Britannia Music Hall, 38 Fleet Street
|These premises have been known by different names during their history:||FROM||TO||NAME|
|1574||1851||RAM INN, RAMME, RAM HOUSE INN|
|1866||1866||WINE & SPIRIT VAULTS|
|1868||1871||BRITANNIA MUSIC HALL|
|1874||?||BRITANNIA THEATRE OF VARIETIES|
|Britannia was the Roman name for Britain. The first mention of the symbolic female figure occurs in Samuel Pepys's diaries and refers to a medal struck in 1665. Many pubs refer in some way to a ship named Britannia. The Royal Navy has been using the name since 1682.
The building had become a Co-Op stores by 1896 (see photo on the left).
There are references to this pub in 1574 and 1630 as the RAM in records held by the Coventry Records Office. It is leased in 1610, 1618 and 1634 by Coventry Corporation, who owned it at the time. In 1770 and 1800 the pub is still there but by 1808 and 1834 the Ram Society, a Friendly Society, was meeting in other pubs.
On the 1851 Health Map it is shown as the ROYAL EXCHANGE, which appears to have been a Music Hall as well as a pub!
In 1841 see the BEERHOUSE, Smithford Street (Dalton).
In 1851 the Coventry Standard notes the change of name fron the RAM to the ROYAL EXCHANGE and later in the year the same paper says that Mr Miller opened a Music Hall at the inn and changed the name.
In 1866 the ROYAL EXCHANGE, previously the RAM, was demolished and re-opened as the WINE AND SPIRIT VAULTS.
In the 1871 census, James Eaves (licensed victualler), aged 42, lived at the Britannia music Hall, 38 Fleet Street. In August that year he had an application for a "Theatrical License" refused, on the grounds that it might "open the door for applications from other houses"!
By 1874 this had become the Britannia Theatre of Varieties whilst the licensed premises became known as the BRITANNIA VAULTS.
At various times, this section of street has been known as either Fleet Street or Smithford Street, depending upon whether the numbering began and ended at Ram Bridge, or the junction with West Orchard.|
LICENSEES:1866 - 1879 James Eaves
Street plan of 1851