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General Sir John Moore

Brook Street



The General Sir John Moore : Licensee John T Dakin c1925

Source : John Whittington


The Same Scene : November 2021

Confused Beginnings

Evidence for the early history of The General Sir John Moore beerhouse is sadly lacking and the details confusing. The licencing registers suggest that the licence was first registered on the 22nd September 1869. However, other evidence implies that it was earlier.


It seems to be mentioned in dramatic circumstances during November and December 1867. At that time Henry Martin, a beerhouse keeper was tried and convicted of receiving over 400 yards of stolen calico skirting material from a Midland Railway employee. When Martin was apprehended he only had 72 yards of cloth and a partly made up dress at his house. Newspapers reported that "Martin was also shown to have disposed of a considerable quantity of drapery to numerous villagers of Sileby, on whose backs had, consequently, been identified many (of the) missing manufactures". The jury at the Quarter Sessions found him guilty and Henry Martin was sentenced to 15 years in prison. The 1871 census reveals that he was in prison at Portland in Dorset.


After Henry's incarceration the business was taken over by his wife Eliza. Therefore, in the 1871 census she was named as the beerhouse keeper and her 14 year old daughter Lucy was listed as her assistant. More bad luck occurred a few months after the census was taken, when, on 7th July 1871 a fire took hold in one of the pub bedrooms. It happened at around 10pm at night. Luckily, there were men in the vicinity who'd heard the cries for help and were able to break into the bedroom and douse the flames with buckets of water. Damage was said to be £5, a very lucky escape. 


Eliza Martin gave up her licence in 1873 and from then on a number of tenants became licensees. However, there was a mortgage upon the beerhouse and other properties on Brook Street, presumably obtained by Henry Martin in or before 1867. By 1880 the mortgagees had foreclosed and put the properties up for sale at auction on the 9th June of that year. The beerhouse was eventually sold to Watts and Sons, brewers of Leicester.

Watts and Sons were owners for 15 years, and the subsequent owners, All Saints Brewery Co., kept the premises for a further 30 years. The stability in ownership was matched by the tenants, with William Arthur Blockley (16 years) and Richard Gamble (24 years) being licensees for the majority of that period.

The Final Chapter

Objections to renewing the beerhouse licence occurred during Loughborough Brewster Sessions in 1904. This was largely as a consequence of the part played by the General Sir John Moore in the murder of PC Wilkinson in 1903. Thomas Preston, one of the two men convicted and executed for the policeman's killing had spent much of that fateful day at the General Moore beerhouse and questions were asked of his behaviour there. At the Brewster Sessions Richard Gamble, the landlord, was cross examined as to whether he kept a good house, and a witness was produced to say that he had permitted gambling. In spite of the tough grilling that Richard Gamble had endured, his licence was renewed.

Loughborough's Licensing Magistrates fully used their powers to restrict 'unnecessary' and unruly pubs under the Licensing Acts of 1904 and 1910. In 1925 the General Sir John Moore beerhouse was referred to the Leicestershire Licensing Compensation Authority to force a closure. A final decision was indeed made for closure, All Saints Brewery was compensated, and the beerhouse was closed for good.

General Sir John Moore

Incidentally, the beerhouse was named after Lieutenant General Sir John Moore, the leader of the British forces at the battle of Corunna in 1809. He was killed valiantly fighting a rearguard action whilst waiting for relieving ships to take him and his army back to England. He became an iconic hero of the Napoleonic War period.


Description - 1880

(Leicester Journal - 4th June 1880)


The General Sir John Moore

a) Ground Floor – Bar Parlour, Sitting Room, Kitchen, Tap Room and Cellar

b) 1st Floor – 4 Bedrooms

d) 2nd Floor – 2 Attics



Covered skittle alley



Small front garden inclosed by an iron pallisade fence

Description - 17th September 1914 

(Valuation Act : National Archives IR 58/51168/495)


Brick and Slated, Old, Fair (condition)

a) Ground Floor – Beer Cellar, Tap Room, Smoke Room, Living Room, Parlour, Serving Bar

b) 1st Floor – 4 Bedrooms

d) 2nd Floor – 2 Attics, hipped

Business : 104 Barrells, 156 Dozen bottles

Rental : £20.0.0. - Quarterly Tenancy


Small Yard.

Brick and Slated old skittle alley

(Old Brewhouse Brick and Tile)

Brick and slated 2 Privies


1 Loose Box

Wash house

Owners, Licensees and Publicans



Henry Martin


Watts and Sons, Leicester

All Saints Brewery Co., Leicester



<1867 - c1880


 1880 - 1895

 1895 - 1925




Henry Martin

Eliza Martin

John Newbold

George Phipps

Alfred Edward Neale

William Arthur Blockley

Richard Gamble

John Thomas Dakin



    ?    - 1867

 1867 - 1873

 1873 - 1876

 1876 - 1882

 1882 - 1884

 1884 - 1900

 1900 - 1924

 1924 - 1925

Notes on the listings

The dates are accurate to within a year of that given due to licencing records often starting part way through a year. Also, when electoral electoral rolls and trade directories are used the names quite often reflect the previous years occupiers. Due to privacy and data protection a decision was made to have a listing cut off date of about 1960.


The General Sir John Moore c1910

Licensee - Richard Gamble

Source : John Whittington

richard gamble & wife licencees of g sr j moore_edited.jpg

Richard Gamble and Maria, his wife (undated)

Source : Lionel Blower

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