Page Updated:- Wednesday, 28 September, 2022.


Earliest 1713-

Bird in Hand

Latest 1842


The Dover Chronicles on 7 May 1842, printed a list of "Inns & Innkeepers of Dover A.D. 1713. Unfortunately no addresses were given. This may or may not be the same premises.


From the Dover Chronicles, 7 May 1842.

Dover Innkeepers 1713


Not a lot is known about this establishment and the only reference I have found to date is the coroners inquest on the death of John Spratt, licensee 1841, although it is known his wife continued to run the beer-shop at least a year after his death.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 20 February, 1841. Price 5d.


An inquest was held at the "Eagle Tavern," Charlton, on Thursday evening, before G. T. Thompson, Esq. coroner, and a respectable jury, to enquire into the cause of the death of Mr. John Spratt, keeper of the "Bird in Hand," beer-shop, aged 64.

Thomas Beer, labourer, deposed as follows:- This morning, at about seven o'clock I was going along the road at the back of Charlton, towards Dover. When nearly opposite Johnson's gardens, I saw a young man named Thomas Spratt, holding his father in his arms. There was another young man standing by, who asked me to assist the deceased into his cart. I saw the deceased open his mouth and strive for breath twice; but he appeared to be insensible. There was some blood on the left temple, and his clothes were soiled with fresh mud, as though he had fallen into the road. After placing the deceased in the cart, the men drove towards Charlton, and I went on to Dover.

Thomas Spratt, labourer, said - Deceased was my father. This morning, a little boy and I were going to Dover with a horse and cart, and my father followed with a donkey and cart, about two rods behind us; as he was sitting on the front of the cart, with his feet on the shafts. When nearly opposite to Johnson's gardens, I turned round, and saw my father with his feet entangled between the donkey and the shafts of the cart, and his head rolling just before the wheel. I cannot say whether it was on the ground or not. I ran back, and caught him in my arms. I spoke to him twice, but he made me no answer. I immediately sent the boy for a doctor; and Beer and another man coming up at the time, they assisted me in placing him in the cart. There was a small quantity of blood on the left temple. I never knew that my father was subject to fits, and I did not hear him complain of illness that morning. He had, however, for several weeks previously complained of a pain and pulsation of the heart, ad a giddiness of the head. The donkey is very quiet in harness.

Cross-examined. About half an hour previously to the death, my father was excited by a dog running after some ducks. He ran after the animal and attempted to strike it.

Richard Thomas Hunt, surgeon, deposed that about seven o'clock in the morning, a boy came for him and said that a man had fallen from a cart in Charlton-road, and wished him to attend immediately. On the road, he heard that the deceased had been conveyed home, wither he hastened. On arriving at the house, he found the deceased quite dead, and had been so several minutes. On examining the body, he found a slight bruise on the left temple, apparently where the wheel had grazed it, but it was not enough, in his opinion, to cause death. He had not made a post-mortem examination of the body, and could not tell what was the cause of death; but it appeared to him that most likely it proceeded from apoplexy. After a short consultation, the jury returned a verdict of "Died by the visitation of God."


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 16 July, 1842. Price 5d.


Friday - Ann Spratt, of the "Bird in Hand," Charlton, charged with allowing disorderly conduct in her house on the night of Charlton fair. Police-constable Mills stated, that on the evening in question, he went into the back yard of the premises, about half-past eleven o'clock, where he saw several men quarrelling. The front door was closed, but persons were going in and out of the back door. Saw no beer drawn, or drunk.

Fined 20s. and costs.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 31 December, 1842. Price 5d.


Jesse Birch, labourer aged 21, and John Wood, labourer, aged 20, charged with stealing, at Buckland, one duck, the property of Mr. J. Pierce. Prosecutor stated that about three o'clock in the afternoon of the 9th instant, he saw prisoner in the act of catching a duck, which was thrown into the road, and on pursuing them, caught Birch and gave him into the custody of a policeman. Afterwards found the duck nearly dead. The other person escaped, but on meeting Wood next day, recognised him as the other prisoner.

Cross-examined by Mr. Dickenson - Prisoners had a dog with them. When he gave Birch into custody, told the policeman there was another man, and gave description of him.

William Pusey saw Wood on the day in question passing Dodd's brick-field. He had a dog with him, like a lurcher, and they were going towards Pierce's farm.

William Fagg deposed that he saw both the prisoners together, near the premises of Mr. Pierce, on the morning of the dayin question.

Mr. Dickenson addressed the Jury in some length, in favour of the prisoners. In the case of Wood, he contended there was not sufficient evidence of identity, and to prove an alibi called Thomas Spratt and others, who stated that at the time the robbery was said to have been committed, Wood was with them in the "Bird in Hand," beer-shop.

The Jury, after a short consultation, returned a verdict of Guilty, and the prisoners were severally sentenced to six months' imprisonment and hard labour.




PHILPOTT Edward 1713+

SPRATT John dec'd to Feb/1841

SPRATT Ann 1842


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