“Now Thus!” is to be found, aside from as the Dawkins Ales Trade Mark, at Barton-on-Irwell near Manchester and also on an old gravestone in Leek churchyard.
The legend attached is as follows, as told in Staffordshire Stories:-
In the English Civil War one William Trafford, a staunch Royalist, lived at Swythamley Hall which fell to Parliamentary troops. To save his property as much as possible he sent away his staff and livestock and, collecting his valuables buried them beneath the floor of a barn.
When the Roundheads arrived they found Trafford disguised as a farm labourer, busily engaged in threshing corn over the spot of his cunningly hidden hoard. He was apparently oblivious of everything but his toil, swinging his flail, exclaiming at each lusty stroke the words “Now Thus!”
The officers questioned him in every way, but he appeared a poor, witless thing who could utter nothing but “Now Thus!”
At last they gave up their quest in despair, leaving as empty-handed as they came.
In commemoration of this ruse we have to this day a carving on a Staffordshire tombstone and an inn sign near the present Trafford property; the inspiration for our Trade Mark.
Extracts from Inns, Ales and Drinking Customs of Old England, F.W. Hackwood