Page Updated:- Sunday, 22 January, 2023.


Earliest ????

(Old) Half Moon

Latest ????

Coldharbour Lane



The censuses of 1851 and directories of 1858 list both the "Half Moon" and "Old Half Moon" as being different pubs operating at the same time during those years.

I am not certain though whether the "Old Half Moon" is actually older than the "Half Moon."

Also with two public houses with similar names I am hoping the licensee list hasn't got any mixed up.


From a local paper, date unknown.

Hildenborough. Illegal gaming.

At the Tonbridge Petty sessions, on Tuesday before Lord Hardinge (chairman), Major Schoons, C. Powell, and A. Pott, Esqurs., Henry Spratley, James W. Clepham, George Humphrey, and Thomas Shoebridge were charged with aiding and abetting and unlawful gaming on the 23rd December, in the "Half Moon" public house, Hildenborough, kept by Mr. Matthew Eason, and duly licence for the sale of excisable liqueurs. This case arose out of one which came before the bench a fortnight since, in which Matthew Eason, the landlord of the "Half Moon," was convicted of allowing illegal gambling with dice, and fined 2s. 6d. and costs.

The defendant Humphrey had not been served with a summons, and consequently did not appear. Mr. Palmer conducted the case on behalf of the other defendants. The facts were the same as those produced on the last occasion.

P.C. Holman said that on the night in question he found 30 men in the taproom of the "Half Moon," raffling for geese. Clapham brought in two pots of bear. Shoebridge was calling out the men's names, and among them he called out the man's name who was not there. Clapham said he would raffle for him, as he was not there, and he took up the dice and threw into a basin, while Shoebridge called out the numbers. Shoebridge then called out Mr. Warners name, and Spratley said he would raffle for him as he was not present. He afterwards said he had won the Goose for Mr. Warner, who had won him "Spratley) a watch the other night. Spratley then gave the men sixpence for beer, saying he would make it all right with Mr. Warner. That goose was then taken away, and Clepham brought another one and placed it on the table.

The Bench were about to swear Mr. Cole, the clerk of Messrs. Alleyne and Walker (magistrates' Clerks), to prove the conviction against Mr. Eason when Mr. Palmer objected, alleging that the conviction itself must be put in, or a certified copy, by law, from the hands of the Clerk of the Peace, which must be signed by the magistrates. The Bench, however overruled the objection, and Mr. Cole's evidence was taken, together with Mr. Palmer's protest.

Mr. Palmer then address the Bench for the defence. He said that he felt bound, on behalf of his client, to make every objection he could, as the information was of a frivolous and vexatious nature. His first objection was this. The information stated that "whereas on the 23rd of December, Matthew Eason, being then and there and alehouse-keeper, and duly licensed to sell excisable liquors by retail, did knowingly suffer and unlawful game - to wit, an unlawful game of chance with dice." &c. There had been no proof produced that Matthew Eason was licensed to sell excisable liquors by retail. Of course it would have been easy to prove it by summoning him to produce his license, but the prosecution had not thought fit to do so, and therefore that was one ground on which they must dismiss the case. These proceedings were taken under the 5th section of the Jarvis' Act, which made every person who aided and abetted in an offence of this kind liable to the same punishment as the principal offender. He contended that it was impossible to convict these men as accessories, as they were actually present and committed the offence itself; and he then referred to Blackstone's Commentaries, page 125, volume 4, in which it was laid down, as the definition of Sir Matthew Hale, that an accessory was one who, being absent at the time the crime was committed, should be procure, counsel, or in any way assist to shelter the principal offender. Here it was evidently laid down that to be an accessory it was necessary that the man should be absent at the time the offence was committed, as, if he were present, he would be guilty of the crime as a principal. From this he contended their Worships had no jurisdiction to entertain the information on the evidence before them. If they entertained an opposite view, he should ask them to grant him a case for the consideration of the superior courts.

The Bench retired to consider their verdict, and on their return into Court, the Chairman said:- The Bench are of opinion that the defendants were all intents and purposes aiding and abetting the offences in question, but as there is no evidence that this took place in a licence public house, the case is dismissed. But in future persons must take care not to commit these offenses, which are certainly punishable under Jarvis's Act.

Superintendent Dance enquired whether, if this evidence was produced, the defendants could not be summoned again.

Mr. Walker (the magistrates' clerk) replied that they could.

Mr. Palmer applied for the order of dismissal.



EASON Matthew 1851-68+ (age 74 in 1861Census) Post Office Directory 1862Kelly's 1862

BOAKES John 1871+ (age 55 in 1871Census)

FAIRCLOTH J T 1881+ (could be other "Half Moon")

THORNE Charles 1881+ (age 25 in 1881Census)

CAVIE Albert W 1891+ (age 30 in 1891Census) Post Office Directory 1891 (Old Half Moon)

OATEN Frederick 1901-03+ (age 51 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

SAVAGE James 1911+ (age 57 in 1911Census)

THORNE Charles Thomas 1911-38+




Kelly's 1862From the Kelly's Directory 1862

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903


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