Sort file:- Chatham, June, 2024.

Page Updated:- Friday, 14 June, 2024.


Earliest 1768-

Mitre Hotel

Closed 1934

198 High Street


Mitre 1879

Above drawing, by E. Hull, 1879.

Mitre Hotel 1920

Above photo, circa 1920.

Mitre Hotel 1927

Above photo 1927.

Mitre Inn and Clarence Hotel

Above photo, date unknown, by kind permission Roy Moore,

Mitre and Clarence Hotel sale 1931

Above sale advertisement, 1931, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.

Mitre Hotel jug

Above jug showing J. A. White, date unknown, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.


Classed as a tavern in 1793. The Licensing Records of 1872 stated the premises held a Full License and was owned by John Tribe of High Street, Chatham.

The Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre has referenced a set of documents, that I haven't seen yet, and is part of the Watts Charity MSS, 1579-1972.

Reference is made as follows:-


The "Mitre Tavern" and The "Clarence Hotel," High Street; and 3 messuages In Boundary Road (2 docs.)


Up to and including 1881 the address was given as number 286.

I have reference to this pub from the Kentish Gazette or Canterbury Chronicle September 1768, when the paper advertised the sale of household furniture at Minster Abbey, on the Isle of Sheppey. It was stated that catalogues could be obtained from this public house. See Notes of 1768.

The Mitre had a splendid bowling green in the rear of its premises.

It is said that the Duke of Clarence (son of King George III) who later became King William IV (1830-37) stayed here on his visits to Chatham.


Information below taken from

The lease of the manor house and grounds held by Phineas Pett terminated in 1621, and the estate was divided up and sold for building purposes, the old manor house was demolished and a posting house erected on the old foundations, later known as the Mitre Hotel, at this time with breaking up of the Manor house grounds, what was the drive leading to the manor house became a though road and was the first time the high street could be followed all the way from Rochester to the foot of Chatham Hill and on to Canterbury.

Before the railway, the main coaching, posting house in Chatham was the "Mitre Inn and Clarence Hotel," where the coach called the Blue-eyed Maid, belonging to a Mr Simpson, left on a five hour journey to London.

The Mitre kept by Mr John Tribe, a High Constable of the Court Leet of Chatham in 1819.

Mr and Mrs Dickens were on visiting terms with the landlord of this fine old hostelry, and a young Charles Dickens, at evening parties held there, often sang songs of the sea whilst mounted on the dining table for a stage, at the Mitre Lord Nelson used to reside when on duty at Chatham a room he occupied being known as “Nelsons Cabin”.

1805, Lord Nelson, on his way to join the fleet, wishing to inspect the ships in the Dockyard stayed for the night at the Mitre Inn, contenting himself with a little cold boiled beef and then retired for the night, this was Nelsons last visits to these streets.

Nelsons Naval career began in Chatham in 1771 when, as a young boy, he joined HMS Raisonable as a Midshipsman.

In 1793, Nelson returned to the naval service after five years on half pay, when he was appointed Captain of the Agamemnon and joined the ship at Chatham.

Ten years later in 1805 he joined HMS Victory as Rear Admiral.

The Mitre Hotel, now Primark, (British Home Stores) was also visited by Samuel Peeps in 1667.

Originally just “The Mitre” it became “The Mitre and Clarence”, following a visit in 1827 by the Duke of Clarence, Later King William VI.

He came to inspect the dockyard in his capacity as Lord High Admiral and was quoted as saying of the Mitre it had beautiful gardens that he called “a surprise and delight to the stranger”.

The Chatham Bowling Club now in Parmerston Road was originally formed and run from the Mitre.

It was pulled down in 1934.


Kentish Gazette, Tuesday 1 May 1770.

To be sold by auction, by Mr. Francis Pyner, on Saturday the 19th day of May, 1770, at the "Mitre Inn," at Chatham, in Kent, between 3 and 5 in the afternoon, in separate lots.

Lot 1. A Valuable Leasehold Estate, situate opposite the "Mitre" aforesaid, in the occupation of Mr. Lock, Upholsterer, consisting of a substantial brick built house, and good old accustomed shop commodiously fitted up, and a Range of Warehouses; and also a Large Piece of Ground enclosed, adjoining the above, known by the Name of Fairfield, where Two Fairs are nearly kept. There are six long Ranges of Stalls in the same, with proper Stall Boards, Trestles, &c. and a Garden adjoining. There are upwards of 65 years unexpired, at the small ground rent of 42. The whole is esteemed worth, per Annum, 100.

Lot 2. One third part of one other leasehold Estate, consisting of Seven substantially built Messuages, in Fair Row and High Street; and also a Piece of Meadow Land behind the same; and likewise a Hop Ground in Listmas Lane, now let to several Tenants at, per Annum 69. 10s. There were 78 years and a half unexpired at Lady day last, ground Rent, per annum, 16.

Particulars, with conditions of sale, to be had at the "George and Bull" at Dartford; "White Hart" at Gravesend; "Angel" at Strood; "Crown" and "Kings Head," Rochester; "Golden Lion" at Brompton,; "Star" at Maidstone; "Green Dragon" at Rainham; "Bull" at Newington; "Rose" at Sittingbourne; "Ship" at Faversham; "King's Head," Canterbury; at the Place of Sale; and of the Broker, No. 37, Lombard Street, London.

N.B. To be viewed on Saturday, 12th of May, and till the sale, by applying to the several Tenants.


Kentish Gazette, Friday 2 October 1789.

To Innkeeper's.

To be let and entered upon immediately, that well-known Tavern and Inn, the "Mitre," in Chatham, most desirable situated opposite the Market Place.

The aforesaid Inn is very commodious, consisting of all the conveniences which can be required; with a very large useful garden adjoining thereto.

The Furniture, Stock, &c, to be taken at a fair appraisement.

For further particulars apply to Messrs. W. and E. Towpennys, Attorneys at Law, Rochester, or of J. Simmons, Attorney-at-law, St. Margaret's Bank, Rochester.


Kentish Gazette, Tuesday 10 November 1789.

Mitre Inn and Tavern, opposite the Market, Chatham.

James Elliott respectfully acquaints his friends and the public, that he has taking the above Inn, and tidied it up in the most commodious and genteel manner for reception of company; and being well convinced the public hostelry can only be attained by unremitted attendion to deserve as its determining to use every exertion to give satisfaction, flatters himself that this Tavern will be found in no respect lacking to any other in the county, both for reception of of visitors and Gentleman travelling, and for the accommodation of friends in Chatham, Rochester, Strood and its neighbourhood.

A good larder, the best of wines, and Beds kept continually.

Neat post chaise to any part of England.


Kentish Gazette, 25 September, 1792. and

From the Kentish Gazette, Friday 19 October 1792.


James Elliott, duly sensible of many favours he has received from a generous public, takes this opportunity of returning his sincere thanks, and informs them he has taken, and now fitting up in an elegant and general manner, the "Three Kings Inn," Deal, where he hopes to meet with a continuation of that patronage his exertions may merit, being determined to spare no expense for the accommodation of those whose business or pleasure may call them to Deal.

A new suit of elegant Rooms will be immediately built facing the sea, which will command the most extensive and fine prospect on the sea coast.


Kentish Gazette 7 January 1800.


THAT if the Bay Gelding, left at the "Mitre Inn," Chatham, on Sunday, the 8th of December, 1799, is not taken away in fourteen days from this date, it will be fold to pay the expenses.

JANUARY 4, 1800.


From the Kentish Gazette, 14 January 1834. Price 7d.


Posting from Tribe's “Mitre Inn” and “Clarence Hotel,” Chatham, at One Shilling per Mile.


From the Kentish Gazette, 11 February 1840.


Prince Albert and his retinue arrived in Chatham on Saturday about one o’clock. The Prince avoided the town by passing over the road, which greatly chagrined the Radicals. The Queen's posting-house, alias the "Mitre Inn," was dressed up with the Royal Standard floating across the road, and the staircase was lined with scarlet cloth. It was certainly very annoying to the gentry who had fagged hard, and who were about to pay Radical adoration to royalty at the Inn in question, to be thus disappointed. The announcement of the approach of the Royal personage was made by a discharge of artillery from the batteries. A guard of Honour with an excellent band attended, and played martial airs. Upon the Prince’s arriving opposite the Queen’s Colour, borne by Ensign Noble, the whole of the Radical gentry made a sudden rush to the carriage, and the Prince was therefore obliged to hear the Address, which, we understand, Lord Torrington said should not be received. It was observed that come Radical dissenters took the opportunity of throwing letters into the carriage — no doubt praying for the abolition of church rates. Mr Pring, of Newport Radical notoriety, read the Address to the Prince, who briefly replied that he was obliged to them. The cavalcade in defending Star Hill into Rochester, the horses drawing the fourth carriage not being fit for the service, being Cobs about 14 hands, had a narrow escape of an accident; the two leaders fell, one of them rolling over the other. In the carriage with the Prince were his brother and Lord Torrington; the second carriage contained the Prince's father and Col. Grey.


Kentish Gazette, 9 November 1847.

On Wednesday week the Court Leet for the Hundred and Manor of Chatham was held at the "Mitre Hotel," for the purpose of appointing a high constable, borsholders, and other officers for the year ensuing. Mr. W. Weekes was elected high constable. The members of the leet and about fifty gentlemen dined at the "Sun Hotel," in the evening. Mr, Thomas Hills, solicitor, on retiring from the office of high constable, gave a public breakfast at the "Mitre Hotel," to upwards of seventy of his friends.


From the Kentish Gazette, 15 February 1848.

Robbery at Chatham.

On Sunday evening, while Mr. Pike, a draughtsman in the dockyard, was gone to chapel with his wife, some person entered the house by means of picklock keys, and after having picked the whole of the locks, scattered the contents of the drawers about the rooms, and decamped with upwards of 20 worth of property, and as yet have not been heard of. This is the fourth Sunday evening that houses have been robbed in this neighbourhood during the absence of parties at a place of worship.

In consequence of the frequent robberies in Chatham and its neighbourhood, a public meeting took place on Saturday, at the "Mitre Inn," the High Constable in the chair, when it was resolved that a night patrol (twelve in number for each night) should be formed by the inhabitants, and be distributed into different districts.


Kentish Gazette, 6 February 1849.


Randall:— Jan. 26, Henry, second son of Mr. Randall, of the "Mitre Hotel," Chatham, aged 15 years.


South Eastern Gazette, 31 January, 1860.

Enlargement of the Marine Barracks.

The demolition of the "Navy and Army Hotel," the "Queen’s Head," and other property adjoining the Marine barracks, will be shortly commenced, the owners and occupiers having had their respective claims satisfied by the Board of Admiralty. The friends of Mr. Manser, landlord of the "Navy and Army Hotel," will be glad to hear that he is about to take the "Mitre Hotel" where he will succeed Mr. Randall, who has so satisfactorily conducted that establishment for a great number of years. The enlargement of the Marine barracks will be commenced as soon as the site has been cleared.


South Eastern Gazette, 20 March, 1860.


ROBERT RANDALL offers his best thanks for the kind patronage and support be has received during the nineteen years he has kept the "Mitre Hotel," at Chatham.

Having disposed of the above Hotel, and Business of Wine and Spirit Merchant, to Mr. Frederick. Manser, who for many years past has conducted the "Army and Navy Hotel," Chatham, R. R. has much pleasure in soliciting for him a continuance of their favours.


FREDERICK MANSER, having taken the above old-established and well-conducted Hotel, and the Wine, Spirit, and Porter Business attached thereto, assures his friends that he will endeavour to conduct the business in such manner as cannot fail to give satisfaction to those who have kindly and liberally patronised him whilst at the "Army and Navy Hotel," and to whom he begs leave to offer his sincere and warmest thanks.

March 20th, 1860.


London Evening Standard, Thursday 21 May, 1885.

Valuable freehold business property, 227, High Street Chatham.

Messrs. Jesse Thomas and Barnes are instructed by the Devisees in trust to sell by auction, on Thursday, May 28th, at the "Mitre Hotel," Chatham, at 7 precisely, the valuable Estate, consisting of large shop and modern built dwelling house, containing 13 rooms and 3 cellars. There is a large frontage to the High Street, with paved entrance to the back premises, which are unusually extensive. This property constitutes one of the most desirable sites for any business requiring space, and is situated in the busiest part of the high street of Chatham, being such as very rarely occurs for investment or occupation, and is of the estimated value of 120 per annum, with possession on completion.

Further particulars and conditions of sale, with plan of the estate, can be had of Messr's. M. S. Stephens and Sons Solicitors, 33, Railway Street, Chatham; of Mr. Drake, architect, Rochester; or of the Auctioneers, Messrs. Jessie Thomas and Barnes, Chatham.


From auction sale brochure, 1931.

By order of the Executors of A. Booth Herne, deceased.


To Brewers, Hotel Proprietors, Cinema Syndicates, Amusement Caterers, Restaurateurs and others

PARTICULARS AND CONDITIONS OF SALE Of THAT Valuable and Extensive FREEHOLD FULLY LICENSED PROPERTY KNOWN AS The Mitre & Clarence Family and Commercial Hotel, HIGH STREET, CHATHAM, together with the Extensive Grounds in the Rear. Having a considerable frontage to the main thoroughfare in the centre of the busiest shopping area in the Medway Towns with a district population of about 150,000, also return frontages to a side street thus forming A Most Advantageous Site for Development having a Total Area of about 32,300 Square Feet which includes Two Freehold Cottages Nos. 5 & 6, Meeting House Lane, Chatham.

Which will be sold by Auction by Messrs. C. E. T. ROGERS STEVENS & CO. At the London Auction Mart, 155, Queen Victoria Street, E.C.4, On WEDNESDAY, 7th OCTOBER, 1931, At 3.30 p.m.

Solicitors: Messrs. BOOTH HEARN & STRATTON, High Street, Chatham.


General Notes.

This sale affords an opportunity of securing one of the largest and most important Sites available in the centre of the Medway Towns.

The position is such to render it suitable for development in many directions in addition to utilising the imposing structure of the Hotel, which is fully licensed.

There are two important Return Frontages to the ajacent side street, one of which is represented by the Two Cottages offered in Lot 2.

The fully licensed Hotel is an important feature. being one of the oldest established Family and Commercial Hotels in the County, enjoying a very lucrative business both in the Bars and in the Hotel.

The "Mitre and Clarence Hotel" stands on the site of the old Manor Mouse which was known as "Greetings" where the Court Leet of the Manor of Chatham were held. This continued until 1600, when the house was let on a 21 years' Lease to the famous Phineas Pett, a "Master Shipwright and Commissioner for H. M. Dockyard." The old Manor House was partially pulled down and the "Mitre Hotel" came into being with a priviso that the Courts Leet should continue to be held there. Documents still extant tell of the hospitable board supplied to the Yeoman of the Leet. With the opening of the then carriage drive, now the High Street, as a public road, the Hotel became a well-known Post-chaise Inn and stopping place for Mail Coach.

In 1805 Lord nelson stayed at the Hotel on his way to join the Fleet when he wished to inspect the ships in the Dockyard.

In 1827 the Hotel was visited by the Duke of Clarence (afterwards William IV), who came as Lord High Admiral to inspect the Dockyard. To commemorate this visit the additional name of Clarence was added to the Hotel with the Royal Coat or Arms still in situ.

The property comprising Lot 1 is free of Land Tax, which has been redeemed, and both lots are believed to be Tithe free as none has been demanded or paid by the Vendors or their known predecessors in title. Lot 2 is subject to Land Tax of 11s. 4d. per annum.



(As coloured Red and Blue on Plan).
All that VALUABLE AND EXTENSIVE Freehold Fully Licensed Property

KNOWN AS THE Mitle & Clarence Hotel, No. 198, HIGH STREET, CHATHAM

TOGETHER WITH THE Extensive Grounds in the Rear

ON THE SECOND FLOOR.— Ten Bed Rooms, One Stall Room, store cupboard.

ON THE FIRST FLOOR.— Private Sitting Room, Six Bed Rooms, Bath Room, Two W.C’s.

Staff Wing comprising: Five Staff Bed Rooms, linen cupboard, Housemaid’s Pantry.

ON THE GROUND FLOOR. Coffee Room and Lounge communicating, 68ft. 6in. by 21ft. 4in., with large bay overlooking Garden with French windows, Commercial Room, Stock Room, Lounge Bar, Large Saloon Bar, Office, Public Bar in three compartments, Service Room, Kitchen, Scullery, Bottle Store, Hotel Entrance and Corridor (separate entrance to Public Bars).

BASEMENT.— Beer, Wine and Spirit Cellars.

OUTSIDE.— Timber-built Wash-up and Lavatories, Garden, Tennis Lawn, Timber-built Pavilion, Large Greenhouse and Potting Shed.

There is a double-gate entrance with right of use of roadway to the public road known as The Paddock.

Off Meeting House Lane there is a large partly cemented Yard with Four Lock-up Brick-built Garages with Open Lean-to.


The pub closed in 1934 and was demolished in 1937 and a BHS was built on the site.



ELLIOT James 1789-Oct/1792 Next pub licensee had Trade Directory 1793

TRIBE John 1819-38+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34Wright's Topography 1838 (76 High Street)

RANDALL Robert 1841-60 (age 43 in 1841Census)

Last pub licensee had MANCER Frederick 1860+

SCOVIER Auguste 1872-74+ Licensing Records 1872

LEWIS Joseph F 1881-91+ (age 43 in 1881Census)

WOOLEY Mary A 1891+ (age 58 in 1891Census)

GILES Alice Mrs 1913+

COLWELL Alice Mrs 1930+


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

Licensing Records 1872Licensing Records 1872



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