Sort file:- Deal, November, 2022.

Page Updated:- Thursday, 17 November, 2022.


Earliest 1662

King's Arms

Latest 1877

185 (176) Beach Street


Former King's Arms

Above photo, date unknown by Darkstar.


Not to be mistaken with the "Kings Head," Deal, or indeed the "Kings Head," Walmer, as all three pubs existed at the same time as listed in the 1840 Pigot's directory, although so far not found after 1877.

The Deal History Society give a date as early as 1824 and the address as "Top of King's Arms Alley."

The Sandwich Borough Records shows Licensed Victuallers who paid for new Inn signs, 6s. 8d, and Sureties of 5 on 12th September, 1662. Unfortunately, there was no address given but I am assuming this to be the same premises.

There is reference to a John nelson, who in 1818 was shot in the doorway to the pub having been involved in some sort of smuggling dispute.


Kentish Chronicles, 15 May, 1794.


Wednesday morning died, after a lingering illness, Mr. John Wybourn, last master at the "King's Arms" public house at Deal.


Sale of the manor of Chamberlain's Fee (KAO U.924 P 9/4) 1828

INNS in the sale catalogue

All that Messuage tenement or Public House No.176 in Beach Street, commonly called or known by the name or sign of the "King's Arms" and the outhouses, edifices, buildings, stable, yard and ground thereunto belonging, and now in the occupation of John Petty; together with a small messuage or tenement at the back of the "Globe" in a passage leading from Middle Street, in the occupation of Thomas Beach; and also a piece of land or Ground now used as a way of passage leading as well from the "Globe" as from other premises to the Middle Street there. These premises are subject to a lease granted to Matthew William Sankey for 21 years from 29th September 1812 at the yearly rent of 3. 13s. 0d. and to a Covenant  therein contained for renewal thereof for a like term of 21 years at the end of 18 of the existing term, upon payment of a fine of 3. 9s. 0d.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Tuesday 12 June 1849.


Important sale of the extensive Brewery of Messr's Flint, including 30 old established Inns and Public Houses, and other valuable property.

Mr. V. J., has received instructions to sell by auction, at the "Fountain Hotel," Canterbury, on Tuesday and Wednesday, 26th and 27th of June, at 12 o'clock each day, (in consequence of the death of the senior acting partner and the retirement of the surviving partners,) the valuable property known as Messrs. Flint's Brewery, in Stour Street, Canterbury, and the Inns, Public Houses, and other valuable property connected with theirwith. The first day sale on Tuesday, 26th June, 1849, will comprise the following property in and near the city.

Public houses.

Lot 1. The "City of Canterbury," situate on the road to Whitstable. Freehold.

Lot 2. The "George and Dragon," Westgate without, leasehold under Hind's charity for 17 years unexpired.

Lot 3. The "Three Compasses," Westgate within. Freehold.

Lot 4. The "Bell Inn" and Coach Office, in the High Street. Freehold.

Lot 5. The "Prince of Wales," St. Alphege Lane,. Freehold.

Lot 6. The "Weavers Arms," Broad Street, freehold and partly leasehold.

Lot 7. The "White Swan," Northgate. Leasehold under St. John's Hospital for a short term, at a ground rent.

Lot 8. The "Kings Head," Northgate. Freehold.

Lot 9. The "Swan Inn," at Sturry (close to the railway station). Freehold.

Lot 10. The "Ship," St. Martins Hill, freehold.

Lots 12. The "Star Commercial Inn and Tap," St George's, close to the Cattle market and Dane John. Freehold.

Lot 13. The "Blue Anchor," Old Dover Lane, near the Cattle market. Freehold.

Lot 14. The "Fleece Inn," High Street, opposite to the Corn market. Freehold.

Lot 28. Three neat Cottages opposite the Brewery, with large gardens extending to the river.

Lot 29. The "Two Brewers" public house and Spirit Warehouse, adjoining the last lot.

Lot 31. The "Black Dog" public house, Castle Street.

Lot 34. The "Duke's Head" Public House, Wincheap Street.

Lot 35. The "King's Head," Public House, Wincheap Street.

Lot 37. The "Royal Exchange," public house, Stour Street.

Lot 38. The "Kentish Arms," public house, and 5 cottages in Jewry Lane. Leasehold for a short term at a low rent.

Lot 40. The "Duke William," at Ickham, abiout five miles from Canterbury. Freehold.

Lot 41. The "Royal Oak Inn," at Deal. Freehold except a small portion.

Lot 42. The "King's Arms," Beach Street, Deal, and Cottage in the rear. leasehold for a short term, at a Ground rent.

Lot 43. The "Fleur De Lis," near the Railway Station, Dover. Leasehold for a term of 6 years, at a Ground rent of 3.

Lot 44. The "Two Brewers," Limekiln Street, Dover. leasehold for a term of 46 years, at a ground rent of 3.

Lot 45. The "Fountain Inn, adjoining the Market place at Dover. Freehold.

Lot 46. The "Lord Nelson," Radnor Street, near the harbour, Folkestone. Freehold.

Lot 47. The "Bricklayers Arms," Fancy Street, Folkestone. Freehold.

Lot 48. The "Castle Inn," at Sandgate. Leasehold for a short term, at a ground rent of 7s. 6d.

Lot 49. The "King's Head Hotel and Tap," at Margate. Freehold.

Lot 50. The "New Inn," at Elham, on the road to Hythe. Freehold.

Lot 51. The "King's Arms," at Milton near Sittingbourne. Freehold.

The Public Houses are for the most part in the occupation of unexceptionable tenants, and the majority of them are doing trades, both in beer and spirits, considerably above the average run of Country houses. (None of them have been beer shops; they're all old Licence Houses, with connections of long standing, thereby affording ample security for the permanency of the trade). The Premises generally are in a superior state of repair.

Particulars and Plans, price 1s. each, may be had of Messr's. Furleys and Mercer, Solicitors, Canterbury; at the "Fountain Hotel;" and of Mr. V. J. Collins, 3, Moorgate Street, London.


From the Deal, Walmer & Sandwich Mercury, 18 June, 1870.


Or other persons requiring an


Mr. G. West has received instructions to see by auction, on Tuesday, 5th July, 1870, all that Convenient FREEHOLD INN, known as the "King's Arms," pleasantly situated in the Beach Street, commanding an uninterrupted view of the Downs, Goodwin Sands, Coast of France, &c.

A good Trade has for many years been carried on, and the Buildings are in an excellent state of repair, there having been a considerable sum expended on them within the last few years.

The House contains 7 Bedrooms, W.C., 3 Sitting-rooms, Bar, Bar Parlour, good Domestic Offices, large Yard, and an extensive range of Buildings in the rear, with back entrance into Middle Street, and an excellent supply of good water.

Time of Sale 2 for 3 o'clock in the Afternoon, on the Premises of the above.

THE OLD ESTABLISHED BUSINESS TO BE DISPOSED OF, offering an excellent opportunity to any Person requiring a good and responsible Trade.

The STOCK, FURNITURE, TRADE-FITTINGS, &c., to be taken at a valuation in the usual way.

For further Particulars and Conditions of Sale enquire at the Auctioneer, or of, Mr. J. C. Martin, Solicitor, Deal and Sandwich.


From the Deal, Walmer & Sandwich Mercury, 24 February, 1872.


The license of the "Kings' Arms Inn," Beach Street was endorsed from Mrs. Boakes to Mr. Robert Fleming, late of Dover.



The Deal Licensing Register states that on 13 September 1877 the renewal of the licence was refused, but no reason to date is known. However, the "Royal Exchange" was situated at number 175 Beach Street, right next door.

Shortly after closure in 1877 and by the 1900's the building became part of the Enfield boarding house, with other houses along the same street.

In the 1960's to 80's the premises was home to a number of private members clubs and has been known as the "Pink Shell," "Oasis," "North Beach," "Beach," and the "Baron's Club" to name a few, with different owners such as Arthur Fuller, Baron Browning and Peter and Ann Young, but is now (2010) a private residence.


From an article written by Sue Scullino 2 January 2022.


Almost exactly 200 years ago, on the 7th of March, 1822, the narrow streets and seafront of the fishing town of Deal bore witness to an incident which would later be described as ‘most disgraceful and outrageous’ and ‘almost impossible to believe …. in a civilised country’. The event that incurred such a damning judgement was undeniably one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the local fishing community.

It was soon after noon on that March day that a great noise arose outside the "King’s Arms" public house and a mob of men, women and children could be seen surging along Beach Street. A strange gibbet-like frame stood up from the centre of the mass of people and a closer look would have revealed that it was in fact attached to a cart, which was being drawn not by horses but by some of the men. Tied to this structure was the almost unrecognisable figure of a man, while a second lay bound at his feet. The victims of this mob violence were in a pitiful state, their tormentors having daubed them from head to waist with tar and covered them with feathers. For more than two hours they were ignominiously paraded through the streets, accompanied by insults and jeers, until the local constabulary finally arrived to disperse the rabble and arrest the ringleaders.

To understand the background to this demonstration we must know something about the town itself. Two hundred years ago Deal was far from the popular and quaintly picturesque seaside resort that it has become today. The majority of the population were either soldiers, sailors or smugglers, and though Edward Hasted affirms that the air of Deal was ‘exceedingly healthy’, William Cobbett’s description after visiting the town in 1823 is hardly complimentary:

Deal is a most villainous place. It is full of filthy-looking people. Great desolation of abomination has been going on here … I was glad to hurry along through it, and to leave its inns and public houses to be occupied by the tarred, and trowsered, and blue-and-buff crew whose very vicinage I always detest.

For Charles Dickens, writing later in ‘Bleak House’, the narrow streets were ‘very gloomy’. He continues:

The long flat beach, with its little irregular houses, wooden and brick, and its litter of capstans, and great boats, and sheds, and bare upright poles with tackle and blocks, and loose gravelly waste places overgrown with grass and weeds, wore as dull an appearance as any place I ever saw.

The capstans and sheds that Dickens refers to here were situated at intervals along the beach for about two miles and each of the former served to launch or haul up one of the bigger boats. These capstans were large, heavy structures into which bars could be inserted in order to turn them. Interestingly, though Dickens describes the waterfront as ‘dull’, for many artists at least, including the painter, J M W Turner, it appeared singularly picturesque.

Another writer of the period who mentions Deal is the novelist, Fanny Burney, who landed there from France in 1812. She wrote:

There are said to be in the town of Deal, not less than two hundred young men and sea-faring people, who are known to have no visible way of getting a living, but by the infamous trade of smuggling...

Deal had in fact long been infamous as a centre for contraband activities and, as in similar areas in Kent and Sussex, the smugglers were often able to exercise such control over the town that the authorities were impotent before them. The incident in question turns out to be a striking example of this state of affairs.

A short time before, an Excise officer named Browne had been accused and convicted of accepting bribes in order to protect the interests of the smugglers. For this he had been discharged and had since left the town. However, in an act of revenge, he had published a list of so-called informers; that is, members of the community who, he asserted, had betrayed the identity of the smugglers to the Customs Officers. Many of these were, in fact, perfectly innocent citizens.

On the day in question a certain John Smith, a pilot living in Deal, was walking in front of the "King’s Arms" public house (now a private residence) in Beach Street when he was set upon by three men named Spain, Bobias and Mackney, who, believing him to be one of the informers, dragged him forcefully through the passageway of the inn into the back parlour. There he was attacked by William Worthington, a sailor with a history of assault, who pulled his hair, jabbed his fist in his face and threatened him with an open knife, shouting, ‘You *** infernal rascal, you have a right to have your head cut off!’ A paper which presumably bore the list of Browne’s informers, was pushed accusingly at him. Smith, who would later be described as an ‘honest and industrious fisherman’, denied any knowledge of it and protested his innocence.

This denial did not stop one of the other attackers, John Hart, from proposing that Smith be kept there overnight and hanged the next day. Fortunately, this proposal was ignored, but instead the innocent victim was dragged back outside to the beach and the capstan grounds, where a bar was attached to one of the capstans there. To this he was tied by the wrists, stripped to the waist and daubed repeatedly from head to foot with tar from the tubs used by the sailors before being covered in feathers.

By this time a great number of people had gathered and were joining in the attack. A cart was procured and by tying three oars together, a frame was erected in the middle of it, to which the victim was bound. The cart was then drawn along the seafront by some of the attackers as far as the "Rodney" public house, where it came to a temporary halt. Worthington was heard to say, ‘I’ll go and fetch a hot poker, set the tar on fire, and smoke the fellow’ but the threat was not carried out and the cart continued towards the Customs House.

That afternoon Edmund Paine, an elderly sailor, happened to be coming down Prospect Row (now Victoria Road) and, seeing the riot coming past the "Walmer Castle Inn," was drawn by curiosity towards it. The noise and confusion were ‘beyond description’ according to one account. One of the crowd, Henry Stokes, catching sight of him, called out that Paine was a villain and seized him. Like Smith, Paine was quite innocent of the accusations. However, despite his struggles and cries for assistance, Paine was also covered with tar and feathers, his clothes still on, before being thrown by the mob violently on to the cart, where he was tied to a bar at the feet of Smith.

When the cart with both presumed informers reached the Customs House, Spain turned Smith’s head towards it, crying, ‘Look here – look at your friends!’ at which the mob gave three cheers. For more than two and a half hours the two victims were paraded along the streets, tar being repeatedly applied, until they finally returned to the "Kings Arms." Worthington, who was clearly the ringleader, was heard to remark to two of the other attackers, ‘You may come along – come along they have put the pokers in the fire.’ It seems that the authorities were in no rush to break up the riot and rescue the two men but constables did eventually arrive on the scene and they were cut free.

At the ensuing trial Worthington and Hart were both convicted and sentenced to two years and one and a half years respectively. On passing sentence the judge, Mr Justice Batley, asked the defendants, ‘What right had you to deprive (Paine and Smith) of their means of subsistence and to expel them from their homes?’ and he indicated that, given the nature of the assault, they could very easily have been standing trial for the more serious crime of murder.

The judge also remarked that, to his knowledge, this was ‘the first instance in which this country has been disgraced by a riot of this description.’ He was clearly unaware that the earliest reference to this brutal form of punishment is to be found in the decree given by Richard the Lionheart that anyone found guilty of robbery should have ‘boiling pitch … poured over his head, and a cushion of feathers shook over it so that he may be publicly known’. However, it is true that this form of mob revenge is more likely to be associated with the Wild West or, more recently, Northern Ireland; thankfully, it is almost unknown in England.

Nowadays, the tourists walking along the quaint narrow streets of Deal where the old fishermen’s cottages have been transformed into tastefully decorated upmarket homes could scarcely imagine the shameful events that took place there and brought notoriety to the town two hundred years ago.

Susan Scullino 02/01/2022

Sources: British Newspaper Archive.



WYBORNE John to May/1794 dec'd

WHITE James 1804-24

PETTY John 1824-48

PETTY Ann 1848+

BOAKES John 1856+

BOAKES Richard 1861+ (age 41 in 1861Census)

BOAKES Eliza Ann 1863+

BIGGLESTONE Humphrey 1662+

WHITE James 1804+

WHITE Thomas 1823-24 Pigot's Directory 1823Pigot's Directory 1824

PETTY John 1824-48 Pigot's Directory 1832-34Pigot's Directory 1839Pigot's Directory 1840Bagshaw's Directory 1847 alehouse

PETTY Mary Ann 1848-50+ Deal Licensing Register

BOAKES Richard John 1856-63 Melville's 1858Kelly's 1862

BOAKES Mrs Eliza Ann Oct/1863-Feb/72 Kelly's 1874Post Office Directory 1874Deal Mercury

FLEMING Robert Feb/1872-Oct/73 dec'd

BOAKES Mrs Eliza Ann Oct/1873-77


Pigot's Directory 1823From the Pigot's Directory 1823

Pigot's Directory 1824From the Pigot's Directory 1824

Pigot's Directory 1832-34From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34

Pigot's Directory 1839From the Pigot's Directory 1839

Pigot's Directory 1840From the Pigot's Directory 1840

Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Kelly's 1862From the Kelly's Directory 1862

Kelly's 1874From the Kelly's Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Deal Licensing RegisterDeal Licensing Register


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