Sort file:- Dover, September, 2021.

Page Updated:- Monday, 27 September, 2021.


Earliest 1870-

Clarence Tap

Latest 1895

Northampton Street



I have only recently found this "Clarence Tap" listed as being in Northampton Street. The "Clarence Hotel" being listed at 39 Council House Street and also Commercial House Street, which I believe are one and the same.

Northampton Street ran parallel with Snargate Street being the seaward side of it and would probably be where the A20 dual carriageway runs nowadays, and then more or less runs into the Commercial Quay.

Council House Street is close to Clarence Place and both Strond Street and Commercial House Quay are between Northampton Street and Council House Street, so are quite some distance apart.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 12 August, 1870.


Sarah Long, alias Marsh, alias Lyde, alias Collins, a middle-aged women, was summoned to show cause why she should not submit herself to examination under the provision of the Contagious Disease Acts.

Mr. Fox appeared in support of the information and Mr. E. Elwin, Jun., was for the defendant.

On the magistrates' Clerk giving directions for women and children to leave the Court, Mr. Rees enquired whether the order was according to law.

The Magistrates' Clerk said he supposed all decent women would be glad to go.

Mr. Rees said that was a matter of opinion. What he wanted to know was whether the order was according to law.

The Magistrates' Clerk did not reply to the question. He said he had been requested by the Magistrates to clear the Court, and he had done so.

Mr. Fox, in addressing the Bench, pointed out that this was a case of some importance. The defendant, though a married woman, had carried on the trade of a prostitute ever since the Acts had been in operation in the town and garrison of Dover. She had recently lost her husband; but during her husband's life time she had followed this course of conduct, and though repeatedly spoken to by the police whose duty it was to carry out the provisions of the Act, and warned that if she did not abandon it she would be brought under these provisions, and be requested to submit herself for examination, like other prostitutes, she had neglected to profit by these warnings; and the only means left to the officers was to bring her before the Bench. He was instructed that there was a feature in this case peculiarly revolting, and although it did not effect the law of the case, he thought he ought to mention it, in order that the Bench might form an opinion of the character of the defendant. He was told that while pursuing her disreputable conduct she was in the habit of taking with her a little girl, her daughter, between thirteen and fourteen years of age, who thus became witness of her mother's degradation, and received from her mother's example the first lesson in a life of impurity and vice. He would not characterise such conduct; but would leave the Magistrates to draw their own conclusions. What he had to do was to satisfy the magistrates that the police had just ground for believing the defendant to be carrying on the life of prostitution; and he did not doubt that he should be able to do so most completely.

Mr, Fox then called William Capon, who said: I am an inspector of metropolitan police belonging to the Woolwich division, and am stationed here for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of the Contagious Diseases Acts, 1866 and 1869. The signature to the information produced is mine. I know the defendant. She also goes by the name of Marsh, Lyde, and Collins. I believe she is a married woman, and she has a girl about thirteen or fourteen years of age. She has been under my observation since January last. Her course of life during that period has been that of a common prostitute. I have spoken to her and cautioned her frequently. She is now living at 17, Peter Street, Charlton.

Mr. Fox: From what circumstances do you infer that she is a common prostitute?

Witness: I have seen her, more especially within the last two months, in the company of various men, both civilians and soldiers.
Mr. Fox: Is that at night?

Witness: At night, between 9 and 12.

Mr. Fox: In the public streets?

Witness: In public houses, and in the public streets. I have seen her come from behind timbers on the quays, and men immediately follow. I have seen her more than once. I have also seen her come out of a dock at the end of the Pentside, and a soldier follow immediately.

Mr. Fox: have you seen her in the company of prostitutes?

Witness: Yes, she came to the Court with one, this morning.

Mr. Fox: Have you seen the defendant's daughter in her company?

Witness: Yes, and I have seen her leave the child by a lamp-post while she went away under the circumstances I have stated.

Magistrates' Clerk: At what time of the night has this occurred?

Witness (referring to a note-book): At a quarter past ten on the night of the 9th June she was behind the timbers with a sailor.

Alderman Rees: Do you know that?

Witness: I an swearing it, Sir.

Defendant: And I'll swear that it is false. I work hard for my living. (The defendant here burst into tears.)

The witness was then cross-examined by Mr. Elwin, who said: You say you think the defendant is married. Do you know that she is?

Witness: I believe she is married.

Mr. Elwin: And that her husband died on the 18th June.

Witness: I don't know when her husband died; but believe that he is dead.

Mr. Elwin; You say that you have had this woman under your observation. I suppose every poor woman is under your observation.

Witness: Woman who are leading lives of prostitutes are under my observation.

Mr. Elwin: Your office is to watch poor women; so that it must be so.

Mr. Fox objected to Mr. Elwin's giving evidence.

Cross-examination continued: It is of nightly occurrence for me to see the defendant in the company of men.

Mr. Elwin: And don't you see other women in the company of men. Don't you see ladies in the company of officers?

Witness: Yes, but there is a vast difference.

Mr. Elwin: I suppose the difference is that such woman as the defendant are common prostitutes and the others are uncommon prostitutes.

Cross-examination continued: I don't see the defendant in the streets till after eight; but I have seen her at all hours between that time and twelve o'clock.

Police-sergeant Johnstone, of the borough force, said he knew the defendant, and had been in the habit of seeing her soliciting men in the streets, for the last six or seven years. During the last month he had been on night duty, and he had seen her almost every night in the week going home, between one and two o'clock, in the company of another prostitute.

Mr. Dickeson: Are you quite sure about her soliciting men?

Witness: Quite certain.

Alderman Rees: Were the men soliciting her, do you think?

Witness: No, she was soliciting them – stopping them in the streets.

Superintendent Coram proved the service of the summons, and then completed the case. He served the summons at a house at Tower Hamlets, where she was employed.

Mr. Elwin, for the defendant, said she had been married three times, which accounted for her answering to so many aliases. There was a reason for this. She had been married without leave, and it was therefore her habit to take another name. She married her last husband on the 1st January of the present year, and he died on the 18th June. Since her husband's death she had been in the habit of going out to work from eight in the morning till eight at night. It was the custom of the child to whom reference had been made to go for her mother at the place where she was employed, at Tower Hamlets, and they would sometimes go for an hour's walk before returning home. The landlady of a public-house in Northampton Street, the “Clarence,” was the cousin of the defendant, and she might have been seen coming out of this house, after visiting her cousin; but there was no ground for saying that she was in the habit of visiting public-houses in general. A certain amount of prejudice must always be imported into cases of this description, but he besought the Bench not to be carried away by any such feeling; and he hoped they would not consider the evidence which had been offered as sufficient to induce them to stigmatise this poor woman as a common prostitute. It was a great misfortune in these days for a woman to be poor, and he considered that in this case the surveillance of the police was due to that circumstance.

Mr. Elwin called the daughter of the defendant, who deposed to her mother being employed to work, and to her habit of fetching her mother and walking with her. Mr. Elwin also questioned the child as to her cognizance of any act of immorality of conduct on the part of her mother, and she replied in the negative.

Mr. Fox said he had no questions to ask the child, and would not take up the time of the Bench in offering any reply.

The Bench made the necessary order, the examination to extend over six months, under the defendant relinquished her immoral life in the interim.

Alderman Rees begged to say that he did not concur in that decision, an expression which was granted with exclamations of “Hear, hear,” from Mr. Elwin and a gentleman who accompanied him.

Mr. Fox protested against this indecency in a Court of Justice. A person had a temerity openly to defy the law, and gentlemen sitting by who ought to know better cried “hear, hear.”

Mr. Elwin said he could not help feeling very strongly.

Mr. Fox remarked that the expression of feeling was usually suppressed in a Court of Justice. If not, public business could not be carried on.

The defendant was then informed that she would have to attend the place of examinations on Saturday next; but left the Court still protesting that she would not obey the order of the Magistrates.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 21 February, 1873.


Benjamin Browning, the landlord of the “Clarence Tap,” Northumberland Street, charged with selling liquor during prohibited hours on the previous Sunday, was fined 1 and costs.

George Kennell, John Gilmour, and Robert Brown, a private in the 38th Regt. Charged with drinking in the same house on the same day during prohibited hours, were each fined 1s. and costs.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 2 July, 1875.


James Burden, landlord of the "Clarence Tap," was summoned to show cause why he should not contribute to the support of the illegitimate child of Julia Carathy. Mr. Mowll appeared for the defendant, and his cross-examination of the witness threw so much doubt on the case, that the Magistrates dismissed it.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 3 March, 1882. Price 1d.


James Clark, was summonsed for assaulting James Burden, of the “Clarence Tap,” on the 18th instant.

A certificate from a surgeon was handed in, stating that the complainant was unable to attend through illness.

The case was adjourned for a week.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 24 March, 1882. Price 1d.


James Burden, landlord of the “Clarence Tap,” Northampton Street, was summonsed for assaulting James Clark of the 18th of February last.

The Clerk said that this case had been twice adjourned, as the defendant had been too unwell to attend the court.

James Clark, labourer, living at Finnis's Court, said: At about half-past four o'clock on Saturday, the 18th of February last, I was coming through the slipway passage when the defendant came in front of me and wanted to aggravate me, so that I would strike him. He said that if I did not pay him what I awed he would punch my head. I told him I could not pay him then, and he at once struck me several times, and knocked me down by hitting me on the nose. The defendant knocked two teeth out of my mouth.

The defendant said that the whole of the evidence given by the complainant was not true. The beer money had been owing for twelve months, and he had asked him to square it. This quarrel had not lasted two minutes, Clark had struck him in the chest and then defendant hit him back.

The bench said that there being two statements quite contradictory they would dismiss the case.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 29 October, 1886. Price 1d.


Michael Fitzgerald was placed in the cock charged with stealing one live rabbit from 11, Russell Street, the property of John Donovan, on Saturday last.

John Donovan, a watchmaker carrying on business in Cannon Street, and living at 11, Russell Street, said: I keep fourteen rabbits at the back of my lodgings in Russell Street. I was out in the yard on Friday evening, and the hutch doors were then all fastened, but I did not count the rabbits. On Saturday morning when I went out to feed them I saw the top hutch door open and the rabbit gone. I then offered a reward for it, the value being 5s. The hutch was about three feet from the top of the wall and the door of the yard was locked, so that the person who took the rabbit had to climb the lamp-post and then on to the wall, the top of which was covered with glass. I can swear to this one being my property as it has a piece cut of its ear through an accident.

Kate Pascall, wife of John Pascall of the “Clarence” public-house, Northampton Street, said: On Saturday the prisoner came into the bar with three other men and asked me if I wanted to buy a live rabbit. I said I did not know as I had not seen it. He then sent one of the three men he brought with him to his house for it, and he returned with the rabbit produced. I gave the prisoner 2s. 6d. for it, and the man gave me the rabbit. I kept it in a hutch until this morning when a Police-constable came and enquired if I had such a rabbit. I told him I had brought one, and asked him to go and look at it. I have known the prisoner as a customer for a long time.

Police-constable Pilcher (D.11) said: This morning about ten o'clock, in consequence of what I was told I went to the “Clarence” in Northampton Street. I was there shown a rabbit by Mrs. Pascall, and from what he told me I went down top Union Street, and apprehended the prisoner. I told him I should take him into custody and charge him with stealing a live rabbit. He said, “I have not stolen a rabbit.” I said, “You have sold one up at the “Clarence” public-house,” and he said, “I'll take my oath I have not.” I then brought him up to Mrs. Pascall and asked her if that was the man she brought the rabbit off. She said, “Yes, it is,” in the prisoner's presence, and he denied it. I then brought him to the Station, and when the charge was read over he said, “I sold the rabbit for another man, but I did not steal it.”

Prisoner, who wished the case to be dealt with summarily, was sentenced to one month's imprisonment with hard labour.


From an email received from Yvonne Harris, 22 April 2009.

My great grandmother's sister Ellen Miller nee Brewer born 1853 Dover left her husband Jethro Miller who she married in 1869 and went to live as housekeeper to James Burden who owned the Clarence Tap in Northampton Street but they never married. They had ten children between them from 1875 to 1889, when Ellen died.
On the 1881 census the road listed above it is New Bridge, area St Mary's.

James then moved to the Fountain 236 London Road, he died on 1907.

One of the children Beatrice married Percy Gray and owned the Crown and Sceptre listed and also the Mason's Arms and Queens Head, however cannot see the name listed for these two pubs. (sometime in the early 1920's).

The Beehive pub was owned by Ellen's grandparents Samuel and Ann Brewer.

Somewhere I have photo of my father in a motor coach outside a pub in Heathfield Avenue, Dover, sometime in the early will try and find it and send it to you.


Yvonne Harris.



BURDEN James 1871+ (age 35 in 1871Census)

BROWNING Benjamin 1873+ Dover Express

BURDEN James 1875-81 Next pub licensee had (age 45 in 1881Census)

PASCALL John 1886+ Dover Express

VAUGHAN H 1895 Pikes 1895


Pikes 1895From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1895

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express



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