The Spaniards Inn, Hampstead
- Original hand pulled screen print
- 6 colours
- 30 x 40 cm
- Heritage White 315 gsm paper
- Edition of 50
The pub is believed to have been built in 1585 on the Finchley boundary, with the tavern forming the entrance to the Bishop of London’s estate. An original boundary stone from 1755 can still be seen in the front garden. Opposite it is a toll house built in around 1710.
Dick Turpin was a regular at the Inn, as his father was the landlord in the early 1700s. Highwaymen frequented this area and probably used the Inn to watch the road. At that time the Inn was around two hours from the centre of London by coach and served many wealthy travellers.
In 1780 rioters involved in the Gordon Riots, opposed to the relaxation of laws in England that restricted Catholicism, marched on Hampstead intent on attacking Kenwood House, the home of William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield. The landlord of the Spaniards at the time is reported to have given them free drinks, keeping the rioters occupied, until the local militia arrived, thus saving Kenwood House.
There are various stories about the name of the pub. One, is that it was named after the Spanish Ambassador to King James I. The ambassador is said to have stayed at the inn to avoid the plague in London during a number of years of James I’s reign.
The other popular theory about the inn’s name has to do with two of its earliest landlords, Spanish brothers Juan and Francesco Porero. Apparently Juan and Francesco both fell in love with the same woman. It ended badly, the brothers fought a duel, which resulted in Juan’s burial in what is now the pub’s beer garden.
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