Leek, [Stratfordshire]: F. Hilliard, printer, 1793. Small broadside, 158 x 96 mm, text within typographic border, annotated in ink on recto, with cost of goods, and further annotated: "March 6th 1793, 18/6, Waiter 1.6, Settled 2.0.0, J. Hargrave." Also annotated on the verso: "6th March 1793." Age toning, very good. The printer, F. Hilliard, shows up once in OCLC, as the printer of an auction broadside Timber. To be sold by auction, at the house of Mr. Wilkinson, the Black Swan, in Congleton... in 1792; and he also likely printed another auction broadside announcing the sale of the estate of Thomas Salt, a bankrupt, in 1795 - a sale held at the George Inn (see below). A rare late 18th-century bill of sale from the George Inn, a Leek (Stratfordshire) tavern and inn, signed and dated by the owner. With printed columns for pounds, shillings, and pence. Twelve categories of goods and services are printed: Eating; Tea and Coffee; Wine and Negus; Liquors & Punch; Ale and Porter; Cyder; Writing Paper; Chamber Fire; Tobacco; Servants Eating & Ale; Hay & Corn; Post Chaise. This bill of fare, dated March 6th, 1793, added up to 20 shillings, 20 pence, but was apparently settled for an even 20 shillings. It comprised: Eating, 6 shillings, Wine & Negus, 10 shillings; Liquors & Punch, 6 pence; and Ale & Porter, 2 shillings. At bottom, an additional 1 shilling, 6 pence was added as a waiter's tip. Signed by J. Hargrave and marked "Settled." A rare survival providing an interesting glimpse into late 18th-century English tavern history. The receipt here records only eating and drinking, the majority spent on wine/negus, liquor/punch and ale/porter, for a total of 12 shillings, 6 pence; only 6 shillings was spent on eating. Also of interest is the manuscript addition of a waiter's tip. The George, a Staffordshire coaching inn on the corner of Spout and Church Streets, is known to have existed by 1776 and was probably built in the 1760s. It is listed as one of the two principal inns in Leek in 1787 along with the Swan with Two Necks. (See Tunicliffe, A Topographical Survey of the Counties of Stafford, Chester, and Lancaster, Nantwich, 1787.) In the old coaching days, it was esteemed as the most comfortable house between London and Manchester. The George was demolished in 1972 for the widening of Church Street. The George was acquired by Henry Dewhurst in the 1760s who also used the inn as a venue for local real estate auctions, a practice that continued well into the 19th century. Dewhurst sold the inn to John Hargrave (1738-1820) sometime in the 1780s. Hargrave served as an officer in the Royal Regiment of Horse guards in the Seven Years' War under the command of the Marquis of Granby, whose secretary he then became (see The New Monthly Magazine and Universal Register, London, 1820, p. 758). After running the inn for at least thirty years, Hargrave died at age 84 in Leek. That Hargrave served under Granby is of some interest, as John Manners (1721-1770), Marquis of Granby, has the distinction of having had numerous pubs named after him-a result of setting up so many of his own men as tavern keepers when they left the army, as here. Nicknamed "Generous Granby," he was a Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Horse-Guards by 1758, a hero of the Seven Years' War in the Battle of Minden; he was named Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in 1767. Hargrave is noted as the owner of The George in a notice as early as 1789. (Inventory #: 49196)
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