Hertfordshire Genealogy

Answers to Questions


Red Cow, Ware, 19th century

September, 2005




Amy Adams (rainbowdiva2000 @t yahoo.com) wrote: I am researching my family tree, my ancestors all came from Ware and were all (or seem to be all) maltmakers, all of the Adams' from Ware seem to be related to each other, they all lived near or in the same street and were mostly all maltmakers. I am trying to trace the pub that my family were living in as Publican and Publican's wife in the 1871 census. It was called The Red Cow and was in Crib Street, Ware.

The earliest record in my personal library for the Red Cow Inn is from Pigot's Directory for 1828 when Thomas Novell was landlord at the Red Cow, Crib Street. However the building was much older as the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments (Hertfordshire) in 1911 described it as "a small house, of timber and plaster, with an overhanging upper story; the roof is tiled. It is probably of early 17th century date, and the chimney stacks are original. Condition- Poor; much altered."

The 1839 Pigot's Directory has William Anderson as landlord, and he also listed in the 1846 Post Office Directory. Richard Wing was landlord in the 1851 Post Office Directory and he was listed as a gardener and victualler in the 1851 census. He is simply listed as a beer retailler in the 1855 Post Office Directory.

There is no entry in the 1866 Post Office Directory although three beer retailers war listed : Edward Huckle, Thomas Nicholls and Thomas Smith - any of which may have traded from the Red Cow.

As you have noted, James Adams was publican at the Red Cow, Crib Street, in the 1871 census - and it is relevant that there were other properties around the Red Cow yard. James is listed as a maltmaker in Crib Street in the 1851 census, but NOT at the Red Cow, which was occupied by Richard Wing. He is listed in the 1861 census as maltster and brickmaker - and while more work needs to be done because the 1861 census does not identify the Red Cow, and Red Cow yard, I suspect he was still at the 1851 address.

By the 1881 census John Gee was landlord, and he is listed as being at the Old Red Cow in the 1882 Kelly's Directory. Looking at later editions Charles Hayward was landlord of the Old Red Cow in 1890; Albert Aubell landlord of the Red Cow in 1899 and Sidney Hornsby was landlord of the Red Cow, 38 Crib Street, in 1912. The Red Cow is not listed in 1914, 1922 or 1937, so had probably closed.

The fact that the Red Cow was an old building with a good yard, and is listed in the Pigot directories (which were not very detailed) but less often later, may indicate that it originally catered for the the horse traffic and by 1850 had lost much of its trade to the railway. It appears to have down-market in the later part of the 19th century and was little more than a beer house, with a frequent turnover of landlord.

Amy Adams also wrote: I am also wondering if you might be able to explain something I found in the 1901 census, my great grandfather was married in the late 1890's but on the 1901 census he is lodging at The White Swan in West Street Ware but it says "For safe Ho" i presume that means For safe House but i am curious to know why he was there and his wife and child were not there was a James Clarke also lodging there under "For safe Ho". I would be interested if you have any opinions and ideas on this..

The above entry appears in the column headed "Employer, Worker, or Own Account" and as far as I am aware these are the only valid words that can be written in this box. On at least one occasion "Manager" has been written but this had been corrected to [worker], and once G.P.O. has been added for a post office employee. In many cases the enumerator left the field blank when this was clearly inappropriate, and a second hand has written "W" or "O" in the space - presumably correcting the error. Clearly the enumerator was having problems with this column

The text has been transcribed as "For Safe Ho" and appears to be in the same handwriting - but if this is the correct interpretation the "fe" and "H" are very different in style. Census enumerators often indicated unoccupied houses and I am wondering if the wording indicate a house for sale - but if so why should it have been entered where it was.

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

Page created September 2005