Beggars Bush: A Perambulation through the Disciplines of History, Geography, Archaeology, Literature, Philology, Natural History, Botany, Biography & Beggary

W. T. Moncrieff Gipsy Jack, or, The Napoleon of humble life c.1834

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Posted: April 20th, 2012 | Filed under: Writers | Tags: , , , | No Comments »


Wombourne, Staffordshire Beggars Bush Lane 1841

Beggars Bush Lane runs off the A449 Stourbridge Road, The name is recorded in the 1841 Census and also as Beggars Bush Lodge, Himley Park, which was a gatehouse for Himley Hall. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: May 21st, 2011 | Filed under: Places | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »


Castle Cary, Somerset Beggars Bush 1839

A draft chapter for VCH says “Smallway Lane, recorded in the later 17th  century,  cut off the junction of the two roads from Sparkford and continued across country to Wincanton. It was sufficiently well used to support a beerhouse after 1839 on land called Beggars Bush”. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: April 24th, 2011 | Filed under: Places | Tags: , , , | No Comments »


Ben Jonson The Staple Of News 1625

“I will take home the Lady to my Charge,

And these her Servants, and leave you my Cloke,

To travel in to Beggers Bush!”

Ben Jonson stood at the centre of the theatrical and literary life early modern England. He was connected with many writers who used the phrase Beggars Bush. Beggars Bush is mentioned in his late play when the character Peni-Boy senior reveals himself to his errant son, Peni-Boy junior. The usage is characteristic of the literary use of the phrase by Jane Anger and others. Peni-Boy junior, expecting an inheritance will instead fall into penury through his own folly. It is a state of being, not a geographical location.

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Posted: April 9th, 2011 | Filed under: Writers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »


Text of Londons Ordinarie

I have set out below the text of the ballad in full. For analysis of the origin, and the role of alehouses, inns and ordinaries see this link. See also the earlier version by Thomas Heywood. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: April 7th, 2011 | Filed under: Writers | Tags: , , , | No Comments »


Anon Londons Ordinarie 1629 ?

This broadside ballad “To a pleasant new tune” survives in a variety of editions.  The English Broadside Ballad Archive has two dated from 1619-1629 and 1630, while the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads lists three further versions dated between 1674 and 1679. All of these include similar text which lists places, mainly hostelries (ordinaries) linked with the characters of the people who used them. Notably it is the spendthrifts who go to Beggars Bush – which is consistent with the literary usage of the phrase. It is sometimes connected to a song by Thomas Heywood, first published in 1608. For the full text see Londons Ordinarie.
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Posted: March 20th, 2011 | Filed under: Places | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »


Sticky: Southwark, Surrey Beggars Bush c.17-c.18

There seem to have been at least two Beggars Bush pubs in London; one in St Giles north of the Thames and one in Southwark south of the river. Beyond that little can be reliably said about the Southwark example. It was probably in Gravel Lane  near Paris Garden. It was there in the reign of William III (1688-1702). It may have been in existence earlier during the period that Southwark was the centre of theatrical activity in London, and the home of writers such as John Fletcher. It is likely to be the inn referred to in the ballad London’s Ordinarie c.1685.

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Posted: March 19th, 2011 | Filed under: Places | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »


Thomas Heywood The Rape of Lucrece 1608

Thomas Heywood is significant because he does not use Beggars Bush when he might have done, but he does associate beggars with bushes. This song appears to be the source or have a common source with, a later ballad Londons Ordinary which does refer to Beggars Bush.
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Posted: March 19th, 2011 | Filed under: Writers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »


Ubud, Bali Beggars Bush 1979

A  former restaurant and pub mentioned on numerous tourist websites. It was founded by an Englishman, Victor Mason, and opened on 5th November 1979 with a run from the premises by the Bali Hash House Harriers, also founded by him in 1977. This site is unique as we can be sure why the name was given, as I was able to ask Victor Mason.
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Posted: March 19th, 2011 | Filed under: Places | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »


St Giles, London Beggars Bush c.1660

A disreputable inn known as The Beggars Bush or The Beggar in the Bush is reputed to have operated until the reign of Charles II during which the name was changed to Hare and Hounds.  Although the old name was replaced it was remembered. The history of this pub seems to have been confused with another in Southwark, south of the Thames. It may be the inn was referred to in the ballad London’s Ordinarie. It was indirectly, through a book, the source of the name of the pub in Ubud, Bali, and (possibly) through that a restaurant in Manchester. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: March 19th, 2011 | Filed under: Places | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »