Sort file:- Maidstone, April, 2024.

Page Updated Maidstone:- Thursday, 04 April, 2024.


Earliest 1735+

Turk's Head

Latest 1882+

Rose Yard, High Street



It was mentioned in the song, "The Maidstone Landlords" in 1798.

After 1855 the address was given as being on Mill Street.


From the accessed 16 August 2018.

William Woollett (1735-1785)

William Woolett

William Woollett in an engraving by John Keyse Sherwin.

The following text is taken from "Dictionary of National Biography".

William Woollett was a draughtsman and line engraver, son of Philip Woollett, a flax dresser at Maidstone, was born there on 15th August 1735.

Shortly after that date his father, having won a share in a lottery prize, took the "Turk's Head Inn" at Maidstone, and there young Woollett gave the first indication of his artistic talent by scratching the sign of the house on a pewter pot. He was, in consequence, sent to London, where he became a pupil of John Tinney and also studied drawing in the St. Martin's Lane Academy.

His earliest plates, which were of a purely topographical character, in the style of his master, by whom they were published, included a set of eight views of Oxford, after Donowell, 1755; four views of the gardens of West Wycombe, after Hannan, 1757; and two views of Whitton, from his own drawings, 1757.

His first important work of a higher class was the "Temple of Apollo", after Claude, published in 1760 by Boydell, who then commissioned him to engrave the "Niobe" of Richard Wilson. This established his reputation as the ablest landscape engraver who had yet appeared in England, and was followed by the "Phaeton", 1763 and "Celadon and Amelia", 1766, both from paintings by Wilson; and two admirable plates after C. Dusart, "The Cottagers" and "The Jocund Peasants".

So far Woollett had confined his practice almost exclusively to landscape work, but on the appearance in 1771 of West's "Death of General Wolfe", he undertook to engrave it, sharing the venture with Boydell and William Wynne Ryland.

The plate, which is his most celebrated work, was published in January 1776, and achieved extraordinary popularity both in England and abroad.

On a proof of it being shown to the king shortly before its publication, the title of "Historical Engraver to His Majesty" was conferred upon Woollett.

The "Battle of La Hogue", also after West, which appeared in 1781, was almost equally well received, and both prints were copied by the best engravers in Paris and Vienna.

Besides those already mentioned, Woollett produced about a hundred plates from pictures by Claude, Pillement, Zuccarelli, R. Wright, the Smiths of Chichester, W. Pars, G. Stubbs, J. Vernet, A. Carracci, and others.

The last published by him was "Tobias and the Angel", after J. Glauber and G. Lairesse, 1785. "Morning" and "Evening", a pair, after H. Swanevelt, which he left unfinished, were completed by B.T. Pouncy and S. Smith, and published by his widow in 1787.

Some of his topographical drawings were engraved by Mason, Canot, and Elliott.

In 1766 Woollett became a member of the Incorporated Society of Artists, of which he was also secretary for several years.

He resided for some time in Green Street, Leicester Square, and later in Charlotte Street, Rathbone Place, where he died, after great suffering, on 23rd May 1785, from an injury received some years before in playing at bowls. He was buried in old St. Pancras churchyard, his grave being marked by a plain headstone, which was restored in 1846 and now stands at the south-west angle of the church.


From the Maidstone Gazette and West Kent Courier, 17, August, 1830.

Sudden Death.

On Saturday last Mr. Widgeon, an elderly gentleman, suddenly expired at his house in Albion Place, Maidstone. He had spent the afternoon at the "Turk's Head," in the High Street; and on his arrival at home, had requested the servant maid to prepare tea. While this was doing, he fell from his chair and was lifted up a corpse. Medical aid, although instantly procured, was found to be of no avail. It is supposed that the sudden stroke of death was caused by apoplexy.


Kentish Gazette 19 November 1844.


Nov. 7, at Maidstone, Mrs. Cooker, wife of Mr. Cooker, "Turk's Head," aged 37.


Kentish Gazette, 20 August 1850.


Cooker:— Aug. 16, in his 37th year, Mr. George Cooker, landlord of the "Turk’s Head Inn," Maidstone.


South Eastern Gazette, 6 November, 1860.

Saturday. (Before C. Ellis, Esq., in the chair, H. Argles and R. Cooper, Esqrs.)

Edward Giles, landlord of the "Turk’s Head" public-house, Rose-yard, was charged with allowing drunkenness in his house, on Friday morning last, and also with harbouring notoriously bad characters. Mr. Goodwin appeared for defendant.

The case was proved by Police-sergeant Sunnueks, who said he found from twelve to twenty men and females in defendants house at about two o’clock on the morning in question, and that defendant himself was drunk.

The magistrates retired to consider the case, and after a short consultation fined defendant 5 and costs.


South Eastern Gazette, 17 April, 1860.

Saturday. (Before C. Ellis, Esq., in the chair, H. Argles, T. W. Allen, and E. Cooper, Esqrs.)

Edward Giles, landlord of the "Turk’s Head," Rose-yard, was charged with having committed a similar offence.

Police-sergeant Sunnucks went to the defendant’s house about half-past two, and heard several persona inside; he knocked, but was refused admittance, some person inside calling out to him "We’re all right, and so are you" [a laugh]. The constable ultimately obtained admittance, and found three men and one female inside, with glasses and pots before them, but no liquor. He saw the servant, who told him her master had gone to bed. The bar was locked and all the lights put out.

The defendant said that at 12 o’clock he locked his bar and went to bed, and the persons who were found in his house were all lodgers.

The magistrates, not thinking the case clearly substantiated, dismissed it.


Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, Saturday 14th July 1860.

Maidstone Petty Sessions.

Edward Hunt was charged with being drunk and disorderly in Week Street, on the night of the 5th inst.

P.C. Phipps deposed that on the night in question about one o'clock he was called to the "Turks Head," and the landlord (Mr. Giles) to clear his house. The defendant who was amongst the number, behaved in a very disorderly manner, and after being remonstrated with by the constable and several times persuaded to go home, he pulled off his coat in the street and attempted to fight with his companions.

The defendant who said that he hoped the magistrates would deal leniently with this case, he having been locked up since he was taken into custody, was fined 10s. and 6s. costs.

The money was paid.


Maidstone Journal, 6 November, 1860.

Keeping a disorderly House.

Edward Giles, landlord of the "Turk's Head," Rose-yard, High-street, was charged on information laid by the police with having permitted persons of notoriously bad character to assemble in his house.

Mr. Goodwin appeared for the defendant.

Police-sergeant Sennock said that at about half-past twelve on the night of the 29th alt., his attention was called to the house of the defendant. When he came near to it he saw a man standing outside challenging another to light. As soon as they saw him they said "Here comes the police," and they went into defendants house. Witness went to the house, and saw several men and prostitutes standing in the passage. Ha said to the landlord, "You have got a pretty sample here; you had batter get rid of them." He then left, expecting the landlord would clear the house; but had not got out of the yard before he heard blows struck. He went back, and insisted on the house being cleared, and helped the landlord to clear it. Nine of those turned out of the house were prostitutes, and one of them was so drunk she was obliged to be carried away. The landlord was drunk. At about ten minutes before two in the morning his attention was again called to the house by a load shouting, and a noise as of persons kicking against a door. He went with another constable to the house, and when he got there saw seven or eight persona rrn in the house by a side door. They shut the door and "laughed" at the constables. Witness left the other constable at the side door, and went round to the front door and rapped. Some one inside called out "You are outside and we are in; you had better stay there." While standing at the front door witness saw several parsons come out at the side door. He did not see the landlord on this occasion.

Police-constable Beal and Grigsby gave corroborative evidence.

The Bench said there was not one feature of mitigation in this case, and they should inflict the full penalty, 5 and costs.


From the Maidstone Telegraph and West Kent Messenger, 4 December, 1869.


George Hobson and Harriett Little, were summoned by Henry Edmeads, landlord of the "Turk's Head," Rose Yard, Maidstone, for disorderly conduct in his house, on the night of Saturday, the 20th November.

Mr. T. Goodwin appeared for the complainant.

The Clerk stated that the summonses were separate and asked Mr. Goodwin which he would take first.

Mr. Goodwin replied that he would proceed against Hobson.

Mr. Goodwin opened the case against Hobson by briefly stating the facts, and quoting the statute under which the information was laid. The charge was that defendant was "drunk, riotous, and quarrelsome" in complainant’s house.

Henry Edmeads was then called and deposed:— I keep the "Turk’s Head," in Rose Yard, Maidstone. The defendant, whom I don’t know, came into my house, with two other men and two females, about 9 o'clock on Saturday night, the 20th November. After serving them with two or three pots of ale, defendant refused to pay for one he had just drawn, and said that he had paid for it. The woman who was with him, whom I thought was his wife, said that defendant had paid me, and given me a shilling. As defendant would not pay I took the beer away and requested them to leave my house. The woman I had prohibited from my house some time ago.

Magistrates' Clerk:—You must confine yourself to the charge, it is a separate one against the female.

Complainant:—When I took back the ale defendant commenced to abuse me and call me a long black ----- and this, that, and the other, and that he would like to get me outside. I requested defendant and all the rest to leave my house, but they said they would not go till they had had their beer. I then gave them their beer back again. They were in my house about half-an-hour.

Defendant:— If you recollect I came into your house by myself. I called for three pots and paid for them and you drank out of them, and the last pot you said I had not paid for. I used no bad language nor was I disorderly.

Complainaut:—You paid for three and not the fourth. I wanted you to pay for the fourth. You were partly drunk.

Defendant:— I was not; I had only just left my master’s work, and had had nothing to drink. You was drunk.

Complainant:— I was never drunk in my life.

Defendant:— Then you were the worst for liquor. There was no abusive language. If there was why did you not send for a policeman.

Complainant:- because there was no one with me, except old Mr. Millgate, and he was in the bar parlour. He was the only witness, and promised me that he would attend this morning, but is not present. Had I known he would not have attended, I should have subpoenaed him.

Mr. Wickham:- Defendant states that you drank with him; is this true?

Complainant:- I drank out of the first pot. Many persons come into my house, and I am obliged to drink like others in my line of business.

Stephen Bennett was called by the defendant, and said he was at the "Turk's Head" on this occasion. It was between 9 and 10 o'clock last Saturday night. A little grievance arose between Mr. Edmeads and Mr. Hobson about paying for a fourth pot of beer. There were only three pots brought in. Complainant took away the beer and said he would draw no more. Hobson said that he did not wish for any mistake, but if the beer had been in, he would pay for it. Mr Edmeads refused to draw any more.

By Mr Goodwin:— I did not go in with the "party." I went in with my cousin. My cousin is a male. I have been ordered out of the house by complainant before that night. I was with a female at that time. I was not told not to come into the house again. I was told not to come into the room. I have no ill feeling against Mr. Edmeads. Was there about three quarters of an hour. Was not drunk. Might have had a glass or two. They were both a little excited. No one was very quarrelsome. Did not see defendant endeavour to strike Mr. Edmeads. Did not see defendant lean across the counter to strike complainant. They both leaned on the counter, and talked together in dispute. Don't think he meant or intended to strike Edmeads. Saw no evidence of his intention to strike complainant. Saw no blow struck on either tide. They certainly had high words. After we left plainant's house we went to the "Mitre," and after leaving there we all went to Hobson's house.

John Bowles said that he was a labourer. Was present when the altercation took place between defendant and complainant. They only had three pots in when complainant wanted to charge four. They had a little grumbling. Did not set defendant attempt to strike complainant. He held out his arm but complainant was too far back to be struck. The reason he did not go to the "Mitre" with the rest was that he had no money to pay for a pot (laughter). If the landlord had put the pot of beer on the table he believed it would have been paid for and no row have taken place.

This was the case for the defence.

After a short consultation with the other magistrates, the Mayor said that the bench had came to the conclusion to dismiss the case, as the the evidence of the landlord was not supported by any witness, at the same time he hoped it would understood that the magistrates would afford every protection to publicans who endeavour to keep their houses respectable.

Defendant was then discharged.

Mr. T. Goodwin said after the decision just come to by the bench, he should not proceed with the summons against the defendant, Harriett Little.



WOOLLETT ???? 1700s (father of the engraver William)

OLIVER Henry 1828-1841+ (age 55 in 1841Census) Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34Maidstone Telegraph

COOKER George 1844-16/Aug/50 dec'd

COOKER Mrs Mary 1851-55+ (widow age 38 in 1851Census)

SCALES Alfred to Jan/1856 South Eastern Gazette

FROST George Jan/1856-58+ South Eastern Gazette

GILES Edward 1860+

HENDREY George 1861-62+ (age 48 in 1861Census)

GOODBODY John 1867+ Post Office Directory 1867

EDMEADS Henry 1869+

MOORE John 1874+

WATTS William 1882+


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

South Eastern GazetteSouth Eastern 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:-