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PRINCESS ROYAL NORWICH Index
RAMPANT HORSE STREET St. STEPHEN BEERHOUSE CLOSED
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Licensees :
SUSANNAH STANLEY (36)
( Edward H. Stanley - carpenter )
1851
WILLIAM CUNNINGHAM 1856
ROBERT BRIDGES 1858 - 1861
( Sarah Warren - Housekeeper to BRIDGES ) 1861

On Monday 24th May 1858, Sergeant Smith said that he had entered the house at about twenty minutes to nine on the night of Saturday 22nd May to apprehend a man named Cook. A scuffle ensued and about twenty persons tried to eject him from the house. In the action, Mrs. Bridges jumped on his hat and caused damage estimated by him to be 10s 6d. Mrs. Bridges offered to pay for a new hat but the bench directed her to pay the Sergeant 6d, the full amount of damage they considered appropriate. The policeman refused to accept the 6d from Mrs. Bridges.

On Wednesday 26th May 1858 licensee Robert Bridges was summoned for not allowing Sergeant Smith into a private room in his house. (On the same Saturday night as above, seemingly at an earlier hour.)
Bridges said that he kept the house open from 5 o'clock in the morning to close at 11 at night. He would not ask who his customers were, or from where they got their money. Sergeant Smith said that he entered the house and knew that there were persons in the small room and suspected that they were bad characters, but Bridges refused him entry. Asked if there was any disturbance or any crime committed, the answer was no. The Sergeant was then advised that he had been acting under improper orders and there was no cause to pursue the case.


Publican Robert Brydges was arrested along with labourers George Bone and John Bayne, for poaching at about two o'clock on the morning of 13th August 1858, on the estate of Sir W. B. Proctor, near the road to Buckenham Ferry . The three were to be brought before the magistrates on Monday 30th August 1858.
At the Quarter Sessions Wednesday 20th October 1858, Robert Bridges (40), George Bone (28) and John Payne (29) were charged of cutting and wounding William Forder who had seen men, apparently poaching. Stones had been thrown at him and he had been struck by a stick. It was heard that the light was poor and the three had only been identified by their general appearance. The jury acquitted on the grounds of insufficient evidence.

Robert Bridges was accused on Friday 26th August 1859 of having assaulted Susannah Howard, of King Street.
She had visited the house on the previous Saturday evening to meet a young man when another man called Playford threw some beer in her face. She left the house and returned with Sergeant Hayhow. Upon her return the landlord assaulted her in a most brutal manner, knocking her down and tearing her bonnet to shreds. The policeman confirmed that Bridges resisted custody and called others in the house to rescue him.
He was ordered to pay 40s and expenses of 13s 6d, or two months in jail.

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On Monday April 1st 1861, Emma Hardy, a woman of abandoned character, was accused of stealing £2 14s from the pocket of William Wagner.
Wagner, a married man, had accompanied Hardy to a room at the PRINCESS ROYAL beerhouse. On returning downstairs Wagner missed his money and although Hardy denied taking it she was left under the care of landlord Bridges until a constable was found.
Upon a search of the accused, only 5s 8d was found upon her.
It was then surmised that others were involved in the theft since Bridges had found out earlier how much Wagner was carrying and it was immediately after that he had been invited upstairs. A witness confirmed that Hardy had not left the room during the time a constable was sought, but thought that Mrs Bridges had collected something from under a cushion where Hardy had waited.
Hardy and Bridges were both committed to trial. Bail was refused.


On Tuesday 10th July 1861, Robert Bridges appeared at Norwich Quarter Sessions accused of receiving stolen money and of harbouring the thief.
Bridges was described as a disgraceful character.
It was said that persons would be enticed into the PRINCESS ROYAL and like houses, when not in a state to master themselves, by females whose intent was robbery. `Innocent people as well as guilty, went into these beerhouses and were led on from one glass to another until they became incapable of knowing what they were about.'
It would be for the Grand Jury to decide the fate of Emma Hardy and Robert Bridges.
Hardy received twelve months' imprisonment and Bridges two years' imprisonment. The Recorder said he regretted that the law did not allow a sentence of penal servitude.