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Blackamoors Head, Derby Lane

These premises have been known by different names during their history:FROMTONAME
1863c1868DERBY ARMS
The word Blackamoor appeared in the sixteenth century and simply meant 'a black Moor', that is a negro or dark skinned person. The sign was extremely common in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries for coffee houses as well as taverns. The reference was usually to the personal servant of a rich person. Negro page boys were highly fashionable and must have been distinctive figures dressed in brightly coloured liveries as they inevitably were. The pub adjoined the old Coventry Gaol and in 1762, seven deserters from the army, who were confined to the dungeon belonging to the gaol, effected an escape by tunneling under the wall and making their way through the Blackamoors Head. In the early nineteenth century the pub was run by Thomas Haywood. The pub was popular because of the quality of the home brewed beer it sold and although he took large amounts of cash, Haywood never did any banking. He didn't need to. He was such a huge brute of a man that there was never any fear of him being robbed. He ruled the roost and was nicknamed 'the Russian Bear'. His patrons were too scared to poke the fire and on the rare occasion that someone did break the rule, they were ejected by the scruff of the neck. In an article of 1887 the sign of the 'Old Blackamoor' is mentioned but was the pub already closed by then?


1822 - 1823 Thomas Haywood.
Blackamoors Head
Street plan of 1851
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