Civil Usage

The Universal Directory of Great Britain for 1791 lists a great number of pubs in Plymouth Dock (as Devonport was then known), sadly however it does not tell us where any of these pubs actually were in the town. It is therefore very difficult to work out whether these pubs were relatively short lived, or whether they changed their names in later years.

Certainly it would appear as the Civil Usage was a relatively new, or newly named pub as it was, in all probability, named after a notorious privateer that had been involved in a celebrated smuggling incident at Christchurch some seven years earlier, in 1784. The well-documented Battle of Mudeford saw Excise men and smugglers involved a heated exchange and one which saw the fatal shooting of the Captain of the naval sloop HMS Orestes.


1791 - William Martin