A collection of twenty engraved and letterpress British inn bills completed in manuscript in various hands from regions throughout England and Wales, dating between circa 1780 and 1841. Many are printed with menus listing food and drinks as well as services, providing insight into what travellers at the end of the Georgian era were offered in any given region in this period; they are also early examples of the growing tourism trade. Beside tea, coffee, milk, soda water, lemonade, cider (cyder), and a wide range of spirits, other options for speciality drinks include: negus, punch, Geneva, perry, and malt liquors. Many of the various services relate to the care and maintenance of horses and carriages; besides blacksmithing, farrier and saddling services, many of the inns offered hay and corn, rush lights, etc. Also on offer were “servant’s eating and ale”, beds with extra charges for “fires in a bed chamber”, and washing; other services listed included “Chaise hire”, servants, providers were sometimes available. Other common services and goods included writing materials, postage, tobacco, and, of course, meals with various foods like fruit listed separately. The printed invoices and menus include some with engraved designs or woodcuts that incorporate a representation of a local attraction or motifs indicative of the trade. Several of the bills also include the imprint of the provincial printer. The majority have manuscript annotations.
Two invoices from Welsh business are produced by “Watton, Printer, Shrewsbury Chronicle” for Bedd Gelert Hotel, Carnarvonshire A. Prichard and Harod Arms Hotel, Devil’s Bridge, a village and community in Ceredigion, Wales, both of which are illustrated on the fronts and backs, with the same image on the back: The Iron Suspension Bridge, completed and opened on Monday, Januaray 30th, 1826, over the Menai Strait from Carnarvonshire into Anglesey. The fronts include the advertisements for the individual business but also include other natural wonders of the area: Cataracts and Aber Glaslyb Bridge, the Salmon Leap and the Pass in Snowden.
- Title: Collection of 20 British inn bills, [circa 1780]-1841.
LWL Mss File 147 & LWL Mss File 148
Acquired June 2019