Sort file:- Tonbridge, December, 2023.

Page Updated:- Tuesday, 12 December, 2023.


Earliest 1860-


Closed 2011-

123 Shipbourne Road

Cage Green


Greyhound 2009

Above image from Google, January 2009.

Greyhound 2009

Above photo 2009 by N Chadwick Creative Commons Licence.


I am informed that this pub, although open in 2009 had closed by 2015.


South Eastern Gazette, 15 May, 1860.

SHIPBOURNE. Melancholy Result of a Public-house Affray.

An inquest was held at the "Bull Inn," on Friday afternoon, before J. N. Dudlow, Esq., coroner, to enquire concerning the death of John Cripps, a labourer of this parish, which took place under the following circumstances:—

James Meville, labourer, said that he and the deceased (who was about 46 years old), went to Tunbridge together on the previous Saturday afternoon to purchase provisions. They spent a great portion of the evening at Peacock’s beer-house, and at eleven o’clock they went to the "Greyhound" public-house ("Royal Oak"). A quarrel here took place, through a woman handing round the beer of a man named Hesketh. The landlord cleared the house, but the quarrel was continued in the road, and Bartlett and Ned Hesketh, jun., fought. Witness saw Cripps (the deceased) leave the house, but did not see him afterwards. He (Neville) stopped on the road until the Heskeths came up, and went home with old Hesketh.

By the Foreman:— He was about a hundred yards from the "Greyhound" when the Heskeths overtook him. He asked where Cripps was, and they said he was forward. Deceased was not to say drunk.

By Superintendent Dance:— He (Neville) was knocked down by some person while he was standing outside the "Greyhound." He did not see Cripps knocked down.

Mr. H. Underdown, of the "Greyhound," said when deceased and Neville came to his house they were not quite sober; and as words arose, witness, after some difficulty, cleared the house. James Riley took a poker as he was leaving, and made some remark which he did not remember, but witness took the poker from him before he had made any use of it. While the people were in the road he heard a great noise, but saw nothing that took place.

By the Foreman:— He did not think that Riley could have used the poker outside the house.

By the Coroner:— Cripps walked out of the house steadily, and did not reel. A few minutes after he had cleared the house he saw a man lying on the ground, but saw no one near him. When all was quiet, witness and Featherstone went out, and lifted deceased up, but he could not speak, so as to be understood.

By the Jury:— Witness could not understand whether Cripps had had a blow or was in liquor. The deceased had had no words with any one, and when witness cleared the house he believed that he was one of the first to leave.

James Eiley, of Cage-green, Tunbridge, said he was at Underdown’s house with his wife, when the Heskeths came in, and beer was passed round, his wife being asked to drink, but Hesketh, sen., refused, with an obscene expression, to allow her to do so. He and old Hesketh then had some words, and went and had a fight. Hesketh’s son also fought with Bartlett.

By the Jury:— He (Riley) had no chisel in his hand.

By the Coroner:— He did not see any one strike the deceased. After Bartlett and Hesketh separated witness saw the deceased lying at the side of the road.

By deceased’s brother:— He did not send his wife home for a piece of iron.

By the Coroner:— Witness said he wished he had his "shillelagh," but he meant nothing by it.

Supt. Dance:— Did you hear any one say "Look out, Bartlett; Hesketh has got a sharp stone in his hand? I did hear some say "Look out, Bartlett," but not that Hesketh had got anything in his hand.

Examination continued:— He had not quarrelled at all with Cripps.

John Bartlett, who lives near the "Greyhound," and was there on the night in question, confirmed the evidence of the previous witnesses, as to the drinking, quarrel, and fight outside the house, in which witness was one of the principles. Cripps was then standing apart from the mob near the window. Witness and young Hesketh fought about a quarter of an hour in the road, when they removed to Underdown’s turf. There someone came to witness and said "Look out, Hesketh has got a "Neddy," which he understood to mean a stone or some sort of weapon, and he therefore would not fight anymore. He then saw Cripps on the ground, but did not see any one knock him down.

In cross-examination he said he was called to deceased by Cooke and Riley, and seeing his clothes disordered, be complained of the treatment Cripps must have received.

By the Jury:— Would not swear that Ned Hesketh could not have struck Cripps without his seeing him. Once during the fight Hesketh passed on into the crowd, during which time he lost sight of him.

John Featherstone, a gamekeeper, corroborated Mr. Underdown’s statement, adding that having seen the deceased in the house his impression was, when they found Cripps by the fence, that he was only in liquor. He took him up to Little French farm, laid him on some straw, and covered him up, and thought he would be right in the morning. There was a mark, as of blood, round his face.

John Pack, of Cage-green, who heard the disturbance and went out, said he saw the deceased fall down, but could not tell whether it was from a blow or not. When Cripps was lying on the ground, Ned Hesketh (the younger) said, in reply to a question put to him, pointing to the deceased, "He was the one (evidently meaning Cripps) that he wanted to fight." He (Pack) did not see Bartlett at the time.

John Cripps, a lad 13 years of age, the eldest of the deceased’s family of nine children, said that on Sunday evening he and his uncle assisted his father home from Woodgate’s cottage, a distance of nearly three miles. His father complained of having been hurt in his head; he said that he did not know who knocked him down.

John Henry Walker, M.D., of Tonbridge, said that he was called in to see the deceased on Monday, and found him labouring under compression of the brain. There were contused wounds on the right side of the head, at the back, and on the forehead, with abrasion of the skin. There were also various marks on the legs and thighs. He attended him daily until he died on Wednesday. He had made a post mortem examination, and found profuse extravasations' of blood at the back of the head, and also in front beneath a wound on the forehead. There was also a fracture of the skull, beneath which he found a large clot of blood, pressing on the brain and causing the compression. The brain was very much congested generally. The injuries must have been produced by very violent blows with some blunt instrument. The fracture, which was the chief injury, could not have been caused by a fall. Witness also spoke to other injuries which must have been occasioned by the deceased having been kicked and trodden upon while on the ground.

This concluding the evidence, the jury after consultation found that the deceased had met with his death by compression of the brain, caused by the fracture of the base of the skull and effusion of blood on the brain; but how or by whom occasioned there was not sufficient evidence to show.

The greatest commiseration was felt for the widow and nine young children who were stated to be in serious distress. Some trifling aid, we understand, has been afforded through the instrumentality of Mr. Martin, of the post-office, Shipbourne, who will kindly receive small contributions on their behalf.


South Eastern Gazette, 22 May, 1860.

The Fatal Affray at a Public-house.

In our last we gave the particulars of an inquest which took place at Shipborne on John Cripps, whose death was caused by a blow supposed to have been received in an affray outside the "Greyhound" public-house, at midnight, on the 5th inst. Suspicion having fallen upon some of the parties present, Superintendent Dance obtained warrants against the following eight persons, all of whom were apprehended immediately, James Eyley, Edward Hesketh, sen., John Bartlett, James Rye, John Leigh, John Cook, Edward Hesketh, jun., and James Powell. The prisoners were brought up on Thursday, before Major Scoones and J. Ridgway, Esq., the seven last-named being charged with being accessories in the unlawful death of John Cripps, and Ryley with unlawfully causing the death by striking him on the head. Ryley, Rye, Bartlett, and Cook were also charged on suspicion of having stolen from the person of John Cripps, a basket containing about 81bs. of bacon, a stone bottle, and other property, on the same night. The case excited the greatest interest in the town, and the hall was crowded. It was, however, deemed necessary, lest the ends of justice should be defeated, to hear the charge with closed doors, and the court was cleared. Under these circumstances we refrain from giving the evidence taken. The case of stealing was not gone into, but Superintendent Dance explained the circumstances attending the charge. The cases were adjourned for a week, and all the prisoners were discharged on their own recognisances, except Ryley, who was remanded to Maidstone gaol.


South Eastern Gazette, 29 May, 1860.

TUNBRIDGE. The late Fatal Case.

The eight persons mentioned in our last as being remanded for having been concerned in the unlawful death of John Cripps, of Shipbourne, were again brought up on Thursday, at the Town-hall, before J. Ridgway, Esq., and Major Scoones. From the fact of so many persons having been apprehended, the proceedings still excited the greatest interest, and during the hearing of the case, which was on this occasion public, the hall was filled throughout the day. Prior to the previous remand Mr. Alleyne, the magistrates’ clerk, had written, on behalf of the magistrates, to the Secretary of State, urging the necessity of a reward being offered. From some cause or other, however, the application was refused, in consequence of persons being in custody on the charge. This refusal, however, did not daunt the police, and Supt. Dance, with P.O. 173, Thirkell, have been unremitting in their exertions to procure such evidence as will bring conviction home to the guilty parties. The following was the evidence taken on this and on the previous hearing:—

David Cripps, of the "Rising Sun" beer-house, Tonbridge, said that the deceased John Cripps was his brother, and on Saturday night, the 5th inst., he was at his house and left between 7 and 8 o’clock; he was then sober and quite well. On the following day, in consequence of the deceased’s son coming to him, he went on the Shipborne-road, and found his brother lying behind some laurels near Cage farm. He appeared very ill, could scarcely speak, and complained very much of his head. He also said that he had lost his money, amounting to about 12s. Witness assisted him part of the way home, and left him only because he believed with the assistance of his son he could get home, a distance of nearly four miles.

Mr. William Croft Hodgman, assistant to Dr. Walker, who was present at the post mortem examination, described the appearance of the body of the deceased, and was of opinion that the fracture of the skull, which was the cause of death, was occasioned by a severe blow with a blunt instrument. A rupture of the kidney, which of itself would have caused death, had evidently been occasioned by a kick.

John Pack, labourer, of Tunbridge, who lives near the "Greyhound," said that he heard the disturbance on the night in question, and went up to the place. He saw a man fall down, but could not say whether it was by a blow or not. He saw the two Heskeths in the crowd near the spot where the deceased fell. The others were about the place. There were about twenty or thirty persons present, some of whom were women. He was there about half an hour; the man fell after he had been there a few minutes, and was on the ground when he left. He did not go to him, as he thought he was in liquor. He heard some one ask Hesketh, Jun., where his man was, and he pointed to Cripps, who was on the ground, and said "That is the man I want to fight." Cripps fell suddenly, but witness was not positive whether he fell forward or backwards.

Mr. H. Underdown, of the "Greyhound" public-house, gave evidence in accordance with his statement before the coroner on the inquest.

William Warren, a watercress-seller at Tunbridge, said that he was at Ryley’s house at Cage-green on Sunday, the 7th inst Ryley said "There was a rare row last night out there." Witness asked him who it was with, and he said it was with some men from Shipborne. Ryley then pulled out of his pocket a piece of iron; it was like a wedge, about a foot long. He said that it would "warm" them. There was blood on the back of one of Ryley’s hands, as if it had been cut.

Henry Ford, a gunpowder maker at Tunbridge, said that on the Sunday morning after the row Ryley called him into his house, and told him there was a row the night before. He said a man came to him and said the Tunbridge men could not box, upon which he (Ryley) knocked him down. He said he did not I know the man, but it was not Hesketh. He said he knocked him four yards.

Moses Cunningham said that on Sunday evening, the 6th inst., he was at the "Royal Oak" beer-house, and James Rye was there. They were talking about the disturbance that had taken place on the previous night, and Rye said that he and another man saw Cripps, and they picked him up, as they thought he was not sensible, and led him along the road, but finding that he was unable to walk, they laid him down at the side of the road.

Dr. Walker, of Tunbridge, said that he agreed with the evidence given by his assistant as to the appearances presented at the post mortem examination. He differed, however, as to the manner in which the blow which caused death had been given. In his opinion the blow was given by a person standing just behind the deceased, who must also have been standing.

Matthew Elliott, beer-house keeper of Tunbridge, said that on the Monday after the row Ryley came into his house, and after sitting a little while he (witness) asked him what was the matter, as he appeared down. Ryley said nothing particular. Five minutes afterwards the prisoner Fowle came in and enquired for Ryley. He told Ryley that they thought that Cripps was dying, and also told him that he was not to say a word about it. Ryley said that he never saw the man until he got out of the house, and then he appeared to be sleeping.

Mr. Underdown was re-called and subjected to a severe cross-examination, but nothing was elicited bearing on the case.

Mrs. Elizabeth Woodgate and Mrs. Ann Holmes were next examined. The latter said that she lives opposite the "Greyhound." She went to bed about eleven o’clock on the night in question, and hearing the row she got out of bed and witnessed it. She again went to bed, and soon afterwards she heard a severe blow — it was a rattling blow, as if caused by some instrument against a person’s head. She also heard some one say "Give it him — give it him."]

Phoebe Woodhams, of Cage-green, said that on the night in question she went to the garden gate of their house, to see if her husband was coming home. She saw several persons quarrelling, but did not know them. She saw two men "tusselling," and shortly afterwards she saw a man on the ground, and she heard some one say "Don’t kick the poor fellow now he is on the ground." She also heard some one say "They have given him a knock, and he has not got up since."

This being the whole of the evidence at present adducible, the superintendent asked for a remand for a week against Ryley, Bartlett, Cook, Fowle, and Rye, and for the other three prisoners to be discharged, on their own recognisances in 20 to appear at whatever time they may be called upon. The first named prisoners were also discharged on entering into their own recognisances to appear on Thursday next.


South Eastern Gazette, 12 June, 1860.

TUNBRIDGE. The late Fatal Case at Shipbourne.

This case, which had been adjourned for Superintendent Dance to endeavour to obtain further information, was again brought before the magistrates at the Town-hall on Thursday, Major Scoones and Arthur Pott, Esq., being present. The interest in the case had not subsided, particularly as it was supposed that sufficient evidence had been obtained to justify the magistrates in committing, at least, one of the prisoners (Riley) for trial, and the hall was filled. James Riley, who was charged with being the principal in the affair, and James Rye, John Bartlett, John Cooke, and James Fowle, as accessories, who had been admitted to bail, surrendered, and the following fresh evidence was taken:-

John Featherstone, gamekeeper to Mr. Poynter, of Little French farm, Tunbridge, said that he was at the "Greyhound" public-house on the night of the 6th May, and saw the deceased John Cripps there; he entered the house between 11 and 12 o’clock. When he (witness) left the house, he went up the road, saw the deceased lying on the road, and took him up and led him up to little French farm, where he laid him in a straw stack. He had no knowledge of his being else than in liquor, or he would not have removed him but sought for assistance.

Frederick Killick, a cricket-ball maker residing at Cage-green, said that he was going to bed about twelve o’clock, when he heard a noise and saw a crowd of persons near the "Greyhound," and young Hesketh and the prisoner Bartlett fighting. Cooke, was seconding Bartlett and the deceased Cripps was seconding Hesketh. He saw them have two or three rounds. After the second or third round the two combatants fell, there was a great rush, and the two seconders went amongst the crowd to pick their men up. He then saw a man in the crowd, but could not say who it was, as he was eight or ten yards distant. The crowd immediately cleared away, and he went up and found Cripps on the ground. He fell backwards, as if he had been struck, and lay senseless on the ground, but witness did not hear the blow. After a short time the prisoner Rye picked him up and tried to set him on his legs, but as he could not stand he was laid in the water table at the side of the road. All the prisoners were present in the crowd except Fowle, whom he saw after the row was over.

Thomas Stevens, a bricklayer living at Cage-green, said that about 12 o’clock, hearing a great noise in the road near the "Greyhound," he went out and saw the two men fighting, and the deceased Cripps was seconding Hesketh for one or two rounds. As he was standing there talking to the witness Killick, he heard a great noise as of a person falling, and on turning round to look he saw Cripps on the ground. The blow appeared to be a tremendous one, but he did not recollect telling Killick that the blow might be a fatal one. He saw all the prisoners in the crowd.

Henry Humphrey, a labourer residing at Cage-green, corroborated the statement made by the previous witnesses. He also said that he left his own home about the break of day on Sunday morning, and on passing Riley’s house he saw a light, and on going there he found Riley, Rye, Cooke, and Bartlett, and had some beer with them. When he entered the house one of the party asked him if he saw anyone lying at the side of the road as he came down, but he said he had not.

Supt. Dance said he met the prisoner Ryley as he was proceeding to make enquiries concerning the affair. He (Dance) told him he intended to call and see him about the row, when he Riley said he knew nothing about it, as he did not go out of the "Greyhound" until after the fight was over. He further said he should have gone out but his wife held him in the chair. The superintendent said that one witness who had been warned had kept out of the way.

The whole of the evidence was then gone through, and the magistrates retired for consultation, after which the Chairman wished to know from the prisoners whether they had anything to say. Having replied in the negative, the Chairman said they were each of them committed to take their trial for manslaughter at the next assizes.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Saturday 7 July 1866.

Charge of Unlawfully Wounding at Cage Green.

Edward Heskett was charged with cutting and wounding George Dynes, at Cage Green, on the 3rd April.

Mr. Sharp was for the prosecutor, and Mr. Ribton defended.

The prosecutor is a sawyer, residing at Shipbourne. On the 3rd of June he went to Tonbridge, and on proceeding home he called at the "Greyhound Inn," Cage Green, where the prisoner was sitting. Prisoner held up and empty pot to him, and said, "Will you drink?" The prosecutor said he did not wish to drink with him, nor to have anything to do with him. Prisoner set on him, and in the fourth round prosecutor's arm was cut.

Mr. Cleveland Smith, assistant to Mr. Bishop, surgeon, said the wound on the arm was 2 inches long. It might have been inflicted by glass.

The jury found the prisoner guilty of a common assault, and he was committed for 6 weeks' hard labour.


South Eastern Gazette, 31 July, 1860.


(Continued from our 3rrd page). YESTERDAY.

CROWN COURT. (Before Mr. Justice Blackburn). Manslaughter at Shipborne.

James Rye, John Bartlett, John Cook, James Fowle, Edward Heskett, sen., Edward Heskett, jun., and James Riley, were arraigned on the charge of having unlawfully killed John Cripps, a labourer, residing at Shipborne, on the 5th May. Mr. Barrow and Mr. Sharp appeared for the prosecution, and Mr. Ribton defended Rye, Cook, and Bartlett; the other prisoners were undefended.

Mr. Barrow, in opening the case, said it would be brought before them in evidence that a blow was struck on the deceased by Rye, which, no doubt, was the cause of death.

How far the other prisoners were parties to the blow could not be ascertained, but if they should think that they were all so much engaged in it as to be consenting parties, then they were all guilty of manslaughter.

His Lordship observed that the real question was, how many of the prisoners were parties to the quarrel in which the deceased met with his death. That was the point, and by attending to it they would shorten a deal of irrelevant enquiry.

The following evidence was then adduced:-

Hamlet Underdown, the landlord of the "Greyhound" public-house at Tunbridge, said that all the prisoners were at his house on the night of the 5th May. The deceased also entered about a quarter after eleven, and left about half-past. There was quarrelling in the tap-room between Riley and Heskett, sen. The deceased was not sober. Witness cleared his house in consequence of the row, and saw nothing more of it. A gamekeeper named Featherstone was there, and stayed about half an hour after the house was cleared. Witness, when bidding Featheretone good night at the door, saw something lying in the road above his house; he went there, and found that it was the

deceased. Featherstone took him up, and he was able to walk.

Frederick Killick, who lives near the "Greyhound," said that on the night of the 5th May he heard a noise in the house, and on going there he found Heskett, jun., and Bartlett fighting. The deceased was seconding Heskett, and the prisoner Cook was seconding Bartlett. He saw them have two or three rounds. The second or third round both Bartlett and Heskett fell, and the seconds, Cripps and Cook, went into the crowd to pick the men up, and there was a great rush. Witness saw a man fall, and on going up to him, he saw that it was Cripps, the deceased. He fell on the back part of his head, and lay senseless on the ground. He saw Rye pick him up, and try to get him on his legs, but he could not stand, and he then laid him in the water table at the side of the road. He saw the whole of the prisoners there.

Harriet Bennett, the wife of a labourer living at Cage-green, near the "Greyhound," said that, hearing the noise, she went to see what was going on. John Cook, who was seconding Bartlett, was her brother. Rye was there, and the deceased struck at Rye to hit him. She could not say whether Rye was hit or not. Rye then hit Cripps, and he fell to the ground. She saw Cripps after that, and he was asleep and snoring very loud. When he fell he went down flat upon his back. She did not see him get up, nor did she see any assistance rendered to him.

By Mr. Ribton:— She saw both Bartlett and Heskett fall, and it was after that she saw the deceased down. They were all closing in when Cripps fell, and there was a great pushing. She could not say that Rye actually hit the deceased, but he struck at him. There were several persons near, and Cripps was trying to strike. She was not aware whether Cripps had any other fallout he was very noisy, and was shouting to Rye, challenging him to fight.

Re-examined:— Cripps fell immediately after Rye struck at him.

David Cripps, the brother of the deceased, a beer-house keeper at Tunbridge, said the deceased died on Wednesday, the 9th May. He saw him on Saturday evening, the 5th, about seven o’clock, when he was quite sober. He next saw him on the following Sunday evening, lying under some laurels belonging to Woodgate, on Cage-green farm. He was then in a very bad state, and witness observed marks of blows upon his head, and his mouth was also cut. There was blood down his clothes, as if he had bled a great deal. The deceased’s son John and himself assisted in taking him home. The place where he found his brother was nearly four miles from his home. He did not accompany him all the way home, and when he left him he seemed to get a little better. Every few rods along the road he made a stop and complained of his head. Witness afterwards saw him on Tuesday, in bed, but he was not sensible.

By Mr. Ribton:— Where he found his brother was about a quarter of a mile from the "Greyhound."

Elizabeth, the wife of William Woodgate, of Cage-green, said that on Sunday morning, the 6th May, the deceased came to their house about six o’clock, and they then thought that he was in liquor. He sat down, said he was very bad, and complained of his head. They put him under the laurels and gave him some tea. He got up once during the day and asked for some water, which she gave to him.

Dr. John Henry Walker, of Tunbridge, said that he was called to see Cripps on Monday, the 7th May. He was then insensible, and was suffering from fracture at the base of the skull. To an unprofessional person such an injury would make one appear as drunk, and it would cause a snoring after the effusion of blood had taken place. He did not rally at all. After death witness made a post mortem examination, and found the body bruised as if it had been trampled on; and on opening the head, under the fracture, he found a clot of blood about 4in. long, and 4in. wide. He also found several other bruises on the head, but of minor importance, and effusion of blood between the scalp and the scull in other parts of the head. The left kidney was ulcerated, but the fracture at the base of the skull, and the effusion of blood under it, was the cause of death. The fracture could not have been caused by a person falling backwards from a blow in the face, but in his opinion must have been caused by some blunt instrument, a poker or a stick. The external bruise was between five and six inches long, and was clearly defined. If deceased had fallen upon a stone with great violence, the fracture might have been caused by it, but from the position of the wound he did not think that likely. The brain was very much congested, and was the result of the general injuries to the head.

By Mr. Ribton:— The other blows on the head could not have caused death. From the position of the wound, and the direction, his opinion was that the blow must have been given when the deceased was standing, as the right temple was very much injured and there was also extravasations of blood under it.

Moses Cuningham, of Cage-green, said that he was examined before the magistrates at Tunbridge on the 24th of May, and after he had given evidence be saw Rye, who said he (Rye) should like to give him a punch of the head for going to the court and telling such a lot of lies.

At this stage of the proceedings his lordship directed the jury to return a verdict of "Not guilty" against all of the prisoners but James Rye, as the case against him was the only one in which there was evidence to go to the jury.

Mr. Ribton then briefly addressed the jury for the prisoner Rye, and they returned a verdict of Acquittal.



Frederick Miles of the "Greyhound" Public House, Tonbridge died 13 September 1934. Probate London 15 October to Olive Naria Clant (wife of Caleb Clant) and Albert Ernest Foot, butcher.

Effects 3387 10s 9d/Probate.



UNDERDOWN Hamlet to Oct/1860 Maidstone Telegraph

HALAWAY Stephen Oct/1860+ Maidstone Telegraph

MACKELLOW David 1862+

BAKER Samuel 1871-81+ (age 64 in 1881Census)

BAKER Sarah A Mrs 1882+

MATHERS William 1891-1903+ Kelly's 1903

MILES Frederick 1911-30+ (age 56 in 1911Census)

CLOUT Olive M Mrs 1938+


Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Maidstone TelegraphMaidstone Telegraph


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