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Godiva, 56 Smithford Street

These premises have been known by different names during their history:FROMTONAME
Lord Nelson Inn Lady Godiva was the wife of Leofric, Earl of Mercia, in the eleventh century. The story goes that Leofric was being severe on his tenants, which distressed his wife. She asked him to remove his impositions and he agreed to do so - on condition that she ride naked through the streets of the city. She duly did so and Leofric kept his word. The LORD NELSON is thought to date from c1800 and Lord Nelson visited Coventry in 1802 staying at the KINGS HEAD HOTEL. In 1801 JCM records the name ADMIRAL NELSON. By 1822 it was the LORD NELSON, but according to an advertisement in the CH&O in 1846 it was referred to as the NELSON TAVERN and by 1868 the name had changed to the LADY GODIVA. Between 1871 and 1879 it was the GODIVA VAULTS and then from 1881 until 1891 simply the GODIVA. From 1892 it was leased by Phillips and Marriott for 21 years at £95 per annum, from J. Laxon, 2 Bath Terrace, Holyhead Road, Coventry. In 1903 Phillips and Marriott record that the cellar was taken away and they were allowed £5 per annum off their rent for this. Finally in 1912, it became the EMPIRE VAULTS. It looks likely that the pub took this name from the Empire Palace of Varieties which was on the opposite side of Smithford Street. In 1928 the license was removed to the MAUDSLEY HOTEL. The ROBIN HOOD, Cox Street, was closed in consideration of this license removal.


LICENSEES: (to be confirmed) 1822 - 1823 J. Stowe 1828 - 1829 William Johnson 1835 - 1841 Samuel Pearson 1845 Mrs Elizabeth Pearson 1850 - 1851 John Lydiatt 1861 William Kirkpatrick 1868 Joseph Barker, Bond Street 1868 - 1871 Abraham Jennings 1879 Charles Alexander, Smithford Street 1881 B. Lazenby (G. Lazenby) 1886 George Small 1890 - 1891 W. Taylor 1893 J. Padgett 1894 H. Bowkett 1896 William J. Jarrard 1896 - 1902 William 'Smiler' Raven 1902 - 1903 Harry Parkes 1903 C. H. Parkes 1904 - 1905 Thomas George Porter 1906 - 1908 James Betts 1908 Thomas Stone 1909 - 1912 Thomas Phipps 1912 - 1922 Alfred Hurst 1922 - 1924 John Leeson 1926 - 1929 W. E. Morley


1892 - 1913 J. Laxon, 2 Bath Terrace, Holyhead Road, Coventry 1913 Phillips and Marriotts
Street plan of 1851
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