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The pubs and breweries
of Barton upon Humber,
Barrow and New Holland...

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Flying Horse Inn—High Street

A view of High Street looking east, made by the Hull photographic company Parrish & Berry in 1905. On the far left can be seen the Flying Horse, with the name on the sign over the door noting the licensee Richard Sempers.

William Glover is listed in the 1835 trade directory as a beer retailer in High Street. Some years later Elizabeth Glover is listed in the 1841 census as a publican in High Street. By following the route of the census enumerator along High Street it is fairly certain that she (and therefore they) was at the ‘pub’ later known as the Flying Horse. However, Henry Elderkin is the first landlord who can be conclusively tied to the pub, and was listed as a beer-house keeper in the 1851 census in High Street, and was later recorded in a newspaper extract of October 1861 when: ‘landlord Henry Elderkin was fined 14s 6d for having a quart pitcher that was unjust’.

In August 1864, the landlady of the Flying Horse Inn – 55-years-old widow, Rachel Nicholson – was allegedly attacked by a customer. The Stamford Mercury, and Lincolnshire Chronicler newspapers both reported details of the case, and I have combined the two reports here:

‘Edward Barley, a seafaring captain, was charged with assaulting Mrs Nicholson, landlady of the Flying Horse inn, Barton. From the evidence of the prosecutrix, it appeared that defendant, along with four others, came to her house and ordered a quart of ale… ‘but before I had time to get them the beer they all came into the kitchen, and one or two of them took a plate of currants out from a pot full which I had boiling on the fire’. The defendant also broke a ‘puff and dart’ board. ‘I told them to behave themselves, when defendant said he had come to fight my son, and he then gave me a slap across the mouth, which hurt me very much, and caused blood to flow freely’. Mr Heywood and Mrs Stow were then called, who both stated that they heard a great noise, and on going out to ascertain the cause, saw complainant bleeding from the mouth and evidently much frightened. Defendant said he had been drinking pretty freely, and that was merely by accident he had struck her. The Bench thinking it a very disgraceful affair that a man could not go and order a quart of beer without conducting himself in such an improper manner, and complainant also being a widow, fined defendant £3 plus 15s 6d costs, or to be imprisoned with hard labour for one month.’ (sic)

The Flying Horse was listed by name in the 1891 census and in a later 1908 trade directory, but ceased to be listed thereafter. It was another inn that was closed with compensation under the so-called Balfour Act (see Coach & Horses).

The victualler in 1891 was Richard Sempers, a brick yard labourer, although the census makes no mention of him as a victualler or beer-house keeper, even though he was head of the household. This correlates with other references to his main occupation in the trade directories. The census of 1901 listed Mr Sempers as a ‘carrier and bus proprietor’ but again made no reference to him as a beer-house keeper etc. He was aged 69 years at the time of the census and had been born in Mablethorpe on the Lincolnshire coast. Although the census makes no note of the premises being used as a beer-house on a few occasions, this does not suggest the licence was lost. It is very unlikely that a beer-house licence was given up, as the continuity of a licence was essential. Once given up, they were extremely hard to regain.

In May 1907, when first recommended for closure and compensation, the Flying Horse was listed in the Stamford Mercury as a beer-house with an on-licence, under licensee Richard Sempers. The lessees were brewers Hewitt Brothers of Grimsby, and the registered owners of the building were the ‘Devisees of the late John Elwick Meggitt, deceased’. The pub was closed in 1908 when £500 was paid in compensation, although R Sempers remained at no.40 for some time. The licensing agreement was that the licence of the Flying Horse was given up in order for the licence of The Sloop to continue.

The Flying Horse was originally numbered 36 High Street and the property survives on the north side of High Street to the east of Finkle Lane. It is now re-numbered as no.40 and was for many years used by Gledhills jeweller’s. The building is another of Barton’s many Grade II listed buildings, although it has undergone much alteration recently, and now forms an extension of the much larger adjoining premises of Stephen’s Opticians.

Some references to the Flying Horse:

1835 — William Glover, beer retailer, High Street
1841 — Elizabeth Glover, beer retailer, High St.
1841 — Elizabeth Glover, publican, High Street, aged 70 years (census)
1851 — Henry Elderkin, beer-house keeper aged 38, High Street plus family (census)
1856 — Henry Elderkin, Flying Horse Barton (Stamford Mercury)
1861 — Henry Elderkin, beer retailer, High Street
1861 — Henry Elderkin, beer retailer and gardener 16 High Street (census)
1864 — Rachel Nicholson, Flying Horse, Barton (Stamford Mercury)
1879 — John Thompson, Flying Horse, Barton (Hull Packet)
1881 — Francis Bainbridge, beer-house keeper, High Street (census)
1882 — News reports and prosecutions of drunkenness at the Flying Horse, Barton
1882-1885 — Francis Bainbridge, beer house, 36 High Street (properties re-numbered by then)
1889 — Robert Sempers, beer retailer, High St.
1891 — Richard Sempers, 36 High Street, brick yard labourer (census)
1892-1908 — Richard Sempers, beer house, High St.
1908 — R Sempers, Flying Horse Inn, High Street

The site of the Flying Horse as it appeared in 2002, then Gledhills jewellery shop.

1 Waggon & Horses
2 Coach & Horses
3 Red Lion
4 Flying Horse

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