Sort file:- Ashford, July, 2023.

Page Updated Ashford:- Tuesday, 04 July, 2023.


Earliest 1791-

Duke of Marlborough

Demolished 1975

1-3 East Hill


Duke of Malborough 1925

Above postcard circa 1925, kindly sent by Shaun Gardiner.

Duke of Malborough

Above postcard, date unknown, from Sue Brown.

Duke of Marlborough 1960s

Above photo, 1960s, kindly sent by Garth Wyver.

Duke of Malborough 1972

Above photo, circa 1972, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Duke of Marlborough

Above photo, date unknown by Stu Fyles.


When built it was built to depict a Kentish Oast House.

In 1791, Thomas Halk Sutton senior was a maltster, preparing grain for the making of beer, at the "Duke of Marlborough". Two years later he became the innkeeper at the "Saracen’s Head."

The Pigot's directory described Robert Kittle as a brewer and the premises contained a tap room called the "Malborough Tap" of which in 1861 had a separate licensee.

Richard Ticknall tells me that this was closed and demolished for the construction of the Tufton Shopping Centre in 1975.


Kentish Gazette 16 February 1819.


Feb 11, an Ashford, Mr Richard Tunbridge, of Faversham, to Miss Kettle, of Ashford, eldest daughter of Mr. Kettle, of the "Duke of Marlborough," of that place.


South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 1 June 1841.


A meeting was held at the "Duke of Marlborough," on Friday week, to consider the propriety of establishing a Mechanic's Institute. We are happy to say it was strongly supported, and a committee chosen to further the object. We are much indebted to the professional gentleman, as well as the tradesman, who so ably supported the meeting and the cause.


Kentish Gazette, 2 October 1849.


The annual banquet of the noble brotherhood of Foresters took place at the "Duke of Marlborough Inn," Ashford, on Tuesday last, when between forty and fifty members and visitors were present. A most sumptuous repast, which reflected great credit on the worthy host, Mr. Akhurst, was prepared, and to which the guests did ample justice. The cloth being removed, the usual toasts were drunk. The many advantages of this admirable institution were most ably shown in a few brief but precise speeches, made by the worthy chief, the sub-chief, and secretary of this society, the last observing that its pecuniary interests were in a most flourishing condition. The celebrated vocalist, Mr. Godden, of London, highly amused the company with some of his favourite songs. The fraternal feeling and conduct of the members, and the hearty welcome given to the visitors, apparently created general satisfaction. On the whole, everybody seemed heartily to enjoy themselves, and separated asserting that they had spent a delightfully agreeable evening.


Kentish Gazette, 18 February 1851.


On Monday the 10th instant, an inquest was held here by Mr. Delasaux, on the body of Mr. Congreve Selwyn Morris, who committed suicide by taking a large dose of opium.

It appeared that on Wednesday deceased came from Maidstone in a horse and gig, and proceeded next day to Ramsgate, with his brother, Mr. W. S. Morris, returning on Friday; that he went to Mr. Jones, chemist as Ashford, for two shillings worth of tincture of opium, stating it was to be for his brother, who is a surgeon at Wye, and who had often had drugs from Mr. Jones, which led him not to suspect anything wrong. After the deceased left his brother to go to Perry Court, and the brother did not see him alive afterwards. On Sunday he was found dead in a lodge of Mr. Mills's, at Wye, and it was evident he had been to so some hours. It ascertained that he had killed himself with the opium, two ounces of which were deficient from the quantity he had purchased.

A verdict was returned that "deceased destroyed himself while labouring under a fit of temporary insanity."

We copy the foregoing from a contemporary, and append the following letter as explanation of the true circumstances of the case:- Wye, Feb. 15, 1851.

To the editor of the Kentish Gazette.


In the account of the inquest on my late brother, Congreve Selwyn Morris, which appeared in the column of another Canterbury paper a few days since, it is stated that he proceeded to Ramsgate with me. It is with Mr. Selwyn Morris another brother, (who is not a surgeon of Wye,) that he drove to Ramsgate to spend a day with his sister. On their return, they parted at Boughton Corner, a turning from the main road, Mr. Selwyn Morris driving the gig to Wye, and Mr. C. S. Morris going to Perry Court, which is about 5 minutes walk from thence, at the same time saying that he he should soon follow him home. Instead of doing so he went on to Ashford, where it has been since ascertained he slept at the "Marlborough Inn." The laudanum which he is stated to have procured in my name, and for which he paid 2s. ought certainly not to have been given without a written order; and in justice to myself, I am bound to say that for the last 13 years I've never sent to any druggist in the county of Kent a verbal order for laudanum or other permitted drugs. I should consider culpable any medical practitioner who did so, and any druggist who might comply to such order.

I wish also to state that my late brother had frequently complained of pain in the head; had several times been subject to a fit of sudden fainting; and a few months since had a severe fall on his head from a horse at Maidstone; which circumstances I am inclined to consider as predisposing causes to the act by which he lost his life. Feb. 8th, in his 19th year. He was on the most affectionate terms with all his near relations, and left a good name at the Maidstone College School, which he left a few days previous to his decease.

I am Sir, Your obedient servant.

W. Morris.


From the Kentish Express, 14 June, 1856.

Ashford Petty Sessions. Saturday, June 7.

Before J. B. Wiklman, Esq., (chairman) the Rev. J. Dufton, W. Burra, H. W. Carter, E. H. K. Hugesson, and G. E. Sayer, Esqs.

Alleged Robbery:- Harry Knightley and Mary Ann Shore were charged with stealing 6s. 6d. from the person of Thomas Foley, of Ashford.

Prosecutor deposed:- I met the prisoners at the New Town yesterday, and sold the male prisoner two umbrellas for a shilling. I came from there in company with them as far as the "Victoria," where we had something to drink; while there, the female prisoner put her hand in my pocket and took out the money, which she handed to the other prisoner. I came into the town for a policeman, and on my return to the "Victoria," found the prisoners were gone. I afterwards found them at the "Marlborough," and taxed them with the robbery, which they, denied. I then went for Superintendent Fancett, who took them into custody.

Superintendent Fancett deposed to receiving information of the robbery, and taking the prisoners into custody; when they were searched, a two shilling piece and a shilling were found on the man, and a penny on the woman. Before searching the prisoners he asked prosecutor what sort of money he had lost, when he said, a bright two shilling piece, four shillings, and a sixpence. Prosecutor was the worse for liquor.

The prisoners denied all knowledge of the robbery, and said prosecutor was treating every one that came into the room; he also lent three shillings to a sweep, with whom he afterwards quarrelled and fought.

The chairman said the bench were of opinion that this was no case to go before a jury, and the prisoners were discharged.


Brighton Gazette, Thursday 20 November 1862.

Stealing From a Cart.

A young man, named William Wilson, was brought up charged with stealing a lady's dress of the Valley of 23s.

It appeared from the evidence that the dress was made by Miss west, of Rye, for Mrs. Frances Banister, of Peasmarsh, packed in a paper parcel, and placed in Mr. William Reeves's cart, near Mr. Larkins's yard, on Wednesday last. Mr. Reeves left his car for a few minutes, and when he returned the parcel was gone.

Information was given to the police, who communicated with the police of the neighbouring towns, and Thomas Dunk, sergeant of the Kent Constabulary, found the dress had been offered for sale at Mrs. Patterson, keeper of the "Marlborough Tap," at Ashford, by the prisoner and another man, both of whom he apprehended while walking towards the gaol. The other man, whose name is John Franklin, slipped his hand out of the handcuff and escaped.

Mrs. Pattenden identified Wilson as one of the two who offered the dress to her.

Wilson said he did not steal the dress, and he knew nothing about it.

He was committed for trial.


Kentish Gazette, 29 March, 1870.


On Thursday Afternoon an inquest was held at the "Queen's Head Inn," Mill Bridge, before Walter Furley, Esq., deputy coroner for East Kent, on the body of James Moss Hobday, a man aged sixty, who was found dead in bed under the following circumstances:-

William Dodd, landlord of the "Queen's Head," denoted:- The deceased came to lodge at my house on Saturday evening last. I have known him for twenty years past. He formerly lived at Boughton Lees, and was mailman to his father, who was a brewer there. He was then in a comfortable position in life; but for some time he has been in bad circumstances. Two other men occupied the same bedroom in my house as the deceased. I have not heard of any squabbling having occurred between them. The deceased was not cheerful; the first night he came he complained of being very unwell, but did not say in what way he was unwell. He had no meals in my house; he generally came home early in the evening; had a pint of beer and a biscuit, and went to bed he told me he had been employed at the "Duke of Marlborough Inn," but had been paid off from there the week before. On Tuesday evening he had his pint of beer and biscuit as usual, and I saw no more of him. I called the other two men up at halt-past five o'clock the next morning, and they went to their work. Not seeing anything of the deceased, I went to the room about half-past nine o’clock, and found him lying in bed quite dead. One arm was out of the bed, and he seemed to have died without pain or struggle, us the clothes were not in any disorder. I found the phial bottle produced under his bolster. It was empty and corked. There was no label on it.

Dr. George Wilks deposed:- From instructions received, I made a post mortem examination of the body this morning. There were no marks of violence on it. I suspected the cause of death, but I deferred forming an opinion till I examined the bottle produced. I found it contained minute crystals of oxalic acid, and I have no doubt death resulted from taking that poison. It is never used as a medicine, and could not have been taken for the purpose of curing disease or alleviating pain. I am of opinion that a very large quantity was taken, from the quiet mode in which death had occurred. When taken in a very large quantity the person usually faints; but when in a small quantity intent pain is suffered. Oxalic acid can only be sold under the usual restrictions for the sale of poisons; and it is usually bought in a crystallized form.

Mr. Beken, one of the jury, stated it was frequently bought in that way and mixed with water to clean brass, harnesses, and boot lops.
William Fisher, labourer, deposed:- I and another man slept in the same bedroom as the deceased. On Monday evening, about nine o'clock, as the deceased was undressing to get into bed he suddenly put his hand to his right side and exclaimed "Bless me what a pain I have here." I said "Sit down, my good man, on the bed," He did so, and attempted to get his trousers off but could not. I advised him to wait till he felt better, and he did so. In a few minutes he undressed and got into bed. I asked him how he felt, and he replied, "All right; good night." On Tuesday night about half-past eight o'clock he said he did not feel quite right and should go to bed. I came up into the room about half-past nine, and I asked him how he was. He replied, "Pretty middling," and began complaining of the hardness of the times; he said he could not get work, and he did not like to beg. I wanted to go to sleep, and bade him good night. During the night I was awakened by a loud gurgling noise which the deceased was making. I told my fellow lodger that it was hardly like snoring, and that if it continued I should go and wake the deceased up. ln a minute or two all was quiet, and I went to sleep again. In the morning I went out without noticing the deceased.

William Crump, labourer, the other lodger, gave similar evidence; and added he did not think much of the noise in the night, as the deceased was in the habit of snoring loudly.

P.O. Hollands said that no money was found on the deceased; he had two pawn tickets for clothes pledged by him.

The jury returned a verdict to the effect that deceased killed himself by taking oxalic acid when in an unsound state of mind.


From the Whitstable Times, 28 July, 1900.


Richard Thomas Simpson, landlord of the "Marlborough Hotel," Ashford was summoned for refusing to admit the police to his licensed premises on their demanding it in the early morning of July 2nd. Mr. Bracher appeared to prosecute and Mr. Drake defended. Sergeant Callaway stated that hearing a noise just after midnight at the defendant's house he went to the door and knocked. On looking through the glass of the door, he saw the defendant moving about, and noticed him look in his direction, but defendant kept him waiting eight or ten minutes before he opened the door. On entering he found seven or eight persons in the room who Simpson said were friends and his guests. After taking some of the names he called to P.C. Larkin to come in and assist but defendant refused to admit him, pushed him out of the door, and locked it in his face. The defence was a denial of the pushing but Simpson admitted that he had told Calloway he could not have a house full of policemen, while a witness, Alfred Goldsmith, the defendant's brother-in-law said he heard defendant say to Larkin "You aint coming in here."

The Bench imposed a fine of 2 with costs, but decided not to endorse the license, Simpson's previous character having been good.



KITTLE Robert 1819-32+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34

CONSTANCE Richard 1840+ Pigot's Directory 1840

AKHURST Edward 1849-51+ Next pub licensee had (age 52 in 1851Census)

WORGER Mary 1858+ Melville's 1858

PATTENDEN John 1861-62+ (Malborough Tap) (age 30 in 1861Census)

CHEESEMAN Hannah 1861+ (age 36 in 1861Census)

HOPPER Stephen 1862-74+ (also brewer age 39 in 1871Census) Post Office Directory 1862Post Office Directory 1874

SMITHWHITE Margaret 1881-82+ (widow age 50 in 1881Census)

HAMMAN Henry H 1891+ (age ?? in 1891Census)

SIMPSON Richard T 1900-03+ (age 31 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

READER John 1913+

BATT Alfred 1922+

PEARMAN William Thomas 1930+

DUSTAN Wallace George 1938+


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

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

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


Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1862From the Post Office Directory 1862

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903


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