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PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1759-

Red Lion

Latest Feb 1941

81 St. James' Street Post Office Directory 1903

25 St. James' Street Pigot's Directory 1832-34Pigot's Directory 1839


Red Lion St James 1905

Above photo, 1905.

Red Lion 1947

Above photo, 1947, kindly sent by Stuart Kinnon.

Dover Mercury 31 May 2001.

History of Red Lion Inn

THE Red Lion is a popular pub in Charlton Green, Dover. But there was another Red Lion Inn which used to stand at the corner of St James Street. opposite the Lord Nelson, and that's the one which is pictured here. It was listed there in 1823 and according to the 1881 Census it was a lodging house.

It was badly damaged by fire and rebuilt in 1895 and taken over by Leney and Co. The Whitings were in charge from 1832 to 1868. When checking up on the landlords it is possible to get confused with the Red Lion in Charlton Green. This picture was taken about 1905.

Joe Harman.


The first house was a staging post for the Deal and Thanet coaches and the address once read 13 St. James' Lane. The walls of that house incorporated a builder's stone with the inscription 1676 CEM. The earliest record I have found it to date is from an advert in the Kent Post of 1759, shown below.


From the Kentish Post, August 15-18, 1759. Kindly sent from Alec Hasenson.

Sale of a Cutter at the widow Hammond's "Red Lion," Dover


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 11 February, 1837. Price 7d.

Thomas Eves, a groom, aged 36, charged with stealing, at St. James's, Dover, various articles of wearing apparel, the property of Alice Spearpoint. Mr. Deedes called the prosecutrix, who stated that in November last, having left his situation, and being about to go to Folkestone, she deposited her box, locked and corded, for safety, at the "Red Lion," St. James's Street. On her return she found the box had been broken open, and the articles produced in court, with others, stolen, and a case, with a pair of ear rings, was found in the cess-pool, destroyed. It appeared that the prisoner had either worked at, or was suffered to be about the "Red Lion;" and the evidence proved that he had sold one of the bundles produced in court, and also a duplicate for the other (which had been pledged) to a Frenchwoman, from whom it was recovered by the police. The prisoner stated before the Magistrates, that he received the articles from a man who engaged him to pledge them.

Guilty - three months' imprisonment and hard labour. The apparel recovered was restored to the prosecutrix, together with three shillings and eight pence, found on the prisoner at the time of his apprehension, as being a part of the produce of the property pledged or sold.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 7 July, 1838. Price 7d.

Palmer Erison, a military pensioner, was committed for trial on Thursday, charged with stealing two blankets, from the "Red Lion," in St James's-street.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 6 April, 1839. Price 5d


John Brown, umbrella maker, 32, charged with stealing a bag containing 2 shillings and 5 pence, belonging to Mark Conner, at the "Red Lion," St. James's Street, Dover.

Sir Walter Riddell called the prosecutor, who said the prisoner and his woman slept in the bed next to him; and when rising next morning he saw him take the bag. On being charged with it, he knocked witness down, and ran into the yard, where he was found by the police with silver in his mouth; the copper seen down the privy was brought up by prosecutor's son, who was let down by a rope for the purpose; and he identified some of the copper as having been in the bag. The prisoner denied the charge, and said he was not the only one in the room, there being five beds, each containing two persons.

Verdict - Guilty.

It appeared the prisoner had been before convicted of sheep stealing. He was sentenced to be imprisoned, with hard labour, for twelve calendar months.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 27 March, 1841. Price 5d.


A young woman who gave her name as Nancy Day, was brought up by policeman Pine, for offering a pair of ear-rings for sale, for 2. which she said were of the best jeweller's gold that could be purchased. The ear-rings were bought by her for her own purpose; but they not becoming her station in life, her mother would not let her wear them. She therefore offered them at a great reduction from prime cost; The complainant said that he had been induced to make this charge against the defendant from a knowledge that she had sold a great many pairs of ear-rings to servant girls, who purchased them from an idea that they were cheap. The ear-rings in question were not worth two-pence.

In reply to some questions put to her by the Magistrates, the defendant said that she was staying at the "Red Lion," public house, and that she had a few months previously been brought before them on a charge of felony.

After a severe reprimand, the Magistrates promised to dismiss the case, providing the defendant would leave the town immediately.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 3 May, 1845. Price 5d.


Susan Green and Emma Couch, two ‘nymphs” located at the “Red Lion,” were charged with stealing a half-sovereign, the property of a foreigner, whose name did not transpire. Prosecutor stated that on Thursday evening, about 11 o'clock, as he was passing along Townwall Street, the prisoners caught hold of his arm and asked for something to drink, when, to get rid of their annoyance, he gave them what he supposed to be a sixpence. Immediately on leaving them, recollecting that, in addition to a shilling and sixpence, he had two half-sovereigns in his pocket, he examined his cash, which he found minus half-a-sovereign, butt he shilling and sixpence remained. He then went back and told them of the mistake demanding the restitution of the half-sovereign, which they denied having received, upon which he gave them into the custody of a Policeman who passed by.

Police-constable Gardner stated that on taking the girls into custody he proceeded to the station house, where they were searched, but only a small sum in silver was found. The bench considered that the evidence was not sufficient to substantiate the charge of felony, but convicted each of the prisoners in the penalty of 29s., including costs, under the provisions of the paving act, for obstructing passengers in the street.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 17 October, 1846. Price 5d.


Mary Thomas, single-woman, aged 22, charged with stealing 8d, the property of Thomas C. Royce. Mr. Addison conducted the prosecution, and prisoner was defended by Mr. Horne.

Prosecutor, a youth, aged 18, deposed, that on Sunday evening, July 26th, he was walking on Waterloo Crescent, when he was accosted by prisoner, who put her hands round him, and then finding the money gone from his pocket, followed her to the “Red Lion,” when she threatened to black his eyes if he entered the house.

Police Constable Dewer, deposed, that he went the next morning with prosecutor to the “Red Lion,” when prisoner offered a shilling and some gin not to take her into custody.

Verdict, not guilty.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 1 May, 1847. Price 5d.


Superintendent Correll stated to the Bench that there were several suspicious characters in the town, both male and female, lodging at the “Red Lion” and other public houses. Two instances had occurred of gentlemen having been inveigled into by-places where they were eased one of his watch and the other of his money, with which the woman ran off and who could not afterwards be identified. We advise shopkeepers to be very careful of their tills, as some of the “gentlemen” are strongly suspected of doing business in that way, and paying visits to areas or halls where they find an opportunity of so doing.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 8 May, 1847. Price 5d.


William Whiting, landlord of the “Red Lion,” was charged with harbouring dissolute characters at his house. Police-constable Butcher stated on Saturday evening he went to the “Red Lion,” in search of a woman who was charged by a gentleman with having robbed him of his purse, when he found here there, in company with three other woman and four men, who had been living in the house for some time, and who appeared to have no mode of getting their living but by prostitution and thieving.

Superintendent Correll stated that the men had been watched for some time, and had been seen in a change of dress three and four times a day. The Chairman, in giving the decision of the Bench, said that the Police had very properly laid the information in consequence of several robberies having been lately committed, but this being the first conviction against defendant, they had mitigated the penalty to 20s. and 16s costs, with a hope that, for the future, he would be careful of the parties he allowed to remain at his house.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 2 February, 1848. Price 5d.


Charles Hogwood, alias Lumpy, was charged with having in his possession a horse-brush. It appeared that defendant went to the "Red Lion," and offered to sell the brush for a pint of beer. It being in good condition and worth about half-a-crown, suspicion was aroused, and he was given into custody. When taken before the Bench, he stated that the brush had been given to him by the coachman of a family just left Dover, in return for assistance rendered in the stable; and there being no proof to the contrary, Lumpy was dismissed with a caution, at which he expressed great satisfaction, fearing that if committed, the Recorder would this time fulfil his promise of a sentence and transportation.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 15 April, 1848. Price 5d.


Three girls, named Baulding, were brought up on a charge of vagrancy. In their defence, they stated that they came from Lydd, and not being able to hire a house, were compelled to take up their abode at the "Red Lion Inn," in St. James's Street, where they now resided.

Discharged, but ordered to leave the town without delay.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 11 June, 1859.


George White, a labourer, was placed at the bar by police-constable Williams charged with causing a disturbance in St, James's Street on the previous Saturday night, at a quarter to twelve o'clock.

The officer said his attention was drawn to the lower end of St. James's Street, at the hour stated, by a disturbance, and on getting there he found the defendant fighting with another man, who was injured very much. Defendant refusing to be orderly, witness took him into custody, but his antagonist went away.

The defendant said he was a recruit in the 58th regt., but, although he had been sworn in, he had got permission to remain here working until it was requisite for him to proceed to head-quarters. On Saturday night he went to the "Red Lion" to see a friend of his named Frank, and rank got chaffing him, till at last they had a fight; but they made it up again, and nothing would have occurred he was satisfied, had he not had a little too much to drink. He prayed the Bench to forgive him and let him join his regiment, which he expected to do in a few days.

Superintendent Coram, in reply to Mr. Latham, said he believed the statement of the defendant as to his enlistment in the 58th was perfectly correct.

Mr. Latham discharged the defendant, but advised him to be careful when "chaffed" for the future. If he had got himself into the gaol through the disturbance he would have entered the army with but a poor recommendation.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Saturday 16 July 1859.

To let by tender.

The following public houses situate in and near Dover, Eastry, and Folkestone, viz:-

1. The "Bull Inn," Eastry.

2. The "Halfway House" and land, on the Dover and Canterbury Road.

3. The "Chequers," at Folkestone.

4. The "Chequers" and land, at West Hougham.

5. The "Red Lion," at Charlton.

6. The "Fox," in St James's Street.

7. The "Ordnance Arms," in Queen Street.

8. The "Cause is Altered," in Queen Street.

9. The "True Briton," on Commercial Quay.

10. The "Three Kings," in Union Street.

11. The "Fleur-de-Lis," in Council House Street.

12. The "Cinque Port Arms," in Clarence Place.

13. The "Red Lion" in St James's Street.

14. The "Dolphin," in Dolphin Lane.

The above houses are to be let as free houses, in consequence of the proprietors of the Dolphin Lane Brewery discontinuing that business.

The holdings of the present Tenants expire under notice to quit, as follows, viz:- No. 2, on the 6th January next, No. 3, on the 6th July, 1860, No. 10, at Lady Day next, No. 13, on the 23rd October next, No. 14, on the 6th April next, and reminder on the 11th October next.

Tenders must be sent into the offices of Mr. Edward Knocker, Castle Hill, Dover, on or before the 20th day of July next, marked on the cover "Tender."

Particular and Terms of hiring, with the forms of Tender, to be obtained on application to Mr. knocker, or Mr. Thomas Robinson, Estate Agent, Bench Street, Dover.

Tenders may be given for the whole together or separately. The Tenders will be accepted subject to the houses being sold on or before the 20th day of September next, and the proprietors do not bind themselves to accept the lowest or any tender.

N.B. The proprietors are open to treat for letting the Brewery, Malthouse, and Premises, in Dolphin Lane.

Edward Knocker. Castle Hill, Dover, June, 1859.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 31 December, 1859.


Elizabeth Smith, an untidily clad and dirty looking woman, was charged with stealing from a bed-room at the "Red Lion" public house a pair of chord trowsers, a shawl, sheet, and a silk handkerchief, value 1. 10s., the property of Henry French.

The prisoner it appeared lodged in the same house and slept  in the same room with prosecutor and his wife. On Monday morning the prosecutor wanted a pair of trowsers out of the bundle kept under the bed he and his wife occupied, and on the wife going to look for them, she discovered that the articles mentioned in the charge had been abstracted from the bundle. She had seen the former safe in the bundle on the Thursday or Friday previous. The prisoner, she said, had slept in the room ever since she and her husband had lodged at the "Red Lion" - a fortnight the previous Tuesday. From the evidence of Mr. Thos. Long, pawnbroker, Limekiln Street, at appeared that the shawl and sheet identified by the woman French as her property were brought to his shop by the prisoner on Saturday evening between 6 and 8 o'clock, the prisoner stating that he name was Ann Clark, that she lodged at 2, St. James's Street, and that the things belonged to herself. Edmund Boulding, an assistant to Miss Aaron, another pawnbroker, carrying on business in Bench Street, stated that the prisoner brought the silk handkerchief and trowsers to Miss Aaron's shop on Saturday evening, saying that they belonged to her husband, that her name was Ann Clark, and that she lived at Charlton. The trowsers and silk handkerchief were wrapped in a cotton handkerchief, which Mrs. French also recognised as her property. The prisoner had been apprehended by Sergeant Scutt at the "Red Lion" on the previous afternoon, and on being told what she was charged with she said she was quite innocent. No pawnbrokers tickets were found on her.

The prisoner, having been called upon to plead, said she was not guilty. She was afterwards cautioned in the usual way, but she had nothing to say; and, she was then committed for trial at the Sessions.


Kentish Gazette, Tuesday 7 October 1862.

A Tale of a Shirt. Charles M'Cullen, a gentlemen of the road, lodging at the "Red Lion" public house, St. James's Street, and looking to great disadvantage from continued neglect of his beard and his ablutions, was placed at the bar, charged with assaulting Mary Lilley, a traveller of the fair sex, also finding a temporary home at the "Red Lion." Mrs. Lilley, however, on being called, did not answer.

The defendant who seemed very indignant at his detention, said that Mrs. Lilley was not there because she was a "blackguard," and knew that she would get the worst of it if she appeared, the fact being that she had struck him first, and that given under this provocation he had only shoved her away in self-defence.

The Magistrates thought it would be best, if possible, to have the complainant's own version of the matter, and ordered the defendant to stand aside a short time, while they disposed of another case; but after this was done, and the defendant being again brought up, there was still no signs of Mrs. Lilley putting in appearance, and he was therefore discharged.

Before leaving the Court defendant inquired if he could have no satisfaction for his shirt? (A laugh.)

The Magistrates considered it an odd question; but they were soon enlightened by the defendant drawing his arm out of the sleeve of his coat, and displaying, amid much laughter, the ribbon-like remnants of what had once been a shirt sleeve. This was part of the injury he had received at the hands of his absence virago. He also complained that he had "suffered on bread and water," and desired to know whether the law would not secure him satisfaction for that as well.

The Magistrate said they were unable to entertain either question. The only remedy they knew was a county court proceeding for the damage occasioned to the shirt, and an action for false imprisonment; but they thought the most simple plan will be to get Mrs. Lilley to settle the difference when he saw next saw her.

The defendant who seemed to have little confidence in Mrs. Lilley's peculiar mode of settlement, then left the court.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 26 March, 1864.


Ann Briggs, servant at the "Red Lion" public-house, St. James's Street, who had been found early on the same morning throwing stones at an upper window of the "Red Lion," was discharged with a caution.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 13 August, 1864.


Thomas Smith, a labourer, unknown in Dover, was charged with stealing from the outside of the shop of Mrs. Whitnal, New Street, a fustian jacket, value 2s.

Sarah Whitnal, second-hand dealer, said that on the preceding morning she had lost a fustian jacket from a line at the side of her door, and about a yard from the window. She saw it safe at half-past ten o'clock. and missed it about half-past eleven. She next found it in the hands of Sergeant Gedds in the evening. It was worth 2s., and the jacket produced was the same.

Ann Whiting, wife of William Whiting, the landlord of the "Red Lion" public house, St. James's Street, said that the prisoner came to lodge at the "Red Lion" two days before. On Friday morning, between 12 and 1 o'clock, he came in and said he had got a job, to ballast a vessel; and taking the fustian jacket produced (identified by Mrs. Whitnal) from his shoulders, asked her if she would let him have a loaf of bread, pint of porter, and a pennyworth of tobacco upon it. She assented, and he promised to release it in the evening, after he had received his money. When evening came, however, he said that he had not finished the job, and that he would not therefore be able to redeem the jacket till the following night (Saturday). Sergeant Geddes came in after the prisoner had gone to bed and enquired if she had seen anything of a fustian jacket in the hands of any of her lodgers. She showed him that which the prisoner had left with her, and Geddes then apprehended the prisoner.

Police-sergeant Geddes said that he apprehended the prisoner as stated by the last witness, from whom he received the jacket produced on the preceding evening. On telling the prisoner what he was charged with, he made no remark whatever; but at the station-house, when the charge was taken, and the prisoner was cautioned by the superintendent, he said "That's quite right; it's of no use denying it."

The prisoner desired that the charge might be dealt with by the magistrates, and pleaded guilty.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 13 August, 1864.


Alfred Brown, a labourer was charged by police-constable Joyce, with being on the roofs of several houses in St, James's Street in a state of nudity.

Joyce said that about half-past four o'clock in the same morning his attention was directed to defendant, who was getting out of a window of the "Red Lion" public house, on to the roof. Defendant clambered up the tiles and went along on the tops of two or three houses adjoining.

Defendant, who looked vacantly around him when addressed by the Magistrates, said he was a labourer.

Magistrates' Clerk:- Where do you live? Defendant:- Ah! my house is far up above (pointing with his finger above his head). I have a house as high up as you can get.

The Magistrates consulted a short time, and then decided on sending defendant to the Union, believing him to be in an unfit state of mind to set at large.


From the Dover Express. 1865.

Robbery of Gold Lace.

Denis McEvoy, a private of the 37th regiment, employed in the regimental tailor's shop, was charged with stealing a quantity of gold lace valued at 2 10s the property of Sergeant John Benson the Master Tailor of the Regiment and Elizabeth William's an unfortunate was charged with receiving the same well knowing it to have been stolen.

From the evidence it appeared that the lace was missed from the tailors workshop at the Western Heights on Thursday evening and that on the same evening the male prisoner was seen with it in his possession at the Red Lion public house where he showed it to John Smith a civilian tailor who was employed in the workshop of the 37th declaring it would fetch a “quid” in the morning. Smith endeavoured to prevail on McEvoy to give it up to him so that he might take it back but McEvoy persisted in keeping it.

At the Red Lion, McEvoy met the female prisoner who Smith said captivated him to that degree that he was a “gone coon” and perfectly unmanageable. But for her seductive influence he believed that McEvoy would have given him the lace and allowed him to restore it to the owner. He (Smith) remained in their company for some time hoping to get possession of the lace but he failed and he then proceeded to the barracks to give information. The police who were put upon the track of the prisoners learnt that they had slept together at a brothel upon the Commercial Quay and when they were apprehended they were in company of the woman having the lace in her pocket. The prisoner McEvoy on the charge being read to him at the Station House said the woman knew nothing about the robbery and that he had given her the lace to take back to the barracks. McEvoy now repeated the same statement and pleaded guilty to taking the lace but said he had not intended to steal it. The magistrates dismissed the charge against the woman but sentenced McEvoy to two months hard labour.


Information kindly supplied by Joyce Banks.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 11 January, 1867. Price 1d.


An inquest was held by the borough coroner, W. H. Payne, Esq., yesterday afternoon, at the "Robin Hood Inn," Townwall Street, on the body of Nicholas Baker, a vendor of Bath bricks, who had died at the "Red Lion" public house, a common lodging house hard by, on the previous morning.

Click here for details.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 15 February, 1867.


Thomas Adams was charged with being drunk and disorderly, and with wilfully damaging a table the property of Mrs. Ann Whiting, of the "Red Lion." Defendant was sent to prison for seven days, in default of paying a fine of 5s. and costs.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 26 April, 1867.


Patrick M'Cabe was charged with assaulting a special-constable, Thomas Finnis, at the "Red Lion," St. James's Street, while in the execution of his duty.

Finnis said there was a disturbance at the "Red Lion" on the previous night, and he went in, at the request of the landlord, to eject some disorderly people. The prisoner was there, and interfered with him in the execution of his duty, pushing him aside and declaring that he should not take a woman into custody. Finnis seemed anxious to screen the prisoner, but the Magistrates considered the case a bad one, and in default of the prisoner paying a fine of 10s. and costs, sent him to prison for fourteen days.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 30 October, 1868. Price 1d.


George Dawkins was brought up by Police-constable Faith for being drunk and disorderly in St. James's-street.

Faith said that at eleven o'clock on Saturday night he saw the defendant tumble out of the "Red Lion" lodging-house with another man, and they commenced fighting. He was drunk, and refused to go away when told to do so.

Ann Whiting, landlady of the "Red Lion," said that the prisoner was very abusive, and made a disturbance; and she accordingly requested another lodger to put him out, which he did.

The Bench fined the defendant 1s. and costs, in all 8s., but allowed him to stay until Saturday to pay the amount.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 18 December, 1868. Price 1d.


Thomas White was charged on the information of Ann Whiting of the "Red Lion" public-house, St. James's Street, with uttering counterfeit coins.

Ann Whiting,: I keep the "Red Lion" public-house, in St. James's Street. Last evening about half-past eight o'clock, the prisoner, who has been lodging in my house about a fortnight, called for some beer, and tendered me the shilling produced in payment. When he gave me the coin, I passed it to my son, who handed it to a man named Fischer, who was sitting in the bar, and asked him if he thought it a good one. The prisoner was within hearing. The prisoner had some more beer, and afterwards called for some tobacco for which he paid with another shilling (also produced). I gave him 8d. in change for the first shilling, and, for the second, 10d. Previously to his giving me the second shilling I saw the small leather bag produced in his hand. I afterwards sent for the police, and gave the prisoner in custody on a charge of uttering counterfeit money. On going through the passage, after the prisoner had been removed by the police, I kicked against something, and found the bag produced. I recognised it as belonging to the prisoner, and told my son to take it to the station-house.

By the prisoner: I had no other shillings but the two you gave me at the time. I am certain I saw the bag in your hand as you stood at the bar.

Henry Whiting, son of the last witness: I was in the bar last evening, when the prisoner tendered the shillings in payment of the beer and tobacco. Mr. Fischer is a watchmaker, and I thought he would be likely to know whether the money was good; so I handed one of the shillings to him. I subsequently went with him to his house, and he tried the shilling with acid, and found that it was not a good one. After the prisoner was taken into custody my mother sent me with the bag produced to the police-station and I gave it to Police-constable Geddes. During the evening I had seen the nag in the prisoner's hand - it might have been about half an hour before the prisoner passed the first shilling.

Police-constable Geddes: I apprehended the prisoner, last evening, at the "Red Lion," on a charge, preferred against him by Mrs. Whiting, of passing bad money. The last witness gave information at the station-house, at the same time giving me one of the bad shillings, which had been tested with acid. On Mrs. Whiting giving the prisoner into custody she handed me the shilling. When taken into custody he threw upon the bar-counter 1s. 10d. in good coins, saying that was all the money he had. Nothing more was said by the prisoner. While the charge was being taken down the bag produced was taken to the police-station by the last witness; and it was opened in the presence of the prisoner. The first thing found was a handkerchief and on the Superintendent asking the prisoner where he had got it he said he had "thieved" it. He also said "The two shillings I gave Mrs. Whiting I took out of my shoe. I also took out of the bag five packages of bad money and a small leather bag in which were a bad two-shilling piece and a bad shilling. The five packages contained 33 two-shilling pieces and 12 shillings, all bad. The packages were all carefully wrapped up in tissue paper, a piece of tissue paper being placed between each coin, so as to prevent them rubbing. The two-shilling and shilling pieces are respectively from the same moulds, and bear the same date.

John Randolph Fischer, Chapel Lane, deposed to testing one of the shillings and finding it counterfeit.

The prisoner, who had nothing to say, was committed for trial at the Sessions.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 22 January, 1869. Price 1d.


James Epps and Sarah Cox were charged with drunkenness and disorderly conduct and also with causing an obstruction in Last Lane; but as this was their first appearance before the Bench, the Magistrates dismissed them on paying 2s. each for the hearing.

Charles Weedly was charged with being found drunk and disorderly in Queen Street, and also with assaulting an elderly woman named Bird.

It appeared in respect to the first charge, that the prisoner was found by police-constable Kemp kicking at a door in Queen Street on Saturday night, and declared that some one must find him a lodging till the morning. As he refused to desist or to go away, the police-constable was obliging enough to comply with his request, and lodged him in the station-house.

In respect to the charge of assault Mary Bird, an elderly woman living at the "Red Lion" public-house, St. James's Street, said she was at the "Red Lion" between six and seven o'clock on Saturday evening, when she saw the prisoner in company with three other men. She had previously seen them singing in the street, and upon her mentioning the fact the prisoner struck her twice in the eye.

The Magistrates fined the prisoner 1s. and costs, or seven days' imprisonment in the first case, and, for the assault, which they considered most unprovoked, 10s. and costs, or fourteen days' imprisonment, to commence on the expiration of the first term to which he had been sentenced.

The prisoner said he had no money, and he was therefore removed in custody.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 24 December, 1869.


George Riley was brought up on remand, charged with having in his possession one pair of regimental boots and one pair of regimental trousers without being able to give a satisfactory account of the same.

Charles Stewart, colour-sergeant in the 1st Batallion of the 10th Regiment, the depot of which is stationed at Shorncliff, said: A man named James Riley has recently belonged to my regiment. He joined on the 9th inst., and absented himself on the 14th. He is now returned as a deserter. The articles produced are part of his regimental necessities. They have his regimental number on them, and they also bear the regimental mark. I have seen the prisoner in company with the man who has deserted. I saw him either ion the 10th or the 11th inst. at the Camp, and asked him who he was, thinking he might be a recruit, when he told me he was the brother of James Riley. The value of the articles is about 16s.

Police-constable Ash: On Wednesday evening last, in consequence of information received, I went to the “Red Lion,” public-house, in St. James's Street, where I found the prisoner. I asked him about a pair of boots he had offered for sale. He said they were on his feet, and that I might look at them. I did so, and found them to be regimental boots. I found that he also had on a pair of regimental trousers. They were worn under his others. Those produced are the same. I asked him how he had come into possession of the articles, and he said he had found them in a field near Caple. He has since admitted that his brother gave them to him. The account he gave not being satisfactory, I took him into custody, and communicated with the military authorities at Shorncliff.

The prisoner now said that the boots and trousers were given to him by his brother; and, from a long story he told the Magistrates, he appeared to have been privy to his brother's desertion. His brother, he said, did not give him the things in his hand, but told him the place where they might be found, in a field near Caple.

The Magistrates considered the case fully proved, and fined the prisoner treble the value of the goods in addition to a penalty of 20s. and costs 10s. The penalty in the whole amounted to 3 18s. In default of payment, one month's imprisonment.

The man went to prison.

The Bench ordered that the articles found in the prisoner's possession should be given up to the sergeant.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 6 June, 1871. Price 1d.


James Guyshaw, the man who was brought up on the previous Saturday, charged with hawking without a pedlar's certificate, was now charged by Police-constable Ash with being drunk and disorderly, and with causing an obstruction on the footway at the bottom on St. James's Street, on the previous night.

Police-constable Ash stated that, on the previous night, shortly after twelve o'clock, he saw the defendant at the bottom of St. James's Street, knocking at the door of the “Red Lion,” public-house. The landlady looked out of her bedroom window and requested him (witness) to take the prisoner away. He had had previous to remove the prisoner from the same public-house about eleven on the same evening for making a similar disturbance. He told the prisoner he must go away, and when the prisoner began to walk, he found that he was very drunk and quite incapable of taking care of himself. He shortly afterwards fell down on the pavement, thereby causing an obstruction, and he then took him to the police-station.

The prisoner said he was very sorry for the offence he had committed, and expressed his willingness to leave the town immediately, should he be dismissed.

The Magistrates declined to give him this privilege and fined him 2s., with costs; or, in default, 7 days' imprisonment.

Prisoner said he had not a farthing in the world, and he accordingly, went to prison.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 25 October, 1871. Price 1d.



An elderly woman, residing at Queen's Gardens, and answering to the name of Fanny Maria Pratt, was charged with stealing from a bedroom at the “Red Lion” public-house, in St. James's Street, on the previous afternoon, eight pawn-tickets, two licenses, a metal teaspoon, two leather purses, and a calico pocket, value 2s., the property of Caroline Willis, a lodger at the “Red Lion.”

Caroline Willis, the prosecutrix, said: I am a married woman, and my husband's name is Stephen Willis. We lodge at the “Red Lion” public-house in St. James's Street. Yesterday morning, before leaving my bedroom, I put my pocket away under my pillow; and last evening I missed it. I afterwards found it in the possession of the prisoner. I gave her in charge, and as she was about to get up from the pavement, where she had been sitting, she dropped the metal spoon, the tickets, the licenses, and one of the purses.

Superintendent Coram said he did not know the exact value of the pawn-tickets; but the rest of the articles were worth about 2s.

By Dr. Astley: The door of my bedroom is padlocked from morning till night. Last night I asked the landlady for the key. On going up to my room I found all my bedclothes turned over, and my pocket gone.
The witness then made some statements with regard to the sleeping arrangements at the “Red Lion,” and the Magistrates, considering them of importance, the witness gave the following evidence on the subject:- There are three beds in the room in which I sleep. A single man sleeps in one, a single woman occasionally occupies the second, while I am my husband, when he is at home occupy the third. My husband sometimes is away the whole night, and does not return till morning. I object to sleeping in this room with a single man.
By Dr. Astley: I was the last to go out of my bedroom on Sunday morning, and the door was padlocked immediately I came out.

The witness said that the second bed was not occupied by the female on the previous Saturday night.

Anne Coxen, the landlady of the “Red Lion,” said: My servant came to me yesterday morning and asked me if I would allow a man and his wife to lie down, as they had been out all night, and required some rest. I allowed them to do so, and asked the servant to padlock the door. I did not see the woman.

Louisa Hutt, another married woman lodging at the “Red Lion,” said that, on coming down stairs o Sunday morning, about half-past seven, she found the prisoner standing in the kitchen with a man. Mrs. Coxen afterwards told her that she had refused to let them have a bed on Saturday night, as she believed they were not husband and wife. The servant afterwards told witness that they had gone up stairs to a bed, and that the man had offered 3s. for one. There are two different classes of bedrooms. I sleep on the sixpenny side. The beds on the other side of the passage are eight-pence. I could not say how many slept in my room last night, as people come in and go out at all times of the night. Single men sleep there almost every night. There are sis beds in my room.

Bt Major Crookes: Although there are sis beds in the room, they are not close together.

Dr. Astley enquired of Superintendent Coram if this house had been inspected.

The Superintendent said it was the Inspector's duty to inspect it; but he did not know whether it had been done.

Major Crookes enquired of the witness whether she ever remonstrated about such a state of things.

Witness said she had; but the landlady had told her that it was unavoidable.

By Dr. Astley: I know the prisoner. I have seen her at the “Red Lion” several times; but on each occasion she has had a fresh man with her, passing as her husband. The prisoner is really a married woman. I have seen her husband.

My Major Crookes: Single women have never slept in my room; but always single men. The double beds are generally occupied by married people. I have always slept in the same room since I have lodged at Mrs. Coxen's.

Police-sergeant Thomas Stokes Barton said: Last night I was sent for to the passage leading from New Street to Queen's Gardens. On arriving there I saw the prisoner sitting posture on the pavement, close to a row of houses. The prosecutrix was there, and, after pointing out the prisoner to me, she gave her into custody. The prisoner said she had nothing on her belonging to the prosecutrix. I then told her she would have to go to the police-station with me; and on taking hold of her arm to lift her up, she dropped the whole of the things now produced (except one of the leather purses which she held in her hand) on to the ground. I took her into custody, and on being searched at the station-house by the female searcher five other pawn-tickets were found on her. They have been identified by the prosecutrix.

One of the necessary witness, the servant of the landlady of the “Red Lion” public-house, was not present; but the Superintendent having sent for her, the Magistrates descended below, to view the prison.

The servant, Francis Wright, after some considerable time, appeared, and the Magistrates having reseated themselves, she gave the following evidence:- The prisoner and her husband came to the “Red Lion” yesterday morning at half-past six o'clock.

Mr. Mowll: Who came in?

Witness: The prisoner and her husband.

Major Crookes: Was the man her husband?

Witness: The prisoner said he was.

Examination continued: The man asked for a bed, and paid eight-pence for it; but he did not go upstairs until two o'clock in the afternoon.

By Mr. Mowll: They remained in the kitchen from six till two, having some refreshment.

By Dr. Astley: they did not leave the kitchen during the whole of that time.

Examination continued: Mrs. Coxen went up to the prisoner's room and told her that she had heard something, and that she (the prisoner) had better go away at once. The prisoner went away first, and the man soon followed. The prisoner had been in the same room as the prosecutrix occupied, and she afterwards found that her pocket had disappeared from the room. The prisoner and the man remained in the room the whole time, as I padlocked the door immediately after they had gone in.

By Dr. Astley: The landlady did not order me to padlock the door; but the prisoner requested me to do so. The prisoner came and enquired for a bed on the previous night; but the beds were full, so the landlady was obliged to refuse her. I brought a loaf for the prisoner yesterday morning, and the prosecutrix's husband went out for some tea, sugar, and butter for three glasses of rum. I did not know whether Mrs. Coxen saw them. She does not come down stairs until eight or nine in the morning, and she is sometimes in the kitchen. I lighted the fire on the morning in question. Mrs. Coxen serves at the bar.

By Major Crookes: I conducted the prisoner into her room. There are three beds in the room, and they are double beds.

By Dr. Astley: Mrs. Coxen has had complaints made to her by other lodgers about single men and women sleeping in the house.
The prisoner, who desired to have the case tried by the Magistrates, pleaded “not guilty” ton the charge, and, in her defence, said she was in the “Red Lion” public-house on the previous day, waiting for some one, and, as the party did not come, she went outside and walked up and down the street in hope of finding him. She head some one cry out, and tell her that she had dropped something. She felt in her pocket and found that she had not dropped anything, but on turning round, a strange woman, who she had never seen before, gave her the bundle produced, containing the articles. She did not know what the bundle contained at the time. She shortly afterwards went to her home in Queen's gardens; but, on finding the house locked up, she sat down on the pavement outside. A policeman and the prosecutrix presently came up to her. She had the bundle which had been given her in her lap, and, on rising, all the articles fell out of it on to the pavement. The prosecutrix picked them up, saying that they were hers. She (prisoner) told her that she knew nothing about them, and that she did not want them. The constable then took her into custody.

The Magistrates, after a careful consideration of the case, told the prisoner that the story she had told was too absurd to be believed. She had forgotten that a portion of the complaint's property had been found concealed on her at the station-house. The sentence of the Court was that she be sent to prison for two months, with hard labour.

Dr. Astley then instructed the Superintendent to take note of the facts that had transpired in the evidence with regard to the sleeping arrangements of the “Red Lion,” for the information of the Magistrates at the next annual licensing day.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 25 October, 1871. Price 1d.


The landlady of the “Red Lion” public-house in St. James's Street, was summoned on the double charge of infringing her license by selling beer on Sunday morning last, and with keeping a disorderly house; but was dismissed on both information.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 10 January, 1873. Price 1d.


Anne Palmer Coxen, the landlady of the "Red Lion," St. James's Street, appeared in answer to a summons charging her with receiving lodgers into a common-lodging house without a license.

The Town Clerk, Mr. W. Knocker, prosecuted on behalf of the Urban Sanitary Authority, and Mr. Worsfold Mowll defended.

It appeared from the evidence of Mr. Sims, the Inspector of Nuisances, who had visited the house on one or two occasions, that defendant had on the 6th instant let a living-room in her house to six people. The lodgers all affirmed, in the presence of the Board's officer, on his making enquiries, that they had slept four or five to a room together, being perfect strangers.

Mr. Knocker pointed out that this charge was grounded on the 66th section of the Public Health Act; and the penalty to which defendant had rendered himself liable to a fine of 40s.

In cross-examination Mr. Mowll, Mr. Sims said this was the first case of refusal to register that had come under his notice since he had held office as Inspector of Nuisances. He had known double-bedded rooms to exist in lodging-houses, but not rooms containing three beds.

Mr. Mowll addressed the Magistrates at some length in defence, and urged them to exercise the discretionary power with which the Legislation had entrusted them with regard to cases such as this one now before them.

The Magistrates said they had such doubt as to the meaning of the term, "Common Lodging Houses," under the Public Health Act, that they had determined to dismiss the case.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 11 February, 1876. Price 1d.


Robert Jackson, tramp, was brought before the magistrates charged with begging in the Market Square.

Henry Charles Wellard, mendacity officer, said: Last night about seven o'clock I saw the prisoner going from shop to shop in the Market Square. I followed him in to Mr. Hogbin's cornfactor, and heard him ask for assistance. I then took him to the Police-station. He told me that he had walked from Canterbury that day, but at the Police-station he said he slept at the “Red Lion” public house the night before.

The Magistrates said it was determined that begging in the streets should be put a stop to, therefore prisoner would be sent to prison for seven days.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 14 January, 1887. Price 1d.


Before Dr. Barton (in the chair), and A. Bottle, Esq.

William Henry Pain, a musician, of Folkestone, was placed in the dock charged with stealing a coat and a shirt, the property of George Holmes, at the “Red Lion,” on the 14th instant.

George Holmes said: I am potman at the “Red Lion,” St. James' Street. I sleep in the same room as prisoner who has been lodging there for some weeks. On Friday morning, between 10 and 11, I missed the prisoner, and on going up to my bedroom I found that my shirt and coat, which were hanging on the chair, were gone. They were both there when I got up at six. I afterwards went to the pawnshop to see if I could find them, but I could not. I afterwards sent a man name Peter Collins to see if he could find them. He recovered the shirt (produced), which had been sold at a shop in Snargate Street for nine-pence. The coat has not been found. I value the two articles at 9s. or 10s.

The case was remanded till Monday for further evidence.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 1 March, 1878


Henry Harper and Joseph Martin were charged with stealing two coats, value 4s. 6d., the property of Mr. Philpott, general manager.

Edward Philpott said: I attend to my father's shop in Mill Lane. I saw the prisoners about two o'clock yesterday afternoon, when they wanted to sell a sleeve waistcoat, but I refused to buy it. They then went away, and at about four o'clock I missed two coats. I went and gave information to the Police. I then went to the kitchen of the “Red Lion” with Sergeant Stevens and Police-constable Ash. Harper was there wearing one coat, and the other was lying on the floor between the two men.

Caroline Ives said: I live opposite Mr. Philpott's shop. I saw the prisoners at about three o'clock going up the lane by the “Red Lion,” as I was looking out of the window. I missed the two coats, and went and told Mr. Philpott.

Emily Collins gave evidence in support of the charge.

Police-sergeant Stevens, having corroborated the evidence of the first witness about finding the prisoner at the “Red Lion,” the prisoner was sent to gaol for six weeks with hard labour.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 26 July, 1878


Mary Lindsey was charged with being drunk and disorderly, and with breaking glass and earthenware at the “Red Lion” public-house, St. James' Street, to the amount of 5s., the property of Ann Coxen.

Ann Coxen said: I keep the “Red Lion,” St. James' Street. The prisoner and her husband have been lodging at my house for some time. The night before last the prisoner went away, but her husband remained. She came back yesterday morning about eight o'clock and had breakfast with her husband. They quarrelled and she began to break things in the back-room. I saw her brake some of the things. She threw a quart pot at me, but it missed me and went through the window. I never spoke to her, nor do I know why she done the damage. She deliberately broke the things with her hand. I am my sister go in bodily fear of the prisoner. She has threatened to do for us. Prisoner had a pot of beer that morning in the tap-room before she had breakfast. Prisoner has broken altogether two plates, a quart pot, two basins and five panes of glass. The amount of the damage done is 5s. I sent for the Police, and of the Policeman had not come along at the time there would have been more damage done. The husband never said anything.

Police-constable Knott: Yesterday afternoon, at 12.30, I was on duty in St. James' Street, when I was called to the “Red Lion.” I went and there found the prisoner drunk. She was given into my custody by the last witness for breaking a quantity of ware and glass. I saw three panes of glass broken and two pots. The glass was broken in the tap-room window. After I took her into custody she broke two more panes in the passage with her fist. The right hand of the prisoner was so much cut that I bathed it for her, and went for a doctor and assistance. Prisoner was very violent at the Station.

The prisoner was fined 20s. and costs, and 5s. for the damage done, in default went to prison for 14 days.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 22 May, 1890. Price 1d.


George beck was charged with begging in Biggin Street, with stealing from 18, Bench Street, a brush valued 1s., the property of Mr. Greenstreet, and also with stealing two pipes from 93a, Snargate Street.

Police-constable Cadman said that he found the prisoner at the “Red Lion Inn,” St. James's Street, with the brush in his pocket. He was taken to Mr. Greenstreet's, and admitted having stolen the brush. Mr. Greenstreet identified the brush as his property.

Police-constable Baker said that on searching the prisoner at the Police Station, he found the two pipes produced on the prisoner.

Mr. F. Collins, tobacconist, 93a, Snargate Street, said he missed the pipes from the counter of his shop on Saturday morning. The prisoner must have taken them whilst witness was in the room behind the shop.

The prisoner was sent to prison for fourteen days.



It was taken down in 1894 when new and larger premises were erected and made available to the public in October 1895. It would then be positioned between St. James' Lane and St. Margaret's Place. The stone from the old pub was included in the wall of the new.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 27 March, 1896.


Yesterday afternoon, two Dover boatmen named Joe Betts and J. Cox were drowned off the South Foreland, and a Dover publican had a very narrow escape, under the following circumstances. Some time ago, Mr. F. McAdam, the landlord of the “Red Lion” public house, St. James's Street, purchased a sailing boat at Deal, and the weather being rough on the day it was being sailed home, it was left at St. Margaret's Bay. Yesterday, about noon, McAdam and Betts and Cox walked over to St. Margaret's to bring the boat home, and they started from St. Margaret's Bay about two o'clock, three men in the boat and also a large sized collie dog. They were proceeding under sail, and were passed not long after they set out by three Dover men, Drissoll, Saunders, and another in a galley punt. Not long after, when they were right under the lighthouse point, the boat for some reason suddenly heeled over, the three men and the dog being pitched into the water. McAdam, who could not swim a stroke, went under, and was under some time, when he felt the body of the dog swimming past him. He clung to the dog, and coming to the surface, saw the boat bottom upwards close by. He took hold of the boat and got astride the keel. Looking around, he saw Betts about 20 yards away, swimming towards the boat. He called to him, but before Betts had continued swimming but a very few yards he threw up his arms and disappeared. Mr. Adams did not see Cox, but the coastguardsmen saw him swimming towards the shore, and when he was not far from land he sank, and rose no more. McAdam, still sitting on the boat, was taken off by Driscoll and his companions in the galley punt, who, having seen what had occurred returned to the rescue. The dog, after saving McAdams life, swam ashore. The men in the punt took McAdam to the “Green Man Inn,” St. Margaret's Bay, where he was rubbed down and had a change of clothing, after which he was brought to Dover. The boat was also taken back to St. Margaret's.

Neither of the men who were drowned were married. J. Betts lived with his mother in Mill Lane. He was the younger boatman of the Betts family. He only recently received from the Mayor the Royal Humane Society's certificate for saving life; he was a member of the Dover lifeboat crew, and was for years the coxswain of the Dover Senior Fours Regatta crew. Cox had been formerly in the Royal Navy, and was lodging at the “Red Lion Inn.” They were both good swimmers as well as experienced seamen, therefore it is remarkable that they were not able wither to swim ashore or to stay by the boat. Although the day was fine, the sea at that point was rough; in fact, it is always more or less dangerous there, and several fatalities have occurred at that part of the coast.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 27 March, 1896.


The inquest on the body of John Cox, one of the two victims of last Thursday week's boat accident off the South Foreland was being held at the “Green Man” St. Margaret's, on Monday afternoon, by the East Kent Coroner, R. C. Mercer, Esq. The foreman of the Jury was Mr. Summers. After viewing the body, the following evidence was taken:-

Frederick McAdam said: I am the landlord of the “Red Lion” St. James' Street. The deceased has been lodging at my house since I took it five months ago. His name is John Cox, although he is known as “Toms.” He, Joseph Betts, and myself came over here last Thursday morning to fetch a foreland mizzen boat. We walked over and left St. Margaret's about 1.30. In the boat were myself and my dog, I steering, the dog lying at my feet asleep. Betts was in the middle of the boat, and Cox forward. We passed an East Cliff galley, and passed the time of day with them. About five minutes afterwards Joe thought it advisable to go further out into the sea. To do this they had to lower the fore sale to go on the other tack. Tom undid the halliards and just then a puff of wind came and caught the sail against the mast, and the boat was over before we could say a word, and we were all shot into the water. The next thing I can remember is the fact that the dog caught hold of me. I was under the water some six or seven feet, and I saw the dog come down, he must have dived for me. I caught hold of the dog and he brought me to the top of the water. I cannot swim a stroke. Seeing the boat I caught hold of it and left the dog. I saw nothing more of the dog, and so far as I knew at the time it was drowned. I got on to the top of the boat, and after a minute or two I saw Joe come to the surface and make a stroke or two and presently go down. When I was on top of the boat I saw “Toms” head above the water between me and land, and I heard him shout. He was swimming then. He had on ordinary light boots. He shouted three or four times altogether, but he was too far away for me to hear what he said. We were about 400 yards from land as far as I could judge, and after I got on to the boat it drifted towards St. Margaret's. I was on the boat about 20 minutes to half-an-hour before being taken off. No one stood up in the boat at the time of the accident, but Tom half rose to catch hold of the sail. Betts is a Dover seaman, and he bought the boat for me at Deal. I cannot say whether the puff of wind was very severe or not.

James Atkins, a seaman, residing at St. Margaret's bay, said: On Friday morning about 9 o'clock I found the body half way between here and the South Foreland just at low water. I knew who it was, there is no trace of the other body.

William Cox, 17, Bridge Street, Bricklayer, said the deceased was his brother, his name was John James Cox. He was 28 years of age. He was a quay labourer and had been in the Navy 9 years. He was single.

In reply to the Coroner it was stated that Betts was also unmarried.
The Coroner remarked that was all the evidence he proposed to call. He thought the Jury would feel little difficulty in returning a verdict.

One of the Constables remarked that a brother of Betts was in attendance, and wished to give evidence.

The Coroner remarked that he could hardly see what use it would be. This was not a inquest on Betts.

Mr. Gatehouse asked to be allowed to put a question to Mr. McAdam. In reply to the Coroner he said he was a cousin of Betts. He had just been and viewed the body, and he would like to have a doctor's opinion of the wound on the temple.

The Coroner: Then it is no use asking Mr. McAdam.

Mr. Gatehouse said he should like to ask how long McAdam had had his dog.

The Coroner: What is the use of asking such a question?

Mr. Gatehouse remarked that on the dog coming ashore it bit a man, and he would like to know if it had not flown at the deceased.

The Coroner said that if Mr. Gatehouse was trying to bring an action against Mr. McAdam for having a ferocious dog, he was mistaken if he thought that he was going to get evidence of it having bitten someone previously in that court. He must be mad to ask such a question. The object of the inquiry was for the Jury to be satisfied that there was no foul play. He understood that there was no suspicion of that, it was a pure accident, and it is a very fortunate thing for Mr. McAdam, that one, at any rate escaped.

One of the Jurymen, a seaman, in reply to the Coroner, said that Betts probably lay where he sank and would rise about Friday to the surface of the water, and it all depended what the tide did at the time as to where the body would be washed ashore. Cox sank close to where he was found, but Betts was a good way further out when he went under.

The inquiry then terminated, the Coroner remarking that he might very likely have to summon them together again very soon.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 17 April, 1896.


On Tuesday morning the body of Joseph Betts, who lost his life in the boat accident off the South Foreland, last March, was picked up. The inquest was held the same evening at the “Union Hotel,” by the borough Coroner, Sydenham Payn, Esq. Mr. W. Kirk was chosen foreman of the Jury, and after viewing the body the following evidence was taken:-

Edward James Betts, boatman, living at 19, Trevanion Street, said: This morning, soon after six o'clock, I picked up the body of my brother, Joseph Betts, about half a mile outside the South Foreland lighthouse. I was with my son, and we saw the head floating in the water. We hauled it into the boat and brought it into Dover. He was 27 years of age. The articles found on the deceased and produced, are my brother's property.

Frederick McAdam, landlord of the “Red Lion,” St James' Street, said: On the 19th of March, Betts, John Cox, and myself went over to St. Margaret's. We started about 9 o'clock, for the purpose of bringing over a boat which had been left there. We got into the Bay about one o'clock, and, after remaining there about half an hour, we launched the boat to get back to Dover for dinner. It had a fore sail and mizzen, and was a 15ft. boat. The fore sail, I believe, was a lug sail. On the way back, just before getting to the lights, we passed an East Cliff galley. It was a very fine day, but I cannot say where the wind was from. I was steering under Betts' orders. He was in the centre of the boat, and Cox was in the bow. A dog was lying at my feet asleep. We had both sails set, the mizzen and the lug. About ten after passing the East Cliff galley, Betts said we should have to take a reach out to sea, as we were too close to the land. Betts and Cox started to lower the sail, and as they started to pull it down, the wind carried the sail on to the mast, and turned the boat over sideways. After I got into the water, I remembered the dog, which apparently had dived, catching hold of me when I was under the water some feet. On coming to the surface I was only a short distance from the boat, and the dog guided me to it, and I got astride of the boat. After a few moments I saw Betts come to the surface some 25 feet from the boat. He made three or four strokes swimming, and then sunk. Cox headed towards the shore, but I could not see him as I was afraid to turn round on the boat. I bought the boat at Deal some three months ago. I have been out in it several times. As far as I know it was perfectly safe. I do not remember if the gust was very severe, as it was so sudden. Betts had the sheet rope in his hand when they were lowering the sail, and the halliards had been let go.

In reply to the Coroner, Mr. McAdam said: There is no truth in the story that the dog flew at Cox and bit him and that that was the origin of the accident. The first story was that the lighthouse keeper saw us three trying to get the dog into the boat, and it overturned. There have been so many stories, but the one I have told is the only true one. I saw the body of Cox at St. Margaret's, but I cannot say whether there were and punctured wounds on the face. There were several red marks. The boat is still in St, Margaret's, and I have not seen it since. If there are any marks of blood in it, I cannot say how they came there.

R. Betts, in reply to the Coroner, said his brother was a very good swimmer.

The Coroner, to McAdam: You were all three of you all right?

McAdam: Oh, yes.

George Daniel Pell, assistant keeper at the South Foreland Lighthouse, said; I recollect the day of the accident, on March 19th. I had just come out of my house at 1.40, when I heard some shouting, which continued, and I went to the edge of the cliff. There I saw a boat capsized, and a man clinging to it. A dog was swimming near the shore, and just outside another man was swimming towards the shore. The boat was about 400 yards away from the shore. There was a slight breeze from the north-east. Directly I saw the accident I went to St. Margaret's Bay, as I knew the only help could come from there. On the beach I saw the East Cliff galley. We soon launched it and picked the last witness off the boat. He was handing on to the gunwale with his hands. The sails were laying flat on the water and appeared to be set. We then went to search for the other man, but we could not find him. We picked the dog up off the beach.

William Saunders, boatman, living at Trevanion Land, said: On the 19th of March we were in a galley off the lighthouse by St. Margaret's Bay, waiting for a pilot. We saw the boat come out of the Bay and row round the point. The wind was very light, and hardly enough to run them over the tide. When they got clear of the point they boomed their sail out. We watched them till they were off the lighthouse, where they ran out a little more. We then rowed into St. Margaret's Bay and it must have been directly we did so that the accident happened. We did not sit down to row but stood up with our faces towards the Bay. There did not appear to be any gusts of wind. The wind was east, and was favourable for running into Dover without touching the sail. Directly we landed at St. Margaret's, the last witness informed us of the accident, and we launched the boat, and reached the point within less than four minutes and took McAdam off the boat. The sail was then adrift from the mast. I asked McAdam where Betts was, and he said he had gone down. We picked the dog up. I saw the boat come ashore before we left St. Margaret's, but I saw no marks of blood. Those in the boat were perfectly quiet when they passed us. I cannot think that a heavy gust turned the boat over. It is more likely that one of them did it by getting up. The boat seemed rather cranky whilst I was watching if go past us. I can't make out how it came that Betts did not manage to get back to the boat.

Mr. C. C. Walters said: I was shown the body of the deceased at the mortuary. It was very much decomposed and eaten by fishes. It was too far gone to say whether there were any marks of violence. The whole of the face and scalp and the knees and legs were eaten away. It would be impossible to say the cause of death.

The Coroner remarked that that was the whole of the evidence. It seemed somewhat peculiar. They heard from Saunders that there was no wind at all, and that it was improbably for any gusts of wind to come sufficient to capsize the boat. McAdam said he knew very little about sailing, and very likely was mistaken as to what took place. Both the deceased might have got up for some reason, and thereby capsized the boat. There had been a great many rumours about concerning the case, but he did not think that they should take any notice of them. They frequently heard wonderful dog stories which were often almost like snake stories. It was marvellous to him how a man like Betts, who had lived all his life on the sea, came to be capsized in a boat on a calm day, and with nothing he could get entangled in, and so near the boat when he came up. The probabilities of the case were that there was something more, and that Betts got kept down under the water. They had, however, not to deal with probabilities, but, at the same time, it did appear to him to be peculiar that Betts, a strong young fellow, should get drowned under these circumstances. McAdam did not even say that Betts tried to rescue him. The story told by McAdam might be perfectly true, it seemed probable, at any rate, it was an accident, but they liked to get at the true facts of the case, so that those who did anything might gain the credit for it, and those who did not might bear the censure if there was any deserved.

One of the Jury remarked that the legs of the deceased were drawn up, and he might have had cramp.

After a short consultation the Jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.”


Dover Express. 1 September 1899.

John Kelly, was charged with being drunk and obstructing the footway in St James's Street, and with wilfully breaking a pane of glass, value 5s., at the "Red Lion" public house.

Mrs. H. Belsey, wife of the landlord of the "Red Lion," St. James's Street, said that at 2:30 p.m. the previous afternoon she was called to the kitchen. The Prisoner was there causing a disturbance, and as he was not a lodger witness ordered him out. He would not go and appeared to be drunk, although she had not served him. He made a dash at witness and instead of striking her he hit the window of the door instead, breaking the glass. Witness called on a man in the house for assistance, and a Constable was sent for. The window was valued to 2s. 6d.

John Allen, a navvy, said he was in the "Red Lion" when the prisoner came in. He said he was Sullivan, and commenced a disturbance with four or of them who were having dinner. The landlady came in and prisoner picked up a glass of witness' beer and threw it over her. He then rushed at her and broke the window. Witness then went to her assistance and prisoner tore witness' clothes off and struck him. He was very rough when the Constable came.

Police Constable Morris said that about 2:45 on the previous day he was called to the "Red Lion." The Prisoner was lying on the footpath in St. James' Lane, and the landlady gave him into custody. He used most filthy language, and was very troublesome.

Police Sergeant Campany said that the prisoner acted like a madman in his cell.

The prisoner was fined 1. 6d. or in default 21 days hard labour.


The wars were not kind to this one. On 23 January 1916, a bomb fell on the roof during the early hours, another one hitting the malthouse of the Phoenix Brewery.

The tram crash of 1917 saw the Mr. W. Skinner, aged 17, the landlord's son killed when the tram overturned at Crabble in August of that year.

It closed in world war two when Charles Kingsman went to war and following war damage, it remained derelict from 1943 to November 1958 when it was removed.


From the Dover Express. Friday 21st February 1919.

“Nap” at the Red Lion.

At the Dover Police Court on Monday, before Messrs. Hayward and Back, John Skinner, landlord of the “Red Lion Inn” St. James's St., the holder of a Justice's licence, was summoned for allowing an unlawful game to be carried on on the premises.

Mr. Vosper prosecuted; and Mr. R. Mowll defended, and pleaded not guilty.

Police Sergt. G. Lawrence said that on Friday January 31st, in company with P.C. Harman, he visited the “Red Lion” public-house, St. James's St., at 3.25 p.m. In the kitchen he saw the defendant and two other men, lodgers, sitting at the tables playing cards. Beside one of the men was a pile of money, 1s 5d. and in front of the other 3d. The defendants luck was out, and he had none. Witness asked the defendant what it meant, and he said that they were having a friendly game of cards. They were playing “Ha'penny nap” He said that he was sorry; it was a “fair cop.” Witness took charge of the cards and the money.

Mr. Mowll said that it had been frankly put to Mr. Vosper as a technical offence. Mr. Skinner had been a licensed victualler for thirty years and for twenty years at this house. He had a common lodging-house, and had, he believed, always conducted it satisfactory. It was true that one could not have a game of “Ha'penny nap” without running the risk of a vigilant sergeant making what the defendant called a “fair cop.”

It took place in the kitchen and when the house was closed, and it was highly technical to regard it as an offence. He suggested that the case should be dismissed on payment of the costs.

The Magistrates cautioned the defendant and ordered the payment of the costs, 4s. and recommended him not to be “copped” again. The money was ordered to be placed in the poor box.


Information kindly supplied by Joyce Banks.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 1 July, 1927. Price 1d.


At the Dover Police Court on Thursday before the Aldermen Sellens and Beaufoy.

Thomas Welch, a pit sinker, whose address was given as the “Jolly Sailor,” Deal, was charged with (1) breaking a glass in the panel of a passage door and two windows in the passage at the “Red Lion,” St. James' Street, (2) assaulting George Miles, and (3) being drunk and disorderly in Liverpool Street.

Prisoner pleaded guilty to all three charges.

George Miles, landlord of the “Red Lion,” said that he knew the prisoner, who had previously lodged there up to a fortnight ago. About 8.20 on Wednesday evening he saw the prisoner in the kitchen sitting on a form. I said, “Hullo Tom, showed up again,” and asked him about the previous money owing. This, prisoner said he would get all right. He told him he had no right in the kitchen, and he said he had come to see “Old Jack” and asked for a pint of bitter, which he served him with as he did not appear to be the worse for drink. Later, another lodger called for four pints, one for the prisoner. Afterwards, witness heard bad language being used and went to the kitchen. Prisoner was swearing about the change which he had not then received, witness having it in his pocket. Prisoner then picked up his pint glass and smashed it on the floor at witness's feet, whereupon he asked prisoner to leave – which he refused to do. Witness took hold of his arm to persuade him to go, and got him outside the lodgers' kitchen into the passage, when he struck him in the face. It was not a severe blow. With assistance witness got him into the street. He said he was coming back so witness locked the door against him. Prisoner kicked the door and put his fist through the panel of the door. Before witness could undo the door prisoner smashed the window on the side. The damage was estimated at 4 15s. Prisoner said he would smash up the ______ lot. Witness undid the door and closed with him and said that he would give him in charge. He started going away towards Liverpool Street, and witness followed. Prisoner turned round at the corner and struck him in the face again. Witness then closed with him and held him against the fence until the Constable arrived.

Prisoner said that the cause of the bother was that the landlord said he would keep the change for what he owed.

Witness: I said I would be justified in keeping it.

The Chairman: Is it usual to serve beer in the kitchen?

Yes, to lodgers.

Even if they have had sufficient or not?

Not if they have had too much.

P.C. Lee said that at 8.45 p.m. he was called by Mrs. Miles, and went to Liverpool Street, where he found prisoner detained by Mr. Miles. He was drunk, shouting, and using obscene language. Witness brought him to the police station, with assistance.

Prisoner had nothing further to say.

After retiring, the Chairman said that they decided to fine prisoner 3, and allow a month for payment. In default he would go to prison for a month.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 27 March, 1931. Price 1d.


At the Dover Police Court on Tuesday, Peter Donovan was charged that on or about February 7th, being the bailee of an overcoat and boots belonging to James Smith of the “Red Lion” Lodging House, he did take and convert the same to his own use and thereby did steal the same.

Sergeant Holler said that on Monday at 6.50 p.m. he saw the prisoner at Margate Police Station, where he was detained.

Remanded until Monday, bail in a sum of 3 being allowed.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 7 February, 1941.

The Licensing Sessions on Friday last, permission was given for the closing of the "Red Lion," St. James' Street, the licensee having been called up to serve in H.M. forces.


An old Leney outlet which passed to Fremlin and the suspended licence was transferred in February 1959 to the "Plough" at Broomfield, Herne Bay.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 28 November 1958.

Red Lion demolition 1958

Derelict for nearly 15 years, the "Red Lion," St. James's Street, is now in the hands of the demolition squad.



HAMMOND Widow 1759+

BOWLES H 1823 Pigot's Directory 1823

SPICE Thomas 1826-28+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29

WHITING George 1832-39+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34Pigot's Directory 1839

WHITING Mary 1840-45+ Pigot's Directory 1840

WHITING James 1839-43?

WHITING William H 1847-61+ Bagshaw's Directory 1847Melville's 1858Post Office Directory 1862 (age 42 in 1861Census)

WHITING Ann Mrs 1861-68+

COXEN Anne Palmer Mrs 1871-74+ (age 57 in 1871Census) Post Office Directory 1874

DANE W 1878

DANE Alfred Thomas 1881-93 (age 40 in 1881Census) Post Office Directory 1882

DANE Caroline Mrs 1893-95+ Pikes 1895

BELSEY Stephen 1899-1902 latest Next pub licensee had Kelly's Directory 1899

WATSON 1904 end ?

MUIR 1904 ?

SKINNER John 1903-17+Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903Post Office Directory 1913

FITZ Horace (Horatio) 1922-Aug/24 Post Office Directory 1922Pikes 1924Dover Express

LEE William Ernest Aug/1924-26 end Dover Express

OTTOWAY Alfred George 1926-27 end

MILES George 1927-28 end

SMALL Charles Henry 1928-Oct/29 Dover Express

LINGHAM Sidney John Oct/1929-Feb/32 end Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1930 (Bootmaker, Maidstone)

NICHOLS James Edward Feb/1932-39 end Pikes 1932-33Post Office Directory 1938Pikes 1938-39 (Late of Maidstone, provision dealer.)

Last pub licensee had KINGSMAN Charles Smith 13 Jan 1939-41


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

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 1862From the Post Office Directory 1862

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Pikes 1895From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1895

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

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

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

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:-