Old Pubs of the Potteries


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The Old King and Queen Inn, Sneyd Street
to.. a private house

the 1851 census lists 91 households at Sneyd Green in the Lordship of Abbey Hulton with a total population of 467.

Most of these cottages were located between the Bulls Head on the western boundary of the lordship and the farmhouse occupied by the Heath family east of the Old King and Queen Inn. There was another group of cottages at the cross roads of the Hanley Road and Sneyd Street. Estate and ordnance survey maps show that they were constructed in a very irregular manner usually in rows of three or four cottages on patches of waste land by the road side.

Andrew Dobraszczyc's notes

This row of old cottages and an old pub illustrate this.......



 

map showing the the Old King and Queen Inn on Sneyd Street

map showing the Old King and Queen Inn on Sneyd Street
from an 1851 Burslem drains map
 

the Old King and Queen Inn in 2009
the Old King and Queen Inn in 2009
 

the Old King and Queen Inn in 1892
the Old King and Queen Inn in 1892
- the bull baiting ring can be seen fastened in the ground in front - 

photo: the Warrillow collection
 

The first landlord of the Old King and Queen Inn for whom we have any details was Robert Edge who was the tenant between 1818, when he is listed in a trade directory, and 1830 when he appears in a survey of the Sneyd estate.
His successor was William Barlow whose son, John, had taken over by 1851.

A photo of the Old King and Queen shows a bull baiting ring set in the floor in front of the inn.

Ralph Wood Type Bull & English Pit Bull Terrier
Ralph Wood Type Bull & English Pit Bull Terrier

"The baiting of bulls with dogs specially bred for their courage, viciousness and tenacity was already many centuries old when this group was produced and virtually every village in the land had its bull ring where large crowds would gather and lay wagers on the outcome, indeed, it was something of a national sport from the Middle Ages right up to the 18th century. It is thought that the sport had its origins in practicalities of the butchers trade, bulls being far too large, wary and dangerous to be led by the nose to slaughter and needing to be subdued first, and besides, it was said that the baiting tenderized the flesh making it more appealing and therefore valuable to customers.

The pit bull or bulldog was certainly bred for this specific purpose and were known actually known as 'butcher dogges'. In the court roll of the manor of Barnard Castle it is stated that 'no butcher shall kill any bull two years old upwards, unless he first be brought to the ring and sufficiently halted'. It seems that it was actually necessary for butchers, both practically and under law to practise bull baiting.

The object was not to kill the bull but to 'pin and hold' which means to grab the bull by the most sensitive part of its body, the nose, and by doing so, render it helpless. The bull would then be safely butchered by the men. In this group the bulldog is shown 'playing low', a stance the bulldogs were trained to adopt as a defensive measure against the bulls horns. He is also attempting to go for the bulls nose, teeth bared, but the bull looks like he might have the measure of him.

By the end of the 18th century the social movement toward animal rights had begun. Parliamentary debate raged over an anti-bull-baiting bill in 1800 and 1802 but was thrown out. Bull baiting was not banned outright until 1837. Given the context of social movement toward reform and the leading Staffordshire potters well known humanitarian bent, this figure group would seem to be not merely a celebration of the sport but also a valid critique of it."

 

Jeff Hatt

 

 

 



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