also: The Earl Russel

Also: The Dick Turpins

Also: The Jolly Cobbler

The Jolly Crispin This establishment is still with us at the corner of Great Russell Street. The street and therefore the pub are named after Earl Russell (1792-1878). This famous politician became Prime Minister in 1865, as the street is named on a map of 1847 it must have been named for his reputation rather than his accession to Prime Minister, or his death.

There is another contender for the name, the Rev. Jack Russell (1795-1883). A foxhunting squire from Devon who came to fame as the breeder of the terrier that bears his name. The pub changed its name to the Jolly Crispin in 1957. Saint Crispin is the patron saint of Shoemakers. Hereabouts in the past if you called someone a Crispin it meant a shoemaker, or at least, a cobbler. As the Cordwainers of old were famous for their drinking it is not surprising to find a Jolly Crispin in the town!

Although it is after the cut-off date of 1993 the 1997 change to the Jolly Cobbler I feel rates a mention. The Dick Turpins was a meaningless name and never popular. The Jolly Cobbler was as the result of a competition to find a new name and this result put the name back almost as it had been from 1957-1994 with the added significance of the name of our local football team which was having some success at the time.

The Old Jolly Smokers(The Mayorhold)

The Old Jolly Smokers The building was obviously built as a pub and its stucco style is similar to other pubs such as the Green Dragon opposite and the Welcome Inn nearby. The earliest I have it from the directories is 1884. The Mayorhold is an historic part of the town and marks the North Portgate of the old Saxo-Danish burgh. In later years it was considered a smart part of town and the Town Hall stood here, possibly on the site of the pub. For more, see the entry for: The Crispin Arms.

Probably the most well known licensee was Mrs. Mary Sherwin who was landlady from 1951 until its closure in 1960. In those days it was unusual for a woman to hold a licence outright. By all accounts she had a good reputation amongst the locals and although it was a rough pub she was well respected and never had to call out the police. I think they had more respect for a woman, she said in an interview in 1985 during a visit to the town from her home in the USA.

Mrs Sherwin, originally a sceptic, claimed in 1955 that the pub was haunted. The ghost, given the name Charlie seems to have scared the dog, moved objects about and burnt spectral incense. As the whole area is riddled with history and tales of the past, perhaps it isn’t surprising that Charlie, apparently a monk was around! Alas! The Mayorhold, once so interesting and full of character and characters is now merely a boring road junction and underpass. Does Charlie still haunt the area? I wonder - and if so, in lieu of his monks passages does he make do with the underpass?

During the demolition of the building in 1966 a well about 40ft. deep was found under the floor of the skittle room. The newspapers description of the mystery pit leaves you thinking that it was either an oubliette or an entrance into the fabled system of underground passages beneath old Northampton. However, the description is actually of a typical well and its depth suggested a relatively late date - but we should never allow the facts to interfere with a good story!

The Jolly Tanners(Chalk Lane)

This was a small, back street, beer-shop. Its exact location is difficult to ascertain, as Chalk Lane at the time was full of such small properties. Directory records run from 1884 until 1910.

The Katherine Wheel

Refer to the entry for: The Catherine Wheel

The Keep(Kingsthorpe Shopping Centre)

Built as an integral part of the Shopping Centre but has now disappeared through further modernisation. I came upon an amusing tale involving a pub with this name in the Reader's Digest and although the contributor came from Godalming I suspect it is about our Keep.

It seems this man was working in the pub one night when he got a phone call informing him that he was one of the few lucky people to get a free quote for double-glazing. He asked if they knew the pub and was assured that they did and had visited it a few times and liked it. Well, in that case, he replied, you'll know that it’s in a basement!

The King Billy

Refer to the entry for: The King William IV

The King David(Newnham Road, Kingsthorpe)

The name of this pub could be derived from the Bible, but I feel that it is more likely to have been named after King David I of Scotland, who had connections with this town. A typical smallish estate pub opened in the 1950s and still with us.

The King of Denmark(1 Denmark Road)

The building that was once a pub is still at the top of Denmark Road and is now a private house. This pub was the brother to the still extant Princess Alexandra, each deriving their names from the streets. Princess Alexandra was the daughter of the King of Denmark and married Edward VII in 1863. This area was developed between 1864 and 1900.

The King of Denmark was smaller than the Princess Alexandra and probably went out of business because of that pub and the Crown & Anchor nearby. It first appeared in the directories in 1893 and the last entry was in 1933.

It originally had two large windows on the ground floor and these have been removed, partially bricked up and new windows, copies of the ones on the first floor inserted. The lintols above the windows have also been copied. For once someone with taste has converted a pub/shop into a dwelling.

The Kings Arms(94 Bridge Street)

Also: The Bull and Butcher

From The Local February 1982:

by 1780 it (the Bull & Butcher) had become known as the King's Arms and then in 1830 by its present name.

The Kings Arms became a popular sign at the time of James I (1603-1625). Today we don't have to worry about pub signs becoming politically unpopular and needing to take them down and hide them, but during the Commonwealth many signs disappeared, some resurfacing after the Restoration in 1660. Many of the King's Arms today could be these survivors, but in any case it's a safe sign in a monarchy. I've found two more in the town.

The Kings Arms(38 Horsemarket)

Also possibly: The Kings Head

This inn certainly goes back a long way, it has an entry in the earliest directory, the Universal Directory 1791, which seems to have listed for the town only those establishments that a traveller would wish to know about, i.e. large inns with stabling etc. The inn is also shown on Laws Map 1847. On this it is shown as a much larger building than on the O/S 1901-1964 and the O/S size is as I remember it.

It appears that this inn was also referred to as the King's Head, the author of the NN&Q article says that the King's Head stables used to extend down Horsemarket as far as the back of St. Catherine's Terrace, as is shown on Laws Map for the King's Arms. Various advertisements exist for both signs in the 18th century Northampton Mercury and seem to describe the same premises. The King's Head is also mentioned in the Great Fire Court Book (5th April 1677) so predates the Fire of 1675. From a deed of 1751:

In the tenure or occupation of Mary Smalshaw Widow and abutting on a certain Street or lane called Kings-Head Street or Kings-Head lane towards the North.

The pub closed in 1971 and was on part of the Saxon Inn site a little way north from the present Girl Guides Trefoil House.

The Kings Arms(22 Market Street)

This beer-shop was on the east side of Market Street about halfway up. This establishment doesn't seem to have lasted long; there is only one entry under the sign Taylors 1864, Joseph Brooks and four occasions Joseph appears as a Beer-Retailer between 1861 and 1869.

The Kings Head(Horsemarket)

Refer to the entry for: The Kings Arms

What has been said about the King’'s Arms largely applies to the King's Head. There were, however, King's Heads as early as 1446 and many Pope’s Heads were changed to Kings at the time of the Reformation. The head usually depicted was Henry VIII, less common was Charles I or II. Henry VIII's daughter, Elizabeth I, is often the model for the Queen's Head, she being so fond of the inn and tavern. When released from the Tower in 1558 she first went to the Church of All Hallows to pray and then to the King's Head in Fenchurch Street for beef and ale! I understand these two monarchs are also the models for the King and Queen depicted on modern packs of playing cards.

We have had two King's Heads in the town, although one of them seems to have been an Arms at the same time - perhaps in the days of limited literacy these were seen as interchangeable?

The Kings Head(14-15 Mayorhold)

There seems to have been a King's Head on this site for a very long time, directory dates 1824-1971. I got a quick look around this pub just before demolition, but didn't have the time or equipment to examine either the roof timbers or the cellar (both good indicators of the age of a building and its origins). When I got back the whole site was rubble - things moved fast in those days!

In the past the Mayorhold was an important part of the town and inns and taverns would find a good trade around here and the King's Head stood right at the top of the Mayorhold on the corner of St. Andrew's Street in a prime position. For more about the Mayorhold's past refer to the following entries:
The Crispin Arms,  The Green Dragon and The Old Jolly Smokers

The Kingsley Park Hotel

Refer to the entry for: The White Elephant

The King Street Tavern(7 King Street)

The pub stood about where the yard of the Criterion pub was to be. In 1858 Henry Lambert had a Beer-Retailing business here and Samuel Pollard is also recorded as such in 1862 and 1864, in 1889 George Samuel Worley is here and by 1893 is the proprietor of the King Street Tavern. The last record is 1907.

The Kingswell Arms(3 Verulam Buildings, 30 Kingswell Street)

Verulam Buildings were on the south corner of Kingswell Terrace. I assume this pub was on the ground floor. Many of the references are to a Beer-Retailer; they start in 1884 (bhs) and continue to 1933.

King William IV

King William IV or Silly Billy as he was known because of his mode of speech was a very popular character long before he came to the throne. He was known as the Sailor King because of his eleven years in the Navy, nine of them on active service and some of that time in the company of Nelson who became his friend. When Nelson married the Prince gave away the bride. He was created the Earl of Munster and Duke of Clarence (another pub name) in May 1789. In 1818 he married Adelaide, daughter of Duke George of Saxe-Coburge Meiningen (Queen Adelaide being another pub name). On 26th June 1830 the Duke of Clarence became King William IV and his Coronation was in the following year. His involvement in the Reform Bill and his threat to create Whig peers to combat the Tories could only have added to his popularity. This is probably why we have had three King William IVs and some of the other names connected with him.

The King William IV(Commercial Street and Kingswell Street)

Also: The Grafton Arms

Also: The Travelling Scotsman

The King Billy It seems as far as the directories indicate it was in 1840 the Grafton Arms, becoming the Travelling Scotsman in 1845 and finally changing to the King William between 1864 and 1870, this is more fully explained under those names. This pub is still with us, changing its name a few years ago to the King Billy. In May 1994, after alterations it reopened under the pointless and silly chain name, Fitchet & Firkin. It has since changed hands and at the time of writing is once more called the King Billy. This picture was taken in August 2000 during a Hawaiian Week.

The King William IV(2 Green End, Kingsthorpe)

This one, also still extant, shares the village with his wife the Queen Adelaide. Listed as a Beer-Retailer’s in 1878 and is named in 1884.

The King William IV(Conduit Lane)

Only listed three times and only once with the name. On all occasions it is entered under Beer-Sellers or Retailers. In all three directories; 1845, and twice in 1847, the name given is Samuel Wright. Slaters 1850 gives Samuel Wright, Beer-Retailer in Bridge Street, so it looks like he'd moved.

The Knightly Arms(9 Commercial Street)

The de Knightleys used to reside at Fawsley Hall, but what, if any, this extinct noble family has with a back street pub in Northampton I have no idea. Perhaps it was one of their retired retainers who first opened it (William Sabin 1840)? It was on the south side of Commercial Street a few doors along from Bridge Street, a short distance from the King William IV.

I believe in its time trade would have been brisk. It was surrounded by streets of small terraced houses and just across the road from St. John's Street Railway Station, but the station eventually closed and then the Borough began to improve the area - by demolishing the houses and turning the land over to industry. The pub was finally sold in March 1960 for £2,000 - it was the last pub but one that the Abington Brewery Co. had left in the town and one of the few remaining free houses. Although it was bought freehold and fully licensed it was demolished and redeveloped.