Yeovil people

william tucker

Publican, Glove Manufacturer and Town Developer


William Tucker was a glover who ran the Glovers Arms from at least 1871 until his death at the turn of the century. However he was an entrepreneur with wide interests and, whether or not it was profits from his pub that facilitated his investments, he expanded into glove manufacturing and then moved into providing housing for glove workers.

William was born in Yeovil around 1838, the son of leather dresser William Tucker and his wife, Lydia. In the 1841 census William and Lydia were living in Park Street with their children Isaac, Alfred, Ann, William and baby Elizabeth. The 1851 census listed 50-year-old leather dresser William Tucker and his 55-year-old wife Lydia still living in Reckleford with their children; 24-year-old glove cutter Isaac, 22-year-old basket maker Alfred, 12-year-old glove sewer Ann and 12-year-old glover William. It would appear that Elizabeth had not survived childhood. By the time of the 1861 census William's mother had died and he was living with his father and siblings in Reckleford.

In the early autumn of 1862 William married Frances Vincent in Yeovil and by 1871 William and Frances, were at the Glovers Arms where William was listed as 'inn keeper and glover'. Living with them were their children; Frederick born 1863, William Earle (listed as Earle William ) born 1865, daughter Amy Lydia born in 1867 and adopted daughter Sarah Mary Brooks. Frederick would later become headmaster of Huish School and his brother William Earle would later join Newman Painter, a firm of Yeovil solicitors that later merged with Messrs Battens of Church Street. William Earle Tucker was Mayor of Yeovil from 1929 to 1932.

In fact William was not just a glover but actually a glove manufacturer, having invested in the business of F Blake & Co just a few doors along in Reckleford. When William began investing in town development and providing housing for glove workers, he named two of the roads he built after members of his family; Earle Street after his son and Vincent Street, as well as Vincent Place after his wife's maiden name. Also built at the same time were Cecil Street and Salisbury Terrace. Other developments William initiated, and later expanded by his son, William Earle, included Victoria Road, St Michael's Road, and Lyde Road.

William and Frances were still listed at the Glovers Arms in the 1891 census where again William gave his occupation as 'publican & glove manufacturer'. By this time William was aged 53 and Frances was 47 and living with them was 24-year-old daughter Amy who worked as a barmaid, daughter Ada aged 7 and son George aged 6.

William was also listed in several directories through the years including Kelly's Directories of 1871, 1875, 1889 and 1895, with the final entry being in Kelly's Directory of 1897.

William died in December 1899 and Frances took on the license of the Glovers Arms for a year or two. She is listed as a publican in the 1901 census, living at the Glovers with two of her children and a grandchild. By 1911 she was living at 37 Hendford Hill on private means with her daughter and granddaughter. Frances died in 1932, aged 88.