Ezekiel Gummery Publican of Worcester


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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.

Worcester Pubs

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 Jnr. married Eliza Evans on 18 July 1831 at St Martin's church in Birmingham. Eliza was born in St Clement's parish, Worcester in August 1812, the daughter of William and Mary Evans, her father being a waterman at the time. By 1815 William Evans was licensee at the Rising Sun pub in Cripplegate, Worcester, so both Ezekiel and Eliza were raised in and around Worcester pubs. William Evans was licensee of the Rising Sun until 1850.

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 Cock Inn, Tybridge Street

The Cock was an historic Worcester pub. The buildings int he area where the Cock was located on Tybridge Street date back to 1740. It is said that the oak floorboards were from 18th century sea-going ships, though maybe given the proximity of the Severn River the timbers were from river-going vessels. There were two dates on the facade of the pub - 1740 and 1906, as can be seen in the photograph on the right. In 1906 The Cock would appear to have undergone some reconstruction work. The Cock was a three story building with a bar and smoke room on the ground floor, an upstairs clubroom, and living accommodation on all three floors. Certainly the Gummery family lived on the premises as shown by census entries. There were two ground floor rooms sealed off from the rest which would have been where ale was brewed. An upstairs room was called the Malt Room which suggests it may have been used to malt the barley for brewing. The Cock closed not too long after this photograph was taken in 1961, and was demolished to make way for the construction of the Tybridge Street multi-story flats.

The Cock has had many differing addresses over the years all describing the same location in St Clement's parish in Worcester. In the 1830s it was Turkey, the 1840s either Cripplegate or St. Clement's Street, and in the 1850s it was recorded as St. Clement's Street or Clement's Street. From around the 1880s the street became known as Tybridge Street, and in the early 1900s the actual address was 106 Tybridge Street. The map below, a segment of a map of Worcester by Samuel Mainley, published 9 April 1822, shows the area at that time. This map is interesting in that it is quite definite about the location of Cripplegate and Turkey - Cripplegate being that half of the street closest to Cripplegate House and the Bull Ring; Turkey being that half of the street closer to the Severn River.

Cock Inn, Tybridge Street 1961

The Cock Inn, Tybridge Street, Worcester in 1961

St Clements 1822

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.

St Clements1841

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.

St Clements 1885

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.

School Walk 1885.jpg (178414 bytes)

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.
A pair of cottages, brick-built and slated. Well situated for letting.
Each house comprises - front living room, having oven grate and 2 useful cupboards; 2 bedrooms; back kitchen, with furnace, coal-place and pantry.
There is a small brick-paved yard for the use of both houses, with town water tap; also W.C. fitted with flushing cistern and pan.
There are also a small garden plots in front enclosed by a paled fence.
Let to Mr Harvey Turley and Mrs Letitia Hade, who have been in occupation for 6 and 8 years respectively, at weekly rents amounting to 14 6s. per annum. Landlord paying rates.
The length of above tenancies is a proof that the property is a good letting one, a fact which should be remembered by anyone looking out for a small reliable investment calculated to pay a steady fixed interest.

The two cottages were sold at auction on 9 October 1895 to John Moses Jones, licenced victualler of Tybridge Street, for $140.

If you would like to know more about this family please email me .

Lewis' Worcestershire General & Commercial Directory 1820.
Pigot's 1830 Directory.
Pigot's National Commercial Directory 1835.
T. Stratford's Guide & Directory to the City & Suburbs of Worcester 1837.
Mr Decourcey's Alphabetical List of Worcester Freemen 1740-1818.
St Clement's parish registers.
Bentley's 1841 Directory published on CD by Archive CD Books http://www.rod-neep.co.uk/
Freemans Roll of the City of Worcester 1 December 1835 held at Worcestershire Records Office Ref.496.5 BA no.9360 Parcel A15 Box 2.
Information on the Cock, Tybridge Street from "It's Last Orders One More Time", published Saturday 18 May 2002 in the Worcester Evening News.
Photograph of The Cock Inn 1961 from Worcestershire Record Office - Worcester City, Tybridge Street 24076, Copyright B. Buckle, Springfield, Fernhill Heath, Worcester. I tried to locate B. Buckle to gain permission to use the photograph but have not been able to locate him.
Section of map showing Cripplegate from Bentleys 1841 Directory of Worcestershire, published on CD 0034 by Archive CD Books, reproduced with their permission.
Large scale map surveyed 1885 - Worcester Sheet XXXIII.7.9.
Information about the sale of the School Lane cottages - Worcestershire Records Office Ref.4925/75 83.
Last revised: 13 December 2006
Linda Hansen 2006