Difference between revisions of "Burfield & Co"

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(Replaced content with "<big>'''J C Burfield & Co''', ''Phoenix Brewery, Courthouse Street, Hastings, East Sussex.''</big> Acquired by Smith & Co.(Lamberhurst) Ltd with about 20 houses in 1...")
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Acquired by [[Smith & Co.(Lamberhurst) Ltd]] with about 20 houses in 1908.
 
Acquired by [[Smith & Co.(Lamberhurst) Ltd]] with about 20 houses in 1908.
  
'''This building on the corner of The Bourne and Post Office Lane, and the adjacent yard, probably mark the rear entrance of Burfield's brewery (and Mills' Eagle brewery?). It is shown in use by Watney South / Phoenix (Brighton) brewery.'''
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''This building on the corner of The Bourne and Post Office Lane, and the adjacent yard, probably mark the rear entrance of Burfield's brewery (and Mills' Eagle brewery?). It is shown in use by Watney South / Phoenix (Brighton) brewery.''
  
 
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'''THE PHOENIX BREWERY by Tony Hyde'''
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* '''[[THE PHOENIX BREWERY by Tony Hyde]]'''
 
 
'''Introduction'''
 
 
 
The entrance to the Phoenix Brewery was in Courthouse Street and its buildings ran in a southerly direction towards Post Office Lane. When street numbering was introduced it was Nos. 8 & 10. The front building with central archway still exists now converted to flats; houses have been built behind, approached from Bourne Street through what may have been the entrance to the back of the brewery.
 
 
 
When the brothers’ partnership ended in 1809, James either had a brewery, or he very soon afterwards acquired one. In a Chancery case deposition, Stephen Gower, a carter employed by James, says:- “ about a month before Christmas in the year 1810, [my] wagon being loaded with ten hogsheads of Bear to be taken to Bexhill, the said Thomas James Breeds being at his Brewhouse came and told this deponent...”. At this time Joseph Reeves was the brewery foreman and James Fermor the clerk.
 
 
 
So by 1810 James had a brewery, most probably the Phoenix. When that name was first used is not known. In 1812 he purchased the Bell at Bexhill. The next reference to James’ brewery is in Mr Brett’s history were it is reported that on 5th October 1822 an employee named Carpenter fell from the top of the building and was badly hurt. By the 1823 edition of Pigot’s Directory, James is listed under Brewers as:- “Breeds James & Co      Fishmarket”.
 
 
 
Similar entries appear in Pigot up to and including 1834. His office was in a counting-house/warehouse on the Stade by the fishmarket. The building was to become the Queen’s Head Hotel.
 
 
 
James had four daughters but no son. His eldest daughter Elizabeth married, on 1st May 1809, Charles Burfield of Hastings. Charles was a merchant like his father-in-law and they formed partnerships in Hastings and London. The two oldest children of the marriage became partners in the Brewery in 1833. They were Thomas James Breeds Burfield and Charles Burfield the Younger. They each purchased one eighth part of the stock and effects (from the total value of £1,551-15-6) and in return were to earn one eighth of the profit. They were not obliged to take an active part in the business, but did so.
 
 
 
Reference is made to the rents and taxes paid for the brewery premises so it seems that at that time James did not own the freehold. The document also refers to “some other person or persons” who were “without any articles in writing...covenants or agreements” involved with James in the business. These were almost certainly his clerk and/or senior brewer. These were vital appointments that frequently included a share in a business. The eighth shares were eighths of the whole; James being left with six eighths minus the share of profit due to other persons. In the 1836 voting rolls the following involved with the brewery are listed:-
 
 
 
*John Prior junior Brewer
 
*William Love Brewer
 
*Edward Fermor Brewer
 
*John Prior Brewer
 
 
 
In 1837 James and son-in-law Charles were bankrupt. He did not loose the Brewery, presumably because he did not own the freehold, and in Pigot’s Directory of 1839 the listing is as follows:- ''“Brewers...Burfield James & Charles (& porter merchants), Fishmarket”.''
 
 
 
James appears to have handed over control of the Brewery to his grandsons. He died in 1845. As a result of his bankruptcy he lost several inns. His grandchildren had to rebuild the Phoenix estate.
 
 
 
In the 1840s and 1850s James and Charles Jnr had offices at No 1 George Street and at No 1 York Place. Their younger brother Thomas was a Wine, Spirit and Bottled Beer Merchant who had premises at No 2 George Street and shared No 1 York Place. In Pike’s directory of 1890 and Kelly’s of 1898 only the George Street office is listed, though elsewhere from 1882 until 1902 an office is shown at No 21 Wellington Place. Like many Hastings firms they tried to keep an office in the “New Town” area as well as in the Old Town. But from 1902 to 1908 the only office was at No 46 High Street in Old Town.
 
 
 
I have not researched the Burfield family in the second half of the 19th Century, but James and Charles were probably succeeded by Herbert Burfield (brewer) who died in November 1911.
 
 
 
The period was not without event. On 14th September 1868 fire destroyed Mills & Sons’ Eagle Brewery. (This had been established in Courthouse Street next to the Phoenix by a partnership of Fermor and Amoore prior to 1839.) The fire spread to the Phoenix and caused some damage. In the October Brewers Journal the cost of restoration to the Phoenix was estimated at £200. For the Eagle the estimate was £2,000.
 
 
 
On the 29th July 1883 a fire in the malt room on the upper floor of the Phoenix destroyed the milling machinery and the stock of malt. Fortunately the chief part of the brewing plant was saved.
 
 
 
In 1908 the business was acquired by [[Smith & Co.(Lamberhurst) Ltd]]. This had been registered in 1899 and had been trading as Smith & Simpson from before 1839. Brewing soon ceased, the Courthouse Street buildings becoming a store. The office at No 46 High Street was retained until 1911. For one more year the brewery is listed in Pike’s directory but after 1912 there is no mention.
 
 
 
In that year Herbert Burfield’s widow, Jessie Hall Burfield sold the Eagle Inn No 9 Bourne Street, as his executrice. This suggests that it had been part of the Phoenix estate. But how many houses the Phoenix had during its existence or in 1908 is not known.
 
 
 
However, the following were part of its estate at some time:-
 
 
 
'''The Bell, Bexhill'''
 
 
 
This was purchased by James in 1812 for £3,700. At that time it was described as “lately considerably enlarged with stables other buildings garden and appurtenances with brewhouse and land at Bellyhill beside the Theatre”. After his bankruptcy, it was bought by Mr William Eldridge, by then owner of the Crown Brewery, St Leonards. In 1858 it was sold again, with the Crown Brewery and five other licensed properties, as a separate lot.
 
 
 
'''The Queen’s Head, Fishmarket'''
 
 
 
Previously James’ office it was known as the Queen’s Head by 1830. James was then allowed to make openings in the Stade for the purpose of getting casks into the cellar. He was ordered to make strong covers and charged 2/- a year rent by the corporation. He was also allowed to make a drain into the stonebeach for which 1/- was paid and he had to ensure that it did not become a nuisance! The first licensee was John Tree he was still there in 1839. The Inn was popular with visitors and conveniently situated for the labourers unloading vessels on the Stade. James lost it as a result of his bankruptcy, and it became part of the estate of the Crown Brewery, St Leonards. It was Lot 8 in the sale of 1858. Later it became the Queen’s Head Hotel. It closed in 1913.
 
 
 
'''The London Trader, East Beach Street'''
 
 
 
This was a Beerhouse. It is not recorded until about 1870. In a photograph from the 1880s it is advertised as belonging to J. & C. Burfield & Co. During the early part of this century a well known Hastings character and ex-fisherman Mr Tiny Breeds was for years the landlord and he was followed there by his widow. The inn is still trading today.
 
 
 
'''The BoPeep'''
 
 
 
This was on the coast in an isolated position where in the late 1820s St Leonards town centre was built. In 1794, it was recommended in the Town Guide for its tea and cream. It was first licensed in 1801 as the New England Bank but was later renamed by a new landlord Richard Ockenden. The 1803 notice of sale described it as “capable of great improvement , pleasantly and desirably situated near the sea”. It was quite close to the Martello Tower built in about 1805; John Keats is reported to have stayed there in 1817. That it belonged to James is deduced from the 1836 voting role where William Payne (employed by James) is shown as Landlord. It was removed in 1844 to make room for the West Marina railway station.
 
 
 
'''King’s Head, Courthouse Street'''
 
 
 
This very ancient inn at the corner of Bourne Road, between the two family breweries, was a Phoenix house in the second half of the 19th century. It appears in a photograph of about 1880, in the museum collection, with the name Burfield & Co. It was acquired by the Hastings Brewery before 1897; how long it was in the hands of the Phoenix is not known. However, in 1837 a coachman William Smith who had been for many years driving James’ Paragon coach to London, took the inn and held his opening dinner that April.
 
 
 
'''Unnamed'''
 
 
 
The following is an extract from The Iris of April 1831. ''“.. Messrs James Breeds & Co Hastings make an advantageous offer to innkeepers spirit merchants and others..to let on lease..a valuable business in the Public line together with coach house and stables. Situated in Hastings now in full trade and to which is attached several public societies, which are held weekly monthly and quarterly; also a market dinner every Saturday....situated in a very dense population..”'' But to which inn this refers I do not know.
 
 
 
'''Johns Cross, Mountfield'''
 
 
 
Sold by James to Tilden Smith before 27th March 1829. Mentioned in an agreement of that date, in which it is stated that James will provide beer, at an agreed discount.
 
 
 
'''The Harrow'''
 
  
James owned this inn at Baldslow by 1826 when he mortgaged it. It was forfeited to the mortgagees just after his death and in 1850 sold to Mr William Aldridge. It was not in the 1858 sale. It was part of the Hastings Brewery estate by 1897.
 
  
 
[[Category:East Sussex]]
 
[[Category:East Sussex]]

Revision as of 10:41, 22 September 2020

J C Burfield & Co, Phoenix Brewery, Courthouse Street, Hastings, East Sussex.

Acquired by Smith & Co.(Lamberhurst) Ltd with about 20 houses in 1908.


This building on the corner of The Bourne and Post Office Lane, and the adjacent yard, probably mark the rear entrance of Burfield's brewery (and Mills' Eagle brewery?). It is shown in use by Watney South / Phoenix (Brighton) brewery.