The Corporation Arms, Ruthin

button-theme-womenThe Corporation Arms, Ruthin

It’s believed that council meetings took place here before 1666. The frontage is Victorian.

In the 1830s the building was a public house kept by Thomas Pierce, who also moved his tallow chandlery (candle-making) business here from Mwrog Street. It appears that he named it the Corporation Arms, perhaps hoping to encourage members of the town corporation (town council) to patronise it.

He died of consumption in 1852, aged 42. His widow Anne then ran the business until her death in 1870. Despite having at least five children living, she left the pub to her youngest daughter Diana.

Diana married in 1870 but her husband Thomas Edwards died of bronchitis, aged 40, just four years later. She immediately put the pub up for sale. It was described as “that old-established and well-accustomed Inn ... together with the commodious yard, stable, and other outbuildings”.

By the 1890s the pub had passed to newlyweds William and Mary Bella Owen, but in July 1894 Ruthin residents were shocked to learn that William has disappeared after leaving home one morning, promising to return for dinner. The press described him as “a most affable and popular tradesman” – but in 1908 his antics were reported under such headlines as “Scandalous Conduct of Husband”.

That was when Mary sued him for divorce and it emerged William, a heavy drinker, had deserted Mary soon after their child’s birth in 1894. In 1907 he wrote to Mary to confess he had been living with another woman for three years!

Mary continued to run the pub after her divorce in January 1908. Two months later, a burglar stole £17 from her, along with a “gold gipsy diamond ring” worth £5, two blank cheques and her purse. Labourer William Jones, 23, was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment with hard labour. He had previously spent five years in a “reformatory” and had 12 strokes of the “birch rod” for stealing cash.

Mary eventually seems to have found happiness. She married Tegwyn Mills, butler at Ruthin Castle, in November 1910 and continued to run the pub until 1919.

With thanks to Dr Hazel Pierce, of The History House

Postcode: LL15 1DP    View Location Map

Website of the Corporation Arms (Facebook)