Yeovil Trades & Traders

George Summers

Bootmaker of Princes Street


George Summers was born in Bath in 1837 and baptised at Walcot St Swithin on 28 May 1837. He was the eldest of the four children of shoemaker George Summers (1810-1894), originally from Combe St Nicholas, and Kezia née Marchant (1809-1885) of Bath (but born in Creech St Michael). At the time of George's baptism, George and Kezia were living at 26 Cornwell Terrace, Bath.

During the 1840s George and Kezia had moved to Hinton St George where their other three children were born; William (b1840), Hannah L (b1842) and Benjamin (b1849), but by the time of the 1851 census, the family had moved to Crewkerne. George Snr gave his occupation as 'Shoemaker employing 3 Men, 1 Boy & 2 Women'. 13-year old George Jnr was still at school. Also living with the family was a housekeeper. In 1861 the family were still in Crewkerne. George Snr gave his occupation as 'Cordwainer Employing 4 Men & 3 Boys'. George Jnr, now aged 23 and clearly having completed an apprenticeship with his father, also gave his occupation as a cordwainer.

In 1864 George moved to Yeovil, taking over the established boot and shoe business of Mr W Pickford at 5 Princes Street.

On 13 June 1867, at St Mary the Virgin, East Chinnock, George Jnr married Charlotte Poole (1836-1927), originally from Lovington. George and Charlotte settled in Yeovil, above George's shop at 5 Princes Street, where they were to have four children; Clara C P (1868-1945), George R (b1869-1943), Alice G (b1877) and Edith C (b1876) - all born in Yeovil. The 1871 census listed George and Charlotte, together with George, Clara, a servant and a lodger at 5 Princes Street. George gave his occupation as 'Bootmaker, Master, employing 3 Men 2 Boys'.

The 1881 census, and those of 1891 and 1901, were almost identical although the number of children living at home gradually decreased. 

Certainly from the 1870s, George was associated with the Primitive Methodist chapel in New Town and gave more than one talk to the New Town Sunday School.


In the 1891 edition of 'Where to Buy' George Summers' business was given the following description -

Mr George Summers,
ootmaker, 5 Princes Street

Among the various business establishments of Yeovil we must mention that of Mr George Summers, bootmaker. of 5 Princes Street, as one of the oldest in the town, he having succeeded the late Mr Pickford nearly thirty years ago.

From his thorough practical knowledge of the trade he has little difficulty in maintaining his position and excellent reputation as a bootmaker; his goods are made of the very best material and workmanship, proved by the numerous testimonials which he has from all parts of the country. It has always been his aim to manufacture articles which will give the utmost satisfaction and to guarantee a perfect fit in every instance.

By sportsmen his celebrated waterproof boots are well-known (being made of the Anhydrous leather as specially prepared and chosen by the Admiralty for the Arctic expedition), they defy the weather. We would also draw attention to his combination boot and legging for hard and rough wear, which for comfort and durability cannot well be beaten.

A large stock of the best makes, including the 'Adapted', 'Bective' and 'K' boots, are always kept, and every description of footwear for ladies, gentlemen and children is supplied at moderate prices, and prompt attention is paid to repairs. The premises are situated in a central position very near the Post Office.



The 1911 census recorded 74-year old George living at a private 'Nursing Institute' (the equivalent of today's nursing home) at 28 Kingston. George died, aged 76, at his home in Princes Street on 17 May 1913. Charlotte died in Yeovil in the autumn of 1927, aged 91.




George Summers announces his arrival in Yeovil in this advertisement of 19 November 1864 placed in the Western Gazette.


A sketch of George Summers' establishment at 5 Princes Street, from the 1891 edition of 'Where to Buy' (when, apparently, Yeovil was populated by very small people).


George Summers' former boot shop in Princes Street, photographed in 2015.


The announcement of George Summers' death in the 23 May 1913 edition of the Western Gazette.