Edwin Hurcum

Ginger Beer and Soda Water Manufacturer.


George Hurcum was a long time landlord of the White Lion pub on the corner of Stephen Street and Broad Quay in Bristol city centre. To the rear of the pub was, and still exists, a narrow alleyway called Leonard's Lane, accessed via an archway from Stephen Street at the lower end and Corn Street at the other. See Bristol Lost Pubs excellent website.

George was born in 1816 in Beachley, on the Wales/Gloucestershire border, a small peninsula on the northern shore of the Bristol Channel now just under the M48 suspension bridge. Beachley was part of the parish of Tidenham, and George was baptised at Tidenham on 4 Jun. 1820, son of George, a boatman, and his second wife Ann Rowland (Ann was also a widow, George and Ann had married in St. James, Bristol, in 1815). George the younger married Sarah daughter of John Tutton on 27 Dec. 1846 at Bristol, St Michael the Archangel on the Mount. He was a boatman on the Severn like his father until the 1850's. In the 1851 census George, although married, is still a boatman living in lodgings in Beachley, whilst his wife Sarah is an eating house keeper and caring for the children at 22 Welsh Back, Bristol. George and Sarah had a daughter Emma, baptised at Beachley on 16 July 1848 and son Edwin baptised at Tidenham on 24 March 1850. Emma married John William Nurse in Newport, Mon. in 1867. The rest of the children were baptised at St. Nicholas after the family had settled in Bristol: Henry (3 July 1853-d.1859); Sidney (12 Aug. 1855-d.1859); Alfred (9 Aug. 1857-d.1861); Alfred (2 Feb. 1862); George (11 Oct. 1863) and Emily (10 Sep. 1865). George took over the White Lion around 1854-1855 from previous landlord Michael Doyle. By 1861 the children living were not recorded as being at the pub, George's sister and niece are living with he family at the White Lion.

Edwin Hurcum appears back with the family at the White Lion in the 1871 census, now age 21, He married Jane Elizabeth Harwell on 15 Jan. 1872 at Bristol, St Augustine the Less. The couple had a son George Edwin the same year (d. 1950). Jane died in 1875 aged just 23 after giving birth to her second son Henry Alfred, who also perished at the same time. Around that time Edwin had set up his soda water and ginger beer manufacturing business, operating from the rear of his father's pub facing on to Leonard's Lane. This business was still operating when Edwin married again to Ellen Hill in 1880. In the 1881 census Ellen is living with parents Henry and Johanna at 5 New Street, St Philips, along with her 6 month old son Edwin John Hurcum whilst husband Edwin is working at his business at the pub. This situation was not to last long however as Edwin was to become a pub licensee himself.

On 29 June 1882, Edwin Hurcum took the licence of the Coach and Horses in Thomas Street from Alfred Sutton the previous landlord.

From the front page of the Western Daily Press - Friday 15 September 1882: "To one of the Overseers of the Poor the In-Parish Saint Philip and Jacob, in the City and County of Bristol, and the Superintendent of Police of the District, I EDWIN HURCUM, Beer Retailer, formerly a Ginger Beer Manufacturer, now residing at the "Ale and Porter Stores" Church Lane in the Parish Saint Philip and Jacob, in the said City and County of Bristol, and for six months last past having resided partly there and Stone Bridge, in the said City and County, do hereby give Notice that it is my intention to apply at the Special Licensing Meeting, to be holden at the Petty Sessional Court House, in the said City and County, on the 4th day of October next, for a LICENSE to sell Beer and Cider to be consumed in the House Premises thereunto belonging, now in my own occupation. situate Church Lane aforesaid, in the Parish aforesaid, within the said City and County Bristol, which I rent of Mr Thatcher, Radford, near Bath and which said Premises have been kept or used as a Beer-house, within the last three years by one George Thomas Mills (and commonly known by the sign aforesaid), who was duly Licensed for that purpose, but who hath removed from and yielded possession of the same, and which I as new occupier thereof intend keep as Beer-house. Given under hand this 12th day of September, 1882. EDWIN HURCUM."

On Weds. 18th Apr. 1883 the license of the above Ale and Porter Stores was transferred from Edwin Hurcum to John Western. By the 1891 census Edwin had become a stevedore in the Bristol Docks. They had 3 children still living at home at the time: Edwin John, age 10, Valentine Alfred age 2 and Elsie Doris age 2 months.

Edwin's second wife Ellen died in summer 1892 after having produced at least seven children. She was still only 38 years old. Her children were Edwin John (1881-27 Feb. 1911 in Malta); Henry Frederick (1882-1883); Emily Elizabeth (1883-1885); Ellen Emily (1885-1890); Henry George (1886-1887); Valentine Alfred (1889-1940) and Elsie Doris Maria (2 May1891-1975).

Edwin married yet again on 29 Jan. 1894 to Sarah Wallbridge, at St. Thomas, Bristol. Sarah was the widowed sister of his previous wife Ellen. The couple go on to have yet another five children: Ray George (26 Mar.1895-Apr. 1973 in Weston-super-Mare); Dorothy Ellen (1896-1969); Henry Alfred (1899-1960); Agnes Louisa (1901-1933) and Francis Frederick (4 June 1904-1971).

By the 1911 census Edwin was a grain superintendant, living with his wife Sarah and family at 17 Wilson Street, St. Paul's, Bristol.

Edwin Hurcum died in Bristol in the summer of 1922 aged 72.

In 1947 a request appeared in the Personal column on the front page of the Western Daily Press of Wednesday 22 January: "EDWIN HURCUM, Deceased.óWill the DESCENDANTS of Edwin Hurcum (formerly of Wilson Street. St Paul's, Bristol, believed to have died in Bristol between 1917 and 1925, probably aged between 60 and 70, son of George Hurcum, publican, of 4, Stephen Street, Bristol, and Sarah Hurcum) or anyone knowing their present whereabouts kindly Communicate with Brittan, Harley and Duval, Solicitors, 19, Orchard Street, Bristol 1.

Glass cylinder mineral water bottle Hurcum1.jpg
Embossed: HURCUM & CO / BRISTOL (in circle), Lion image in centre facing left. TRADE MARK beneath.


Glassworks:  unknown. (fragment only) Aqua glass.
Image courtesy Aled Rees.

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