THE history of yeovil's pubs





lamb inn (2)

Back Kingston


Although twice listed as the Lamb Inn with both of its licensees listed as Inn Keepers, this short-lived establishment (not to be confused with the first Lamb Inn) was most likely to have been a simple beerhouse.

The actual location of the Lamb Inn is unknown apart from the fact that it was roughly half-way along Back Kingston (today's Higher Kingston). Most cottages in Higher Kingston were demolished in 1969 as part of the hospital redevelopment scheme.



The first licensee, George Cole, was born about 1823 at Odcombe, just over three miles west of Yeovil. In the 1841 census he was listed as a male servant working at a farm in Lower Odcombe. In September 1846 he married Mary Ann Abbott, known as Ann, from Sandford Orcas in Dorset. Hunt's Directory of 1850 listed George as a beer retailer in Higher Kingston and in the 1851 census he and Ann were living at the Lamb Inn with a son and two daughters; Fanny aged 3, Frank aged 2 and 1-year old Julia Ann. Ann's occupation was dressmaker and George was listed as a brewer and retailer of beer. George's occupation as brewer was quite rare in Yeovil; although the Beerhouse Act 1830 allowed anyone to buy a two-guinea license to open a beerhouse and brew their own beer, only very few beerhouse keepers are known to have been brewers but George Cole was one. In August 1860 George appeared before the magistrates and the Western Flying Post reported "George Cole, of the Lamb, Kingston, was summoned by PC Everley, for selling beer and other liquor after 11 o'clock on the night of 28th June. Ordered to pay the costs." In the 1861 census George was listed as the innkeeper at the Lamb Inn and lived there with Ann and their children, now augmented by George aged 7 and one-year old Kate. Some time during the next decade George gave up the license of the Lamb Inn and moved his family to Yeovil Marsh where, in the 1871 census, he was listed as a farmer of 40 acres employing one boy. Living with George and Ann were their children George and Kate and his step-daughter, Emily Abbott. Emily had her mother's maiden name, was listed as George's step-daughter and was aged 21, in other words born four years after George and Ann got married - I'll leave you to ponder on that! Anyway, in 1881 George, still a farmer, was living with Ann and Kate in a farmhouse at Yeovil Marsh. Mary Ann died in December 1887 and in 1891 George was still farming and living on his own with a general domestic servant. George died in December 1893 aged about 70.

The second licensee, John Slade, was born in Over Compton, just outside Yeovil, around 1802. Around 1844 he was living in Chilthorne Domer with his wife, Elizabeth, where their son William was born. In the 1851 census and the 1861 census he was listed in Vicarage Street as a carpenter and wheelwright with Elizabeth, and four of their children. In the 1871 census John, aged 69, was listed as a carpenter and innkeeper of the Lamb Inn and was living there with Elizabeth and two of their children. After this I lost them in the records since there were about seven men called John Slade in Yeovil at the time.




A report of the Friendly Society's anniversary bash at the Lamb Inn from the Sherborne Mercury's edition of 1 January 1861.


A notice that the Lamb Inn to be let, placed in the 15 September 1865 edition of the Western Gazette.




1850 – George Cole – Beer Retailer (Hunt & Co 1850 Directory) listed as Higher Kingston
1851 – George Cole – Brewer and Retailer of Beer (1851 census) listed as Back Kingston
1852 – George Cole – Retailer of Beer (Slater's 1852/3 Directory)
1853 – George Cole – Beer Retailer (Slater's 1853 Directory) listed as Reckleford
1860 – George Cole – Spirit license refused (Petty Sessions)
1861 – George Cole – Inn Keeper (1861 census) listed as Lamb Inn, Back Kingston
1861 – George Cole – Beer Retailer (Kelly's 1861 Directory) listed as Reckleford
1865 – Lamb Inn to be let (Advertisement above)
1871 – John Slade – Carpenter & Inn Keeper (1871 census) listed as Lamb Inn, Back Kingston
1872 – John Slade – Beer Retailer (Kelly's 1872 Directory)