Black Prince, Black Friar, Black Horse and Black Eagle – Plymouth has had it’s share of Black pubs names over the years and in their dictionary of pubs names Leslie Dunkling and Gordon Wright state that black is ‘a very common colour as far as pub names are concerned’. The authors also noted the suggestion that ‘some “black” names came about when the Gin Act of 1736 came into force, causing tavern owners to drape their signs in black velvet or add ‘black’ to the pub name.’
The Black Eagle however was also the symbol of a united Germany and as such was synonymous with the Prussian Eagle motif adopted by King Frederick in 1701 – there was incidentally a nineteenth century Plymouth pub called the Prussian Eagle in what is now Vauxhall Street. The Black Eagle pub, meanwhile, was in erstwhile Richmond Street.
1850 - Robert Cocker
1852 - John Johnson
1857 - James Kingwell