top of page

1893: Rose and Crown Publican in trouble

Updated: Mar 9, 2022

Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 12 September 1893


At the Haywards Heath Petty Sessions yesterday (Monday), before Mr. W. H. Campion (in the chair) and other magistrates, Alexander Leon Pierre, of the Rose and Crown Inn, Cuckfleld, was summoned for permitting drunkenness on his licensed premises on August 30th, the case having arisen out of case given among our Petty Sessions news. - Mr. J. C. Buckwell. of Brighton, represented the defendant.

—P.O. Suter, Cuckfield, said that at 8:45 pm, on Wednesday, August 30th, he visited the “Rose and Crown,” which was kept by defendant. He saw a woman named Annie Spain sitting in a chair in front of the bar helplessly drunk. He said to the barmaid, “Where is the landlord?” The landlord shortly after came through from a private room behind the bar. Witness said, “This woman appears to be drunk. Why do you allow her to remain on the place?” The landlord replied, “She is not drunk; I will wake her up.” He then went to the woman and shook her, and, turning round to some other men in the bar, said, ”How long has she been like this; have you chaps given her anything?” He heard several men reply ”Nothing.” Defendant then said, “I have just turned two other women out; I kept this one as I thought they wanted to pick her up.” Witness replied that he had no business to let her remain, and left the house. Defendant and a man named Knight brought the woman out and sat her on the seat outside the house.

Rose and Crown c1890 colourised (courtesy of Cuckfield Museum)

Witness said to defendant “How long has she been in your house ?” He said “She came in about half-past eleven. “Witness then procured a wheelbarrow, and with assistance wheeled the woman to the station. He then called Dr. Wells, who saw the woman shortly after ten o’clock, and also the following morning. She was then removed to the Union in a fly. She said twice during the evening, “1 am not drunk, but ill; I want to see a doctor.”

-Cross-examined by Mr. Buckwell; The landlord seemed surprised on noting the condition of the woman.

—Harriet Harwood. Edenbridge, said she worked in the fields. She was in the “Rose and Crown” during the morning of August 30th. The previous morning she was in the Workhouse. Annie Spain came into the house in the morning, about ten, and had a glass of beer. She went out and threw it up again. Annie Spain then returned, and asked witness for glass of beer, which witness gave her. She then asked for another glass, and witness allowed her to just taste some, but would not let her drink it all.

Annie Spain also had some bread and butter, and gave the landlord a letter to read, after which the landlord told witness to go out. Witness left, leaving Spain in the house. Witness returned to the house during the forenoon, and saw Spain again. The landlord refused to draw witness any more beer. Shortly after witness returned for a third time, and saw Spain lying under the table in the bagatelle room. She was then turned out.

Witness went back to the “Rose and Crown” towards night, and saw men giving Spain beer in all directions. She could not drink it fast enough, and was very drunk. At that time it was getting dark, and might have been between seven and eight o'clock. Witness and another woman who was with her had two pints of beer, and she was then turned out of the house by the landlord, who kicked her in the ribs. Annie Spain said she wanted to go with witness.

—Cross-examined by Mr. Buckwell: Witness then went to get lodgings at the other end of the town, and saw a policeman, whom she informed of the landlord's kicking. She was accused by the landlord of using bad language, but she always kept herself “quiet and respectable.” Her companion might have used bad language. The woman was not present in the Court. When she went into the private room and saw Spain lying under the table, she did not see anyone in the bar.

The landlord told her to go out, asserting that she was an old beast."

—Joseph Murrell, fishmonger, said he was in the “Rose and Crown” between three and four o’clock in the afternoon of the Wednesday question. There were three women in the house, including Annie Spain. She had had a drop to drink, but was not drunk. He gave her two drinks out of his five, and the two other women gave her some. Witness was in there about half-an-bour, and then left her. On returning about eight o’clock Spain was drunk, and was drinking with two “blokes on the road.” Witness stayed there till the landlord put Spain out.

—ln answer to the magistrate witness said Spain was not drunk when he treated her.

—Cross-examined by Mr. Buckwell: Annie Spain was in the bagatelle room the afternoon. The woman Harwood went into the bagatelle room and saw Spain sitting on a chair, and not lying under the table.

- Horace Knight, gasfitter, said he went into the “Rose and Crown” about eight o’clock. There were three women in the bar, among whom was Annie Spain. He did not notice her condition, and did not see her drink anything. Spain remained about three-quarters-of-an-hour, and was sitting down.

- William Rist, fishmonger, said he went into the “Rose and Crown” about 7:45, and saw the woman Spain sitting in a chair in the bar. She appeared to be drunk, and had a glassful of ale, which was given her by two men on the road. She could not sit upright. Witness was In the house when the policeman came in. The men put the beer up to her mouth, and she swallowed it. Witness did not see the landlord at that time. Spain was sitting inside the bar. The barmaid was in the bar part of the time.

- Cross-examined by Mr. Buckwell: It would be a gross exaggeration to say beer was being poured down her throat in all directions.

- Frederick Vaughan, groom, said he went into the “Rose and Crown” about 8:40 in the evening. Spain was in the house, seated in the bar, and looked drunk or ill. Witness saw Spain drink out of glass of ale, which be saw on the counter. Witness was there when she was turned out, and saw the policeman come in. Witness could not say who was in the bar. The barmaid was behind the bar.

- Mr. Rockwell then said that Annie Spain, whom they had seen in tho witness box, looked a very respectable young woman. She went into the “Rose and Crown” between eleven and twelve o’clock, and the landlord served her with a glass of fourpenny. In payment she only offered a halfpenny, which was all the money she possessed. It was apparent by the evidence that she was not drunk till four o'clock, and he thought the only conclusion they could come to was that the statements of the witness Harwood were grossly exaggerated. It was impossible that Annie Spain could have been under the table, because there was a flap which would prevent such a course of action. He admitted there had been an offence against the law, but urged that it had been committed without the connivance of the landlord. It was evident that the landlord wished to keep the law, because he turned out two women with money, that they should not get drunk on his premises. This proved that he did not encourage drunkenness in order to fill his pockets. All the drink supplied to Annie Spain by the house was a glass of fourpenny, which could not have made her drunk. What fault there was lay with the barmaid, the landlord was not in the bar from 5.30 to 6.30. Mr. Buckwell then called witnesses for the defence.

- Defendant said he was the landlord of the “ Rose and Crown,” Cuckfield. When Annie Spain entered his house between 11:30 and 12 o’clock she was quite sober. She had half-a-pint of fourpenny beer, which he drew for her. Witness let her have the glass for a halfpenny, as she had no more money. Annie Spain drank the beer, and then went out. One of the women fetched her out. Later on witness had to put Harwood and the other woman out of the bar owing to their bad language. Witness put the women out four times. Spain did not talk like drunken woman when in the house. Spain looked ill, and got into conversation with the women. Spain went into the bagatelle room, but did not lie under the table. He did not draw any beer for the woman Spain after the first half-pint. Witness left the bar about 5:30, and did not see any signs of drunkenness on the part of the woman till the policeman came.

- Lottie Day said she was barmaid at the “ Rose and Crown.” She remembered the woman Annie Spain. Witness went into the bar soon after tea, where she remained till 8:30. She did not draw any beer for the woman Spain. Spain was sitting in the bar, and witness thought her ill. She did not see her have any beer.

- Superintendent Denman said that Alexander Pierre had been landlord of the “ Rose and Crown" for five years.

- The magistrates said that, taking into consideration the fact that the landlord did not willingly permit any drunkenness, they would not record conviction this time. The landlord would, however, be fined £1, and costs £3 12s. 6d. They thought the barmaid should have reported the drunkenness to the landlord, who was nevertheless responsible for any faults of judgment on her part, as he was supposed to select barmaids with a knowledge of their duties.

bottom of page