The King's Head

East Street later Church Street, Ewell

The former King's Head, Church Street, Ewell
The former King's Head, Church Street, Ewell
Photograph by A.D Braithwaith c1965
Image courtesy of Surrey Libraries and is held in the
Epsom & Ewell Local And Family History Centre Collection

The intention of this article is to elaborate on the description already published by Bourne Hall Museum, during an exhibition, as follows:-
"The Kings Head (Ewell)
The Kings Head occupied the bow fronted building in Church Street, together with the cottage next door. Most of the building was early nineteenth century, but some parts were a lot older. There are records of an inn in East Street (as Church Street used to be called); it had a barn, stable, and garden. This may have been on the site of the later Kings Head, which certainly existed by the eighteenth century, as the parish vestry used to meet there.

In 1790, the Kings Head struck Edwards as 'a good public house, kept by Mr Robert Buckland; this is the house of call for the Guildford coach, likewise for road wagons, several of the latter puts up there'. In 1826, tragedy came to the inn when the Dorking coach, having stopped to pick up passengers, was left unattended. A boy stamped on the footboard and the coach ran away crashing into a shop in the High Street. Sadly, Catherine Bailey was killed and several passengers injured. She lies in the churchyard.

When Sir George Glyn became the rector of the parish in 1840, he inherited a new and splendid rectory but problems came with it. He was unhappy at being disturbed by the church bells and disliked the idea of a pub adjoining his property. He also wanted to close Austyns Lane which joined Church Street and High Street. Not only did he have the old church demolished and a new one built, he also bought the inn for £600. It remained empty for several years and was then divided into two separate dwellings, as it has continued to be." [With thanks to Carol Hill].
The names listed as proprietors of Copyhold plot 239 on this website are considered further in the order that they appear. The actual inn-keepers would have been their tenants. Henry Umfreville and the Hudsons, Barclays & Gurneys were all Quakers - where noted '[DNB]', additional biographical details may be found in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography articles accessible via the Surrey Libraries website.

Church Street, Ewell, c.1867. Painted by Lydia Glyn
Church Street, Ewell, c.1867.
Painted by Lydia Glyn
This image is available as a notecard available
to personal callers at the Epsom & Ewell Local &
Family History Centre and Bourne Hall Museum Shop

Henry Umfreville

Prior to 1746, the premises had been held by Henry Umfreville of the Ewell family mentioned in relation to the 'sign of the Popinjay' - the George Inn lower down what became Church Street. A precise relationship has not been established but he was not a publican like his presumed relatives. Reportedly, in relation to Durham University Janson Deeds* [;query=]: -
Henry Umfreville, described as a silk thrower of Whitechapel, married Hannah Askew in 1734. As part of their marriage settlement Henry was taken into partnership with his father, Thomas, who is described as having 'for many years last past used and exercised and still doth use and exercise the art trade or mistery of a silk thrower for his own benefit and hath now a good sett of customers who deal with him in his said trade'. The pedigree of the Umfrevilles of Ewell (Surtees History of Durham II. 325, 394-5) includes three consecutive generations of Thomas's, the last of whom had a son, Henry, aged 5 years in 1710 which would make Henry about 29 years when he married.
As evidenced by a deed on 29 April 1721, which could relate to Ewell copyhold plot 99, - Surrender of a messuage with brewhouse, barn, stable, garden and orchard in the manor of Ewell, Surrey, by William Maybank and his wife Susanna to the use of Thomas Umfreville of Ewell, gent.; the said premises having been mortgaged to Thomas Umfreville, 26 October 1719, for £136.10s. and for an additional sum of £34.10s. - the Umfrevilles had also turned to money-lending. That practice might account for Henry's gaining possession of the messuage which became 11 Church Street, Ewell as mortgagee.

Robert Parker, Brewer, 1746

This copyholder would have purchased the tavern as an outlet for his products at The Brewery, Church Street, Epsom but it was sold on within a year or so. Volume 17 of The London Magazine or Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer for 1748 is then found to include 'Robert Parker, of Ebbisham otherwise Epsom, in Surrey, brewer' in a list of 'Persons declared Bankrupts'.

John Hudson, Hop Merchant, of Thames Street, London

Hudson's tenure of the King's Head lasted about 10 years because his Will, dated 31 August 1755, was proved on 1 April 1757 [PROB 11/829]. The copyhold messuage and yard at Ewell, near Epsom, Surrey, called the 'Kings Head', had been surrendered to the use of his Will. His devisees were David Barclay, jun., of Watling Street, London, and Martha, the latter's wife - Hudson's son in law and daughter.

David and Martha Barclay [DNB]

On 6 May 1749 Barclay had married as his first wife, Martha, daughter of John Hudson, of Thames Street, London, hop merchant. Martha Barclay died on 20 April 1763 at Tottenham to be buried 28 April 1763. Her bereaved husband remarried and lived on until 30 May 1809.

"David Barclay the second succeeded his father in the family house in Cheapside. He also was a merchant and chiefly engaged in the American trade, but he relinquished business when the war began; he was, however, a partner in the banking-house, afterwards so closely connected with his family, and part owner of Barclay and Perkins Brewery, from which he derived a large income. A man of integrity and of a singularly clear and even mind, he early won the esteem both of his own people and of the public. With his elder friend Fothergill he worked side by side in many good causes and in much mutual confidence. Their temperaments were complementary: whilst Fothergill was quick and sensitive, Barclay was deliberate, a man of common-sense, and if he had not the far vision of his friend, he was not less loyal to the call of conscience.

He married in 1749 Martha Hudson, the daughter of John Hudson of London and Bush Hill, of a propertied Quaker family. She was of delicate health, and a patient of Fothergill's, who is said himself to have felt an early special regard for her; he wrote her before her marriage an interesting letter of advice, which will be found in an appendix (B) to this volume. She bore two daughters to David Barclay, but died while they were still children. As these girls grew up, they engaged the tender care of a father who had not only large means but liberal and just ideas. He drew up in 1763, the year of his wife's death, a memorandum for the use of their governess Bridget Seymour, who was a member of the national church; it is worthy of notice, as a specimen of the thought which underlay what may be termed the best aristocratic Quaker life of the middle of the eighteenth century. He begins upon religion, and it is interesting to see what the grandson of the Apologist regarded as the essence of Quakerism."


Agatha Barclay, 1764

The younger David Barclay's elder child, Martha, born 1751 had died in 1766. Her sister Agatha, had been born in 1753 and would have been a minor at the date stated above.

Agatha Gurney, nee Barclay

Agatha Barclay married Richard Gurney, a Quaker banker of Norwich on 3 August 1773. She lived only three years after her marriage, dying in 1776.

Hudson Gurney [DNB]

Agatha's only son, Hudson, had been born in the Old Courthouse, Magdalen Street, Norwich, on 19 January 1775. An entry in the Court Rolls for 23 October 1782 recorded that Agatha Gurney, formerly Barclay and wife of Richard Gurney had died. The King's Head, formerly occupied by John Rose, then widow Hughes, passed to Hudson Gurney, an infant - admitted by his cousin and attorney John Owen, shop merchant of Thames Street.

Hudson was disowned by the Norwich Meeting of Friends in 1804, for subscribing towards the raising of a volunteer force to defend the country against the French. This was regarded as contrary to the principle of the Friends. He eventually became David Barclay's principal heir.

Elizabeth Legh

A copy of an entry in the Court Rolls for Ewell, 1 November 1796, confirms the surrender of the King's Head by Hudson Gurney of Norwich to Elizabeth Legh [SHC 6832/1/4/195]

Elizabeth Davenport, daughter and sole heiress, of Peter Davenport, was baptised 20 November 1728. She became the second wife of John Rowlls of Kingston, Surrey, in 1752, but took the name of Legh by Royal Licence on 5 October 1781. She held Adlington Hall, Cheshire, for about 25 years before dying in 1806.

John Rowlls, Receiver General for Surrey, owned Brook Street Brewery, Kingston upon Thames, which used water from the Hogsmill for its product. He had died in 1779 before his widow inherited a substantial fortune from her uncle, Charles Legh, in 1781.

Trustees of Elizabeth Legh

The Will of Elizabeth Legh of Kingston was proved 4 September 1806 [PROB 11/1449 - 36 pages] On 16 February 1807, in relation to the King's Head, her Trustees were named as Peter Sidebotham and W G Thomas.

Charles Rowlls

Elizabeth Rowlls Legh bore three sons-
  1. John Rowlls, whose own son Charles died, aged 15, in 1797. He was survived only by a daughter, Elizabeth.
  2. William Henry Rowlls who served in the 18th Hussars at Waterloo and was 'slain in a duel at Cranford Bridge' , 18 June 1784.
  3. Charles Edward Rowlls, born 9 December 1763, who, Burke notes, 'died without issue'.
and a daughter, Elizabeth.

It appears, however, from records of Cambridge Alumni that Charles was admitted to Sidney College in 1783 and is named as father of old Etonians, Charles Rowlls, b1791, and William Rowlls, b. 1792, who entered Trinity in 1809 and 1807 respectively. Accordingly, the Charles Rowlls inheriting the King's Head, and associated brewery at Kingston, would have been Elizabeth Legh's grandson as assumed in some sources. Born 26 January 1791, he is known to have attended Eton before admission to Trinity College, Cambridge, on 4 February 1807.

The property was surrendered by William Munnings Thomas, presumably a later trustee, to Charles Rowlls, 18 April 1841.[SHC 6832/1/4/198]

Lewis Chadband (also publican at the Jolly Waggoners in 1839) was sued for insolvency during 1841 and committed to Surrey Gaol described as Louis Chadband, late of the King's Head, Ewell, near Epsom, Surrey, Licenced Victualler. He was buried in St Mary's churchyard, aged 73, on 15 October 1864.

Thomas Cook is shown by Street Directories to have been the innkeeper between 1845 and 1852.

Rev. Sir George Lewen Glyn

Charles Rowlls surrendered to the then Lord of the Manor, 8 March 1850. [SHC 6832/1/4/206]

As a footnote, Rowlls' business eventually passed to Hodgson's Kingston Brewery.

Brian Bouchard - December 2011

[*The Ianson or Janson Family from My Ancestors By Norman Penney FSA,FRHistS. Printed For Private Circulation By Headley Brothers Bishopsgate,Ex.,and Ashford, Kent,1920
"James Ianson's first wife was Judith Wade; his second was Miriam, widow of Robert Bell, of London, and daughter of Henry and Hannah Umfreville, of London; and his third wife was Jane Brockill, of Richmond. Three children of James - Sarah, William and Beatrice - were received into membership by Stockton M.M. in 1791, as "offspring of marriage contrary to rules", but a few years later all three were disowned for "marrying out" !

John Ianson, fifth son of Joshua and Beatrice Ianson, left his home in the north in 1768, "in the station of a servant" (perhaps, assistant), for London. In 1770, he married Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Umfreville, and, later, Mary Clayton. From his only surviving son, James (1777- 1827), come the Umfreville Jansons."]

King's Head Ewell
Bull's Head Ewell
Bull's Head Ewell
Adam Hogg
Adam Hogg
Hilda Andrews
Hilda Andrews
The Glyns
The Glyns
Journey Time
Journey Time
Thomas Tresize
Thomas Tresize
Blake Charles
Blake Charles