Sort file:- Deptford, December, 2018.

Page Updated:- Friday, 21 December, 2018.


Earliest 6 Sept 1848

Royal Albert

Latest ????

460 New Cross Road

St. Paul


Royal Albert 2014

Above photo, 2014.


From accessed 3 February 2016.


The "Royal Albert" pub has stood on the corner of New Cross Road and Florence Road for over 160 years.

The first recorded mention of the "Royal Albert" Public House was when Frederick Andrew Hall was granted a license for the premises on 6th September 1848. On the 1851 census Mr Hall is described as a Master Bricklayer aged 47, born in Plumstead employing 10 men; his wife Elizabeth aged 60 was born in Rotherhithe. Three children Betsey 36, Harriet 23 and George 20 (a Carpenter) are listed along with Ostler John Dickenson 22 and Pot Boy George Runham 14. Apart from Betsey who was born in Rotherhithe (presumably Elizabeth's daughter by a previous marriage) they were all shown as born in Deptford.

The pub appears to have been successful and financially lucrative. A Masonic Lodge (172, Justice) regularly met at the pub, and from 1857 Frederick Hall appeared in a list of bank shareholders. In 1859 Frederick sold the pub to George Roe and Frederick & Elizabeth moved to Dovedale Villa, East Wickham, Kent.

On Thursday 14th July 1859 Mrs Frances Bartlett, 35, of Florence Terrace committed suicide by cutting her own throat. The County Coroner, Mr Charles Carttar convened the inquest in the pub two days later. The inquest was told that the deceased 'had been labouring under some mental affliction' and that razors had been found in her dress. The jury returned a verdict of "Suicide under temporary insanity".

George Roe was an experienced publican in his mid 30s who had previously run the Horns Tavern, Knight's Hill Road, West Norwood. George was also a supporter of the Licensed Victuallers Asylum in Camberwell.

The 1861 census entry for the "Royal Albert" shows George, 38, born Leicester, Licensed Victualler, his wife Harriet, 37, born Brompton, Middlesex and their daughter Emma Harriet, 9, born Norwood. A 16 year old cousin Emily Rowland, born Brompton was a barmaid. Scottish born 22 year old Mary Lincoln was a visitor and Henry Gutteridge, 38, born Leicester was the Potman.

On 20th Dec 1862 Joseph Whitehead and others stole a cash box from Holland's Distillery. William Betts the Royal Albert's potman gave evidence at the Old Bailey on 5th January 1863 identifying Whitehead as one of four men who had been in the "Royal Albert" that afternoon.

On 30th July 1863 George Roe died at the "Royal Albert" and subsequently on 17th September 1863 the following advertisement appeared in 'The Times.'

Very desirable Public-house and Wine Vaults, New Cross Road, Deptford.

MESSRS WARLTERS and LOVEJOY are instructed by the Executors to SELL by AUCTION, at Garraways, on Tuesday, the 22nd of September, at 12, a LEASE for 64 years, at a rent of 72 per annum, of the "ROYAL ALBERT," at the corner of Florence Road, New Cross Road. The house is conveniently arranged and is situate to command the trade of a very improving neighbourhood. The lessor covenants there shall be no other licensed house or beershop upon his estate, except one already established. May be viewed. Particulars obtained of Benjamin Beanlands, Esq., No 4 Raymond Buildings, Gray's Inn: at Garraway's; and of the auctioneers, 55 Chancery Lane.

We do not know who purchased the pub in 1863 as it was back on the market in 1869:

"Royal Albert," New Cross Road, an excellent Wine and Spirit Establishment, most advantageously placed for business, on a road of immense traffic.

MESSRS LOUND and STRANSOM have received instructions from the Proprietor to SELL by AUCTION at Garraway's, Change Alley, Cornhill, on Wednesday, Aug 25 1869 at 12 (unless disposed of by private treaty), the valuable long LEASE, with possession, of a capital WINE and SPIRIT ESTABLISHMENT, well known as the "Royal Albert," commandingly situate at the corner of Florence Road and New Cross Road, a populous and daily improving district, also in the vicinity of of several railway stations. Also a House and Shop adjoining of the estimated value of 45 per annum, and a Frontage to the Florence Road, suitable for three dwelling house. The whole property is held for nearly 60 years at the low rent of 72 per annum. May be viewed, and particulars obtained of Mr T W Flavell, solicitor, 21 Bedford Row; at Garraway's; and of the auctioneers, 60 Chancery Lane. (The Times Friday 20 Aug 1869).

The 1871 Census shows Louis Freehant, 60, Widower as a Public House Proprietor and Charles Chalk, 56, Married as the Proprietor's Foreman both born Middlesex, London.

In the early hours of the morning of 19th February 1875 landlord William Henry Willson was woken by a noise downstairs. He went down to find PC Charles Runnegar struggling with a man called William Howard. Howard had climbed up and forced the window of the first floor billiard room, before stealing loose change, but was caught red-handed by the PC. An accomplice, George Montagu, who got away on the night was stupid enough to turn up when Howard appeared at court, and was recognised by the PC. At the Old Bailey on 5th April 1875 Howard pleaded guilty, and Montague was found guilty by the jury.

1881 Census

Elizabeth Houleston Widower 49 Devon, Housekeeper

Annie Foster Single 21 Marylebone, Barmaid

Kate Blay Single 21 Iffley, Oxfordshire - Domestic Servant

Mary Ann E. Tagg Single 21 Stepney - Barmaid


On 13 June 1884 Edmond Weever, originally from Wolverhampton living at Barnes Terrace in Deptford, was drinking in the "Royal Albert" when William Simpson (21) and William Leighton (27) got talking to him, they then went to another pub and then allegedly robbed him. Annie Foster gave evidence at the Old Bailey on 23 June (both acquitted).

On 31 Oct 1884 Robert Holt used a counterfeit florin to buy twopennyworth of rum at the South-Eastern Distillery, but quickly fled with the change. At the "Royal Albert," Mary Empson, daughter of Landlord James Empson served him a few minutes later, but quickly realised the coin was a dud. Holt again fled but only to be caught by Alfred King the Potman from the Distillery. Mary gave evidence at the Old Bailey on 17 Nov 1884.

Yorkshire born landlord James Empson died 9th Nov 1886 at the pub aged 75. Empson had previously been the landlord of the Fisherman's Arms, Cold Bath, Greenwich and left a substantial estate.

At 1.25am on 8th Sept 1889 there was a fracas in New Cross Road and subsequently Charles Morris took out a summons against PC Thomas Fahey for assault. Mr Prevost, landlord of the "Royal Albert," gave evidence for the defence. PC Fahey was acquitted, but costs were refused. William James Prevost was born in Hoxton in 1860, his father also William ran the Queens Head, 178 Hoxton Street. The 1891 census shows William, wife Isabella, 31, son William Albert Herbert Prevost, 6, all born Hoxton / Kingsland. Also shown were Barmen Charles Henry Howe, 23, born Westminster and Sydney James Stevens, 21, born Poplar. The Potman was Frederick Miller,22, from Oxford; the Cook Mary Kadwell, 28, and the Nurse Helen Wilde, 20, were both from Deptford.

The "Royal Albert's" final appearance in the Proceedings of the Old Bailey was a brief passing mention in the trial of John & Samuel Milligan and George Milligan for attempted murder.

The 1901 & 1911 censuses both show managers living at the pub, presumably it had been bought by a brewer.

1901 Census

Francis M Truelove Head M 46 Manager (PH) London, Peckham

Edgar A Edwards Serv S 19 Barman ---"---

Albert H Phillips Serv S 24 Barman London, Dalston

Ada E Arber Serv S 24 Housekeeper London, Kingsland

Jessie M Latimer Serv S 19 Barmaid London, Bermondsey

Adelaide R Fassnidge Serv S 19 Barmaid London, Brixton

Harriett A Ealey Serv S 25 Cook, domestic Kent, Sittingbourne

Francis Truelove was the son of Michael Truelove who had been the landlord of the Hanover Arms PH at Peckham Rye.

1911 census

Elizabeth Hallahan, Manageress, 44, Widow London, Lambeth

Minnie Beavis |Barmaid, 22, Single London, Hoxton

Amy Beavin Barmaid 20, Single, London, Islington

Bertram Major, Headman, 30, Single, New Cross

Arthur Argyle, Potman, 25, Single, Tunbridge Wells



Personal Estate 7,723 5s. 3d.

28 December 1886.

The Will with a Codicil of James Empson formerly of Greenwich but late of 460 New-Cross-road Deptford both in the County of Kent Licensed Victualler who died 9 November 1886 at 460 New-Cross-road was proved at the Principal Registry by Margaret Empson Widow the Relict and James Empson Engineer the Son both of 460 New-Cross-road and John Empson of Willesden in the County of Middlesex Hotel Keeper the Brother the Executors.



HALL Frederick Andrew 1850-58+

RICHARDSON Haigh to Nov/1863

FREBORN Lewis Francis Nov/1863-Aug/66+

WILLSON William Hen 1876+

EMPSON James 1884+


BARNES Sidney 1917-21+

WELTON Edwin Chasrle Stanley 1938+


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