RepositoryDerbyshire Record Office
Archive Reference / Library Class No.D504/184
TitleThe Ellis family of Tansley and Samuel & Annie Robinson of Masson Cottage, Matlock Bath
DescriptionThese records concern the Ellis family's ownership of The Devonshire Hotel, Matlock Bath, and the property's subsequent ownership by Samuel & Annie Robinson, together with a number of other properties in the area. The estate consists of land off Church Street, Matlock; the Devonshire Garages at Matlock Bath; Montpellier, off Waterloo Road at Matlock Bath; the Devonshire Hotel, on South Parade at Matlock Bath; and Masson Cottage, on Guildroy Road at Matlock Bath. The estate was largely inherited by Anne Robinson's niece Marina Smith.
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Archive CreatorClient of Messrs Brooke Taylor & Company of Bakewell, solicitors
The Ellis family of Tansley and Samuel & Annie Robinson of Masson Cottage, Matlock Bath
Administrative HistoryThe Devonshire Hotel was leased by Annie Robinson, firstly to Hills Cromford Brewery Co. Ltd., then to Offilers Brewery Ltd., Ambrose Street, Derby.

It is claimed that Hill’s brewery of Cromford was founded around 1825, and was situated at the Greyhound Inn (now Hotel), which still stands on the Market Place in Cromford. The inn had been built in 1778 by Richard Arkwright. There is no proof of brewing on the site from these early days, however, as most pubs of the time brewed their own ale, advertising the fact would not have been important.

Matthew Hill first appears in a trade directory in 1881 as licensee of the Greyhound. The business must have flourished, as by 1891 the brewery had moved to a new site. Kelly’s directory of that year noted that the brewery of Matthew Hill formed part of the original historic mills established by Sir Richard Arkwright. The mill had closed in 1890 after being destroyed by fire, the remaining buildings leased by the brewery. The brewer at this time was Frederick George Carter. Company status soon followed, the concern was registered to acquire the business of Matthew Hill. Hill’s small estate included several Public Houses including the Devonshire Hotel at Matlock Bath.

As all breweries of the time, Hill’s suffered many losses of tied houses during the early part of the century. Many of these were as a result of the new Compensation Act, where the Police could close several pubs a year with compensation paid from a levy on all licensed premises.

The combination of such pressures together with dilapidated brewing plant resulted in Hill’s approach to Offilers brewery of Derby in 1911, with a view to them buying the concern. Offilers however, declined to buy. The situation became much worse and the company went into receivership. Offilers bought the brewery from the receiver as a going concern for £7250, with the aid of a £5000 bank loan. The deal was accepted by Mr Jaffrey on behalf of the Hill’s brewery, and Offilers assumed control on 4th March 1914.
Administrative History Sources
RelatedMaterialFor other papers re. the estate of Samuel Robinson and his wife Anne including the wills of Samuel and Anne, along with some deeds, abstracts of title and sale particulars, c1918-1935, see D504/140/36/1-14.

See D908 and D2211 for other records of the brewery, including accounts 1825-1837 and bottle labels.
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