History of the Fox
How long has there been an Inn in Loxley?
It is possible that there was a “Beer seller” in Loxley from at least 1841 according to the village census for that year. Most of this we can find in the census returns.
The England and Wales census records are available from 1841 until 1911 and are in local records offices and also on line. You can also see summaries of the census returns on the Loxley village website www.loxleyvillage.com.
For Data Protection, the 1921 census will not be available until 2021 (100 years having passed). The 1931 Census was destroyed by fire in WW2 and there was none taken in 1941. However, on 9th September 1939, a register was taken which helped with the issue of Identity Cards and later Ration Books. It was also used to organise conscription and the direction of labour as well as monitoring and controlling the movement of the population caused by the impact of the beginning of WW2. Although it is not a census, it gives similar information.
All of these help us to form a picture of Loxley between 1841 and 1911 and again in 1939. The Fox Inn figures in most of these returns.
The first census returns were very simple and done by one person who went from house to house taking details of the occupants. All preceding 1911 were then produced in the form of a list or table, compiled in the order of the direction of the route taken by the enumerator.
In 1841, we see Loxley is inhabited by mainly farming families. Other named occupations are carpenters, a mason, a bricklayer, a sawyer, 2 blacksmiths, a wharfinger (someone who owns or keeps a wharf), 2 shopkeepers and the parson is William Purdon. More importantly, William Smith, aged 62 is listed as a Beerseller. Licensing laws were very different then and it was possible to set up as a beerseller but not necessarily run a pub as we know it.
By 1851, there is no record of a beerseller or publican, but in 1861, Joseph Hicks is listed as a publican and living there with his family. At this time too we see a few more diverse occupations and evidence that some householders employ staff, whereas in the previous decade some of the villages were of “pauper” status. Joseph Hicks and family are also listed in 1871, so we hope they have been there at least ten years. He is an Innkeeper, but the inn has no name. In fact, most of the properties are just given a census number.
At last, in 1881 we see “The Fox” with Thomas Nutt as publican, living there with his wife and 2 teenage children. The family were all born locally in Stratford.
By 1891, the publican is Wilson Eden Cresswell, aged 30 born in Evesham. The pub is again not named. He is there with his wife and 5 children (the youngest 3 were born in Loxley). Wilson Cresswell is listed again in 1901 as publican of The Fox Inn, working on his own account i.e. not employed by someone. His wife and now 6 children are still there with their new 4-year-old daughter.
In 1911, the census format changes, and the copies completed by each individual household were retained. They were completed by the head of household and not the enumerator. They had different information. So, in 1911, we know that William Howard aged 32 from Claverdon was the Innkeeper of the Fox Inn. He also was working on “own account” and “at home” and the property was shown as having 7 rooms (not counting scullery, landing, closet, bathroom, lobby, warehouse, office or shop).
In the 1920’s we also know from local families that the pub was managed by Joseph and Alice Shirley (nee Elliott).
By the time of the 1939 Register, we see that our Licensee is Ablett J. Buckingham and he lives with his wife Lily E. Buckingham. The Register does not name the pub.
You will find on this website, extracts from “A Social History of a Midland Business: Flower & Sons Brewery, 1870-1914 Part I. by Jonathan Reinarz”
I am sure that others on reading this page have extra information relating to The Fox. I am happy to add this if you submit it via the Fox at Loxley Action Group.
Hazel Mills November 18, 2019