History of the Bull's Head in Price Street at Birmingham in the county of Warwickshire

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Some history of the Bull's Head at Price Street

In more recent years this famous old hostelry has been known simply as The Bull but, historically, the pub was known as the Bull's Head. Consequently, I have remained with the name that has been painted on the building for most of its history. Located on the corner of Price Street and Loveday Street, the Bull's Head is located in the heart of Birmingham's historic gun quarter. Owned by the Lench's Trust, the pub was leased and operated by Ansell's brewery for most of the 20th century. Indeed, the old tavern has a long history of being kept by maltsters and brewers. The Showell family traded here in the first half of the 19th century before the Fulford family took over for most of the Victorian era.

The Bull's Head on the corner of Price Street and Loveday Street [c.1937]

Before looking back at some history of the Bull's Head let's take a look at the building. The above photograph was taken in the mid-1930's when the pub was operated by Ansell's brewery. A key legacy of the Aston-based company are the lovely ground floor window panes which can be seen here before the Second World War. I am not sure if they were well protected during the war years or if they were replaced after the conflict because an incendiary bomb landed in the middle of the street very close to the pub. Thankfully, the Bull's Head was spared, whereas the opposite side of the street suffered far more damage with three bombs landing directly on buildings. The first floor windows fronting Loveday Street are lovely and typical of Georgian architectural style.

The shop fronting Loveday Street next to the pub has long since been integrated into the Bull's Head. The tall buildings that you can see here behind the Bull's Head have also disappeared. There was a lot of early development around the pub in the form of housing and courts but these were cleared and the land redeveloped in the Victorian period [more details on this are featured below]. During the late-19th century the pub stood in isolation on the corner of Price Street and Loveday Street before these tall factory buildings were erected. In the 21st century the Bull's Head once again stands in isolation, surrounded by a car park. At least the pub was spared again when the bulldozers cleared land for the development of St. Chad's Queensway. Thousands of people whizz past every day when, if they had any sense, they should really turn off and pop into one of Birmingham's more traditional pubs.

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William Westley's Plan of Birmingham showing The Gun Quarter [1731]

According to the painted lettering on the pub's fascia, the Bull's Head dates from circa 1800. The pub was, however, erected some years before in the late 18th century. The building was NOT here in the early 18th century. This is suggested by John Ashby on two history panels that were mounted on the pub's exterior walls around the turn of the millennium. On these it was stated that "as early as 1729 there was a gun implement maker residing at No.1 Price Street ... he was also a beer retailer." The above image is taken from William Westley's plan of Birmingham drawn in 1731 and shows the early development of the Gun Quarter just to the north of White Hall, the earlier name for Steelhouse Lane. These relatively new buildings were erected on land belonging to the Weaman Estate. The steel houses of the Kettle family can clearly be seen on the plan. The site of the Bull's Head is just to the north-east of these and, as you see, there is no development at the time of this plan. Indeed, Price Street is not shown on Samuel Bradford's plan drawn up some twenty years later.

The increase of firearms production, due to the wars against America and France, saw further development radiating out from the earlier workshops based around Weaman Street and Whittall Street. The growth of the population crammed into the newly-emerging courts warranted the construction of a new church. St. Mary's Church was built in 1774 on land presented by Mary Weaman between Whittall Street and Loveday Street. Initially acting as a chapel of ease to St Martin in the Bull Ring, a parish was assigned to St. Mary's in 1841 by which time some 8,500 people were residing in the locality. The Bull's Head was only a matter of yards away to the north-east. St. Mary's Church, by the way, was closed in 1925, the site being beneath the middle ring road of St. Chad's Queensway.

The Bull's Head on the corner of Price Street and Loveday Street [2002]

The Bull's Head was erected on land owned by the Lench's Trust, a charitable organisation established in 1525 by the tanner William Lench. The trust has benefited from gifts over the centuries, along with amalgamating with other charities. Loveday Croft was added to the Trust by John Vesey, an original Trustee of the Lench's lands. The croft was formerly owned by John Cooper, thought to have been the landlord of the Dogg Inn at Spiceal Street at the beginning of the 16th century. A tablet in St. Martin's Church records that "John Cooper gave one croft for the making of lovedays amongst Birmingham men," lovedays being one day in the calendar year in which parties arbitrated to resolve legal differences. Part of the rents raised from the Loveday Croft was used to settle such disputes under arbitration. It is thought that John Vesey merged John Cooper's charity with that of the Lench's Trust. The other section of land that formed part of the Lench's Trust within St. Mary's was Hawke's Croft, a smaller parcel added in 1525. This was largely sold to the Committee of the General Hospital in 1892 for expansion of that institution.

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The combined land of the Loveday Croft and Hawke's Croft is between Loveday Street and Lancaster Street, the latter formerly being known as Walmore Lane. As can be seen on the above map dated 1731, the Trustees erected almshouses at the corner of Steelhouse Lane and Walmore Lane in 1688. The remaining area remained as pasture land until 1765 when building leases were granted by the Trustees. A parcel of land was reserved for the rebuilding of the almshouses on Steelhouse Lane, but the remaining land fronting Steelhouse Lane, along with the old almshouses on Lancaster Street were leased to Joseph Taylor who subsequently erected new properties.

The Bull's Head frontage to Loveday Street [2002]

It was in 1772 that Lench Street, Loveday Street, Price Street, Russell Street and Bailey Street were laid out. These thoroughfares can be seen on the plan dating from the end of the 18th century on which it can also be seen that the locality was wholly developed by 1799. Note also the original line of Lench Street and the absence of Vesey Street at this point. The latter was created when the Trustees sold part of the land to the Corporation who cut and made new thoroughfares after the old houses had been demolished. The reason for this was the original houses built on the land was scheduled by the Corporation as "an unhealthy area under the Artisans' and Labourers' Dwellings Improvement Act of 1875." And this makes the preservation of the Bull's Head all the more precious, for whilst the housing and courts that once surrounded the pub were deemed to be "in a deplorable state of repair" and subsequently demolished, the old boozer was spared - possibly because profits from the business were spent on improving and maintaining the property over the years. So when viewing late Victorian maps and plans of Loveday Street and Price Street the pub is marked in isolation.

The parcel of land forming part of Loveday Croft, on the corner of Price Street and Loveday Street, was assigned to Thomas Horton on a 110 year lease from Michaelmas 1777. The parcel had a frontage to Loveday Street measuring 12 yards and was 480 square yards in total. The annual rent was set at £3, with Thomas Horton "covenanting to expend £200 at least in building one or more substantial dwelling houses." Subsequently, Thomas Horton erected one front house to Loveday Street, and six front houses and one back-house to Price Street. In 1829 these were valued at £65 per annum. So, as you can see from the above photograph, the 12-yard frontage to Loveday Street would include just the corner element of the property. The adjoining property was formerly a separate shop. The different first-floor windows provide an instant visual clue that these were once distinct properties. The Bull's Head would have been erected soon after Thomas Horton signed the lease in 1777 and was probably trading by 1780.

Servery of the Bull's Head in Price Street [2006]

The Showell family were running the Bull's Head in the early 19th century. Yardley-born Joseph Showell was a button-maker by trade but, like his father, Thomas Rhodes Showell, he became a licensed victualler following his move to Birmingham. His brother was named Walter but he moved to London to work as a cabinet-maker. His first name however would be a constant in the family line - Joseph's grandson, Walter Showell, would later become the founder of a large regional brewery. Following his move to the growing town of Birmingham, Joseph Showell met and married Sarah Cade in February 1791 at St. Martin's Church. The couple would have seven children, two of whom went on to become licensed victuallers. Joseph Showell himself kept the Black Swan on Smallbrook Street before taking over at the Bull's Head in 1811.

Charles Showell, Joseph and Sarah's son, worked in the gun industry. He probably learned his trade in Birmingham's Gun Quarter whilst living at the Bull's Head before establishing his own business in Sheffield. He died at a young age and his father, retired publican of the Bull's Head, had to dispose of the stock of guns, pistols and tools during the summer of 1829. During this period another son, Thomas Showell, was running the Whittington and Cat in Great Brook Street.

Joseph Showell handed over the reins at the Bull's Head to his son Walter. He enjoyed the quiet life of retirement for eight years before his death in 1835. Walter Showell kept the Bull's Head with his wife Eliza Breakspear but died at a relatively young age a few months after his father's death in 1835. The licence of the Bull's Head passed to widow Eliza Ann Showell. She remained at the helm until she re-married. Her wedding to Thomas Francis took place in January 1840. As a result, Thomas Showell, brother-in-law from her first marriage to Walter Showell, took over at the Bull's Head. He kept the pub with his wife Sarah whom he had married in 1821. The couple had nine children - naturally, the names of Walter, Joseph and Charles crop up again! The Bull's Head was seemingly a busy house for Thomas and Sarah employed two servants, Sarah Myatt and Elizabeth Anson. At this time there was a greengrocer's shop next to the pub in Price Street run by Isabella Biddulph. The houses close to the Bull's Head housed a number of gun polishers.

Thomas Showell was a respected businessman in the licensed trade. He was appointed Secretary of the Birmingham Licensed Victuallers' Protection Society.

Interior of the Bull's Head in Price Street [2006]

The Showell family's long association with the Bull's Head ended in 1848 when Thomas Showell retired. He and his wife Sarah, along with their younger children, moved to a house in Summer Lane. They were succeeded at the Bull's Head by John Fulford who concluded a deal for the lease and goodwill during June of that year. In a roundabout way, this was the beginning of the Ansell's connection with the Bull's Head. The Fulford family were maltsters and brewers in a number of locations around Birmingham. In later years the business of Henry C. Fulford formed the basis of Holt Brewery Company which, in 1934, was acquired by Ansell's Brewery Ltd., though the Aston-based brewery took control of the Bull's Head in the late-Victorian period as this was another brewing arm of the Fulford family.

The story of the Fulford brewing clan is a very tangled web. For now, let's concentrate on John Fulford of the Bull's Head. In the 1851 census conducted two years after he had moved into the pub he was recorded as a 35 year-old widower living with his four year-old son John. He had another son in 1849 called George James Fulford who was probably taken into care by another Fulford household. John Fulford employed Mary Ann Whately and Eliza Mellard as two general servants. When the census was conducted ten years later no wife of John Fulford was recorded but he had fathered three more daughters, Catherine, Ann and Emily, in the interim years. He was also reunited with his son George.

Advertisement for a Permanent Money Society at the Bull's Head in Price Street [1849]

No sooner had John Fulford signed for the keys to the Bull's Head, he re-commenced his £20 Society which met at the 'wine and spirit stores' on Tuesday's. John Fulford was one of hundreds of publicans who operated such a society, the forerunners of modern building societies. It is widely recognised that the first building society to be established in Great Britain was founded by Richard Ketley, landlord of the Golden Cross Inn at Snow Hill, in 1775. Indeed, Birmingham was a full of movers-and-shakers who set up similar co-operative savings groups, their primary role being to construct houses for its members. Much of the Gun Quarter was built through such societies which often dissolved once all the members had a house. However, there was a movement towards Permanent Building Societies which continued to attract new members who saw them as an investment opportunity rather than a means to acquire bricks and mortar. Most societies merged to form bigger groups and would eventually all become part of large companies or banks. John Fulford was seemingly very successful in this field and by 1863 he was operating three separate permanent money societies on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.

Generally, publicans were known for 'sticking together' through thick-and-thin. However, John Fulford found himself the victim of a sting involving a neighbouring brewer and publican in November 1866. John Croxton, a butcher from Moor Street, William Knott, a brewer in Loveday Street, and Alfred Dutton, a butcher from Park Street, were charged with stealing two gallons of brandy from the Bull's Head. Not only did Knott steal the spirits from John Fulford, he and Dutton were in cahoots with Patrick Flannagan, a beer house keeper in Price Street, who was charged with receiving the brandy from the thieves. Detective Sergeant Seal told the magistrates that for some time past Mr. Fulford had lost a large quantity of spirits from his house in a most unaccountable manner. Consequently, the police officer kept a watch on the house, and caught William Knott coming in through the window so he apprehended him. At the same time a large empty stone bottle was found outside the premises, and in what was probably a good old-fashioned police interrogation, William Knott spilled the beans and ratted on his accomplices. The police then arrested John Croxton and Alfred Dutton. The latter stated that he did not break into the premises, but that on the morning he had received a large stone bottle of brandy from William Knott, and sold it to Patrick Flannagan for 10s. 6d. Police officers were sent to Flannagan's house at 3 o'clock in the morning but they were not admitted for some considerable time. However, after gaining entrance, they found Flannagan in the back yard wearing nothing but a shirt. He was standing near the dust hole, into which a large stone bottle had been thrown, and there was a strong smell of brandy about the place. The case went to the Assizes where William Knott and Patrick Flannagan were found guilty and sentenced to twelve months' imprisonment. Dutton was sentenced to three months' hard labour. Croxton was acquitted as it was deemed that he had simply got intoxicated on the stolen brandy.

By the 1870's there was a change in the modus operandi at the Bull's Head. John Fulford retained the licence of the pub but he detached himself from the day-to-day running of the place. Instead, he appointed his niece Mary Ann Jackson as manager. She had worked at the Bull's Head for over a decade before taking charge. She had three servants to help keep the pub ticking over nicely. Meanwhile, John Fulford was now officially recorded as a maltster and victualler. He and his Middlesex-born wife Mary resided in an elegant villa called The Limes on Birchfield Road. This was on the western side of the road just before Livingstone Road. The children were all living with the couple during this period. John, the eldest son, was working as a jeweller but George helped his father as a maltster's assistant. It is likely that the Bull's Head was retailing beers made by John Fulford and Son.

Former Home of Brewer and Maltster John Fulford at Trinity Road [2017]

John Fulford was evidently a successful maltster as the business expanded during the 1870's and he had a workforce of nine men. Modest perhaps, but this would develop further. He and his wife Mary elected to move from Birchfield Road to what was then a quiet leafy Trinity Road. This fine villa [see above photograph] would, in later years, form part of Birchfield Community School. John and Mary Fulford's daughters, Catherine and Emily, were still living with them at this address. They employed Willenhall-born Sarah Rigby as a domestic servant. She would remain in service to the family for many years. She was joined by Charlotte Bates as a domestic and Elsie Parkes as a nurse, the latter possibly looking after John Fulford's young granddaughter, daughter of Catherine who had married Frank Poole, a Manchester-born coppersmith. The couple remained at Trinity Road after the death of Mary Fulford. Catherine's father, now in his seventies, continued to work as a brewer and maltster. The manager of the Bull's Head in the early 1880's was Emily Lingard who hailed from Enfield in Middlesex.

John Fulford and Son was based at the Victoria Brewery in Whitehead Road. The Bull's Head almost certainly sold beers produced near Aston Park. The White Swan at Victoria Road was also a house operated by the family as son George, who continued as maltster and brewer with his father, was also the publican and kept the house with his wife Emma. His elder brother, John, who had spent some years working as a jeweller, succeeded him in this position. He and his wife Jane would later keep the Roebuck on Erdington's High Street. Whilst they were at the White Swan, George, who continued as maltster and brewer with his father, was living a short distance away at No.59 Whitehead Road. In the 21st century the Aston Pride Community Health Centre occupied the site of the White Swan.

Following, John Fulford's death, son George continued to manage the brewing side of the family business. Meanwhile, the Bull's Head continued to be a managed house. Jesse and Mary Ann Tranter were running the pub in the early 1890's. However, in August 1894, they moved to the Plough and Harrow on Taylor Street.

George Fulford died in 1898 and the Bull's Head was taken over by Ansell's Brewery Ltd. On November 4th 1898 the Aston-based brewery purchased the licence, goodwill and possession of the Bull's Head, along with No.44 Loveday Street and No.2 Price Street, the latter properties producing £40.6s.0d. per annum in rent. At the time, the whole of the properties were held on an annual tenancy at a rental of £100. The first manager to be appointed by Ansell's was Edward Eddington. However, he was soon succeeded by William Evans who kept the Bull's Head with his wife Emily.

Interior of the Bull's Head in Price Street [2006]

Former joiner and carpenter Tom Collins and his wife Emma Sedgley were running the Bull's Head at the end of the Edwardian period. During the First World War they were succeeded by Harry and Emma Baker who moved from an off licence in Whitmore Street. Although Harry held the licence of the outdoor, it was Emma who managed the business whilst he worked as a brass polisher for a cycle accessories firm.

Alfred Iliff took over as licensee in 1920. He was born in Burton-on-Trent but his wife Alithea was a Brummie. The couple had earlier kept the White Swan on Nechells Park Road. Alfred Iliff learned the pub trade as a young man when he worked at a number of large hotels in the centre of Birmingham. Following his death, Alithea Iliff kept the pub until 1932 when she moved to an off licence in Bordesley Green.

George Quibell took over as licensee in 1932 - bringing us to the photograph at the top of the page when he and his wife Mary were running the pub. The couple, who had married in 1894, had earlier run the Roebuck on Ludgate Hill. George had a good innings, dying in April 1963 at the age of 92.

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Licensees of this pub

1811 - 1827 Joseph Showell
1827 - 1835 Walter Showell
1835 - 1839 Eliza Ann Showell
1839 - 1848 Thomas Showell
1848 - 1878 John Fulford
1878 - 1898 John Fulford and Son
1898 - 1900 Edward Eddington
1900 - 1906 William Henry Evans
1906 - 1910 Charles W. Turner
1910 - 1916 Tom Collins
1916 - 1918 Harry Baker
1918 - 1920 Mrs. Emma Baker
1920 - 1926 Alfred Iliff
1926 - 1932 Alithea Iliff
1932 - 1949 George Herbert Quibell
1949 - 1963 Leslie Lewis Nicholls
1963 - 1964 William James Sheppard
1964 - 1964 James Eivors
1964 - 1966 George Murray
1966 - 1982 Irene Louvain Dyke
1982 - 1985 Trudi Tiernan
1985 - 1985 Michael John Watkins
1985 - 1987 Geoffrey Anthony Robotham
1987 - 1989 Richard Martin Vincent
1989 - 1991 Frank Cyril Maltby
1991 - 1992 Verna Jane Williams
1992 - 1993 Stephen William Connor
1993 - Rose Ann McCann
Note : this is not a complete list of licensees for this pub. Before 1949 the dates are taken from trade directories as this pub is not well documented in other primary sources. The post-war list is, however, completely accurate having been transcribed from licensing records.

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Genealogy Connections

If you have a genealogy story or query regarding the Big Bull's Head you can contact me and I will post it here in addition to including your message within the website pages for Birmingham Genealogy.

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Map

Plan of Lench's St. Mary's Estate showing the Bull's Head [1799]

This plan of the St. Mary's Estate of the Lench's Trust shows that it was wholly developed by 1799. It was in 1772 that Lench Street, Loveday Street, Price Street, Russell Street and Bailey Street were laid out. Note the original line of Lench Street and the absence of Vesey Street at this point. The latter was created when the Trustees sold part of the land to the Corporation who cut and made new thoroughfares after the old houses had been demolished.

Ansell's Bittermen - You Can't Beat 'Em

Inn Sign

Inn Sign of The Bull's Head

I have not seen an inn sign swinging outside this pub so I have adapted one to provide some information on the hostelry's name. The Bull's Head and its older relative, The Bull, are both ancient and widespread signs. It is thought that the bull name is originally derived from a reference to a papal bull - the leaden seal attached to the pope's edicts [the Latin name being bulla]. A bull's head was introduced into the arms of Henry VIII after he had defied the papal bull of 1538 which at least gives an approximate date for the origins of the pub name itself although it has remained a popular pub sign over the course of time.

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Pub Painting

Painting of the Bull's Head in Price Street by Judy Bugden

Related Newspaper Articles

"Dr. Birt Davies, the Borough Coroner, held an inquest at the Bull's Head, Price Street, on Saturday afternoon, touching the death of an aged man named Richard Worley. The deceased, who was a beer-house keeper in Price Street, manifested some little irritability of temper on the preceding Thursday, because his servant had not got the dinner ready. He, however, sent her into a back room to cook some potatoes, observing that he would lie on the sofa while she did so. The young woman returned to the room in about ten minutes for a saucepan, when she saw the deceased leaning back in a chair beside the fire, and noticed there was a great deal of blood lying on the floor between him and the fireplace. She at once informed a neighbour, who procured the prompt attendance of Mr. J. Vinrace, surgeon. The latter found the deceased sitting in a chair, with his head leaning forward. He had a large wound on the back of the neck, extending from ear to ear and down the spinal column. Deceased was still alive, but speechless, and had a table knife in his right hand. It appeared that for some time past the deceased had laboured under the delusion that his property was not his own, and that the police were coming to remove him from his home. The jury returned a verdict of "suicide in a state of temporary insanity."
"Determined Suicide"
Aris's Birmingham Gazette : July 20th 1861 Page 6

Ansell's Glass at the Bull's Head in Price Street

"Yesterday evening, in consequence of a report rather prevalent in the neighbourhood, that an old man named William Foxall, residing in Price Street, had died from the effects of neglect and want of the necessaries of life, an inquest was held on the body, at the Bull's Head, Price Street. It was then stated by his son, in whose house he had resided for four years, that the poor old man had been bed-ridden for some time, but that every care was taken of him, and he wanted for no necessary or comfort. A hairdresser, named Franks, a neighbour, however, deposed that the old man had complained of being neglected, and that he himself, on many occasions, had seen him covered with vermin, with dirty linen, and that there was a very offensive odour prevalent in his room. No mention was made of his being in want, and it was proved that he had money given to him which would have placed that out of the question. A Scripture-reader of St. Mary's Church, Mr. Brittain, who had seen the deceased on one or two occasions previous to his death, said that his condition in every respect was much superior to the majority of cases he was accustomed to visit. Mr. Wilkinson, surgeon, who had attended the deceased, said death had resulted from tubercular asthma. The Jury returned verdict of "Died by the visitation of God," but desired to express their opinion that sufficient care had not been taken of him by his relations, with regard to cleanliness."
"Rumoured Death from Starvation"
Birmingham Journal : February 9th 1850 Page 5

Etched Glass at the Bull's Head in Price Street

"Lily Hamer [38], hawker; Alice Green [28], hawker; Naomi Hamer [38], hawker; and Emily Donald [26], hawker, were charged with conspiring to obtain from Harry Baker end Emma Baker, of the Bull's Head, Price Street, two sums of £5. 15s. and £3. 10s. by means of false pretence. Outlining the case for the prosecution, Mr. A. Ward said this was one of the instances of prisoners going round Birmingham and obtaining money by telling various stories. Mr. and Mrs. Baker were told by Lily Hamer and Alice Green that they had taken a pitch on a ground near where a fair would be held. They represented that between 35 and 40 men would be employed, for whom beer, spirits, and tobacco would be required. An order was given for about £25 worth of goods, and then Lily Hamer asked Mrs. Baker to give her one in return for rugs. This she did, at a cost of £5. 15s., and also lent £3. 10s. to the pair, another rug being left as security. Mr. Ward added that in six public houses alone these women had given orders for £185, and obtained £45 or £50 by such stories. The prisoners were gipsies, living in caravans at Fazeley, the other side of Tamworth. Evidence having been given in support of this statement, other publicans were called to describe their dealings with the prisoners as evidence of intent. Robert Hudson, of the Acorn Inn, Cheapside, stated that the large order given to him included champagne "ruffled" port. Then followed rug transactions and an advance of £4. Mrs. Hannah Madkins. of the Royal Duke beer house, Cromwell Street, stated that two of the prisoners called at her house, and said 60 or 70 men would follow to help in the pitch they had taken near. They would be there six weeks. Certain goods amounting to £1. 8s. 8d. were bought and paid for, and then a further big order for drink was suggested. The other prisoners then came in, and the witness, after great persuasion, was induced buy a rug. During the conversation £10 remained on the table in front of the prisoners, one of whom said her uncle allowed £10 a week for the drink bill. A boy was to bring the big order, but he never came. In cross-examination, Mr. Hollis Walker, K.C. [with whom was Mr. Hurst] suggested that the witness's memory was tricky, to which she replied, "I wish I had the trickiness of these women when they came in." In the laughter which followed the prisoners joined. No evidence was called for the defence, but Mr. Hollis Walker, addressing the jury on their behalf, said that when there was any difficulty in framing an indictment refuge was usually taken in a word of four syllables - conspiracy. All that these gipsy women had done, he contended, was to move about selling their rugs and to try and get the best price for them by holding out prospects of business to come. His Lordship, summing up, said the gist of the matter was whether false pretences had been proved. In a sense the prisoners gave an order to Mr. Baker, but if they had no show as represented, it was no order at all. Prisoners were found guilty, and, previous convictions being recorded against them, the Judge sentenced them to three months' imprisonment each."
"Gipsies' Frauds on Publicans"
Birmingham Daily Post : July 15th 1915 Page 3

Rose McCann of the Bull's Head in Price Street [2006]

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Bull's Head by Pablo Picasso [1942]

"Guess how I made the Bull's Head? One day, in a pile of objects all jumbled up together, I found an old bicycle seat right next to a rusty set of handlebars. In a flash, they joined together in my head. The idea of the Bull's Head came to me before I had a chance to think. All I did was weld them together... [but] if you were only to see the bull's head and not the bicycle seat and handlebars that form it, the sculpture would lose some of its impact."
Pablo Picasso

Newspaper Articles

"A case of sudden death from apoplexy occurred Monday last, to a man named George Webb, a brass-founder, living at No. 2, Lower Loveday Street. It appeared that on the afternoon of Monday the deceased was at work for his employer in Edmund Street, when another man, named Charles Lees, who was employed in an upper room, heard the deceased cry out for assistance, upon which he instantly ran downstairs, and found Webb extended on the floor. He attempted to raise him, when the poor fellow exclaimed, "I have been taken very ill: I think it is a stroke." Lees then called for assistance, and the deceased was taken home in a car. Mr. T. W. Williams surgeon, having been sent for, bled the deceased, and administered some sperient medicine, after which he seemed somewhat relieved; but on Mr. Williams going again to attend him about ten o'clock, found him much worse and unable to speak, and though every available means were resorted to for his restoration, he expired about six o'clock the following morning. An inquest was held on the body at the Bull's Head, Price Street, on Thursday, when a verdict of "Died by the Visitation of God" was accordingly returned."
"Sudden Death from Apoplexy"
Birmingham Journal : February 14th 1846 Page 5.

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