Page Updated:- Saturday, 07 August, 2021.


Earliest 1828-

(Name from)


Latest ????

(Name to)

105 High Street


Artickoke 1900

Above postcard, circa 1900, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.


Above postcard, date unknown.


South Eastern Gazette 28 December 1858.


On Thursday Emma McDonald, servant to Mr. Richard Galliers, of the "Artichoke Inn," Orpington, pleaded guilty, and was committed for trial, on a charge of stealing from her employer a watch and chain, two capes, one dress, one pair of bracelets, one collar, and two petticoats, value 4; also for stealing from Henry Matson, lodger at the Artichoke, the sum of 11s. Prisoner was apprehended at No. 5, Pleasant-place, Pages-walk, Bermondsey, by Sergeant Troyman, Metropolitan Police-station, St. Mary Cray, with the whole of the property in her possession.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Monday 19 December 1864.

The most important place in the calendar was that of two men charged on a verdict of the coroner's jury with the wilful murder of a man named Caleb Fisher. They were committed by the magistrates for manslaughter, there being a difference between the course taken by the coroner's jury and that taken by the magistrates. But he would tell them they had nothing to do with the verdict of the coroner's jury; and they were no doubt aware that if they returned a true bill for wilful murder the men could be acquitted of that charge by the petty jury, and proceeded against on the lesser charge of manslaughter. If, however, they were satisfied that it was only a case of manslaughter, it would be quite right for them to return a true bill to that effect, notwithstanding the decision of the coroner's jury. The circumstances of the case were involved in considerable obscurity. He would not take it up in the order in which it occurred; but would just mention that Caleb or James Fisher died on the 29th of last November. On Saturday, the 19th, at a late hour, he was at a public house called the "Artichoke," and he was afterwards found by two policeman named Jones and Beeson lying on the ground in a state of insensibility, covered with blood, and with a wound on the head, and near the eye. A medical man was sent for, but Fisher never recovered, and on the Sunday night he died. When the policeman went up to him - one constable being a little in advance of the other - they found the two men with him who were now awaiting their trial. One of them was holding him by the neck, and the other by the legs, and were thus clearly found in contact with the deceased. They were not, however, seen to do anything that would account for death. They were clearly seen in contact with the deceased, but no blows were seen struck. It was, therefore, necessary for him to refer to the earlier transactions connected with the affair. It appeared the parties were at the public house drinking; but according to the evidence it appeared they were not so drunk but that they could walk. A dispute arose just outside the "Artichoke" about the deceased having affirmed that he had worked on the railway 15 years ago. One of the party denied the truth of that statement, saying it was false, and using a bad expression. Upon that the deceased said he would "give it to him," and something like a blow was struck. At this stage of the affair the policeman very properly interfered, when one of the party proceeded to take off his jacket, the police remarking that if they did not desist they would be taken into custody. Deceased then said "Good night," and walked away in the direction of his home. The two prisoners according to the evidence, remained for about 2 minutes, and then walked down the lane in the same direction as that taken by the deceased. They walked slowly at first; but according to the opinion of the police they must have gone on very fast after they got about 20 yards away from them. The policeman follows the men; and when they had got some distance down the lane they heard cries, and before they got up to the men they heard a person say "Get up," using a very coarse expression, which was repeated two or three times. When they got up to the men they found one had hold of the neck of deceased, and the other the legs. If, therefore, they were satisfied that there was provocation, and that a repetition of what had taken place, and that death resulted from it, they might safely reduce the charge to manslaughter; but unless they could see their way clear to that conclusion, they must return a true bill for the greater crime.

The Orpington murder.

Edward William Staples, 23, labourer, and James Turner, 26, labourer, were indicted for the wilful murder of Caleb, alias James Fisher, at Orpington, on the 20th of November. They were indicted on a second count for the manslaughter of the said Caleb Fisher.

Mr. Addison said this case arose out of one of those unfortunate quarrels caused by drink. Prisoners and deceased were drinking at the "Artichoke," at Orpington, and the jury would have to consider what took place after they left the house. In the house deceased insisted upon it that he had been employed on the railway 15 years ago. Turner said it was false, and shortly afterwards hit him, when Staples interfered. Ultimately Fisher left the house, but, no doubt before that he struck Turner in self-defence. Defendant went in the direction of his house, but whether or not that was also in the direction of prisoners homes would probably come out in evidence. Prisoners followed shortly after, at first slowly, but afterwards quickly, two policemen going after them. The deceased was found with the prisoners, and was suffering from either blows or a fall, which proved fatal. After some further remarks from the learned counsel, the following evidence was taken:-

Emmanuel Jeal:- I am a brother-in-law of deceased, who died at 10:30 on Sunday night.

Bye Mr. Ripton:- I had known Staples 11 years. He lived in Sprat's Corner. He is a labourer. I was not in the habit of seeing much of Staples. I do not know anything of the other man. The way in which deceased went was his direct way. It was moonlight at the time. There were perhaps 20 houses from the public house to where deceased lived.

By his Lordship:- From the "Artichoke" the road is straight without any crossing at all.

William Saker:- I live in Orpington, and remember being at the "Artichoke" on the Saturday night. The deceased was there with me for a short time, besides two other men. We were all drinking together. This was about 10:30. We remained there drinking till ten minutes before twelve. Turner was in the house, but I did not notice Staples there. I heard the deceased speaking about working on the rail about 15 years ago. The conversation was noisy. After that we all turned out. When I got outside the house I saw Staples for the first time. I heard Turner speak to deceased, and deceased hit him with his hand on the head, and knocked off his hat. The policemen, Jones and Beeson, came forward and told Fisher to go home. The deceased and Turner appeared to be tipsy. Staples did not appear so bad. Deceased went straight up the road towards his home. Staples said, "I don't like to see my mate served like that," and took off his jacket. I left the prisoners standing there, and my two companions went with me.

By Mr. Ribton:- I went quite the opposite way to the prisoners. Spratt's Bottom, I should judge, is about 3 miles from the "Artichoke." We all left at the time of closing. They were all going away when I left. Most of those at the public house were labouring men. I don't know in which direction most of them went. I did not talk with any other person but the deceased and my two companions. Deceased was talking to several men. He did not appear much the worse for liquor.

Mr. Ribton:- But you said different.

Witness:- He was the worse. He, however, walked straight up the road. I remained there two or three minutes, and then started and left the party. The road is a good one, and there is a footpath on each side, raised higher than the road. There is no kerb stone.

By his Lordship:- You can get the way Fisher went to Spratt's Bottom.

John Crawford:- I was drinking with deceased and last witness at the "Artichoke," and heard words between deceased and deceased and Turner. Fisher said he worked on the rail 15 years ago. Turner said he did not believe it. They then went outside. When I got outside there might have been a dozen with them. Deceased repeated that he worked on the railway 15 years ago, when Turner said it was false. Deceased said, "If you say that again, I will hit you." He did, and deceased hit Turner, and knocked his cap off. Staples was standing on the stone, by the side of the inn. Deceased pushed Turner with his hand. Staples said "If he had done it to me, I should return it." I did not see Staples do anything. The policeman recommended deceased to go home, and he walked away up the road. The two prisoners followed about five minutes afterwards. I went home, and saw no more.

By Mr. Ribton:- I and Saker stood in front of the house four or five minutes, and then went home ourselves. When we started prisoners started also. I did not notice who came in and who went out within a short time of closing. I can't tell how many. What road they took after they left I don't know. As far as I heard, deceased only spoke to Turner about the railway.

Richard Jones, K.C.C.:- I was on duty on the 19th of November, in front of the "Artichoke," a little before twelve. I saw the house closed and the people turned out. I saw deceased and the two prisoners depart. I heard deceased say that he works on the line 15 years ago. Turner said it was false. Deceased said, "If you say that again I will hit you." Deceased went up to Turner and pushed him. I did not observe whether Turner's hat or cap fell off. My brother Constable requested the prisoner and deceased to go home.

Staples was on the path. After deceased pushed Turner, Staple said, "I would not stand that," and "He was half an Irishman to let him do it." Turner made an attempt to pull off his coat, and got it partly off. All three men did not appear under the influence of drink. Deceased bade us good night, and walked away for home. After a minute or two the prisoners sauntered in the same direction for about 20 yards. I then saw them quicken their pace, and my brother Constable was with me about that time. We then followed them, and after we got about 100 or 150 yards, we heard the two men cry "get up" several times. It was five or six minutes after the prisoners left before we got up to them. When we heard the cry we ran till we came up to them at Mayfield Gate, and 250 yards from the public house. I knew the two voices were the same as I had heard outside the "Artichoke." When we got up to them we saw Turner with his arms under the deceased to raise him up. Staples was looking at his legs. I then turned my light, when I saw deceased had been struck, and blood was coming from his face. I saw two pools of blood about two yards from deceased, who was lying across the road. I asked, "What game do you call this? Turner remarked that deceased had had a fall. I told them it was no fall; it was a blow. I pointed out to them that the man was lying in an insensible state, and might probably not recover. I told them they had been ill-using deceased, and charged them with the offence. We then got deceased up and washed his face. I saw they had heavy shoes on.

By Mr. Ribton:- There was a wall on the right hand side from the "Artichoke." Deceased was lying about five or six yards from the wall. Deceased inclined to the left hand side. There are two houses on that side. I called at a man's house and asked if he could lend us a cart, and he got one. Deceased's head was towards the wall and his feet towards the fence. The blood was towards the fence, close to the footpath. If he had been lying down his head would have been about a yard or a yard and a half from the footpath. I had been walking down Orpington since ten o'clock. The public house was in the centre of the village. I saw Saker, Croffer, and Whiting outside the public house. I saw them go all together, and prisoner went away in another direction.

Re-examined by Mr. Addison:- The blood was six or seven yards from the wall.

Joseph Beeson, K.C.C.:- I and the previous witness went up together. I saw the deceased and the prisoners in front of the "Artichoke." Deceased said he had worked on the railway 15 years ago, which was denied, when Fisher struck a blow. I said, "Fisher, you had better go home; you will get locked up." He replied, "So I will Mr. Beeson; good night." He then went straight up the middle of the road. He was not what I call drunk - he could walk straight. The other two men stood there about three minutes, when they walked in the same direction at a slow pace; but after they got 20 or 30 yards off they started faster. At the time deceased pushed Turner, Staples was on the footpath. Staples said to Turner, "If he had hit me like that I should have hit him again." When they started off we followed them. We came up to them opposite Mayfield Gate. We got up to them in about three minutes. After we got about 150 yards we heard the prisoners saying "Get up," which was repeated three times. The expression was used by two voices. I can't swear to the two voices. I saw deceased in the road. Turner was behind him, with his arms around him. Staples was by his legs. I heard my brother Constable say, "What game do you call that?" One of the men said, "He has had a good fall." I said, "I will lock you up; you've been ill-using him." They both said, "Do you think we should do such a thing as that?" The man's face was covered with blood and dirt. The blood ran from his eyes and nose, and he was quite insensible. I saw the blood on the road. I fetched the water and washed his face.

By Mr Ribton:- The prisoners both said with oaths there and going to the station, "Do you think we should do such a thing as that?" There were two pools of blood. The man's face was also dirty. I did not notice whether his clothes were dirty. I did not see deceased strike Turner, nor notice his hat fall off. I did not notice it.

Frederick Batcher Fullcher, surgeon:- I remember being called to see the deceased on the Sunday morning. I went to the Mayfield Gate. He was lying against the wall. He was perfectly insensible. Police constable Jones and Beeson and several others were there. I found deceased very cold, his limbs stiff and rigid, and his pulse low. I saw a bulging on the left eye, which was bleeding. I bandaged him and got him home, and he was put to bed. My opinion from the first, was that he would die. He never rallied, and died on a Sunday evening, about 10:30. I observed two pools of blood on the road. At the post mortem examination externally there were some slight scratches on the face not injurious to life. I found the internal parts all healthy excepting the head. Internally we saw there was a fracture of the lower jaw. After we move the skull we found a fracture on the inner table of the right frontal bone, about an inch and a quarter in length, extending upwards. The surface of the brain was covered with blood. The blood vessels was suffused with blood, producing pressure on the brain. Those injuries might have been caused by one blow, but I think not. The injury on the jaw might have been inflicted by a man's fist. The blow on the skull might have been inflicted by some blunt instrument while deceased was down. One blow could not have produced all those injuries.

By Mr. Ribton:- I don't believe a blow could have produced that. Supposing he fell and struck his head against the wall, there would have been an external injury.

Mr. Eagleheart assisted the last witness in his post-mortem examination. He observed the injury to the orbit of the eye and the fracture of the jaw. The ball of the eye was uninjured. He was of opinion that the injury to the eye might be caused by a kick. All the injuries might have been produced by a kick, but not all by the fist.

By Mr. Ribton:- My opinion is unless from a very great height a fall would not cause it. From the state of the brain I should not think that he was drunk. The side of the brain where the injury was was very much congested; the other side was healthy. It is possible that he might appear more intoxicated after he left the house then before. I think it is probable the blood came from his nose and mouth. I have seen many larger pools of blood from the nose.

Joseph Powell, sergeant in the Rochester police force, said the boots of both prisoners had tips and nails.

Police constable Beeson, recalled, said he knew nothing against Staples, and he knew that he lived at Spratt's Bottom. Deceased used to dance and sing for beer.

By Mr. Addison:- I never knew him to be quarrelsome.

Mr. Ribton, in defence, said he should confine himself to answering the charge of manslaughter. It was a painful case in regard to the prisoners. Staples was of a very respectable family. He was careful, industrious, and attentive to his work, and Turner was not so well known, being a Herefordshire man, and lodged at Staples' house. He would submit that it was not proved that either of the men were the cause of his death, for it might be other persons were mixed up in the affray. The prisoners were found near the deceased, but what occurred from the time the man left the public house to the time when he was found they could not tell. Now it was perfectly clear that the injury the jury were left to draw an inference from the facts. He could not call it circumstantial evidence, because much would point to the same conclusion - the prisoners coming from where the murder was committed, and lots of blood on their clothes. But the facts themselves did not point to the prisoners except in a very unsatisfactory way. He would point out what he considered to be a very important point namely, the interval of time between leaving of the deceased and the starting of the prisoners. Some of the witnesses said it was four or five minutes. One of the Constable said one or two minutes; and he thought some time lapse, probably five minutes, after Fisher left before the prisoners left. They did not follow him, but were going into their own homes. If four or five minutes elapsed before they started, Fisher would have got some 200 yards ahead of them. Even supposing Fisher left four or five minutes before them, he would probably have arrived at the gate before they started. He next called their attention to the fact that near the very place where the man was found there was a "navvies" house. Deceased might have been insulting or insolent to others beside the prisoners - perhaps the navies - and have come by his death in that way. The Constables were, of course, set to find out the perpetrators of the crime, and it invariably happened that they turned their attention in one direction. Supposing that the body of the deceased had been found only the next morning, the police would certainly have in the first instant suspected the prisoners; but they would have gone, for instance, to the navies and measured their boots. How far could a man walk in five minutes? 200 yards would be a reasonable distance. It was important for the jury to recollect that the policeman heard the prisoners ask the man to get up, which they would not have done if they had done him any harm. If they have meant any harm they would have said something to him in the first instance when he started. The learning counsel then referred to the medical evidence. One of the medical witnesses said that the blow near the eye must have been caused by his fall, and he did not think the blow was caused while he was standing. He would say that if two large pools of blood came from the nose, there must have been a considerable lapse of time. If it was so, the far more reasonable and probable hypothesis was that some other person inflicted the injury, and one to whom he had been insulting; and there have been that doubt the jury must acquit the prisoners of the charge. He said the pool of blood could not possibly be caused from the nose.

If it were from the eye they must have moved him. Besides, the prisoners were just in the position they would be found if they intend administering relief. They went and called out to him; but if they committed the injury why call out. Why would they not run away? He thought the statement of the prisoners which they had made before the magistrates was more probable than that set up by the prosecution. He asked them not to exclude or sympathetic feelings towards the families of the prisoners; but take the view he gave to the prisoners conduct. He then stated that he differed from his learning friend's statement of the law, that if both were animated by a common desire to commit an unlawful act both would be guilty of manslaughter. But if they had used the expression "let us follow him," or had gone out of the direction of their own homes, it would been clear against them. In criminal cases they must be reasonable satisfied that they were treading on firm ground, or leave it altogether, especially as by our law the mouths of the prisoners were stopped. If there were no design between the parties, they would say that the injuries were inflicted by one or two? If by one, who would they select? Would they select Turner? Why? Because he called deceased a liar? Or say Staples, because he made use of the other expression? Would they, rather than let a guilty man escape, punish both? Surely not. He assumed that if both had started from the house for the purpose of getting an apology, and one had inflicted the injury, both would not be guilty. He then called for his defence Eliza Staples:- I live at Spratt's Bottom. The prisoner Staples has lived at home all his life. There are two brothers. He is quiet and inoffensive, and is unmarried. I have known Turner five or six months, and could not speak against him.

Joseph Bokes:- I am a navy, and lodge at Staples' father's house. Turner comes from Herefordshire, and is a respectable man.

The learned Judge then summed up. There were some circumstances in the evidence which did not admit of any reasonable doubt. He then recapitulated the evidence, dwelling on the fact that the brain on the side opposite the locality where the blow was struck was healthy, showing that deceased was not affected by drink. They would have to satisfy themselves whether the deceased was in a state of insensibility at the time the prisoners came up, or whether he came by his death from the violence of the prisoners, or by accident, such as a fall, or by a blow given by some other person. If it were the latter, the prisoners had nothing at all to do with it. Both of medical witnesses said the bruises were not the result of a fall.

The jury, after three minutes' deliberation, found both prisoners guilty of manslaughter, but recommended them to mercy.

Five years' penal servitude.


Licensee J Pennington was involved in a huge crash outside the "Red Lion" in Handcross, West Sussex in 1906, in which many people were killed and injured. Full details here.



DOBINSON Joseph 1828-Mar/34 dec'd Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34

LARKIN John 1841-51+ (age 57 in 1851Census)

KENT J 1855+

GALLIERS Richard 1858-61+ (age 44 in 1861Census)

ROOTS James 1871+ (age 45 in 1871Census)

MARSHALL John 1881-93+ (age 35 in 1881Census)

GALLIER Richard 1858-61+ (age 44 in 1861Census)

ROOTS James 1867-74+ (age 45 in 1871Census)

MARSHALL John S 1881-98+ (age 33 in 1881Census)

BUTLER Arthur 1903+ Kelly's 1903


SEELEY Frank George 1911-13+ (age 33 in 1911Census)

PULLEN Frederick William 1918+

WEBB Henry J 1921-22+

WEBB Mary J T Mrs 1938-39+ (age 64 in 1939)


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

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

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903



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