History of the Somersetshire Arms at Kate's Hill, Dudley in the county of Worcestershire


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Some History on the Somersetshire Arms in St. John's Road at Kate's Hill

This beer house was almost certainly opened and named by Reuben Carter, a coal miner who hailed from Paulton in Somerset. The building was located close to the junction of George Street and I believe it was renamed as the Jubilee Inn around 1880.

Reuben Carter and his wife Elizabeth seemingly moved to Dudley between 1847-1850. They were tenants and occupiers of the public house when the freehold of the building was sold at auction on October 18th, 1860. The lot was described as "the public house, known as "The Somersetshire Arms," containing Front Parlour, Tap-Room, Kitchen, 3 Chambers, Excellent Cellar, Large Brewhouse, Soft Water Cistern, with Store-Room over, a four-stalled Stable, Outbuildings and Yard. The lot also included a "very valuable piece of land, having a frontage to New Street of 15 yards, 1 foot, 2 inches, and to George Street [opposite the California Inn] of 11 yards and 5 inches, with Pigstye and other Outbuildings erected thereupon."

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Reuben Carter was accused of child neglect in May 1876 by which time he was described as a pit sinker. He appeared at court charged with neglecting his eleven month-old daughter Sarah Ann. He told the court that her mother had died within a week of giving birth, a result of puerperal fever.

Licensees of this pub

1850 - Reuben Carter
Note : this is not a complete list of licensees for this pub.

Genealogy Connections

If you have a genealogy story or query regarding the Somersetshire Arms you can contact me and I will post it here in addition to including your message within the website pages for Worcestershire Genealogy.

Related Websites

Black Country Bugle
Black Country Gob
Black Country Society
Dudley and South Staffordshire CAMRA
Dudley Archives and Local History Service
Worcestershire County Council

Newspaper Articles

"On Thursday afternoon Mr. R. J. Watt's, deputy-coronor, held an inquest at the Queen's Inn, St. John's Road, Kate's Hill, on the body of Sarah Ann Carter, eleven months, who died under such circumstances that the medical gentleman [Mr. M. Allen] called in, declined to give a certificate. After the jury had viewed the body which was dreadfully emaciated and covered with wounds, seeming of old standing, Reuben Carter, the father, who said he was a pit-sinker, stated that the mother died within a week of the birth of the child, from puerperal fever. He had paid Mrs. Allen 3s. 6d. per week, and he saw it every time he paid the money. His wages reached £2 per week, not 50s. Never noticed anything the matter with the child except a mark on its brow. The jury spoke to the witness about his want of attention to the child, and urged him with such wages, to let the matter be a warning to him with reference to his remaining children. Mrs. Burns, the wife of a labourer, Old Street, stated that she had taken care of the child during the past fortnight. It was then in a dreadful state. Carter was not an affectionate father, and was a drunken man. He was fond of his pigeons. He and his three children lived with witness, her husband, and children - eight in all. There was but one bedroom, and they all slept in it. The corpse lay in the same room. Mrs Allen alias Jones, Oakeywell Street, said she always took care of the child, but just as she was giving it up from inability to keep it, the child had the chicken-pox. Mr. Matthew Allen surgeon, said the child was brought to him in a dying condition. He never saw a filthier child in his life. The sores upon it he could not define in consequence of the dirt upon the child. He could scarcely give an opinion as to cause of death. The Jury after this determined upon having a post-mortem examination, and the enquiry was adjourned."
"Alleged Neglect"
County Express, Brierley Hill, Stourbridge, Kidderminster, and Dudley News
May 6th 1876 Page 8.

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A Halted Mail Coach by Henry Thomas Alken [The British Postal Museum and Archive]

"At each Inn on the road I a welcome could find; At the Fleece I'd my skin full of ale; The Two Jolly Brewers were just to my mind; At the Dolphin I drink like a wheale. Tom Tun at the Hogshead sold pretty good stuff; They'd capital flip at the Boar; And when at the Angel I'd tippled enough, I went to the Devil for more."
Mail Coach Guard