Pub Names – M

The Mafeking¹
Warblington Street
Named after the 1899/1900 Siege of Mafeking – the most famous British action of the Second Boer War.

The Magdala¹
High Street
Likely to be named after Mary Magdalene, the follow of Jesus – her name suggesting Mary from Magdala.

The Magnet¹
Greetham Street
The magnet is said to draw passers-by into the pub from the street outside.

The Magpie³
Fratton Road
Various superstitions surround this bird, differing from place to place. The inn sign depicts one perched bird and another in flight – the popular rhyme proclaiming “two for joy“. Therefore presumably the joy of finding a public house?

The Maitland¹
Maitland Street
Located on the eponymous street and named after a field that could once be found here, in an area formally known as Black Path Furlong.

The Malt & Hops¹
Oxford Street

A reference to two of the main ingredients of traditional ale – the other two being water and yeast.

The Manchester Unity¹
Queen Street
Pertaining to the Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity Friendly Society, also called the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows – the fraternal organisation founded in that city in 1810 and with many branches throughout the country.

The Manor House¹
Fratton Road
Named after Froddington Manor – who’s land covered much of what is now Portsmouth city centre and Southsea.

The Marble Hall¹
Cottage View
A possible reference to a stonemasons’ that once stood adjacent to the pub.

The Market House Tavern³
Commercial Road (later Mile End Road)
This name may derive from the tavern once being a place where market auctioneers collected their monies and sought refreshment. The inn sign depicts an aproned publican serving working men with tankards of ale, whilst a dog and a goose gather around.

The Marlborough Tavern¹
Marlborough Row
In honour of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722), English soldier and statesman, made freeman of Portsmouth in 1703.

The Marmion Tavern
Marmion Road
This pub took its name from an earlier Marmion Tavern which stood close by and is now a restaurant. The Marmion name recalls an 1808 poem by Sir Walter Scott, telling the tale of Lord Marmion. The Royal Navy also named a destroyer HMS Marmion in 1915, though this would have postdated the original Marmion Tavern by a number of decades.

The Marquis of Granby¹
High Street
Named in honour of John Manners, Marquess of Granby (1721-70), Commander of the British forces in the Seven Years’ War. A large number of pubs were named such, as Manners was well-known for helping set up his men as publicans at the end of their service.

The Marquis of Lorne¹
Wickham Street and Ivy Street
John George Edward Henry Douglas Sutherland Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll (1845-1914), Governor General of Canada from 1878 to 1883.

The Mars
Church Path North
The inn sign depicts a warship “The Mars”. Built in the 1840s at Chatham, Kent, the Mars took part in the Crimean War and was later converted to a steam screw ship. She became a training ship and spent sixty years anchored in the Firth of Tay, where she trained disadvantaged boys.

Commercial Road
Named in honour of the former licensee of this pub, Martha Kingsbury (d.1914), when it traded as the Suffolk Arms. It became Martha’s in 1948.

The Mary Rose
St George’s Road
Formerly the Gloucester Hotel, this pub was rechristened in 1983 to mark the raising from the Solent of Henry VIII’s famous warship, which sunk off Southsea Castle in 1545. The ship’s name came from Mary, the King’s sister and the rose, the Tudor family emblem.

The Matchless¹
North Street
Of uncertain orgin, though likely to be a statement by the licensee, implying the superiority of his hostelry over others. The Royal Navy have operated two vessels named HMS Matchless, but this pub pre-dates both ships, so cannot be linked.

The Mayflower¹
Highland Road and St Mary’s Road
Another nautical name, this time from the famous ship that delivered the Pilgrim Fathers to Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620. She returned to England the following year and in 1623 was sold for scrap.

The Meon Valley
Meon Road
The Meon Valley is an attractive area of south Hampshire, located primarily to the north of Fareham. The River Meon flows into the Solent at Titchfield Haven.

The Mermaid
New Road
This name derives from a corruption of the words mere mead – a water meadow. The pub stands on what was once Mermaid Field.

The Mitre¹
Butcher Street/Kent Street
A popular pub name in bygone years, referring to the distinctive hat worn by bishops and abbots.

The Monarch¹
Commercial Road
A patriotic name referring to the Head of State – in this case HM Queen Victoria.

The Monmouth¹
The Hard
In honour of James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth (1649-85), English nobleman who led the failed 1685 Monmouth Rebellion in an attempt to depose his uncle, King James II.

The Morning Star¹
Blackfriars Road, Alexandra Road and Somers Road
The Morning Star is the name given to the planet Venus when it appears in the east sky before dawn. The name was used by the Great Western Railway Company as the name of one of its Star class of broad-guage locomotives, built in 1839 and in service until 1869.

The Mother Shipton
Twyford Avenue
Named after Ursula Southeil (c. 1488–1561), the fabled prophetess who was reputedly born in a cave beside the River Nidd in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire.

The Moulders Arms¹
Twyford Avenue
Named after the Starr Iron & Brass Foundry, owned by the licensee of the pub in the 1860s and ’70s.

Mr Pickwick
Milton Road
Named after Samuel Pickwick, the eponymous character from Portsmouth-born author Charles Dickens’ novel The Pickwick Papers.

The Mystery¹
Warwick Street (later Warwick Crescent)
Of uncertain origin. Most likely a tongue-in-cheek title, devised to invite speculation and rumour about the pub’s name.

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