Sort file:- Dover, January, 2023.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 08 January, 2023.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1803

True Briton

Latest 1870

(Name to)

47 Snargate Street

Commercial Quay Pigot's Directory 1840Bagshaw's Directory 1847



Mark Frost suggests that the "Roebuck" 1779 and the "True Briton" 1781, were privateers that may have given their names to pubs.

A privateer is a private person or ship that engages in maritime warfare under a commission of war. Since robbery under arms was a common aspect of seaborne trade, until the early 19th century all merchant ships carried arms.

Active in 1805 and reported on the corner with Commercial Quay. Probably belonging to Walker 1814 to 1859. When sold by his executors that year they stated that its importance would be enhanced by the erection of the new post office on the opposite side of the street. The 61 year lease had commenced in April 1834. The title may have been associated with the Benefit Society of like name which was popular in that century.


Kentish Gazette 2 December 1819.


Nov 27, aged 35, Susanna, wife of Mr. Charles Parks, landlord of the "True Briton" public house, Dover, leaving a disconsolate husband and two children to laments their loss.


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

Mr. J Hayday married 30 April at Dover, to Mrs Sarah Smiley of the "True Briton" public house.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 17 February, 1838. Price 7d.


Last evening, about half past eight, Mrs. Rogers, a respectable inhabitant, who must be upwards of seventy years of age, in proceeding from St. James's-street to her residence in Oxenden-street, after turning into the Commercial Quay, mistook her way from the darkness of the night, and walked over the edge of the quay. The tide being down, her fall could not have been less than fifteen feet to the level of the Pent; but, surprising to relate, she escaped without personal injury, and even an empty jug she carried in her hand remained unbroken, when the persons attracted by her cries, proceeded to her assistance. The only cause to which, under Providence, her escape can be attributed, is the extreme violence of the wind, which acting on her clothes, in all probability prevented a rapid descent. Mrs. Rogers, on being rescued from her perilous situation, was taken to the "True Briton Tavern," where every attention was paid to her, and she afterwards walked home, expressing anxiety only that her friends might not be alarmed by the occurrence.


Dover Chronicles 3 April 1847.

Mary May and Frances Smith, "unfortunates," where charged with drunken and disorderly conduct and assaulting the landlord of the "True Briton;" and fined 3s, and 7s, costs each. Allowed a week to pay in.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 3 April, 1847. Price 5d.


Mary Ann May and Francis Smith were charged with an assault on Robert Pilcher, landlord of the “True Briton” public-house. Prosecutor, whose face was completely tattooed by the finger nails of his assailants, stated that defendants came to his house about half-past 12 o'clock, and ordered two glasses of beer, which were served. He then requested them to leave the house; but they refused to do so, and on his attempting to put them out they both flew at him, and scratched his face. He then called Police-constable Adams, and gave them in charge.

Smith, in her defence, stated that she had been in the habit of visiting the house at much later hours, and on being requested to leave, she said she should not do so till she had finished her beer, as there were other persons in the house, upon which Pilcher pushed her with violence against the door.

Miss May said she only went to the assistance of her friend.

Fined 10s. each, including costs, to be paid on Monday, or, in default, 10 days' imprisonment.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 9 February, 1850.

Hannah Hook, charged with picking the pocket of a mariner Williams, one of the crew of the steam yacht Ondine.

The prosecutor stated that after leaving the “Druid's Lodge” on Wednesday evening he went to the “True Briton,” where he fell in with the prisoner, whom he afterwards accompanied to her lodgings at Mrs. Hart's, St. James's Lane, at which place prisoner unceremoniously put her hand into his pocket, and took there-from 2 half-francs and some sous. On being asked to return them, she refused to do so, and from subsequent circumstances was eventually taken to the Police station. In defence, prisoner admitted being in company with prosecutor, but denied stealing the money. Williams had given it to her; he appeared intoxicated at the time.

The Bench considered that the evidence was not sufficiently strong to send the case to the Sessions, and ordered its dismissal.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 25 August, 1855. Price 5d.


The "True Briton," public house, in full trade - corner situation in the ???? thoroughfare. Immediate possession must be had. The particulars apply on the premises.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 5 January, 1856. Price 5d.


Thomas Robinson, charged with having his house, the "True Briton," Commercial Quay, open contrary to law on Sunday night last.

Police-constable Edward Smith said, that on Sunday last, in passing the house, he heard a noise, to which he called the attention of another officer, Collard, when both went to the door and knocked. Mrs. Paul opened the door, and said the house was closed. They followed her in, when witness saw four persons in a room there, with glasses containing spirituous liquors. Two of the men drank the contents of two of the glasses in his presence. In another room he saw two persons - a man and a woman. The man was Mr. Broadley; the female was unknown to witness. One of the four men was a Dover man named William Kay; the others were Frenchmen. Mrs. Paul told witness that he might do his best or worst; that the house was not in her name; and that if he wanted anything, he must go to Mr. Robinson, whose name was over the door. - Police-constable Collard fully corroborated the foregoing.

Mr. Robinson explained how the house was licensed in his name. He was the agent of the proprietor, Messrs. Walker; who, as Mrs. Paul wished to get out, requested him (Mr. Robinson) to apply for the licence in his name, to prevent its lapsing, or the closing of the house. He then proceeded to cross-examine Smith, with a view of showing that Smith had frequently misconducted himself while in the police; tat the information was got up from other than pure motives; and that therefore the credibility was open to objection. - Mrs. Paul, who was called for the defence, said the house was closed, and nothing drawn or sold after 10 o'clock. Smith had frequently had drink there, and had refused to assist in the removal of disorderly characters when called upon.

Mr. Robinson made objections to the information, on the ground that no liquor had been sold after the time allowed by law, and that the house was only open for the removal of those within, so that a disturbance might be avoided.

The Bench considered the case proved, and as it was the first offence, the lenient fine of 1, including costs, was inflicted. Mr. Robinson said if it was his own case, he should appeal against the decision; but ultimately Mrs. Paul consented to the fine being paid.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Saturday 16 July 1859.

To let by tender.

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

1. The "Bull Inn," Eastry.

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

3. The "Chequers," at Folkestone.

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

5. The "Red Lion," at Charlton.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

14. The "Dolphin," in Dolphin Lane.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



By 1869 or 1870 the authorities had seen enough of this one and when Walker's Phoenix Brewery was sold, apparently no one was interested and the curtain fell.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 16 September, 1870. Price 1d.


The Borough Magistrates held their annual licensing meeting on Monday last at the Sessions House. The Magistrates on the bench were E. F. Astley (in the Chair), J. F. Crookes, T. E. Back, C. Stein, J. G. Churchward, J. G. Smith, and W. R. Mowll Esqs. Most of the licenses were renewed pro forma. The exceptional cases were the following.


In this case the renewal of the house was withheld till the Broadstairs meeting on the ground that the person in whose name the licence was granted did not reside upon the premises. It was a condition absolutely essential that there should be some one on the spot responsible for the proper conduct of the house, and if the landlady could produce someone who would take the responsibility at the Broadstairs meeting the application for renewal would be reconsidered.



However, 47 Snargate Street was later addressed as the "Clarendon Hotel," although that has been traced to as early as 1862 and so there is an overlap with the "True Briton" here. Perhaps the houses were renumbered.




PARKS Charles 1819-26+ Pigot's Directory 1823Pigot's Directory 1828-29

SMALLEY Richard 1832-39+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34Pigot's Directory 1839

HAYDAY Henry 1837-40+ (Kent Directory 1837)Pigot's Directory 1840

SNELLING Dec/1844 Dover Telegraph

PILCHER Robert Cook Dec/1844-51 (age 39 in 1851Census) Dover TelegraphBagshaw's Directory 1847

COOK Thomas 1855

?PAUL Mrs 1856? Dover Express

ROBINSON Thomas 1856+ Dover Express

WILLIS John Lewis 1859-June/60 Dec'd

WILLIS Mrs June/1860

PRITCHARDS John 1861+ (age 42 in 1861Census)


PRITCHARDS Mrs 1862 end Dover Express


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

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

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:-