By Ron Dale
Joseph Bigg, a Stanstead Abbotts man, bought the Hatfield Brewery in 1815 at which
time its only outlet in Stanstead Abbotts was a pub named The Three Wheatsheaves.
By 1819 he was bankrupted and the brewery was sold to Joseph Field, at which time
it owned 31 full licences and 8 beer-
Another Hertfordshire brewery, Hawkes, sold to Benskins in 1898, which listed the following pubs supplied in Stanstead Abbotts: The Bull, Five Horseshoes, Rye (Kings Arms), Pied Bull, Red Lion. In St. Margarets for that year a pub called The Chequers was listed, which may be a mistake.
It is not known where The Three Wheatsheaves, The Bull and the Chequers were located. The first named may have been the old name for The Five Horseshoes as it was rebuilt at one stage and could have also been renamed. On the 1840 Tithe Map the Pied Bull was named The Red Bull at this time.
EXCITING FIND RE THE RED LION
Research is such a lucky dip and I have this morning found information about our
local Red Lion pub in the most unexpected place. I came across by accident the full
text of an American family history, the family of Olmsted (Holmstead). [History
of the Olmsted Family in America 1632-
‘My wife, Rachel, has had for her first husband, THOMAS GRAVES THE YOUNGER of Stanstead Abbotts in the county of Hertfordshire. She claimed his share of the Red Lion Inn and involved Nicholas Olmsted in a lawsuit (in 1610 or so) which was decided in her favour. He prays in his will that his son shall have the inn.’
This was written in the will of Nicholas Olmsted (Holmsted) of Braintree, Essex,
proved at Bishops Stortford in May, 1627. Investigation found that his son was named
John Olmsted, so that we have the names of two very early owners of the Red Lion,
the earliest known to-
STANSTEAD ABBOTTS BY THE FELONIOUS MONGOOSE
I came across the following description of Stanstead Abbotts and St. Margarets on
a website for river-
If all that impresses this man of few words is a go-
14TH CENTURY GLASS AT ST. JAMES
In a diatribe against Bishop Dr. John Thomas (1686-
‘ And again... in 1757 for the destruction of the 14th century glass in the churches of Stanstead Abbotts and Eastwick, in order to replace them by modern windows.’
Octavius continued, saying that fortunately the bishop was appointed to the Bishopric of Winchester in 1761, omitting the words before he could do any more damage. At least we now know the exact date of these windows if still there in St. James church.
FOUR WANT WAY, ST.MARGARETS
The following record dated 1708 from Hertford Quarter (2) Sessions puts a name to
Presentation that the highway leading out of the common road from London to Ware,
commonly called FOUR WANT WAY, to St. Margarets, is out of repair for half-
This name, whatever the meaning of ‘want’ in this case, is obviously referring
to the four-
1) Chestfield’s Ruined Church, Octavius Nicholls
2) Hertford Quarter Sessions Records, 1581-