Some history of the Burbury Arms Inn on Burbury Street
Located on the corner of Burbury Street and Farm Street, the Burbury Arms was a significant public house but, alas, I do not have a photograph of this building. Like the nearby Queen's Head, the pub dated from the early 1850's and vied for both trade and status in the vicinity.
Joseph Cartwright may have been the first landlord of the Burbury Arms. However, within a few years the pub was placed on the market. In July 1858 an advertisement in the Birmingham Journal advised readers that the "old-established Burbury Arms was very pleasantly situated in a good business district with premises built for the trade, including a modern fitted-up corner liquor shop, large club room, entire yard, with gate entrance and stabling with every requisite convenience. The valuation was about £200 and a lease was offered to a respectable tenant." It would be three years before Joseph Cartwright relinquished the licence and, on March 7th 1861, it was transferred to Edward Stokes.
John Gumley was mine host of the Burbury Arms during the early-mid 1870's. Following an accident in Erdington during June 1873, John Gumley took Samuel Smith, a cab proprietor of Newtown Row, to court for damages, claiming that he had caused the collision in which his trap was damaged and in which he was thrown into the road. However, when the evidence was examined in court, it was decided that it was the publican who, a little worse for drink, was racing with another pony and trap on the Sutton Coldfield road and was ultimately responsible for the crash. Consequently, the Judge gave a verdict for the cab proprietor.
The Burbury Arms was de-licensed before the Second World War and, in August 1939, the building was available to let for other uses.
Licensees of this pub
1854 - 1861 Joseph Cartwright
1861 - Edward Stokes
1865 - John Aston
1865 - John Davis
1875 - John Gumley
1881 - Cornelius Rose Cooper
1886 - Joseph Chadwick
1890 - Joseph Chadwick
1895 - William Tomlins
1902 - H. Adams
1907 - Harry Adams
1920 - Mrs Laura Pittaway
1925 - George J. Hill
1930 - Joseph Morgan
1932 - Charles Windsor
1937 - Albert Edward Winkles
This map shows the locations of Burbury Street's pubs. The Lucas Factory on Great King Street is marked as a Cycle and Motor Bell and Lamp Works. This site had previously been occupied by a rows of terraced houses with courts, similar to that on the southern side of the thoroughfare.
Aston Brook through Aston Manor
Birmingham City Council
Birmingham History Forum
Birmingham Places and Place Names
Carl Chinn Archive
Ladywood Past and Present
Perry Barr and Beyond
Winson Green to Brookfields
Have Your Say
If you would like to share any further information on this pub - perhaps you drank here in the past? Or maybe knew a previous publican? Whatever the reason it would be great to hear of your stories or gossip. Simply send a message and I'll post it here.
"You can get the dart player out of the pub, but you can't get the pub out of the dart player."
"Yesterday an inquest was held at the Burbury Arms, Burbury Street, before Dr. Birt Davies, on the body of a fine male infant, which had been
discovered on the previous day in a drain in Burbury Street. William Smith, a gilt-toy maker, residing in Guest Street, stated that on Sunday afternoon, about two o'clock,
as he was walking along Burbury Street, some lads called to him, and on going to where they were were, he saw, whilst looking in a drain to which the boys directed his
attention, the head of a child. He proceeded to pull out the body, which proved to be a newly-born infant, wrapped in a black apron and a piece of alpaca cloth. The body was
taken to the Burbury Arms Inn, where Mr. J. V. Solomon, surgeon, attended the inquest, and gave evidence to the effect that there were no marks of violence on the body,
which, from the advanced state of decomposition, might have been exposed for a week. The Jury, under the Coroner's direction, returned an open verdict of "Found dead."
"A Dead Infant Found Exposed in Burbury Street"
Birmingham Daily Post : January 19th 1858 Page 2.
"Dr. Birt Davies, the Borough Coroner, held an inquest at the Burbury Arms Inn, Hockley, on Monday, touching the death of a girl, aged four
years, named Clara Platt. The mother of the child, who is the wife of a soldier now serving with his regiment in India, lodged at the house of a man named Moore, in Walker's
Buildings, Farm Street. On the previous Saturday afternoon, it appeared that Mr. Moore called in a man living next door, in order to show him the process of electro-plating
whip handles for which a solution of cyanide of potassium was used. After Moore had plated several handles he told Mrs. Platt to put the apparatus out of the wav, which she
did and in the belief that she had removed everything that related to the process, she shortly afterwards went into the house of a neighbour, leaving the deceased alone in
the house. Mrs. Platt was almost immediately alarmed by hearing the girl scream and running into the house, the deceased told her that she had been drinking "some of the
poison" out of a jug which stood on the table. This jug, on examination, was found to contain a small quantity of the solution above mentioned. The child was instantly
carried to the surgery of Mr. Pasquin, surgeon, in New John Street, but she expired in few minutes from the deadly effects of the poison. The Jury returned a verdict of "accidental
death by poisoning."
"Singular Case of Poisoning by Cyanide of Potassium"
Aris's Birmingham Gazette : August 17th 1861 Page 5.
"An inquest was held yesterday afternoon, before Dr. Birt Davies, at the Burbury Arms, Burbury Street, on the body of Cecilia Griffiths,
sixty-one years of age, who resided at No. 2, Bevan's Buildings, Farm Street. It appeared that on the 30th of May last, some little children went into the house of the
deceased to show her some toys they had been given to them fairing. The deceased, having a great dislike to children, got up from her chair to drive them out of the house.
Whilst doing so, she over-balanced herself, fell down, and broke her left arm. She was taken to the General Hospital, where the broken limb was set, and she returned home.
In a few days afterwards she became very ill, and was attended by Mr. Ore, surgeon. She gradually sank, and died on Sunday last from the effects of the injury.
Verdict, "Accidental death."
Birmingham Daily Gazette : June 17th 1863 Page 2.