Sort file:- Ramsgate, July, 2021.

Page Updated:- Tuesday, 20 July, 2021.


Earliest 1790

Ship Inn

Latest 1915

32 (15) Harbour Street


Former Ship Inn

Above photo, date unknown by Darkstar.


The "Ship Inn was an ancient house (c.1790) in Harbour Street, rebuilt in the late nineteenth century. A quaint sign which hung outside bore the rhyme:-

‘Come Jolly Tars, and lay at anchor here,

Why go further to drink worse beer?'

Later, the Ship held summer beanfeasts for charabanc outings from London, but the outbreak of war ruined its trade. It was closed in 1915, and has since served as a bookmaker's and an indoor market.


Sussex Advertiser 20 February 1826.

At the sale of the public houses and other estates, situate in the eastern parts of the County of Kent, which took place at the "Bell Inn," Sandwich, on Monday last, Messrs. Pott and Denne knocked down the following lots, at the sums affixed to them, viz.:—

The "Bull," at Eastry, 1,190.

"Three Colts," Tilmanstone, 500.

"White Horse," Eythorne, 575.

"Red Lion," Frogham, 455.

"Rose and Crown," Womenswould, 166.

"Duke of Cumberland," Barham, 910.

"Charity," Woodnesborough, 710.

"Three Crowns," Goodnestone, 620.

"Admiral Harvey," Ramsgate, 1,150.

"Ship," Ramsgate, 1,250.

"Red Lion," St. Peters, 1,100.

"Crown and Thistle," St. Peters, 705.

"Crown, or Halfway-house," Sarr, 940.

"King's Head," Walmer Road, 425.

The "Duke of York," Walmer Road, 310.

The sale-room was most numerously attended.

We understand that the "Ship," at Ash, and "Crispin," at Worth, have since been sold by private contract, the former for 750, and the latter for five hundred guineas.


Kentish Gazette, 2 October 1849.

A woman named Mary Douglass was brought before Dr. Canham and H. Benson, Esq., at the Town Hall on Saturday last, charged by Mr. T. Terry, landlord of the "Ship Inn," Harbour-street, with having been found secreted in one of his bedrooms on the preceding evening, and being unable to give a good account of herself. She was committed to Sandwich jail for two calendar months' hard labour. The prisoner had been released from the same prison only the day before, and it appears that she has spent the last six years periodically in the local jails.


From the Kentish Chronicle and General Advertiser, 23 November, 1861. Price 1 1/2d.

Henry Keen, landlord of the “Ship Inn,” Harbour Street, was charged with having on Sunday, the 10th instant, opened his house for the sale of beer before half-past 12 o clock.

Defendant pleaded guilty.

Fined 10s. and costs 10s.

Money paid.


From the Thanet Advertiser, Saturday 21 January, 1865.

Keene v. Watson.

The claim in this case was made by the plaintiff, landlord of the "Ship Inn," to recover from the defendant 4 18s. 3d., for money lost and beer supplied.

Defendant appeared and disputed the claim. Plaintiff was ordered to produce his books. The money, it was endeavoured to be shown, was for interest paid by plaintive, on defendant's account, on 10 advanced by a man named Butler to defendant. This defendant denied in toto. On plaintive returning into court he said he had been unable to find his books or the bill which he had since taken up.

His honour informed plaintive that defendant had in plaintiff's absence alleged that he never had one farthing of the 10, or paid any interest up on it. He therefore would adjourn the case until the next Court, when Busler's evidence must be procured, and if it was proved that defendant had had the money he should then know how to deal with the present claim.


Thanet Advertiser, Saturday 15 March 1902.

Alleged Drunkenness on Licensed Premises.

Case Dismissed.

At the Ramsgate Borough Petty Sessions, on Monday, before the Mayor (Aldermen H. H. Green), in the chair, Alderman W. P. Blackburn, and Messrs. H. D. Hammond, H. Weigall and S. R. Wilson, Herbert Bennett, fisherman, of 9, Rodney Street, was summoned for being drunk on licensed premises in the occupation of Samuel Dommett, on February 21st.

Mr. J. Emery appeared for defendant, and pleaded not guilty.

The witnesses were ordered out of court.

P.C. Douglas said about 7:45 p.m. on the 21st February he went into the "Ship Inn," Harbour Street. He was in plain clothes and was off-duty. He went into the private bar and called for a glass of ale, and was served by the landlord. While he was standing in the private bar witness notice defendant in the public bar. There were several other men in the compartment besides defendant. Defendants seemed noisy and argumentative, and witness thought him the worse for drink. His countenance was flushed, and he seemed to lounge about the bar. Witnessed remained in the house about 25 minutes and during the whole of that time Bennett was under his observation. Defendant did not use any of obscene language. Witness visited the house again at 8:45 and purchased another glass of beer. He saw defendant was still in the public bar and he appeared to be in a more drunken condition that when witness previously saw him. Witness remained in the bar about 5 minutes and then left the house, defendant still being in the public bar.

Cross-examined:- Witness had known the landlord about a month, and was practically on friendly terms with him. Witness did not call his attention to the fact that he was running a danger by having defendant on his premises. He (witness) was off duty at the time and was not seeking a case; therefore he did not consider it his duty to interfere. It was usual for trawlers to have noisy arguments among themselves. Defendant was not drunk enough for witness to speak to the landlord.

Sergeant Horn said at 9:15 on the date named he visited the "Ship Inn" in company with P. C. Roberson, and they saw the defendant. He was drunk and was standing near the tap room door swaying to and fro and talking to someone on the other side of the bar. Witness believed he was speaking to the landlord. Witness had frequently seen defendant before, both drunk and sober. On this occasion defendant was arguing. He was excited but was undoubtedly drunk. Witness called the landlord's attention to Bennett, and Mr. Dommett replies. "Yes, but he had nothing since you came in last, and I advised him to have a soda." Witness told the landlord that by having defendant on his premises in that condition he laid himself open to be summoned for permitting drunkenness, and Mr. Thomas said. "Yes I know that." Shortly afterwards defendant left. Witness had been to the house about 8:30, when defendant was leaning on the counter with both arms. When defendant left the house he went staggering down Harbour Street.

Cross-examined:- When witness first visited the house defendant appeared to him to be sober. In consequence of what was told him he visited the house the second time. Witness did not think that 2 penny worth of ginger wine would have caused defendant to get into the excited state in which he was.

Re-examined:- When defendant left he went down Harbour Street as far as the "Royal" and came back again.

P.C. Robinson corroborated the sergeants evidence.

P.C. Roalf, who was on duty at the Market Place on the night in question, said he saw Bennett staggering along Harbour Street. The footpath did not seem to be wide enough for him and he appeared to be drunk.

Cross-examined:- Witness did not speak to defendant, because he was not causing any annoyance to anybody. Defendant was quiet and orderly.

This was the case for the prosecution.

Mr. Emery then addressed the bench on behalf of the defendant. He drew their worships attention to the rather extraordinary fact that although there were a number of persons in the bar at the time when Bennett was there, all the evidence in support of the charge had been given by the police. It seems extraordinary that the police should have taken the risk of resting their case solely upon the evidence of constables when there was an opportunity of calling half a dozen other witnesses. Mr. Emery also remarked on the fact that the witness Douglas - who was a personal friend of the landlord - remained talking to Mr. Dommett for 25 minutes while the argument was going on. Douglas's explanation that "he was off duty and was not seeking a case" was an extraordinary statement. Although a personal friend of the landlord he did not think anything about warning him as to the consequences of having a drunken man on his premises. Sergeant Horn had said that he entered the house at 8:30 and saw the man, and that although he did not notice in particularly defendant seemed to be sober. Mr. Emery said he would call evidence to show that defendant was quite sober, that he only had two pennyworth of ginger wine at the "Ship," that he carried on a rational conversation with other person's, and that when a Mrs. Excell came in he gave up his chair, near the fire, to her.

Defendant, on oath, said he had a glass of beer and a glass of ginger wine at the "Coach and Horses" before he went to the "Ship." He came out of the "Coach and Horses" at 7:30 and walked about till 8:30. Then he went into the "Ship" and asked for two penny worth of ginger wine and the landlord's son served him. Witness was talking to Mr. Excell and his wife. He was sitting by the fire when Mrs. Excell came in and he got up and offered his chair to her. That was shortly before the police came in. When the police came in and said he was the worse for drink, he said. "If that's the case I'll walk out," and did so. He went down Harbour Street, and afterwards walked back and stood at the marketplace for half an hour. Subsequently he went home.

Cross-examined:- Witness went to the "Coach and Horses" with a trawler named Perrett and paid for his own drinks. He went to the "Ship Inn" alone and they saw several man he knew. There was nothing in his manner which could draw anyone's attention to him. He was not treated by a man in the bar to a glass of beer. He was not leaning on the counter when the police first came in. He heard Sergeant Horn say to the landlord. "Get him off the premises as quick as you can." He left the premises without a word.

Samuel Dommett, licensee of the "Ship Inn," said he saw defendant in the bar. He seemed perfectly sober, and talked rationally enough. He spoke to three or four customers and addressed them in the usual way. Witness's son told him that defendant had been served with ginger wine. Defendant did not have anything else. When the police came in the second time Sergeant Horn advised witness to get defendant off the premises as soon as possible, and he went away in an apparently sober condition. He never gave the least sign that he was the worse for liquor.

Cross-examined:- It was possible for defendant to be supplied with drink without witnesses knowledge, but that was not so in this case. Witnessed did not say that he had advised defendant to have a soda. He advised defendant to leave the house, because the sergeant mentioned the matter.

Thomas Henry Dommett, son of the previous witness said he served defendant with two pennyworth of ginger wine. He appeared to be quite sober and spoke correctly.

Mrs. Grace Dommett was called but did not give evidence, the Bench at this point retiring.

On their return to court the Mayor intimated that there was no necessity for Mr. Emery to call any more witnesses. The Bench did not think there was sufficient evidence to justify a conviction, and the case would therefore, be dismissed.

The Chief Constable asked permission to withdraw a charge against the landlord of permitting drunkenness on licensed premises.

The Bench allowed the case to be withdrawn.



ELCOMB Frederick 1823-39+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34

TERRY Timothy 1847-51+

KEEN Henry 1861-67+

BURTON William 1858+

KEENE Henry 1861-65+ (age 56 in 1861Census)

EPPS George 1871+ (age 33 in 1871Census)

DANTON James M 1881-82+ (age 40 in 1881Census)

MUIR John Brown 1890-91+

WOOD Alfred F 1901+ (age 50 in 1901Census)

DOMMETT Samuel 1903-07+ Kelly's 1903

WINCHESTER Charles 1913-15+


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

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


Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903


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