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Bedfordshire - Victuallers' Licences

Details of the location of Victuallers' Licences can be found in the book "VICTUALLERS' LICENCES - Records for Family and Local Historians" by Jeremey Gibson and Judith Hunter, published by the Federation of Family History Societies, ISBN 1 86006 048 X. This book contains details and descriptions of all records held for the Victuallers' Licences. Extracted below are specific references for Bedfordshire.

Areas covered are the Boroughs which were their own licensing authority: Bedford and Luton. Licensing Districts that were set up in 1829 were Ampthill, Bletose (which, in 1871, was renamed Sharnbrrok), Bedford County, Bedford Borough, Biggleswade, Woburn (in 1953 this was amalgamated with Leighton Buzzard), Leighton Buzzard (formed in 1854 not 1829), Luton (the Borough of Luton became a separate division from 1876), Dunstable (established in 1864).

National records

Letters Patent (1554-71): Dunstable.
Vintners'fines (1569-72): Dunstable.
Victuallers'(Lenten) Recognizances (1572-1634).
Raleigh Wine Licences (1582-5, 1593-4, 1595-6, 1600-1).
Mompesson Licences (1620): Ampthill, Eaton Socon, Elstow, Henlow, Leighton Buzzard, Milton Ernest, Potton, Shefford, Southill, Westoning..
Coventry Wine Licences (1626-1639): Ampthill, Bedford, biggleswade, Blunham, Caldicott, Dunstable, Hockliffe, Leighton Buzzard, Salford, Woburn.
Wine Licences. Pipe Office (1670-1756).

Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service (BLARS), Bedford.

1552-1828: Inns and Alehouses

Quarter Sessions records

Recognizances 1726-1793, county and some for Bedford Borough, a few only, see Quarter Session index.
Victuallers' registers 1833-29, indexed by parish.

1828 on: Inns, Public Houses and Beer Shops

Quarter Sessions records

Sessions Rolls and Order Book, occasional references as a court of appeal for licences refused at Petty Sessions.

Other country records

County Licensing Committee minutes 1873-1956; Compensation ledgers 1905-66; County licensing in-letter files 1905-21: County licensing out-letter books 1905-53; Licensing Committee papers and reports 1905-67.

Petty Sessions records

Petty Sessions minute books (not checked for licensing records); Ampthill 1834-1923; Bedford Borough 1840-71; Bedford (county) 1829-66, includes a list of alehouses, 1938-48; Dunstable 1865-1905; Leighton Buzzard 1854-1953; Luton 1866-1929; Bletsoe (subsequently Sharnbrook) 1832-1949; Woburn 1838-1953.
Minutes of Special Sessions, including alehouses: Biggleswade 1871-1903.
Minutes of Licensing Committee: Sharnbrook 1913-37.
Alehouse licence registers: Ampthill 1880-1959; Bedford (county) 1903-35; Biggleswade 1872-1980; with gaps, Dunstable (county) 1874-79, 1887, 1889; Dunstable Borough 1906-54; Leighton Buzzard 1934-49; Luton 1873-1964, excluding the borough after 1876; Luton Borough 1929-31; Sharnbrook c. 1901-30; Woburn 1868-1953; North Bedfordshire including Bedford Borough 1976-80.

Other records

Bedford Borough Police returns of fully licensed premises c. 1872-1906 (photocopy)
Register of beer licences and for licensed houses c. 1890-c.1946 (Microfiche 79).
Fire Service records include applications for Public House licencnes and music and dancing records 1960s-80s [closed].

Other licences

Luton Borough, registrations of music and dancing 1897-1931; also see the above Fire Service records.

Bedford Borough council, Town Hall, Bedford.

1552-1828: Inns and Alehouses

Borough records

Bedford Quarter Sessions minutes 1586-1605, 1649-51, 1771-1828.
Bedford alehouse recognizances 1752, 1759, 1761.


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