The Suddaby family are descendants of an old Lincolnshire family named Sotheby, or Soteby. A stone cross in All Saints churchyard Pockington, erected to the memory of John Sotheby, dates from the 1400s. In the 17th and 18th centuries the family lived at Birdsall Hall, near York. Portraits of Thomas Sotheby of Birdsall (1656-1729) and Elizabeth Willoughby née Sotheby (1694-1752) hang in the pub’s wine shop.
The Suddaby name has been associated with the Crown since 1879. But the hotel was by no means the extent of the family’s business interests. William Suddaby in the early 1900s ran a coaching business and had lock-up stables, coach horses and traps for hire. Later, when cars came in, William advertised ‘Motor Cars for Hire’ and ‘Luxurious All-weather Coaches’ and the hotel was now called the Crown Hotel & Crown Garage. Quick to spot a fresh business opportunity, William then started Malton’s first ever taxi service.
The Suddaby family is also connected with another well-known Malton name. Ralph A Yates established his blacksmith and foundry business in 1845 and the firm is still going strong in the same premises in Railway Street. Ralph’s daughter Eleanor married Robert Suddaby, Neil’s grandfather, and ran the pub with her husband.
From hearses to guitars
In the 1940s the coach and taxi business was diversified into funerals and the garage used to house the hearses. In 1986 the outbuildings were converted to a brewery and the Malton Brewery began to produce their range of craft ales – a pioneering micro-brewery!
The former garage has been re-purposed as a space for events and gigs, including our popular and busy beer festivals.