Sort file:- Maidstone, December, 2023.

Page Updated Maidstone:- Monday, 18 December, 2023.


Earliest 1826-

King's Arms

Latest ????

36 Earl Street



This pub is one in the list of my "Project 2014."

I have not found a picture of the pub yet, and to date have no other information. Local knowledge, further pictures, and licensee information would be appreciated.

I will be adding the historical information when I find or are sent it, but this project is a very big one, and I do not know when or where the information will come from.

All emails are answered.


South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 24 March 1840.


William Yates, "King's Arms," Maidstone, licensed victualler, March 31, at two, and May 1, at eleven, at the Court of Bankruptcy.


From the South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 14 April 1840.

To Brewers, publicans, &c.

To be let by Tender, the "Kings Arms" public house, adjoining the markets in the town of Maidstone, for the term of 7 years. The least of these premises, granted to the late Mr. Richard Hodgskin at the annual rent of 120, expired on 6th April instant, and immediate possession may be had.

The terms of the lease and full particulars may be seen at the office of the Town Clark in Maidstone, and of Messrs. Wilton and Blackmans, of No. 1, Raymond building, London.

Sealed tenders, addressed to "The Market Committee of the Borough of Maidstone," to be sent to the Town Clerks office, on or before the 15th day of April, 1840.

The committee will not be bound to accept the highest tender.

John Monckton, Town Clerk.


South Eastern Gazette 17 October 1848.


C. Homer, for many years landlord of the Maidstone Barracks "Canteen," having removed to the "King's Arms Inn," near the Market Place, begs to acknowledge the kind support he has so long received at the former place, and trusts, by strict attention to business, to merit a continuance of the patronage of his friends and the public in general.

Wines, Spirits, etc., of the finest quality. Bottled Ales and Stout.

Good Beds. Stabling.

October 7, 1848.


From the Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, Saturday 7 January,1860. Price 1d.

W. H. TOWN, KING'S ARMS INN, Market Place, Earl Street

Wines, Spirits, and Malt Liquor, of the Best Quality.

Genuine London Porter 1s. per Gallon.


South Eastern Gazette, 4 April, 1860.


This court was held yesterday, before J. ’Espinasse, Esq., Judge. The cause list comprised a total of 206 cases.

Horse Case. — Town v. Costen.

This was an action to recover 29 18s. through a breach of warranty. Mr. Morgan appeared for the plaintiff, landlord of the "King’s Arms," Maidstone; the defendant, who did not appear, being a fruiterer living at Farleigh.

Plaintiff said that on the 13th February he was at the "Mitre" stables, where he saw defendant, of whom he bought a horse, and in exchange gave him another horse value 18 and 7 to boot. Witness told defendant that he wanted the horse for a gentleman, and asked him whether he could warrant it as a quiet one, when defendant replied "Oh! I can warrant it as quiet as a lamb." On the 15th of the same month plaintiff put the horse into a cart and took it out to see how it went. When in Sandy-lane, about a mile and a half from Maidstone, the horse set too kicking, knocked in the front of the cart, and threw plaintiff out, rendering him insensible. Plaintiff applied to defendant to return the horse and money he had paid him, but he took no notice. The damage he had sustained was 2 4s. 3d., and the keep of the horse had cost him 2 14s.

Henry Hawkins was called to prove the purchase, when his Honour remarked that there was no necessity for his evidence. The horse was warranted as quiet as a lamb, instead of which it appeared to be more like a lion [laughter].

Immediate payment, with costs.


Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, Saturday 7th July 1860.

W. H. Town, "King's Arms Inn," Market Place, Earl Street, Maidstone.

Wines, Spirits, and Malt Liquors, of the Best Quality.

Genuine London Porter 1s. per gallon.


South Eastern Gazette, 17 July, 1860.

Keeping a Disorderly House.

At the Maidstone Petty Sessions, on Saturday (before C. Ellis. Esq., in the chair,. H. Argles, T. W. Allen, and C. Arkcoll, Esqrs.), William Henry Town, landlord of the "King’s Arms," Earls street, was summoned for allowing prostitutes and drunken persons to assemble at his, house. Mr. Morgan appeared for the defendant. Police-sergeant Sunnucks stated that while on duty shortly after two o’clock on the morning of Saturday, the 80th ult, his attention was called to a disturbance in Earl-street. He went down there, and saw five drunken men go into the defendant’s house. In company with Sergeant Rhodes and Constable Belsey he then went into the house, and found between twenty and thirty persons there, of both sexes. Among the company were eight known prostitutes, and there was a great noise and confusion all over the house; some of the persons drinking, others dancing about, and one or two were asleep on the seats. He had frequently seen the prostitutes in the house before, and defendant knew to what class they belonged. The persons were nearly all drunk, more or lees.

In answer to Mr. Morgan, the constable said he saw no disorderly conduct beyond a great deal of laughing and skipping about; but the noise was such as would cause a disturbance in the streets. Rhodes and Belsey confirmed the above statement, and Supt, Blundell proved a former conviction against the defendant, for a similar offence, in May, 1858, when he was fined 5.

Mr. Morgan did not attempt to struggle against a conviction, but he urged circumstances in mitigation of the penalty. It was, he said, the night after Lenham races when this occurred, a number of persons having accompanied the defendant from those races and had supper at his house. The officers themselves had proved that the disturbance was confined to the house, in which the parties were merely enjoying themselves.

The magistrates inflicted a penalty of 10 and 16s. costs; the Chairman thinking it right to mention publicly that the matter would be considered when the defendant applied for a renewal of his license.

The money was paid.


Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, Saturday 21st July 1860.

Maidstone Petty sessions. Saturday.

(Before C. Ellis, Esq., in the chair, H. Argles, C. Arkcoll, and T. W. Allen, Esq.)

William Henry Town, landlord of the "King's Arms," Earl Street, was charged with an offence against the tenor of his licence by allowing prostitutes and disorderly persons to assemble in his house.

Police Sergeant Sunnucks deposed that on Saturday, 30th June, he was on duty in Week Street, when his attention was arrested by the noise in Earl Street, and upon proceeding there he saw fou men, who were in a state of intoxication, enter the defendant's house. He afterwards, in company with Police Sergeant Rhodes and P.C. Belsey, visited the house of defendant, which he found in great confusion. he there saw between 20 and 30 person's, some drinking, others skipping and dancing about the house, whilst others were asleep on the settle in the back room. Upon seeing the defendant he asked him if there were any persons in the bar parlour. Defendant replied "go and see." Witness preceded there and found the room full. There were eight prostitutes, several men, residents of the town, and some strangers.

By Mr. Morgan:- It was the night after Lenham races. He did not see any disorderly conduct, but on entering the house he heard a great noise.

Police Sergeant Rhodes deposed that he met the last witness near defendants house, and on going into the back sitting room he saw two females and two others go out of the house, as he (witness) entered. He had previously been there at one o'clock. On knocking at defendant's door he heard someone inside say "You may knock b-----, we are all right."

Mr. Morgan urged that the defendant was placed in a somewhat difficult position, it being the night after Lenham races some of the parties had returned home with Mr. Town to supper, which was not against the tenor of his license, and there were mitigating circumstances in the case.

The chairman said that having considered the case, they would gladly allow any circumstances in mitigation, if such existed, but the evidence has shewn that at that very early hour in the morning the defendant's house was open as a place of resort for prostitutes, and it was not to be supposed that the proceedings on that morning were very different from those of previous occasions, and that defendant was conducting his house and a very disorderly manner.

Defendant, who have been previously fined 5 for a similar offence was ordered to pay a fine of 10, and 16s. costs. The Chairman remarking that the circumstances would not be forgotten and the next licensing day and the magistrates would have hereafter to decide whether the defendant was a suitable man to hold a licence.


South Eastern Gazette 4 September 1860.


This being the general annual licensing day, the whole of the licenses were renewed, with the exception of those of the "Jolly Waterman" and the "King's Arms," both in Earl street. With reference to those two houses, the Chairman remarks that from circumstances which had transpired the licenses would be suspended till the adjourned licensing day.


Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, Saturday 8th September 1860.

Maidstone Petty sessions. Annual General licensing day.

This was the annual licensing day. The licences of the "Kings Arms" and "Jolly Waterman" were suspended to 2nd September.


Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, Saturday 29th September 1860.

W. H. Towne, "Kings Arms Inn," Earl Street.

Begs to inform his friends and the inhabitants of Maidstone and its vicinity that he intends carrying on the business of Post and Job Master, lately conducted by W. Bishop, of Earl Street, Maidstone.

Horses and Carriages of every description Let on hire, on reasonable terms.


From the Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, 15 June 1861.

Maidstone Petty Sessions. Obstructing the Market Square.

At the above Court William Henry Town, the landlord of the "King's Arms," Earl Street, Maidstone, was summoned at the instance of the Market Committee, for allowing a wagon laden with straw to stand in the market square during the night of the 4th and 5th inst. The case was proved by police-sergeant Rhodes and police-constable Brook. Mr. Town did not make his appearance till the case had been nearly heard, but when he came he admitted the charge, but said he was not at all aware he was doing wrong, as he had paid a toll to Mr. Chambers, the lessee of the market tolls, to be allowed to stand the wagon there. As soon, however, as he discovered he was acting contrary to the bye-laws, he caused the wagon to be removed to the Star yard.

The magistrates, under these circumstances, said they must dismiss the case, as Mr. Chambers appeared to be the person to blame, he having no right to grant such a use of the square, that being a place for the sale of provisions only.


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

The Municipal Elections. High Street Ward.

A meeting of the burgesses of this ward was held on Wednesday night, at the "King's Arms Inn," Earl Street, for the purpose of nominating to members to serve in the Town Council for the ensuing 3 years. The proceedings were of a very formal character. The chair was taken at half past eight by Mr. Joseph Brown, who opened the meeting by stating the objects for which they had met. Mr. Charles Ellis, jun., then rose to propose the nominations of Messrs. Day and Stanger, (the out-coming members,) which was seconded by Mr. Bartlett. Previous to putting the resolution, the chairman desired to know whether any person present wished to ask the candidates any questions, whereupon Mr. Collins rose and declaimed very strongly upon the exorbitant charges for education at the Grammar School, and that it demanded the earnest consideration of the Corporation and also of the ratepayers, as a present it was a gross injustice that the poorer classes of the community should be taxed for the support of a school where the sons of wealthy men alone can gain admissions. The remarks of Mr. Collins were warmly applauded, and they appeared to be the sentiments of the meeting. Mr. T. Wells follow with some forcible observations on the necessity for some alteration in the school, so that the poorer classes might participate in the benefits to be derived. The chairman having put the resolution that Messers. Day and Stanger be nominated to serve again in the council, it was carried unanimously. Mr. Stanger, in returning thanks, entered into some length on his stewardship for the past 3 years stating that he was very desirous of having the question of the Grammar school thoroughly investigated, and if anything could be devised where by the inhabitants would be benefited, it would meet with his most ardent support. Mr. Joseph Day briefly returned thanks for his father, who was unavoidably absent. A vote of thanks to the chairman terminated the proceedings.

Both candidates may therefore be said to be in favour of a reduction in the Grammar school.



HODGKIN Charles 1826-29+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29

HODGKIN Richard 1830-32+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34Maidstone Telegraph

YATES William 1840+

Last pub licensee had HOMER C 1848+

PEARCE Edward 1851+ (age 52 in 1851Census)

TOWN William Henry 1855-62+


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

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

Maidstone TelegraphMaidstone Telegraph



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