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by Joan Beard. 1998

Looking into my husband’s family history, I discovered that his great grandfather kept the Brick and Tile Public House, and have set out the following details that I have found so far:

The Squire Harrison of Copford owned the Brick and Tile, Eight Ashes Green in the Parish of Copford as it was then. From the Award of Thithes for the Parish of Copford, dated 1838, the copyhold (similar I believe to Leasehold today), a Mr. Davey was the owner, but the Tenant was Robert Smith. In 1841 he was living there with his wife and first child (they went on to have a further eight children). bt_mod.jpg (45200 bytes)

On the 14th April 1845, Robert Smith was assigned by William Davey the parcel of a tenement formerly known as the Heaths near the Eight Ashes Green, and now called the Brick and Tile on the 7th of December 1843. He was accepted by the Court on the payment of a fine of 30. It is not known how much was paid to William Davey, the original Copyholder.

As a property owner, Robert was obliged to attend the Manorial Court when it was sitting at Copford. It was a duty he frequently avoided and was then fined sixpence for non attendance.

Robert died on 30th December 1869, and his wife continued to carry on as the Innkeeper. There is a proclamation of Robert’s death, and acceptance of his wife continuing in the property. His widow died on 1st March 1889 at the age of 73. Some years ago, an elderly relative in her 80’s recalled visiting her grandfather (Robert) there, and told us they made the beer in the sheds at the back of the Brick and Tile.

In the August, Douglas Smith notified them that his mother, Mrs. Ann Mary Smith had died, and he was accepted as the copyholder for a fee of 30. The property was put up for Auction by Sexton & Grimwade at the Cups Hotel, Colchester (which was in the High street at that time, adjacent to the Town Hall), on Wednesday 19th June 1889.

The property stood for a long time at 1,050.00 and just as the hammer fell, knocking the property down to a purchaser, there was another bid of 1,100.00 the original purchaser protested that it was unfair, but was overruled, and eventually it was knocked down to the original purchaser at the sum of 1,425.00 on behalf of Messrs. Beard and Bright of Coggeshall.

On the 19th October 1889 he paid the Lord of the Manor the sum of 118.5s.0d.,and was released from the Copyhold, the property now in the occupation of Robert Smith (son of the earlier Robert), I assume that he was an employee of Beard and Bright of Coggeshall who I believe, were brewers.

My husband Dennis Beard is a great grandson of Robert and Ann Mary Smith, and lives only a few yards from the Brick and Tile. I believe that Robert Junior vacated the property in 1920 Mr. & Mrs. S. Herbert took possession of the tenancy, Mrs. Herbert was my Great Aunt!


Short Measured!

by a local resident. 1999.

In June 1754, Weights and Measures caught the landlord of the Brick and Tile red-handed cheating his customers after three half quarts of ale were served in three quart mugs.

Either the official, incognito, ordered 3 half quarts of ale and was served them in 3 quart mugs which when subsequently measured turned out to be deficient, or even worse for a drinking man, ordered 3 quart mugs and received them half full. Whether the licensee lost his license, was fined, or just reprimanded is unknown.

This is the earliest reference to the Brick & Tile that I know of, but means that the present pub built in the first half of the 19th century was preceded by another inn or tavern of the same name which was probably situated on the same site.

Following legislation in the 1760's all licensees were required to register their businesses annually and were listed in the "Calendar of All the Alehouse Recognizances for the County of Essex". The first to do so in 1769 was one with the curiously sounding name of Howell Powell  and the inn or tavern was spelt Brick & Tyle. One or two people had to stand surety, assuming responsibility for the good conduct of the licensee and were held responsible for any wrong doings. From that date until the building of the present pub, licensees were recorded in this annual Calendar serving ale in the Brick & Tile, probably on the same site as today - and had possibly done so for centuries past.

Long may the tradition Continue!


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Last updated:  10 January 2002 19:27:24