Fishponds Local History Society

Publications by FLHS members


The original George's brewery ... before George's

A 1777 conveyance of brewery premises in Tucker Street, St.Thomas's, Bristol

Paul Johnson

George's Brewery (The Bristol Brewery George's & Co Ltd) was Bristol's premier brewer until it was taken over by Courage's in 1961. It began in 1788 when Philip George, the son of a distiller of Baldwin Street, and his partners bought two brewing premises, in Bath Street (on the opposite side of the river from Castle Park) and Tucker Street, St.Thomas's. The Bath Street brewery, which only ceased brewing in 1999, was known as Rickett's Porter Brewery, while Tucker Street became The Philip George Bristol Brewery. The two were almagamated in 1816.

Philip George bought the Tucker Street brewery from James Grimes, who had purchased the premises from John Willes, his wife Frances and their son John Freke Willes 11 years earlier, on 13 October 1777.

The document illustrated here is the indenture of sale of the premises from the Willeses to Mr Grimes. My first pass at transliterating it is given below (words I am uncertain about are in red).

Click on the images for larger illustrations (c.850K).





This Indenture made this thirteenth day of October in the year of our Lord one Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy seven and in the Seventeenth year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Third by the Grace of God of Great Britain France and Ireland King Defender of the Faith and so forth Between John Willes of Astrop in the County of Northampton Esquire and Frances his  wife only Sister and Heir at Law of Thomas Langton Freke heretofore of the City of Bristol Esquire deceased who in his lifetime and at the time of his decease was a Lunatic and John Joseph Freke Willes Eldest Son and Heir Apparent of him the said John Willes and also of the said Frances his wife of the one part and James Grimes of the City of Bristol Brewer of the other part  Witness that for and in consideration of the sum of five shillings a piece of Good and lawful money of Great Britain to them the said John Willes and Frances his wife and John Joseph Freke Willes in hand well and truly paid by the  said James Grimes at or before the sealing and delivery of these presents the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged They the  said John Willes and Frances his wife and John Joseph Freke Willes Have and each of them Hath bargained and sold and by these presents do and each of them doth bargain and sell unto the said James Grimes All that one undivided part or share out of Eight of and in all that heretofore Sugar House with Five Several messuages or tenements thereunto belonging with the appurtenances situate in or near Tucker Street in the parish of St. Thomas in the City of Bristol heretofore purchased of Lydia Wiliams Widow and also of and in Two Old messuages or tenements situate in Tucker Street aforesaid and a cellar lying behind the said Two Old messuages and several Rooms or Chambers lying near the said cellar  heretofore purchased of and from John Rayner Paper Merchant all which or the greatest part thereof have been pulled down and Destroyed and in the Room thereof of Erected and Built a Malthouse Brewhouse Distill House And a Messuage Tenement or Dwellinghouse with proper Warehouses Outhouses and other Conveniences for Carrying on the Arts Mysterys or Businesses of Maltmaking Brewing and Distilling and also all other the Messuages or Tenements and Hereditements whatsoever with the appurtenances by Ezekiel Longman and others purchased of and from the said Lydia Williams and John Rayner and either of them and also of all that heretofore Messuage or Tenement and Garden thereto adjoining and belonging formerly a Garden or void Ground situate In Tucker Street aforesaid heretofore in the tenure of Thomas Ballard Grocer since of Daniel Jones deceased bounded with the Law Ditch there on or towards the west side with a Garden sometime since belonging to the Sugar House towards the East side and extending from a Tenement and Backside sometime since in the Tenure of John James Turner deceased after that of the said John Rayner on or towards the South side and to the River Avon backwards or toward the North side AND also of all Cellars Sollars Chambers Lofts Rooms Buildings Courts Pavements Outletts Easements Wells Lights Ways Waters  Commodities Profitts Emoluments Liberties Priviledges and Appurtenances whatsoever to the said premises every or any part or parcell thereof belonging or in any wise appertaining or therewith held used Occupyed or enjoyed or reputed deemed or taken as part parcel or member thereof or of any part thereof All which premises were heretofore and are now in the Occupation of the said James Grimes and the Reversion and Reversions Remainder and Remainders Rents and Services of the same premises and of every part and parcell thereof To have and to hold All and Singular the aforesaid premises hereby Bargained and Sold or intended so to be and every part and parcel thereof with the Appurtenances unto the said James Grimes his Executors Administrators and assigns from the Day next before the Day of the Date hereof for and during and unto the full end and term of one whole year from thence next ensuing and fully to be compleat and ended yielding and paying therefore the rent of one peppercorn on the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel next ensuing the date  hereof (if the same shall be lawfully demanded) Which bargain and sale hereby made is so made to this only Intent and purpose  That by virtue hereof and by Force of the Statute made for Transferring of Uses into possession If the said James Grimes may be in the Actual possession of all and singular the aforesaid premises herein before particularly mentioned and hereby Bargained and Sold or intended so to be and every part and parcel thereof with the appurtenances And maybe thereby enabled to accept and take a Grant and Release of the Reversion and Inheritance of all and singular the aforesaid premises to him the said James Grimes and his Heirs In Witness to hereof the partys first above named have hereunto set their Hands and Seals the Day and Year first above written.

John Willes       Frances Willes       John Freke Willes

Back to Bristol Past

Website produced by Paul Johnson . Last updated 17 March 2007 .