Crown Inn with adjoining shops. Postcard courtesy of Carol Ewin
Lydia Barnard had been the licensee of the Crown Inn at Great Ellingham for many years prior to the proposed sale of the premises at Auction.
The Norwich Mercury of Saturday, September 13th, 1845 included a notice “To Brewers” of the forthcoming Auction by George W Salter of the Leys, Attleburgh. The Auction would take place at the Crown on Monday the 22nd September at six o’clock in the evening.
The freehold premises (sold in one lot) comprised a “convenient and well-situated and old established free public house called the Crown Inn” together with stables, other outbuildings and two roods of garden ground. In addition, an adjoining double tenement would be sold. All the premises were said to be in the occupation of Mrs L Barnard and her under-tenants.
Who was Lydia Barnard?
The 1841 census finds publican Lydia Barnard at the Crown Inn together with her children Hannah 21, working as a dressmaker, 15 year old James, a carpenter, and George, a tailor, aged 13.
Born in Great Ellingham, Lydia was the daughter of Jonathan Yeomans and his wife Elizabeth (neé Brighten). She was baptised in the Parish Church of St James on February 21st, 1790.
At the age of 21, Lydia Yeomans married 27 year old John Robert Barnard, the son of Charles Barnard, at the Church of St James on on October 9th, 1810.
The couple had at least 8 children before John Robert Barnard died at the age of 50 in 1834. He was buried in the churchyard at St James on the 9th April.
John Robert Barnard Purchases the Crown Inn
Carpenter, John Robert Barnard had purchased the Crown Inn with nearby properties and land from Benjamin and Frances Dennis on the 23rd November, 1810, with a mortgage of £500 from beer brewer, John Stephenson Cann of Wymondham.
Frances Dennis’s father, Richard Leath, had previously owned the Crown and adjoining properties. Frances, with her sisters Elizabeth and Hannah, may well have benefited by the properties being part of a trust fund set up on the death of their father in 1785. Their mother, Alice, and her second husband William Jessup, were former licensees of the Crown (then known as the Rose & Crown) in the late 1700s and early 1800s.
A Particular Survey of the Parish of Great Ellingham in the County of Norfolk 1817-1819, shows ‘John Robert Barnard (son of Charles Barnard)’ as the owner of the Crown Public House, a cottage, yard and pightle. John Barnard occupied the Crown, and his tenants were the widow Clarke and James Webster.
Lydia Barnard, Licensee
Following John Barnard’s death in 1834, his widow Lydia Barnard continued with the business until the Crown Inn was sold in 1845. The notice of the auction inserted in the Norwich Mercury in the September of 1845 states that the “public house had been doing an excellent trade for many years“, and suggested that with a few inexpensive improvements, trade could be significantly increased.
Following the sale, Lydia Barnard continued to live in the village. The 1851 census finds her as a 62 year old shopkeeper living in Long Street along with her sons 26 year old Charles (a shoemaker) and 23 year old George, a tailor. Lydia is still earning a living as a grocer in the village in 1861.
The 1871 census captures 82 year old Lydia Barnard then described as ‘Independent’ living in Church Street – perhaps not too far from the Crown Public House.
Just a year later, Lydia Barnard, a former landlady of the Crown Public House, Great Ellingham, was buried in the churchyard of the Parish Church (not far from the Crown), on June 3rd, 1872.
Norwich Mercury 13th September 1845
Great Ellingham Parish Registers. Norfolk Record Office PD/609. Also available at Also available at FamilySearch.org https://www.familysearch.org/search/image/index?owc=4J8C-CB7%3A29627201%3Fcc%3D1416598 Accessed 23.03.2020
1799-1842. Great Ellingham (Act 1799). F.W. Hornor, Records of the Surveyors to Commissioners for Inclosure in Parishes in Norfolk and Suffolk. Norfolk Record Office. Catalogue. Ref: BR 90/2. A Particular Survey of the Parish of Great Ellingham in the County of Norfolk.1817-1819. BR90/2/4.
1836 White’s Directory. Norfolk Record Office.
1841 census HO107/781/8
1851 census HO107/1823/109
1861 census RG9/1237/81
1871 census RG10/1841/87
23.11.1810. Abstract of Title to the Crown Public House, Great Ellingham. Wymondham Town Archive, 14, Middleton Street, Wymondham NR18 0AD. Pomeroy Collection. Box 116/99. Bundle 8.