The Fox Inn, Albury End, Much Hadham, Early 20th Century

August, 2009






Pat Parker (patandted @t sent a query relating to the following family pictures, taken in about 1930, which she believed were of Much Hadham:


My Father, John Eric Bayliss (Jack) is the young lad in the cap, and he was born in 1919. I believe the pictures to be taken in Much Hadham. The two pictures with the old vehicle, were labelled "Mrs. Brownís Farm".


This picture  (which shows what could well be the same wall) is labelled "Much Adam"

My sister and I recall my Father saying he had relatives in Much Hadham.  Our surname is Bayliss, other possibilities of surnames are Taylor, and Stevens or Evans

The card shows Gladys Bayliss and Harry Evans outside the Fox Inn.

Gladys and Harry were married in 1933.



Rear view of the Fox Inn

I have searched census records for Much Hadham using all of these surnames, but nothing points me in the direction of the Fox Inn, or Mrs. Brownís Farm.

A quick glance at several trade directories failed to show a "Fox Inn" in Much Hadham, so I decided to look to see where in Hertfordshire there were inns called "The Fox".

The trade index of the 1933 Kelly's Directory for Hertfordshire lists Alfred Butler as landlord of The Fox at "Albury, Much Hadham".  To complicate matters Wilfred Leonard Walls was landlord of The Fox at "Little Hadham, Much Hadham". Albury and Little Hadham are small villages close to the bigger Much Hadham, which is where the local post office was.

A check of the book Hertfordshire Inns by W. Branch Johnson shows that both were still open in 1962. The Fox at Albury dates from before 1856 while The Fox at Little Hadham had been a going concern in 1705. Both had closed by 1995, when Hertfordshire Inns and Public Houses was published.

A search of the excellent Albury Village Web Site produced the following picture of The Fox:

This postcard from 1935 should be compared with the one above showing the cyclists. This shows The Fox sign, a similar wall - and one of the thatched cottages than can be seen in the cyclist view. In addition the porch on The Fox is the same one that Gladys Bayliss and Harry Evans are standing outside. The web site contains a 1956 picture showing The Fox from the other direction. A modern photo, accessed from a map. shows the corner - the cottage is no longer thatched and trees from behind the wall now overhang the road.  

There can be no doubt that all the pictures you have relate to The Fox at Albury End so a check on the trade directories would seem appropriate.

1912 Walter John Smith Fox P.H.  
1922 Walter John Smith Fox P.H.  
1926 Eleanor Cogan (Mrs) Fox P.H.  
1929 Eleanor Cogan (Mrs) Fox P.H.  
1933 Alfred Butler Fox P.H. T.N. 53
1937 Alfred Butler Fox P.H. T.N. 253

There is no mention of any of the names your mention, but the trade directories only mention the well-to-do and the principal businesses. However the village web site has a discussion group and you may well find it possible to exchange information with people who knew the families in the village circa 1930.


Within 24 hours of providing the above information Pat replied:

Just thought I'd let you know, that on the strength of the information that you gave me, I have discovered the link with my family to the Much Hadham area.
You were able to show me that in 1929 the Fox Inn was run by Eleanor Cogan. My sister suggested that perhaps Eleanor could be shortened to Nell. My Grandfather had a cousin Nell, who's daughter was also called Nell. We knew that the daughter Nell married someone called Percy.
As Eleanor was at the Fox Inn, in 1929, obviously I could not search census records.  I therefore did a web-search and found the following:-
November 1914
Alfred, 29, and William Cogan, 33, both Serjeants with the 1st Battalion, the Bedfordshire Regiment, killed in action near Herenthage Chateau near Ypres. Sons of Mr. and Mrs. W. Cogan of Furneux Pelham, Buntingford, Herts, William was also husband of Eleanor Cogan of Albury End, Hadham, Herts. Brother Philip Cogan was killed on 13 March 1915 with the regiment's 2nd Battalion, and a fourth brother, Charles, was also wounded at Ypres but survived the war. All three who died have no known graves and are commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing at Le Touret.

Submitted by Steve Bratt of Furneaux Pelham History Group
From Brothers that died on the same day, The Long Long Trail web site

Further investigations have discovered that the widow running the Fox Inn in 1929 was Eleanor Cogan, my Grandfathers 1st cousin, and it was her daughter that married Percy King in 1951. Also the trade directories show a Walter J. Smith in 1912 & 1922, running the Fox Inn, and this was Eleanor Cogan's Father. So the Fox Inn was in the same family for a number of years.

It is surprising what a combination of conventional sources and a google search can sometimes do. It also show how publishing historical information (pictures on the Albury site and Steve Bratt's contribution to a First World War web site) can prove useful to family historians.

Page created August 2009
January 2010: From Pat: Paragraph "Further investigations ..." corrects earlier text