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Earliest 1828-


Latest 1880s

(Name to)

Stumble Hill



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 Tunbridge, 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, 7 August, 1860.

Petty Sessions, Wednesday. (Before H. T. Moore, Esq., and Major Scoones).

William, Allcorn, of Plaxtol and William Crasswell, of Shipborne, were charged with stealing, on the 30th July, a quantity of spirits, value 10s., the property of Mr. William Green, of the "Bull Inn," Shipborne.

The prosecutor said that he had known the prisoners for several years, and they were in his house on Monday the 30th July. He came home to dinner about 1 o’clock and left between 2 and 3, and the prisoners were there at that time in the tap-room; there were also two other men there but not in company, with them. His wife was in charge, of the house. As he was returning home again in the evening, at about half-past 6, he saw the prisoner Allcorn, who appeared to be drunk, lying on the green about fifty rods from his house, and there was a bottle standing close by his head. He picked the bottle up and smelt it, and it appeared to contain a mixture of gin, rum, and brandy. He also took another bottle out of the prisoner’s pocket, and that contained a similar mixture. The spirit was running from his pocket, which was quite wet. He took the bottles home, when he found that four bottles had been taken away from the bar. He also found a broken bottle on the other side of the road opposite to where the prisoner was lying, and that bottle also appeared to have contained the same mixture as the others. The ground was saturated with spirits. The three bottles produced were his property. He had examined the casks containing gin, rum, and brandy, and had missed spirits from them, in all nearly half a gallon.

Information was given to Rogers, K.C.C., stationed at Shipborne, and when he apprehended the prisoners they were both drunk. Crasswell was discharged, but the other prisoner, who had been previously convicted of larceny, was committed for trial, bail being accepted.


Maidstone Telegraph, Saturday 10 September 1870.

Tunbridge intelligence. Selling beer without a licence.

Solomon Page, Hadlow, was charged with selling beer without a licence at Hadlow, on 14th July.

Mr. Williams, excise officer, prosecuted, and Mr. Palmer appeared for defence.

Robert Armstrong deposed he was a labourer, residing at Shipbourne. On the 14th July, he went to defendant's house and got a pint of beer, for which he paid 2d. He drank the beer on the premises. A man named James Neville was with him, and also had a pint. He had had beer there previously.

By Mr. Palmer:- Have worked with defendant. Page has sometimes brought beer into the field, and they had clubbed around and paid for it on the Saturday night. He saw Page's son on the 14th, but did not ask him to get some beer on the sly. He knew the landlord of the Bull, at Shipbourne, but never heard him say he will give anyone a pound if they would prove that Page had sold beer. He told the policeman the same night as he had the beer. They had a few words about an axe. Witness brought an axe, and defendant asked him for the money. Neville was in the house when witness paid for the beer, but he did not think he saw the money paid. He had never told a different tale this.

Mr. Palmer denied that any beer had been sold. The two men have given some beer by a gentleman, and had entered defendants house, which they would not leave until some more was given them. He would prove to their worships that the evidence of Armstrong was perfectly unreliable. He had sworn that he never asked the young man to draw him some beer. He will call the young man who would swear that he did ask for beer, and if they believe this he would ask them to put no reliance in Armstrong's statement. He would also call them and Neville, he would say that he never saw any money paid, and it would be impossible in a small room like defendant's, if any had been paid for him not to have seen it.

He then called Albert Page, son of defendant, who deposed that on the 14th of July, Armstrong and Neville came to his father's house. His father and Neville went into the garden, but Armsrong remained behind. Armstrong asked him twice to give him some beer, but witness refused. Armstrong and Neville had not been in the house since. About a fortnight after witness heard that Armstrong had charged his father with selling beer.

Armstrong was drunk.

By Mr. Williams:- My father does not keep a cask in his house. He had one 4 1/2 gallon during the harvest.

By Mr. Goldsmid:- He had not told talked the matter over with his father. He had not told him what to say.

James Neville deposed that he went with Armstrong to defendants house, and left him there while he and defendant went into the garden. When they came back they had some beer given them. He did not pay for it. He had been there before and had beer, but had not paid for it. They clubbed around on the Saturday night, and paid for the beer. Witness did not see any money paid except 3s. for the axe. If any had he must have seen it. After they left defendant's house they went to Shipbourne "Bull", and witness paid for some beer he owed for. It was the custom for one of them to get the beer and carry into the fields, and they then all helped to pay for it. Armstrong told him the next morning he had paid for the beer, and witness replied that he did not see him if he did.

The magistrates were of opinion that there was not sufficient evidence to convict the defendant, especially as the man Armstrong was drunk when he gave the information, and had had a quarrel with defendant.

Mr. Williams gave notice of appeal.

Mr. Palmer applied for costs, but they worships declined to make any order.


Kent & Sussex Courier 20 November 1874.

Extensions of time were granted to Mr. Evans, of "Bull Inn," Shipbourne.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Saturday 10 April 1869.

Shipbourne. Keeping His House Open.

At the Tonbridge Petty Sessions, on Tuesday, before Julian Goldsmis, (in the chair), C. Powell, and A. Pott, Esqrs., Thomas Fowler, brewer, was summoned for keeping his house open for the sale of beer, during prohibited hours on Good Friday last.

Mr. Warner appeared for the defendant, and said that he should plead guilty to the charge put forth in the summons, but at the same time he wished to mention one or two mitigating circumstances in connection with the case.

Defendant had lived at Shipbourne for 27 years and from 1840 to 1852 he kept the "Bull Inn." He was now a small brewer, and had a licence to sell beer off the premises. Defendant had always borne a good character, and he was not aware when he sold the beer that he was committing any offence. He was not aware that the regulations were the same as on Sunday. There was no intention on the part of the defendant to infringe the law, as was evidenced by the fact that when he found out what he had done he went and told Mr. Superintendent Dance of the affair. The Bench said, taking into consideration that the act was wilfully done, they would be mitigated the fine to 20s., and the costs 14s.



JEFFREY William 1828+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29

BLATCHER William 1832+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

FOWLER Thomas 1840-52

GREEN WIlliam 1860+

EVANS Mr 1874+ Kent and Sussex Courier


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

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

Kent and Sussex CourierKent and Sussex Courier


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