Former history group member Richard Jenkins has written a series of short pieces on the village; this is one of them.
THE LOAD OF MISCHIEF
One of the oldest public houses in Blewbury called 'The Load of Mischief' has now closed down and the building is in the process of changing to a place of residence. The name undoubtedly awakens the feelings of fun and the old sign, a copy of that painted originally for a similarly named inn in Oxford Street, London, was designed by the eighteenth century artist William Hogarth. The artist was a celebrated satirist of his day and his paintings greatly sought after. The Load of Mischief depicts a man staggering under the weight of a woman whom he is carrying on his back. She is holding a glass of gin. There is a chain with a padlock round the man’s neck inscribed 'Wedlock', the meaning of which is quite clear! There is a drawing of the sign in 'This Venerable Village Blewbury' by Peter Northeast. Several inns took this name at the time but it appears that they have all now changed their name or status.
A gruesome tale was told of one of the old village inns. It was a lonely place in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and travellers sometimes disappeared. Inn keepers were not always good-
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