Sort file:- Canterbury, March, 2021.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.


Earliest 1838-

King's Head Tap

Latest 1838+

(Name to)

Lamb Lane



Only reference to this so far is from Stapleton's Guide of 1838. Obviously the tap to one of the King's Head hotels, but not knowing the location of Lamb Lane yet I do not know which one.

Further information tells me that Lambs Lane ran from the High Street to Jewry Lane, so this would have been the Tap to the "King's Head" in the High Street.

It has been suggested that the "Kings Head Tap" changed to "Prince Albert Inn" in honour of Queen Victoria's marriage to Prince Albert on 10 February 1840. The name change would have been after this date.


From the Kentish Gazette, 30 August 1842.


The following lamentable occurrence of suicide has ceased considerable consternation in this city since Thursday last. About four o’clock in the afternoon of that day, the melancholy catastrophe took place under one of the drooping ashes in the Dane John, near the walk leading to Castle-street, where a well-dressed young man had retired, and taken a quantity of Prussic acid, which it is believed produced almost instant death. He had taken great precaution to prevent discovery of who he was, by destroying everything about him that might make him known, even obliterating the marks on his linen, &c. The body was removed to the workhouse, and a Coroner's Inquest was holden at the "King’s Head Tap," Lamb-lane; and after the evidence of a girl and a woman had been given as to finding the body, Mr. Major, surgeon, deposed to his having been called to attend the deceased about twenty minutes after death had occurred, and that there was no indication of any fit having seized him. On searching the pockets of the deceased, a bottle, that had contained Prussic acid, was found, which left no doubt upon his mind as to the manner in which death had been occasioned. A knife, comb, cigar, white pocket handkerchief, a pair of gloves, all, apparently, of an expensive description, were found, and also twopence. From a post mortem examination which he made, he was enabled to state positively that death had been caused by poison.

This being all the evidence adduced, the inquest was adjourned, in order to obtain the identity of the person, for which purpose, under the direction of the Chief Magistrate, hand bills were promptly put into circulation.

Yesterday evening the inquest was resumed, the body having been late on Sunday evening identified by Mr. George Johnson, warehouseman, of Artillery-place, St. Luke’s, London, as his son. William John Johnson, aged 21. The jury having been sworn, the Coroner, T. T. DeLasaux, Esq. examined the father of the deceased. His statement was to the effect, that about a month back, the deceased, who was self-willed in the extreme, expressed a wish to leave his house and enter on the career of life. He accordingly left, taking with him money sufficient to defray his expenses for a considerable time, and having also in his possession a valuable watch, which he pawned in London previous to his departure. The witness having heard through a friend that he (the deceased) was enjoying himself at Margate, thought all was right until convinced of the contrary, by seeing in a London newspaper on Sunday last, an account of the shocking occurrence. He (witness) immediately started for Canterbury, and on seeing the corpse, at ten o’clock on Sunday evening, (which was in a very decomposed state,) instantly recognised his son. Some little time back he addressed a letter to his father, inclosing a pencil-case, which was couched in a wild and random manner, desiring witness to keep it as a small token of regard.

The coroner having addressed the jury in a judicious manner, pointing out the weak intellect of the deceased on many occasions, they immediately returned a verdict that the deceased destroyed himself by swallowing the contents of a bottle which contained prussic acid, while in a state of temporary derangement. It is supposed by his relative that he obtained the poison from some young surgeons with whom he was acquainted in London.



ROBERTS Jason 1838+ Stapletons Guide


Stapletons GuideStapleton's Guide 1838


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