The history of the Devonshire Arms
Before the opening of the railway station in 1839 there were no houses along the western half of Cat Street (later Station Street), except for one built around 1830 and set back from the south side at the corner with the present Milton Street. That house was occupied in 1841 by a nurseryman, William Appleby, who converted it into the present Devonshire Arms public house.
William held a licence to sell beer from 1844 but there is no indication in the 1851 census that the property was a pub. It may have been one of the many 'ale houses' which could be found around Burton. In these, beer was produced and sold on the premises. In fact in that census their eldest son John gave his occupation as 'brewer' giving credence to the fact that this was an 'ale house'.
By the 1861 census William & Ann Appleby and their family of 3 sons & 1 daughter, are now listed as publicans.
John died in 1863 leaving Ann to continue to run the pub with her family, although by 1871 she is described in the census as being an Innkeeper and brewer. Her son George living with her is also described as a brewer, so it would seem that they were producing their own ales at the Devonshire Arms.
George married Sarah Wibberley in 1871 and took over the running of the pub on the death of his mother in 1874. He either married into money or made a handsome profit at the Devonshire for by 1891 he had retired with his wife to Ashby Road Winshill aged 43. Then by 1901 was living at The Green Barton under Needwood.
By time of the 1891 census in April, Samuel & Eliza Banks were running the pub. Samuel was only 26 and came from Derby, where his father had been the turnkey (Prison warder) at the County Gaol in Friargate. Probably pub life did not agree with them as they did not stay long, by August of that year Edward Henry May is listed as the licencee.
The house changed hands quite frequently for a while, Alfred Wardle in 1892 and Jane Mary Dunlevie in 1894. Jane was the daughter of Thomas Dunlevie who was the proprietor of the Roebuck Hotel in Station Steet, just along the road from the Devonshire Arms.
By 1901 the Devonshire Arms was now being run by brother and sister Weatherly & Catherine Phipson, whose parents had run the Swan Hotel in New St., Birmingham and then the Erskine Hotel at Conway in Wales.