the history of yeovil's pubs





king's arms (1)

Back Kingston


Not to be confused with the later King's Arms 2 in South Street or the even later King's Arms 3 in Silver Street, this was one of the earliest of the Yeovil beerhouses and was run by William Baker.
It was probably a very short-lived establishment as it only appears in the records for some four years.

From its relative position in the 1841 census the King's Arms 1 was located in Higher Kingston very close, within two or three cottages, to Fiveways crossroads (there was no roundabout then) but it is not possible to tell which side of the road.



William Baker was born in 1802 at Broadclyst, Exeter and in the 1841 census he is listed as an inn keeper with his wife, Elizabeth, and their three children living in Higher Kingston. By the time of the 1851 census Elizabeth had died and William, still with his children in Back Kingston, described his occupation as 'contractor of roads, etc.' but he was affluent enough to be employing a live-in housekeeper. It seems likely that Elizabeth had run the beerhouse during the day and William, after spending the day at his 'normal' job, took over during the evenings which was a very common practice in beerhouses. After Elizabeth died it is likely that William had to give up the beerhouse.
I have given this King's Arms its own page because it was named.




1835 – (Robson’s 1835 Directory - Beer Houses) listed as King's Arms, Back Kingston
1839 – William Baker – Beer Retailer (Robson’s 1839 Directory) in Back Kingston
1840 – William Baker (Somerset Gazette 1840 Directory) listed as King's Arms, Back Kingston
1841 – William Baker – Inn Keeper (1841 census) pub not named, listed in Higher Kingston
1842 – William Baker – Retailer of Beer (Pigot’s 1842-4 Directory) listed in Kingston