Ben Johnson, 18 New Street
|These premises have been known by different names during their history:||FROM||TO||NAME|
|BEN JOHNSON'S HEAD|
|O' RARE BEN JOHNSON|
Benjamin Johnson (1572 - 1637) was a poet and a playwright and a friend of all the great writers of his day, including Shakespeare, and a considerable influence on younger writers who formed the 'Tribe of Ben'. At one time the St. Michael's bell ringers 10 pint glass, which rang the note of A Sharp, was kept here until being removed to the CHEQUERS in Little Park Street. It must have been quite a sight!
In 1789 the pub was used for auctions. In 1828, 1831 and 1862 the pub is recorded as being owned by the Free Grammar School. In 1842 it is recorded that the 37 year lease to William Bray had expired and in 1862 three houses, including the Ben Johnson, were leased to Mrs. Ann Rotherham for fourteen years for £30 per annum.
From 1882 the pub is listed in Phillips and Marriotts Property Register, valued at £500, yet in 1895 we also have a record that it was sold by William Brain to Phillips and Marriott along with the Crow in the Oak, Lockhurst Lane, the Tramway, Silver Street and the Chase Gosford Street. It was a home-brew pub until 1920 with Phillips and Marriott selling malt to the pub at a discount of 3d per bushel. In 1899 they valued it at £1,000.|
LICENSEES:1822 - 1823 W. Bray 1835 - 1851 Arthur Bray 1861 John Blount 1868 James Marriott 1871 Robert Causer 1879 - 1886 Samuel Beauchamp 1890 - 1891 William Wilcox 1893 J. Baker 1894 H. J. Crump 1894 - 1924 Joseph James Bickley 1926 - 1936 D. M. Sproul (Thanks to Martina Thom for info) 1937 - 1940 H. Heath
OWNERS:1831 - 1862 Free Grammar School 1895 William Brain 1895 Phillips and Marriott to 1877 Joseph Woodward 1877 - 1887 Samuel Beauchamp 1887 - 1920 Joseph Bickley
Street plan of 1851