Sort file:- Dover, March, 2021.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 31 March, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1861

East Kent Railway Tavern

Latest 1872

Commercial Quay



The excitement can be visualized when the town was first served by the trains.


The pubs certainly played their part and named houses to suit the occasion.


Finnis ran this in 1861 and Watson from Canterbury officiated in 1872. That was the last year I saw mention of it.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 6 July, 1861.



Ann Redsoll and Jane Brown, two unfortunates, the eldest only eighteen years of age, were charged with stealing from a bedroom at the "East Kent Railway Tavern," Commercial Quay, a pair of boots, value 5s., the property of landlady, Mrs. Finnis.

On the application of the Superintendent, the younger of the two prisoners, Jane Brown, was discharged, her evidence being necessary for purposes of justice.

Louissa Finnis, wife of Mr. Thomas Finnis, landlord of the "East Kent Railway Tavern," Commercial Quay, then said that the prisoner was at her house on the previous afternoon. Witness had seen a pair of boots in a chest in her own bed-room about eleven o'clock in the morning, shortly after which the prisoner went up stairs to wash, having slept in the house the previous night. About three o'clock in the afternoon witness had occasion to go to her room and their found that the boots had disappeared. These produced by Sergeant  Gedds were the same.

Jane Brown, the girl at first charged in conjunction with the prisoner, said she left the "East Kent Railway Tavern" with prisoner on the preceding day and notices, shortly after getting into the street, that the prisoner had a new pair of boots on. They then went to "Mrs. Wood's, the fortune teller," and prisoner desired the witness to ask Mrs. Wood if she might leave the boots there. Witness did so, and prisoner then took the boots off, and produced another pair, leaving the others in Mrs. Wood's charge.

Ann Wood, 4, Chapel Court, said the prisoner and the witness Brown came to her house on the preceding day. The prisoner asked to go into the yard, and on her return, as she and Brown were going away, Brown produced from under her shawl a pair of boots, and asked witness if she might leave them till she was able to call for them, and after putting then down both girls went away immediately.

The witness, in reply to the Magistrates, said she had not the slightest notion that the boots might have been stolen. Such a thing never crossed her mind. It was done in a moment, just as the girls were leaving.

The prisoner desired that the charge might be summarily dealt with, and pleaded guilty. - One month's hard labour.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 17 August 1861.

The East Kent Railway Tavern.

John Wilson, landlord of the "East Kent Railway Tavern," and John Gibson, and artilleryman, were summoned for an aggravated assault on a married woman's name Catherine Bright, on the 6th inst. Complainant stated that she was a dressmaker, and resided on the Elms Estate. On the day in question she went to defendant's house, for the purpose of asking a lodger name Jones (for whom she worked) to put off the delivery of a dress until the following week. Whilst waiting, Mrs. Wilson asked her whether she could make up a moire antique, and whilst over in the act of looking at it Wilson came in before it could be concealed, as Mrs. Wilson wished her to. He appeared to be intoxicated, ordered her to leave the house, and went upstairs for a short time. When he came down again, she was in the act of drinking a glass of ale, and he struck the glass from her lips, and cut her mouth. She left the defendant's tavern, and went afterwards to the "Clarendon," next the post-office, where she had some gin, and then returned to the "East Kent Railway" for the purpose of trying on the lodges dress. As she passed across the kitchen to go into Miss Jones's room, Wilson offered half-a-crown to any man who would put her out of the house, and then Gibson assaulted her, threw her down behind the bar where there was a quantity of broken earthenware (pots and glasses having been swept off the table and thrown about by the landlady, who was drunk) and then she was thrown out of the door, and lay in the horse road, until a man picked her up, and helped her to the hospital, where it was found the sinews of the wrist have been cut, and she has remained until the following Saturday.

Mr. Minter (for the defence) cross-examine complainant to show that she was herself drunk and had interfered with the soldiers who were refreshing themselves. To some extent the learned gentleman substantiated his position for the evidence of two artillery man who, however, so far differed in their notions of the time the affair actually occurred, as to induce the Bench to believe the people must have been all drank together.

A fine of 3. or 3 months imprisonment, was inflicted upon Wilson, and Gibson was ordered to pay 1 and costs, or in default one months hard labour. The money was ultimately paid.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 30 November, 1861.


 Sarah Wilson, a middle-aged woman, and wife of the landlord of the "East Kent Railway Tavern," Commercial Quay, was placed at the bar charged with disorderly behaviour in a state of drunkenness, breaking her husband's pots an glasses, and threatening to run a knife into him.

The Magistrates said they could not punish the prisoner for breaking her own husband's pots and glasses. The damage done by a wife to the goods of her husband was not an offence recognizable by law; and they could only deal with the charge of drunkenness, and the more serious one of threatening, if the husband desired to press it. But he would probably be content to withdraw it, on receiving from his wife a promise of better behaviour for the future.

Mr. Wilson said he had no desire to press the charge, if his wife would make him such a promise as the Magistrates had suggested, and keep it. He was only desirous to live quietly - a very difficult matter, he intimated, owing to the violent peculiarities of Mrs. Wilson.

Mr. Stride said if he recollected aright the prisoner had been before the Bench on a previous occasion for a very similar offence, and she had then promised better behaviour.

Prisoner admitted that she had, but assured the Magistrates they might expect never to see here again if she was allowed to go this time. She had been sufficiently punished by being shut up in one of the cold cells at the station-house all night.

Mr. Worsfold said that this was only a sample of what she would have to indulge if the Bench were compelled to commit her to prison. This experience, however, would probably be a warning to her, and as her husband did not seem desirous of pressing the charge of threatening his life, the Magistrates would overlook the offence of drunkenness on hey payment of the Court fees, but at the same time advised her not to appear a third time, as, in such an event, it would be impossible to deal with so leniently.


Dover Express, Saturday 12 March 1864.

Infringement of Licence.

Thomas Middleton, landlord of the "Cinque Port Arms," summoned for having his house open for the sale of beer at the prohibited hours, urged that the person to whom beer was applied as a mariner needing refreshment, and his defence being made out to the satisfaction of the Bench, he was just discharged with a caution on paying the costs.

Thomas Halliday, landlord of the "East Kent Railway Tavern," summoned for the like infringement, offered a similar defence, and the Magistrates dealt with the case in the same manner.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 28 April, 1870. Price 1d.


The license of the "Railway Tavern" beer-house was transferred to Thomas Stone. It transpired, however, that the father of the applicant had recently kept a house of very ill repute at Sandgate, and the applicant was questioned very minutely by the Magistrates with a view of showing whether the "Railway Tavern" was to be kept by himself bona fide, or whether his father would have any part in the management of the house.

Superintendent Coram said he believed that the effects of the applicant's father were removed from Sandgate to the "Railway Tavern," and suggested that this might be a colourable application, and that the house would really be conducted by the father.

The applicant admitted that his father had recently been living in Dover, but not with him. He had been staying with a brother, who kept the "Turnham Green Tavern" at Charlton, but he was going away altogether.

Magistrate: Will you undertake that your father will not live with you?

Applicant: Yes. there shall be no mistake about that.

Magistrates' Clerk: There had better not, for if it is found that your father is living with you in this house, the probability is that the Magistrates will take away the license.



With so many "Railway" prefixes being found, I suggest you also look at the "Railway Inn" and the "Railway Bell".



FINNIS Thomas present July/1861 Dover Express

WILSON John Aug/1861+ Dover Express

HALLIDAY Thomas 1864

STONE Thomas Apr/1870+ Dover Express

WATSON William Sept/1872+ Dover Express


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:-