Page Updated:- Monday, 09 January, 2023.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1833-

Mason's Arms

Latest Jan 1977

24 High Street (Charlton High Road)

Mason's Arms 1972

Above photo 1972.

Mason's Arms 1976

Above photo, 1976.

Mason's Arms

Masons Above Arms circa 1977. Below 2007.

Masons Arms 2007

Above shows the former "Mason's Arms" 2007.

Former Mason's Arms 2010

Above photo by Paul Skelton 5 April 2010.


Well established by 1838 and although closed for a time early in world war two, open again by March 1942.


It closed finally on 10 January 1977, ostensibly to be used as a shop with living accommodation over but eventually it was a restaurant that materialised.


It was a Whitbread property and a pub with the sign "Mason's Arms" had traded from Seven Star Street in 1858. (George Underdown).


From the Dover Express, 21 January, 1833.

DOVER, Jan. 21.

This morning an inquest was held before George Stringer, esq. Deputy Mayor and Coroner, at the "Mason's Arms," Charlton, on the body of Mary Allen, a little girl, who in going with a lighted candle on Saturday morning to get some coals from the cellar, set fire to her clothes, and before assistance could be rendered was so dreadfully burnt about the upper part of her body, that she expired in a few hours.

Verdict—accidental death.


From the Dover Express December 1838


On Saturday last, a young girl of about twelve years of age, daughter of Mr. Austen at the "Masons Arms," Charlton, having taken a match for the purpose of lighting a fire a drop of sulphur fell on the front of her dress, which instantly burst into flame. Mrs. Austen endeavoured to smother it with an apron unsuccessfully and the poor child was obliged to be taken to the pump before the fire could be subdued. She was severely burnt in the body and has suffered much from fright but is recovering.


Information kindly supplied by Joyce Banks.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 3 January, 1846. Price 5d.


An inquest was held on Monday, at the "Mason's Arms, Charlton, before G. T. Thompson, Esq., Coroner to the Borough, on the body of Albert Elvey, aged six years, son of John Elvey, wheelwright.

Sarah Ann Hayward, a child of ten years of age, deposed that a  week since, on the 2nd May, she was playing with deceased in Barwick's Alley, when he went up a ladder standing against a pent house, but in trying to get on to a flat top a piece of wood on which he stood broke, and he fell to the ground from a height of about six or seven feet. She lifted him up but he did not speak, and blood was flowing from a wound in the forehead.

Mary Brayley and Mary White  deposed on seeing the deceased fall, and picking him up in the state described by Sarah Hayward. She laid him on the wall until his mother arrived. Edward Jones, surgeon, deposed that he was called on the6th instant to attend deceased, and found a slight wound over the left temple, but no other external injury. There were symptoms of concussion of the brain, and he was treated accordingly. The child never rallied, and expired about five o'clock on Monday morning.

 The Jury, in returning a verdict of Accidental Death, made a presentment "That the building in Barwick's Alley appear in an unsafe condition, and have led in this instant to death; and from the closeness and dirt of the place, the public health is greatly endangered by disease thereby endangered.


 From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 13 March, 1847. Price 5d.


Considerable excitement was occasioned in Dover on Saturday last, by a report that a woman had been found dead in Barwick's Alley, at Charlton. Various exaggerated statements were speedily circulated, but the facts of the case will be gathered from the Coroner's Inquest, which was held on Saturday evening, at the “Mason's Arms,” before G. T. Thompson, Esq., Coroner for the Borough.

The Jury being sworn, and Mr. Richardson, grocer, appointed foreman, the Coroner said that various reports were in circulation as to the cause of death, but that from the short time since the discovery, the Police had been unable to collect proper evidence, he therefore proposed they should that evening view the body, and then take evidence as to identify when the investigation must be adjourned to have a post-mortem examination, &c.

The Jury then proceeded to view the body, which was lying in a heap of straw in a miserable dirty room, totally devoid of furniture, and presented a wretched appearance, being nearly reduced to a skeleton. On the return of the Jury the following witnesses were examined:-

John Bentley, master of Dover Union, deposed: The body of deceased is that of a woman who was brought from Dover Gaol to the Union on the 19th December last, where she remained till January 18th, when she quitted with a man calling himself Norburry, who presented an order from Mr. Kersteman, one of the guardians. I told the man the woman could not leave except at her own request. He said he wished to see her, which was granted, and after some conversation he asked if she would leave with him, which she consented to do, although strongly advised by the matron and others not to do so. She was in the infirmary the whole period, suffering from debility. She stated that she was the wife of Norberry, but I recollect on one occasion he denied it, and said her name was Ann Timson. She was in a very weak state when she left, but I do not know if she had any wounds on her person.

The inquest was then adjourned till Monday, when John George Coulthard, governor of Dover Gaol, deposed: On the 21st November, I received at the prison a woman named Ann Norberry, alias Timson, committed for one month for vagrancy. She was then in a delicate state of health, and in the infirmary in bed nearly the whole time. On the expiration of her imprisonment, I took her in a fly to the Union. She had then no wounds on her person. When I took down her description she stated that she was not the wife of Norberry, who passed as her husband. Norberry had been twice in my custody – first for an assault on the Police; and on the 11th of August, on a charge for an assault on the deceased. He then described himself as unmarried.

Edward C. Correll, Superintendent of Police, deposed: On Saturday last James Norberry called at the Station-house, with a note from Mr. Pain relative to the death of deceased. He then stated that he had been to Hastings, and had been absent four days; and on his return that morning he found the woman dead. I asked if he left any one to take care of her, and he replied “No;” that it was not her wish. I then said, “I suppose you locked her in;” and he replied “Yes,” and that he took the key with him, but that he left her plenty to eat, and some drink. I then went to the house he occupied in Barwick's Alley. I there found the body of the woman lying on some straw, covered with an old gown and a linen rag. She had no clothing on her but an old pair of stockings. The room was quite devoid of furniture, and there was no appearance of a fire having been in the grate. By the side of the straw there was a pan with 6 or 8 thick pieces of bread and butter, about half of a quartern loaf, and a cup of tea. The slices of bread appeared to me to have been newly cut, being quite soft. There were mice in the pan, but I did not perceive that the bread had been nibbled. I have seen deceased begging in the streets almost in a state of nudity. I have had Norberry in custody three or four times – once for beating deceased; I then say her, and her face was much discoloured and swollen. Her injuries were so severe that Norberry was remanded in consequence of her being too ill to give evidence. He has also been in custody for drunkenness and rioting. He was a fancy basket maker, and could earn a good living. He is now in my custody; when I apprehended him he had in his possession a sovereign and 4d. He always called deceased his wife.

E. G. Rutley, surgeon, deposed: Deceased has on three separate occasions been under my care in the Union. On the last occasion, in December, she was very ill, and went into the hospital. Her complaint was general debility and emaciation, more than positive disease. There was a sore on her back, which became ulcerated from the long confinement to her bed. I consider the debility to have arisen from want of proper care and nourishment. On the two previous occasions, in July and August last, she was in a weak state. When admitted in August she had two black eyes.

Thomas J. Dane, baker, Bowling Green Lane, deposed: I supply Mrs. Marlow, living in Barwick's Alley, with bread. She had some on Wednesday, and again on Thursday. The remains of the loaf were here produced, which witness stated to have been of Thursday's baking, from the high colour, which was not the case on Wednesday.

Susannah Mills, wife of James Mills, fishmonger, deposed: I serve in Mrs. Marlow's shop, and on Tuesday or Wednesday served Norberry with two quartern loaves. He had the same quantity on Monday. He has not had any off me since that time.

Susan Bailey deposed: I serve in Mrs. Marlow's shop, and was present when Mrs. Mills served Norberry with bread on Tuesday. I served in the shop on Saturday, but did not see him on that day.

Mary Brett deposed: I live in Barwick's Alley, and have only seen deceased twice since she has lived in the alley. About three months since she fell down in a fit after returning from the Station-house, where she had been to take Norberry his breakfast. Her face was then scratched and much swollen. About two months since I heard him striking her and make use of very bad language. He said if she dared to halloo he would make her worse. Whenever he came out of the house, even to go to the well, he always locked the door, and took the key.

Eliza Bass, wife of Isaac Bass, deposed: Norberry and deceased lodged at my house in Pierce's Court, as man and wife, about 6 months up to July last. During that time I have frequently seen him strike deceased severely, and knock her down. She was in a delicate state of health, and she has told me that Norberry often locked up the cupboard, and kept her without food for two days. He has told me that he could earn 3 a week if he liked to make fancy baskets.

Jane May, wife of Edward May, cordwainer, deposed: In August last Norberry came to my house in Charlton, and hired a room. That same night I heard him beat deceased on two separate occasions. He went out at two o'clock in the morning, when I fastened the door, and went up to her room, where I found her bleeding from the nose and mouth, and a quantity of blood on the floor and wall. I was so alarmed that I went to the Station-house, and gave information to the Police.

The Coroner here enquired whether at so late an hour (half-past ten) the Jury wished to continue the examination; and after a short consultation the inquest was adjourned till the following day at one o'clock.


Maria Coleman, wife of Benjamin Coleman, was the first witness called, who deposed to acts of violence committed by Norberry on deceased 12 months since.

Richard Thomas Hunt, surgeon, deposed: I was called to see deceased on Saturday afternoon, when I found the body lying on straw as described by Inspector Correll. On raising the clothes I found it in a very emaciated state, and bandaged round the waist, on removing which I found a wound at the lower part of the back, which presented a very unhealthy sloughing appearance. It was not a wound of recent date, and I considered that it arose from being for a long time in a recumbent posture. There were no other marks of violence, and the countenance was placid, from which I judge she died without a struggle. On the following day I made a post-mortem examination. On opening the body I found the stomach to contain chime, which had been produced by the action of the gastric juice on some farinaceous food. I next examined the alimentary canal, which contained a quantity of chyle in the upper portion, and in the lower a quantity of faeces, which shewed that she had recently taken food. Neither the stomach or intestines shewed any symptoms of disease. I then examined the liver, the covering of which was very opaque and hard, and the liver itself presented a yellow striated appearance, and tuberculated. The billary portion was enlarged, and had the appearance of that of a person addicted to the use of ardent spirits. The contents of the thorax was not unhealthy. On examining the head I found the membranes of the brain thickened, and the substance softer than its proper state – the lateral ventricles containing a larger portion of fluid than usual. From the result of the examination I considered the immediate cause of death to have arisen from debility, and that such debility arose from the appearance of disease in the liver &c. I am of opinion the woman has been in a bad state of health for a long time, and am not prepared to say that death has been accelerated by removal from the Union, or exposed to cold.

By the Foreman: If she had received proper nourishment, and had medical advice, life might have been prolonged. I consider death to have taken place on Friday.

The whole of the evidence was then read over in the presence of Norberry, who stated that he left the woman for the purpose of going to Hastings, but previous to doing so he made her some toast and tea, and left her sufficient provision. He wished her to return to the Union, but she refused to do so.

The Coroner, addressing the Jury, observed that, from the evidence, there could be no doubt that the woman had been subject to long-continued ill-treatment from Norberry; and, at the early part of the investigation, he (the Coroner) was strongly impressed that he had been instrumental in causing the death, but after the evidence of the surgeon this impression was considerable diminished. Mr. Hunt stated that deceased had been diseased for a long time, but he was not prepared to say that the neglect and want of attention had accelerated death, although, in reply to a question from the Foreman, he stated that if she had better nourishment and medical attendance, it might have prolonged life. There was no doubt great criminality on the part of Norberry, but after the medical evidence, he did not think the facts of the case sufficient to send him for trial.

Mr. Timan, one of the Jury, said he knew that Norberry had often ill-treated deceased, and that he had on one occasion left her a long time without food or money.

The Coroner said he could not receive such statements. Mr. Timan, although one of the Jury, might have given his evidence on oath.

After a short consultation the Jury returned a verdict of “Died of natural causes, but the Jury are of opinion that death was accelerated by neglect and ill-treatment.”

The Coroner said the latter part of the verdict was a negative to the first part, and if taken as a whole, he must consider it as imputing the cause of death to Norberry.

Some of the Jury said such was not the intention, the latter part of the verdict being appended that Norberry might be reprimanded for the inhuman conduct; and after a further consultation, the verdict of “Died from natural causes” was returned.

Norberry was then called in, and his conduct censured in severe terms by the Coroner, who observed that after the evidence of the surgeon, and the verdict of the Jury, he must be discharged, but there could be no doubt that the conduct pursued towards deceased was cruel and barbarous, and unworthy of any one having the least pretensions to the character of a man.

Norberry was then discharged; but it will be seen by reference to our Police Report, that he has since been committed to prison for an assault on one on the Jury.

(Follow up of Norberry)


Dover Chronicles 13 March 1847.

Deplorable Death of a Female.

An inquest was held at the "Masons Arms," Charlton, on Saturday evening last, before the Borough Coroner, on view of the body of Ann Timpson, alias Norbury, (residing in Barwick's Alley, Charlton, with a man named James Norbury,) who died under what appeared at first to be very suspicious circumstances. The enquiry occupied three sittings and it was supposed that her death was occasioned by the neglect, or violence, or both, of the man Norbury. The Jury proceeded to view the body, which was lying in the corner of a miserable room, with hardly any covering on it, and presented a horrible spectacle of emaciation. The following is the evidence:- Mr. Bentley, master of the Dover Union Workhouse, deposed:- I have seen the body of the subject of this enquiry, and recognise it to be that of Ann Norbury, married woman. She entered Dover Union, on the 19th December last, whither she was brought from Dover gaol by the goaler. She stayed in the house till the 18th of January last, and quitted with a man calling himself James Norbury, who presented a note from one of his guardians. Norbury asked her to leave the house with him, and she consented. She was in the infirmary during a whole of her stay in the house, under the care of the surgeon, Mr. Rutley, and was entered in the books as suffering from debility. She stated she was the wife of Norbury, but I recollect that on one occasion Norbury denied it and called her by the name of Ann Timpson. She was in a very weak state when she left the house, but I do not know whether she had any wounds on her person. I have not since seen her since till now. She was 33 years of age.

The Coroner thought the Jury had better now adjourn, to allow a post-mortem examination of the body to be made, the result of which might serve as a guide to them in proceeding further with the enquiry.

Adjourned till Monday evening.


The Jury re-assembled on Monday evening, and proceeded to examine John George Coulthard, keeper of Dover gaol, who deposed:- I took deceased to the prison on the 21st Nov. last, she having been committed for a month, for vagrancy. She was in a very delicate state of health when she entered, and was under the surgeons care, and in bed in the infirmary, from debility, nearly the whole of her imprisonment. When her term of imprisonment expired, I took her in a fly to the Union. There were no wounds on her person when taking into the gaol, now when she left it. She stated to me that she was not married to James Norbury, who passed as her husband. I had James Norbury in my custody in August last, upon a remand for an assault upon deceased; but he was discharged for want of evidence, the deceased not appearing against him. He represented himself as a single man.

Edward Charles Correll, Superintendent of Police, deposed:- About 1 p.m. on Saturday, James Norbury called at the Police Station, with a note from Mr. Pain, relieving officer of Charlton, relative to the death of Ann Norbury. He stated to me, previous to my asking him any questions, that he had been down to Hastings, where he had been four days, and returned that day (Saturday) he found his woman dead. I asked him if he left anyone to take care of her. He said "No; it was not her wish." Knowing her to have been in an infirm state, I asked him if he had locked her in when he left for Hastings. He replied, "I did so by her wish, and took the key with me. I left her plenty to eat - some bread and butter and some drink." I then went the same day in the house he occupied in Barwick's Ally, and there found the woman lying dead on some straw, covered with an old cotton gown and a piece of linen rag. She had no other clothing on her but a pair of stockings. The room was quite devoid of furniture, and evidently no fire have burnt in the grate lately. By her side stood a tea-chest, on which was a pan containing 6 or 8 pieces of bread and butter, and another pan holding about two-thirds of a half quarter loaf, and a basin of tea. The bread in slices, as well as the loaf, appeared to be newly cut, the crumb being soft. There were one or two mice in the room, which jumped out of the pan which held the bread. I did not see that the bread had been nibbled by them. One of my men once took deceased into custody for begging. I myself noticed her begging in the streets about the latter part of last year. She was very thinly clad, and seemed very miserable. I had James Norbury in custody for beating deceased previous to this. I saw the deceased at the time; her face was black and swollen, and there were doubts whether she would recover, so severe were her injuries. Nornury was reminded but it was impossible for her to appear against him. I have had him also in and custody for drunken and riotous conduct. He is a fancy basketmaker by trade. He is now in my custody in relation to this enquiry, on suspicion. We apprehended (on Sunday) he had one sovereign and 4 1/2d. in his possession. He and deceased cohabited, and had the reputation of being man and wife.

Edward Rutley, surgeon of Dover Union, deposed:- On three separate occasions deceased has been under my care in the Union; and on the last occasion, which was in December, she went into the hospital, and was very ill during the whole of the time she was there. Her complaint was general debility and emaciation, more than positive disease. There was a soreness about her back when she entered, arising, as I think, from pressure, which enlarged and ulcerated while in the house from her recumbent position. The debility I have spoken of his likely to have arisen from want of proper care and nourishment. On the two other occasions when she was in the house, which were respectively in July and August last, she was in a weak state; and on the latter time he had two black eyes.

Thomas John Dane, baker, deposed:- I live in Bowling Green Lane. I supply Mrs. Marlow, Barwick's Alley, with bread. I let her have some on Wednesday last, and again on the following day. The loaf produced is off my making, and I believe was one of those I supplied her with on Thursday. It is high-coloured, which Wednesday's bread was not. The loaf was cut not later than Friday or Saturday last. I deliver the bread each day about 5 o'clock.

Susanna Mills, wife of James Mills, fishmonger:- I serve in Mrs. Marlow's shop, which is next door to deceased's house. I served Norbury with bread on Tuesday and Wednesday. He had two quarts each day. He had half a gallon on Monday. I did not serve in the shop on Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

Suzanne Bailey:- I am age 12, and serve in Mrs. Marlow's shop. I was serving there on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; but never saw the man who lives next door come to the shop during those days.

Mary Brett, wife of John Brett, of the packet service:- I recollect deceased and Norbury coming to live three doors from me several months ago. I have only seen deceased twice once about 3 months ago, when she fell down in the alley in a fit; and before that, when I observed her going down the alley, holding by the wall. She was marked about the face, as if from violence, when she fell in the fit. About 8 or 9 weeks ago, being at the well, which is opposite Norbury's house, I heard the noise of a blow, accompanied by bad language and threats from Norbury, that he would serve her (deceased) worse if she attempted to scream. She made no reply. I never heard any other quarrelling. I have often noticed Norbury going to the well, when invariably locked the door, taking the key with him . I did not see Norbury between Wednesday and Saturday last.

Eliza Bass, wife of of Isaac Bass, blacksmith, Pearce's Court, Last Lane:- I let lodgings. I know James Norbury and deceased. They lived at my house as man and wife from Jan to July, 1846. During that time he ill treated her, striking her severely on different occasions. She was in a very delicate state of health, and very thin and worn when with me. She did not live well; and on several occasions she told me he (Norbury) had locked the cupboard, and not let her have any visuals for two whole days. He has told me he could earn 3 a week if he chose. He works by fits and starts at weaving baskets. Deceased was subject to fits. Norbury was taken into custody several times of beating her while with me. Deceased was not addicted to drinking.

Jane May, wife of Edmund May, shoemaker, Dover:- I let lodgings at my house in Branch Street; and in August last they were hired by James Norbury for himself and deceased. The night on which they came to my house, I heard him beating her, which he continued to do all night long. Next day the same thing occurred; and about 2 o'clock, having seen him leave the house, I went into their room. Deceased's face was covered with blood. She was bleeding from her mouth and nose; and there was much blood on the floor and wall. I was so alarmed that I went to the police. Norbury continued in my house three days only. I did not hear him beat her after the times I have mentioned.

It being now half past 10 o'clock, it was thought expedient to adjourn; and the next sitting was appointed for half past 1 on Tuesday afternoon.


The Jury met for the third time this afternoon. The man Norbury was present, and he had all the previous depositions read over to him. The following additional evidence was adduced:-

Richard Thomas Hunt, surgeon, deposed:- On Saturday afternoon last I first saw the deceased, at her house, in Barwick's Alley. She was lying dead, in the position described by the Superintendent of Police - on a bed of straw, with very little covering upon her. I observed that she was in a very emaciated state. There was a bandage around her waist, upon removing which I found a wound on the lower part of the back, about the sacral region, which presented a very unhealthy appearance. It was not a wound of a recent date; and I considered it as arising from pressure, or from a long recumbent posture. There were no marks and violence upon the body. Her countenance was placid and I judged therefrom that her death agony was not severe, or of long duration. On the following day I made a post-mortem examination. On opening the body I proceeded to examine the stomach, and found it contained chyme, which had been produced by the action of the juices of the stomach upon some farinaceous food, about 8 oz. in all. I next examined the alimentary canal, which contain a quantity of chyle in the upper portion of it, and in its lower portion of quantity of faeces, which showed that she had recently taken food, and that digestion had been carried on some short time. The intestines themselves showed no signs of disease. I next examined the liver, the paritoncal covering of which was very opaque and hard. The liver itself presented a yellow straited appearance, and was tuberculated. The biliary portion of it was hypertrophied and indurated, putting on the nutmeg appearance which is presented by the livers of persons who were addicted to the use of ardent spirits. The contents of the thorax were not unhealthy. I then examined the head, and found the membranes of the brain thickened, the substance of the brain being softer than in a healthy person. The lateral ventricles contained a larger quantity of fluid than natural. I considered the immediate cause of death to have been debility, arising from the appearance of disease which the body presented. I am of opinion that deceased had been in a bad state of health for some time. I am not prepared to say that her death has been accelerated by any exposure to cold or want of proper nourishment since she left the Union.

By a Juror:- There is a probability that, if she had received proper care and nourishment, her life might have been prolonged. Her death must have taken place about 48 hours before I saw her.

This being the whole of the evidence, the man Norbury was allowed to make what statement he wished, when he said, that he had repeatedly suggested to the deceased that she would be more comfortable in the Union, but she always cried when he did so, and had a dread of going there; and that he had been unable to provide more nourishment and necessities for her than she had had. He also denied the truth of the testimony of those witnesses who had sworn to his having beaten the deceased.

The Coroner then addressed the Jury, and observed, that at an earlier stage of the enquiry he had been under the impression that the death of the unfortunate woman had been mainly owing to the cruel treatment of the man Norbury - and even now there could be no doubt but that his habitual conduct towards her had been brutal; - but he must say, that since the surgeon had given his evidence, his previous impression had been removed, and he did not now think there was sufficient ground-work in the case to support a criminal prosecution against Norbury. However much their indignation might have been excited by the cruel treatment it appeared from the evidence that deceased had experienced at Norbury's hands, and whatever reports might have come to their knowledge out of doors, they must exclude everything but the facts before them in evidence, in coming to a conclusion as to their verdict.

After a brief consultation, the Jury handed in a verdict to the affect:- That death arose from Natural Causes, but was accelerated by neglect and ill-treatment on the part of Norbury.

The Coroner said, the Jury might not have foreseen that he would be bound to commit the man to Maidstone Assizes for murder, upon such a verdict; but that, if they intended a verdict having such an effect, of course he must receive it.

The Jury then reconsider their decision, and returned, as their verdict:- "Death from Natural Causes."

Norbury, after being admonished by the Coroner for his inhuman conduct towards the deceased, was discharged; and the investigation was at length brought to a termination.


Dover Chronicles 13 March 1847.


James Norbury, basketmaker, was brought up, charged by Mr. Tyman, landlord of the "Three Tuns," Biggin Street, with the following offence:-

Mr. Tyman deposed, that Norbury assailed the window of his house about 9 o'clock that morning, and broke 14 panes of glass and several bottles which stood inside, and threatened to "do for him" (prosecutor).

While going through the passage to appear before the Bench, prisoners dealt him a heavy blow in the face, and was only prevented from further violence by the interposition of the police. Prisoner was not intoxicated at the time. Prosecutor, therefore, prayed for the protection of the Bench, as he considered his life to be in danger from the prisoner's violence.

Norbury is the man who was arrested on suspicion of having cause of death of Ann Timpson, and was only liberated on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr. Tyman served on the jury, which investigated the woman's death; and, it is supposed, by some observations as a juryman, gave offence to Norbury, who took this method of retaliation. The Bench called upon Norbury to find two securities in 20 each, and be bound himself in 20, for his keeping the peace towards the prosecutor for 6 months; but, in default, he was committed to prison for that period.


Kentish Gazette, 4 November 1851.


McWilliam:— Oct. 30, suddenly, at Dover. Mr. Andrew McWilliam, landlord of the "Masons Arms," aged 45.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 20 November 1852.

Permission to carry on the "Masons Arms," Charlton, till the next transfer day, was granted to William Driver, of London.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, 9 May 1857.


An inquest was held at the "Mason's Arms," Charlton, on Wednesday evening, before the Coroner of the Borough, on the body of a female child named Louisa ball, about 7 years of age, whose death resulted from its clothes accidentally catching fire. The deceased was the child of poor parents, living in Barwick's Alley, and up to the time of its death, had been a very great sufferer. Mr. James Groombridge, of the Weighbridge, was chosen foreman of the jury, and after an examination of witnesses the jury returned a verdict that "the deceased died by injuries received from her clothes accidentally catching fire."


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 19 March, 1859.


James Smith, labourer, of New Street, was charged with being drunk and creating a disturbance at the "Mason' Arms," Charlton. It appeared from the statement of the landlord of the public-house, Mr. W. Harman, that the defendant made his way into the tap-room, where "a nice, comfortable, little party" were assembled, about ten o'clock on Saturday night, and conducted himself with great violence, drinking other people's beer, and behaving in such a way as to drive several of the other guests from the room. The landlord had to eject him from the house; and he then kicked at the door and was very abusive, pulling off his clothes and wanting to fight. In this way he continued about ten minutes, by which time a mob had collected, and on police-sergeant Geddes coming up the landlord gave him into custody.

Geddes confirmed the latter portion of the landlord's statement.

Smith's only defence was that he knew nothing about the charge - he was too drunk.

In default of paying a fine of 10s., defendant was sent to prison for seven days.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 5 March, 1869.


An inquest was held at the "Masons' Arms Inn," High Street, Charlton, by the borough coroner, W. H. Payn, Esq., yesterday afternoon, on the body of Richard Friend, a labourer in the employ of Mr. Phipps, of River, who came by his death through the falling of a chalk bank at Pineham. Mr. Thomas Holloway was chosen foreman of the jury. Mr. G. Gould attended to watch on behalf of Mr. Phipps.

Thomas Prebble, a labourer who lived at Whitfield , said: I have known the deceased for almost six years. He resided at Crow Hill, Guston. On Tuesday morning, February 23rd, at about eleven o'clock, I was at work with deceased at a chalk pit at Pineham. The deceased was picking and I was carrying it away in a cart and horse. Seeing the chalk looked very loose above where the deceased was picking I told him to be careful; but he said he thought it was all right. I had filled my cart and had taken it away and was returning with the empty cart, when my mate called out to me that the chalk had fallen on the deceased. I made as much haste I could to the spot, and then saw the deceased half buried under some chalk which had fallen. He was still alive and told me he was picking when the chalk fell upon him. I with the assistance of my mate extricated the deceased and put him in the cart. We afterwards took him to his home at Crow Hill and he was removed afterwards to Dover Hospital. My mate was assisting the deceased picking the chalk and filling the cart.

By the Jury: When we had extricated him he complained to injuries to his side. A doctor attended the same night, from Walmer.

George Marsh, the mate the last witness, said: I am a labourer living at Pineham. I was at work with the deceased on Tuesday week at a chalk pit at Pineham, at about eleven o'clock in the morning. He was engaged in picking the chalk underneath  the bank, and I was filling the cart, when I heard the deceased cry out, and on turning round saw him underneath some chalk which had fallen. With the assistance of the last witness, who shortly afterwards came to the pit, I shovelled the chalk away. After taking him from under the chalk we took him to his home at Crow Hill. I was the only person near when the chalk fell. We were both working under the bank. I had heard the last witness caution the deceased.

By the Jury: The height of the chalk was about twenty feet. We could not get to the top without going round when the chalk fell; some of it came against my feet. The deceased was knocked down backwards.

Mr. Jonas Travers Herbert, surgeon to the Dover Hospital, said: On Thursday the 25th of February, the deceased was brought to the hospital with injuries which he had sustained by the falling of some chalk at Pineham. His back was very black, and very much bruised. he complained of great pain in his head and body. I did all that I could for his recovery. he died yesterday morning at about half-past two. I should say that his death was from fracture of the spine.

The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death," but at the same time expressed as their opinion, that a crow-bar to be used at the top of the bank, would be a much safer way of breaking the chalk than with the pickaxe used at the bottom.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 30 June, 1871. Price 1d.


In Friday afternoon last the borough coroner W. H. Payn, Esq., opened an enquiry, at the “Mason's Arms,” High Street, Charlton, to inquire into the circumstances attending the death of the woman Ann Claw, whose decease, in consequence of a fall from the cliff beyond Athol Terrace we briefly noticed in our last. John Adams was chosen foreman of the Jury, and after the body had been viewed the following evidence was adduced:-

William Claw, a mariner and son of the deceased deposed: The deceased, Anne Claw, is my mother. She was forty-nine years of age. She has resided in a cave in the cliff near the sea-shore beyond Athol Terrace for the past twelve years. The land belongs to the Earl of Guilford. She paid half-a-crown a year as a nominal rent. She did not bring up any of her children there. She had lost her husband only about eight months previous to her death. There are no railings round the cave to prevent any one from falling. I last saw the deceased yesterday night about nine, when she was selling crabs at the “Sydney Smith” public-house. I was standing on the jetty, a little after nine, when a boy ran up to em and told me that my mother had fallen over the cliff. I went down on the shore immediately. I found her lying on the shingle, and my younger brother who is between 16 and 17 years of age near her. He had her head in his lap. I thought she was then alive. I did not perceive that she had fractured her scull until she arrived at the hospital. I saw some blood on her face. A shutter was procured and she was immediately taken to the Hospital. I followed behind the men who were carrying her and waited inside the house till the doctor came, and after he had examined her, he pronounced her to be dead. I think Dr.l Barton examined her. My mother was rather inclined to drink after my father died; but she was not the worse for liquor when I saw her about nine o'clock. I do not know how she fell. She must have fallen about fifty yards from the entrance of the tunnel on the east side. The cave in which she resided was on that side. My youngest brother lived with her. He gets his living by fishing.

Andrew Claw, a younger son of the deceased, said I am a fisherman. I reside in a cave in the cliff on the east side of Dover, in the parish of Guston. I was with the deceased when she fell. It was about nine o'clock last night. I was in front of her carrying some crabs and a bucket of water. We were just on the east side of the tunnel, and the road there was very bad and slippery from the rain. At that place a small piece of the road had given away, and my mother happened to step there. As I turned round to caution her, I saw her fall. I tried to catch hold of her dress; but I just missed it, and she fell down the cliff, a distance of about 65 feet. I immediately ran down, and found her lying at the bottom of the cliffs on the rocks. She was lying between two rocks, and her head was quite level upon the ground. I saw that her head was fractured, and her face covered with blood. Her heart was still beating, and she appeared to be alive. A shutter was procured and she was taken to the Hospital. I went on in front. She was sober; but greatly excited because a man had been talking to her about my father.

Francis Ezekiel Barton, a surgeon residing and practising in Dover, said: Last night, at a little before ten o'clock, I was sent for to the Hospital, being informed that a woman who had fallen over the cliff had just been brought in. I attended immediately, and found the deceased. She was dead on my arrival. I examined her head and found a fracture of the skull, and blood issuing from the ears, which indicated a fracture of the base of the skull. The injuries received from the fall, no doubt, caused her death. I should imagine that she had been dead but a very short time, as the body was not cold. I should think it probable, from the injuries she had received, that she died almost immediately after the fall.

The Coroner briefly summed up, and the Jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.”


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 13 September, 1872. Price 1d.


An inquest was held at the “Masons' Arms” last Saturday before the Borough Coroner, W. H. Payn, Esq., on the body of Ann Murray, who died from the effects of an accident.

Mary Ann Bowles deposed: I am the wife of George Bowles, a Dover Police-officer. I went last Tuesday to Ashford for the purpose of gathering hops. I went with the deceased Ann Murray, the wife of William Murray, to the Pluckley Station. We then proceeded half a mile from the station to a farm house, let apart for the hop-pickers. We found four rooms there for us. The deceased asked the owner of the house whether he had firewood for them. He said he would send some in half an hour. The deceased attempted to put up her little girl into a loft over the back kitchen, which was about seven feet from the ground, to look for firewood. The little girl refusing, she said she would go up herself to see if there was any firewood up in the loft. She wished me to push her up, and eventually she got up into the loft. While she was up there, I went into the kitchen, and when I had been there a little while I heard a great fall, and going back I saw deceased lying doubled up on the floor. She seemed to have fallen on her head, and she was bleeding very much. She was quite sensible, but she did not tell me how she fell; she only said she thought she was dying. There was a doctor in attendance in Pluckley. She lingered from Tuesday to Thursday, when she was removed to Dover by her wish, her husband being in Dover. I have not seen her since. I heard she died yesterday morning. She was not ordered to go up into the loft; she went of her own accord. The owner told her not to go up into the loft. Dr. Saunders was the medical man who attended her. Her age was 37 years.

Alfred Grandison deposed: I am the resident surgeon at the Dover Hospital. On Thursday evening last, about seven o'clock, the deceased was brought there on a stretcher. She had been brought from Pluckley, I was told. She was in a semi-conscious state. She had a severe cut on the left side of her head. She had complained of a pain at the back of her head, she did not appear conscious until a short time before she died. Then she answered some questions indirectly. She did not complain of anybody or anything. She appeared in great pain. She lingered until 10 o'clock on Friday morning, when she died.

The Jury returned a verdict “That the deceased, Ann Murray, died from injuries accidentally received from falling from a loft in the parish of Pluckley.”


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 14 February, 1873.


On Tuesday morning last, at about a quarter to nine o'clock, as Police-constable Geddes was passing along St. James's Street, his attention was directed to No. 66, the residence of a woman seventy years of age, named Anne Datlin, from which loud cries and shrieks were proceeding. On entering the house Geddes found Mrs. Datlin enveloped in flames in the passage. The unfortunate woman was at once rolled in some mats, carpets, &c., and with the assistance of neighbours and passers-by the flames were ultimately extinguished, though not till the poor woman had been very much burnt. Dr. Gill and Dr. Marshall were immediately sent for, and both pronounced Mrs. Datlin's condition very serious. A stretcher was procured, and the injured woman was taken to the Hospital. Mrs. Datlin was first discovered in flames by a Miss Wheeler, living in the same house. It is supposed that the poor woman was lighting her copper-fire, when a hot cinder fell out unnoticed and set light to her clothing. Although every attention was paid to her on arrival at the Hospital, she died at about noon the same day.

The Borough Coroner, W. H. Payn, Esq., held an inquest on the body at the “Mason's Arms,” Charlton, on Wednesday afternoon last.
Mr. John Bacon, was chosen foreman; and the body, which lay at the Hospital, having been viewed, the following evidence was adduced:-

Joseph Archibald Datlin deposed: The deceased Anne Datlin was my mother. Her age was seventy-two. She has resided in St. James's Street for the last forty years. I last saw her alive in September last. I knew the deceased was in the habit of carrying cinders from any room to light the copper-fire at the back of the house on washing day. I knew deceased was in the habit of doing this for a great many years. I was residing at Shoreditch near Sevenoaks, and I was telegraphed for when the accident took place. I came down immediately; but I found that she was dead when I reached Dover. I know nothing of the circumstances attending my mother's death.

Mary Ann Wheeler deposed: I am a single woman. I lodged with deceased at her house 66, St. James's Street. I was in the upper part of the house yesterday morning, about a quarter to nine, when I heard the deceased cry “Fire, fire!” I immediately went down stairs, and found deceased in flames. I went for assistance; and then helped several others to extinguish the flames, which entirely enveloped deceased. Deceased was wearing a cotton-gown at the time of the accident. As soon as the flames were extinguished, I went up stairs again, as I had been very much frightened. Deceased was ultimately taken to the Dover Hospital. There was no one down stairs with deceased when the accident took place. It is my opinion that the accident was caused by deceased carrying some cinders from the front of the house to the back. Deceased was a very industrious steady woman.

A juror: Where was the deceased when you first saw her?

Witness: She was in the wash-house when I first came down stairs.

A juror: I suppose she did not offer any explanation of the accident?

Witness: She said nothing about it to me. It is my opinion that deceased increased the flames in her endeavours to extinguish them herself.

By the Coroner: I afterwards saw deceased lying in the passage. Her arms and face appeared to me to be very much burnt. She was sensible then; her daughter spoke to her. I do not think she complained of anybody.

Richard Betts said: I am a fishmonger, and reside at Dolphin Court. I was going home to breakfast yesterday morning between eight and nine, along St. James's Street, when I heard screams of “Fire” proceeding from deceased's house. I immediately opened the door of the house, and saw Mrs. Datlin in flame. I took up some mats from the passage and put round her, and some more that Miss Wheeler gave me. Finding that I could not put out the fire alone, I sent the last witness for some assistance. P.C. Geddes and others came in, and we then extinguished the flames; but not till deceased had been very much injured. I only heard deceased speak once; and then she said, “Oh” Mr. Betts, I'm burnt to death.” A stretcher was procured and deceased was taken to Hospital.

A Juror: Was she standing up, or lying down, when you first saw her?

Witness: She was standing up, and was in a body of flame. I could not tell at first whether it was a woman or a man burning.

The Foreman: Where was she then?

Witness: She was standing in the passage, and the flames reached almost up to the ceiling.

George Geddes said: I am a constable in the Dover Police Force. Yesterday morning, at about a quarter to nine, my attention was called to deceased's house, where I was told a woman was on fire. I went immediately. I found her lying in a passage with some mats over her. The mats were burning. I took the mats off; I substituted a blanket. With the assistance of another man I then extinguished the flames. I spoke to her; and asked her how it happened. She said “I was lighting the copper-fire when a cinder fell out. I thought it was out; but I got all in a blaze.” Two doctors attended – Dr. Marshall and Dr. Gill. Deceased was placed on a bed upon a stretcher, and conveyed to the Hospital. She was sensible when we took her to the Hospital, because when we happened to tear one of the sheets, she said, “Never mind that.”

By the Jury: I think water had been thrown over deceased, from what I saw in the passage; but none was thrown over in my presence. The mats that had been thrown over deceased to extinguish the flames were beginning to burn when I arrived. Mr. Dowle was the man who assisted me to put out the flames.

Alfred Grandison said: I am house surgeon at the Dover Hospital. Yesterday morning at about a quarter past nine o'clock, the deceased was brought into the hospital on a stretcher. I examined her; I found her burnt all over her body. She lingered until about twelve o'clock. She was perfectly sensible the whole time. She made no complaints of anybody. She only complained of pain. Death resulted from the injuries she had received.

The Coroner then summed up; and the Jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.”


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 2 January, 1874. Price 1d.


The Borough Coroner (W. H. Payn, Esq.) held an inquest, on Monday afternoon, at the "Mason's Arms" on the body of Edward Wyborn, a drayman in the employ of Messrs. Leney and Co.

Police-constable Stonar, of the Kent County Constabulary, said that on Saturday last he was on the Deal road talking to a man when he saw a wagon without a driver trot past. He stopped it and went back and had proceeded about 100 yards when he saw deceased lying in the water tunnel at the side of the road. He was not quite dead but was groaning. He got assistance and took him to the Hospital, where the doctor pronounced him dead.

Harriett Wyborn, the mother of the deceased, said her son was troubled with heart disease.

John William Cash, an innkeeper residing at Walmer, said he saw deceased stop outside his house. He was perfectly sober.

Dr. Granison, the house surgeon at the Dover Hospital, said deceased was brought there on Saturday night at about eight. He examined the body, and found no marks of violence. He should attribute death to heart disease.

The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 25 May, 1877. Price 1d.


Samiel Bicknell, private in the 6th Regiment, was charged with attempting to steal a watch and chain from the person of John William Storr, of the “Masons Arms,” Charlton.

Mr. Storr, landlord of the “Masons Arms,” said: The prisoner came into my house with another soldier about half-past nine last light, and called for two glasses of beer which they drank. My barmaid served them. I was sitting in front of the bar. As the prisoner was about to leave he said to me “Good night,” and held out his hand, as I thought, to shake hands with me, but instead of doing that he made a snatch at my watch chain, breaking it and carrying a piece away. He then ran out of the house. I followed him and gave him in charge of the piquet. The grasp at the watch was made purposely and not accidentally. The prisoner did not appear to be drunk.

Superintendent Sanders said the prisoner was searched at the station and 1s. 10d. found upon him but nothing more. He was sober when brought to the station.

William Stacey, bombardier in the Kent Artillery Militia, said he was in the “Masons Arms” when the prisoner came in with another soldier. They had some refreshment, and as they were about to leave he saw the prisoner hold out his hand to the landlord and make a snatch at his chain and then run out of the house.

Prisoner denied all knowledge of the affair, but ultimately pleaded guilty.

A Sergeant of the 6th Regiment said the prisoner bore a bad character.

The Bench sentenced the prisoner to one month's imprisonment with hard labour.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 17 August, 1877. Price 1d.


To the editor of the "Dover Express."

Sir, Monday next is fixed as a Special Sessions for the transfer of licenses. There are 17 applications, among which are the following:-

The "Masons' Arms" has been empty a short time, but Mr. Poulter, the brewer, wishes to re-open this house in his name......

Six brewers' houses empty! Will any of the six gentlemen who are applying for these licenses live on the premises to conduct the houses themselves? and, if not, should the magistrate grant the transfers?

Yours &c.,



From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 19 July, 1878


William Barton and Robert James, privates belonging to the 2nd Battalion, 6th Regiment, were charged with assaulting William Lane , and stealing from his person a silver watch of the value of 7 10s. 0d.

William lame said: I am a miner, employed on the new railway. About half-past ten on Saturday night I went to the “Mason's Arms,” High Street. Both the prisoners were in the bar, where I treated them to some beer which I paid for. I had the watch now produced in my waistcoat pocket. The chain was round my neck. I had some conversation with the prisoners and we all three left the house together and went towards Buckland. We walked up the street arm-in-arm. We had got as far as Mr. Tomlin's the watchmaker, when the prisoner Barton asked me what the time was. I pulled the watch out to see when he snatched at it breaking the chain. He was about to run away with it but I tripped him up and we both struggled. The other prisoner struck me a violent blow on the side of the face. Barton got up and the prisoners then both ran away taking the watch with them. I gave information to the Police and next saw the watch in their possession. When I was in the “Mason's Arms” Barton wrote his address on a piece of paper, which I produced, which I afterwards gave to the Police. The value of the watch is 7 10s. 0d.

By Barton: I could not possibly swear that you was the man who took the watch.

By James: I believe we all went into another public-house, but I could not possibly say.

Police-constable Bailey said: On Saturday night about a quarter to twelve, I was on duty in High Street, when the last witness came up and told me that he had had his watch taken from him by two soldiers belonging to the 6th Regiment. In consequence of what I had heard I went in search of them, accompanied by Police-constable Wickham. I went to Mr. Crundall's timber-yard in templar Street, where we saw the two prisoners concealed under the timber. I told them to come out which they did. I told Barton I should take him into custody on suspicion of stealing from a man in the High Street. Wickham took the other prisoner. Barton said he was on pass and knew nothing about the watch.

Police-constable Wickham said: I was on duty on Saturday night, when I went with the last witness in search of the prisoner. We went to Mr. Crundall's timber yard in Templar Street, where we found the two prisoners under two baulks of timber. Bailey told them to come out which they did. Bailey took Barton and I took James. They were both charged on suspicion of stealing a watch in High Street. On the way to the station they said they knew nothing about it. Both the prisoners were searched at the station, and Police-constable Swain found the watch produced in Barton's right leg sock.

The officer in attendance gave both the prisoners very bad characters.

The prisoners pleaded “Guilty” to the charge, and the bench sentenced them to six months' imprisonment with hard labour in Canterbury Gaol.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 20 May, 1960.

Death of Former Licensee.

For many years landlord of the Masons Arms, in High Street and Naval Pensioner, Mr. Edward John Oliver, of 238, Folkestone Road, died on Sunday, aged 83.

At the funeral on Wednesday at Charlton Cemetery the Rev. W. Brown Moffet officiated.

The mourners present were:- Miss H. Oliver (daughter), Mr. H. Oliver (brother), Miss, Baker, Mr. and Mrs. B. May. Mrs. L. Oliver (widow) and Mrs. Woodbridge were unable to attend due to indisposition.

Also present were:- Mr. Booth, Mrs. Bell, Mrs. Pritchard, Mr. and Mrs. T. Williams, Mr. and Mrs. A. Pritchard, Mr. Toussaint-Jackson, Mr. and Mrs. Anslow, Mr. N. Taylor (rep. Dover Wanderers Sports Club).

Among the many floral tributes were those from:- The Worshipful Master and Brethren of the Peace and Harmony Lodge No. 199; Dover Wabderers and Rovers' Sports Club.

The arrangements were by H. J. Sawyer (Dover) Ltd.




AUSTIN Thomas 1838-40+ (Charlton) Pigot's Directory 1840

MCWILLIAM Andrew to 30/Oct/1851 dec'd

WHITE James 1851+ (age 43 in 1851Census)

DRIVER William 1852+


HARMER/HARMAN Mr W 1858-59+ Melville's 1858

EASTMAN Henry 1861-74+ Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1874

TORR Thomas 1881

STRINGER John 1882 Post Office Directory 1882

STEEL William James to May/1882 Dover Express

MERCER James May/1882-1900 end Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1891 (Late of Folkestone age 75 in 1891Census)

HARMER George James 1899-1900 end Pikes 1895Kelly's Directory 1899(Post Office Directory 1903 Out dated info?

EASBY J W 1900-13+ Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903Pikes 1909Post Office Directory 1913

EASBY M 1917

WOOD Mr G P to Aug/1917 Dover Express temporary license

JONES Charles Thorne Aug/1917-Mar/22 Next pub licensee had Dover Express engineer's mechanic of Ashford.

OLIVER Edward John senior 1922-56 end Post Office Directory 1922Pikes 1924Post Office Directory 1930Pikes 1932-33Post Office Directory 1938Pikes 1938-39Pikes 48-49Kelly's Directory 1950Kelly's Directory 1953Kelly's Directory 1956

THOMAS John Beresford 1956

BERESFORD Thomas J 1956

OLIVER Edward John junior 1956-60 dec'd

HOELTSCHI Charles 1974-77 end Library archives 1974 Whitbread Fremlins


Thomas Torr was born in Tavistock like James Torr of the "Clarendon Hotel" and I think is James younger brother.


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

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

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

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Pikes 1909From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1909

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Pikes 1924From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1924

Post Office Directory 1930From the Post Office Directory 1930

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

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

Pikes 1938-39From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1938-39

Pikes 48-49From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1948-49

Kelly's Directory 1950From the Kelly's Directory 1950

Kelly's Directory 1953From the Kelly's Directory 1953

Kelly's Directory 1956From the Kelly's Directory 1956

Library archives 1974Library archives 1974

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:-