Sort file:- Malling, September, 2023.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 06 September, 2023.


Earliest 1779-

Five Bells

Latest ????

St Leonards Street

West Malling

Five Bells

Above photo, date unknown.


Kentish Gazette, 26 June, 1779.

Wednesday died, Mr. William Jacob, Master, of the "Bells Inn," in Leonard Street, Malling. And a few days ago his brother, by a violent kick in the side from a horse.


Southeastern Gazette, 13 September 1853.


Mr. George applied for a license for the "Five Bells" beer-shop, St. Leonards-street, which was unopposed, and upon Mr. Dickenson, the landlord, promising to alter and improve the premises, a license was granted.


From the Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, 26 October 1861.

Malling, West. Suicide.

On Monday evening a young man named Edward Phipps, a keeper at the Lunatic Asylum committed suicide by drowning. It appears that on the above evening he met several friends in the town and appeared to be in his usual health and spirits, and at about 8:30 he left to return to his home as was his practice to do so. He did not, however, go home, and on the following morning enquiries were made about him, but without success. This gave rise to suspicions that he had either destroyed himself or come to some untimely end. Search was made when his hat was found very close to the pond at St. Leonards, and in the water his body was discovered. Assistance was procured and he was conveyed to the "Five Bells Inn," at St. Leonards, where an inquest was held before J. N. Dudlow, Esq., coroner, and respectable jury. Evidence was given that the deceased had written a letter which was found under his hat, in which it would seem that a young woman was in trouble through him, and he directed that the sum of 30s. which will be found in his box should be given her, calling her Mary, to help her out of it, and 60s. which was in the saving's bank, should be divided among his friends.

The jury returned a verdict of "Temporary Insanity."

We understand the young man was very steady and of temperate habits, and much respected among his friends and acquaintances.


Kentish Gazette, Tuesday 29 October 1861.

Town Malling. Sad case of Suicide.

On Wednesday evening last and inquest was held at the "Five Bells Inn," St Leonards Street, before J. N. Dudlow Esq., coroner for the county, and a highly respectable jury, of whom Mr. Dutt Sen., was foreman, on the body of Edward Thomas Phipps, age 28, who had committed suicide.

The deceased was one of the keepers at Dr. Lowry's private lunatic asylum, at St. Leonards, West Malling, and it would appear that there had been certain love matters between him and one of the female attendants who had got into trouble, and had since left the establishment. On Sunday evening, about 7:30, he left the house for the ostensible purpose of taking a walk, and should have returned by 10 o'clock. On the following morning, it having been discovered that he had been absent all night, Dr. Lowry and deceased's father made search for him, and they saw him in the water, nearly opposite Mr. Savage's House, St. Leonards. Superintendent Hulse was sent for, and at once got out the body, which had evidently been in the water some hours. On the bank, by the side of the lake, was his hat, under which was the following letter in deceased's handwriting.

"My dear mother, I drop you these few lines wishing you would see to my affairs, for my forehead is raving and distracted for trouble more than I can bear. There is 30 in my box for Mary, for to keep her out of trouble, and the rest that is in the bank to share equally among you and my clothes to. My poor head; what shall I do. God forbid, but can't help it, and I hope that you will see that Mary has that, and God bless her; so now, good bye to all, for my head is so bad I cannot stand it, and I hope that you will find me. God bless you all. I am a wicked sinner."

The letter was in an envelope, directed to "Mrs. Phipps, Pest House, West Malling, Kent."

In deceased's box, and on his person was saying the sum of 29. 9s. 9d. and a banknote showing a deposit of upwards of 60 in the Malling Bank.

The jury returned a verdict of "Temporary Insanity."


From the Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, 2 November 1861.

Malling, West.

On Thursday afternoon and inquest was held at the "Five Bells" public house, St. Leonards Street, West Malling, before J. N. Dudlow, Esq., coroner, and a jury of which Mr. H. Dutt, senior, was foreman, on the body of a young man named Edward Thomas Phipps, aged 28 years, who had drowned himself in the St. Leonards pool on the previous night.

From the evidence it appeared that the deceased had for the past 6 years being a keeper in the private lunatic establishment kept by Dr. Dowry, at this place, and that he had formed an intimate acquaintance with one of the female attendance. The result of their acquaintance was, that the young woman became and enceinte, (pregnant) and this fact appears to have prayed upon his mind. About 9 years since the deceased was afflicted with a severe fever, and from that period his intellect had been slightly impaired; and at intervals during the past 6 months he complained of a pain in the head, and had been observed by those with whom he had associated to be unusually low and desponding, although not the slightest idea has ever been entertained that he would destroy himself. On Sunday evening the deceased and the young woman above referred to partook of tea together at the house of deceased mother, and during the time they were there his mother noticed that his manner was unusually peculiar. On Tuesday morning deceased was missed, and his father a labouring man living in the neighbourhood was sent for. A search was made round St. Leonards pond, when the hat of the unfortunate man was discovered on the bank, and his dead body in the pond about 2 feet from the bank. Deceased had apparently laid himself in the water, which was only two or three feet deep, the mud beneath him being undisturbed, and clearly indicating that he had not jumped in, the elbow of one of the arms actually being above the water. Beneath his hat was found a letter, and the 30 therein referred to was found in his chest, as also a bank book containing a deposit of 60, thus showing that the deceased had been a steady and thrifty young man.

The letter was as follows:- Dear mother, I drop you these few lines, wishing you would see to my affairs, for my forehead is raving and distracted, for trouble more than I can bear. There is 30 in my box for Mary for to help her out of trouble, and the rest that is in the bank to share equally amongst you, and my clothes too. My forehead! What shall I do? God forbid, but can't help it, and I hope that you will see that Mary has that, and God bless her. Now good bye to all, for my head is so bad I cannot stand it, and I hope that you will find me.
God bless you all. I am a wicked sinner.

The jury having heard the evidence to the above effect, returned a verdict, "That the deceased destroyed himself while in an unsound state of mind." The deceased was buried in the new parochial burying ground on Sunday evening. He was followed by a large number of Oddfellows, to which society he belongs, and large numbers of people were present to witness the funeral.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Tuesday 14 October 1890.

Malling Pretty Sessions. Assault.

William Selby was summoned for assaulting Mrs. Jane Barrow, at West Malling, on the 27th September.

Prosecutrix said she kept the "Five Bells" public house, and on the day named defendant came into the house and made a row, and witness ordered him out whereupon he struck her in the chest.

George Orpin said he was in the "Five Bells," on the 27th September, and defendant came in their. Witness and a friend were sitting there drinking, and commenced a disturbance, when the landlady ordered him out. The landlady tapped him on the shoulders, and then defendant hit her a blow in the chest, which knocked her down.

Defendant called Alfred Lye, who said he did not see Selby hit the landlady as he was outside the house.

The Bench deferred judgement till the other cases had been heard.

Other cases of assault.

Richard Moxha, William Selby, Arthur Browning, and Richard Colegate were then charged with assaulting George Orpin on 27th September at the same place.

Complainant said Moxham hit him in the eye, Browning knocked two teeth out and Colegate raced him down the street and struck him several times. They all hit him several times.

There was a mistake about Selby and he was discharged from this summons.

The landlady was called, and said when she got up from the floor she saw all the defendants at him, hitting and kicking him, just as if they were going to kill him.

Alfred Lye saw them all come out and Orpin was drunk.

The Bench deferred judgment.

The cross-summons of assault was then gone into.

Selby said on being ordered out of the house defendant "fixed him like a mad dog and knocked him silly."

Alfred Lye said when Orpin came out of the house he hit Selby on the nose, making him bleed for half an hour.

Richard Moxham also gave evidence.

Defendant had nothing to say and called no witness.

The case against Orpin was dismissed, as the Bench thought it was quite clear that Selby was responsible for the row, as he was "beery", and they also took into consideration the fact that he had his teeth knocked down his throat. The other defendants would be fined 10s each for the assault of which they had been convicted, or 14-days' hard labour.

Allowed till next sessions day to pay.

Addressing Mrs. Barrow, the Chairman says what the Bench had heard that day did not reflect any credit on her or the management of her house, and the Bench would bear this in mind when the licence came up for renewal.


I am informed that the pub is now a private residence.



JACON William to June 1779 dec'd

BILLINGSHURST Henry 1841-Aug/1868 (also agricultural labourer age 53 in 1861Census) Maidstone Telegraph

POINTER George Henry Aug/1868-74+ (age 30 in 1871Census) Maidstone Telegraph

STICKINGS William 1882+

BARROW Jane 1890+

BARROW George 1891+ (age 59 in 1891Census)

HATWELL James 1901-03+ (age 40 in 1903Census) Kelly's 1903

RUFF Thomas 1913-22+

JAYES Cyril G 1930+

MAIDSTONE Joseph 1938+



Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Maidstone TelegraphMaidstone Telegraph



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