In 1829 The children of the parish of St. Michael's were offered free vaccination against smallpox ( using Cowpox).  To obtain this they had to attend the Poor House in St. Michael's on Monday 27th or Friday 31st. Whereas the children of the parish of Abbots Langley were not offered free vaccination until much later (Vaccination against small pox not being made compulsory until 1853.) If the wife of licensee Robert Ostler gave birth in that part of the premises in St. Michael's, then their children were eligible for vaccination, however if she were brought to bed in that part of the house in Abbots Langley, they may well have died of small pox before they were eligible to receive the vaccine.

Prior to that  no records have as yet come to light to suggest that the Rose & Crown existed, but in 1822 the records show that Charles Tompkins was the Licensee. From the following year Robert Ostler probably held the license at least for the next 37 years.  Throughout this time firstly the Tithe Surveys for both parishes of 1840, and an early Kelly's Directory of 1860 all show the pub to have been owned by Thomas Hinder and occupied by Richard Ostler. However, the 1851 Census shows no particular entry for an address at the Rose & Crown, though an entry for Vincent Cook, a Boot & Shoe Maker and Victualler may possibly refer to the hostelry.  These early beginnings represent the most stable time for this pub when it was continuously run by the same landlord for more than a third of a century, and may well have continued until 1870 when a new landlord, Henry Seabrook, took  on the lease.

From then on entries in  Kelly's Directories show a variety of licensees: 1878, Samuel Copp; 1882, Arthur Franklin; 1886, George Snoxall. Previously George Snoxall had been listed as the farmer at Northend Farm . 

In September 1896 the Gazette reported that the annual meeting (AGM) of the Leverstock Green Football Club was held at The Rose & Crown. Obviously this was not the first time it had been used as it was agreed that the dressing room for the coming season would be "at The Rose & Crown as before", and the meeting was told that "a capital meadow" at the rear of the pub had been secured to play on. 

In 1889 the Rose and Crown had yet another new licensee - George Ernest Page, who was in his turn replaced by 1902 by John Martin.

August 20th 1904  There was an extremely long article in the Gazette headed:



At Watford Crown Court on Tuesday, James Stratford of the Rose & Crown Public House Leverstock Green was summoned for persistent cruelty to his wife Sarah Ann Stratford who applied for a separation order……….The complainant was wheeled into court in a bath chair as she is paralysed in the lower limbs……….married in December 1902………The case was adjourned for a week in order to bring further evidence.  [Gazette 20th August 1904]

A week later (August 27th 1904), a further very long article appeared in the Gazette:


Apparently James Stratford was frequently drunk and abused his wife in front of the Rose & Crown’s clientel.  Despite claiming his wife’s accusations were ficticious, evidence was given against Stratford by his neighbours including the local Police Constable William Sharpe who lived at Church Cottages opposite the pub.  In addition to the separation order, Stratford was ordered to pay his wife eight shillings a week.

On 15th November 1904 The Licence for the Rose & Crown was taken over by Matthew Leno Junior, son of Matthew Leno of Cox Pond Farm a highly respected local farmer and past High Bailiff for Hemel Hempstead, for a sum of £75.  Mr Leno Junior  had previously ran Westwick Row Farm as a tenant of the Earl of Verulam for 17 years.  Unfortunately he had not been able to keep on the farm and his effects, including furniture had been sold under distress for rent

It would seem that Matthew Leno Junior was no more able to keep on  a pub than he had a farm, and  The Rose & Crown  was from then on in decline. At the end of August 1905 both the pub and its new licensee became hot gossip locally once more.  In the Gazette for 29th August 1905 it was reported as follows: 


At the present time Mr. Leno was publican of the Rose & Crown  PH  in Leverstock Green , and he had formerly been a farmer at Westwick Row Farm for 17 years.  His liabilities ran to £1,153 13s 1d, with assets of only £122 7s 6d.  Mr. Leno had taken over the Rose & Crown on November 15th  1904, having given up Westwick Row Farm in September 1904.  He had not been able to keep on the farm and his effects, including furniture had been sold under distress for rent.  Mr. Leno gave evidence that he had at the time been led to believe that the Rose & Crown would be a good living.  It had cost him £75 to take over the pub, with an annual rent of £10. He held the pub on a monthly tenancy but had never seen an agreement.  He went on to add that trade had been poor.  The examination of  the case was adjourned. 

As previously mentioned,  the Matthew Leno mentioned in the above extract was the son of Matthew Leno Senior, who had been an extremely well respected local citizen, being one of the manager’s of Leverstock Green school, as well as having been one of the Hemel Hempstead board of guardians, and later having  held the office of High Baliff of Hemel Hempstead. Matthew Leno Senior had lived at Cox Pond Farm where he bred pheasants for the game bird market, and dying in November 1904.

On 21st July 1906 the following advert appeared in the Hemel Hempstead Gazette :

Matthew Leno Junior's bankruptcy was eventually to lead to the loss of the Rose & Crown  as licensed premises in Leverstock Green, as the licensing authorities started to look at the question of whether or not its license should be renewed.

On February 15th 1907  The Gazette reported:

At the Watford Brewster sessions on Friday the license of the Rose & Crown Leverstock Green was held back, this being one of the houses the justices proposed to refer to the Hertfordshire Compensation authority."  

Almost exactly a month later on March 16th 1907 - The Gazette ran a further report: 


THE ROSE & CROWN - At the adjourned Brewster Sessions for the Watford district Mr.. A. Clark solicitor appeared for the owners, but did not oppose reference of the lease to the Compensation Committee.  Superintendent Wood stated that this was a fully licensed house owned by Linklater & Co Bond Court as solicitors to the executors and leased to Adex & White Brewers St. Albans.  The Leather Bottle was 100 yards away, the White Horse 222 yards within 440 yards there were two fully licenses houses and two beerhouses.  Since 1885 there had been 14 changes including the present landlord.  The house was referred to the Compensation Committee." 

On July 12th 1907 the Rose & Crown finally lost its license and reverted to being a private residence, though the question of compensation was not decided until several months later. The last report in the Gazette on this subject being Saturday 19th October 1907:

The Rose & Crown. 
At the Hertfordshire Licensing Authority meeting on Friday  the claim for compensation in respect to the closing of the Rose & Crown  was £863 13s 6d but this was considerably reduced and a settlement made as follows:  Freeholder £383, lessees (Mr. Adey & White) £100, tenant £60.

The property was later purchased by W.W. Sears.  It was used as both a family home (members of the family an be seen outside the house in the photograph below), and as the base for his business.  Mr. Sears was the "go-to" man for any building work, house decoration (internal and out) "Sanitary  Work" which I take to be basically plumbing,and  and any odd jobs. in the local area.  He also bought up land in the village when he could, built a house or bungalow on the site, and in many instances would live in the property when newly finished and sell in on at a later date, so that the family moved around the village.

In more recent time the house was converted into two dwellings, confirmed by adverts in the local press.
The Rose & Crown
Next to Leverstock Green Cricket Club, alongside the Bedmond Road stands a yellow washed "L" shaped private house called The Elms. At least 180 years old, this property was a public house until the early years of the twentieth century, when it finally lost it's license as there were deemed to be too many pubs and beer houses in Leverstock Green already at that time. Its name then was The Rose & Crown. It can be seen in the photograph above taken about 1900 on the right of the picture, together with its sign and notice board.

In the early days of its existence, living in the property may have caused certain problems for its inhabitants as it straddled the boundary between the parishes of St. Michaels and Abbots Langley.  Until relatively recent times it was "the parish" which was responsible for the social welfare of its citizens - i.e. "poor relief".  If you fell on hard times it was to "the parish"  you had to turn, and if you were unfortunate you would end up in the workhouse for that particular parish. It was also the parish which was responsible for providing what little preventative medicine and health care was available at the time in the form of the parish midwife, and once available, vaccination against small pox.

Above Left: photo extract from St. Michaels Tithe Map (1840) showing that portion of the Rose & Crown (765) within the parish.
Above Right & Right: photo extract from the Abbots Langley Tithe Map (1840) showing the boundary going through the property. The property to the right is 17th Century Northend Cottages
The Elms, previously known as The Rose & Crown, August 2002 photographs by Barbara Chapman.
All photographs and scans of HALS documents shown on this website are published here with the kind permission of Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies.
This page was last updated: September 12, 2018
1897 OS Map of central Leverstock Green ~ click to enlarge.
A detailed history of one village in Hertfordshire, UK

Mr.W.Dorant will sell by auction on Monday July 23rd 1906 at 2 o'clock on the premises as above by direction of the owners, excellent NEARLY NEW FURNITURE and outdoor effects. Covered Mahogany suite, Brussels Carpets and Rugs, fine tuned Harmonium, Curved & Plate Glass Sideboard,  Sewing Machine, work table, set of tapestry cushions, excellent village car, Winchester rifle, New cart cover, Ladies bicycle, Kitchen utensils etc.

Catalogue off Mr.. W.Dorant, Estate Agent St. Albans.