Sort file:- Greenwich, February, 2023.

Page Updated:- Thursday, 16 February, 2023.


Earliest 1823-

Eight Bells

Closed ????

3 Church Street


Eight Bells 1905

Above photo, circa 1905, kindly sent by James Fribbins.

Eight Bells

Eight Bells, date unknown.

Former Eight Bells 1951

Above photo, 1951, showing the closed pub next to the Hovis building. I believe the wording says "Quality Cafe."

Former Eight Bells 2008

Above Google image, June 2008.

Eight Bells 2017

Above Google image, July 2017.


West Kent Guardian, Saturday 4 January 1840.


On Tuesday last an inquest was held by C. J. Carttar, Esq., at the "Eight Bells," Greenwich, on the body of a man unknown, who had been found the day previous at East Greenwich, in the river. After the jury had been sworn, two men appeared and identified the deceased as Thomas Foster, late a seaman on board the Anna Maria, of Hartlepool, collier. They stated that on the second ult. they, in company with the deceased and another man, when to join their vessel in Bugsby's Hole; that it was a dark foggy night; that they had not proceeded far down the Kent shore before they observed the light of a steam vessel coming up with the tide, and imagining that they were in danger, they pulled over towards the middle of the river, which brought them nearer to rather than further off the steamer; that seeing their mistake, they called out to "stop her," which was immediately done, but too late to prevent the vessel passing clear over the boat. The four men passed under the vessel, and came up under the stern; a boat belonging to a waterman on board the steamer, was fortunately towing astern, and he having seen what must occur, instantly jumped into the boat, and was the means of saving two of the party; another swam and got into the paddle-wheel, and was taken out by the people in the steamer, which turned out to be the "Tam O'Shanter" tugboat; the fourth man, it is presumed, must have been struck on the head, and was, consequently, unable to sustain himself above the water until assistance could be afforded him. The witnesses did not attribute any blame to the person in charge of the steamer, but the jury deemed it advisable to have the evidence of the parties on board, adjourned the inquest until Thursday evening, when all the men from the "Tam O'Shanter" attended, and fully corroborated the evidence previously given; the jury at once returned a verdict of "Accidental death.


Kentish Gazette, Tuesday 8 December 1840.


On Friday week and inquest was held, before Mr. J. C. Carttar, at the "Eight Bells," Church Street, Greenwich, upon the body of Katherine Mansfield, age 52 years, who it appeared was burnt to death, under the following lamentable circumstances.

The jury, being sworn, proceeded to view the body, which presented the most frightful spectacle.

William Mansfield, sworn, said:- I am a pensioner of Greenwich Hospital; the deceased was my wife; we had been married 27 years. I saw her last alive at 5 o'clock on Friday afternoon; she was not sober at that time. I went to my duty in the hospital, and returned at half past 6 o'clock, when I found the room full of smoke, and I heard my wife wife groaning. I made my way in, and found her sitting on a chair and leaning against the mantelpiece, with her clothes all on fire. I immediately called out "Murder," and for assistance, for at least 10 minutes, during which time I endeavoured to tear the clothes off her body. She lived about 20 minutes afterwards, but never spoke; she moaned heavily.

John Smith, a blacksmith, said:- I reside in the parlour of the same house with the deceased. I heard something fall, and a short time afterwards I heard a cry of "Murder." I then lighted a candle and went upstairs to see what had happened, when I found the room full of smoke and a blaze at the far end. On learning what had occurred I ran away, and called in a doctor. I then returned and remained in the room until death ensued. The doctor ordered medicine to give ease, but said that her life could not be saved. The deceased must have been on fire half an hour before her husband came in; her eyes were literally burnt out.

Mary Miller, a lodger, said that the deceased came home at half past 5 o'clock, and asked for a light, and, being in liquor, witness refused to give her one. She went upstairs, and must have made a light at the fire, at which moment her clothes must have caught the flame, and being much in liquor, she was not able to call for aid.

Verdict:- "Accidental death, the result of intemperance."


From the Kentish Gazette, 1 September 1846.

Part of a Female Found in the River at Greenwich.

On Tuesday an investigation took place before Mr. Carttar, the coroner for West Kent, at the "Eight Bells" public-house, Greenwich, to inquire as to the cause of death of a young female, supposed to be Catharine Donovan, whose remains were picked up on the Saturday preceding. After the evidence was finished, the coroner observed that at present the identity was very questionable, and remarked it was strange there had not been any inquiries about three young men last seen with the supposed deceased girl. It would be impossible to proceed further with the investigation at present until a medical man had examined the body. The inquiry was then adjourned until Tuesday next.


West Kent Guardian 16 January 1847.


On Wednesday, an inquest was held, pursuant to adjournment from the 8th inst., before C. J. Carttar, Esq., coroner, at the "Eight Bells," Church-street, Greenwich, to inquire into the circumstances attending the death of Mary Ann Johnson, aged 44, an American woman of colour, wife of an out-pensioner of Greenwich Hospital.

John Johnson, deposed to the identity of the body, and that he married the deceased in August last, at which time he belonged to the Ramilies ward, in the Royal Hospital, after which he became an out-pensioner, and resided in Skinner's-court. Greenwich.

Thomas Oak Mitchell, Esq., surgeon. Circus street, Greenwich, deposed that he had attended decease about ten years. He had made a post mortem examination of the body of decease, by direction of the coroner. Witness was sent for previous to death, on the 30th of December, when he found her speechless and insensible; believed she was labouring under concussion of the brain and treated her accordingly. There were external marks of violence, her head was swollen and inflamed, bruises over the shoulder and a black eye. On making the post mortem examination, he found on removing the scalp a bruise extending through the integuments (size of half-a-crown), to the back part of the skull, death ensued from concussion of the brain, on the 8th inst.

Thomas Obering, deposed, to great disturbance taking place in Skinner’s-court. Greenwich, on Wednesday, the 30th ult. Saw deceased foaming at the mouth and striking at an elderly woman, named Humphries. A young woman named Martha Humphries, a daughter of the old lady came up and struck deceased over the shoulder, while she was in the act of opening the street door.

John Johnson, husband of deceased, was re-called, and said that his wife laid two hours on the bed insensible after she came into the house, and said that the "Skinners" would be her death, and that she thought that "tall Mary" would be the last person to strike her.

Joseph Simnot, deposed that he saw Martha Humphries, give deceased a blow and knock her bonnet off. One of the Humphries's gave her a muzzler, and deceased said she did not think that Mary would have struck her; deceased staggered to her door, but did not fall. Amelia Humphries struck deceased in the face. Johnson afterwards came out and took his wife in.

Dr. Mitchell said deceased was quite sober, and was sure she had not been drinking on the day of the occurrence.

Jane Acres and Louis Fleming, deposed to seeing Martha strike deceased.

Harriet Deal, a married woman, residing in Skinner's-court, proved that Hartia Humphries struck deceased the last blow and called her a b----- old bitch, it was between 10 and 12 o'clock in the forenoon of Wednesday, 30th December. Old Mrs. Humphries abused and used deceased most cruelly, the words used were most foul, deceased left and returned to the court an hour or so afterwards, when Mrs. Humphries used deceased as badly as before; deceased held up her slick and said by God she would put up with it no longer. Amelia Humphries then came behind deceased and gave her a violent blow on the head. Deceased reeled without falling. Deceased said she had been shamefully used. Amelia struck deceased twice and her sister Martha Humphries once. Saw tall Mary rub deceased's mouth. Amelia struck as hard as she was able.

Ann Sutton, proved that Mr. Humphries and deceased quarrelled. Saw Martha strike deceased with open hand on the side of her head, Deceased appeared quite sober.

Mary Ann Humphries, window, was called in, and admitted that she was not sober on the day in question. She quarrelled with deceased about 15s. her husband owed for rent and money lent, —told deceased she was an ungrateful woman and that she had kept her from starving. No blows were struck by witness or her daughters—her daughters merely pushed her bonnet off.

Mary Cleoox and several other witness, proved that blows were given to deceased by the two young Humphries’s but only with the open hand.

Amelia arid Martha Humphries both made voluntary statements to the effect that they struck deceased for threatening their mother, but only with their hands. Deceased said "kill me, kill me," and was in a great passion foaming at the mouth.

Dr. Mitchell, surgeon, said death must have ensued from a fall or a blow from some hard substance. The hand could produce no such result.

Mr. Carttar, the coroner, concurred in this opinion.

The inquest-room was then cleared for the jury and coroner to confer, and after nearly an hour had elapsed, the doors were thrown open, when the coroner announced that the jury not being satisfied with the evidence, he had determined to adjourn the inquiry for a month, when it was hoped that important facts would be disclosed.


The building is closed as a pub and has been trading a number of betting shops since 2008 as far as I know.



EUSTACE W 1823+ Pigot's Directory 1823

LANGSLOW William 1826-34+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

BROWN William 1840+

POTTER James 1852-58+

TAPLING George William Louis 1866-67+

KIDDELL George Elijah 1867-71+ (age 30 in 1861Census)

FIELD John to Aug 1872

JEFFREYS Charles Henry Aug/1872-74+

HARDING Richard 1882+

WELLBROCK John Henry 1891

RUSSELL Alexander 1891-Nov/97 (age 38 in 1891Census) Woolwich Gazette

ELLEN Alfred Nov/1897-1904+ Woolwich Gazette

WESTBROOK Henry E 1905-08+

HORGAN John Stephen 1911+

SHERWIN George 1919+


Pigot's Directory 1823From the Pigot's Directory 1823

Pigot's Directory 1832-34From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34


Woolwich GazetteWoolwich Gazette


If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-