Sort file:- Dover, March, 2021.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 31 March, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1790

Clarence Saloon

Latest 1875

(Name to)

34 Snargate Street



In 1874 the Post Office Directory mentions a Clarence Saloon at 34 Snargate Street.  Next door was housed the "Princess Alice" at 33 Snargate Street.

In 1790 the "Theatre Royal" was at 34, it was performing concerts and ballets in 1854. 1875 saw it's name change to the "Gaiety Theatre" when the Kingsford Brewery brought the premises. I assume the theatre had the saloon for it's clientele for the intervals.

The building was rebuilt in 1896 and swallowed the "Princess Alice", although the pub continued to trade under this name until at least 1903 when again the theatre changed name yet again, this time back to the "Theatre Royal". Eventually the building ended up with the name the "Royal Hippodrome" and operated the "Hippodrome Bars" up to August 1950 when it was finally closed, after a compulsory purchase order due to un-repairable war damage in 1944.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 24 September, 1859.




The plaintiff in this case said he was a comic vocalist and had been engaged by Mr. B. Browning, the proprietor of the "Clarence Saloon," to sing at that place o entertainment. His engagement was to extend over the period of a month, and he had come to Dover from London to fulfil it, but after the expiration of work Mr. Browning had unceremoniously dismissed him, whereby he had sustained some loss, and had been placed at considerable inconvenience. He was engaged at a salary of 1 15s. a week, and he claimed 6 12s. 6d., balance of account.

In reply to his Honor, the plaintiff said he had given great satisfaction to the audience assembling the "Clarence Saloon," and had sung as many as eight songs on one of the evenings out of those he had appeared, and six on two or three of the others. On the Thursday evening he applied to defendant, to draw a little cash, when defendant said that he could not retain him any longer than a week, and offered him a week's salary, and half a sovereign towards his expenses to London. He reminded Mr. Browning of the terms of the engagement (which appeared in the course of some correspondence between plaintiff and defendant, which plaintiff produced), and although taking the money - having to liquidate some little circumstance "of which he was necessitated" - he declined to  relinquish the engagement. Mr. B. told him that some one else was to fill his situation, and that he had therefore better take his things. Plaintiff did remove his "properties," and went to Sandgate, where he sung a week for 30s., for which he had given the defendant credit. He went to Sandgate because, having a wife and four children, and being many miles from home, he was obliged to earn something. He was obliged to give up his Sandgate engagement because of an accident, having sprained his foot.

Mr. Browning said he engaged the defendant as "comic gentlemen," at a salary of 35s. per week, but for no limited time.

Hi Honor here drew the defendant's attention to a letter written by the plaintiff in which time was mentioned, the terms being a month's entertainment and a fortnight's notice.

The defendant said his reason for dismissing the plaintiff was owing to his utter inability to fulfil his engagement. His engagement was to sing comic songs.

The Judge - As well as he could, I suppose. (A laugh.)

The defendant -  Well, if people cannot sing comic songs to my satisfaction, and the satisfaction of the public, I think I am justified in discharging them.

His Honor - I don't know that, if by doing so you violate a specific engagement. But plaintiff just said now he sang eight songs in one evening. Surely that is a fair indication that he pleased the public! In what was he deficient?

The defendant - He was deficient in talent in every respect. He had neither voice nor "delivery."

His Honour - Did he give you a specimen of his powers before you engaged him? (Laughter.)

The defendant - No, sir, it is not usual.

His Honor - Not if you receive no character from any one else? Is that the manner to engage comic singers? (Renewed laughter.)

The defendant - Not always, sir; but when I engaged with the plaintiff I was rather driven.

His Honor - I think I should always have a character.

In giving judgement his Honor said he thought the engagement for a month was a good one, and that it could only be determined before its expiration by a fortnight's notice. The plaintiff therefore was entitled to recover three weeks' salary, 5 5s., less the money that had been paid to him on account.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 17 October, 1863.


Mr. B. Browning applied for a removal of his license for the "Clarence Saloon," to be used for theatrical purposes, which was granted. Mr. Browning named Mr. George Bennett and Mr. W. Gardner as his sureties.


From the Dover Express. 1863.

Disturbance at the Clarence Saloon.

Four miserable looking creatures of the “distressed Lancashire weaver” type, were charged with creating a disturbance at Browning's Clarence Saloon on Saturday night.

The names given by the prisoners were Edward Saunders, Hannah Saunders, Robert Smith and Ellen Smith. They all presented a very dejected and miserable appearance but on Saturday evening as it seemed had made themselves very merry, as their circumstances would allow. They had on that evening presented themselves for admittance to the concert-saloon of the Clarence but as they were not considered eligible for admittance their money was refused by the money taker and they left in dudgeon. By some means however the two men succeeded later in the evening in passing into the saloon with a crowd and shortly afterwards the two women came to the door and wanted to go in also declaring in forcible language their right to go where their husbands were. They were endeavouring to make their way upstairs leading to the music hall when they were prevented by one of Mr. Browning's sons. They screamed out and their natural protectors on hearing their cries rushed from the hall to their assistance. A general crowd took place but the prisoners were ultimately got into the street, after which a pane of glass in one of the outer doors was broken by the man Saunders. A great deal of evidence given by Edward Blunt, Mr. Walter Browning, Mr. Thomas Mathers and other witnesses was offered in support of the above facts and ultimately the magistrates decided on dismissing the woman Smith who appeared to have taken a less part in the affray and committing the other three to prison for fourteen days. The woman Saunders asked what was to become of three young children belonging to her one of whom she said was ill but she was informed by the magistrates that they would be taken to the union where they would better cared for than they were by their parents judging from the manner in which their parents had left them to go away and get drunk as disclosed in the foregoing particulars.


Information kindly supplied by Joyce Banks.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 17 November, 1863.


Timothy Shee, a gunner in the 2nd Brigade of the Highland Artillery was charged upon a summons with unlawfully breaking a square of plate glass at the "Clarence Saloon," Snargate Street, thereby doing damage to the amount of 3 10s.

Russell Benjamin Browning, son of the proprietor, of the "Clarence Saloon," said on Friday, the 19th Oct. last, the defendant came into the bar about half-past eight in the evening, and he served him with some beer. Immediately after, the defendant commenced creating a disturbance by wanting to fight persons in the bar, and he pushed a man's head against a large looking glass. Witness requested him to leave the house several times, but he refused, and ultimately he had to be put out. After he had been put out, he tried to force open the doors; but failing, he pushed his fist through the plate glass in the bat door. He saw his fist through the glass as he stood by the bar. He made three blows at the glass afterwards. He then ran away up the street, and witness followed him and gave him in charge of an Artillery picquet. The amount of damage done was 3 10s. He afterwards identified the defendant at the military hospital.

In reply to the Bench, the witness said the defendant was not in the house more than a quarter of an hour.

Defendant, in reply to the charge, said that while in the complainant's bar some money fell from his pocket, and several women present picket it up, but endeavoured to make out that they had not done so. He, of course, demanded of them to give it up; and while doing so the last witness and some others collared him by the throat and carried him into the street, where they laid him in a bank of mud. On getting up, he went to the door, which was shut in his face, and in putting up his hand to protect himself he accidentally broke the glass.

The witness in the case said the glass in question was half an inch thick, and could not have been broken without great force.

In reply to the Bench, an officer of the Artillery, in attendance, said he could not say much about the defendant's character, as he only enlisted on the 1st October. He was however brought in drunk on the night in question.

The bench considered the charge of wilful damage had been proved, and fined the defendant 1s., damages 30s., and costs 12s. making together 2 3s. In default, twenty-one days' hard labour in the house of correction.

Defendant was committed.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 15 May, 1864.


Douglas Wood, a lad 17 years of age, belonging to Crabble, was charged by police-constable Chase with being drunk and causing an obstruction in High Street on the previous Saturday night, and further with assaulting the constable in the execution of his duty. It appeared that the defendant and several others were on their way home from the "Clarence Saloon" on Saturday night about 12 o'clock. They were all making a great noise by calling "Police" at the top of their voices. The constable advised them to go home quietly, but defendant would not go. He swore at the constable, and finally pushing him off the pavement struck at him. Chase then took him into custody.

Superintendent Coram said this was not a very aggravated case. He understood the defendant had been to the "Clarence Saloon," and he believed a new song on the "Police" had been produced at that place of entertainment. He had no doubt that the defendant and his companions were trying a stave or two when the constable fell in with them. The Superintendent also stated that he knew nothing against the prisoner previously.

The Magistrates, after cautioning defendant, dismissed him.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 12 November, 1864.


William Halladay, a pianist employed at the "Clarence Saloon," was summoned on remand, charged with assaulting Henry Dwight, a brother professional employed at the same place of entertainment, and enjoying the additional distinction of being a "Maryland minstrel." It appeared from the evidence that it is part of the Maryland minstrel's business to dance in a "plantation reel" in the course of the entertainment, and that in the execution of this Terpsichorean flourishes the complainant had more than once kicked off from the corner of the stage some music belonging to the defendant, who had laid it in a position from which it was dislodged to suit his convenience. Apprehending that the music was kicked away on purpose, he spoke to the father of the complainant, who is not more than fifteen years of age, and Mr. Dwight recommended defendant to "cuff" complainants head if he again offended. Complainant, on the previous Wednesday, played the same trick with defendant's music, and defendant acting on the paternal suggestion, cuffed his head accordingly. This was the assault complained of. Witnesses were called to shew that the music might have incommoded the rising minstrel of Maryland, and that his kicking it off the stage was either unavoidable or accidental; but the magistrates considered that the squabble was not one demanding their interference, and dismissed the case.


Kentish Gazette, Tuesday 7 February 1865.

Assalting a Constable.

Before the Borough Magistrates, on Saturday, E. F. Astley and W. R. Mowll, Esqs., being on the Bench

A labourer named William Burvill was brought before the same Magistrates, charged with assaulting P.C. Raymond on the previous night. It appeared that the prisoner was disorderly at the bar of the "Clarence Saloon," when the assistance of the constable was required to remove him. Raymond complied with the request made to him, but the prisoner resisted and assaulted him. The constable eventually had to handcuff him, after which he went quietly. The Bench inflicted a fine of 7s. including costs, which was paid.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 3 June, 1865.


Walter Crosbie, a Thespian attached to the dramatic company of the "Clarence Saloon," was charged with obstructing a police-constable in the execution of his duty and assaulting him.

From the evidence of police-constable Johnson, it appeared that he was on duty in plain clothes upon the quays on the previous night, where, about half-past eleven o'clock, his attention was drawn to a disturbance at the quay-side. He found on reaching the spot that some soldiers were on board a vessel lying in the harbour and that the piquet, was desirous of taking charge of them, but did not know how far they might be justified in going on board the vessel. He told them he was a police officer and would render them any assistance he could, but that he could not go on board the vessel. At that moment the defendant came up and said he was the captain of the vessel and would not allow the soldiers to come on board. On Johnson telling him that he was a policeman and that it was his duty to see that quiet was restored, defendant said he did not care for the police and struck him. Defendant was the worse for liquor.

The defendant said he certainly was, or he should not have acted so foolishly. He had never before been charged with raising his hand against any one, and he could hardly tell what had induced him to do so on the present occasion. He did not know Johnson was a police-officer, or, he believed, he should not have so far committed himself.

The Bench fined him 5s. and costs 11s., which he paid.

The defendant's wife who had gone to the police-station on hearing that he husband was in custody, and created such a disturbance that she also had to be taken charge of, was fined the hearing fee. A charge of intoxication was entered against the lady, but the police, on being questioned by the Magistrates, admitted that Mrs. Crosbie's conduct was attributed more to excitement than anything else. The case against her was therefore dismissed on her paying the fee.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 11 February, 1865.


William Burville, a young fellow of the labouring class, was brought up by police-constable Raymond, who deposed that on Friday night he was sent for, to put the defendant out of the "Clarence Saloon." When he had got him outside the defendant refused to go with him and assaulted him.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 15 October, 1869.


Mr. Browning, the landlord of the "Clarence Saloon," summoned Sergeant-major Jones, of the Royal Artillery, for 1 10s., for the hire of a theatrical wardrobe.

Defendant said he borrowed the wardrobe, but did not think any charge would be made. He borrowed the dresses as a favour.

Plaintiff said the charges were most reasonable; he had hired out the wardrobe before and had charged for it. he never saw plaintiff before he hired the dresses.

Defendant replied that the dresses were not worth 30s. he asked plaintiff to lend him the dresses as a favour, as his house was nearly supported by soldiers.

His Honor non-suited plaintiff.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 24 February, 1871. Price 1d.


John Davidson, a seaman, was charged with being drunk and disorderly, and causing an obstruction of the footway in Snargate Street, at midnight, the previous night.

Police0constable Kames Campony: About twelve o'clock last night I met the prisoner in Snargate Street, when the people were leaving the "Clarence Saloon." He was making a great disturbance, causing an obstruction of the footway, and using very abusive language to everyone, and I was finally obliged to take him into custody.

Prisoner, in his defence, said he had bought some ale at the "Clarence" and he had not received the change, which he was waiting for when Campony took him into custody.

The prisoner was fined 1s. and costs; but being unable to pay the money, was sent to prison for three days.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 2 February, 1872. Price 1d.


Henry Smart, a gunner in the 17th Brigade Royal Artillery, was charged with having in his possession at the Western Heights on the previous night a pewter pint-pot, supposed to have been stolen.

Thomas Kennedy, a battery sergeant-major, said: I am quartered at the Western Heights. Last night at a quarter past nine in consequence of what had been reported to me I went to the prisoners room and I there found a pewter pot produced. I asked the prisoner how it came in his possession; and he told me that it had been thrown at him at the "Clarence Music Hall." I put the prisoner under an escort and marched him down to the Music Hall, where the pot was identified by the proprietor, Mr. Browning, as his property. I then took the prisoner to the station-house, where he repeated that someone had thrown the pot at him.

By Dr. Astley: I found the pot in a cupboard in the prisoner's barrack room.

Mr. browning came forward and identified the pot produced as his property. In answer to a question put to him by Dr. Astley, he said it was impossible to say when the pot was stolen, as the pots used in the Music Hall were very rarely counted.

The prisoner pleaded "not guilty" to the charge; and said he should not have taken the pot away from the Hall, had it not been thrown at him by a rifleman.

Dr. Astley considered the prisoner's reason for committing a felony a very absurd one. The Bench sentenced him to imprisonment with hard labour for one calendar month.


From the Dover Express. 1872.


Ann Goodman an old offender, was charged with being drunk and disorderly and causing an obstruction of the footway and William Goodman her husband was also charged with being drunk and obstructing the constable in the execution of his duty.

P.C. George Edwin Pilcher said that about nine o'clock the previous evening he found the female defendant in Five Post Lane. She and her husband were together and the woman was much the worse for liquor. He gave her an opportunity of going away, but she did not avail herself to it as a large number of people had collected he took her into custody. The woman's husband followed them to the Police Station making use of very abusive language the whole of the way there, and once endeavouring to rescue his wife by pushing him (Pilcher) away from her. He had received complaints earlier on the previous evening of the defendant's bad conduct both from the Clarence Saloon and the Princess Alice public house. The male prisoner protested he was not drunk and said he had a witness in court to prove he was quite sober. His wife admitted her offence for which she expressed deep contribution. She remarked that she had until recently been a teetotaller for a number of years and she intended to re-join the Temperance Society.

The Bench after reminding the defendants of the serious punishments under the new Act of Parliament to which they had rendered themselves liable fined the female prisoner the cost of the hearing 2s but considered the husbands offence of interfering with the police a more serious charge and fined him 5s and costs.


Information kindly supplied by Joyce Banks.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 23 August, 1872. Price 1d.


Mr. Browning, the proprietor of the “Clarence Saloon,” asked for permission to keep open his refreshment bar till twelve o'clock.

The applications were ordered to stand over till the next licensing day.

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 24 July, 1874. Price 1d.


Henry Irons, was charged with being disorderly in Snargate Street.

Police-constable Cook said: At 11.20 last night I was on duty in Snargate Street when my attention was called to a noise opposite the “Clarence Saloon.” The defendant was then drunk and quarrelling with a woman. He refused to go away, and told me that the first time he caught me near the pier he would throw me over board. He threw his cap down on the ground and said no Police in the force could take him into custody. He used bad language and resisted at first but was quiet after. I took him to the Police-station.

The Superintendent was sworn and he stated that the prisoner was drunk when brought to the Police-station.

The prisoner was fined 5s. and 7s. costs or in default 7 days. The man elected to go below.



Fromn the "Clarence Saloon" this changed name to the "Royal Clarence Theatre" in 1875.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 1 January, 1926. Price 1d.


The death occurred suddenly on Sunday morning of Mr. Russell Benjamin Browning, of 43, Castle Street, Canterbury, whose relatives live in Dover, and who was in his 84th year. The deceased, who lived alone, was found by Miss Martin, who looked after his house daily, about 9 o'clock on Sunday morning lying on the floor of his bedroom, apparently dead.

Esther Emma Quested, wife of Edward Quested, of 76, Longfield Road, Dover, stated that the deceased was her uncle, and was a retired licensed Victualler. He would have been 84 years old next March. Witness last saw him alive the Tuesday before his death.

Dr. R. A. Bremner stated that the deceased was a sufferer from muscular degeneration and hardening of the arteries of the heart. He had been expecting that deceased might die suddenly at any time for the past two years. Witness should think deceased hit his face against the dressing table in stooping, and that the shock of the blow was the cause of death.

The Jury returned a verdict of “Death from Misadventure.”




BROWNING Benjamin 1854-74+ Post Office Directory 1874


Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874


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