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No 2 South Green - The Red Lion

Originally built in about 1620 and rebuilt in brick in the early 1700s. In the early 1800s it was known as the 'Queen's Head' and owned by Benjamin Harrington (jnr) and his wife Susanna who sold it for £70 to Robert Thompson who changed its name to the 'Red Lyon'.

James Martin takes over the inn in October this year from Mrs Wiggs, a widow. James was previously landlord of The Two Brewers. (M)
Among other ventures, James diversifies by running a 'wain' (a basic open carriage) service to and from Norwich. He gives this up in 1826 when Henry Foyster takes it over. However James continues to run the Red Lion for many years.(M) He and his wife, Lydia, have 10 children. In 1831, his daughter, Harriett, marries Rd Rufus Boniwell who will later take over the Southwold Arms (M)

James Martin
- Inn keeper. James's eldest daughter, Martha, married James Woodard in 1829 and the couple take over
'The Pilot Boat' Inn (No 8 East Street) in the early 1840s (W1844)

James Martin's 25-year-old daughter, Lydia Martin marries James Oldring, the butcher in the Market Place. (M and NA)

James Martin dies and his wife, also named Lydia, takes over as Inn Keeper. (NA)

Mrs Lydia Martin continues to run the inn. Maggs describes it as "Mrs Martin's Red Lion". (M)

James Hague Aungier of Ipswich buys the Red Lion and hires it first to Daniel Betts Osborne (the butcher/fishmonger at No 5 East Street) and later re-sells it to James Jillings (M). James has previously owned the White Horse at No 19 High Street as well as the adjacent property at No 21 High Street.

George Tharmes succeeds as landlord (M) but in ...

James Jillings is back! (M) But not for long...

Wm. Harrison - "buys it & keeps it" reports Maggs. ('Keep' as in 'inn-keeper', ie he runs it himself.)

Walter Harrison - Victualler (W 1874) Note: There is a discrepancy beween Maggs and Whites as to Mr Harrison's first name - William or Walter?

William Waters (K1896)

William Waters (K1908, C1911) Married to Mary Ann Waters. They have three daughters in their twenties living with them.

Thomas John Docwra (K1916). Thomas dies in 1918. Later, his widow, Vivette, remarries Donald Dunton, (brother of Sidney Dunton who will later take over the fish shop at 5 East Street.)

Mrs Vivette Dunton now runs the inn with her second husband, Donald (K 1924)


Donald & Vivette Dunton (K1937, LM)

Donald & Vivette Dunton
- Donald dies on 1st April this year, aged 59.


Vivette Dunton (K1950, LM)

(Note: our correspondent, David Daniel remembers Mrs Dunton in the 1950s as 'Vera Docwra' rather than 'Vivette Dunton''. Perhaps she retained her previous surname for continuity reasons and used 'Vera' to make things simpler for her customers.)

Vivette Dunton dies on 15th June this year, aged 81.

Peter Leggett - becomes the new tenant working with his wife Ruth Leggett. They introduce a dining menu for the first time (Source: David Daniel)


Peter & Ruth Leggett - tenants


Pat & Sheila Murphy (LM)

Alan Colman - Left to run the King's Head (The Low House) pub in Laxfield.

Nick Sayers



George Coleman


Derek & Theresa Baggott

Michael Beck & Blanche Thornton


Do you have any memories or records about this address? Can you correct any of our information or fill in any of our blanks? If so, please email Barry Tolfree
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BSD - Bernard Segrave-Daly
BCS = Bygones & Characters of Southwold by Barrett Jenkins
C = Census
CP = Cinema Programme 1958
CSP = Coronation Souvenir Programme 1953
G = Gales Trade Directory
GRO = General Register Office
K = Kelly's Directory
LM = Local memory
M = James Maggs' Southwold Diary 1818-1876
MCG = Methodist Church Guide 1930
NA = National Archives
PP = Pantomime Programme 1933
PLR = Petrol Licence Records

POD = Post Office Directory
PPP = Pier Pavilion Programme 1924, 1926
RCE = Rotary Club Exhibition 1969
SCM = Southwold Catholic Magazine 1923
SCTG = Southwold Corporation Tourist Guide
SER = Southwold Electoral Register
SFP = Southwold Scouts Fete Programme 1947
SG = Southwold Guide
SGCH = Southwold Golf Club Handbook
SLHR = Southwold Local History Recorder 1980s 1990s (Mrs R. McDermot)
SMHS = Southwold Museum & Historical Society

SN = Southwold & Neighbourhood 1903
SPM = Southwold Parish Magazine 1895 -1954
SR = Southwold Recorder 1927, 1932, 1934, 1935
SRB = Southwold Rate Book
SRT = Southwold Railway Timetable 1915
SSAS = Southwold Sea Angling Society Handbook 1909
SST = Southwold Summer Theatre Programmes
SSW = Southwold Shopping Week Programme, June/July 1922
STG = Southwold Town Guide 1930
SVL = Southwold Visitors List 1907, 1930
SVCP = Southwold Victory Celebration Programme 1946
SWCG = Southwold Wesleyan Church Guide

TTR = 'The Town Revisited' - Portraits of Southwold by Stephen Wolfenden 2000
TTT = ''To The Town' - Portraits of Southwold by Stephen Wolfenden 1988
W = White’s History, Gazetteer and Directory of Suffolk 1874

Note on dates
Unless otherwise stated, dates given do not indicate the years in which the business started or finished but those for which there is firm evidence that it was trading at this address. Sources in brackets; key at bottom of page.

The Red Lion in 1855. Reproduced from Barrett Jenkins' book 'A Visit to Southwold'' by kind permission of the author's daughter, Ann Thornton.

Click the picture to enlarge

The Red Lion in 1860 when Lydia Martin was in charge.
Southwold Museum P1501

Click the picture to enlarge