Above photo taken by Margaret Francis circa 2008.
Also sent by Margaret Francis, showing Eliza Keeler (nee Hills) mid
to late 1800s.
The story goes that the horse and cart which my
great-great-great grandmother is standing beside, outside the Endeavour
at Wootton, was the one which would regularly and steadfastly return her
son home, after he became worse for wear from his visits to the Pub. The
landlord would load him up onto the cart and the horse would take him
home! I would imagine she is maybe in her 50s or 60s in the photograph -
so mid 1800s (ish!)
She is Eliza Keeler (nee Hills) and was born
around 1810 and married my great-great-great grandfather Edward Keeler.
They lived in Denton, where their sons Edward - my ancestor - and his
brother Joseph Woodcock Keeler lived in Osier Ground - Edward was a
Woodreeve on the Denton Park Estate and the cottage came with the job
(it is still standing, outwardly unchanged and now is Blakeney House
Nursery - signs to it on the main road through Denton). Joseph was just
an agricultural labourer, but buried in Denton Churchyard!
From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer,
12 October, 1866.
ROBBERY FROM THE PERSON
Thomas Stewerts, a farm labourer, was charged with stealing from the
person of Thomas Fox, another labourer, and purse and 16s. in the parish
of Wootton, on the previous day.
The prosecutor said: I live at Wootton, and am Waggoner in the
service of Mr. Bridges. Yesterday morning, about three o'clock, I went
into the "Endeavour" public-house at Wootton. I was quite sober at the
time, I had a few pints of beer with the prisoner, who followed me an
hour or two afterwards. I had nothing to drink before he arrived. I paid
for the beer, changing half-crown for the purpose. The half-crown was in
my purse, and after returning the change to it, I placed the purse back
into my pocket in the presence of the prisoner. The purse then contained
16s. and some coppers. In about a quarter of an hour afterwards I went
to a water closet at the back of the house, and there fell asleep. I
remained asleep an hour or more, and when I awoke my purse and money
were gone. I immediately afterwards went in search of the prisoner, but
not finding him I gave information to the police, and about eleven last
night I saw him in custody of Police-constable Walsh.
By the Bench: No other persons were in the house, except the
Mrs. Wildish, wife of William Wildish: I am landlady of the
"Endeavour" at Wootton. The complainant came into my home yesterday
morning, and was followed about an hour afterwards by the prisoner. They
sat together in the tap-room, and had their dinner there. No one else
was in the room after they had had their dinner. They had some beer, and
the prosecutor afterwards went out to the back of the house. The
prisoner followed him, and on going into the tap-room, to clear it,
about ten minutes afterwards, I found the prisoner had returned, but not
the prosecutor. I asked him where Fox was, and he said he would be in in
a minute, and prisoner then went out to the back of the house again.
Some time afterwards he went a third time, and he did not return again.
I heard the prosecutor snoring in the closet, and one of the time that
prisoner left the house I saw him go into the closet.
William Walsh, a constable of the Kent County Constabulary, stationed
at Shepherdswell said: From information I received I went to Swingfield
Street, on Monday night about eight o'clock. Swingfield Street is about
three miles from Wootton. I found the prisoner at a public house.
(That would probably have been the "Three
Bells".) I called him out and told hi he was charged with
stealing 16s., and a purse from the person of Thomas Fox, at the
"Endeavour" Wootton. He said, "I know I have the money." He then pulled
out the purse I produce (as the stolen purse) and taking out of it a
half-sovereign, a sixpence and some half-pences, said, "That is his.
There were two or three half-penny pieces and some coppers besides, but
I've spent them. The other money is mine." That amounted to one
half-crown, two shillings, and a sixpence. Altogether the money amounted
to the 16s. The prisoner added, "I intended to take it back to him, and
his purse, I've got in my pocket." I searched his pockets, and while
doing so, he said, "To tell the truth, I flung it down the closet." When
the charge was taken at the Dover police station the prisoner said he
picked the purse up, and did not steal it.
By the prisoner: You did not tell me the prosecutor was tipsy, and
that on picking up the purse you told him you would take care of it for
him. You said you picked it up, and intended to carry it back.
The prisoner, on being cautioned in the usual way, said the
prosecutor got tipsy while he was in his company, and wished him (the
prisoner) to go to another public-house with him. He waited about for
him, and went to the water closet to know if he was coming. Prisoner
said he couldn't go, as he was not able to walk. The purse with the
money was lying in the water-closet, having apparently rolled out of his
pocket, and he (prisoner) picked it up and told him he would take care
of it for him and return it that same day.
The prisoner was then committed for trial at the next East Kent
From the Gourmet Guide supplement in the Folkestone Herald, 22 August, 1996.
Ghostly happenings at the "Endeavour Inn," Wootton. This pub was
built in the early 15th century and there is a ghost called Matthew who
haunts it! Switches are flicked on their own and objects are moved
around. This is what makes the "Endeavour Inn" so very different.
Matthew came to a sticky end back in those days after allegedly
attacking the squire's daughter. he was hanged for his crime and his
body was then kept in the cellar of the pub until it was buried later.
Ian Cook took over the pub as landlord 12 weeks ago after four years'
studying business and geography to gain - successfully - a BA Honours
Ian said the last 12 weeks have been great, the pub atmosphere has
been really warming and he had been made to feel really welcome.
The restaurant offers full a la carte menu with a great choice of
Innovative Ian has started a Pasta Night every Tuesday with live
music at a cost of only £5 for a large plate of pasta with pesto bread
and a free glass of wine.