Sort file:- Dover, December, 2021.

Page Updated:- Tuesday, 14 December, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1757

(Name from)

Shakespeare Hotel

Latest 1964

(Name to)

10 Bench Street


Shakespeare Hotel, New Bridge

An early Dover tram in Bench Street, around 1900, as it nears New Bridge, in the foreground. Note the old Shakespeare Hotel on the left above Page the grocer. The hotel later extended over the Crypt Restaurant further down. I wonder why two policemen are standing in the middle of the road in Mrs Goy's postcard!

Shakespeare Hotel date unknown

Above print, date unknown.

Shakespeare Hotel

Above photo, date unknown, from Paul Wells.


George Square once stood at the top of Snargate Street and on the West side of the Square stood the "George Tavern". Presuming that to be the same as the "George Inn", which was there in 1637 - being something of an international trading centre - would tie up many loose ends. Token coinage, a little later, carried the inscription "George Inn IEC 1652".


That house is acknowledged to be the one which later came to be "The Vine", active around 1757 but later becoming the "Shakespeare Inn".


The thoroughfare in front of the pub was eighteen feet wide in 1836 and beneath it a crypt or cavern was discovered after a tower above ground had been removed. Old concrete foundations were found in the cellars of the hotel and much heavy masonry still lies beneath the road to-day. The Flemish tiles which ornamented the front were all excavated from the site itself.


Elvey kept it in 1823, being followed by Josiah Hollyer. The Dover Telegraph of 25 June 1836 p.1 c.2 stated:- "Charles Elvey, Shakespeare Hotel, Dover - notice of thanks to friends for 30 years' patronage.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports Advertiser, 25 June, 1836. p.1 col.2

Joshua Hollyer, "Shakespeare Hotel." notice of taking over above hotel; formerly at the "George Inn," Rye.


From the Kentish Gazette, 12 February 1839.


Feb. 8, at Charlton, Rebecca, wife of Mr. Charles Elvey, late of the "Shakepeare Hotel," Dover, aged 73.


From the Kentish Gazette, 9 July 1839.


July 2, at the "Shakepeare Hotel," Dover, Mr. Thomas Lavender, late waiter of the "Star Inn," Canterbury, in his 31st year.


From the Kentish Gazette, 4 October 1842.


THE Commissioners in a Fiat in Bankruptcy awarded and issued against JOSEPH WEBB PILCHER, of Crabble, in the Parish of RIVER, in the County of Kent, Miller, dealer and chapman, intend to meet on the Twenty-fifth day of OCTOBER inst., at One o’clock in the Afternoon, at the "Shakespears Hotel," in DOVOR, in the said County in order to audit the Accounts of the Assignees. Ann the said Commissioners also intend to meet at Two o’clock in the Afternoon on the same day and at the same place, to make a Final Dividend of the Estate and Effects of the said Bankrupt, when and where the Creditors who have not already proved their Debts are to come prepared to prove the same, or they will be excluded the benefit of the said Dividend, and all claims not then proved will be disallowed.

JEFFERYS and BATHURST, Faversham, with MATTHEW KENNETT, Dovor, Solicitors to the Assignees.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports Advertiser, 18 April, 1846. p.1

Joshua Hollyer, Director of Dover & East Kent Building and Investment Society.


From the List of Jurors c. 1841- 1875, Dover Corporation Records.

Joshua Hollyer, Innkeeper, Bench Street, Dover. 13 April, 1847. Left Dover.


From the St Mary Dover register.

Wm Josiah and Clara Margaret HOLLYER of St Mary Dover, Innkeeper:

Christened their son George Thomas 16.6.1843 (St Mary Dover)

Wm Josiah HOLLYER of New Steine Hotel, Brighton, aged 36 buried 7.1.1857


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports Advertiser, 13 January, 1849.

Louisa Marlen, wife of Mr. W. Marlen, was charged with stealing 5lbs. weight of ham, the property of Mr. Joshua Hollyer, of the "Shakespeare Hotel", on Saturday evening, the 11th November last. Mr. O'Grady prosecuting, and Mr. Horne defended the prisoner.

Martha Clarke, niece of Mr. Hollyer, deposed:- On Saturday evening, the 11th of November, prisoner came into the hotel; and as she was in the passage I saw her go near the larder and heard the plates clatter, and she then came to the bar for some ale. While serving her, I observed her to have something in her possession, which she was apparently endeavouring to cover with her shawl. Having suspicion that she had taken something, I went to the larder, and found that a piece of ham was gone which I had seen there two or three minutes previously, and I immediately called her to stop, but she took no notice, although I am certain she must have heard me. I then told the waiter what had taken place, and he directly went after prisoner and brought her back. On my charging her with stealing the ham, she denied it. The ham now produced is the same I missed from the larder, and weighs about 5 lbs.

William Colyer, waiter at the "Shakespeare Hotel," deposed that on Saturday night, the 11th of November, his attention was called by Miss Clarke, who told him that part of a ham had been taken from the larder, an that she believed Mrs. Marlen had stolen it, who had just left. On this, witness went after prisoner, and brought her back immediately, but when accused of the theft she denied it. He was certain as to the identity of the ham, which he had seen in his master's larder a few minutes previously.

John Birch, porter at the "Shakespeare Hotel," deposed that he went to the station house to give information to the police, and on returning, found the ham on the step of the house lately occupied by Mr. Smith, poulterer, which was about four or five yards from where the waiter stopped prisoner.

The learned recorder then summed up, and the Jury returned a verdict of Guilty.

A previous conviction was then proved against the prisoner and the Recorder, in passing sentence upon her, said that she had but recently been subjected to a very severe imprisonment - 18 months - during which time she had sufficient opportunity for reflection, which, however, had not amended her conduct; and seeing this, he did not deem her fit to remain in this country any longer. The sentence upon her was, that she be transported for 7 years.



Lukey was given permission to draw in 1853 and he is also known to have used the crypt for bottling purposes before continuing that process from nearby premises after 1853. He rated himself so highly as a fly driver that he issued a challenge to other drivers nationwide.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, 6 February, 1858. Price 1d.


Alexander Cruikshank Channer, a respectably attired individual, was charged with obtaining money under false pretences of Mr. Lukey, the landlord of the "Shakespeare Hotel." The examination was preliminary to a remand.

William Lukey: On the 19th of December prisoner came to my house, stopped two nights, paid his account, and then went to live at No. 5 Athol Terrace. He has been in the habit of coming in, and of sending for wine, spirits, &c. When he called, he sometimes had a glass of brandy-and-water, and sometimes a sandwich or dinner; but he never paid anything after the two nights he slept there. On Saturday, 23rd Jan., he brought a cheque into me, saying, "I have a cheque, Mr. Lukey, from my partner in Leeds, but he has not signed it;" and he asked me to lend him 2 until he had returned it, and received it back signed. I did not examine the cheque, but thought it singular that he should not sign it as well as his partner. On Monday, Feb. 1st, I reminded him of his having borrowed the 2, and asked if he had forgotten it. He replied, "I have the cheque here, which I will give you, and you can take the 2 and your account from it, and give me the change." He handed me the cheque. It was the one produced, and purports to be for 25. I looked at my cashbox, and found I had not enough money, when he told me I could give it him the next morning. I didn't know exactly what his account amounted to. I only had 10 in the box, and I told him he could have that if he liked. He took it. He said the cheque was signed by his partner. Mr. Lambert, and that they were in an extensive way at Leeds as engineers. He had a letter in his hand at the time, which he said was from his partner, and he read it to me. Prisoner said he had 30,000 in his business himself, but not at that time. The letter intimated the sending of the cheque, and desired the receiver to stop a little longer at Dover, as the air agreed with him. I said to prisoner, "This cheque is on London." He replied, "Yes, it is a private account of Mr. Lambert's who is related to one of the firms of Puget & Co., on whom it is drawn." I gave him the 10 on the faith of the cheque being a good one, and also from the representations of the prisoner, whom I took to be a gentleman. I paid the cheque into the National Provincial Bank at Dover on the same day, and it was returned to me on Wednesday, with "no account" marked on it.

Prisoner: If the Magistrates will grant me a remand for six or either days, I think I can satisfy both Mr. Lukey and the Bench.

Remanded till next Friday.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser,, 27 March, 1858. Price 1d.


Tuesday: Before Dr. Astley and J. Coleman, Esq.

James O'Kay Durrant, a man of respectable exterior, was brought up on a charge of uttering a forged bill of exchange for 22 16s. 6d. on the 14th of August, 1857, to Mr. Lukey, landlord of the "Shakespeare Hotel."

The prosecutor deposed: I know the prisoner. I first saw him on the 18th of March last, at the "Shakespeare Hotel," which I keep. He stopped at the Hotel until the 28th of September in the same year, with the exception of occasional absence of a few days, probably amounting in the whole to a month. On the 2nd of April, he paid his bill due up to the 29th of March; it amounted to 4 9s. 3d. His next payment was on the 22nd of May, when he came to me, and asked me to cash an acceptance for a bill of 18 10s. 6d., drawn by himself, and accepted by Thomas Walters. The bill was due 23rd of June. I gave him cash for it, and deducted nothing for discount. I cashed it because he told me that Mrs. Lukey had been asking him for some payments, and he wished to settle with her. He did on the same day pay 8 towards his Hotel account. I paid the bill into the National Provincial Bank. Prisoner gave me cash to take it up when it became due. On the 6th of August following, we gave him his hotel bill, (amounting to 16 10s.,) as he was leaving for London; and on the 8th he forwarded us 10 on account. He returned to Dover on the 11th, and between that time and the 28th of September, when he again left, he on several occasions received his account, which at the last named date amounted to 29 18s. On the 7th of November he sent me an acceptance at three months for the amount of his bill. The acceptance was dishonoured. Some months previously - it was on the 15th of June, 1857, prisoner asked me if I would discount a bill. I at first said I could not do so, as I had had so many losses; but ultimately, on his persuasion, and assuring me that all was all right and straightforward, I consented to do so. Its amount was 22 5s., and it was drawn by himself, and due on the 12th August, 1857, and accepted by F. Nolan. I paid it into the National Provincial Bank, Dover. When it became due it was returned dishonoured. I then gave a check to the Bank for 22 6s. 6d., being 1s. 6d. for nothing, to take up the bill. I told the prisoner of the dishonouring of the bill on the same day. He said he was very surprised, and would write to Nolan about it. We had several conversations subsequently, in the course of which he read letters supporting to be from Nolan to him saying that the matter would be arranged shortly. I did not notice the writing or the postmark of the letters. About a fortnight after the bill became due, I told prisoner I was pushed for money, and it was arranged that I should accept another bill for the 22 6s. 6d., at three months, dating from the 9th of August, with the addition of 10s. for interest. I should think he gave me the bill two or three days after the arrangement to accept it. The bill was drawn by James Durrant, and purported to be signed by Frederick Nolan, of Abchurch Lane, London. I asked him who Mr. Nolan was after the first bill was dishonoured, which bill I gave back to prisoner on receiving the last mentioned bill from him. He said Mr. Nolan was a broker, in Abchurch Lane, but did not give his number. I paid the bill into my account at the National Provincial Bank, and it was returned to me dishonoured, with the words "no account" written thereon,) on the 12th of November. Prisoner had left before the bill became due, and I wrote to him at 37, Westbourne Road, about it. I could get no satisfactory answer. He has never paid the bill, nor has any Mr. Nolan or any other person paid. I have been to every house and office opened in Abchurch Lane, except a banker's at the corner of Lombard Street, and could find no such person as Mr. Nolan, nor hear anything of such a person. I went a second time, to enquire, and a detective police officer was with me then, but we did not go to every house, as the officer knew sundry of the parties, which made it unnecessary to call.

By the prisoner: For the past three months I have been trying to serve you with a writ. I have not succeeded in serving the writ on you. I have not issued a writ against Mr. Nolan. I have not a letter of yours in which you tell me where Mr. Nolan may be found. I never had a letter from you stating that Mr. Nolan was gone to Liverpool; you told me he had gone thither, to sell shares, I am willing to produce all the letters that have passed between us. Mr. Nazer told me the bill was a forgery. He said, on seeing it, "God bless me - I had a bill accepted in the same handwriting in the name of Hawkins; and no person can have two names." I cannot remember how long since it was, as I saw him about 9 or 10 times; but it was before proceedings were taken. I should fancy it was about the 15th of February last, but cannot swear when. Mr. Nazer spoke to me about a policy of assurance. He came down to me one evening, and said, "Old fellow, I have heard from Durrant, who wishes to settle your account." He then produced a policy for 499: 19, and said Durrant wished me to take half for my claim, and he (Nazer) was to take the other. I asked who was to keep up the policy; and Nazer replied, "Oh! that remains for us to do." Then I said I should have nothing to do with it. Mr. Nazer did not ask me to pay him over any money in the event of my accepting the policy. I refused solely to accept it on account of having to pay the premium. I took you for a gentleman, and treated you as such; of your circumstances I knew nothing.

By the Court: I did not hear, on making enquiries at Abchurch lane, that any such person as Nolan had ever lived there, or had an office there. In offices visited, I asked the principles whether they had any clerk of that name.

Prisoner at this stage was remanded until Friday.

Friday: Before Dr. Astley, Capt. Noble, and J. Worsfold Esquire.

James Durrant, remanded from Tuesday, was re-examined, and committed to take his trial for forgery at the next Kent Assizes. Mr. E. Knocker prosecuted, and two fresh witnesses were examined, to prove that Frederick Nolan had not resided in Abchurch Lane during the last 12 months, nor had been known there; and that he had no account with Messrs. Spooner, & Co., bankers.


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


Joseph Evans was charged with begging, being drunk and disorderly, and obstructing Mr. Lewis Adams, also using threatening language towards him.

Mr. Fox prosecuted.

Mr. Lewis Adams, proprietor of the "Shakespeare Hotel," deposed: Last night about nine o'clock I was at my house in Snargate Street when my attention was called to the prisoner, and I went into the bar and told him to go out. He said he would as soon as he liked and used very bad language and was very abusive. He asked me for bread, and I refused to give him any and he threatened me. I told him I should send for a policeman, and he was very insolent, and said he should like to see the gentleman and would open the door for him. On his doing so he (the policeman) was there. he was given into custody.

He was sent to gaol for fourteen days' hard labour.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 8 November, 1872. Price 1d.


Mr. Greenhow applied for a new license on behalf of Mrs. Adams, for the “Shakespeare Hotel,” in Bench Street, and the Restaurant in Snargate Street. The Bench immediately granted the application.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 23 October, 1874. Price 1d.


This was an action brought by Messrs. Adams, of the "Shakespeare Hotel" against Mr. E. R. Mowll, ex-Mayor of Dover, to recover 8 4s. 3d., for balance on account rendered for board, lodging and attendance supplied, and goods sold and delivered by the plaintiff, to the deputy-returning officers of the Dover Election, September, 1873, by order of the defendant, as the Returning officer at the said election.

Mr. Carder appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. Woolaston Knocker, Town Clerk, appeared for the defendant.

Mr. Carder, when the case was called on, said this was such a case as perhaps had never before occurred in a County Court. A Returning officer was summoned for expenses occurred in carry out an election. The defendant had occupied the highest position in this town, having been Mayor in 1873, and in that year he was Returning officer at the borough election, that took place in September. In carrying out that election, he had to incur certain debts for which he would have been personally responsible, if the candidate did not re-imburse him.

The Town Clerk at this stage interposed, with a view of shortening the case. He said it was due to the plaintiff to admit that the debt was incurred as above stated, and the defendant had brought the case into court in order that it might be seen that he had not received the money without handing it over to the plaintiff. It was brought to the court to give the candidate an opportunity, prior to the case being called on to put the defendant in a position to meet the liability. That unfortunately is not the case, and I am instructed to admit the debt.

The Judge: Then there is nothing for me to do.

The order for the plaintiff was made with the usual costs.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 19 January, 1877. Price 1d.


A suicide occurred at the "Shakespeare Hotel" on Saturday last, when a young gentleman, scarcely 21 years of age, destroyed himself whilst in his bedroom. An inquest on the body of the deceased was held on Monday, before the Coroner (W. H. Payne Esq.), at the hotel, when the following gentleman were sworn on the Jury:- Mr. E. P Robinson (Foreman), Mr. Harris, Mr. Lemon, Mr. R. J. Adams, Mr. Greenfield, Mr. F. J. Norton, Mr. Atkins, Mr. Hogben, Mr. Elgar, Mr. Carrier, Mr. W. Baker, Mr. Gandy, Mr. Holden, and Mr. Stevens.

The Jury having viewed the body, the following evidence was given:-

Mrs. Eliza Martha Barton, wife of Mr. Francis Barton, M.D., said: I knew the deceased, William Bradley Middleton. He was a student at Oxford. He came to Dover last Saturday week. He had not been well for some little. He seems to have had something wrong with his head at Oxford. during the last term. When he was at school five or six years ago he ran against a lamp-post and had  concussion of the brain. He was ill then for six weeks. Study seemed to effect his head. I last saw him alive on Saturday between four and five o'clock in the afternoon. he had a peculiar look about the eyes, but he spoke cheerfully when I went into the room. I said "Oh, William, how is it you are here?" He was in bed. He said "I am not very well." I asked him how long he had been here, and he said "Since Saturday." I said "How is it you have not been to see us?" He said "Oh, I have not been well; I have been very seedy lately, feeling weak and out of sorts." He then told me of his being ill at Oxford and he added, "They tell me I have had an attack of the head." I said, "I hope you will try to get up and dress and stay with us for a few days." At first he said he did not think he could stand for he was so weak. I told him that with the assistance of the waiter he could dress, and I hoped he would come to us. He hesitated for a time, and he then said, "Oh, it is very kind; I will come." He then asked my what the time was, saying, "Is it not between four and five?" I said "Yes." He said "Then at half-past five I will get up ." I then went to fetch Dr. Barton and returned in less than ten minutes with Dr. Barton, and Miss Hards met me in the hall and said "Oh, something dreadful has happened." Mr. Barton then went up stairs and I heard that the deceased had shot himself. I afterwards went up to the bedroom and saw him breathing very hard. He lived about five hours after that, but perfectly insensible. When I came out of his room, when I first saw him in the afternoon, I told Mr. Hards to send up the waiter to be in his room, not to leave him alone, and he went up directly.

Miss Hards, proprietress of the "Shakespeare Hotel," said: The deceased came to the hotel on Saturday week. He had no luggage. He said that he had lost it at Waterloo Station. On WednesdayI came from London when he told me his luggage had arrived. On Friday, on my making enquiries, I found that his luggage had not arrived. On Saturday morning we received a telegram from Mr. Williams, Oxford, saying it was supposed that a gentleman named Millington had been staying at my hotel some days ago. I immediately sent to the gentleman's room, having several letters unclaimed, and asked if he would give me his name that I might see if any belonged to him. he sent down the name Milligton. I immediately telegraphed back, saying, "He was still staying there, what should I do?" he telegraphed back saying they had every reason  to believe the gentleman was of unsound state of mind and we were to watch him carefully. I immediately communicated with the Superintendent of Police, Mr. Sanders, and he will tell you what occurred. After Mrs. Barton had gone in the afternoon I sent the porter up and he found that he had shot himself.

William Harris said: I am a porter at the "Shakespeare Hotel." The deceased came to the hotel last Saturday week, between seven and ten in the evening and engaged a bedroom. I saw him at the hotel all that time until Saturday afternoon at four o'clock. Miss Hards had sent the billiard-marker to call him and got no reply. Miss Hards sent me up. I found the door fast. That was 4.20. I rattled the door and heard  him breathing very hard. I thought he was asleep. I knocked louder and rattled the door. I then heard loud groans and I tried to force the door. I was not able to do that, so i went for assistance. before any assistance arrived I forced the door open. I entered the room with a waiter. I saw the deceased lying on the floor. I rushed out immediately for the doctor. Deceased lingered from half-past four till half-past ten. I saw a wound in his head. During the time he was at the hotel there was nothing in his manner to indicate suspicion.

Superintendent Sanders said: On Saturday last, about 1.15, I was sent for to the "Shakespeare Hotel," and Miss Hards made a communication to me about the deceased. In consequence of what she said I telegraphed to a Mr. Horace Williams, Union Society, Oxford. The purport of my telegram was that there was nothing to justify police interference at present, but advised the friends to come. In reply to that, I had a telegram from a Mr. Cozens, 11, Park Place, Oxford, informing me that they had communicated with the deceased's father, and asking that every precaution might be taken, if possible, without police interference. On receipt of that telegram, I started to go to the "Shakespeare Hotel" to show Miss Hards. On my way to the Hotel, I met the porter, telling me that the gentleman had shot himself. I accompanied the porter to the bedroom, in which the deceased is now lying, and I sent for a doctor before I entered the room. I found the deceased lying on his back near the window. he was groaning. He was not dressed, having nothing on but a coat. Inside his left hand I found a pistol. The body was lifted on the bed. Dr. Barton and three other medical gentlemen had then arrived. I afterwards examined the pistol, and took from it four cartridges unexploded, and a cartridge case that was empty. The room smelled very strongly of gunpowder. I found on the mantlepiece, 28 cartridges, two small keys, and a sixpence. I saw the deceased several times still alive during the evening, and about twenty minutes to eleven o'clock, when he was dead. I could find no linen or shirt collar in the room, and the lining of his hat was torn out, and his pocket handkerchief had the corner torn off, as if to destroy identification. I afterwards examined the ashes in the grate, and amongst them I found the remains of linen or woollen having been burnt.

Dr. Barton said: On Saturday last, Mrs. Barton came to me wishing me to accompany her to the  "Shakespeare Hotel," stating that William Millington was staying there: On arriving at the Hotel, Miss Hards said something dreadful had happened. I immediately ran up-stairs, and on entering the deceased's bedroom, found him lying on his back, breathing very heavily, but quite insensible. There was a small pool of blood, and the pistol by his side. On raising him to the bed, I found a wound on the right side of his head, just above the ear. I passed a probe through the right temple bone at least two inches into the head. I at once knew that the case was fatal. he continued slight convulsive efforts till he died. I knew nothing of the state of his mind. I had heard that after his accident, study affected his head. That was after the accident at Marlborough College. The deceased was training for the Church, and would soon have taken orders.

By the Foreman: We did not hear of the deceased being at the "Shakespeare," until four o'clock on Saturday afternoon, when we had a telegram from his father, saying; "Willie is at the Shakespeare; go to him at once." Deceased was not quite 21 years of age.

The Jury, after a short consultation, said the deceased destroyed himself whilst in an unsound state of mind.


From the Dover Express, 1879.

Shakespeare Hotel advert 1879

Above advert, 1879.

From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 2 January, 1880. Price 1d.


George Bradford, wood seller, of Canterbury, was charged with being drunk and incapable in Bench Street.

Police-constable Prescott said: On Saturday evening, about six o'clock, I saw the prisoner in Bench Street, near the "Shakespeare Hotel," helplessly drunk. I was obliged to take him in charge.

In answer to the Bench, the Superintendent  said the prisoner had been in custody since Saturday and the prisoner's son took the horse and cart back to Canterbury.

The Bench fined the prisoner 2s., the cost of the hearing.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 9 May, 1884. 1d.

The “Shakespeare Hotel,” Dover, is said to have passed into the possession of Mr. Hazell, of Colchester.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 7 June, 1889.


On Saturday morning the painters were at work in front of the “Shakespeare Hotel,” Bench Street, a horse in a light vehicle ran away in the Market Place, knocking over a fruit barrow opposite the photographer's and then went bang against a tall ladder which reached the top of the hotel. Luckily the painter who was using it had just stepped on the cornice. The ladder being knocked out in the foot fell, but when half way to the ground caught in a rain pipe in front of Moore Bros., which saved from injuring several persons who were on the pavement below. Happily, in spite of the startling character of the mishap, no one was injured.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 8 February, 1889. Price 1d.


Charles Herbert Hook, a well dressed young man, was charged with having on the 13th September, 1888, by certain false pretences, obtaining the sum of 1 1s., from Mr. F. C. Swoffer, of Townwall Street, Dover, with intent to defraud and cheat him.

Mr. Martin Mowll appeared for the prosecution, and Mr. E. carder represented the prisoner, who pleaded “Not Guilty.”

Mr. Mowll said he appeared for Mr. Swoffer, who was the nominal prosecutor in the case, because the fraud, technically, was upon him; but he also appeared for Mr. Belton, an advertising agent residing in Walton Road, West Kennington, upon whom the fraud had really been perpetrated. Mr. Belton brings out what he called a Visitors' Book for the hotels, and supplies the books to different hotels free of charge, for the names of the visitors to be entered in, and gets a profit by getting various tradesmen to advertise in the book. The book, which he produced, was one that Mr. Belton supplied some two years ago to the “Shakespeare Hotel,” Dover, and amongst the advertisements was Mr. Swoffer's, which appeared on every page in the book. In 1887 Mr. Belton called upon Mr. Swoffer and received his charges for the advertisements, and the advertisements were continued in that book for the year 1888. In the autumn of last year a man called at Mr. Swoffer's shop and brought with him this book from the “Shakespeare Hotel,” which would be identified by Mr. Swoffer, and asked him whether he intended to renew his subscription, and after some conversation as to the price Mr. Swoffer paid the person the sum of one guinea, and that person signed the receipt, produced, and left the shop. Mr. Belton would be able to tell the Bench that the signature of the receipt was that of the prisoner's, as he used to do some printing for Mr. Belton, and he knew his handwriting. There could not be the slightest doubt but that the prisoner was the man who called upon Mr. Swoffer, and obtained that sum of money for advertisements in the book with which he had no connection at all. There was no doubt but that the book belonged to Mr. Belton. Mr. Swoffer would say that he remembered seeing the advertisements of Mr. Humphreys and Mr. Atkins on the same page when the man brought it to his shop. This fraud had been perpetuated not only in Dover but in other towns, and his client was obliged to institute these proceedings against the prisoner in order that the frauds might be put a stop to.

William Belton said: I am an advertising agent and reside at 102, Walton Road, West Kennington. My business address is 172, Fleet Street. I know the prisoner Hook as he did printing work for me in 1886. In the course of my business I bring out Visitor's Books for hotels, and the one proceeded is a book which I brought out in Dover. There are advertisements in the book by Mr. Swoffer, greengrocer, Mr. Humphrey, tobacconist, Messrs. Atkins and Son, bootmakers, and Messrs. Jouhnson, tailors. I came to Dover in August or September, 1887. I then collected the subscriptions for the advertisements which appeared in this book. In ordinary course I should have come again in August or September, 1885, but I did not come until January of this year, when I called for subscriptions, but could not obtain them. I called on Mr. Swoffer, but could not obtain it; as he said he had already paid. I know the prisoner's handwriting, and the signature on the receipt produced is in the prisoner's handwriting. The receipt is signed by Charles H. Hook, for 1 1s. for advertisement for one year in Visitors' Book. There is an imprint at the bottom of every page in the book showing that it is published by me. I have never authorised the prisoner to receive any money on my behalf. The book produced is one I supplied to the “Shakespeare Hotel” in August or September, 1887.

Cross-examined by Mr. Carder: I have not had business transaction with the prisoner for two or three years. He printed a work for me in 1886. It was a writing portfolio for hotels. I do not remember having a conversation with Hook about the profit on this work, but I remember him suggesting that he should bring out similar books for Westgate and Margate, and he had brought out similar books during the last summer. I do not recollect threatening to prosecute him for bringing out books of a similar kind. I cannot swear that the handwriting in the body of the receipt is the prisoner's.

Mr. Stillwell said the body of the receipt had evidently been written at a different time to the signature, and the body of the receipt was not blotted, but the receipt was.

The Chairman said he believed the whole of the receipt was not written at the same time.

Witness continuing, said: I remember the prisoner printing a book of that kind for the “Panton Hotel” in the Haymarket. In consequence of prisoner having brought out books of a similar kind. I refuse to take the book for the “Panton Hotel” from him, but cancelled the order. Possibly I revised a proof of the work. I have never paid him for it.

Re-examined by Mr. Mowll, witness said the prisoner brought out similar books to his at Margate and Westgate on Sea, and he had received complaints from his subscribers there, similar to the complaints made by Mr. Swoffer.

Frederick Charles Swoffer, greengrocer, carrying on business at Townwall Street, Dover, said he arranged with Mr. Belton to put his advertisement in the books. He remembered a man calling upon him last September with reference to the advertisement. The man brought a book with him exactly like the one produced, as he recognised it by his advertisement and two others which were in the same page. He had seen Mr. Belton's book before, as he believed Mr. Belton showed him one when they first came out about two years ago. When the man called in September last he had a conversation about the price. The man said he had called for the subscription. Witness said he thought he paid 2 for it before, to which the man replied “No, you paid 50s.” He said “No,” and the man said it must have been two guineas. They had a long conversation, and ultimately witness told him he would give him one guinea or nothing, and he agreed to take it, and gave him the receipt produced, which was signed by Charles H. Hook. He believed the prisoner was the man who called upon him.

In answer to the Chairman witness said he could not remember whether the man used Mr. Belton's name in the matter. He believed the body of the receipt was filled in previously, for he only saw him sign his name. He also thought the body of the receipt and the signature were in different handwritings.

Further examined by Mr. Mowll he said the arrangement with Mr. Belton was for an annual subscription, and he could renew it if he wished by paying a further subscription. He believed he paid Mr. Belton, personally, twice for the advertisements.

Miss Florence Ford, manageress of the “Shakespeare Hotel,” said the book produced was the Visitors' Book at the hotel. She remembered a man borrowing the book last Autumn, and he took it out with him a short time. She was unable to say that the prisoner was the man.

Mr. Mowll asked for a remand to enable him to complete the case.
Mr. Carder said there had been no prima facie case made out against the prisoner, and he did not think there was sufficient evidence to justify a remand.

The Bench remanded the prisoner until Monday, the 11th inst., and accepted bail in two sureties of 25 each, and the prisoner in 50.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 16 August, 1895. Price 1d.


An application was made by Mr. William Kirke, who had previously kept the "Queen's Hotel," at Macclesfield, for temporary permission to draw at the "Shakespeare Hotel," the outgoing tenant being Mr. Chapman; it was granted by the Bench.


From the Whitstable Times, 15 June, 1901.


In the High Court on Thursday, Mr. T. A. Terson was appointed Receiver and Manager of the "Metropole Hotel," Dover, on the application of the Debenture holders. On Friday an implication made on behalf of a body of shareholders in the Metropole Company to restrain the transfer of the hotel to Mr. Morris, of the "Shakespeare Hotel" was dismissed with costs.


Dover Express 28th May 1909.



Edward Thomas Ashman of 9 Portland Place was charged with stealing from the kitchen of the "Shakespeare Hotel," 70lbs of coal, of the value of 1/-, the property of Mr. W. Morris, the proprietor.

Detective Southey said that that morning at 7.10 he met the prisoner coming from the hotel with a sack which, he could see through a hole, contained coal. Knowing the prisoner to be occasionally employed at the hotel, he stopped him and asked where he got the coal and he said he “borrowed” it from the hotel. When witness told him he had no right to have taken it, he said “All right, I will put it back again”. He took the prisoner to the hotel and Mr. Morris charged him and he made no reply. The coal (produced) was weighed and found to be 70lbs. He had been suspicious of the prisoner for a long time, as he had seen him frequently carrying parcels from the hotel in the morning.

Mr. Morris said the prisoner was not in his employ. He pushed a barrow for commercial travellers, and, according to custom, he lit the fires for Boots, who, in return, gave him first turn with the barrows. The prisoner would thus have access to the coals. The coal was witness’s property and the prisoner had no rights to it.

The prisoner, who stated he was a married man with five children, pleaded guilty and asked the Bench to deal leniently with him.

The Chairman said that, while the Bench had reason to believe this was not Ashman’s first offence, he had not been charged before and he would be bound over in the sum of 5 for six months and discharged.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 5 January, 1917.



At the Dover Police Court this (Friday) morning before Messrs W. J. Barnes (in the chair), J. W. Bussey, H. Hobday, and Edward Chitty.

William Wood, a wireless petty officer, was summoned for, on December 9th, refusing to answer the question addressed to him by P.C. Hodges, and with, on December 21st, refusing to answer a question addressed to him by Police Inspector Mount, under the Defence of the Realm Regulations.

Mr. R. Mowll appeared for the defendant, and pleaded not guilty.

Mr. Vosper, who prosecuted. Said that the defendant refused to answer a question as to where he obtained several bottles of whisky. The Defence of the Realm Regulations made it compulsory to answer any question that is put to any person.

Mr. Morris, the proprietor of the “Shakespeare Hotel,” said that on December 9th the defendant applied for a bed for himself and a friend at 11 p.m. The other man was the worse for liquor. They were given a double-bedded room. A terrible row took place in the room, so bad that everyone in the house was very much frightened, and witness sent for the Police. When the Police came they found that one of the men was lying on a bottle of whisky and another bottle had been opened. The defendant was sober. He refused to give the Constable any information as to where he obtained the whisky.

Police-constable Hodges said that he found a bottle full of whisky and one three-parts full. The defendant said that the whisky was his, and he refused to say how he came by it. He said that he did not know the other man; he only fell in with him during the evening.

Cross-examined. Witness had obtained no order from the Competent Naval or Military Authorities to ask these questions.

Mr. Vosper said that no such authority was required.

In reply to Mr. Mowll, witness said that the defendant came to the Police Station after the whisky. He did not know that the defendant had been in custody since December 13th.

Police Inspector Mount said: I saw the defendant on December 21st at the Trawler Office. Captain Howard told me that, by instructions received from the Vice-Admiral, the case was to be handed over to the Civil Authorities. The defendant was present, and cautioned, and was asked if he wished to make any statement as to the whisky. He replied, No sir; I cannot say.” I said, “What do you mean?” He again replied, “I cannot say.” I said, “Will you give me any information as to where you obtained the whisky or came into possession of it?” he replied, “I have nothing further to add.”

Mr. Mowll said that the thing was absurd. It was entirely contrary to the administration of British law that any man should be compelled to make any admission which would incriminate himself. He had a right under our British constitution to refuse to answer the question. It might involve him in charges for taking away this bottle of spirits. For that he had been in custody since December 13th.

The Magistrates' Clerk: What sort of arrest?

Mr. Mowll; Open arrest; not allowed to come ashore. He added that there was nothing in the charge, as the defendant was justified in refusing to answer it.

The Magistrates fined the defendant 2 in each case, 4 altogether.

Mr. Mowll: The money will be paid under protest, as the defendant may want to test your finding.


It was registered as a commercial hotel by 1882 and its size was increased in November 1898 when four cottages in Chapel Lane were annexed. The extra space was utilised to provide a taproom amongst other things.


Business Card circa 1900

Above is shown a business card circa 1900, and below a blow up of the two pictures within the card.

Coffee Room

Coffee Room. Circa 1900.

Commercial Room

Commercial Room. Circa 1900.

Shakespeare advert 1901

Above advert from the Post office Directory 1901 Post Office Directory 1903


Further alterations in 1924 brought to light some twelfth century ruins, thought to belong to St. Nicholas Church which was considered to have once stood at the juncture of Snargate Street and Bench Street. Indeed, still being reported present in 1486.


The stables prior to 1914 were in Townwall Street. 1922 saw the premises divided into a bar, restaurant and flats. People desiring a drink with their meal then had to persuade the waiter to go along the pavement to the bar next door. A communicating door later eliminated that problem.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 3 March, 1922. Price 1d.


The freehold of this well known commercial hotel having been sold, Messrs. Worsfold and Hayward are disposing of the contents on March 15th, 16th and 17th. The 38 bedrooms contain an excellent lot of furniture, suites and the like. There is some good plate, fine old coppers and well made pieces in the coffee room, lounge and billiard room. Scattered about the hotel are numerous coloured sporting prints. Hogarth's engravings, and altogether about 1,000 lots will be offered.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 16 February, 1923. Price 1d.


Plans were submitted by Mr. Eugene Carder on behalf of Messrs. J. Lukey and Son, for alterations to the "Shakespeare Hotel," these being explained to the Bench by Mr. H. E. Vernon Shone.

Mr. carder said that it was proposed to structurally divide the premises, cutting off the bar. he thought it might be interesting to the Bench to know that the grandfather of the present applicant was the licensee of the premises seventy of eighty years ago, and his (Mr. Carder's) grandfather presided at the opening dinner of the Hotel over 100 years ago.

The plans were approved.



From the Dover Express and East Kent News. 11 February, 1938. Price 1d.


Application was also made for sanction to alterations to the “Shakespeare Buffet.”

Mr. Vernon Shone stated that they were proposing to lengthen the bars by about 7ft. and remove the office. It would avoid congestion.

The Chief Constable stated that he had no objection. It was quite a good improvement and the removal of the office would give better supervision.

The alterations were approved.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News. 9 December, 1938. Price 1d.


At the Dover Licensing Sessions on Friday the Magistrates approved plans for alterations to the "Shakespeare," Bench Street, so that only the part now used should be counted as licensed premises and not the part adjoining.



Shakespeare Buildings, Crypt Restaurant and "Shakespeare Bars" with adjoining premises, amusement arcade, eight self contained flats and a dance studio were sold to John Lukey in 1951. Shortly afterwards the amusement arcade became the lounge and restaurant with cocktail bar. The wooden floor of the dining room was that previously used in the skating rink of the Granville Gardens.


From the Dover Express, 6 July 1951.

Crypt advert 1951


This was a free house and in 1964 its name changed to "Crypt Tavern", the new owners were Berni Inns.


The "Shakespeare" Hotel was a well known feature for many years. In 1923 it was transformed into flats, with a restaurant and shop to replace the old hotel entrance. For many years after the 1939-45 war, until a tragic fire gutted the premises in March 1977, killing seven people, it was known simply as the Crypt. The hostelry, being ancient, may once upon a time have formed the temporary sojourning place of some of Shakespeare's strolling players, but the name of the hotel was originally "The George." It then became "The Vine," and was changed to the "Shakespeare" about 1757, which might have been intended to commemorate some circumstance then known in the hostel's history.

Shakespeare Hotel 1912

The Dover Express. Friday 20th September 1963. Shakespeare Hotel 1912.

An age when one could cross Bench Street at one's leisure... a handcart, a bicycle propped against a lamp-post, and a tram rumbling on its journey to Buckland.

The properties on the right-hand side of the street are among those which may come down to make way for a new shopping centre.

When this picture was taken in 1912, the now empty Hart's corner shop was occupied by Faith's grocery business. Other properties on that side of the street were: The Shakespeare Hotel, Freeman, Hardy and Willis, Fletcher's butcher's shop, George's tobacconists, Whorwell the photographer, Pettit's greengrocery shop and the Royal Cafe. On the Grocer's building on the left can be seen a sign directing people to the Royal Hippodrome.

On the opposite side were A. and G. Pipe (milliners), Gieves (military tailors), Sydenham Payn (solicitor and coroner), Lamber; Weston (photographer), Jeanne (blouses and robes), Caves Cafe, Falconer (tailor), Greenstreet (bootmaker) and Williamson's toy shop.

Below, the same positioned photograph from 1965.

Shakespeare Hotel 1965

Above photo 1965.




ELVEY William 1811

ELVEY Charles 1823-39 Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34Pigot's Directory 1839

HOLLYER Josiah 1836-47 (age 40 in 1841Census) Dover TelegraphPigot's Directory 1840Bagshaw's Directory 1847

LUKEY John 1850-Mar/65 Dover Express

Last pub licensee had ADAMS Lewis & Co Mar/1865-74+ Next pub licensee had Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1874

ADAMS Esther 1872 May/1876 Dover Express

(ADAMS Mrs H 1872-78 Next pub licensee had) Not verified.

HARDS Miss Suzannah Kennard May/1876-78+ Post Office Directory 1878 (of Canterbury)

RUSSELL J Miss 1879-80

EYERS Mrs Kate 1882+ Post Office Directory 1882

MUDFORD F 1884 end

HAZELL Mr A May/1884+ Next pub licensee had of Colchester

CROTCH Janes W Dec/1885-89+ Dover ExpressPikes 1889

HEMMINGS William 1891 Census

GODDARD Miss 1892

CHAPMAN H E and COBB 1895 (Pikes 1895CHAPMAN)

KIRK Mr William Aug/1895-Apr/98 Dover Express

MORRIS Wayman Mr Apr/1898-Feb/23+ (Next pub licensee hadAug/1901) (age 41 in 1901Census) Dover ExpressKelly's Directory 1899Post Office Directory 1903 (From Epping, Essex)

THOMAS Joseph George Feb/1923 only Dover Express (Former ironmonger)

LUKEY John Edward Feb/1923-Jan/29 Dover Express (Wine and spirit merchant)


The premises also became part of the "Crypt" in 1929.


BROWN Frank Edward senior Jan/1929-Dec/33 dec'd Dover Express (From the "Bell" Saxmuntham, Suffolk.)

BROWN Frank Edward junior Dec/1933-34 end Dover Express (administrator of estate)

BELL Frederick Adison 1934

SELTH T J 1934 dec'd

SAUNDERS 1941 (Shakespeare Bars)

LUKEY John Edward 1942 dec'd (Shakespeare Bars) Pikes 1938-39

Change of license also applied to off-licenses at 4, Bench Street and 9, High Street.

LUKEY Percy Douglas 19 Jun 1942-62 end (Shakespeare Bars)

GRACE Norman Bible 1947-62 Kelly's Directory 1956

GRACE Nina 1947-62 end

No name given 1950-53 (Shakespeare Bars) Kelly's Directory 1950 Kelly's Directory 1953

LEE Mrs S M 1954 (Shakespeare Crypt)

WATTS J F 1962 (Shakespeare Hotel and Crypt)

SLATTERY Julien P 1962-56+ Kelly's 1965

PEARCE John 1969 (Shakespeare Crypt)

RABAIOTTI Guiseppe 1974 (Shakespeare Crypt Tavern)

TURNER Ronald or T R 1974 (Shakespeare Crypt Tavern)

RABAIOTTI J P 1977 (Shakespeare Crypt Tavern)


Dover Blue Book 1938-39 referred to the premises as the "Shakespeare Buffet."


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

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1878From the Post Office Directory 1878

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Pikes 1889From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1889

Pikes 1895From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1895

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

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1901

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

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

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

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

Kelly's 1965From the Kelly's Directory 1965

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express

Dover TelegraphFrom the Dover Telegraph



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