the history of yeovil's pubs





john bull inn (2)

 Bond Street


Few records exist for this very short-lived John Bull Inn, situated in Bond Street.

It was opened in 1864 by John Gulliver who had sadly lost his wife and children in the tragic fire at his establishment, the John Bull Inn on the corner of Vicarage Street and Middle Street in 1863. In 1865, although not named, John applied for a spirit license at the Borough Petty Sessions although his application was refused.

 John was listed as an Innkeeper in the 1871 census.

On 27 September 1872 it was noted in the Western Gazette, in reporting the proceedings of the Borough Petty Sessions that John Gulliver applied for a renewal of his license since he "wished to remain at the house" but the application was refused.

An advertisement in the 20 September 1872 edition of the Western Gazette read "Sale - John Bull Inn, Bond Street, Yeovil, the fixtures, household furniture, and other effects, the property of Mr George Foot, leaving the town."

In 1874 at the annual licensing session of the Borough Petty Sessions there was only one objection from the police "respecting the management of the John Bull Inn. The landlord (not named, but assumed to be Gulliver) was cautioned.

There are no further records of the John Bull Inn in Bond Street and it seems likely that John Gulliver left Yeovil, moving to Purse Caundle, Dorset, where he ran a beerhouse.



The only licensee of the John Bull Inn in Bond Street was John Gulliver, who had been the last licensee of the John Bull Inn on the corner of Vicarage Street and Middle Street for some twelve years. John was born about 1818 at Henstridge, 12 miles east of Yeovil. I found little evidence of his early life although he married in July 1847 in Yeovil and in Harrison, Harrod & Co's trade directory of 1859 he is listed as the licensee of the John Bull. In the 1861 census he was listed the with his Yetminster-born wife, Sarah, and his occupation was listed as public house keeper. Also present were their 11-year old daughter, Mary Jane, and 9-year old son, John Albert. Sadly, Sarah and the children died in the fire at the John Bull in March 1863 and, clearly not one to hang around, John remarried four months later, in July. In the 1871 census John was listed as an innkeeper and was living with his new wife, Mary, in Bond Street where he had opened a new version of the John Bull Inn in 1864, following the original John Bull burning down in 1863.

John's second wife, Mary, died in December 1871. By the time of the following census in 1881 John had moved to Purse Caundle, Dorset, where he ran a beerhouse and lived with his carpenter son, William, and daughter-in-law Maria. John Gulliver died in December 1882.




The advertisement placed in the Sherborne Mercury of 19 January 1864 by John Gulliver announcing the opening of the new John Bull Inn in Bond Street (late of the John Bull Inn, Vicarage Street).




1864 – John Gulliver - opened the inn (Advertisement in Sherborne Mercury, April)
1865 – Licensee not named, application for spirit license - refused (Borough Petty Sessions)
1871 – John Gulliver – Innkeeper (1871 census)
1872 – John Gulliver – License refused (Borough Petty Sessions, September)
1874 – Licensee not named, license renewed "with a caution" (Petty Sessions, September)