SEABROOK, The Cricketers, St Albans, 19th Century

August, 2003

Mary (msangser @t of New Zealand  writes:  I notice on your list of Inns, Joseph Seabrook had the Cricketers in St Peters St, St Albans.  This ties up with other information that I have found.  Joseph is my partners gr gr grandfather.  His wife Charlotte was his 1st cousin.  Anyway, where can I find a picture or more information about The Cricketers?  Also Joseph's eldest child, Charlotte Elizabeth married Henry Clare and emigrated to New Zealand.  I haven't been able to find a date for their wedding, although I suspect it was about 1863.  I've looked in the IGI on familysearch, and freebmd.  I'd be grateful for any help or advise.

The Cricketer's Inn is of particular interest to me. It is at the north end of St Peters street, St Albans, at the junction with Harpenden Road and Sandridge Road. The large brick house adjacent to it was built by my grandfather Harry Finch Reynolds and my father was born there. I was born only a few yards away, on the other side of the Harpenden Road. In the following account I have included links to some relevant press cuttings and information from local trade directories, census returns and the book Hertfordshire Inns & Public Houses.

The Cricketers may be on the site of the Black Bull, which is first recorded in mid-17th century and appears to have closed about 100 years later. Isaac Nicholls was a blacksmith who was living there in 1828, by 1844 he was selling beer there. In the 1851 census he was listed as a journeyman blacksmith and beerseller. 

In the 1850's, and perhaps earlier, a flat area of Bernards Heath, adjoining Sandridge Road, was used by the Town's cricket club, and later by the Hertfordshire Cricket Club. It is possible that the team frequented the beerhouse - and the following reference is the first I have using the name "The Cricketers", with James William Graves being the publican,

Infringement of the Beer Act, St Albans 1858

By 1860 Thomas Walker was the publican, when the Cricketers was involved in

Death in Police Cells, St Albans, 1860 and Drunk & Disorderly, St Albans, 1860

The 1861 census gives the following inhabitants of the Cricketers, Snatchup End: Thomas Walker, (Publican, 47, St Albans), Lucy Walker (Publicanís wife, 43, St Albans), with Joseph (Agricultural labourer, 20, North Mymms ), Emma (Bonnet sewer, 14, St Albans), Sarah (Scholar, 9, St Albans), Thomas (7, St Albans), George (5, St Albans), and Hannah (3, St Albans).

There was another change of landlord, James Gibbard being the publican in the 1862 Post Office Directory. However it is not listed as such in the 1866 or 1870 directories.

In 1870 Joseph Seabrook was listed in The Swan, in Upper Dagnall Street, St Albans.

The 1871 census shows Joseph Seabrook and his family in the Cricketers: Joseph Seabrook (Publican, 52, Redbourn), Charlotte (Publicanís wife, 51, Redbourn), with Charlotte (Hat trimmer, 31, St Albans ), Frances (Hat trimmer, 20, St Albans ), Elizabeth (Hat trimmer, 17, St Albans ) and Francis (Scholar, 13, St Albans ). There was one lodger, John Collings (Agricultural labourer, 24, Harpenden). [Note that Charlotte was still not married - so could not have married Henry Clare around 1863.]

Joseph Seabrook was still there in at the time of the 1881 census - which is available online so I will not repeat it here.

The Cricketers was again in the news in 1890:

A Row at the Cricketers, St Albans, 1890

Joseph Seabrook was still there in at the time of the 1891 census. He was listed as a 72 year old publican, living at Snatchup End with wife Charlotte, married daughter Frances Austin, and grand-daughters Lizzie Austin (16, barmaid) and Ada Atkins (16, barmaid). Francis H Seabrook, 35 year old timber carter, was living next door with his wife and six children.

In 1896 Joseph Seabrook sold the Cricketers to J. W. Green, brewer of Luton.

By 1898 Thomas Richard Jones was the publican, and in the following year the Cricketers was again in the news, but I don't have a transcript.

I have not checked the 1901 census - but this is also online.

1912, 1922, 1926, 1929 directories show Thomas Richard Jones, Harpenden Road, St Albans

1933 Mrs Annie S Dorcus, Harpenden Road, St Albans

1937, 1949 Alfred John Sharpe, St Peters Street

The Cricketers was completely rebuilt in 1938

There is a web page for St Albans

See also The Inns & Public Houses of St Albans  in the 19th Century

If you can add to the information given above tell me.