Sort file:- Dover, August, 2023.

Page Updated:- Monday, 14 August, 2023.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1768-

Ship Hotel

Latest 1872

Custom House Quay Pigot's Directory 1840


Ship Hotel 1856

Above photo, 1856, kindly sent by Paul Wells, photo taken by Robert Howlett.

Ship Hotel mid 1800s

Above photo mid 1800s.

Ship Hotel
Ship Hotel

The picture (above) published by Batcheller, in 1841, depicts Worthington's celebrated Hotel and Ship Inn, once known as the Royal Ship Hotel, facing the Granville Dock on Custom House Quay. Adjoining is Northumberland House.

Wrights Ship Hotel date unknown
Wrights Ship Hotel date unknown


A "Ship" was listed in the census of 1545. Six beds and stabling were shown but no address was given, the licensee at that time was given as Hugh Brackett. Also shown was the "Ship Victualling House" with four beds and that was in Biggin Street and the licensee being a Edward Foster. It is recorded that Henry Rouse, innkeeper of the "Ship", died on 28 August 1697 and Samuel Foote, actor, died at a "Ship Inn" in 1777.


Worthington Ship Hotel Wright's Ship Hotel Custom House Quay 1846

 Above picture showing Custom House Quay 1846 and the Ship hotel on the left.

All pictures kindly supplied by Kathleen Hollingsbee.


Earliest documentation I have found to date is from the Canterbury Gazette of 1768, shown below.


From the Kentish Gazette or Canterbury Chronicle, Wednesday, 5 October, to Saturday, 8 October, 1768. Price 2d.


To the highest Bidder, on Tuesday the 18th of this Instant October, at the “Ship Inn” in Dover, between the Hours of Three and Four in the Afternoon:

All that good Snow and Vessel, called the Endeavour, of the Burthen of 140 Tons or thereabouts, now laying in Dover Harbour, whereof Mr. John Adams was late Master, with the Masts, Yards, Sails, Anchors, Cables, Ropes, Tackle, Apparel, and Furniture to the said vessel belonging.

To be seen at any Time, by applying to Mr. John Adams, at his house in Snargate Street, Dover.

From the Kentish Gazette or Canterbury Chronicle, 8 to 12 August 1788.

“A STAGE COACH sets off every Monday and Friday from the Ship Inn, Dover at 6 o'clock in the morning for Margate; calls for passengers and parcels at the "Three Kings" Deal at half past seven; the "Bell" Sandwich at nine; the "Red Lion" Ramsgate at half past ten; stops at Mitchener's, Margate, three hours and returns the same road to Dover in the evening. William HARRISON "


This hotel was active in 1799 with Worthington the host. Before the "Lord Warden" days it was noted for receiving "crowned heads" and other notable. Marshal Blucher was there in 1814. History has it that Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, was carried shoulder high to this amenity when he returned from the low countries following Waterloo in 1815. "Byron life and legend" by Fiona MacCarthy states on page 279 that Lord Byron stayed in the "Ships Inn," Dover before he left England for the last time in 1816.


Kentish Gazette 7 January 1800.

On Friday morning last died much lamented, John Harvey, senior, aged 79, coach-master in this city, and late of the "Ship Inn," Dover; a man whose heart poured forth every virtue that blessed a husband, father and a friend.


From the Kentish Gazette 2 June 1807


On Wednesday, 31 June next, at ten o'clock, at the "Ship Inn," Dover.

THE BRIG ROWENA, burthen 151 80 94 tons, American built, and free; is of an easy draft of water, and fit for the wine or fruit trade - Together with all her materials, sails, and stores, in one lot.

Immediately after will be sold, sundry SHIPS' STORES.

For particulars apply at the office of MESSRS. FECTOR and MINET. DOVER, 26th May, 1807.


From The Cheltenham Chronicle and Gloucestershire Advertiser, Thursday, August 2, 1810.

JULY 23, At a fair at Sandgate, a number of Folkestone smugglers were assembled at the "Ship" public-house, Dover, when two soldiers entering the same room were desired by the smugglers to depart instantly, which not being complied with, the whole of the smugglers fell on the soldiers, one of whom they killed, and dragged him afterwards a considerable distance from the spot, and then made their escape.


Kentish Gazette 2 February 1819.


Jan 30, of a decline, age 25 years, Jane, the wife of Mr. Hodgson, of the the "Piazza Coffee House," London, and eldest daughter of Mr. Timothy Wright, of the "Ship Inn," Dover.


From the Cinque Ports Herald. 20 November, 1825.

Mr WRIGHT, “Hotel”, Dover – a listed subscriber to map.


From the Maidstone Gazette and West Kent Courier, 13 July 1830.

Cruel Hoax.

A letter was received on Tuesday last by Mr. Wright, of the "Ship Hotel," purporting to be from Mr. Gurney, stating that he should arrive in Dover, with his steam carriage, on Wednesday afternoon, on his way to Paris. The London Road was in consequence crowded during the afternoon, and, not withstanding repeated showers of rain, remained so till the evening, when the assemblage returned to their homes well drenched and most grievously disappointed.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 23 November, 1833.

The Duke of Devonshire arrived here on Thursday, and remains at Wright's Hotel.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 21 December, 1833.

The Bankruptcy issued against Mr Charles Wright, of the Ship Hotel, having been appointed to be worked at Sandwich, a meeting of the Creditors took place at the "Antwerp Inn", on Tuesday when it was resolved to the Commissioners, to appoint the meeting at Dover which would be more convenient to the greater portion of the creditors. The Fiat, we understand, was accelerated in consequence of certain members of the Bankrupts family being able to enforce the payment of a Judgement Security, there by to obtain for themselves an undue preference, to the injury of the other creditors.- The debts are supposed to be between forty and fifty thousand pounds which falling principally on the Town, have caused a considerable sensation; but certainly no Panic, as stated by our Canterbury contemporary.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 21 December, 1833.

The CREDITORS who have proved their Debts under a Fiat of Bankruptcy, awarded and issued forth against CHARLES WRIGHT, of the Town and Port of Dover, in the County of Kent, Innkeeper, Dealer and Chapman, are requested to meet the Assignees of the estate and effects of the said Bankrupt, on Saturday, the 25th day of January, instant, at Twelve o'clock at noon precisely, at the CORN MARKET room, at the "ROYAL OAK INN", in Dovor aforesaid, in order to assent or dissent from the said Assignees selling and disposing of the Bankrupt's household furniture, plate, linen, china, books, prints, pictures, and other effects, in and about the Ship Hotel, in Dovor aforesaid; and also all the horses, carriages, harness, corn, hay, straw, utensils, and other things, now being in and about the several stables, lofts, coach-houses, and other buildings, late in the occupation of the said Bankrupt, and now of his Assignees, and situated in Dovor aforesaid, the City of Canterbury, Ewell, and Lydden, in the County of Kent, or elsewhere, to any person or persons at fair valuation, each to be made by three competent Appraisers, chosen by the said Assignees and the person or persons becoming the purchaser or purchasers. To assent to or dissent from the said Assignees employing a person or persons, to be named as such meeting, to collect the outstanding debts of the said Bankrupt, and to allow such compensation to the person or persons so employed, as the said Assignees shall deem best and responsible. To assent or dissent from  Assignees commencing and prosecuting and actions, suits or other proceedings at law or in in equality, against certain Debtors to the said Bankrupt's estate, a schedule on whose debts, will be submitted to the Creditors at such meeting. To assent or to dissent from the said Assignees compounding with any or either of the said Debtors to the said Bankrupt's estate, and submitting any dispute or question relative therein to arbitration, to such person or persons, in such manner and is such terms as by the said Assignees may be deemed expedient and proper. To assent to or dissent from the said Assignees taking the opinion of Counsel on any points arising out of the said Bankrupt's affairs. To assent to or dissent from the said Assignees charging and deducting out of the Monies which they shall receive on account of the said Bankrupt's estate and effects, the expenses they must necessarily be put to in managing the affair of the said Bankrupt. To assent to or dissent from the said Assignees paying to a person to be named at such meeting, such salary or compensation for his trouble in conducting the Business of the Hotel aforesaid, as to the said Assignees shall appear reasonable or proper. And also to assent to or dissent from the said Assignees paying certain law and other expenses, amounting in the whole to the sum of 19 6s. 8d. incurred in relation to the Bankrupts affairs before the appointment of the said Assignees, a statement whereof will be submitted to the Creditors at such Meeting, and other special affairs.


Solicitor to the Assignees.

Dovor, January 1st, 1834.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 21 December, 1833.




AT THE REPOSITORY, in Town Wall Street, Dovor, Saturday, the 1st day of March next, at Three o'clock in the Afternoon, those Two well known RACE HORSES... SOBER ROBIN & FUSELLI;

(Unless legally claimed on or before Saturday), the 2nd instant, in which case, public notice will be given, countermanding the sale.)

N.B. The above mentioned Horses were some months since, left under peculiar circumstances, in the care of Mr. WRIGHT, late of the Ship Hotel, Dovor; and his Assignees wishing to deliver them up to the right owner or owners, have caused applications to be made in several quarters, but which have been wholly unattended to. They therefore now give this public Notice, that the said two horses will be sold as above, to defray their keep and expenses, unless on or before Saturday, the 22nd instant, a clear right of ownership be made out, to the satisfaction of Mr KENNETT, of Dovor, Solicitor to Mr. Wright's Assignees.

Dovor, Feb. 5, 1834.


From the Dover Telegraph, 18 January, 1834, p.8 col.3

Mrs. Grimwood, died in Italy, last surviving daughter of the late Timothy Wright, "Ship Hotel," Dover.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 19 April, 1834. Price 7d.

To Wine and Spirit Merchants


And entered upon Immediately

Most excellent premises for the purpose of carry on the WINE and SPIRIT TRADE, consisting of a new and substantial built FAMILY DWELLING HOUSE, with suitable Offices and Out-Houses, situate in DOVOR, in Kent, and in one of the most frequented and best streets for business. The Cellars are of the first rate description, being excavated in the cliff, where the temperature continues at all times uniform, and they are capable of containing Forty Pipes of Bottled Wine; there is also attached a Bonded Cellar, which will hold Eighty Pipes.

N.B. On the above Estate, the Business of a Wine and Spirit Merchant has been for some years carried on; and to ant Gentleman desirous of embarking his Capital in that Trade, an opportunity is now afforded, presenting every prospect of success, and rarely to be met with, as Dovor is daily growing into a very large Town, containing numerous Families of fortune and distinction.

For particulars, and to treat for the purchase or renting, apply personally, or by letter, (free of postage,) to Messrs. WORTHINGTON, "Ship Hotel," Dovor; Mr. Kennett, Solicitor, Dovor; or to Mr. Harrison, Land and Estate Agent, Buckland, near Dovor.



The last meeting and final examination took place on Monday, at the "Royal Oak Inn." Additional debts were proved exceeding 400, about half of which were for wages &c. The examination, which lasted nearly two hours, was conducted in a highly satisfactory manner, by Mr. Commissioner Keene. In reply to the enquiries of the Commissioner, as to the correctness of the balance sheet produced, the assignees stated that they were satisfied it was the best that could be produced, and that if the examination were postponed for six months, from the state of the Bankrupt's books, no better one could be obtained. Great credit is due to the assignees, and those engaged in the arrangement of the voluminous accounts which called forth a complimentary acknowledgement from the Commissioners. The bankrupt was attended by, and received the able assistance of Mr. Perkins.


From the Kentish Gazette, 20 September 1836.

DOVER, Sept. 19. Another Elopement.

On Friday evening, a young couple arrived from London at the "Ship Hotel," and were accommodated with lodgings at a private house. About two hours afterwards, two gentlemen arrived in pursuit, one of them was understood to be the husband, and the other the father of the party; and having ascertained that those they sought were safe, they let them quietly remain for the night. In the morning they dogged them to the pier, when the lady was seized and conveyed away from the love-stricken swain. It is stated that the lady had only been married a fortnight.


From the Kentish Gazette, 2 May 1837.

THE Commissioners in a renewed Fiat in Bankruptcy, the original Fiat bearing date the 11th day of December, 1833, awarded and issued forth against CHARLES WRIGHT, of the town and port of DOVER, in the county of Kent, innkeeper, dealer, and chapman, intend to meet on the Fifteenth day of May next, at One of the clock in the afternoon precisely, at the "Bell Inn," in the town and port of SANDWICH, in order to audit the accounts of the Assignees of the Estate and Effects of the said Bankrupt under the said Fiat, pursuant to an Act of Parliament made and passed in the 6th year of the reign of his late Majesty King George the Fourth, intituled "An Act to amend the laws relating to Bankrupts." And the said Commissioners also intend to meet on the same day, at Two in the afternoon precisely, and at the same place, to make a further dividend of the estates 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.

MATTHEW KENNETT, Solicitor to the Assignees.

Dovor, April 20, 1837.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 6 May, 1837.


The apartments of W. Bridger Tadhunter, a steady postillion at the “Ship Hotel,” were entered, during the temporary absence of his wife, and while he was on turn to Canterbury, on Monday, by some thief, who must have been well acquainted with the house. The lock of a drawer in which Tadhunter had been deposited his hard earned savings, was forced open, and upwards of Fifty pounds, principally in gold, together with two shirts, stolen. A female who was apprehended on suspicion, has been discharged, after examination; and although every research has been made by the police, no further clue has yet been obtained. The sufferer has been upward of eight years in his present situation, in which he is much respected; and we learn, should the property not be recovered, that a subscription to compensate the loss, will be promoted by those who can estimate the character of the loser.

Two men were apprehended at twelve o'clock last night, and lodged in the Police-station, on suspicion of the above robbery. They will be examined this morning.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 13 May, 1837.


Nathaniel Hunt and Joseph Smith, helpers at the “Ship Yard,” the two men whom we mentioned last Saturday, as being apprehended on suspicion of the above robbery, underwent a private examination that morning, and were sent to gaol until Monday, when they were brought up before the Mayor and Magistrates, at the New Session House. The depositions of Tadhunter and his wife, as taken at the first examination, went to prove their being robbed during the temporary absence of the latter, of 49 sovereigns, 8 half-crowns, and 7 shillings, with two shirts, on the evening of the first instant. The prisoner Hunt had been in the habit of carrying water from the stable yard to the house of the prosecutor, and admitted having done so about the time of the robbery appears to have been effected, when, finding the door fast, he entered with his load by opening the cellar flap, as he had done before; but denied any knowledge of the theft, as did also the prisoner Smith.

In consequence of the suspicion attaching to the prisoners, the regular servants of the yards had paid particular attention to their conduct; and on one occasion the following observations were overheard between them:- “I don't care what they do – They may do what they like, and the other half may go to hell.” – The prisoners denied the latter observation. Stephen Pilcher stated that, at the request of Tadhunter, he watched the prisoners when they came into the stable to sleep on Friday night. While making up their bed, Hunt said, “Joe, they have been at me again.” Cole the policeman, and the waiter had me over at Oyler's. I know there is something up or they would not have taken me there to have ale. They tried to pump me – they were not going to get anything out of me. I know Tadhunter suspects us in the job, but I don't care. He is none the nearer for that. I'll tell you what it is, Joe.” Smith then said, “Don't talk too loud, Stephen Pilcher will be coming.” Hunt continued; and holding up his hand said, “I know, Joe, you won't split against me.” To which Smith replied, “No, Nat; and I'll be d___d if I think you would split against me.” Hunt denied this, saying his observations were, if they had been guilty they would not split; but thank God they were not. Charles Hogwood, a stable keeper, stated that on Thursday night he told Smith he was suspected, and that he would have to leave the yard in consequence, to which the latter replied, “he knew nothing about it. What should he do – where should he go? Some other witnesses were examined as to minor facts; and Southerden, the officer who apprehended the prisoners, produced some keys he found upon their persons. They were remanded to gaol for further examination on Friday.

The prisoners were brought up yesterday for a final examination, when an additional witness, Mrs. Robinson, was produced. She deposed to seeing Hunt passing up the rope-walk with a bubdle beneath his arm, on the evening of Friday last. The prisoner denied having been there at the time, and said the witness must have mistaken some other man for him; but on its being proposed to call a sawyer as a witness, he allowed that he was on the rope-walk at the time stated. He went for some saw-dust, but had forgotten the day. Some consideration being given to the proprietor for committing the prisoners for trial, at this session, Mr. Kennett advised the Magistrates it was a case for bail under Sir Robert Peel's Act, the parties being detained on suspicion of felony. The prisoners were then severely called upon to enter into bail, themselves in 40, and two sureties of 20 each, for their appearance at the sessions, with which being unprovided, they were remanded to gaol.


From the Kentish Gazette, 31 October 1837.

DOVER, Oct. 30.

On Saturday morning the Princess Augusta of Saxony and suite, who arrived at the "Ship Hotel" the previous day from Brighton, embarked for Calais on board Her Majesty’s packet Swallow, under a solute from the guns at the Heights.

Yesterday afternoon big Grace the Duke of Wellington arrived at the "Ship Hotel," from a visit to her Majesty the Dowager Queen Adelaide, at St. Leonard’s, and proceeded on to Walmer Castle.


From the Kentish Gazette, 6 March 1838.

DOVER, March 5.

The Marquis of Waterford and his brother, Lord G. Beresford, who have been staying at the "Ship Hotel" for a fortnight, left Dover for London yesterday.


From the Kentish Gazette, 13 November 1838.


Last week an extensive robbery took place at the stables of the "Ship Hotel," from the carriage of a gentleman on his way to the Continent, and who was staying at the hotel for the night. The articles stolen were two imperials filled with apparel, including a court dress and other goods, valued at 160 originally, but for which Messrs. Worthington paid the gentleman 120 on Friday, in part indemnification. All search and inquiry were fruitless until Saturday last, when a lad named George Morphett, of Wittersham, apprentice to Mr. Polhill, butcher, of Dover, found them in one of his master's fields, near the town, and delivered them up. Two pounds were sent to the lad as a reward, to which he and his friends demur, as inadequate, especially as it has been said 20 were offered to the police towards their recovery.


From the Kentish Gazette, 17 July 1838.

On Wednesday last, the remains of Lady Sarah Wandesford were conveyed from the "Ship Hotel," Dover, (at which place she died on the Saturday preceding, on her way to Boulogne), to the family vault at Ulcomb, near Maidstone, for interment. The hearse with four horses was followed by a mourning coach and four, and two carriages and four, belonging to the husband of the deceased, the Hon. Charles Wandesford. The retinue remained at Ashford a few hours, and then proceeded to its destination, when the funeral obsequies were performed. The family were staying at the "Fountain Hotel, in this city, during the week before the last, being prevented by Lady Wandesford's illness, from proceeding on their journey. She, however, on Friday, expressed a wish to reach Dover, and they accordingly left, and her death took place on the following day. She was the daughter of the late Earl of Carrick, of the county Tipperary, and married the Hon. Charles Harward Butler Clarke Wandesford, brother to the Marquis of Ormond, in the year 1812. She was the owner of large estates in Kilkenny, and also in different parts of England, and the family formerly possessed much property in the parish of Ulcomb. Lady Wandesford was born on the 31st of July, 1787, and was consequently 51 years of age.


From the Kentish Gazette, 7 August 1838.

DOVER. July 30.

On Saturday evening his Excellency, Sir George Villiers, her Majesty’s Ambassador at Madrid, and suite, arrived here in the Water Witch steamer, from Boulogne, and went to Worthington’s "Ship Hotel," and, after partaking of refreshments, departed for London under a salute from the guns at the heights.


From the Kentish Gazette, 27 November 1838.


Dec. 22, at Dover, Mr. Timothy Wright, many years attached to the "Ship Hotel," Dover, as book-keeper, &c.


From the Kentish Gazette, 9 July 1839.


July 2, at Dover, Mr. William Epps, lately employed on the establishment of the "Ship Hotel."


From the Kentish Gazette, 16 July 1839.


July 5, in Euston square, London, Mr. Charles Wright, many years landlord of the "Ship Hotel," Dover.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 21 March, 1840.



William Quinton and Peter Borella, otherwise Baldassi, aged 23 and 25, were indicted for forging and putting off a certain order for the payment of money, in the French language, which being interpreted into English, stated "Good for 500f." with intent to defraud Mr. Thomas Barton Rutley, "Ship Hotel," Dover.

The prisoners were asked whether they would be tried by a jury half foreigners, or all English.

They both said they should be well satisfied with an English jury.

Before the further proceedings commenced, the learned Lord enquired of the prisoners as to their country.

Quinton said he was a native of France, and Borella said he was a Florentine - born in Florence.

Lord Abinger: Have you any counsel?

Prisoners: No my Lord.

Lord Abinger: Do you know the English language sufficiently well to comprehend what is likely to be stated against you?

Quinton: We understand a little. You'll please, my Lord, to do what you can to make us understand better.

Lord Abinger: Would you, or either of you, wish to have an interpreter? - No.

Mr. Bodkin: They pleaded yesterday in English, and expected to be tried by an English jury.

Lord Abinger: Very well, proceed.

Mr. Bodkin (with whom was Mr. Corney) stated the case for the prosecution.

Mr. Thomas Barton Rutley, examined by Mr. Gurney: On the 30th of November the prisoner Quinton presented an order to him for the payment of 500f. Witness was an agent, and in that capacity corresponds with Mr. Maunduit, of Regent Circus, London. Resides on the Quay at Dover. Witness, believing the order to be in the handwriting  of M. Mauduit, gave Quinton 66 five-frank pieces, a 100f. note, a 20f. and 2 sovereigns, less 2s. which the prisoner gave in exchange. The francs the prisoner received were wrapped in a piece of paper bearing some of witness's own handwriting, and that same paper was found at Quinton's lodgings in London. In consequence of a communication from M. Manduit, he was induced to make some enquiries, and found Borella at the "Commercial Tavern," on the 24 of December. He was then searched by a policeman, and the letter now produced (written in French) was found upon him, which was addressed to the other prisoner, and through that his abode was found out.

Mr. Jerningham, barrister-at-law was sworn to interpret. The letter ran thus, "If affairs go on well I shall be in London on Tuesday morning, and if you cannot see me, it will be [a word was torn out.] If I am taken by the police, I must get you to change your lodgings. In order to get out of this scrape it will be necessary for me to give you direction, and you will say that the money you sent me was money that you owed me. If they cannot find you, they will let me free, and give me my liberty. When you receive this letter, change your lodgings, and send me the bond or order which you have for 3 3s. in order for my return to London.

The letter was addressed "To Mr. W. Quinton, No. 6, Crown court, Soho, London.

The witness proceeded to state, that in consequence of finding this letter he proceeded to London, and went with Mr. Mauduit and a policeman to the house where it was addressed, and found the prisoner Quinton there in a back room, at the upper part of the house. He was searched instanter, and also his apartment, in which were found 66 five-frank pieces, and the two notes for 120f. as well as the identicle piece of paper in which the pieces were wrapped when witness paid them to Quinton at Dover. While in the room the prisoner wrote the letter now produced.

Lord Chief Baron: When he wrote it, did he consider himself in custody?

Witness could not tell. He said he would write to a friend to satisfy M. Mauduit.

The prisoner said, that the witness had asserted that they were all French francs, whereas there was a German among them.

The witness admitted that one of them was of German coinage.

M. J. Mauduit deposed that his place of business is 41, Regent Circus, London, and that his last witness is his agent at Dover. Remembering a person making application at his office on the 29th of November, whom he believed to be Borella. He wanted to transmit 2, 8s. to Dover, to be paid to "John Brown," as he said. He gave witness 2, 10s. in gold, and received in return an order for 2, 8s. on his agent at Dover, 2s. being deducted for commission. Quinton had received a previous order, and when questioned about it on the 2nd of December, he said he had destroyed it. When at Crown-court, witness asked him if he knew the other prisoner; he trembled and said he did. He was given in charge of an officer named Boardman, and was told the charge was for forging an order for 500f. He replied, "Yes, I have done it." he begged pardon, and prayed not to be arrested, as he had a friend who would pay the amount of two other orders which I charged him with forging. He named his friend who would pay the money as a "Mr. Bailey."

The forged order was then put in and read. The following is a literal translation:-

"Good for 500 francs. Payable to the bearer of the present on account to John Manduit. 29/11/39."

"To Mr. T. B. Rutley, "Ship Hotel," Dover."

Mr. Rutley was recalled by the court. He said that the order was an excellent imitation of Mr. Mauduit's handwriting. it was presented to him before noon on the 30th of November, and he paid it in the manner before described. It was written in red ink, which was a frequent but not regular habit of M. Mauduit.

Mr. Mauduit ( looking at the forger order) disclaimed all knowledge of it, admitting that it was a close imitation of his mode of writing.

The case for the prosecution having closed, the prisoners made a rambling statement.

Lord Abinger summed up the evidence with his usual perspicuity, and told the jury that if they had any reasonable doubt, the prisoners, who were undefended foreigners, were entitled to the benefit of it.

The Jury consulted for a few minutes, after which they returned a verdict of Guilty against the prisoners.

The learned Judge said, from the evidence, it was impossible for the jury to come to any other conclusion. The judgement of the Court was, that the prisoners be severally transported beyond the seas for the term of 14 years.


From the Kentish Gazette, 14 June 1842.

DOVER. Hindoo Chiefs.

Dwarkanauth Togore, accompanied by his nephew, Chunder Mohun Chntterjay, and attended by Dr. McGowan, landed at Dover, from H.M.P. "Myrtle," on Thursday, and proceeded to Worthington’s "Ship Hotel." After partaking of refresh meats, they left for London on a visit to Her Majesty.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 31 December, 1842. Price 5d.


William Harris, porter, aged 21, pledged guilty to a charge of stealing, at Dover, a quantity of silver and copper coin, the property of Henry Bale. It appeared the prisoner got through a circular window into the "Ship Hotel Tap," and was afterwards found near the stables, in a state of intoxication, by police-constable Crofts. Sentenced - 6 months imprisonment.


From the Kentish Gazette, 27 June 1843.

Orders were received at Worthington’s "Ship Hotel" on Saturday morning to prepare apartments for the Hereditary Grand Duke of Mecklenburg Strelitz and his royal bride, who are expected to arrive on Monday evening, July 3rd, from London, on their way to the continent.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 16 September, 1843. Price 5d.

William Harris, porter, aged 22, charged with stealing at Dover, 2 silver forks and spoons, the property of Mr. B. Worthington, "Ship Hotel"; also with stealing at the same house one pair of shoes, the property of John Phipps. The particulars of the case appeared in the police report, and the prisoner having been convicted at the sessions in December last, for breaking into the "Ship Tap," was sentenced to transportation for seven years.


Kentish Gazette, 18 June 1844.


June 10, at Dover, Mr. Robert Tadhunter, many years employed as porter at the "Ship Hotel."


From the Kentish Gazette, 25th March 1845.

Important sale of Freehold Estates, in the County of Kent, and in the neighbourhood of Dover.

To be sold by Auction.

At the "Ship Hotel." Dover, on Wednesday, May 28th, in lots, to suit the convenience of purchases.

The beautiful Mansion House, with its ornamental pleasure ground, known as Kearsney Abbey, situate about 3 miles from Dover, with a farms adjacent thereto, called Kearsney Court, River, Whitfield, Temple, Drelingore, and Ewell, containing upwards of 1,100 acres, together with the Kearsney Court and Crabble Corn Mills, and also all that well frequented hotel, known by the name of the "Ship Hotel," at Dover, together with the house adjacent thereto, and the Stables and Coach Houses, now occupied therewith by Messrs. Worthington and Birmingham. The situation, intrinsic value, and susceptibility of improvement of this very beautiful property entitles it to more than the ordinary attention of capitalist.

Full particulars and plans may be had, one month prior to the sale, at the "Ship Hotel," of Mr. Coleman, Kearsney, near Dover, of Messrs. Kennett and Son, Solicitors, Dover; of Mr. Charles Bailey, 5 Stratford Place; and of Messrs. Bischoff and Coxe, solicitors, 19, Coleman Street, London.

Dated March 18th, 1845.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 9 August, 1845. Price 5d.


August 6th, after a long illness, at Dover, Rachael, eldest daughter of Mr. John Birmingham, of the “Royal Ship Hotel,” aged 16.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 30 August, 1845. Price 5d.


August 25, at Dover, Mr. Hogwood, aged 46, ostler at the “Ship Hotel” stables.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 20 March, 1847. Price 5d.


James Epps was charged by Muggeridge, inspector of nuisances, with shaking a carpet in the “Ship Hotel Lane”, Strond Street, after eight o'clock in the morning, contrary to the provisions of the Pavement Act. Muggeridge stated that he had previously warned defendant. On Wednesday last, about noon, defendant was shaking the carpet, which being witnessed by some members of the Pavement Board, he was directed to get a summons against Epps, who admitted the offence, but stated that he was ordered to shake the carpet at the time in question, which was the only opportunity they had of taking it up.

Fines 10s., and 10s. costs, to be paid in a week.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 27 March, 1847. Price 5d.


Henry Frost, licensed boatman, was charged with landing passengers in the bay, from H.M.P. Garland, without using a gang board, contrary to the provisions of the Bylaws of the Pavement Board. The offence was proved by P.C. Pine, who deposed that, on the 11th instant, defendant landed some passengers in the bay, and that one of the ladies got wet-footed in consequence of there being no board used.

Mr. Knocker, who appeared for the defendant, stated that the board was not used in consequence of a great swell on the shore, in proof of which he called witnesses.

Mr. Rutter, of the Admiralty Yard, gave evidence that it was impracticable to use the gang board on all occasions, and that when there was a heavy swell, it was unsafe for the boat, as well as the passengers, that it should be used. Mr. Rutter further stated that the gang board which the Commissioners had ordered by the By-law, was a proper board for use in calm weather.

Mr. Gibbins, commissioner at the “Ship Hotel,” stated that the party landed were quite satisfied with the conduct of the boatmen; and it appeared from the statement of Mr. Knocker, that they gave extra fee to Frost for the care taken in performing the service.

Mr. Thompson pressed on the Bench that the By-law gave no discretion, and the offence had been proved. But Mr. Knocker replied that the Bench could not enforce a compliance with a rule which it had been proved could not have been complied with, with safety to the public; and read a certificate from Captain Smithett, of the Garland, that upon the day in question there was so much swell it would have been unsafe to use the gang board.

Under these circumstances the bench dismissed the case, at the same time stating that the By-law ought to be observed by the Boatmen in all cases where it should be practicable.


Southeastern Gazette, 5 April 1853.


At the police court on Monday, John Calcraft, recently in the employ of Mr. John Birmingham, of the "Ship Hotel," as coachman, was charged with embezzling various sums of money belonging to his master. It appears that he had received accounts for horses, carriages, and other charges, and never made any return of the money. As a material witness was, however, absent, the case was remanded till yesterday.


Kentish Gazette, 10 January 1854.

Narrow Escape from Fire at the "Ship Hotel."

On Wednesday evening last, this establishment had a narrow escape from conflagration by an explosion of gas. It appears that some repairs to the gas-pipes in the lower part of the premises had just been completed, or were in the course of completion, when one of the gas-fitters entered a cellar through which a gas-pipe ran, with a lighted candle in his hand, and a violent explosion took place. A beam running across the apartment and some other wood-work instantly became ignited; and by the force of the explosion part of the wall was shaken down, and the coloured glass which ornaments the Strond-street entrance to the Hotel blown out; and had it not been for the prompt measures adopted in securing the services of the Harbour fire engine, it is impossible to calculate the disastrous results that might have taken place. By the application of this engine, however, together with the united exertions of the servants at this Hotel, the flames were extinguished. We are glad to say that the gas-fitter, John Dowll, who first entered the cellar, was not seriously hurt, a slight singeing and a few bruises on the head and legs being the extent of his injuries.


Kentish Gazette, 16 May 1854.

DOVER. Dinner to Mr. Plomley.

On Thursday evening last a magnificent dinner took place at Birmingham's "Royal Ship Hotel," in honour and acknowledgment of the act of Dr. Plomley, of Maidstone, in presenting to the museum connected with this town his valuable and carefully collected specimens of Kentish birds.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 15 December, 1855. Price 7d.


John Birmingham, of the "Royal Ship Hotel," was summoned to answer an information alleging that the "Ship Tap" was improperly conducted. From the statement made, it appeared that Mr. Birmingham had been ignorant of the bad conduct of the "Tap," but had since discharged the man who, at the time of the infringement, was carrying it on; upon which the Bench dismissed the summons by defendant paying the costs, 7s. 6d.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 3 December 1857.


On Friday as the East Kent Fox Hounds were out on their usual hunt, and while near Fredville, the horse ridden by Mr. Johnson, a gentleman, who had been staying some time at the "Ship Hotel," Dover, suddenly kicked out and unfortunately broke the leg of Mr. Kenrick, of Walmer. No blame can be attached to Mr. Johnson, who was in great distress at the unforeseen catastrophe.


Kentish Gazette 12 April 1859.

Advertisement extract: Mr. Thomas Robinson is honoured with instructions from the Trustees of the late Thomas Walker Esq., to submit for sale by public auction at the "Ship Hotel," in Dover, on Tuesday, the 24th day of May, 1859, at twelve for one o'clock in the afternoon precisely the following valuable freehold and leasehold inns, public houses:

Lot 5: The old-established freehold inn, in the town of Folkestone, known as the "Chequers," with large yard, stabling, lofts &c. These premises stand on an an extensive area of ground, are contiguous to the harbour, possess two extensive frontages in the principal thoroughfares, and are now in the occupation of Mr. Henry Mercer.

For further particulars and to treat for the purchase, apply to the auctioneer, 18, Bench Street, or to Edward Knocker Esq., Solicitor, Castle Hill, Dover.


South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 26 April 1864.

Formation of a new club at Dover.

The new club, to be called the Cambridge club and subscription rooms, is about to be inaugurated at the Royal Ship hotel,, the want of such a club, particularly in that locality, must have been long felt, but only by the officers temporarily stationed in our Garrison, but also by a large number of a resident citizens.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 2 August, 1867. Price 1d.


Mary Ann Wood, a woman of vagrant appearance, was charged with being drunk and disorderly and causing an obstruction of the footway on Commercial Quay, on the previous (Sunday) afternoon.

It appeared that on Sunday afternoon Vaul saw the prisoner on Commercial Quay. She was very drunk, and had something in her hand which she seemed to believe to be ballads, but which turned out to be a copy of Reynolds's Miscellany and some fragments of newspaper. She sang specimens from the ballads, and occasionally, as her thoughts appeared to be diverted from the business before her, she exclaimed, "Hallelujah!" but that was all she could utter. On getting to Custom House Quay she sat down with her back to the old "Ship Inn" premises, and as a crowd of boys, who had been following her with lively curiosity, gathered around her, and an obstruction was thus caused, Vaul took her into custody.

The defendant had not much to say for herself. She attributed her misfortunes to the common infirmity of a treacherous stomach. She came to Dover to see a son, and she met some friends who treated her with brandy, and the brandy being taken on an empty stomach she became unconscious. But this was the first time, and she hoped the Bench would look over it, as she had discovered that her son was now in Hastings, and she wanted to get on, to see him.

The Magistrates discharged the defendant on condition of her proceeding to Hastings without a moment's delay.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 11 September, 1868.



Mr. Church, solicitor, from the office of the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway, made his usual application for the renewal of the license of the "Ship Hotel," belonging to the company, and it was granted.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 5 October, 1861.



Charles Hills, Henry Ayres, and Henry Morris were charged with pulling the bell at the "Ship Hotel" and also several other door-bells in Council House Street.

Police-constable Faith said he saw the defendants pull the bell of the "Ship Hotel" about 2 o'clock the same evening. He afterwards got the assistance of a brother officer and went in search of them. On getting into Seven Star Street he saw the prisoners knocking at a public-house door. They were then taken into custody.

Hills, in reply to the charge, admitted pulling the bell at the "Ship," but pleaded that it was done only in a freak.

The Magistrates dismissed them on their paying the costs 2s., but cautioned them to be careful how they indulged in similar freaks in future, as they might find the consequences not quite as pleasant as the sport.



Edward VII, at the age of 16 years, spent a night there. The Ship Hotel was demolished in 1878 to provide a site for Messrs Bradley Bros grain warehouse, but for some years previously it had been transformed into a Convalescent Home.

Ship pre 1878

Above photo 1875 showing the building as the Dover Convalescence Home. Showing in the centre of the picture the two funnelled and four paddle-wheeled cross channel steamer P.S. Bessemer.


Harp Hotel

This picture is dated February 1871 and shows the dock being deepened to accommodate bigger vessels. From the left the buildings on the quayside are the old Ship Hotel, the Royal Mall Packet Office, Northumberland House, Holy Trinity Church, the Harp Hotel and an old convalescent home.


"Worthington's Hotel and Ship Inn" stood with its front facing the harbour, the Granville Dock was not so named before 1871, with a rear entrance in Strond Street. That would be in 1838. From 1805 to 1833 it was "Wright's Hotel and Ship Inn". Birmingham took over about 1844, staying to 1865 and then becoming the owner of the "Lord Warden Hotel".


By all accounts, a busy staging post this one. In 1823, mail coaches left here every evening at eight and proceeded to the "Angel Inn", St. Clement's, London, another leaving that place at the same time every evening for Dover. Every day also, at six and ten in the forenoon and six in the evening, coaches ran to the Atlas Office. 8 Piccadilly; to the "Golden Cross" at Charing Cross and the "White Horse" at Fetter Lane. By reciprocation, coaches returned from those places every morning and evening.


Much of this establishment seems to disappear when a corn store was erected hereabouts by Bradley brothers in April 1878. The hotel was sold later, in January 1899, for 1,500. Part was then used as the Railway Marine Offices up to 1914 when the new railway terminus opened at the South pier.


I should have said earlier that the licence was renewed by them as early as 1868. It may not have been demolished before 1947 or even the early fifties. The annexe at one time was Admiral House, the Dover Naval Headquarters and that may have survived to the 1960's.


Another house in Strond Street used this sign from 1872 and Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34 mentions a Ship Inn and Family Hotel in Strond Street. I am inclined to think these are one and the same and the reports of the time became confused with the actual premises as shown below there is mention of the same licensee in both in the same year (Paul Skelton).


From an email received 18 February 2008.

I do not know if you have heard of ‘Coopers and Cutters', Janet Worthington's book on the Worthington family of Dover, but it's a mine of information on the family and well worth a look, if only for the Ship Hotel. Its' published by Phillimore, Chichester, 1997.

You will note from the book that there were two Lt. Benjamin Worthingtons, R.N., Benjamin Jelly the father, commander of a revenue cutter, and his son, also called Benjamin, (Lt. R.N. 1813), who with his brother Henry, took over the Ship Hotel from Charles Wright in February 1834, when the latter became bankrupt.


Alec Hasenson.


In Janet Worthington's book 'Coopers and Customs Cutters', she mentions an advert in the Kentish Gazette of July 29, 1796, that "the Ship Inn has been taken over by T. Wright, late of King's Head, from Mr. Harvey". It is not clear unfortunately which King's Head this refers to, the pub or the hotel. I have not found this advert yet, but suspect I was looking at the wrong page of that particular issue.


Alec Hasenson later wrote to me with the following:-


"I have managed to find the advert announcing the take over of the Ship Hotel that Janet Worthington mentions in her book!

She gave the right year but the wrong month as her reference in the Kentish Gazette. It was actually published in the issues for August 5 and 12, 1796, not July 29th, or if it was, I missed it again, though I don't think so.

I scanned every single page till I found it in the August issues. Interestingly the paper gives his name as Wrighte with an ‘E' on the end. Perhaps that was a mistake on the part of the paper.


The above Hotel is not to be confused with the pub of that same name, located at Kingsdown, Dover. Hotel and pub are both listed in Kelly's Directory for Kent, 1903, a massive tome of over 1,000 pages, which I had forgotten I had! The pubs alone occupy some 10 and a half pages, each of two closely packed columns, making altogether, I suppose, near one thousand pubs altogether. Hotels are far less numerous, and listed separately - about 300 I would guess.

It occurs to me that the Ship Inn was always a rather prestigious place in Dover. That being so, it seems more likely that whoever took it over - Timothy Wright in this case - would have come from having previously managed a Hotel rather than a pub.




ROWSE Henry 1679 dec'd

HARVEY John 1792 (Dover and Deal Directory and Guide)

WRIGHT Charles and Timothy 1796 Aug-1819 (Wright's Hotel and Ship Inn) Historical Sketch 1799

WRIGHT Charles 1828-July/39 dec'd Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34Pigot's Directory 1839

MILLINGTON John 1811 ?

WORTHINGTON Benjamin and Henry 1838-41+ (age 45 in 1841Census) Pigot's Directory 1840

(Worthington's Hotel and Ship Inn)

WORTHINGTON Benjamin Jolly 1838 (Worthington's Hotel and Ship Inn)

WORTHINGTON Henry 1840 Pigot's Directory 1840

BIRMINGHAM John 1844-55+ (Royal Ship Hotel) Bagshaw's Directory 1847 Next pub licensee had Dover Express

BIRMINGHAM Sarah 1851-61+ (age 64 in 1861Census) (Strond Street)

RUTTER John Sicard Sept/1863-65

SIMS C 1872 (Custom House Quay)


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

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

Pigot's Directory 1839From the Pigot's Directory 1839

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

Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express

Historical Sketch 1799Historical Sketch of the Town of Dover 1799 by G Ledger


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