Acquired by the Stroud Brewery Co. Ltd. in 1912 with 42 tied houses and was closed.

The Abbey Brewery is still standing, having being converted into offices 1989/1990.

I am grateful to Paul Best for supplying the following information:

A Weymouth man by the name of Thomas Luce is recorded in the 1830 Pigot’s directory as being a Brewer and Maltster trading from the High Street, Malmesbury. At the same time John S. Ody is recorded as a Brewer and Maltster, Near the Abbey. Although it’s not clear what the full extent of his brewing capacity was Thomas certainly had inns in the neighbouring county of Gloucestershire;

Dated 4th April 1834.
Lease for a year (for the Fox Inn at Tetbury)

Mr Thos Luce to Mr John Cook

This indenture made the fourth day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty four. Between Thomas Luce of Malmesbury in the County of Wilts Banker of the one part and John Cook of Tetbury in the County of Gloucester Brewer of the other part. Witnesses that for and in consideration of the sum of five shillings of lawful English money to the said Thomas Luce in hand paid by the said John Cook at or before the sealing and delivery of these presents the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledge, He the said Thomas Luce hath bargained and sold and by these presents doth bargain and sell unto the said John Cook his Executors administrators and assigns All that messuage or Tenement and garden with the appurtenances situate near the Long Bridge in Tetbury in the County of Gloucester aforesaid known by the name or sign of The Fox formerly in the possession of Joseph Hobbs Victualler afterwards of Mary Wright and William Sandy successively and now in the occupation of Robert Taylor as Tenant thereof And also all Houses appurtenances whatsoever to the said messuage or tenement Inn Garden hereditments and premises or any part thereof belonging or in anywise appertaining And  the reversion and reversions remainder and remainders rents issues and profits of all and singular the said hereditments and premises To have and to hold the said messuages or tenement Inn Garden hereditments and all singular other the premises herby  bargained and sold or intended so to be with their and every of their rights members and appurtenances unto the said John Cook his exactors administrators and assigns from the day next before the day of the date of these presents for and during and unto the full end and term of one whole year from thence next ensuing and fully to be completed and ended  XXXXXXXX

Yielding and paying therefore unto the said Thomas Luce his heirs and assigns the rent of one peppercorn (if the same shall be lawfully demanded) to the intent and purpose that by virtue of these presents and by force of the statute made for transferring uses into possession the said John Cook may be in the actual possession of the said messuage tenement Inn Garden hereditments and premises hereby bargained and sold or intended so to be and thereby enabled to accept and take a Grant and Release of the Freehold reversion and inheritance thereof and of every part thereof to him and his heirs To such uses and upon and for such trusts and intents and purposes and in such manner as shall be thereof limited expressed and declared in and by a certain other indenture already prepared and intended to bear date the day next after the day of the date of these presents and to be made between the said Thomas Luce of the first part the said John Cook of the second part and Thomas Hall of Througham in the parish of Bisley in the said County of Gloucester Yeoman of the third part. In Witness whereof the said parties to these presents have hereunto set their hands and seals the and year first above written.

Signed sealed and delivered by the within named Thomas Luce, in the presence of Thos Chubb, Solicitor, Malmesbury and Wm Sangdon.

Thomas was certainly still in the brewing trade in 1851 as the census suggests, however, it’s interesting to note that one of his sons Charles Richard Luce was ready to follow in his fathers footsteps, as the 1851 census records Charles Luce spending the night at a Brewers house. Indeed like his father before him Charles was already in the Banking trade.

1851 census Thomas Luce.
Dwelling: High Street, Malmesbury Wiltshire.
Thomas Luce. Age 60. Banker, Brewer & Justice of Peace. Born: Weymouth.
Susannah Luce. Wife. Age 52. Born: Monmouthshire.
Ashfield ? Luce. Daughter. Age 18. Born: Malmesbury.
Elizabeth Luce. Daughter. Age 17. Born: Malmesbury.
Elizabeth Bowyer. Servant. Age 23. Cook. Born: Iron Acton.
Harriett Cull. Servant. Age 25. Servant. Born: Newnton, Wilts.
Henry Evans. Servant. Age 20 Servant. Born: Kingscote, Glos.

1875 Thomas Luce Deceased.
The death is announced of Mr Thomas Luce, of Malmesbury, Wilts, who represented that borough in two Parliaments in the Liberal interest from 1852 down to 1859. Mr Luce, who was eighty-eight years of age, was for many years an inhabitant of, and a banker at, Malmesbury, and was also at one time a director of the Bank of London. He was a magistrate and a deputy-lieutenant of Wiltshire.

Source: Pall Mall Gazette 11th August 1875.  

1851 census Charles Richard Luce.
Dwelling: Burnevale, Malmesbury, Wilts.
William Bowley. Head. Age 30. Brewer. Born: Malmesbury, Wilts.
Charles Richard Luce. Age 22. Bankers Clerk. Born: Malmesbury, Wilts.

1861 census Charles Richard Luce.
Charles Richard Luce was a visitor staying in the home of George Miller at Westbury on Trym. Luce’s occupation is listed as a Brewer.

1865 Partnerships Dissolved.
Edward Harris and Charles Richard Luce, brewers and maltsters, Malmesbury, 25th March 1865. Debts by Luce.

Source; Perry’s Bankrupt Gazette 22nd July 1865.

1871 census Charles Richard Luce.
Dwelling; Halcombe, Malmesbury, Wiltshire.
Charles Richard Luce. Head. Age 42.  Bank Manager & Brewer & Maltster. Born: Malmesbury, Wilts.
Mary Luce. Wife. Age 28. Born: Bristol.
Edward Luce. Son. Age 7. Scholar. Born: Malmesbury, Wilts.
Richard Luce. Son. Age 3. Born: Malmesbury, Wilts.
John Luce. Son. Age 1 Born: Malmesbury, Wilts.
Maria Sherborne. Servant. Age 39. Cook, Domestic Servant. Born: Sherston, Wilts
Naomi Pike. Servant. Age 27. Nurse, Domestic Servant. Born: Malmesbury, Wilts.
Elizabeth Nicholls. Servant. Age 31. Housemaid Domestic Servant. Born: Mangotsfield, Glos.
George Stump. Servant. Age 21. Groom Domestic Servant. Born: Malmesbury, Wilts.

1881 census Charles Richard Luce.
Dwelling; Halcombe House, Foxley Road, Malmesbury, Wiltshire.
Charles Richard Luce. Head. Age 52. Brewer, J.P. for Wilts & Major of Volunteers. Born: Malmesbury, Wilts.
Mary Luce. Wife. Age 38. Born: Bristol.
Mary Grace Luce. Daughter. Age 9. Scholar. Born: Malmesbury, Wilts.
Walter Cecil Luce. Son. Age 7. Scholar. Born: Malmesbury, Wilts.
Sarah J. Smith. Servant. Age 23. Cook. Born: Corston, Wilts.
Annie Blackford. Servant. Age 36. Parlourmaid. Born: Sherston, Wilts.
Mary Tanner. Servant. Age 24. Nurse. Born: Malmesbury, Wilts.
Martha E. Smith. Servant. Age 19. Housemaid. Born: Corston, Wilts. 

1891 census Charles Richard Luce.
Dwelling: Halcombe, Foxley Road, Westport Malmesbury, Wiltshire.
Charles Richard Luce. Head. Age 62. Brewer and J.P. Wiltshire. Born: Malmesbury, Wilts.
Mary Luce. Wife. Age 48. Born: Bristol.
Mary G. Luce. Daughter. Age 19. Born: Malmesbury, Wilts.
Norman McLean. Visitor. Age 25. Student of Philology Cambridge. Born: Scotland.
Anne Blackford. Servant. Age 45. Domestic Servant. Born: Sherston, Wilts.
Agness M. E. Fowler. Servant. Age 24. Domestic Servant. Born: Brislington, Somerset.
Ruth Jeffries. Servant. Age 18. Domestic Servant. Born: Malmesbury, Wilts.
Mary E. Goodfield. Servant. Age 17. Domestic Servant. Born: Malmesbury, Wilts.

1926 Malmesbury’s Loss. Death of Col Charles Richard Luce.
The death took place on Thursday afternoon, at his residence, Halcombe, Malmesbury, of Colonel Charles Richard Luce V.D., D.L., who attained the great age of 97 years on March 26th last.
The deceased gentleman became seriously ill on Monday last, and the news came to the townspeople as a great surprise, for on Saturday and the two preceding days he went for drives in his carriage, and appeared to be as well as ever for one so far advanced in years. The announcement of his end was received with the greeted regret in the town and district. The borough of Malmesbury has lost it’s foremost and most honoured citizen — one who has been a great friend and benefactor — and one who will be sadly missed in many ways. The late Colonel Luce was a son of the late Mr Thomas Luce, of Malmesbury, and was born at the Knoll. His father represented the borough in Parliament for six or seven years. Colonel Luce was educated at Fairford School, near Manchester, and on leaving school went into the banking business, and was connected with the old Wilts and Dorset Bank (now merged in Lloyds Bank)
Colonel Luce claimed to be the oldest Volunteer in the country, and was sworn in as a volunteer in 1859. He retired from {the brewing} business in 1912.

When the “Old Corporation” ceased to function as the governing body of the town, and when, under the Municipal Corporations Act, 1883, a new charter of incorporation was obtained, Colonel Luce was elected first Mayor of the borough, and held the chief office for three years — 1886,7,8. On the death of the late Mr Walter Powell, in 1882, Colonel Luce was the Liberal candidate in the last Parliamentary election held in the ancient borough, but was defeated by his fellow townsman, Colonel Miles (Con)

Possed of considerable means, kindly and generous to a degree, Colonel Luce has made numerous handsome gifts to churches and public institutions, and especially done much to further the noble work of the Malmesbury and District Cottage Hospital. His great philanthropy will be missed by many people in the town and district.

Of the family of the late Colonel and Mrs Luce – Mrs Luce died in 1921 – there are living two sons – Major-General Sir Richard Luce, K.C.M.G., C.B., a distinguished physician and the Conservative member for Derby, and Vice-Admiral John Luce, C.B., both sons having served with distinction during the great war. The only daughter, Mrs McLean (nee Grace Luce) wife of Mr Norman McLean, of Christ College, Cambridge, died many years ago. Lieut W.C. Luce died at Sprinfontein while serving with the Wilts Regt in the South African war, and the eldest son, Mr Edward Luce died in 1887.

Source; Western Daily Press October 1926.

1926 BREWER’S £100,000.
Colonel Charles Richard Luce, of Halcombe, Malmesbury, first Mayor of the borough in 1886, formerly of the Abbey and Mill Breweries, Malmesbury, who died at the age of 97, left £106, 003. 8 shillings and 10 pence (net, personality £101,749 18 shillings and 9 pence) The Will is proved by his sons, Sir Richard Harman Luce, M.P., and Vice-Admiral John Luce C.B., of Little Cheverall, Devizes. Colonel Luce left £380 to his secretary John Matthews, and £200 to his secretary Jessie Howlett.

Source; Western Daily Press December 1926.

Malmesbury, Wilts.

FOR SALE by PRIVATE CONTRACT, (in consequence of the recent death of the proprietor) the well known and old established ABBEY BREWERY, situate at Malmesbury, Wilts, in full work. The Premises are very compact, and in complete repair, comprising, besides the Brewery, a respectable DWELLING HOUSE, Malthouse, and all necessary buildings, part freehold, and the remainder long leasehold, and for lives renewable on payment of moderate fines.

The above will be sold either with or without several Inns, or Public Houses, in the town, or within an easy distance.
The Stock is of the best quality, and with the Plant, will have to be taken at a valuation, and a moderate premium will be required for the good-will.
The consumption of Malt is about 600 quarters annually.
The present is an opportunity which rarely offers a person of capital.
Coming-in about five thousand pounds, exclusive of the public houses.

For further particulars, and to treat for the purchase, apply to Mr J. A. Handy, solicitor, Malmesbury; or to Messrs Pinniger and Awdry, solicitors, Chippenham, Wilts.
A Railway Station is within 7 miles of Malmesbury.

Source; Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette September 1859.

1861 census John Heath.
Dwelling; Abbey Brewery, Malmesbury Wiltshire.
John Heath. Head. Age 30. Brewer & Maltster. Born: Corsham, Wiltshire.
Lucy Heath. Wife. Age 26. Born: Foxham? Wilts.
John Heath. Son. Age 4. Born: Malmesbury.
William Heath. Son. Age 2. Born: Malmesbury.
Thomas Heath. Son. Age 8 months. Born: Malmesbury.
Lucy Parlsow. Servant. Age 21. Born: Malmesbury.
Helen Wigmore. Servant. Age 12. Born: Malmesbury.

1871 census John Heath.
Dwelling; Abbey Brewery, Malmesbury Wiltshire.
John Heath. Head Widow. Age 48. Brewer & Maltster. Born: Corsham Wiltshire.
Thomas Heath. Son. Age 10. Scholar. Born: Malmesbury.
Maud Heath. Daughter. Age 8. Scholar. Born: Malmesbury.
Louisa Heath. Daughter. Age 6. Scholar. Born: Malmesbury.
Agnes Heath. Daughter. Age 5. Scholar. Born. Malmesbury.
Amelia Jack. Governess. Age 28. Governess. Born: St Pancras.
Jane Wilkins. Servant. Age 21. Servant. Born: Crudwell.
Ann Wilkins. Servant. Age 19. Servant. Born: Crudwell.

At the time of writing (August 2012) I have not been able to establish when John Heath moved from Abbey Brewery and when Charles Richard Luce took over ownership. John Heath does not appear on the 1881 census in Malmesbury. Certainly the many aerated mineral water bottle’s used by C.R. Luce would suggest the change over date pre 1880.

Tied Houses

Beehive Inn, Balls Green, Minchinhampton Common (1891,1903)

Bell Inn, High Street, Avening (1891,1903)

Kings Arms, Bradley Street, Wotton under Edge (1891,1903)

Plume of Feathers, Kingswood (1891,1903)

Prince and Princess, Market Place, Tetbury (1891,1903)

Tivoli Inn, 6 Tivoli Place, Cheltenham (William Luce, Malmesbury 1891,1903)

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