Ezekiel Gummery was born about 1804 in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England, the son of Ezekiel Gummery from Martley and his wife Elizabeth Redding of Shrawley. Elizabeth died in May 1805, and later in September 1810 Ezekiel Snr. was remarried at All Saints church in Worcester to another Elizabeth, Elizabeth Smith.
Ezekiel Snr. was a clerk and bookkeeper until September 1816 when he purchased entry to become a Freeman of the City of Worcester for £20. Around that time he became a victualler/publican, and was initially listed as victualler at The Old Wherry in Quay Street, Worcester in 1820, a pub very popular with watermen. A wherry was a shallow, light boat pointed at both ends used to ferry goods on the river. In 1830 Ezekiel Snr. was publican at the Duke of York Tavern in Lich Street, Worcester; then the Duke of York in Little Angel Street in 1831; then from 1835 a publican/beer retailer in Severn Terrace, Worcester. The Severn Terrace address was not a pub as such but most likely an informal beer house. An act passed in 1830 (commonly known as The Duke of Wellington's Beer House Act, he was Prime Minister at the time) allowed any householder to sell beer, ale and cider on purchase of a licence costing 2 guineas from the Excise authorities, thus allowing Ezekiel to turn premises into a public house which he could open between the hours of 4.00am and 10.00pm, 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, closed only during divine service. Ezekiel retired from the pub trade around 1840 to live in Henwick Road, St John's parish, Worcester.
Ezekiel and Sarah had only one child, a son, Henry Gummery, who was born in January 1832 at Cripplegate, Worcester and baptised at the nearby St Clement's parish church on 4 February. Ezekiel's occupation was listed as a glover in the baptismal register. Worcester City Corporation records show that Ezekiel Gummery, glover of Turkey, St Clements entered as a Freeman of the city in 1833. An 1840 directory lists Ezekiel as licencee of the City Arms in Cripplegate, then in 1841 at the Cock in Cripplegate. The City Arms had previously been run by Penelope Yates who was buried in December 1839 aged 71 years, and Ezekiel may have taken the pub over from her when he became too old or ill to continue with it. The City Arms and the Cock may well be the same pub, Ezekiel changing the name back to the Cock when he took over. He was to remain at the Cock until he retired in about 1864. Ezekiel must have been someone who loved people, a gregarious sort, to have lasted so long as a publican.
The varying addresses for the Cock pub would indicate it may have been located between Turkey and Cripplegate, and routes taken by the various census enumerators support this. The 1841 census enumerator described the area where the Cock was located as being on the north western side of Cripplegate, in the vicinity of School Walk. The map below dates from 1841 and shows Church Walk (it was called Cold Comfort in 1822 !!). The small street to the south of Church Walk was School Walk, and the Cock was situated on St. Clement's Street/Cripplegate/Turkey near School Walk.
Luckily an 1885 large scale map (10.56 feet to 1 mile) shows the exact location of the Cock, halfway between the Bull Ring and where School Walk joins Tybridge Street - see the map below.
About 1864 Ezekiel retired as publican of the Cock and moved around the corner to 95 Henwick Road. No.95 was located on the west side of Henwick Street near Grosvenor Lane, between Grosvenor Lane and the Bull Ring, and seems to have been in the vicinity of St John's tannery. Ezekiel and Eliza lived at 95 Henwick Road for the remainder of their lives. Eliza died there in November 1882 and was buried at Aswood cemetery on the 20th. Ezekiel died there on 9 February 1887 and was buried alongside Eliza 3 days later.
During his lifetime Ezekiel had invested in two cottages on School Walk which he rented out for income. His will stipulates that after his death the rents were to be paid to his son Henry Gummery, as long as Henry kept the cottages in good repair, insured against loss from damage or fire, and paid the interest on the mortgage. In the event of Henry's death, one third of the rents were then to be paid to Henry's wife, Mary Ann Gummery, and the remaining two thirds "towards the maintenance, education and support of my two grandchildren Louisa Margaret Gummery and Albert Harry Gummery, until they shall attain the age of twenty one years". Once the youngest grandchild reached 21, the real estate was to be sold. Judging from the description of the two cottages at the time of their sale, they would have been the premises indicated by the red dot on the map below.
Their location was described as being near School Walk, bounded on the north by a passageway, on the south by houses, on the east by a three foot road leading to School Walk, and on the west by premises belonging to John Stallard. The sale catalogue described them as -
Lot 5 - School Walk, Tybridge Street.
The two cottages were sold at auction on 9 October 1895 to John Moses Jones, licenced victualler of Tybridge Street, for $140.
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