Unicorn, 16 Burges
|Alternative Addresses:||18 Burges|
The west side of the Burges in the early 1900s, viewed from Hales Street. The first few buildings on the right, where The Unicorn stood, would later be demolished for the new Corporation Street in 1931.
The unicorn is a legendary animal which has a horses body with a single long horn, which is supposed to possess magical powers. The pub name has heraldic origins. The unicorn supported the Scottish Royal Arms and when James IV of Scotland became James I of England he brought the unicorn into the English Royal Arms, replacing the Welsh Dragon. The unicorn is also in the arms of the Waxchandlers, the Goldsmiths and the Apothecaries.
In 1702 Coventry Corporation let this pub to J. Sherwood. In 1720 J. Itchenor had recently bought it from the Corporation and let it to T. Smith. In 1756 eight soldiers were billeted here. A document in the City Records implies that the pub was new at this time as it states that N. Lawton held land that later became the Unicorn and he died in 1758.
Then the pub changes hands rapidly. T. Itchenor sold it to R. Ballard for £80 in 1778. In 1779 it was given by K. Oldham to S. Oldham, who in the same year sold it to R. Ballard and Lowe In 1841. J. Ballard leaves it to G. Downes.
In 1899 Phillips and Marriott were leasing it on an annual tenancy for £60 per annum from Truman, Hanbury and Co Ltd of Burton on Trent. Here it is called the 'Unicorn Vaults'. After just one year the tenanacy lapsed upon notice from the owners. On 7th October 1909 the pub closed. The building was demolished in 1931 to make way for the new Corporation Street.|
LICENSEES:1822 - 1823 J. Ballard 1835 - 1841 James Hollyer 1850 - 1851 John Cornell 1861 John Smallwood 1868 - 1874 James Hegan 1886 J. Millerchip 1890 - 1891 T. Petty 1893 E. Morris 1894 - 1896 Joseph Bale 1900 Eliza Ashmore 1903 - 1905 W. H. Cleaver 1909 Esther Cleaver
OWNERS:1702 Coventry Corporation 1720 J. Itchenor to 1778 T. Itchenor, K. Oldham & S. Oldham from 1778 R. Ballard & Lowe from 1842 G. Downes 1899 Truman, Hanbury & Co Ltd, Burton on Trent
Street plan of 1851