The history of the Burton Bridge Inn

Originally known as the 'Fox & Goose' the Burton Bridge Inn has a long and varied history. It is uncertain when the pub was built, but in the early 19th Century the free-hold of the Fox and Goose was purchased by Mr Bass from the Marquis of Anglesey and it remained a Bass licensed house until it was closed and sold off by them in the 1970's.

Currently the earliest known occupant is R. Hall who held the licence of the pub in 1818. He was followed by Margaret Hall, presumably his wife until 1834. Sometime between 1834 and 1835 the licence passed to Ellen Hodson, who ran the pub for a few years. By the 1841 census John & Ellen Eardley from Birmingham were the publicans. Their son Edwin aged 22, a collier, lived with them.

The Fox & Goose appears to have had rooms to let at the time as a hawker (door to door salesman) named William Brown lived there. There is also reference to stables at the rear of the pub as on the night of the census Thomas Dooley, a 28 year old horsekeeper slept in the stables.

In 1845 John Eardley died in his early 50's, leaving Ellen to run the pub. In the 1851 census she is still there with one live-in barmaid Rosa Newbold. Two housemaids, a Porter and an Ostler made up the rest of the staff, as the pub still took in guests. These included Henry Lees, a watchmaker from Manchester and Joseph Tolladay, a cooper from London.

On 25th September 1857, an advert in the 'Burton Weekly News' offered the Fox & Goose public house to let. Ellen was obviously feeling the strain for she died in 1858, the pub now being taken over by Charles & Susannah Beard. They too had live-in staff of 4 servants. It would seem that the rooms were still available to rent as Joseph Barnsley a painter from Cheshire and John Barwell a labourer from Kingsbury near Tamworth were residing there in the 1861 census.

The Burton bridge across the river Trent, after which the current brewery is named, was opened in 1864. It replaced a much older medaeval bridge built in the 12th century. Being just yards from the front door of the pub this must have caused quite a disturbance to trade. It was later widened in 1926.

By 1871 Charles & Susannah had moved on to the Every Arms (now Mumbai Blue) on the A38 at Eggington, leaving the Fox & Goose in the hands of Charles & Mary Ann Taylor who moved from the 'Seven Stars' in Guild St.. It must have been rather crowded at the Fox & Goose, their family consisted of 2 sons & 4 daughters. But there was still room for an Ostler, a Cab Driver and 2 lodgers. A total of 12 people living at the pub.

Charles Taylor was not one to let the grass grow under his feet, in 1871 he was issued with the first operating licence in Burton upon Trent for horse buses. He advertised in the local paper, 'The Burton Weekly News' of his cabs running each day to meet trains from Burton railway station.

It must have been whilst Charles & Mary were at the pub in 1873 that a well spoken Russian man named Michael Ostrog (aka. Bertrand Ashley) booked a room. Ostrog was arrested at the pub on Sunday afternoon of the 5th October by Superintendant Thomas Oswell for stealing books and a cup from Eton college.

Superintendent Thomas Oswell had learned that Ostrog could be found at the Fox and Goose Inn. He found him in the dining room where Oswell, sensing that Ostrog was potentially violent, took the precaution of throwing the cutlery out of Ostrog's reach before confronting him with a copy of the Police Gazette and arresting him for the theft of the cup at Eton. Ostrog told Oswell that he was a Swedish doctor who was visiting a brewery at Burton-Upon-Trent and he had never been to Eton in his life. Ostrog had to be forced into the cab that took him to the police station. When they arrived Ostrog pulled a loaded 8 chambered revolver from his pocket but was disarmed by Oswell who turned the weapon upon the Russian.

Michael Ostrog was later to be one of Sir Melville MacNaughten's three prime suspects in the Whitechapel murders, commonly known as the 'Jack the Ripper' murders of 1888. Although he was the least plausible and later proved to have been in custody in France at the time of the murders.

In Nov 1883 Charles & Mary sold their business and retired to Alexander Rd. Winshill. The pub licence was bought by John Marbrow, thought to be the son of another John Marbrow who was a brick and tile manufacturer from Newton Solney, just outside Burton. John moved from the pub in 1889 and died in early 1891, his wife Annie left the area at the age of 40 to work as a cook in Buxton Derbyshire.

Isaac & Sarah Ann Oliver took over the running of the pub moving from Derby St. Burton upon Trent in 1889, where they had previously kept a beerhouse at no.108. There appears to be no lodgers now as only the Oliver family and one servant are living on the premises for the 1891 census.

By 1901 Sarah & Isaac's daughters Lucy Gould & Rose Oliver were working as barmaids at the pub helping out their parents. Their son John had married and was now running the 'Rising Sun' just along the road in Horninglow St with his wife Emma. While another son Herbert was the landlord at the Anglesey Arms in St. John St. Quite a family of publicans

Research is continuing