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Page history last edited by R H Johnston 14 years, 5 months ago


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The Simonds Era


The last lease of the Dog & Partridge awarded to an individual was signed by Thomas Shackleford in 1783. In 1788 The lease was made 13 May 1789 but was backdated to Michaelmas Day (29 September)1788 the Churchwardens signed a new 21-year lease with William Blackall Simonds, who was just about to commission his new brewery in Reading. WB Simonds was only 21 years old when he inherited the brewery business from his father William, who had started off as a maltster. William Blackall Simonds' uncle John was now dead but he had been the maltster in Yateley on Potley Hill and had married Anne Cave who, in 1788, was now married to her third husband, William Terry. Ann's brother, John Thumwood Cave, had taken over the Yateley Malthouse and was one of the signatories on the new lease. The Simonds came from the Liberty of Newlands in Arborfield, but they have been around since before the Battle of Hastings. By the late 1700s they had amassed considerable land holdings hereabouts, including farms in Sandhurst, Finchampstead and Wokingham. It was natural that WB Simonds should want to make the Dog & Partridge a tied house when considering the enormous 6,000 barrel capacity of his prestigious new brewery designed by Sir John Soane, the architect of the Bank of England.


WB Simonds kept on Thomas Shackleford as his tenant for 18 years until Thomas died in 1806. Then Thomas's widow Mary (née Mancey) was kept on until the Bedfords took over.


The Simonds family would be viewed today as a fully vertically integrated business concern. They were farmers (growing the barley), mealmen, maltsters, brewers, millers, lawyers and landowners, tax collectors, and politicians. They also became bankers. WB Simonds was a founder of the Bank of Reading, but sold out to start a new bank in 1814 with one of his sons and two of his cousins. This bank, later called John & Charles Simonds, was bought out by Barclays in 1913. The brass plate can still be seen on the door of Barclays Bank, 3-5 King Street, Reading. Brewing and banking were a most convenient mix. A brewer with banking connections could easily arrange for a new publican to get a bank loan to buy a house and finance the working capital -- for the stock of beer!


The Simonds brewery saw an early opportunity to supply large quantities of beer to the British Army as it developed in North East Hampshire, first at Sandhurst, then at Aldershot. The celebration of Wellington's victory at Waterloo was drunk at Sandhurst in Simonds' beer. After that Simonds followed the British Army round the world.


The Dog & Partridge, still owned by the church, was thus one of Simonds' earliest tied pubs. About 1830 Simonds had obtained renewal of his lease in 1808 for 21 years, and so his lease expired in 1829. however Simonds lost the contract and a new brewer, Jonathan McKenzie of Hartley Wintney, got in. It was then that John Bedford left the D&P to set up on his own at the Cricketers.


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Notes and References (click on number to return to text):

Page written by P J Tipton for the Yateley Society's 1997 Exhibition: Inns, Alehouses & Maltsters

Additional research by Richard Johnston & Elizabeth Tipton

Original page may now have been revised to include the Society's latest Research

RHJ Footnote added 18.4.2008


(c) The Yateley Society, 1997 & 2008


Page Exhib.1997.6

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