Will and Inventory of Frances Box, innkeeper, 1663
Box kept one of the largest inns in the town, having nine bedrooms for guests, a brewhouse with a furnace and a cellar for storing beer. It is clear from his inventory valued at £154 that he was one of the wealthiest people in the town. He, and the other innkeepers, owed their success to Basingstoke’s location at an important junction on the Western post road, a day’s ride from London. The bedrooms were named after some of the inns and alehouses in the town. This was also the case with the inns kept by John Buckler and John Crosse (see their inventories in the Basingstoke Probate Material 1621-30). Unfortunately we do not know the name of Box’s inn. A return of the malt brewed in Basingstoke in 1622 lists the Chequer, the Bell, the George, the Angel and the Maidenhead as the inns along with 15 alehouses in the town brewing malt. Apart from certain legacies, he left his estate to his widow, Elinor als Eleanor. It appears from a list of innkeepers dated 1663 that she took over the licence.