Sort file:- Chatham, March, 2024.

Page Updated:- Tuesday, 26 March, 2024.


Earliest 1781-

Crown and Thistle

Latest 1872-

(Name to)

188 High Street



I have also seen this mentioned as the "Thistle and Crown."

Up to and including 1874 the address was given as number 282, the street must have been renumbered by the 1891 census.


This was owned by Edward Winch in 1880 when the licensee was Ann Tonkin although by that time the mane should have been the "United Services."

The pub is said to have changed name to the "United Services" between 1880 and 1890 but I do have reference from the Licensing Records of 1872 that says it was called the "United Services" then, unless this was a different pub withy the same name. Unfortunately the records give no address.


Kentish Gazette, 16 June, 1781.

To be Let, and entered upon immediately,

A good accustomed Public House, well situated, opposite the Block, in Pump Makers Yard, Strood, known by the name of the "George," lately rebuilt.

For particulars enquire of John Tribe, the "Crown and Thistle," Chatham.


Canterbury Weekly, 28 August, 1837.

Suspected Murder.

On Thursday week, a Coroner's inquest was held at the "Crown and Thistle," High Street, Chatham, before are R. Hinde, Esq., coroner, touching the death of a man named Barney McAnns, late of the 17th Regiment.

The case excited the greatest interest, owing to the reports circulated throughout the town that the man had been poisoned by a woman. Long before the coroner had arrived, the house was literally besieged by person's, anxious to hear the enquiry. About 11:30 the jury were empanelled; and the first witness called was the landlord of the house.

Mr. Richard Gould:- He said the deceased came into his house, accompanied by a woman, about half past 11 o'clock, on the morning of yesterday. When he saw the deceased first he was lying on the wooden seat in the back room, at his full length, vomiting. He imagined he was tipsy, and wished him to go out of doors. The deceased refused. Before he saw the deceased, he saw a woman come out of the room and go out of the back door. He had seen her before; but did not know her name. He eventually forced the deceased out, and placed him at the back door, and thought, by his remaining there, he might recover. The landlord them remonstrated with his wife for serving the deceased, as he thought he was in liquor. She answered that the man did not appear intoxicated, and that all she had served in with was a pint of ale.

The young woman, who had been with the deceased shortly came back, and said the man was not drunk, but unwell. She then left the house; and the deceased said he had drink nothing, but admitted he had taken poison. He still thought the deceased was intoxicated; and led him to the upper part of the stable. On his return to the house, he found a warehouseman of Mr Young's; who said he had found a label marked poison, lying on the floor. Several medical men were then searched after; but none could be found, accept a Mr. Powell; but before Mr. Powell could arrive the man was dead. A peace officer of the name of Croft arrived; who, hearing what had happened, took the girl into custody. She was searched but nothing was found upon her person.

Mrs. Jane Gould, wife of the landlord, corroborated the testimony on her husband.

Sergeant John Brady of the 17th Regiment of Foot stationed at Chatham, deposed that the deceased was a private soldier in the regiments, and was discharged three months ago. He was a sober man.

Elizabeth Hooker, the woman the deceased was in company with, said - I have known the deceased three months. About 8 o'clock on the morning of yesterday we had a glass of whiskey and water each at the "Queen's Head." I saw him again between the hours of ten and eleven, near the Military Road. he said he was going down to Chatham to get his breakfast. I said I was going to the fruiterer's to buy some currents. The deceased said he was going to buy some salts and hoped she would not be long. I saw the deceased again, and he asked me to go and take ale, which I agreed to; and we both came to the "Crown and Thistle." We went into the back room, and the deceased ordered one pint of ale. In conversation he asked me to go to Canterbury with him. I said I would not. He then wanted me to go part of the way with him; which I agree to do, and was going to write a note to send up to the "Queen's Head," for a bonnet and shawl. The note was not written because the deceased would not let me write, unless I would consent to stay with him. He then said he would take his salts, and would go over and take a cup of tea. He took from his pocket a small parcel of white paper, and emptied it into a part of a glass of ale, stirred it up, and drank it. The salts had not all dissolved, and I said you have drank the liquor and left the salts. He answered he had left them for me. He then put half a glass of ale into it, and put it to me to drink. I said I did not want physic, and would not take it. He then said if I did not, he would throw it over me or put it down my throat. He then took me by the nose, and put it to my mouth. I tasted it and said "Barney, it is sour." He then got up and threw the contents behind the fire place; and said that what he had taken was to sober himself, as he was going to see a gentleman concerning some spoons. Immediately he was taken sick and Mr. Gould then came into the room. I left the house frightened and went to the "Queen's Head." I was fetched back to the "Crown and Thistle," and went to the stable, and found he was dead. I knew him and kissed his forehead. The deceased was a passionate man, but not subject to drink. The morning in question he was more pleasing and quiet.

George William's Dadd acknowledged serving a person answering the deceased with one ounce of of oxalic acid about 10 o'clock yesterday. He said he wanted to clean some boot tops. The rapper was stamped poison on it.

The jury, after sometime, returned the verdict that the deceased destroyed himself by taking oxalic acid, but whether the deceased was in his sound and proper sense at the time, no satisfactory evidence appeared to the jurors.


South Eastern Gazette, 26 June, 1860.

Friday. (Before the Revs. G. Davies and J. J. Marsham).

James Hill, a private in the 20th Regt., and Thomas Davis, of the 23rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers, were finally examined on a charge of highway robbery, accompanied with violence, on the person of John Wells, lately discharged from the 60th Rifles, at Chatham.

It appeared that the prosecutor was drinking with the prisoners, neither of whom had he seen before, at the "Royal Oak," High-street, at which time he had five sovereigns and some silver in his possession fastened in a belt which he wore round his waist. During the time they were drinking together in the tap-room of the "Royal Oak," one of the prisoners was observed by a girl there to empty a white powder from a paper into a pot or beer which prosecutor was drinking. They afterwards all left the "Royal Oak" and proceeded together to the "Gibraltar" public-house, but returned over the New-road towards the "Royal Oak," when as they were passing along by some railings Davies suddenly asked prosecutor to give him some money. The prosecutor said he would, and was about to take 6d. out of his belt, when the prisoner Hills struck him a violent blow in the face, and at the same moment the other prisoner snatched his belt out of his hand, and both ran away as fast as they could in the direction of Rome-lane. In a very short time after the robbery both prisoners ran into the "Crown and Thistle" public-house, High-street, and made their way upstairs into a bed-room, where they exhibited several sovereigns to a female living there. At that moment the police entered the house, when both prisoners secreted themselves under the bed, but were taken by Police-constable 108, who conveyed them both to the station-house, where no money was found on either of them. The officer, however, returned to the room in which he had apprehended the prisoners, and under the bed where Hills had crawled he found two sovereigns and an Indian coin which the prisoner said was his.

Mr. Davies asked what had become of the other sovereigns, as only two had been found.

Superintendent Everist said he had no doubt the prisoners had swallowed them.

The prisoners were committed for trial.


South Eastern Gazette, 31 July, 1860.

INSOLVENT DEBTORS to be heard at the Sessions House, Maidstone, before the Judge of the County Court of Kent, on Tuesday, the Fourteenth day of August, 1860, at Eleven o'clock in the forenoon precisely.

OBADIAH WHITE, formerly of the "Crown and Thistle," High-street, Chatham, Kent, licensed victualler and dealer in tobacco; then lodging at the "Druids Arms Inn," Blue Town, Sheerness, Kent, out of business; and then and late of the "Ship Inn," Queenborough, Kent, licensed victualler and dealer in tobacco.


Insolvents’ Attorney, Maidstone.


South Eastern Gazette, 11 September, 1860.


Friday. (Before the Rev. G. Davies, W. H. Nicholson and T. H. Day, Esqrs.)

An old pensioner named James Benny, of 4, Queen’s-court, Brompton, was charged with stealing a carpet-bag, containing a quantity of wearing apparel, from the "Crown and Thistle" public-house, High-street, Chatham.

Robert De Melvin, a military look man, said he was stopping at the public-house with his little girl, eight years old, and having occasion to go out for a short time he left his carpet-bag behind in the smoking-room, in charge of the child, the prisoner being also there. On returning in a short time afterwards he found that his bag had been stolen, and his little girl was unable to give any account of it. Since the prisoner had been apprehended he had expressed to prosecutor his regret that he had taken the bag.

P.C. Shonk, 46, K.C.C., said he traced the prisoner to Queen’s-court, Brompton, and met him coming out with the bag in his hand; it was still locked and had not been opened. As the officer was going into the house he heard the prisoner say to some one that he was sorry he had taken the bag, and would give it back to the owner. Prisoner also told witness he would have given back the bag to the prosecutor, if he could have found him. The prisoner was the worse for drink.

The prisoner said he was guilty, but he trusted the magistrates would deal leniently with him, as he did it through drink. He had been a solider 26 years, and had always borne a good character.

Superintendent Everist said the prisoner did not bear good character, and some time ago stole a valuable gold watch.


Maidstone and Kentish Journal, 12 September, 1870.

Chatham Police Court. This day Monday.

Before F. E. Guise, Esq., Stipendairy Magistrate
Edward Hodges, landlord of the "Crown and Thistle Inn," High Street, pleaded guilty to having his house open for the sale of beer and other liquors, on Sunday morning,

 28th August.

There were no previous complaints against the house, and the magistrates inflicted a penalty of 2, and 9s. costs.




TUBB/TRIBE John 1793+ (Thistle and Crown) Trade Directory 1793

BUTCHER James 1828+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29

WEST Thomas 1832+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34 (273 High Street)

GOLD Richard 1838-51+ (age 50 in 1851Census) Wright's Topography 1838

BURFORD Robert 1858+

WHITE Obadiah 1860

FANCETT/FAWCETT Stephen 1861-62+ (age 52 in 1861Census)

HODGES Edward 1870+

TONKIN Ann 1874-82+ (widow age 62 in 1881Census)

KNOTT Robert 1891+ (age 36 in 1891Census)


Trade Directory 1793Universal British Directory of Trade 1793

Pigot's Directory 1828-29From the Pigot's Directory 1828-29

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

Wright's Topography 1838Wright's Topography 1838



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