Sort file:- Dover, January, 2021.

Page Updated:- Friday, 15 January, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1805

Black Horse

Latest 1839

(Name to)

London Road


Black Horse, London Road

Above water colour is dated 1912 by James M Tucker 1912. It also says:- "Black Horse Inn" - Now "Eagle Hotel - Bottom of Tower Hamlets Road 1825. Turnpike Road to London on right, Road to left now Tower Hamlets Road used for abundance of ???? ?????? spot marked with X (bottom right) where formally hanging took place.

Picture kindly supplied by Joyce Banks.


This tavern stood opposite to where the gallows once stood. Alexander John Spence was the last Dovorian to be hanged here on Friday 9th August 1822. He would have been 22 the following day. The dubious distinction of being the last person to be hung at the Dover gallows, in 1823, was of a young man from Margate convicted of robbery.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 28 April, 1882. Price 1d.


Owing to the finding of a skeleton at the entrance of Bridge Street, Charlton, which was said to be that of Spence, the last Dover murderer executed at that spot, much discussion has arisen with regard the event. The assertion that Spence was buried at that spot has been disproved by the recollection of many old inhabitants, but in addition to those fleeting recollections, our readers who are interested in this subject may be glad to read the following account, which we copy from a pile of old Kentish newspapers in our possession:-

On Friday (August 9th 1822), Alexander John Spence, who was convicted at the last Dover Sessions under Lord Ellenborough's Act for shooting at Lieutenant Philip Graham, of the coast blockade, and sentenced to death, underwent the awful penalty of the law. During the trial, the passing of the sentence, and since his condemnation, the unhappy man evinced the greatest fortitude. Until Thursday he slept remarkably well, and ate heartily, when he became extremely restless, and arose a number of times; yet about five o'clock he made a very hearty breakfast. Having been attended by the Rev. M. Maule, who was indefatigable in his exertions to impress on the mind of the unhappy man the dreadful position on which he stood, it is believed that inwardly he was truly penitent, and in a great measure prepared for the awful change from life to death, but in outward appearance his fortitude never forsook him. On parting with his sisters on Friday morning he was more affected than he had been since his trial, but soon gained his presence of mind. After receiving the sacrament he came out of Gaol, ascended the ladder, and got into the cart which was to convey him to the fatal gibbet with a firm and undaunted step and look. Having recognised of his friends he rose in the cart and respectfully bowed to them. Mr. Maule constantly prayed with him until the arrival at the place of execution, when the executioner having placed the cap over his eyes and adjusted the rope, the unhappy man, before the hangman could whip on the horse, either slipped or threw himself from the platform, which caused him to struggle very hard, and was launched into the presence of the Almighty Being to whom all secrets are known. Thus ended the life of one who might, had he not associated with bad company, have deserved a much better fate. He was a robust good-looking young man and, would have been 22 years of age on Saturday. After hanging the usual time the body was cut down and delivered over to his friends, who are respectable for interment.

The forgoing report does not say where the body was interred, but it is consistent with the statement that he was buried, in St. Mary's Churchyard. What a spectacle it must have been for a criminal, with numerous friends and relatives living in the town, to be carted from the old prison in the Market Place up to the top of High Street, and there hang in the main thoroughfare! Who will say the former days were better than these?

Dover Express August 1872.

It will be fifty years ago on the 23rd of the present month since the last execution took place in the Borough of Dover. The culprit was an unfortunate youth of respectable connections John Spence and he had been convicted of shooting with intent to murder a young man who had been paying attentions to his sister against his (Spence's) wishes.

The execution took place on the corner of Black Horse Lane, Charlton near the spot now occupied by the “Denmark Arms” and was witnessed by a crowd of spectators, the fate of the poor lad exciting much commiseration at the time. It was the custom at the time to convey to the place of execution the coffin in which the remains of the culprit were to be interred with his name and age painted on the plate and this barbarous and unnecessary piece of torture was duly observed in the case referred to.



The site of the tavern to-day is occupied by the "Eagle". Its tea gardens extended towards Buckland and they were auctioned together with the tavern on 4 September 1839. Demolition quickly followed the sale and the "Eagle" as it is known today appeared shortly afterwards. At the time of its demise the tavern was kept by William Dawkins. Earlier, in 1805, kept by Robinson.

However, in 1868, presumably under the name of the "Eagle" (to be confirmed) the licence was suspended for some reason and from 1869, the same year the Queen of Denmark paid a visit to Dover, the pub was referred to as the "Denmark Arms". This lasted until around 1893, when the name was definitely the "Eagle" again.


I am assuming here, that the next two adverts offering the "Black Horse" to let, is the house now the "Eagle" and not the other "Black Horse" in Bridge Street, but I could be wrong. It seems strange to think that there was enough space for a Bowling-green here.


Evening Mail 31 January 1831.

On Wednesday evening a fire broke out on the premises of Mr. Clarke, landlord of the "Black Horse," Dover. The fire burnt with great fury, and destroyed the upper part of the house. From an investigation of the circumstances, there is no doubt that the house was purposely set on fire.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 5 March, 1836. Price 7d.




With spacious Yard, Garden Ground, Coach House and Stabling, thereunto belonging, known by the sign of the BLACK HORSE, Charlton, next Dovor.

The above ground has recently been laid out for a Bowling-green and Tea Gardens, with Bowers, &c. &c.

Persons desirous of the above Premises, will signify the same by sending in their Tenders, with the amount of Rent, in words at full length, on or before Saturday, 19th day of March, 1836, with the word 'Tender' on the outside, directed to T. A. TERSON, Estate Agent, Dovor.

N.B. The Proprietor will not be bound to accept the highest Tender. Immediately possession may be had. To view the Premises and for further Information, apply to the Agent, 172, Snargate Street, Dovor.

Tenders and all other applications must be post paid, otherwise they will not be attended to.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 6 October, 1838. Price 7d.


All that Old-established and well-known House the BLACK HORSE INN, Charlton, next Dover, TO LET, with immediate possession, Fixtures, &c. &c. to be taken at valuation.

Further particulars may be known (by letter, post paid) addressed to T. A. TERSON, Estate Agent, 172, Snargate Street, Dover


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 19 October, 1839.


John Belsey was charged by the Rev. C. C. Snowden with an assault. The prosecutor stated that passing the "Black Horse" public-house on Saturday night, near 12 o'clock, he heard a disturbance, and saw Belsey, who, after being very insolent, shook his fist in his face, and said if the men in the house would help, he would throw him in the river. He then gave Belsey in charge of Price, the Policeman, who stated that on the road to the Station-house, Belsey said that he had been to Charlton for the express purpose of meeting him, (the prosecutor,) to serve him out. The defendant then entered into a long rambling pompous defence, in which he denied having committed any assault. The magistrates, after a consultation decided that Mr. Snowden not having any witnesses, and the defendant denying the assault, they must dismiss the charge. 


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 4 April, 1840.


William Dawkins, landlord of the "Black Horse," Charlton, charged by Mary, wife of Henry Castle Pepper, with an assault. Complainant stated that on Thursday last, she gave her husband money to buy half a ton of coals, instead of doing which, he went to the public-house and spent the money. She went to fetch him out; on which, the defendant struck her, and turned her out of the house. Fined 1, 12s. including costs.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 11 April, 1840.


Dawkins, landlord of the "Black Horse," public-house, Buckland, was charged by police constable Nethersole, with allowing gambling on his premises during divine service on Sunday last. Nethersole stated, that about eleven o'clock on Sunday, hearing a noise of nine-pins falling in the Black Horse alley, he went in, and saw two persons, named Gould and Chandler, in the act of setting up pins. The house was closed, and the landlord sitting at the bar; he came out and stopped the play. Dawkins, in his defence said, that hsi house was closed at the time stated, and that he was not aware any one was in the alley, until the policeman came and told him. They had no beer; and he stopped play as soon as he went out. The Mayor said that they were determined to keep the public-house closed during divine service on Sundays; and the police had instructions to look after them. It appeared that Dawkins was not aware of the men in the alley, the mitigated penalty of 12s. including costs, was inflicted, with an intimation that if again offending, the full penalty of 5 would be imposed.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 31 October, 1840.


Mr. C. B. Gorley was summonsed before the magistrates, by C. Lines, the collector, for refusing to pay the toll demanded of him, for a cart, drawn by two donkeys, passing through the new toll-bar that has lately been erected near the "Black Horse," Charlton. Mr. Gorley considered that it was a very hard case to make one pay for going upon private property.




ROBINSON M 1805-23+ (Black Horse, Charlton) Pigot's Directory 1823

CARSWELL Benjamin 1826-28+ (Black Horse, Charlton) Pigot's Directory 1828-29

CLARKE S 1831-33+

DAWKINS William 1839-40

CURLING David (Black Horse, Charlton) 1840 Pigot's Directory 1840


Pigot's Directory 1823From the Pigot's Directory 1823

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

Pigot's Directory 1840From the Pigot's Directory 1840


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