Sort file:- Woolwich, July, 2020.

Page Updated:- Thursday, 23 July, 2020.


Earliest 1783-

King's Arms

Latest ????

1 Frances Street (Hill Street 1823Pigot's Directory 1823)


King's Arms

Above photo date unknown, by kind permission Chris Mansfield.

King's Arms 2015

Above photo, 2 December 2015.

King's Arms 2017

Above Google image September 2017.


Pigot's Directory of 1832 called this the "King's Arms Tavern and Royal Artillery Hotel", with the address of opposite the Artillery Barracks, it was listed under Inns.


I have just started to map out the pubs that exist or existed in Woolwich, but need local knowledge and photographs, old and current if you have any.

As the information is found or sent to me, including photographs, it will be shown here.

Thanks for your co-operation. Every email is answered and all information referenced to the supplier.

This page will be updated as soon as further information is found.


From the local papers of 1794.

2 Aug:- ... at the "Kings Arms" with Skinner the Bricklayer....NB ..gave Skinner and Bryant orders to do the work at the "Kings Arms."

4 Aug:- ... with Captain Humber at "Kings Arms".... NB … Mr Ely and Jaques stripped and laid open the "Kings Arms" House and damaged the plastering, without orders, and then left it.

23 Aug:- ... NB Mr Ely’s Lawyer came to me… and read a Bill of something unto me about Ely.

29 Aug:- .... at Stephen’s (Highlander) with Jaques, Jerry Whitehead, James Brett, James Gooding, George Highsted and others. ..... At Parish Meeting "Kings Arms." ... NB Mr Jaques began to paint the "Kings Arms" House…. and abused me in presence of James Gooding, Jerry Whitehead and James Brett at my son’s (the Highlander) in the afternoon when I showed him Mr Tong’s letter and my Estimate.

4 Sept:- ... received the writ copies Ely and James Jaques this morn.

He doesn't go into detail, but Stephen Rouse was a builder/carpenter and it seem he had been hired to do some repairs at the "Kings Arms," but there was some sort of disagreement resulting in legal action. He doesn't mention it again, so presumably it was all resolved.


Wendy James.


From the Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, 19 October 1861.

Fatal Accident.

On Tuesday Mr. Serjeant Payne held inquiry, in St Thomas's Hospital, on the body of John Taylor, age 48 years, a livery stable keeper, of the "King's Arms," Woolwich.

Mr. William Cocking, grocer, of No. 7, Francis Street, Woolwich, said that, on the 9th of the present month, a few minutes after 8 o'clock, he was driving in a gig, and the deceased was sitting at his side. They had preceded about halfway along the road towards the "Royal Standard" at Woolwich, when, the night being dark, a collision took place between the gig, he and deceased were in a cart. The consequences were that deceased and witness were pitched out into the road. Witness, assisted deceased up, and he was seen by Dr. Finch, and afterwards admitted into the hospital, in which institution he died on the 12th. Neither the gig nor cart were overturned, but deceased and witness were thrown out about seven feet from the footpath, on the near side.


From ‘Kentish Independent’ 8 June 1895.


Can anyone help us discover the identity of a capable artist by the name of Robinson, who was much in evidence at Woolwich about the year 1784?

A very extensive and elaborate series of paintings executed by him on the walls of a room at the "King’s Arms Hotel" has just been brought to light by the Proprietor, Mr. Campbell, who, in order to repaper the room, had all the old papers, some six in number, stripped off.

The paint, when disclosed, was nearly black everywhere, but, by the advice of Mr. J. O. Cook, architect, Mr. Purnell, of Conduit Road, a well-known expert, was called in and undertook the work of restoration. He found that the pictures had been covered with seven coats of varnish, the whole of which he cleaned off – enough to fill a bushel basket – and the pictures, perfectly revived, are now resplendent in all their original glory.

They are painted in oil colours upon the plaster of the walls and cover them in every part. There are but two subjects, one being a view of the Bay of Naples and the other a Scotch pastoral subject, neither of which, of course, gives any clue to the authorship.

One of the paintings, however, bears the signature of “Robinson,” with a date which is either 1783 or 1785. In 1783, the first mess-room in the Royal Artillery Barracks (now the theatre), was being built, and there is reason to believe that some of the officers had their mess at the "King’s Arms Hotel." (“Records of Woolwich,” pp. 386-7) That being so, the inference would be that one of them was the artist. But there was not one of them named Robinson in 1783 or 1785. There was one on the retired list, but it would be a stretch of imagination to associate him with the work; and there was a Lieutenant Robison promoted to the rank of captain about the date in question, but if the signature is “Robinson,” Robison will not do.

The discovery, however, is interesting, even without the artist’s revelation, and the character of the work, though it may not rank as genius, is good enough to make us marvel that any one of the hosts of the "King’s Arms" could have had the heart to cover it with wall paper. Probably, however, it grew indistinct under the load of varnish, and nobody thought of restoration. There is no doubt that it had been hidden from mortal eye for at least sixty or eighty years.



JAMES Jb A 1823+ Pigot's Directory 1823

JAMES Jacon 1832-May/48 Pigot's Directory 1832-34

BLEST Alexander Melville May/1848-74

HARROD Edward 1881+ (proprietor age 40 in 1881Census)

BOWLES Harriet Mrs 1882+

CAMPBELL G H 1895-96+

WEBBIN Walter 1901-05+ (manager age 29 in 1901Census)

WORDSWORTH Alfred 1901-05+

WORDSWORTH Richard 1908+

MACKENZIE Gilbert 1911-19+

HERWIN William R 1921+

MORGAN Robert 1934-44+


Pigot's Directory 1823From the Pigot's Directory 1823

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



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