Toby's Head, 1 Pepper Lane
|Alternative Addresses:||Bayley Lane|
Bayley Lane from Pepper Lane in the early 1900s. The Toby's Head can be seen in the foreground on the right. We can just make out the gable of the Golden Cross beyond. The Old County Court still survives as the last building on the left before the cathedral and is now a bar-cum-restuarant called The Establishment.
Edward King, son of a farrier in High Street, Coventry, was bound as an apprentice to his uncle Abel, a bookseller in London. Abel later turned to producing a newspaper. Edward, having a cast in both eyes and a face covered in warts was noticeable wherever he went. One day going upstairs at the Tilt-Yard Coffee House to speak to his uncle, Edward's face caught the attention of Captain Drake, a clerk at the Aldmiralty, who shouted 'here comes Toby', though he had never seen him before. Why Toby I cannot say, but from that day on Edward King never used any other name.
The uncle's business did not thrive, so Toby returned to Coventry and established Toby's Coffee House, selling strong ale and drams as well as coffee. The sign at the premises was Toby's Head. He died about 1726.
From 1921 to 1927 it was advertised as a 'Free house. Good bedroom accommodation'.
It closed on 15th November 1940, so another victim of enemy action.|
LICENSEES:to 1726 Toby (Edward) King 1822 - 1823 Richard Elton 1835 - 1851 Charles Rose maltster & victualler 1861 - 1896 John Smith 1903 - 1909 Mrs Hannah Watson 1911 - 1913 Watson & Arch 1924 - 1927 Charles Hitchcox (see also at the Old Windmill, 22 Spon Street in 1914 and the Horse and Jockey, Much Park Street in 1916) (Thanks to Malcolm Croft for info) 1929 - 1932 E. G. Clarke 1933 - 1940 E. Bradley
OWNERS:to 1726 Toby (Edward) King
Street plan of 1851