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The Man Loaded with Mischief

The Man Loaded with Mischief, 34 Madingley Road

History of the Man Loaded with Mischief

An original sign for this pub is in the Cambridge Folk Museum. It was painted by Richard Hopkins Leach (29 Maids Causeway). The reverse of the sign shows an earlier scene where the husband, enjoying a pint, is set upon by his wife and animals.

The Man Loaded With Mischief pub sign by Richard Hopkins Leach

Reverse of sign (MoC)

The inspiration for the sign is thought to have been taken from Hogarth, who painted a similar sign in the early 1800s. It hung outside an inn on Oxford Street in London and shows a man leaving a public house called ‘The Cuckold’s Fortune.’ The man is weighed down by his gin-drinking wife, a monkey, a magpie and a padlock around his neck. The sign illustrates the saying ‘a monkey, a magpie and a wife, are the true emblem of strife.’

A copy of the lost original by Hogarth (MoC)

In 1941 the diarist Jack Overhill wrote 25th Oct:

I then tried to have a squint of the old inn sign of the ‘Man Loaded With Mischief’, now preserved in the Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography (wanted for ‘The Cordwainer’) [the book Jack was writing at the time], but it was shut. An uncivil porter didn’t know whether for duration or not.


OS map 1898 Madingley Road


John Rowell (Gardner’s)



Frederick William Wallis (Kellys)


1906: John Samuel Chittock (Daughters Christening record)


1911: The Mischief

John Henry Hazlewood, police pensioner licensed victualler, 53, b Northants
Mary Hazlewood,  assisant, 52, b Brecon
Doris Evelina Mary Hazlewood, daughter, 10, b London


1913: The Man Loaded with Mischief

Benjamin John Pry

A J Burgess, resident manager, Old Brewery


1916: The Man Loaded with Mischief

Benjamin John Pry


1962: The Man Loaded with Mischief

Nicholas B Bebbington


Circa 1600, not very far from this site, was the location for the famous sermon by Dr John Dodd of Jesus College. There was supposedly a hollow tree at the site which served as a pulpit when Dr Dodd was accosted by three undergraduates and asked him to talk about Temperance. They gave him the word MALT as his text.

The Malt Sermon of Dr Dod, from Leaflets of Local Lore by Urbs Camboritum (Cambs Collection)


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