Finding out the history of Public Houses in Hammersmith has never been easy. Before the 1st May 1552 there was no licensing act at all! In that year, 290 men and 22 women applied for licenses in the county of Middlesex but alas, only their names were recorded, not the pubs or addresses.
Some villages ignored such bureaucracy altogether and not one return can be found for either Hammersmith or Fulham. Indeed, there are absolutely no other records between 1552 up until the 13th of March 1715. It was then decided to introduce an annual license check on all inns, ale houses, taverns and tippling houses. Thus it was that the authorities finally caught up with us, although it took another 7 years before we are first mentioned in the Fulham Manorial roll. In fact, it stated the following:
"All that message or tenement situate near the waterside in Hammersmith known by the name or sign of the Blew Anchor, now in the occupation of Thomas Johnson with yard wash house and appurtenances to the same belongings.”
Shortly after this our name appears again in the Victuallers return of the same year.
So finally we have:
- A licence
- A date, 9th June 1722
- The name of our first licensee, Alehouse keeper Mr. John Savery
What we do know is that were in the original village of Hammer Smith, first mentioned in 1294 which was built along the foreshore on either side of Hamersmythstrete, now known as Queen Caroline Street, just under the bridge. We would like to think that the Blew Anchor existed then, as no other pubs in the area of the old village were mentioned before the implementation of the annual licensing checks in 1715. (The Dove was licensed in the 1790' s and the Rutland was only built in the 1870's) This is probably a romantic notion but we may never know. However, considering that we will probably never trace all our history, we have been in existence since before 1722 and that's some going.