yeovil trades & traders

Samson Dade

Coffee Tavern owner & Photographer of Wine Street


Samson Dade was born in Yeovil in 1866, the son of leather dresser John Dade (1816-1897) and Mary Ann née Bartlett (1831-1908). In the 1871 census John and Mary were living in Middle Street with six children, 5-year old Samson was listed as a scholar. By 1881 the family had moved to 12 Wine Street, next door to the Royal Oak, and Samson was employed as a carpenter's apprentice. By the time of the 1891 census the family had moved and were now living at 5 Wine Street, a few doors closer to Peter Street. John Dade was now a coffee shop proprietor and Mary, daughter Annie and Samson were all employed as assistants in the Coffee Tavern - most likely in the former inn known as the Bunch of Grapes.

Although he was never listed in any trade directory as a professional photographer, from the examples below, it is clear that Samson was a photographer as a sideline and had likely set up part of the Coffee Tavern as a photographic studio as noted by the address on the examples, or at least traded as a photographer from the premises. He was clearly operating during the 1890s and into the 1900s. He is known to have been a 'magic lantern' operator in the 1890s at various events and entertainments.

In the autumn of 1897 Samson married Emily Edmunds (1876-1954) at Yeovil. They were to have three children; Frederick George (1902-1978), Reginald Charles (1907-1973) and Donald Henry (1909-1977).

John Dade died in 1897 and Samson took over the running of the Coffee Tavern. In the 1901 census 35-year old Samson was listed as a coffee house keeper and was living on the premises with his 24-year old wife Emily and his widowed mother. He is also known to have been an outside caterer, for example catering for a dinner at the annual meeting for 150 members of the Yeovil Adult School in 1901. Samson continued to run the Coffee Tavern until at least 1935 when he was listed in Kelly's Directory in the Restaurants and Cafés section - his only listing in a Yeovil trade directory.

Emily died in 1954 and Samson Dade died on 23 April 1955 at their home, 163 Preston Road, aged 89. His will was proved in the June and his effects valued at £5,816 (around £400,000 at today's value).




Courtesy of Patricia Smith

A photograph by Samson Dade, probably taken in the early 1890s of Samuel Tucker, his daughter Mary at centre and his wife Ann on the doorstep outside their Park Street home,


Samuel Tucker photographed by Samson Dade in 1901 when Tucker was aged 90. Samuel was a member of the temperance movement known as the International Organisation of Good Templars (IOGT). The IOGT originated as one of a number of fraternal organizations for temperance or total abstinence founded in the nineteenth century and with a structure modeled on Freemasonry, using similar ritual and regalia.