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Hiccup at the Anchor


Why did Thomas Bartlett's venture into Victorian capitalism fail? Thomas Bartlett's social and financial background was quite different from that of William Cave. It would be easy to conclude that Thomas's lack of financial muscle, and inability to turn to experienced friends for advice, caused his adventure into Victorian capitalism to fail.


But was it simply that he opened a beerhouse in Vigo Lane, then too remote an area of Yateley, virtually a little hamlet called Mount Pleasant on its own, on the edge of the common? Yet in 1861 31 males older than 21, including 24 male heads of family, lived within easy walking distance of the Anchor, at a time when most males visited a pub daily. There were only 271 males 21 or over in Yateley in 1861 so Thomas Bartlett's potential market was not less than 10% of the male population. Given that there were about 10 licensed premises in Yateley, and Thomas Bartlett's market was greater than 10% of the total in a remote area of the village with no competition, and the main road to Fleet and its relatively new station then went past his door, it is difficult to see why he failed and the other licensed premises prospered. Was Thomas giving too much credit to his customers? Did he squander the takings on horse racing? Since the Simonds and the Licensing Justices thought him trustworthy enough to hold a full licence, these are unlikely. Thomas still gave his trade as carpenter to the census enumerator in 1861, rather than calling himself "licensed victualler", which he was equally entitled to do. Effectively he had two sources of income, so his lack of success remains a mystery.


For a continuation of the story of Thomas Bartlett please see the Wheat Sheaf (1997 Exhibition page 28) and his obituary in the Parish Magazine of May 1878 (1997 Exhibition page 29)


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Original 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

(c) The Yateley Society, 1997 & 2008


Page Exhib.1997.23

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