Source Information

Ancestry.com. West Yorkshire, England, Alehouse Licences, 1771-1962 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014. This collection was indexed by Ancestry World Archives Project contributors.
Original data:

Alehouses and Licensed Premises [1697–1828]. QE32/7–64. West Yorkshire Archive Service, Wakefield, England.

Pontefract Borough Court, Records [c. 1880–1974]. P25/4/3–5. West Yorkshire Archive Service, Wakefield, England.

West Riding Petty Sessions [various]. P3/2; P5/52–62; P7/102–105; P8/181–183, 184/1; P9/31–33; P11/123–134; P12/87; P13/51–55; P14/21–27; P15/10–11; P16/6/4–5; P18/46–48; P19/43–44; P21/112–114; P22/41–48; P33/5/2–5; P34/4/1–6. West Yorkshire Archive Service, Wakefield, England.

About West Yorkshire, England, Alehouse Licences, 1771-1962

In this database, you’ll find registers of alehouse licences issued in the West Yorkshire area. Many registers contain the name of the person who held the licence, the name and location of the public house, dates the licence was issued and renewed, and whether the licence was transferred. There are also registers of licence infraction and beerhouse licences.

Not all registers contain all information.

Historical Background

An Act of 1551 (5 and 6 Edward VI c25) required alehouse-keepers to be licensed annually by two justices and to enter into recognisances 'against the using of unlawful games, as also for the using and maintenance of good order and rule'. The justices were to 'certify the same recognisance at the next quarter sessions of the peace...there to remain of record'.

By an Act of 1753 (26 George II c31) the clerk of the peace was to keep a register or calendar of these recognisances. Calendars for all nine wapentakes are extant for 1771, 1773, 1778, 1781 and for 1803. In addition there are calendars for Agbrigg and Claro for 1777, Osgoldcross for 1784, Strafforth and Tickhill for 1802, and for the lower divisions of Agbrigg of 1821. The surviving original recognisances mostly date from the years 1822 to 1828, although there are also recognisances for Osgoldcross for 1752 and for Strafforth and Tickhill, upper division, for 1805.

An Act of 1828 (9 George IV c61) consolidated and revised the licensing laws and made the taking of recognisances redundant. The involvement of quarter sessions in licensing then lapsed until the Licensing Act, 1872.

(Historical background from West Yorkshire Archive Service, Wakefield, England.)