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The Baron of Hinckley

Discover the history on Hinckley.

5–7 Regent Street, Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10 0AZ
The name of this pub recalls the office created by William the Conqueror. The Baron of Hinckley was also Lord High Steward of England.

Prints and text about George Canning.

The text reads: Nearby Canning Street takes its name from the 19th century statesman George Canning. Canning lived in Hinckley, and later in neighbouring Burbage, during the early 1880s. his home, Castle Hill House, in Castle Street, was later occupied by the Hinckley & Barwell Co-op, before it was demolished in 1976.

Canning came to Hinckley in 1807, the year he first became foreign secretary, to consult the famous Doctor Chesser about his son, who was unable to walk following a fall. He stayed at the Bull’s Head, which was a well-known coaching inn standing on a site by the Market Place, later occupied by the Woolwich Building Society.

Unimpressed by Hinckley, Canning described his surroundings as “the vilest inn, in the nastiest town, in the dirtiest country, that imagination can conceive”. However, the Canning family stayed in the area for sevent years as the health of his son improved under the care of Doctor Chesser.

Canning began his thirty three years in parliament as a whig, and ended as Conservative prime minister. During that time he represented several different constituencies.

Having fought a duel with the minister of war, Lord Castlereagh, Canning resigned, returning to high office after Castlereagh’s suicide. An able and liberal minder reformer, who opposed slavery and discrimination against Catholics, Cannings held the office of prime minister for only four months before his death in 1827.

Above and right: George Canning.

Illustrations and text about Bosworth Field.

The text reads: The red dragon above a white boar on the Hinckley coat of arms recalls the change of dynasty which took place at nearby Bosworth Field in 1485. The Lacastrian Richard III was defeated by Henry Tudor, who then became King Henry VII.

The squabbling for spoils and power amongst rival aristocratic groups, known as the Wars of the Roses, was nearly a century old by the time of Bosworth Field. The Yorkist faction was represented by a white rose, the Lancastrians by a red one.

Richard of Gloucester, son of the Duke of York, and brother of Edward IV, was offered the throne by Parliament in 1483. The claim to the throne of his opponent, Henry Tudor, was more distant – he was the great-great-great-great-grandson of Edward III.

The battle is familiar from Shakespeare’s play, with Richard’s famous cry of “A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse”. The characterisation of Richard III as a deformed villain reflected the prejudice of the victorious Tudor regime.

Left: Henry VII with his councillors Empson (left) and Dudley
Above: Richard III
Right: above, the death of Richard III, below, Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, crowned at Bosworth
Top: Richard III clashes with Henry Tudor at Bosworth Field.

A print, illustrations and text about the hosiery trade.

The text reads: The stocking-frame, invented in 1589 by William Lee of Calverton, was introduced into Hinckley half a century later. This began the transformation of the town into an industrial centre.

The old framework-knitter’s houses can be identified by the long windows built into the upper stories to provide better light so work by. Three old cottages survive on Lower Bond Street, not far from this Wetherspoon pub, and have been turned into Hinckley’s Museum.

In 1855, the pattern of home-working began to changes with the introduction of steam-powered frames in Thomas Payne’s Wood Street factory. The town’s production of 1,000 dozen pairs of stockings rocketed, increasing thirty-fold in twenty years. By 1920, over a third of Hinckley’s population was employed in more than twenty hosiery factories.

Top: Framework Knitters Arms
Above: Stocking frame knitting
Left: A Hinckley hosiery factory, 1950s.

Old photographs of different locations in Hinckley.

Top: Technical Schools, Hinckley, c1935
Middle: Derby Avenue, Hinckley, c1930
Bottom: Free Library and Council Offices, Hinckley, c1910.

A photograph of The Borough, Hinckley, c1933.

Artwork entitled Mother Nature’s Sons, by Paul Montgomery.

External photograph of the building – main entrance.

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