J. W. & J. L. Taylor

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J W & J L Taylor, Anchor Brewery, 17 High Street, Saffron Walden, Essex.

Founded 1805.

Acquired by Reid's Brewery Co. Ltd. of London 1897 with 80 tied houses and was sold to Benskins Ltd. 1916 due to wartime difficulties.

Buildings remain.

List of J W & J L Taylor pubs

From ESSEX BREWERS - The Malting and Hop Industries of the County by Ian P Peaty 1992 now out of print ISBN 978 1 873966 02 4

George Gibson was a miller in Maldon who opened a shop in the Market Square in 1763. He lived on the corner of Myddylton Place, his wife was Ann Atkinson whose family originally came from Thorne, Yorkshire. They had a son, Atkinson Francis who married Elizabeth Wyatt in 1789 by whom he came into the possession of a brewery. He carried out refurbishments to the brewery in 1805, which necessitated the brewery closing down for six weeks. As soon as his three sons left school they too entered the brewing business, and the title of the firm was Atkinson Francis Gibson and Sons (brewers).

The business prospered so in 1824 the three sons, Wyatt George, Jabez and Francis Gibson, opened the Saffron Walden and North Essex Bank in Market Hill, with an outside partership of T.A. and N. Catlin. The latter two retired from this banking business in 1831, later to be called Gibson and Company and a forerunner of todays Barclays Bank. The Gibson family were Quakers, as were the Raven family of the Wethersfield brewery, but evidently there was no conflict with their brewing business and their religion. So far as the Gibsons were concerned, this was ameliorated when they sunk a deep bore hole in 1830 and formed the Saffron Walden Waterworks. In 1839 Gibson and Clarke were maltsters in the High Street. The range of beers varying in strength were named after the three sons, Jabez, the oldest was XXX, Wyatt George was XX and Francis X. Jabez died in 1838 and so the business was sold to W and J Taylor, but by 1848 this partnership was known as J.W and J.L. Taylor. (This was Joseph William and Joseph Lecand Taylor, sons of John Taylor, a malt factor from Bishops Stortford who died in 1827).

At the time of sale there were some seventy public houses. The Taylors sold the brewery business in 1897 to Reid's Brewery Co. Ltd. London, who a year later became an integral part of Watney, Combe, Reid & Co. Ltd. this full title being in use by 1916. At the time of sale brewing ceased, the premises being used as a regional depot for beers produced in London.

The estate of public houses had grown to 80 and clearly was the reason for purchase by Reid's Brewery Co. Ltd giving a foothold in this part of Essex for their London products. However, due to the restrictions of the first World War, the lengthy delivery of beer from London to Saffron Walden proved uneconomic, aggravated no doubt by the shortage of transport commandeered for the war effort, so Watney, Combe and Reid sold the concern on 15th December, 1919 to [[Benskins Brewery Ltd]. Watford, Herts, with a reduced tied estate of sixty-five licensed houses.

The brewery premises were used as a depot by Benskin's until 1920, when they were sold. They were used as a garage, the original front loading dock now enclosed with glass as a car showroom. The frontage was approximately 135 feet (47m) by 175 feet (59m) in depth.

Mr G.S.Gibson had also owned property to the rear and right hand side of the brewery.

An assortment of images of the brewery