The George Inn

The George Inn once stood between George Street and Swan Street and is an example of a house associated with the rise and fall of an Alderman family in the town.

Described in a deed of 1753 as “a messuage, stable and court called the George Inn” it once belonged to a dynasty of aldermen led by Phillip Williams and his grandson Philip William Junior who became alderman in 1724.

The family can be traced back to the 17th century when Philip William left a widow, Anne, who died in 1666. He was a juror at the court of survey held in the ancient borough in 1630. Their son, William Philip was a borough yeoman who married Joan Evan and died in 1671, leaving one son called Jenkin William.

Jenkin’s widow, Barbara married a second time to Morgan Thomas. Jenkin and Barbara had a son, Philip William who became the Alderman in 1724 and another son by her second husband, William Morgan.

This caused a dispute in 1693 when Philip complained that his mother and step father had misappropriated his father’s personal estate., milked the profits and failed to pay the legacy he had been left by a Theoderic Bassett. The defendants counter claimed that Jenkin Williams’ ease had been debt ridden.

Philip Williams retained his father’s lands in Llanwynno and Aberdare and settled with his wife Anne in Bristol until 1722. He returned to Llantrisant and became Portreeve in 1738, the same year as his death. His grandson, Philip William, a joiner, died a bachelor in 1734.

His own mother Anne, “Mistress William of the George” did not prove her son’s will which handed the property to his own daughter. The will had been burned presumably to defraud the daughter Anne and her son Joseph Edward. Fortunately justice prevailed and Joseph along with his step father Thomas Harding, a shoemaker, proved they had paid rent for the George Inn for several years.

However, the freehold was purchased by Thomas Edmunes of Cowbridge in 1754. A later tenant was John Jenkins, the diarist, who owned six houses on Swan Street and ran the pub and a Malthouse from 1830 until 1855. 

John Jenkins was born in 1771 and became a freeman in 1793. He married Anne Morgan in March 1793/ Their son, also John Jenkins, was born in June 1795 and married Jennet Hopkins in March 1818. The son was known as a farmer and he had two children, Thomas and Jennet. The latter was born in April 1819 and her mother, also Jennet, subsequently died a few days later.

John Jenkins remained at the George Inn for the next decade, remarrying in 1843 to Margaret Morgan who was his servant, aged twenty two and six months pregnant! In 1847 John Jenkins began to keep a diary of life in Llantrisant. As an innkeeper he promoted sporting events with several records of lodges who moved into the properties while “training”.

He records a number of sporting foot races, including one at Llantrisant Common in 1848 for £20 a side between “John Morgan of Llantwit and an Englishman. Won by the latter” John Jenkins later moved to Llantwit Faerdre where he died in June 1860 aged sixty four. He sold The George Inn to Morgan Thomas in 1848 for £124. 

In 1912 the two inns and intervening cottages were demolished and replaced by the Union Workhouse, but the pitched alleyway remained. 

With thanks to J. Barry Davies