PHILBEY, Tring, 1840-1864

December, 2011


Colin Meager (colin @t of Birmingham wrote: Jane Philbey was born Jane Meager, in 1805 and married Joseph Tomkins in December 1829. Joseph dies and she is stated to be the landlady of the Green Man in Tring in the 1839 Pigot's Directory. She marries in 1840 John Philbey ( a plumber also of Market Street ) and is the landlady at the Green Man probably up until just before her death in 1864. She is the landlady in the 1861 census.

In the William Brown archives there seems to be a folio 81 "Mrs Jane Philbey" and that may well relate to her ownership of the Green Man and I would love to know more. I also found the "Gaslight comes to Tring" article
[Bucks Advertiser 7th September 1850 - see This is Tring] which says "reflects great credit on Mrs. Philby, the worthy landlady". I would also be really interested if there are any archives or obituaries as she was a local landlady for almost 30 years.

The entry in William Brown's Account book   is short and not typical of the entries in the book. There are three entries, two of which are clearly for work done in connection with property at Gravelly, which was in the area of Tring between what is now Park Road and Western Road, which was being developed for housing at the time to form what was often referred to as Tring's "West End" and which is now referred to as the Tring Triangle.

The first entry "To staking out acre of ground at Gravelly Furlong  2" is undated and struck through. It is not clear whether the land was sold but the fact that the area needed to be staked out suggests it was part of a larger plot.

The second entry "1852 Apr 7: To staking out 20 poles of ground sold to Mr Stephen Gates 10/-"  is also struck through. Stephen Gates is listed in the 1851 census as a timber carter living in Frogmore Street, Tring. This probably relates to the land owned at Gravelly.

The third entry "1859 Oct 31: Staking out piece of Land in Gravelly purchased by Rawlins & drawing an Agreement with him for same 10 poles 15/-" is in effect struck through with a vertical line across all entries. The 1861 census lists John Rawlins as a tinman living at Gravelly Furlong, possibly the son of William Rawlins, who was a brazier living in nearby Akeman Street in 1851. It could well be that the 1861 house was built on the plot and the houses described as being in "Gravelly Furlong" were in what is now known as King Street.

The opposite page is blank showing that William Brown was never paid for the work!

In fact there is probably a very simple explanation. If you look at the Bucks Herald online (British Newspaper Archive) you will find the William Brown held a number of auctions at the Green Man and the payments were presumably waived in return for the use of the Green Man's facilities.

A quick search of the British Newspaper Archive (for the Bucks Herald) found a number of entries referring to Jane Philbey at the Green Man, Tring, including a couple referring to her estate after her death, but I didn't see any obvious obituary, and I suspect that if there was anything it would only have been a short paragraph mixed in with some other Tring news. Another paper which might carry relevant news items but which is not [yet] indexed is the Bucks Advertiser.

I have found another reference to Philbey in Brewers in Hertfordshire which reads "The Green Man in the lower High Street also had its own brewhouse where John Philby was brewing in the 1840s and John Woodman from c1878 to 1895. The brewery was also demolished [with the Green Man] by the Rothschilds to form part of [what is now] the memorial gardens."

See TOMPKINS, Tring, late 18th/early 19th Century for more about the Tompkins family and the Green Man public house

January 2012

Colin replies: Thank you so much for this I find it really fascinating and a very absorbing ( and time consuming ) activity !  The British Newspaper archive is a great new tool and through that I found the notice of marriage of Janes niece  in Chicago which was something that I had been searching for proof of for many years. Janes brother Thomas Meager and then his widow, also Jane, kept The Harrow on Akeman Street also for many years so it obviously runs in the blood !

It is interesting to note the family connection between the Green Man and The Harrow, which is long gone - although the name Harrow Yard still remains.

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

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January 2012   Update