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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "Samuel Pepys Interest, Southwark, The Bear Tavern"
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The Bear was at the foot of London Bridge at the beginning of the London to Canterbury road; it was the first place that you could catch sailing boats to Greenwich and the English Channel; and it was at the landing point for ferries from across the river. Moreover, "the shooting of the arches of the bridge was ordinarily such a perilous enterprise that the landlord of the Bear Inn derived no small part of his custom from half-drowned passengers whose boats had been swamped or overturned in the process."
Cornelius Cooke was the owner from 1648 onwards. Earlier during the Civil War he became a captain of a local militia, rising to the rank of Colonel in Comwell's army. Although later a church warden, his nonconformist tendencies got him into trouble when he and a gang of others pulled down the altar rails for which he was put in the pillory and heavily fined.
The Bear is first mentioned in Riley's Memorials in 1319.
Pepys mentions the pub at least ten times in his diaries.
Ex. George Berry Collection.