Sort file:- Maidstone, April, 2022.

Page Updated Maidstone:- Monday, 04 April, 2022.


Earliest Aug 1717

Fortune of War

January 1991

126 (124) Upper Stone Street


Fortune of War 1937

Above photograph 1937.

Fortune of War painting 1975

Above painting by Geoffrey Lardew 1975. Kindly sent by Pauls Wilkinson.

Fortune of War accident

Above photo showing a road accident, date unknown.

Fortune of War 2020

Above photo circa 2020.


Mentioned in the song, "The Maidstone Landlords" in 1798.

I have been informed that during the 1970s the pub also used to run an adjoining off-license.


History of the pub kindly sent by Paula Wilkinson.


This inn known by the name and sign of the "Fortune of War," was built in the 6th year of Queen Anne, in 1708.

When first built it was a dwelling house, belonging to the estate of one Thomas Moorcroft, wool merchant of Gabriels Hill, who owned the land upon which it was built, and appears to have commissioned its building, for which he intended to be used as a lodging house, however there is no documented evidence to support the fact that although intended, it was never put to this use and by 1711, Moorcroft had disposed of it by sale to one Austin Packer a tailor and draper of King Street, who used the house as an outlet for his trade. In 1715, he is again recorded here but is described at this date as a tailor and slops maker of Upper Stone. A "slops” maker was one who manufactured ready made clothes for sailors.

By 1717, Packer had sold the property to Isaac Elliott, a horse dealer of Sandling. In August of that year he applied for and was granted a licence to sell ales from the premises, which at this date remained untitled, other than that it was a registered ale house kept by the said Elliott, a horse dealer and taverner. He kept the house and carried on his trade of buying and selling horses until his death in 1748. During the time he was here he had stables added to the property, for they are mentioned in his will, drawn up at his death when he bequeathed the ale house and all its contents, including the bed chamber in which he lay, to his wife Jane.

The widow Elliott, as she is described ran the house for a further 11 years after the death of her husband, during the course of which she sold haberdashery here as well as ale. She died in 1759, leaving the house to her daughter Jane, who held it until 1764, when she married Thomas Benning a bricklayer of Maidstone. In that year she sold the non thriving ale house to Richard Bodkin, taverner of Pudding Lane, Maidstone, in this County of Kent. He applied for a full licence in 1768, but was refused and in the following year sold the house to Henry Carpenter of Stone street.

Carpenter in 1771, made an application for a full licence in July of that year and at first was refused, but at a later attempt in the same year he was granted one. He called the house the "Fortune of War" the origin of which generally refers to and is derived from the sign of the Hope Anchor, however in this case it is believed to have been named after A Man of War, built at Chatham in the mid 18th century. Carpenter, described as victualler of the "Fortune of War" Upper Stone Street, kept the house until his death in 1804, whereupon his widow Maria took over the licence.

Maria Carpenter kept the house until 1807, when in that year she sold it to William Randell. In 1845, his son, also William, purchased the freehold of a tavern called the "Nag's Head" in Week street. William Randell senior kept this house until 1819, when, in that year he sold it to Thomas Dann. It was around this period that the "Fortune of War" became a listed house on a carriers route. A carrier, more often or not another innkeeper, was someone who undertook to deliver items ranging from mail to bits of furniture. People wishing to collect their goods would meet at a given time at an inn or tavern on the carriers route. Tuesdays and Saturdays the given days on which people waited at the "Fortune of War".

Thomas Dann, kept the house until his death in 1838, whereupon his widow Esther described as a straw hat maker, took over the inn, until 1845 when one John Newman innkeeper and gunsmith came here. In 1856, he was fined 30 shillings for selling and permitting the consumption of liquor between the hours of divine service, and 2 years later he was fined 20 shillings for a similar offence. By 1865, the house was kept by John Mannering who stayed until 1875, when he was succeeded by Harry Arthur and he in 1882, by William Charles Goodbody, who remained here until his death and was succeeded by his son William who remained here for the duration of world war II and long after.

William Goodbody remained at this pub until his death, when the licenses was retained by the brewery, Whitbread. In 1970 Peter Pearson and his wife Patricia took the license and stayed until the premises were closed and was turned into flats in January 1991.


Kentish Gazette, 17 December, 1783.

A few days since died at Maidstone, Mr. Powell of the "Fortune of War," public house.


From the Kentish Gazette, 20 September 1836.


Sept. 11. At Maidstone, Mr. Thomas Dann, many years landlord of the "Fortune of War" public-house, in that town, aged 62.


From the Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Tuesday 16 May 1848.


An inquest was held yesterday evening at the "Fortune of War Inn," Upper Stone Street, before F. F. Dally, Esq., on the body of Mary Sarah Ann Froud, age 10 years and 7 months, who came by her death by burning under the melancholy circumstances detailed in our last.

The jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.


From the Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, 14 September 1861.

Clever Capture of a Burglar.

On Thursday afternoon one of the workmen engaged in the erection of the parsonage house, Kingsley Estate, name Richard Dove, had his attention attracted to a rather gentle dressed man, bowing and bending, as if in the act of parting with some person at the back door of the house of Mrs. Marjoram's, Kingsley Road. Being aware that the occupants were out at hopping, his suspicions were aroused, and he followed him into Stone Street to the "Fortune of War," where he secured my gentleman, who offered some strong resistance, failing in that tendered some money for beer, but Dick was not to be had. In the meantime P.C. Judges arrived, and walked the culprit off to the station house. On proceeding to the house of Mrs. Marjoram the police discovered that the drawers have been ransacked and the things thrown all over the place, several bundles of things were done up for the purpose of taking away. It appears that there was another one beside the prisoner engaged in the transaction, but he escaped.


Maidstone Telegraph, Saturday 24 October 1868.


Caroline Cliften, of Boughton Malherbe, was charged with stealing an ale glass, the property of Mr. Mannering, of the "Fortune of War" public house, Upper Stone Street, Maidstone, on Wednesday last.

Mr. Mannering, landlord of the "Fortune of War," Stone Street, deposed that on the last Wednesday he served prisoner with some ale in the glass produced. The glass was brought to him by P.C. Butcher, K.C.C. His name was on the glass.

By Prisoner:- I did put a glass of gin in your mild beer.

By the Bench:- I bought that glass in the street.

Chairman:- Did you not see the name upon it?

Prisoner:- I cannot see without glasses.

P.C. Butcher, K.C.C., said that on the afternoon of Wednesday he received information of prisoner having been offering the glass produced for sale at Boughton Malherbe. He had some conversation relative to the glass with the landlord of the "Pig and Whistle," in consequence of which he went to prisoner's house, at Boughton Malherbe, when he asked if she had been selling any glasses, and she said, "Yes;" she had sold one of her own glasses at Mr. Smith's house for a pint of beer. She said it was her own, and that she had bought it and paid for it. He told her then he should take her on suspicion of stealing the glass. She then said that she had had it given to her by a woman at the "Fortune of War," in Maidstone, while she was waiting for a carrier's van.

Prisoner:- Oh! Oh! Don't hang me!

Witness continued:- He then took her to Mr's Else's beer-house, who said, in her presence, that she had offered him a glass for sixpence.

Prisoner:- Blow me if you aren't putting it on tight.

Witness: She said afterwards that she bought it for two-pence and sold it for two-pence. On the road she asked him how he knew the glass belonged to Mr. Mannering of the "Fortune of War." He told her the name was on the glass. He then showed her the glass with the name, when she said what a fool I was not to examine the glass but to sell a glass with a man's name upon it. He found the glass at Mr. Smith's. the "Pig and Whistle," Boughton Malherbe.

Prisoner:- I told you I bought it off a young man in Maidstone.

Witness:- You did say so once.

Prisoner:- Did I not tell you that if I had known the name was on the glass I would have given it to the landlord immediately.

Witness:- No you did not.

Prisoner:- I declare to my God I did. Did I not say what a pity I did not see it?

Witness:- No you did not.

Chairman (to prisoner):- Have you any more questions to ask?

Prisoner:- It is no use asking him any questions.

Mr. Henry Smith, landlord of the "Pig and Whistle," said that on Thursday last prisoner sold the glass to his wife. He was not at home at the time. Later in the day he saw the glass on his shelf and knew it did not belong to him, as it had Mr. Mannering's name upon it. He then communicated to Mr. Mannering that he had a glass belonging to him. This morning prisoner in his presence admitted that she had sold the glass to his wife. She said at first she brought it of a woman then in Maidstone but who it was she could not tell for a thousand pounds. He went with the constable and prisoner to Mr. Else's house, and in their presence said she bought it of a young man.

Prisoner in reply, declared that she was innocent and could take her oath on any book that ever opened or shut.

The Bench found prisoner guilty and sentenced her to one month.
As prisoner was leaving the dock she told Mr. Smith that he would catch it for that.

Fortune of War crash

Above photo, kindly sent by Paula Wilkinson showing the crash of a car into the pub, date unknown.

Peter and Pat Pearson

Above photo showing 1970s licensee, Peter and Pat Pearson, kindly sent by Paula Wilkinson.

Peter and Pat Pearson 1970s

Above photo showing 1970s licensee, Peter and Pat Pearson, kindly sent by Paula Wilkinson.

From the Kent Messenger, 10 January 1992. By Derek Johnson.


Pat and Paula Pearson

A band of die-hard pub-goers has resorted to desperate measures now that their favourite watering hole has closed down.

Maidstone's long serving licensees, Pete and Pat Pearson, pulled their last pints at the "Fortune of War" in Upper Stone Street on New Year's Day. The pub has been sold for development by brewers Whitbread.

But regulars longsome for life at their local have found a new way to recreate the barroom - at home.

One customer, Pamela Green, said, "We've found ourselves all going around each others houses for a drink. We don't really know what to do because most of us have been using the pub for years.

As many as 40 former "Fortune of War" drinkers have vowed to stay together and the group is on the lookout for a new drinking spot. Meanwhile, the hard-core of about 15 are keeping the houses fires burning.

Mrs. Green said "We just want to stay together. We don't want to break the relationship up."

"Most of us have grown up with each other and some of the women have even had their babies around the same time. We're not going to split up now that the pub has gone.

After 21 years behind the bar, the Pearsons bade a tearful farewell to customers and friends during a final party night. They were presented with a bouquet of flowers and a carriage clock.

Mrs. Pearson, who now lives in Coxheath with her husband, said leaving the pub had been a painful wrench for both of them.

She said, "It just seems like one biog happy family. All the customers knew each other and we will miss it all, obviously.


From an email received 27 March 2022.

In my family history I have found some of my grandmother's relatives ran the 'Fortune of War' pub for many years.

William Goodbody born 1858 took over ‘The Fortune of War’ 126, Upper Stone Street, Maidstone in 1882 and ran it until his death aged 71 in 1929. His son, also called William, took over until his death in 1946. Therefore, a Goodbody continuously ran the pub for 64 years.

Also other members of the Goodbody family were involved in the pub business in Maidstone. In a total of 2 generations of Goodbody’s they spent 176 years serving beer to the good people of Maidstone!

Frederick born 1861 took over the ‘Dog and Bear’, 37 King Street from brother John in 1891 and continued to run it until 1913. He died in 1946 aged 85.

Robert born 1863 was running ‘The Hussar’ in Lenham, Kent – just outside Maidstone in 1891. He had married Annie Hillman in 1883 and together they ran ‘The Hussar” for just over a year.

I hope this may add a little bit to your history of the pubs in Maidstone.

Val Lenthall.



ELLIOTT Isaac Aug/1717-1748

ELLIOTT widow 1748-59

ELLIOTT Jane (daughter) 1759-64

BODKIN Richard 1764-69

CARPENTER Henry 1769-1804 dec'd (Fortune of War named 1771)

CARPENTER Maria (wife) 1804-07

RANDALL William 1807-19

DANN Thomas 1819-Sept/36 dec'd Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34Kentish Gazette

DANN Esther Sept/1836-45

?POTTER John 1840?

NEWMAN John 1841-62 (age 48 in 1851Census)

MANNERING John 1862-75 Post Office Directory 1867

ARTHUR Henry 1881-82 (age 33 in 1881Census)

GOODBODY William Charles 1882-1929 dec'd (age 43 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

GOODBODY William (son of above) 1929-46 dec'd


PEARSON Peter & Pat mid 1970-Jan/1991


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


Kentish GazetteKentish Gazette

Post Office Directory 1867From the Post Office Directory 1867


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