Sort file:- Dover, February, 2023.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 05 February, 2023.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1624

King's Head Hotel

Latest 1932

10 Clarence Place (King's Head Street and Crane StreetPigot's Directory 1828-29)

Clarence Place, South pier Pigot's Directory 1840


King's Head Hotel

Above shows the King's Head Hotel September 1921. By kind permission of Dover Library ILL/1531. Also showing the "Terminus" just to the left of the telegraph pole. I am informed by Andy Chant that as of 2015, the only part of the hotel that is still standing is the right hand wall, the rest is now the entrance to the Freight Clearance Centre staff car park.

Terminus Hotel

Partington's billposting of advertisements was a once colourful feature of this corner of the Pier District between Beach Street, to the left, and Seven Star Street. This Amos photograph, dating from about 1912, also shows the flank-wall advertising of the old Terminus Hotel, in Beach Street, one of the posts carrying the overhead tramway powerlines and part of the ancient King's Head Hotel, in Clarence Place, on the extreme right.

King's Head Hotel

Above a view from between the narrow lanes.


A free house, fully licensed, which stood on the corner latterly with Lord Warden Square. Its origin lay early in the seventeenth century. The owners show on maps of 1624 as William and Ann Bradshaw.


Only six stage coaches ran in England in 1672. The terminus for the Dover run being the "White Hart", in the London borough of Southwark. (That sign associated with the badge of Richard II but the building itself taken down in 1889).


It can be said that coaches left this hotel in 1819, at six and eleven a.m. and four thirty p.m. for the "Golden Cross" at Charing Cross; the "Black Bear" in Piccadilly; the "Spread Eagle" in Gracechurch Street and "Blossom's Inn", Lawrence Lane. London. All made the return journey the same day.



This sold for 3,775 in 1876 and again in 1932 it was on offer but did not reach the reserve price. By 1934 it belonged to Hays Wharf and following extensive alterations it was renamed Ferry House, being then the accommodation of the Continental Express Company who moved here from Northumberland House in Strond Street.


For better or for worse, a new god called the juggernaut appeared in the sixties and no person or building was allowed to stand in its way or hinder the new religion. Continental Express were obliged to leave the premises in July 1968, the only cafe in the area was unceremoniously shut down and the demolition of the building commenced in March 1970. The ground thus gained was then used for the parking of private cars and the formation of a private road.


King's Head Hotel demolition

From the Dover Express, 6 March 1970

CRASH, down comes another part of old Dover as demolition' men move in on Ferry House, former headquarters or the R.A.C. in Dover on the corner of The Viaduct and Clarence Place; Part of the block and the first section to come down, was once The King's Head, said to have been built in the reign of James I. In an upper room, there was once found a carved panel dated 1624 and bearing the initials of the original landlord and his wife, William and Ann Bradshaw.


From the Kentish Post, May 8-11, 1765. Kindly sent from Alec Hasenson.

George Hubbard, at the "King's Head Inn," Dover, has taken the "Silver Lion Inn," opposite, where there is a pleasant prospect to the water-side.


Kentish Gazette, 23 March, 1774.

To be sold.

A Large and convenient freehold house, with the Buildings, Yard, Garden, and Ground thereto belonging; situate in St. James's Street in Dover, in Kent; the back part whereof commands a pleasant View of the Sea, French Coast, Dover Castle and Harbour; late in the occupation of Mr. William Eastes, and now untenanted.

Also, all that large and good accustomed inn, called the "King's Head;" situate in Crane Street, in Dover aforesaid, having every Convenience proper for the Accommodation of Company, and being now in the Occupation of Mr. John Harvey or his Assigns.

Also, a Messuage, with very convenient Outhouses and Gardens thereto belonging; situate in Archliffe, Bulwark Street, in Dover aforesaid, and late in the Occupation of Mrs. Hammeden.

The two last mentioned Estates are Leasehold.

For Particulars enquire of Mr. Nethersole, Attorney at Dover.


Kentish Gazette, 10 December, 1774.

Extract of a letter from Dover, December 7th.

Yesterday in the afternoon, Emmanuel Faelix, a gentleman's servant, was defrauded at the "Kings Head" in this town, of 8 guineas at cutting the cards. And by applying to the Magistrate, he ordered a constable to pursue the three sharpers who had cheated him, and finding they had taken their horses and gone for Deal, the pursuit was continued, and they were apprehended at Deal accordingly; and on returning the money to the proprietor he let them go. There is a strong suspicion these fellows have defrauded the public of Canterbury, Hythe, and other places in Kent. They are described as follows:

A likely young man, about 5ft 7in high, his hair clubbed, a light cloth coat, and about twenty years of age. A short man, pock-marked, about 5ft 4ins, has hair clubbed, a brown cloth coat and metal buttons; about 25. A stout smooth face man, a Twi-curled wig, brown coat, and about 25. They had three good horses, a black, chestnut, and a small bay. They are supposed to be gone to Sandwich fair.


Kentish Gazette, 28 April, 1779.

Dover. John Wright.

Big leave to acquaint the Nobility, Gentry, and others, that he has taken the "King's Head;" and having laid in a fresh stock of wines, hopes for the continuance of the former customers, and all others who please to honour him with their company.

N.B. Neat Post-chaise, Coaches, and Saddle Horses, to any part of England.

The Machine sets out every day for London.


Kentish Gazette, 12 May, 1781.

John Wright, at the "King's Head Inn," at Dovor.

Begs leave to acquaint the Nobility and Gentry, and others, that he has taken a very commodious apartment opposite his house, which has a fine prospect of the Sea, and Castle, from which the Neutral Boats sail for Ostend every day.

A number of good stables for horses going abroad.

Post Chaise's and Saddle horses to any part of England.

Machines to and from London everyday.


From the Kentish Gazette, 11 August 1786.

King's Head Inn, Dover. JOHN KING,

Late Tapster at the "Bull-Inn," Rochester, Begs Leave to acquaint the Gentry, and Public in general, that he has taker the above Inn, and fitted it up, in a most commodious Manner, for the Reception and Entertainment of Company. A good Stock of excellent Liquors, and a Larder supplied with Eatables of every kind in Season.

Coaches and Diligences to and from London every Day.

Genteel Post-chaises and able Horses, on the shortest Notice.

His Assiduity and Attention he hopes will merit the Favours of the Public, of which he shall entertain a most grateful scene.


From the Kentish Gazette, or Canterbury Journal [one title]. April 26 to 29, 1769. Kindly sent from Alec Hasenson.

Advert for the sale by auction of a Cutter, at the King's Head, in Dover, on May 2nd.


In connection with the King's Head Inn, there is an advert for an auction of a Messuage there, to be held on September 15, 1796.


From Wikipedia "In law, the term messuage equates to a dwelling-house and includes outbuildings, orchard, curtilage or court-yard and garden. At one time messuage supposedly had a more extensive meaning than that comprised in the word house or site, but such distinction, if it ever existed, no longer survives."


Kentish Gazette, May 15-19, 1770. Kindly sent from Alec Hasenson.

Sale of a cargo of Deals at the King's Head Inn in Dover, on May 24, 1770.


(The term Deals would refer to soft wood, usually Scots Pine, found in Northern Europe, particularly Scandinavia and Scotland. It is a commercially important timber used by builders and carpenters for indoor and outdoor work and was widely used for telegraph poles and railway sleepers, although obviously not at the time this advert was placed. In the 16th and 17th centuries, it was a favoured wood for carving and, until recently, for making boxes for domestic purposes. Paul Skelton).


From the Kentish Gazette, June 21-25, 1777. Article kindly sent from Alec Hasenson.

Advert in the Gazette – James Fordred (from the King's Head, Dover) has taken the "Red Lion" at Sittingborn.


Kentish Gazette, Friday 11 August 1786.

Kings Head Inn, Dover.

John King, late tapster at the "Bull Inn," Rochester, Begs to acquaint the Gentry, and public in general, that he has taken the above inn, and fitted it up, in a most commodious manner, for the reception and entertainment of company.

A good stock of excellent liqueurs, and a larder supplied with eatables of every kind in season.

Coaches and diligence too and from London every day.

Genteel post chaifes and able horses, on the shortest notice.

His assiduity to attention he hopes will merit the favours of the public, of which he shall entertain and most grateful sense.


From the Kentish Gazette, May 1810.


All that wellknown and established Inn, called the "King's Head," with the stables and appurtenances thereunto belonging, held under the Honourable Warden and Assistants of the Harbour of Dover, situate and being in Crane Street, in the town and port of Dovor aforesaid, and now in the occupation of the widow Potvine, under a lease which will expire at Michaelmas next, at which time possession may be had. The above Inn  is very eligibly situated, and in full trade, near to the harbour.

For particulars please to apply to Jos. J. Barnes, Wine and brandy Merchant, or H. Buckton, Attorney, Canterbury.

The Tenant will show the premises.

From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 16 September, 1837.


If the Yellow Four-Wheel DOG CARRIAGE left at the "King's Head Hotel" is not claimed within Fourteen Days from this time, the same will be sold, to pay Expenses.

Dover, September 16th, 1837.


From the Kentish Gazette, 9 January 1838.

Kings Head Tap, Canterbury.

J. Roberts, late of the "Shakespeare Tavern," in Butchery Lane, begs to return his grateful thanks to his friends, and the public generally, for the kind and liberal support which he has received these last 7 years, and begs respectfully to inform them that he is taking the above house, and respectfully solicits a continuance of their favours.

Wines and spirits of the best quality; genuine London Porter and fine ale.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 5 January, 1839. Price 5d.


Clarence Place, South Pier, Dover.

GEORGE DOUSE, Licensed to Let Flies, Gigs, Post and Saddled Horses, &c.

Horses Broke to Single and Double Harness.

Orders received at BOYCE'S "Victoria Hotel," Castle Street; at the KING'S HEAD Hotel, Clarence Place, South Pier; and at DOUCE'S "Hope Inn," Great Street.

Horses and carriages let on Jobs by the week, Month, or Year.


From the Dover Telegraph, 8 August 1840.

Eliza Thomas appeared against Charles Goodwin, waiter at the King's Head, for an assault. Complainant acknowledged she first put her hand on defendant on his refusing to hear her application as to her babe, of which he was the father, but it was done merely to get his ear. The case was dismissed.


From the Kentish Gazette, 20 December 1842.

DOVER. Salvage.

The Commissioners of Salvage held a meeting on Monday last, at the "King’s Head Hotel," to consider the services rendered by George Blacklocks and Anthony Metcalfe, and their respective boats and crews, to the galliott Soucce, of Westerwick, Johan Gustaf Hickman master, on a voyage from Westerwick to Gibraltar, laden with deals, tar, and stores; the said vessel was on the Roar Sand, near to Dungeness, and was got therefrom. The Commissioners awarded to Blacklocks and his crew the sum of 15 12s. 6d., and to Metcalfe and crew the sum of 12 The vessel was assisted into Dover Harbour by Mr. Davidson, of that port, on Sunday afternoon, having been riding in great danger off the Bull-rock several hours.


From the Kentish Gazette, 6 May 1845.


The commissioners of salvage held a meeting at the "King's Head Hotel," on Saturday last, to consider the services rendered by Charles Hills, of' the cutter Pandora, of Dover, and his crew, to the brig Wenskaper, of Hesingfors, Johan Wickstedt, master. The brig was laden with wine and almonds, on a voyage from Cette to Roterdam, and when fallen in with was lying off Dungeness with loss of an anchor and a cable, and her sails and rigging much damaged. She was brought into Dover harbour, and for the services rendered, the sum of 70 was awarded.


From the Kentish Gazette, 6 January 1846.


At a meeting of the Commissioners, held on Saturday last at the "King's Head," Dover, the services rendered by John Petts and Edward Price to the schooner Rose, of Stettin, Volckman master, on a voyage from Liverpool to Humburgh, laden with a general cargo, were considered, and an award of 70 was made. The vessel was much disabled, having received considerable damage, and was conducted into Dover harbour. An award of 45 was also made for services rendered by Richard Collins and John Vickers to the brig Sklad, of Trieste, Biclovncich master, on a voyage from London to Rio Janeiro, with a general cargo. The vessel had received considerable damage to her hull, and was brought into Dover harbour.


From the Kentish Gazette, 25 January 1846.


At a meeting of the Commissioners of Salvage, held at the "King's Head Hotel" on Monday last, the sum of 50 was awarded to Mr. Jenkins and the crew of the Britannia steamer, and 159 to Mr. Hatch, chief officer, Mr. William Pollard, chief boatman, and their boat's crew, of the Cornhill Coast Guard station, for services rendered in floating and bringing into Dover harbour, the basque China, of Liverpool, Thomas Pasco, master, which vessel was on the third of the present month stranded the rocks in Pan Bay under the South Foreland lighthouse.


Kentish Gazette, 9 February 1847.


On Thursday the Commissioners of Salvage met at the "King's Head Hotel," Dover, to consider the services of Lient. Pearson, R.N., and his boat’s crew, of the Coastguard, rendered to the Russian schooner Estaffette, of Revel, F. W. Dieckert, master, on a voyage from Messina to Revel, with a cargo of oranges and lemons. It appears the schooner ran on the rocks off the South Foreland, and hoisted a signal for assistance, which was promptly responded to by Lieut. Pearson, with his crew, who boarded and carried out a bower anchor, when by great exertion she was got off. It was then found that she had seven feet water in the hold, but by constant pumping they were enabled to bring the vessel into Dover harbour. For these services the Court awarded the sum of 172 to the said Lieut. Pearson and his crew. The vessel has been condemned as not sea-worthy.


Kentish Gazette, 6 April 1847.


At a meeting of the Commissioners of Salvage, held at the "King’s Head Hotel," Dover, on Thursday, the sum of 70 was awarded to Mr. John Town, of the Lydden spout station, and his boat s crew, for the great risk they run in saving the lives of the crew of the Brig Henry and Sarah, Morgan, of Swansea, stranded near Shakespeare’s Cliff, and for protecting the parties employed in saving the cargo. Also the following sums for damage to the luggers employed in saving the cargo, viz.,— the Ann, 5; the Queen, 3 19s.; and the Fancy, 2; in addition to 1 10s. per ton for the pig-iron brought into our harbour.


Kentish Gazette, 23 January 1849.


At a meeting of the Commissioners of Salvage, held at the "King's Head Hotel," on the 11 th of January, the following awards were made:—

To Wm. Middleton, Edward Clayson, and crew of the lugger England's Glory, of Deal, the sum of 60, for services rendered to the schooner Rapid, Lewis, of Bristol, laden with oats, on a voyage from Limerick to London. The schooner had been ashore, and had lost an anchor; she was also leaky, and her sails were much damaged, in which condition she was brought into our harbour by the crew of the lugger.

To John Vickers and crew of the boat Sarah, of Dover, the sum of 2 15s. for piloting into Dover harbour the schooner Miranda, Keys, of Whitstable, on a voyage from London to Terceira.

At a meeting held on the 12th of January the following awards were made:—

To John Ashenden, John Laming, and crew of a Kingsdown lugger, the sum of 70, for services rendered to the schooner Hazard, Lee, of Bridport, on a voyage from Sligo to London, with a cargo of provisions, &c. The schooner brought up in the Downs during a heavy gale of wind, and drifting towards a large vessel at anchor, hoisted a signal in the main rigging for assistance, on which the lugger took off an anchor and chain, by which the schooner securely rode out the gale.

To George Trott, Thomas Trott, and crew of the lugger Mope, of Deal, the sum of 60, for services rendered to the brig Mary McWhinnie, Campbell, of Prince Edward's Island, bound to London, the brig was in the Downs, had lost an anchor and chain, and had lights hoisted for help, when the assistance was proffered and accepted.

To Adam Lambert, William Lambert, and crew of the lugger Hope, of Deal, the sum of 70, for services rendered to the brig George Clark, Henry Wetherill, of Whitby, laden with coals, on a voyage from Swansea to London. The brig had lost an anchor and chain in the Gull Stream, with which it was supplied by the Hope.

To Richard Lambert, Henry Baker, and crew of the lugger Prince Of Wales, of Deal, the sum of 40, for services rendered to the brig Edair, George, of Cardigan, on a voyage from Limerick to London, laden with oats. The brig was in the Gull Stream, with the loss of an anchor and chain, and her windlass upset, when fallen in with by the bigger, by the crew of which she was brought safely into Dover harbour.

At a meeting held on the 13th of January the following award was made:—

To George Offen, George Hogben, and crew of the lugger Phoebe, of Dover, the sum of 70, for services rendered to the ship June Pirie, Booth, of Aberdeen, on a voyage from Calcutta to London, laden with sugar. The ship had lost an anchor and chain, and the lugger was employed to procure others at Dover, which was done, and the supply shipped off the port, in doing of which the lugger received damage.

At a meeting held on Monday, the 15th of January, the following awards were made:—

To George Baker and crew of the lugger Prince of Wales, of Deal, the sum of 45, for services rendered to the schooner Laura, Pauls, of London, on a voyage from London to Bordeaux, in ballast. The schooner, during a heavy gale of wind, had come athwart of another vessel in the Downs, but was extricated by the lugger's crew, and brought into Dover harbour.

To Richard Atherden and crew of the lugger, Friends, of Dover, the sum of 40, for services rendered to the schooner Lady Rebew, ot London, George Norris, (late of Dover,) master. The schooner was on a voyage from St. Michael's to London, laden with oranges and had been run aboard of by a brig, and received considerable damage.


Kentish Gazette, 1 January 1850.

Cases of Salvage.

A meeting of the Commissioners of Salvage was held on Monday last, at the "King's Head Hotel" to consider the services rendered by James Brown and Edward Griggs, of the lugger Superb, of Deal, and their crew, to the schooner Amelia, of Salcombe, Joseph Wood, master. The schooner was on a voyage from Seville to London, laden with oranges, and was in the Downs, drifting towards the shore in a heavy gale of wind, when assistance was rendered, and the vessel brought safely into Dover harbour, for which 20 was awarded.

At a meeting of the Commissioners, held at the same place, on Wednesday, the services of Robert Hogg and John Ellender, and crew of the lugger James and John, of Dover, to the ship Joseph Bushby, of Maryport, Thomas B. Sparks, master, were considered, and 250 awarded for the assistance rendered. The ship was on a voyage from China to London, laden with tea, &c., and had lost two anchors and chains when near Dungeness. Other anchors were supplied by the above, and put on board in a heavy gale of wind.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 29 February, 1850.


A person of a shabby-genteel exterior, giving his name as Thomas Smith Wells, was brought up charged with duping several hotel keepers of Dover, by ordering and partaking of various viands at their hotels, being destitute of the wherewithal to settle for the same.

Mr. Podevine, of the “Kings Head Hotel,” (although having no charge in the present instance,) identified the prisoner, who, he said, was staying at his hotel in August last, and who decamped without paying his account. He (the prisoner) came over from the continent yesterday, and repaired to the “Dover Castle Hotel.”

A waiter from the “Dover Castle” stated that the prisoner arrived at the hotel the previous morning, and expressed his intention of staying there till Tuesday. Being entirely without baggage, enquiry was made, when it was ascertained he had been previously staying at the “King's Head,” and his summary departure from thence, as above stated by Mr. Podevin, was discovered. The prisoner expressed himself as totally without money when payment was demanded.

A like statement was given by one of the waiters at Usmar's “Union Hotel,” where the prisoner obtained his tea, with the additional stimulant in the way of brandy, under similar circumstances, expressing himself at first as being without “change,” but finding the waiter prepared with “silver to any amount,” ultimately confessed that he had no resources.

A note was here handed in, which had been written by the prisoner while at the “Union Hotel,” addressed to the landlady, admitting his inadequacy to meet the demand, and requesting her clemency till a remittance should arrive. This epistle was written in the name of Marsden.

The prisoner did not deny the charge, and after some equivocation said he wrote the note.

The Magistrates regretted that this abominable species of fraudulency did not come under their supervision; and significantly advised the prisoner to lose no time in quitting Dover, otherwise he might yet appear before the Bench in a capacity in which they might be better able to deal with him, and he might rest assured that should this be the case he would have full justice done him.


Kentish Gazette, 10 September 1850.


Podevin:- Lately, at Dover, Mrs. Ann Podevin, proprietress and keeper of the "King's Head Hotel," aged 75.


Kentish Gazette, 4 April 1854.

Salvage Case.

At a meeting of the Commissioners of Salvage held on the 29th ult., at the "King's Head Hotel," Dover, the sum of 100 was awarded to John Marsh and Henry Kirkaldie, of Deal, boatmen, for services rendered by themselves and crew of the lugger Eagle, to the schooner Agnat, Aslak Aasuldsen, master, of and from Osterrusoer, with timber and deals, for Fecamp.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 20 November, 1858.

ALLEGED ASSAULT. Robert Snell v. Algernon Austen.

This was a case of assault, in which the complainant was a touter at the "King's head Hotel," and the defendant one of the porters in the Royal and Imperial Mail Packet Service. A quarrel out of which the alleged assault arose had, it appeared, taken place between the parties on the night of the 11th inst., just after the Calais packet had left the Admiralty pier.

The complainant, whose right eye exhibited a sadly bruised and discoloured appearance, said that he conducted a gentleman to the Calais boat on the night in question, and that on the way the gentleman put a question to him with reference to his baggage, which he answered. He asked whether his baggage would be safe, and he (witness) replied that it would. After the boat had left the pier, and he was returning home, the defendant came up to him and asked him what he had to do with the baggage, and telling him to  mind his own business. Some few other words passed, and the defendant then, without any provocation from him (complainant), knocked him down with a violent blow in the eye, and kicked him upon the hip. He was rendered completely blind at that eye by the blow, and was obliged to have it lanced by Mr. Coleman before he could see.

On being closely questioned by the Bench, the complainant admitted that he was in the act of taking off his coat "to stand in his own defence," when the defendant struck him the blow which left te ugly appearance his face then exhibited.

The Mayor said he was unable to see that it was necessary to take off one's coat in order to stand in self-defence, but the defendant appeared to be decidedly of the opposite opinion, and his worship did not pursue the objection.

The complainant, in reply to the Magistrates' Clerk, said he had no witnesses but his bruises. (Laughter).

The defendant, who was then called upon to make his statement, gave quite a different version of the affair. The complainant, he said, endeavoured to exasperate him with his tongue; and finding that of no avail, he tapped him (defendant) upon the nose two or three times, calling him a "sweep" and a "thing," and by various other opprobrious epithets. He then took off his coat and wanted to fight, but defendant advised him to put it on again "as he might take cold." (Laughter). Complainant, however, continued his annoyance in the way already stated, and ultimately struck him (defendant) a blow upon the side of the face. He then retaliated, and knocked the complainant down.

This statement was borne out by two witnesses; and the Bench, after hearing their evidence, dismissed the case.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 17 December, 1859.

An Old Offender.

James Buckley, a tall raw boned Irish vagrant, wearing a tight fitting shooting jacket and an old foraging cap, and looking a very interesting type of the “old soldier” was brought up for the third or fourth time charged with begging and using obscene language at the Kings Head Hotel, Clarence Place. The prisoner had previously been committed in the name of Berkley.

Edward Killick, a waiter at the "King's head" said that the defendant entered the hotel about 7 o'clock on Saturday evening demanding “nine-pence for a nights lodging." Witness refused to entertain the application and told the defendant to walk out of the house when he commenced using very obscene and abusive language which he maintained for about ten minutes, during which he remained in the hall of the hotel. At the expiration of that he was given into custody.

The defendant in reply to the charge denied that he had ever asked the waiter for anything. He went to the hotel because he had met with a military gentlemen who had taken compassion on him as an old and disabled soldier and had told him to come to him at the "King's Head" for the price of a dinner and a bed and his fare to Folkestone, the roads being bad at this time of the year as to make walking without shoes very uncomfortable. Before he could tell the waiter what he wanted however he was pushed away from the door and treated like a dog.

It appeared in reply to questions from the magistrates that the defendant provided with a new pair of shoes on quitting the gaol, where he had left behind his old ones. According to the defendant's own account his old shoes had been "taken away from him" and a pair given to him in which he could not walk (his feet coming on to swell after he left the gaol) and so - he sold them.

The Mayor said the prisoner was evidently an incorrigible vagabond. He had already been committed two or three times for a short term of imprisonment; but as these punishments appeared to have no effect on him he would now be kept to hard labour for a month.

As the prisoner was leaving the dock Mr. Latham informed him that he would doubtless find his old shoes still in the gaol, they appeared to be better adapted for walking than the new ones, he hoped he would make use of them and walk off as soon as they were given him. (Laughter).


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 14 April, 1876. Price 1d.


Ellen Wells was charged with being drunk and breaking a pane of glass in Seven Star Street.

Absolam Hicks said: I am living at the “King's Head” public house, Seven Star Street. About one o'clock on Saturday the prisoner came round to my house. I told her she was drunk and had better go away. She threw stones two or three times at the window but she only broke one. The value of the same is 6d.

Superintendent Saunders said: On Saturday morning I was at Clarence Place, close to Seven Star Street. The complainant brought the prisoner to me and charged her with wilfully breaking a pane of glass, and I took her into custody. She told me she would break all the windows if she had the chance. She was not sober when I took her into custody.

Prisoner in defence said she went to Mr. Hicks' for her husband and he abused her and told her she was a drunken old sot, and she threw a stone at him and hit the window.

The Magistrates fined her 2s. 6d. and 10s. costs, or in default seven days' imprisonment.

Prisoner said she had the money and could pay the fine but would rather go to prison and her husband would have to go too for not keeping his children.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 15 February, 1878


Councillor iron called attention to a great stench arising from a catchpit near a cottage at the back of the “King's Head Hotel,” and the inspector promised to have the pit cleared out, and carbolic acid put in it.

Councillor Iron asked if something of a permanent character could not be done to prevent the stench arising.

The Inspector said that in stormy weather the traps were sometimes in operation.

Councillor Stone said it was complained that Ladywell was not often swept.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 14 August, 1896.


On Saturday morning, a gentlemen staying at the “King's Head Hotel,” committed suicide in a determined manner, by shooting himself through the body with a revolver. The gentleman passed under the name of Mr. G. Kenlock Smyth, and is a relative of Sir John Kenlock, M.P. That gentleman was present at the “Hotel de Paris” on Monday morning when the inquest was held, and his name was down on the witness list, but he was not called. Mr. J. R. Adams was foreman of the Jury. The following was the evidence:-

Lewis Bilton, a lawyer, of Edinburgh, said: The body at the mortuary is that of George Kenlock Smyth, an independent gentleman. He was 43 years of age. He usually resided in Belgium, at Heyst Sur Mer. He is a married man. I saw him three week's ago at his mother's in Scotland. He seemed fairly well, but was occasionally depressed in spirits. He had a very severe attack of influenza two or three years ago, and that told on him. He also suffered from his heart, and had fainting fits. He had no monitary or any other trouble so far as I am aware. The letter produced is in the deceased's handwriting.

The letter was as follows:- MY DEAR MOTHER, I cannot help it; I feel I am going mad and my suffering and melancholy are un-durable. Wednesday I came here, the same night I went back to Ostend, and the same day I came back here. I am equally miserable in all three places. Forgive and pray for your unfortunate son George.

John Bromley, proprietor of the “King's Head Hotel,” said: the deceased came to my house on Friday afternoon about 3.30. He was undecided whether to sleep in the hotel or not. About five o'clock he engaged a room. About nine o'clock he went to his room. A telegram came shortly before from Ostend, addressed to me, asking how Mr. Kenlock was. I did not know who he was then. I found him in the smoking room and talked to him for a few minutes. About 9.30 the next day a telegram arrived, and the porter took it up. From what he said, I went up and found the deceased on the floor. There was a six-chambered revolver on the floor and some blood. He was dead, but not cold.

George Inguine, porter at the “King's Head Hotel,” said: On Saturday morning Mr. Bromley handed me a telegram for the deceased. I went to the room deceased was occupying. The key was outside, as he did not answer, I went in. I found the gentleman lying on the floor on his right side in front of the window. He was in his nightshirt. I found he was nearly cold. There was also a revolver there. I at once told Mr. Bromley.

Police-constable Danson said he was called on Saturday at ten o'clock. The revolver (produced) on the floor loaded fully, with one chamber exploded. The bullet was found on the floor. He also found the telegram (produced) to various persons and the money for the same. 1 8s. 3d. was found on the deceased, and also three letters addressed for posting, and a letter which had just been read in the coat pocket.

Mr. C. E. Murphy, Surgeon, said the deceased was quite dead when he arrived, death having occurred at least three hours. There was a large wound just above the heart. It was charred and smelt of gunpowder. The bullet went through the body and came out the back. The bullet did not touch the heart, but went through the liver. Death occurred from internal haemorrhage and must have been nearly instantaneous. In his opinion the wound was self-inflicted.

The Jury returned a verdict of “Suicide whilst suffering from temporary insanity.”


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 6 April, 1900. Price 1d.


Samuel Baker was charged with being drunk and disorderly in Clarence Place.

Police Constable P. J. Prescott said: last night about a quarter past nine I was on duty in Clarence Place, when I was called by Mrs. Bromley of the “King's Head Hotel,” who told me that a man had gone into her kitchen, and she could not get him out. I went there and found the prisoner. He was being held down by a porter and a waiter. He was drunk, and had thrown off his hat and coat, and had his braced down. When held down he was like a madman – frothing at the mouth and biting at his restrainers.

Mr. Smith: Did he go into the hotel kitchen by the back or front?

Witness: He forced his way through the front, I was told.

Did you know why he took his hat and coat off?


Witness continuing said that finding prisoner would not leave his hotel he put him out, and then he became very violent and disorderly, so witness took him into custody, but to do this it was necessary first to tie his legs and then strap him on the ambulance.

Baker said in defence that he was hungry and went in to get some food.

Captain Cay: But you got drink instead of the food.

Mr. Vidler: I don't suppose he got drink there. He had it first.

Prisoner in reply to Captain Cay, said his age was 50.

The Clerk stated that this was Baker's 61st appearance. It was no use suggesting that he should go to a Home, however, as he had not been arrested for over a twelvemonth. He had been at the Workhouse, but he believed that he had given trouble there by running away once.

Baker said that he only left the Workhouse the previous day, and when he did so they asked him to stay, saying, “You are just what we want, a good wardsman.”

In reply to a suggestion that the C.E.T.S. might take the case up, it was stated that they had paid 13 to send Baker to Canada, but he returned, and it was not likely that they would do anything more.

Captain Cay told Baker he would have to go to Canterbury for 14 days.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 10 October, 1890. Price 5d.


The Surveyor reported that he was in favour of putting down a wood crossing to the entrance of Mr. Gill's store in Peter Street. In Biggin Street he thought that the entrance to Mr. Hadlow's store should have the bricks put down like those at the entrance to Mr. King's. They wore well and were cheaper than wood.

Councillor Thorps urged the desirability of the long promised crossing being made from the “King's Head” to the “Lord Warden Hotel.”

It was ordered that a wood crossing should be put down at Mr. Hadlow's entrance in Biggin Street.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 2 February, 1912.


A summons was down for hearing against Charles Brownlow Fairbairns, of Snaresbrook, charging him with obtaining credit by fraud at Mr. Bromley's, "King's head Hotel," Dover.

Mr. Rutley Mowll said he was acting for Mr. Bromley and he had to ask the Bench to allow the summons to be withdrawn. the defendant came down to the hotel stating that he was going to India, and that the remainder of his luggage would follow. He stayed for some days but his luggage did not come, and when Mr. Bromley asked him for payment defendant said he would telegraph his father to get the money. Instead of doing that he took the train to London, and Mr. Bromley felt at the time that he had been treated rather badly. he (Mr. Mowll) had no doubt this would be a lesson to the defendant to be more careful in the future. Since the issue of the summons the defendant had produced what he considered somewhat important evidence in his favour, and that was a passport fro the Foreign Office, dated September 2nd, authorising him when travelling in Europe to pass freely without let or hindrance. The fact that the date of his obtaining credit was later, viz. September 22nd, went to show, Mr. Mowll thought, that the defendant had no intention to defraud in saying that he was going to India, although now, owing to altered circumstances, the visit to India had been postponed. After the issue of the summons defendant approached him with a view to the account being paid, but he (Mr. Mowll) said the summons could not be withdrawn without the leave of the Court. As a matter of fact, defendant's father had now settled the account.

The Magistrates allowed the withdrawal of the summons, the Chairman expressing the hope that the defendant would take warning.

Mr. Chitty said he thought the matter of a passport could not be said to help the case very much. It was a bad case.


Dover Express of 12th May 1916.

Mrs. Edith Bromley of the “King’s Head” Hotel was summoned for not complying with the Lighting Order. The defendant pleaded guilty. PC Bond said that at a quarter to one on Monday morning he saw an unobscured light at the rear of the hotel. He found that the room was occupied by the defendant. The blind was not drawn and an incandescent gas light, half turned down, was burning. A fine of 10s was inflicted.




BRADSHAW William and Anne 1624 (King's Head)

Above names on carved panels from the Dover house, dated 1624.

King's Head panels 1624

(Carved panels are in Dover museum)

AUSTIN Henry 1713+

HUBBARD George Next pub licensee had to 1765

HARVEY John 1774+

FORDRED James to June/1777 Next pub licensee had

WRIGHT John 1779-81+

Last pub licensee had KING John Aug/1786+

CROW William  1792-93+ Dover and Deal Directory and Guide 1792

STERIKER Mr R 1799 Historical Sketch 1799

PODEVIN Ann 1805-65 Pigot's Directory 1824Batchellor 1828Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34Pigot's Directory 1839Bagshaw's Directory 1847Melville's 1858

CHAPLIN William 1828 Pigot's Directory 1828-29

Last pub licensee had ROBERTS James Jan/1838+ ("King's Head Tap")

PODEVIN Ann & Joseph 1840+ (Ann to Sept 50 age 75 dec'd) Pigot's Directory 1840

PODEVIN Joseph John Joshua 1846-75 dec'd (widower age 63 in 1871Census) Post Office Directory 1874

BROMLEY John 1876-June/1919 dec'd (age 41 in 1881Census) Post Office Directory 1882Pikes 1889Post Office Directory 1891Pikes 1895Kelly's Directory 1899Post Office Directory 1903Dover Express

BROMLEY Mrs Evangelina E June/1919-Dec/33 dec'd Dover ExpressPikes 1923Pikes 1924Pikes 1932-33

KNOTT Stephen John & RANKINE Andrew Dec/1933-34 end, (Executors of will) Dover Express


Dover and Deal Directory and Guide 1792Dover and Deal Directory and Guide 1792

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

Batchellor 1828From Batchellor's New Dover Guide 1828

Pigot's Directory 1828-29From the Pigot's Directory 1828-9

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

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Pikes 1889From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1889

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Pikes 1895From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1895

Kelly's Directory 1899From the Kelly's Directory 1899

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1901

Pikes 1923From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1923

Pikes 1924From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1924

Pikes 1932-33From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1932-33

Historical Sketch 1799Historical Sketch of the Town of Dover 1799 by G Ledger

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:-