PUMPHREY Thomas (1833 – 1911)


Situated in the Unconsecrated/East Section of Jesmond Old Cemetery.

Thomas Pumphrey

Thomas Pumphrey, a Quaker and strict teetotaller, was so appalled at the amount of heavy drinking taking place near his grocer’s shop in the Cloth Market area of Newcastle that in 1887 he recognised a business opportunity and converted the first floor of his premises into a cafe and meeting place. Here he served ‘freshly roasted coffee’, made from coffee beans actually roasted in small cylinders on the premises, as an alternative to alcohol and, in doing so, is thought to have begun a national trend which continues today.

Ironically, the cafe has now been replaced by a pub but it is nice to see that Pumphrey’s name has been kept together with the words ‘Coffee Roaster’ and ‘Coffee Dealer’ below each window. However, Pumphrey’s coffee can still be bought from their premises in the nearby Grainger Market.