The Shamrock

Oliver claimed by his affectionate friends – George Cruikshank

Since at least 1842, William LAMB of Derby, had been recorded as a bricklayer.  However in the 1871 census, he was recorded living at 59 & 60 Goodwin St “The Shamrock” and his profession was given as Bricklayer & Publican. It was common for innkeepers to have secondary jobs but it was the first mention of this family being involved with running a pub.  Goodwin Street was located within the ‘slums of Derby’ which were later cleared in the 1930s. My initial search for this pub proved fruitless but over the years, I’ve managed to glean a little more information about this ‘phantom’ pub.

The 1871 census entry for ‘The Shamrock’ and the Lamb family

In 1872, an inquest was held ‘upon the body of Rebecca Lamb, aged 51 years, wife of William Henry Lamb, landlord of “The Shamrock” beerhouse, Goodwin-street, who died on the previous day [17th April]” and the findings published in The Derby Mercury.

Rebecca Lamb’s Inquest in The Derby Mercury (24 April 1872, p5 col4)

In 1873, William Lamb of The Shamrock was among a number of ‘persons who had been called before the Bench to prove that their premises, if used for other than public-houses, would be rented at not less than 15 [pounds] a year” and received a renewal of their license.

The Derby Mercury, 27 August 1873, p2 col1

These two newspaper clippings together tell me that The Shamrock was actually a licensed beerhouse.  According to HistoryHouse.co.uk, beerhouses were “Premises which could sell only beer”.

The opening hours could be from 4am to 10pm. For a small fee of 2 guineas payable to the local excise officer, anyone could brew and sell beer. The excise licence would state whether the beer could be consumed on the premises (beerhouse) or as off-sales only (beershop).  [HistoryHouse.co.uk]

An 1874 directory also lists The Shamrock as a beerhouse:

Wright’s South Derbyshire Directory of 1874, p68

Whereas in 1878, another directory lists it as the ‘Shamrock Inn’:

Wilkins & Ellis New Borough of Derby, 1878

 

The Shamrock is also recorded twice in The Illustrated History of Derby’s Pubs by Maxwell Craven which I located when visiting Derby Central Library.  The first instance notes that it was almost certainly…

‘…named to encourage the colony of Irish families who in the early and mid-19th century lived (in some squalor, unfortunately) in this area, mainly in ‘Rookeries’ – grandish old houses split up by unscrupulous landlords. First recorded by name in 1874, but to be identified with the anonymous beerhouse listed at this address in 1857 and 1862.  The name quite probably migrated with a landlord from King Street.  Closed in 1908 after pressure from Mrs Boden and the Derby  Temperance Association.’ pp. 135-6

[NB: “First recorded by name in 1874” – does this refer to the 1874 directory entry or more official records?]

The second instance suggests it was a separate establishment located at 34 King Street from at least 1850 to 1852:

“Possibly later renamed the Mechanics’ Arms; it seems not unlikely that the landlord took the name with him to Goodwin Street, first recorded by name only a few years later.” p. 136

Although the Lambs are recorded at the same address in the 1861 census, there is no mention of the Shamrock or any publican profession.  The King Street incarnation of the Mechanics’ Arms appears in newspapers in 1862 under landlady Emily Bates [was she the Shamrock’s original landlord?]It’s still possible that The Shamrock was operating but not recorded at the time of the 1861 census and that William Lamb was the landlord who took the name from King to Goodwin Street.  As yet, there is no evidence that the Lamb family ever lived on King Street so we may never know.

Goodwin Street during demolition in the 1930s

 

 

Book ’em, Danno

Thomas PALMER was a book seller and book binder.  I know this because of census entries, parish records and marriage certificates.

Thomas was listed as a ‘Bookseller’ on his son’s marriage certificate (1848)

The first indication of his profession was his son George Wright PALMER’s marriage certificate, where Thomas’ profession was listed as ‘Bookseller’.  George had given his place of birth as Portsea, Hampshire on the 1861 census which allowed me to locate his father Thomas in Hampshire on the 1851 and 1861 censuses despite George not being in the home (more about the 1841 later).  Like any keen family historian, I wanted to know exactly where this family lived.

Thomas was listed as ‘Bookseller’ on South Street, Gosport (1851 census)
Thomas was listed as ‘Bookseller & Binder’ on South Street (1861 census)

The censuses gave me South Street (no.53) as an address but where on South Street?   House numbering has not been consistent over time and I knew from comparing historical and modern maps that South Street, Gosport is a lot longer today than in the 1800s.  I turned to trade directories to assist me.

Kelly’s Directory of Hampshire 1867, p538

Thomas didn’t appear on the 1871 census but he DID appear in the 1867 ‘Kelly’s Directory of Hampshire’ as a secondhand bookseller in Upper South street, Gosport.  This would’ve narrowed it down a bit except I had no idea which end of the street was upper?

Post Office Directory of Hampshire, Wiltshire & Dorsetshire, 1855, p58

The 1855 ‘Post Office Directory of Hampshire, Wiltshire & Dorsetshire’ specified number 53 Upper South Street (as did the 1861 census) but I recall the street numbers of the past may not necessarily be in the same location as street numbers today.

Directory of Hampshire & the Isle of Wight, 1859, p351

However, the 1859 ‘Directory of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight’ listed Thomas at 61 South street.

There were no other appropriate directories on the Historical Directories site for me to search.  Thomas does not appear in the 1828 or 1844 Pigot’s directories of Hampshire, nor have I found him yet in the 1841 census.

So, the address list compiled so far is as follows:

  • 1851 – South street
  • 1855 – 53 Upper South street
  • 1859 – 61 South street
  • 1861 – 53 South street
  • 1867 – Upper South street

Next Steps:

  • view parish marriage record for Thomas & Ruth
  • find Thomas on the 1841 census
  • order Thomas’ death certificate