The Black Swan, which was originally called ‘The Swan’ was a busy inn on Pig Lane, as Bridge Street was called in 1815. Constable Isaac Gregory recorded in his journal that he has had a run-in with Mrs Butcher, the wife of the landlord of ‘The Swan’.
Constable Gregory’s apprentice, Bartlett, had gone to the Swan, where he presumably over-indulged on beer. Gregory found him in the inn and reprimanded Mrs Butcher for serving him. Mrs Butcher was a tough cookie who said she would “give any person two or three quarts of beer anytime (she) saw proper.” Gregory was fuming and threatened her with a report to the magistrates if she insulted him again. According to Gregory “she would not keep her saucy tongue still, although insisted upon by her husband.”
Their relationship continued to be sparky when five years later Gregory recorded that, after he had sworn in the new special constable, Mr Candy, he took him around to the public houses, and was “ill used by Mrs Butcher at the Swan.”
Read about another pub in Frome – The Blue Boar