Hougham, South, Drop Redoubt 1868
The "Canteen" was apparently situated inside the boundaries of the Dover
Castle and was used as a public house for the soldiers. Little information
has been found regarding this public house, but the earliest mention to date
is from the Dover Telegraph of May 1837 when an inquest was held there on
the body of a James Cork who committed suicide on the morning of the 20th.
Further information suggests that every garrison had their own public
house on their premises and called each one of them the "Canteen." The
following license changes mentioned in the Dover Express and East Kent News
of Friday 11 September, 1868, stated the following:- "Canteen" Heights,
Hougham, to William Drawmur; "Canteen" South, From Clements, to William
Balfour; "Canteen" Drop Redoubt, to Thomas Cullen.
From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General
Advertiser, Saturday 20 May, 1837. Price 7d.
An inquest was held on Monday, at the "Canteen," in Dover Castle,
before G. T. Thompson, Esq., Coroner for the Town and its liberties, on
the body of James Cork, a private in he Second Battalion of the Rifle
brigade, who shot himself about eight o'clock that morning. The
deceased, who officiated as servant to Capt. Napier, was 42 years old,
and has left a wife an six children. It appeared that on Saturday he
addressed himself to one of his comrade's wives who was looking over the
wall of St. James's church-yard, on her way to the Castle, and asked her
if she was looking for a place there? He added that he intended to take
his place by the side of Stephen Woods, up at the old Church-yard,
alluding to a soldier who shot himself in a similar manner, at the
Castle some time ago. The deceased apparently lively at the time, and
the witness considered that he only spoke in jest. On Sunday he was met
by a comrade on his way to the Heights, to whom he said he was in debt,
and wished himself dead. He seemed very dull then, and did not return to
the Castle until night, when he was intoxicated. Next morning he went
about his avocations as usual; but being missed, and a noise heard,
search was made for him; when he was discovered dead, in the privy
behind the officers' quarters, having his discharge rifle between his
legs, the trigger of which was attached to one of his feet with a cord.
The fatal ball had entered his chin, and passed through the upper part
of his head.
Verdict - The deceased destroyed himself in a fit of insanity.
It gives no other information other than James Wilkins being the licensee
and that this was a Tavern or Public house.
However, on further investigation, there was a James Wilkins who was
licensee of the "Lord Raglan" in Biggin Street in 1856, although whether
this was one and the same remains unknown to date.
Just as I think I'll find no more on this establishment, the following
From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General
Advertiser, Saturday 14 May, 1842. Price 5d.
DOVER POLICE REPORT
Friday - William Luscombe, landlord of the "Canteen" at the Heights,
charged with having a quantity of tobacco in the cellar, not entered
agreeable to the Excise regulations.
Mr. Langham who was specially retained for the defendant, contended
that the Bench had no jurisdiction in this case. The information was
laid under the 3rd and 4th of Victoria, and strange as it might appear,
no mention was made of the jurisdiction of magistrates, nor was there
any section giving power to recover the penalties. After considerable
discussion the Bench decided that they would proceed with the
investigation, when the following evidence was adduced.
W, Bayford, officer of Excise said on the 16th March, from
information received, I went with Mr. Morefett to the "Canteen"; I saw
Mr. and Mrs. Luscombe in the bar, and said I wanted to go down into the
cellar. Mrs. Luscombe went down with me into the cellar regularly
entered in the Excise books, when I saw folding doors which led to
another cellar not entered. I took the candle, and on going in saw a tea
chest containing about 40lbs of tobacco, covered over with a sack. I
went to Mr. Luscombe, and asked him how he became possessed of the
tobacco? He said he bought it off a stranger for 3s. per lb. I asked him
if he had any bill with it and he replied - no, he always paid
ready-money - and kept no bills. I then seized the tobacco, being in an
Cross-examined by Mr. Langham:- Had surveyed the "Canteen" five or
six years. The cellar I considered as entered was partly under the
passage and partly under the bar. Did not consider any other cellar
entered. Had never surveyed that cellar, but would not swear he had
never been into it. Did not know if the folding doors were generally
Mr. Langham here called for the production of the entries made by the
former tenants of the "Canteen," which were the same made as that made
by the defendant, viz. four rooms and a cellar under the bar.
Frederick Morfatt, officer of Excise, corroborated the evidence of
Mr. Bayford, as to finding the tobacco.
Cross-examined by Mr. Langham - Had only surveyed the "Canteen" since
February. Always surveyed the first cellar, and generally accompanied by
some of Mr. Luscombe's family. Had seen the folding-doors open, but
could not swear he had ever found them locked. Never surveyed the other
William Challin proved the signature of Mr. Luscombe to the notice of
entry, and considered the first cellar as the one entered.
Cross-examined - Luscombe applied to him for advice when he took the
"Canteen," and he gave him a copy of that made by the previous tenant.
A sample of tobacco was here produced; it was what is termed
Cavendish. Mr. Bayford said it was subject to a prohibitory duty of 9d.
per lb. and Mr. Luscombe had stated he only gave 3d. per lb. He would
call a grocer to state the value of it, when he was stopped by Mr.
Langham, who said, that as his client was not charged with having
smuggled the tobacco, he could not allow any such evidence to be given.
Mr. Langham then addressed the Bench at considerable length on behalf
of the defendant, and contended, that although the entry made for a
cellar which was stated to be under the bar, both were, in fact, under
the tap-room, and being only divided by folding doors, which were never
opened, his client considered them as one cellar, and had acted in
ignorance, supposing he had a right to place excisable goods in either
of them. This was a serious charge and liable to a penalty of £100,
which could not be mitigated below £25. He would produce a witness, the
last tenant of the "Canteen" was called.
Richard Arnold, who stated that he kept the "Canteen" three years
ago. Always considered the cellars as one, and used them as such. He
often pout beer and porter in the farthest cellar when the other was
The Bench, after a consultation of about a quarter of an hour,
decided that the information was not substantiated, and dismissed the
From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 20 September, 1845. Price 5d.
DOVER POLICE COURT
SATURDAY: James Butler, a private in the 17th Lancers was committed for
trial, charged with stealing a watch, value £4, and a silk handkerchief,
value 4s., the property of John Corbel, a seaman, belonging to Shields.
It appeared that the prosecutor and the prisoner went round the Castle
together, and afterwards into the “Canteen,” and partook of some beer,
where the prosecutor fell asleep, and when he awoke, found his watch,
handkerchief, and money gone, (about 8s.) he gave information to the
Police, and the prisoner was shortly afterwards apprehended, with the
watch and handkerchief in his possession, but only 1s. 10d. money.
The prisoner did not deny the charge, but stated that he took the
articles found on him for safe custody, as the sailor was intoxicated.
From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 4 October, 1845. Price 5d.
James Butler, private in the 17th Lancers, aged 29, charged with
stealing at the “Dover Castle Canteen,” a watch, chain, and
handkerchief, the property of John Corbett. Mr. Grady conducted the
prosecution, and after detailing the case to the Jury, called the
John Corbett, mariner, deposed, on the 13th of September, I was going up
to the Castle and saw prisoner with another soldier and two women. I
accompanied them round the Castle, and then we went into the “Canteen”
where we had some beer. I fell asleep, and on awaking found the other
parties gone. I then missed my watch, money, &c., and went to the
landlord who gave me a note to take to the Police Station. The beer had
a little effect one me.
John Newcomen, landlord of the “Canteen” deposed: About half an hour
after the party came to the “Canteen,” they all left, except the sailor
and prisoner who remained in the room alone for a short time, when
prisoner followed his companions. I went into the room and found
prosecutor asleep. I roused him, but he fell asleep again. Shortly after
he came and asked me for his handkerchief. I said I had not got it, and
advised him to go and look for his companions. He shortly returned,
saying he had lost his watch and money, when I gave him a note to take
to the Police Station.
John Pine, Police-constable deposed: prosecutor came to the station
house, stating that he had been robbed. I went into the market-place and
saw prisoners. Told him he was in custody for robbing a sailor. He said
he knew nothing about it, and tried to get away. Took him to the
station-house, when I saw the handkerchief in the breast of his jacket.
He then said, “I’ll give you all I’ve got,” and took the watch out of
his pocket. He said the sailor was drunk and he took them to take care
Guilty – Twelve month’s imprisonment and hard labour.
From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 28 May, 1864.
COUNTY POLICE COURT
CHARGE OF ROBBERY AT THE CASTLE FORT CANTEEN
William Rowe, a private in the Royal Engineers, stationed at the
Castle Hill Fort, was charged with stealing from the "Castle Hill
Canteen," early on the morning of the 21st, a till, value 6d. and a
quantity of coppers, the property of John Prescott, landlord of the
John Prescott, on being sworn, said he was landlord of the "Canteen"
at the Castle Hill Fort. On the night of the 20th inst. about twelve
o'clock, he had occasion to go down into the town. A man in witness's
employ went with him. On reaching nearly the top of Love Lane witness
met the prisoner and a comrade named Bruce. They were going in the
direction of their barracks. When witness returned to the "Canteen,"
with his assistant, he (witness) locked the door, and they both went to
bed. On the following morning, between six and seven o'clock, the till
was missed. He subsequently heard that a box had been found in the
fire-box of an engine in use on the Fort works, and the till produced
was afterwards brought to him by Sergeant Russell, of the Royal
Artillery. He saw the till in its place on a shelf on the bar about
half-past 11 o'clock on the night of the robbery. When he discovered
that the till was gone, he went to see if the windows were fastened, but
he found they had been left undone, and that a wooden bar that had been
fastened across the inside of the parlour window was broken off. Witness
represented the case to the Captain of the Royal Engineers, and he
ordered it to be brought before the Magistrates. There was about 5s.
worth of coppers in the till when he left it on the previous night. The
value of the box was 6d.
Cross-examined by prisoner:- I did not tell Corporal Lilley that you
were at the "Canteen" at 6 o'clock on the evening of the 21st.
William Hyman, a private in the Royal Engineers, said he had charge
of the donkey engine used at the works of Castle Hill Fort. On the
morning of the 21st, about 5 o'clock, he went to light the engine fire,
and in the fire-box he found the box or till produced.
Frederick Gaton, a corporal in the same regiment, said the prisoner
slept in the same room as he did. The prisoner answered his name at
tattoo, on the night of the 20th, and, to the best of his belief, went
to bed directly. Prisoner could have made his escape from the barracks,
as the key of the door had been lost. On the following morning, about a
quarter to six, while the men were dressing, a cap containing a quantity
of coppers was produced from under prisoner's bed. Prisoner said he had
received a great many coppers in change on the previous night. Witness
thought the cap contained three or four shillings in coppers.
William Bruce, the man seen in company with the prisoner, said he
went part of the way home with prisoner on the night in question.
Prisoner left him after getting about 130 yards through the turnpike
gate at the top of Castle Hill, and near to the "Canteen." He did not
see any more of the prisoner. He (witness) was the worse for liquor at
In cross-examination by prisoner, witness said, to the best of his
recollection, prisoner did not go into the barracks with him. He did not
go back after reaching the barracks to fetch a stick for the prisoner.
William Forest, a private who slept in the bed next but one to the
prisoner's, said that the prisoner came to him on the night of the 20th,
about half-past 9, and say on his bed and talked to him. He showed
witness eighteen pence in coppers, saying that he had that day drawn 2
shillings from the pay-sergeant, and that the coppers he held in his
hand was all the money he had left. Witness did not know whether
prisoner went out after that.
John Isaiah Pope, sergeant in the Kent County Constabulary, said he
examined the premises at the "Canteen." he found a bar which had been
placed across the front parlour window had been forced off, and after
making enquiries he took the prisoner into custody on the present
charge. He told the prisoner what he had been charged with, but he made
no reply. The prisoner's barrack room is in a direct line with the back
of the "Canteen."
Prisoner, having been duly cautioned, said Mr. Prescott had told
corporal Lilly that he (prisoner) was at the "Canteen" at 6 o'clock on
the morning of the 21st, when the till was missed. He called:-
John Lilly, who said:- Mr. Prescott told me that he had seen the
prisoner, between 12 and 1 o'clock on the morning of the 21st, on the
hill at the other side of the "Canteen" - not barrack side, - and that
he missed the money about 7 o'clock in the morning.
Prisoner was then committed for trial at St. Augustine's, Canterbury.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 18 February, 1870.
CHARGE OF STABBING
Charles Taylor, a young recruit in the 4th Regiment, recently quartered
in Dover, was brought up on remand, charged with stabbing another
private of the same regiment, with his bayonet, on the 2nd of March.
The prisoner had been remanded from time to time in consequence of the
injured man’s detention in the hospital, but he was now in attendance.
John Law, a private in the 4th Regiment, said the prisoner was also a
private in the same company to which he belonged. On the night of the
2nd instant, between seven and eight o’clock, they were both in the
taproom of the “Canteen”, at the Western Heights, when some words arose
between them. Witness afterward went from the “Canteen” to the
barrack-room, where the prisoner followed him, and the quarrel was there
renewed. In the course of it, the prisoner, who was drunk, took his
bayonet from the scabbard, and stabbed witness in the right side. The
prisoner was not wearing his bayonet. It was handing up in the
barrack-room and he took it down and pulled it out of the scabbard. A
corporal, who was in the room, took the bayonet away from the prisoner,
and conveyed him to the guard-room. Witness was taken to the hospital.
He was not drunk, but, like the prisoner, he had been drinking.
By the Bench: There had been no quarrel between us previous to this, and
we had always been very good friends.
The Magistrates were inclined to treat the charge as one of common
assault, and the prisoner having, in answer to the charge stated that he
should not have committed the offence had he not been under the
influence of drink.
The Magistrates, taking into consideration that he had already been
detained in custody a fortnight, sentenced him to imprisonment for an
additional fourteen days, advising him to be careful how in future he
placed himself under the influence of the fruitful source of crime and
misfortune – drink.
From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 13 June, 1873. Price 1d.
Sergeant McMann, of the 9th Regiment, made application that the
“Canteen” at Fort Burgoyne might be transferred to him from Sergeant
Blackman, of the 38th Regiment; but as he brought no recommendation from
his commanding officer, the Magistrates allowed their decision to stand
over until the necessary papers could be furnished.
On the application of Serrgeant Conyard, of the 38th Regiment, the
magistrates granted the transfer of the canteen business from the South
Front to the Grand Shaft, the former barracks being vacant.
Sergeant-major Kelly, of the 3rd Brigade Royal Artillery, applied for
the transfer of the Artillery canteens, both at the Castle and the
Heights, from Sergeant-major Shipley, of the 17th Brigade, to himself.
The applicant produced a letter from the Mess Committee, assenting to
the transfer; but the Chairman said the decision of the bench could not
be given until the license given to the Sergeant-major of the 17th
brigade was produced.
From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 20
June, 1873. Price 1d.
The "Canteen" business at Fort Burgoyne was transferred from the
sergeant-major of the 38th Regiment to Sergeant Macmahon, of the 9th,
who produced the necessary documents.
From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer,
25 July, 1873. Price 1d.
The Magistrates granted a new license for the Citadel Canteen, to
Sergeant G. Welby, of the 9th Regiment, the usual written authority of
the colonel of the regiment having been handed in.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday May, 1893. 1d.
AN ARTILLERYMAN SHOTS HIMSELF
An Artilleryman, Bombardier Philip Cooper of the depot company, was on
Tuesday morning found dead in casemate No. 6 at Dover Castle with a
carbine between his legs. The inquest was held at the “Canteen” on
Wednesday afternoon by the Borough Coroner (Sydenham Payn, Esq.), and a
Jury, of which Mr. W. H. Norman was foreman. The following was the
Mrs. Sahar Cooper said the body at the mortuary was that of her husband,
Philip Cooper, Bombardier in the Royal Artillery, Eastern District,
stationed at the Castle. He was 25 years of age. Witness last saw him
alive at a quarter past five, at 37, Oxenden Street, where they lived.
Deceased had stayed there two nights with witness. He left at the time
to come to barracks. Witness had been married to him a fortnight. He
complained of his head aching for the last two days. He did not mention
his intention of destroying himself. There had been nothing the matter
Bombardier Edmund Charles Lipihian said that the deceased belonged to
his company. He saw him about a quarter to nine, deceased having been
absent since Saturday, and asked him if he had seen Bombardier Gaze.
Deceased laughed and said “I expect he’s gone.” He also said “I am fed
up and shall go on Friday.” Witness accompanied Cooper to his room, and
showed him some papers relating to a court martial on witness. Witness
then left the room. About three minutes later, hearing a commotion,
witness went to deceased’s room. He saw him sitting on the bed, bleeding
from the head, and a carbine between his legs. He appeared to be dead.
George Bradshaw Stainistreet, a surgeon of the Medical Staff stationed
at Dover Castle, said he was called to the deceased about three minutes
to nine. He found the deceased in the position mentioned by last
witness. He was then dead, and there was a penetrating gun shot wound in
the skull, with extensive fracture of the skull. The muzzle must have
been placed in the mouth. The bullet produced was found in the ceiling.
He thought the wound was a self-inflicted one.
Gunner Fred Hills said he slept in the same room as deceased. He last
saw him alive five minutes before the occurrence, sitting on his bed he
said as witness went past, “have you seen anyone act the goat?” Witness
then went outside. There were several men in the room at the time.
Witness heard the report of a gun and rushed into the room which was
then empty, except for the deceased. He saw him lying on the bed, and a
carbine slipping down between his legs. Several others then came into
the room, and witness ran for a doctor.
Gunner Arthur Saunders said he also stayed in the same room as the
deceased. He was in bed at half past five. Witness next saw him about
twenty minutes to nine, when he came into the room and told them to
hurry on to parade. He went up to Gunner Brown and asked him to let him
see his rifle. Witness did not hear all that was said, but he heard
deceased say “It is no use to me.” Deceased tried the lock, and then
went to Gunner Matthews and asked him what sort of a rifle he had. He
looked at it and walked with it towards the door, and witness saw him
open the breech and put something into the carbine. He then looked at
the carbine again and took a cartridge out. Witness said to brown “he
has got a cartridge; I hope that he is not going to commit ‘susanside’.”
Witness was laughed at.
Police Sergeant Nash said that when he got to the Castle he found the
deceased in the position described. On the deceased he found a paper on
which was written “Good-bye Drake! I am awfully sorry, but I cannot
stand the pressure. You will find a mistake in the pay sheet where I
have stopped copying, it is the day’s pay too much. I am perfectly sane,
and understand what I am about. Good-bye” P. Cooper.” He also found the
bullet on the floor.
Quartermaster-Sergeant Henry S. Drake, of the depot company, said the
deceased had been on furlough from the 1st to the 30th of last month.
Witness fancied that the deceased, who was always a reserved man, had
been a little more despondent since his return from furlough. The
mistake referred to by the deceased was an error on witness’ part, and
would not be the slightest reason for him to commit suicide. Witness did
not think the reference to pressure meant anything.
The Jury after a short consultation returned a verdict of “Suicide
during temporary insanity.”
WILKINS James 1840 (
out of date info?)
ARNOLD Richard 1839 (
kept for 3 years before Luscombe)
LUSCOMBE William 1842+
SMITH John 1847
PRESCOTT John 1864
Serjeant Major of the 38th to June/1873
MACMAHON Sergeant June/1873+
WOOD G Sept/1878+
WELBY Sergeant G July/1873+
"Canteen" Heights, Hougham, to William Drawmur; "Canteen" South, From
Clements, to William Balfour; "Canteen" Drop Redoubt, to Thomas Cullen.
From the Pigot's Directory 1840
From Bagshaw Directory 1847
From the Dover Express
From the Dover Telegraph