Sort file:- Dover, September, 2021.

Page Updated:- Monday, 27 September, 2021.


Earliest 1877

(Name from)

Royal Clarence Theatre

Latest 1896

(Name to)

Snargate Street



I'm not sure whether this is being confused with the "Clarence Hotel" at 39 Council House Street, but I am pretty sure that was under control of George Boorman between 1891 and 1899, so C Stewart seems to overlap here, I have only found this mentioned the once in the 1895 Post Office Directory, although that didn't mention it as being an Inn or Hotel so will assume this is another pub for the Snargate Street list.

However, there was also "Royal Hotel" at Clarence Place from 1844 to 1950 and another "Royal Hotel" mentioned in Snargate Street in 1863.

Further research has turned up this mention in the Dover Express of 1876 and 1877.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 10 March, 1876. Price 1d.


A license for theatrical performances at the "Clarence Theatre" was granted to William Meredith, the new proprietor. In future the house is to be called the "Gaiety."

From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 9 February, 1877. Price 1d.


An application was made by Mr. George Ware for permission to draw at the above place of amusement, in Snargate Street.

Several testimonials, handed in by the applicant, were read.

Dr. Astley said there was no certificate amongst the number of recent date.

Mr. Ware said that accounted for his having been to America three years. he came back last August and had been travelling through the country with his own concerts.

Dr. Astley: Is it your intention to give up travelling with these concerts?

Mr. Ware: Yes, sir, I have taken a lease of the house for seven years. I am going to reside here and take it personally.

The bench said though the applicant had no testimonials of recent date under the circumstances of his having been out of the country they would grant a special license and remind him that he must be careful to see that the house was conducted properly.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 26 March, 1886. Price 1d.


The management of this Theatre having been assigned by Mr. Charles Stewart who, as a baritone vocalist, is well-known in Dover – that gentlemen has put forward a powerful bill of fare for the re-opening, which takes place on Monday evening next. The Company engage embraces almost every line of business I the music hall profession, and the huge programme set forth presents a combination rarely to be met with in a provincial music hall, which it cannot fail but to give satisfaction to the most voracious amusement seeker.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 9 April, 1886. Price 1d.


Despite the many drawbacks with which Mr. Stewart has had to contend with in connection with this theatre, - not to mention the other counter attractions – he continues to hold his own, and this week has again provided a company which embraces a great variety of talent. The bill is headed by Mr. P. Raymond, a vocal comedian of first-class merit, who has been well received. Among other clever entertainers are Miss A. Chantrell, a serio comic and dancer of more than average ability; Mr. W. Hicks, negro comedian, who in conjunction with his dog Prim causes great amusement; Muiss J. Renforth, a charming serio-comic; and Miss E. Massey, whose rendering of several ballads was rewarded with enthusiastic applause. Townsend and Josephine, with their clever daughter, go as well as ever, as does also Mr. P. Carman, topical vocalist; while Mr. Tarlton, negro comedian, Mr. F. Mildmay, and Mayot's Minstrels came in for a large share of applause.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 16 April, 1886. Price 1d.


Another success has been achieved at the above place of amusement during the past week by the engagement of the celebrated Ted Jarratt and his clever pantomime troupe, who on Monday evening made their first appearance in Dover. The troupe comprised Mdlle. Zante, Mdlle. L'zette, Mr. A. Bishop, Mr. T. French, and Mr. Ted Jarratt, who appear in a comic ballet entitled “Zeph,” which is full of genuine fun, keeping rhe audience in roars of laughter. They also appear in a comic sketch entitled “The Two Hunchbacks,” in which they are also successful in invoking hearty merriment. The patrons of the house are really indebted to Mr. Stewart for the treat he has afforded them by this excellent engagement, and it is pleasant to record that in his efforts to cater for the Dover public he receives a large measure of support, as is sufficiently testified by the crowded audiences which have assembled each night. Among the other new comers this week are Little Jess Vale, whose Dutch character singing, and acrobatic dancing fairly brought down the house; Miss Maud Manchester, a juvenile serio-comic and dancer of rare abilities, and Mr. Harry Archer, a good song and dance artist. Mr. Phil Raymond still continues in favour as a vocal comedian, his appearance and style being exceptionally good, while the spirit with which his songs are rendered invariably secures for him several recalls. Praise id due for the really finished rendering of several ballads by Miss WE. Massey, while the piquant style of Miss J. Renforth hits the taste of the audience. Mr. Will Hicks, now in his second week here, is as much appreciated as ever, his concertina playing being received with great applause, while his funny sayings and doings with dog Prim keeps the audience in continual merriment.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 10 September, 1886. Price 1d.


W. H. Hudsmith was summoned for disorderly conduct and refusing to quit the “Clarence Theatre” when requested to do so.

On the application of Mr. Mowll, the case was withdrawn on defendant paying the costs.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 22 July, 1887. Price 1d.


It must be highly gratifying to Mr. Stewart to find his efforts to provide a first class entertainment so literally acknowledged by the public, as is shown by the continual increase in the audience. The programme for the week is well up to the mark, and contains talent of various kinds.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 7 October, 1887. Price 1d.



Mr. Mowll applied on behalf of Mr. Wellsford, of the Dover Brewery Company, for the renewal of the license for theatrical performances at the “Royal Clarence Theatre,” Snargate Street. The hall when filled held 450 persons, and there were six exits from the theatre, five of which went into the street. The Surveyor had inspected the premises, and water was being laid on. There was a man in attendance on every occasion.

The Chairman said they had carefully considered the applications and had decided to re-visit the “Clarence Theatre” with a view of making sure that all the precautions had been carried out and that the place was safe. They would grant a temporary license for fourteen days.

It was decided to inspect the theatre this morning (Friday) at 10.a.m.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 11 May, 1888. 1d.


We hear that Messrs. Beer and Co. intend enlarging the Clarence Theatre, and by pulling down the adjoining public house, which is also their property, opening a cross-cut from Snargate Street and Northampton Street. Midway down this cross avenue, it is proposed to open a two faced bar on one side opening to the passage, and the other to a saloon which will command a view of the performance in the Theatre.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 21 May, 1886.


Mr. E. W. Spain applied on behalf of the Dover Brewery Company for the theatrical license of the “Royal Clarence Theatre” to be transferred from Mr. Bacon to Mr. George Alfred Pitcher, cashier to the Dover Brewery Company, Mr. Bacon being no longer connected with the firm. Messrs. Elvey and Stimpson were the sureties.

Robert Victor Elvey, of the Dover Brewery Company, said: On February 26th the theatrical license of the “Clarence” was granted to Mr. Bacon, who was then traveller to the Company. The license was granted for seven months. He is no longer traveller for the firm. Mr. Bacon signed the transfer paper produced. We have kept the licence in the office.

Mr. Saunders, Superintendent of Police, said that Mr. Bacon told him that he wished to get rid of the responsibility of the theatrical performance, and wished the license to be transferred.

There appeared to be some technical point as to the proper signing of the transfer, and the Magistrates adjourned to their room to consider the matter.

After an absence of nearly an hour, the Magistrates returned into Court, and the Chairman said that they had given the matter their due consideration, and had decided that it would be better for the license to be granted to a member belonging to the firm.

In answer to Mr. Spain, Mr. Stillwell said that the license was not yet expired, and therefore Mr. Bacon was the responsible person.



George Ware is also mentioned at the Gaiety Theatre in 1877, which I believe was the forerunner to the "Royal Hippodrome" and changed name to Gaiety Theatre in 1875 from the "Clarence Saloon" and that certainly ties up with the names.

Before becoming the "Royal Hippodrome" the premises would have again changed name to the "Tivoli Theatre" in 1896.



MEREDITH William Feb/1876-77 Dover Express

WARE George Feb/1877-May/79 Dover Express (Clarence)

MANSFIELD George May/1879-82+ (age 40 in 1881Census) Dover Express

THURLOW James E July/1885+ Dover Express

BACON J W to Feb-May/1886 Dover Express

LILY Mr May/1886-Oct/87 Dover Express

SOUTER Mr E Oct/1887-88 Dover Express

WRAIGHT G F to Nov/1888+ Dover Express

STEWART Charles Nov/1888-95 (age 40 in 1891Census) Dover ExpressPikes 1895


Pikes 1895From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1895

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:-