Sort file:- Sheerness, December, 2023.

Page Updated:- Saturday, 16 December, 2023.


Earliest 1599-

Ship Hotel

Latest 1930+

4 West Street

Blue Town



The earliest mention I know of this pub, or at least one with this name, is from 1599, when it was owned by a Michael Woolett.

I have seen reference to the pub called by that name when an auction was taking place in September 1773 and catalogues could be obtained from this premises.

In 1869-70 the pub was part of a consortium who were advertising their goods of selling tea in response to grocers' selling beer and wine. (Click for further details.)


I have reference to this pub from the Kentish Gazette or Canterbury Chronicle September 1768, when the paper advertised the sale of household furniture at Minster Abbey, on the Isle of Sheppey. It was stated that catalogues could be obtained from this public house. See Notes of 1768. Looking at the building though, I wouldn't have thought that this is the one mentioned in 1768.


Further research from the Stephen Rouse diaries transcribed  by Wendy James has found the following:-

26 Mar 1777... at Mr Boarer’s measuring and planning the Old Ship and gardens.

27 Mar - …About the plan of the Old Ship house till 5...

28 Mar - …about the plan of 4 new houses where the Old Ship stands.

10 Sept .... at the old Ship house pulling down....

Wendy James, who sent me the above says it was pulled down and replaced with 4 houses.


Kentish Gazette, 31 January 1778.

To be sold by auction, on Monday, 9th of February next, at the house of Sarah Hunter, known by the sign of the "Ship," at the Blue Houses in Minster in the Isle of Sheppey, at 11 o'clock in the forenoon.

One Messuage, now in two Dwellings, with a Carpenter's Shop, Shoemakers Shop, and other Appurtenances thereto belonging; situate at the Blue Houses in Minster aforesaid, and now in the occupation of John Rouse, Carpenter and his Undertenants.

The premises are held at a Ground Rent of 1 13s. upon a lease for 3 Lives (all of which are in being) renewable on Payments of 7 Years Ground Rent for each Life dropped; and may be viewed by applying to the tenant on the spot, or to Mr. Stephen Rouse at Minster.

Any person, inclined to purchase the above States by private contract, may be treated with, by applying, on or before the 5th of February next, to Mr. William Bennett, Merchant; or to Messr's Buck and Tappenden, Attorneys, in Faversham; and in Case a Sale by Private Contract shall take Place, Notice thereof will be given in this Paper.


Kentish Gazette 8 January 1802.

Saturday last remains of Lewis Row, late master of the "Ship" public house, at Blue Town, near Sheerness, was conveyed from his brother's house, the sign of the "Red Lion," near the church, at which place a few days since he died, to be interred at Strood, Rochester. The procession was attended by the gentleman belonging to the volunteer cavalry of Sheerness, of which he was a member, and all the military forms were paid, as usual, at such internment.

(I also have reference of him being of the "King's Head." Paul Skelton.)


Kentish Gazette 12 March 1802.

On Tuesday evening between 7 and 8 o'clock, a most daring robbery was committed at the "Ship Inn," Sheerness. When the people of the house were busy serving their customers, some villain or villains took the opportunity of going upstairs, and with an iron crow broke open the bed room door, where Mr. and Mrs. Raine sleep, searching every drawer and closet in the room, and stole cash and bank notes to the amount of upwards of 70. with which they got clear off; through a quantity of plate to a considerable amount, and 2 gold watches were in the room, they did not take any of these articles away. A desperate gang of miscreants infest that place, who have no visible means of living (except by robbery and plunder); they often entice the invalid sailors into some public-house, make them drunk, and then rob them of their property.


From the Kentish Gazette, 8 February 1842.


Jan. 26, Mrs. Eaton, wife of Mr. John Eaton, landlord of the "Ship Inn," Blue Town, Sheerness.


From the Kentish Gazette, 11 November 1845.

Suicide at Sheerness.

Considerable excitement prevailed here on Wednesday morning, on its being rumoured that a strange gentleman had committed suicide at the "Ship Tavern," the previous night by hanging himself from the bedstead. He had only arrived the previous day by the London steamer, his sole luggage being a large carpet bag. On the landlord calling him in the morning he found the bed-room door locked, and receiving no answer to several applications for admittance he gave the alarm; the door was forced open and the wretched man was found suspended from the bed-post. Medical aid was immediately procured, but the vital spark had long fled. An inquest was held on the body on Friday, before J. Hinde, esq., but after the examination of the landlord the inquiry was adjourned to Wednesday, in order to allow time for endeavouring to find out who the deceased was.


Kentish Gazette, 16 September 1851.

On Tuesday an inquest was held at the "Ship Tavern," before T. Hills, Esq., coroner, on the body of Mr. Robert Harris.

Deceased was a drill sergeant belonging to the Royal Dock-yard, Blue Town, and was in his usual health on Monday morning, when his wife got up, leaving him in bed; shortly after she went up stairs to see why he had not got up, when she found him insensible, having had a fit of apoplexy.

Deceased never spoke afterwards and died in a few hours. He has left a family of seven children.


Faversham Gazette, 20 September, 1856.

Sept. 11, at Blue Town, Sheerness, the wife of Mr. J. Havard, landlord of the "Ship Inn," of this Town, aged 38 years.


Sheerness Guardian 18 June 1859.


An inquest was held, on Monday June 6th, at the "Ship Inn," by T Hills, Esq., coroner, to enquire into the circumstances touching the death of a new born female child, which had been found in a water closet the "Prince Albert" beer House, on Saturday morning the 4th inst.

The jury consisted of Messrs. Edgrombe, Tyler, Lockyer, Kitt, Keeler, Wilkinson, Skinner, Waghorn, Bassett, Cole, Baker, Havard, and French, all of Blue Town. After viewing the body the following witnesses were examined:—

George Pollard, a nightman, stated that he found a small coffin in the well of the "Prince Albert" privy, on Saturday morning the 4th inst. It was nailed up and he handed it to Sergeant Ovenden without opening it.

Sergeant David Ovenden, of the Kent Constabulary, said that the coffin brought to him by Pollard was 20 1/2 inches long. He opened it in the presence of Mr. Stride, surgeon, and found it to contain the body oi a fine female child. It was dressed in a child's shirt, bed gown and cap, had a roller found its body and a napkin on. He undressed the body and Mr. Stride examined it.

John French, a joiner, deposed that he had seen the coffin and recognised it as one he had been employed to make for a woman named Senior, in April last and for which he received eighteen-pence.

Elizabeth Senior admitted that Mr. French made the coffin for her and that she had been employed to obtain it by Mrs. Hannah Alderton, of Blue Town. She took the coffin to Mrs. Alderton and fetched it away again with a child in it. She took it to the Cemetery, but the man refused to bury it without a medical certificate. This was about 10 o’clock and a few days after the coffin was made. On returning from the Cemetery, she stated that she was assaulted by some soldiers, who robbed her of some money from her pocket and also stole the coffin. She did not tell the police of the occurrence. The child was dressed in a long bed gown and cap.

Edward Stride, Surgeon, stated that on the afternoon of the 4th, he saw Serjeant Ovenden break open a box which contained the body of a female child, dressed in the usual way for a new born child. The body had been dead some time and general decomposition had set in. He examined it, but did not discover any marks of violence. It was a full grown child; he examined the lungs and placed them in water. They were very buoyant, floating on the water and had what he termed ‘Crepatus." This was a sign that the child had lived; but after decomposition, the gases which form in the body might produce this appearance in the lungs. He could not therefore undertake to say that the child was born alive, as decomposition deprived the test of its value. Any further experiments would be useless in the present state of the body.

After the bearing of the evidence, the jury expressed a wish to adjourn for the appearance of a witness who was absent from Sheerness.


Was held on Monday last, the 13th Inst.

Mrs. Elizabeth Pankhurst, stated I know Mrs. Alderton, and lived next door to her. On the first of April last, Mrs. Alderton sent for me; I went to her and found her in bed; she told me she was very ill and said she had been confined. I asked her if any one was with her, and she said no; I got her some refreshment; this was about 11 o'clock in the morning; I asked her what time she was confined, and she replied about 5 in the morning. I asked where the child was, and she said at the foot of the bed. I then saw it; it was a fine child; it was quite cold, and must have been dead some time. The umbilical cord had not been severed, and it was not dressed. I then dressed the child and laid it in a box. Mrs Alderton wished me not to send for a Doctor. She told me the child had not breathed, and said she fared nothing but Mrs. Levy's wicked tongue.

I asked Mrs. Alderton what she intended to do with the child, and she said Mrs. Senior would be in shortly, and she would attend to that. I have never told any person that I heard a child cry in Mrs. Alderton’s house, on the 1st of April.

Mr Alderton was sent for, "but not sworn." The Coroner read the depositions over, and asked her whether she had anything she wished to say to the Jury — and cautioned her, that she need not say anything to criminate herself. She replied — Mrs Senior took the child away, I paid her to get it buried, and she afterwards said the child was buried.

The coroner then summed up and the Jury shortly returned the following verdict:— "That the child was found dead, but there is not satisfactory evidence before the Jury to show the cause of death."


Sheerness Guardian, 14 July, 1860.


Before the Rev. J. Poore, D. D., Monday 9th July, 1860.

John Moran, a private of Royal Marines, was charged with stealing 8 lbs. of Cheese, value 7s, at the "Ship Tavern," Sheerness, on Sunday, the 8th instant, the property of Mr. James Havard.

Alfred Havard, deposed that about twenty minutes to eleven the previous night, he met prisoner with the piece of Cheese in question in the passage of his father's house, prisoner was going toward the front door, carrying the Cheese under his arm. The Cheese was the property of his father (Mr J. Havard) and had been stolen from the dining room. Witness then gave prisoner into the custody of Sergeant Ovenden.

Committed for trial at the ensuing Summer assizes.


South Eastern Gazette, 31 July, 1860.

The business was commenced in the Crown Court at 10 o’clock on Friday, but the Nisi Prius Court was not opened till a quarter to one, Mr. Justice Blackburn presided in the former, and Sir Alexander Cockburn, Lord Chief Justice of England, on the civil side.

John Moran, marine, for stealing 8lbs. of cheese, the property of James Havard, of the "Ship tavern," at Sheerness, on the 8th July. Mr. White was for the prosecution. Prisoner stole the cheese from the dining-room of the above house, and on being met by the prosecutor’s son, he dropped it.

One month’s hard labour.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 12 May 1900. Price 1d.


On Saturday evening Mr. W. J. Harris, District Coroner, held an inquiry at the "Ship Hotel," Sheerness, relative to the death of a man named Allred West, a blacksmith's mate in the Royal Navy, who was drowned in Sheerness Harbour on December 30th last year, whilst assisting to moor H.M.S Diadem upon her return home from sea. The body was in a very advanced state of decomposition, but identification was clearly established by the marks "A. West," on the deceased's guernsey. Deceased's hands were missing, and all the flesh was gone from his legs. The deceased was a native of Bunker's Hill, Buckland, a village near Dover, and one sad fact connected with his death is that he was shortly to have been married. The evidence showed that the body was seen floating in the river on Friday afternoon, and was towed to the mortuary by the Royal Artillery Garrison boat John Filtness, a signalman on board H.M.S. Pembroke, deposed that on December the 30th he was on duty on board H.M.S. Diedem when she came into Sheerness Harbour. The deceased, Allred West, was told off with three others to secure the Diadem to No. 7 buoy in Sheerness Harbour. The wire hawser was carried away, and the buoy tilted causing the four men to fall into the water. Deceased could not swim and was drowned, but the other three were saved. One of them dived down for and found deceased, but he was unable to bring him to the surface; in fact, it was only with great difficulty that be saved himself. The Coroner said it was a most commendable act, and he was sorry the man was at sea in the Diadem, or he and the jury would have eulogised him for his bravery. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidentally drowned." The remains of the deceased were buried in the Isle of Sheppey Cemetery on Monday afternoon with full naval honours.



WOOLETT Michael 1599.

HUNTER Sarah 1778+

LAMB Mrs 1792+

ROWE Lewis to Jan/1802 dec'd

POLLINGTON John 1824-28+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29

GEDDES John 1832-39+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

LONG Samuel 1840+

EATON John 1842+

BIGG Richard 1847+

HAVARD James 1855-74 (also Agent to Woolwich & Medway Steamboat Company in 1855 age 43 in 1861)

ROBERTS Henry 1881-82+ (age 49 in 1881Census)

ROBERTS Elizabeth Mrs 1891+

HUMPHREY Henry J 1891-1913+ (age 28 in 1891Census)

HUTLEY Harold 1930+ Kelly's 1830


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 1830From the Kelly's Directory 1930


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