Sort file:- Gravesend, August, 2023.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 13 August, 2023.


Earliest 1727

Waterman's Arms

Latest 1914

16 Church Street / Pump Alley


Waterman's Arms

Above photo, date unknown. Kindly supplied by John Hopperton.


I have just started to map out the pubs that exist or existed in Gravesend, 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.


Kentish Gazette, 2 November, 1774.

To be sold by auction, by Mr. Harman, on Wednesday, 23rd instant November, at the "Catherine Wheel Inn," in Gravesend, in the county of Kent, between the hours of 3 and 6 in the afternoon, the under mentioned freehold and leasehold estates, in the following lots.

Lot one:- A new and substantial brick built Messuage, Tenement or Public-house, with the Appurtenances, known by the name or sign of the "Waterman's Arms," situate near the Church in Gravesend, for the remainder of a term of 61 years, of which there will be 51 unexpired at Christmas next, and subject to the ground rent of 2 guineas a year only.

The said Public-house is subject to an Under Lease, at the yearly rent of 10 10 shillings, of which there were 10-years unexpired at Michaelmas last, and on the expiration thereof, the same is capable of being considerably advanced.


Southeastern Gazette, 15 March 1853.


Friday. (Before J. Saddington, Esq., Mayor, R. Oakes and C. Spencer, Esqrs.)

Daniel Mercer, a sailor out of berth, was charged with being disorderly, and assaulting Mr. John Jones, of the "Waterman’s Arms," Church-street, in whose house he was lodging. It appeared the prisoner not only struck complainant in the pretence of police constable Easterby, but struck the policeman too.

Fined 10s. and costs, or fourteen days' imprisonment; committed in default.


Southeastern Gazette, 10 May 1853.

Friday. Before J. Saddingion, Esq., Mayor, R, Oakes, C. Spencer, and E. Tickner, Esqrs.)

John Jones, "Waterman's Arms," was summoned for keeping his house open on Sunday morning, Police-constable White said he saw a Custom-house officer come out of the house, and in consequence he went in about ten minutes after eleven, and saw some prostitutes there, but they had nothing before them to drink.

Mr. Jones denied serving anything to any one; he let some lodgers out of the back part of the house, rather than let them come out of the front to annoy people going into or out of church, and these women came in and wanted to be served, but he refused to serve them.

Fined 7s., and costs 7s. 6d.


Kentish Independent, Saturday 14 May 1853.

Gravesend Police Court. Friday.

John Jones was summoned, he being a licensed victualler, for having his house open for the sale of liquor on Sunday morning.

Police Constable White stated, that on Sunday morning, about 10 minutes before 11 o'clock, he saw a custom house officer come from the house of defendant, the "Watermans Arms," witness then went round to look to the back of the house, and knocking at the door he obtained entrance, he then saw two prostitutes there, endeavoring to make their way upstairs, had no business there, and they said they had not come for gin but for beer, about half an hour afterwards he went to the house again, and then saw the custom house officers still in the house, and about the same time he saw Mr. Jones' man come from the house with a can, and go to Pump Alley, and went in to the house and came out with the empty can, witness went into the house and saw some beer their.

The defendant denied the charge, and said that he knew nothing of it.

The Bench apprehended suspended judgment until other cases had been heard.

The Bench inflicted the following penalty, Mr. Jones, 7s. and costs 7s. 6d.

The Bench in reply to a question from one of the publicans present said that they did not consider persons coming from London on pleasure by the steamboat's were "travellers," such as a law contemplated in the exceptions.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Monday 27 August 1866.

Margaret Green, charged by Police sergeant Jayne with being drunk and using obscene language in Church Street, at 12 o'clock on Monday night, and also with attempting to steal a watch from the person of Mr. William Jones, landlord of the "Waterman's Arms" at the same time, was sentenced to be imprisoned and kept a hard labour for one month.


Gravesend & Northfleet Standard, Saturday 30 May 1903.

Gravesend Publican Convicted.

"In the interests of Justice."

Mr. Thomas Cooper, licensee of the "Watermans Arms," Church Street, was summonsed at the Gravesend Police Court, on Monday, for permitting drunkeness on his premises, on the 19th inst. The Justices present were Messrs C. Startup (in the chair), S. Penney, T. G. Sandford, and H. Sandford.

Mr. A. I. Tolhurst, who appeared on behalf of the defendant, applied for a remand. He had not been acquainted with the facts of the case until that morning, and there were three men, who were working at Tilbury docks, who he would like to call as witnesses.

At this stage Colonel Sankey came into Court in a hurry, and said he did not think they should study Mr. Tolhurst's convenience. The had come there himself at great inconvenience.

Mr. Tolhurst:- It is not for my convenience.

Colonel Sankey:- It is for your convenience.

Mr. Tolhurst:- It is not sir. It is in the interest of justice. I have not had any opportunity of seeing these men and bringing them here. I can say this is a very reasonable application.

Colonel Sankey:- You say it is for nobody's convenience.

Mr. Tolhurst:- I say it is in the interests of justice.

Mr Penney said the defendant had had an opportunity to consult Mr. Tolhurst and the other men since the summons was issued.

Mr. Tolhurst:- We heard nothing of it until this morning.

Mr. Penney:- My opinion is that ijn the interest of justice, the case ought to go on. We are the judges of the interests of justice.

The Bench agreed to this, and the case was proceeded with.

Detective Thompson was the first witness called, and he said that about 12 o'clock, noon on the 19th inst., he visited the "Watermans Arms." He saw their five men sitting in the bar, and of these three were drunk. Their names were Thomas Monk, Thomas Rawlings, and Samuel Smith. Monk could not sit properly in his chair, and this was also the case with Smith, while Rawlins was very drowsy. Witness said to Smith, "You have had enough," and he answered, "Yes." He then asked the landlord if he was their condition, and he said, "Yes, but they have not been served." During the time he was speaking, the defendant was drawing a glass of beer along the counter from where Monk sat. In reply to a question whose beer it was, defendant said, "They have only had one drink, sir." Witness said to Monk, "Get up and go to the lodging house where you live," and with difficulty he walked out of the house and down the street. He drew the attention of the deputy of the lodging house to Monk's condition, and then went back towards the "Waterman's Arms," and saw the other men leaving the house. Rawlings had hold of Smith's arm, and held his other hand in the air while they both staggered along the pavement. Witness said to them. "Just come here I moment. You disputed that these men were drunk just now." He answered, "Yes," and witness said, "That's a picture for you; the blind leading the blind." Defendant said he was very sorry, and he would not let it occur again. Witness afterwards drew his attention of a man named West to the condition of the two men. Rawlings and Smith then went into the "Orient" public house, and witness heard the landlady say, "I won't serve you. Drummer, you're drunk," meaning Smith. From there the two men went into the "Castle," but were refused drink. Then went to a lodging house.

By the Chief Constable:- He saw Smith and Rawlings about half-past 9 the save morning in the "Waterman's Arms," but they were than sober. He also saw Monk in the lodging house about that time but he was drunk. On his second visit to the "Waterman's Arms" he saw for glasses on the counter, and the two men were sitting in the same position.

Mr. Tolhurst: Didn't the landlady say, "They have not been served." and the landlord corrected her and said. "He had had one glass, meaning Monk?

Witness:- No; he said they have had one glass.

Mr. Tilehurst:- Did not you consider it was your duty to arrest these men if they were drunk?

Witness:- No. You know that as well as I do.

Mr. Tolehurst:- I don't want you to teach me the law. I know what you should have done.

By Mr. Penney:- He did not know whether these men had stopped in the house all the morning.

John Archibald West, 30, Clarence Street, Gravesend deposed that between 8 and half past in the morning he saw Smith and Rawlings go into the "Waterman's Arms." They were then a "little bit on," and "looked beery" (laughter.) He saw Thompson turn the men out at 12 o'clock, and they were then drunk.

Mr. Tolhurst:- You say the men were "beery" at 8 o'clock, and Thomson says they were sober at 9:30.

Witness:- I can't help what he says; it is what I say. (Laughter).

Minnie Willis, barmaid, at the "Castle," High Street, said that when the men came into her house she thought they had had sufficient to drink, and she therefore could not serve them.

The Chief Constable stated that if the Bench desired the evidence of the landlady of the "Orient" they would ask for and an adjournment.

Mr. Tolhurst then addressed the bench, and said that he represented Messrs Wood (brewers) as well as the defendant. The latter was 69 years of age, and had only occupied the house about 8 months. He should have quitted on the 19th, but another tenant could not be found. Cooper was an old old soldier, and had three medals, having served in the army for 22 years. For giving the facts, he said he thought that if these men had been as bad as he had said, they should have been taken into custody.

Defendant, put in the box, said he had been at the "Waterman's Arms" for 8 months, and had never had any trouble at all. Shortly after 9:30 Detective Thompson put his head in the door of the bar and said, "What, before breakfast, Tommy! and then went straight out again. The two men, Rawlings and Smith, only had three classes of ale during the morning. Monk had only just come in the bar before Detective Thompson came in. He sat down, and ordered a glass of ale, with which he was served. He said he had been out all night, and was very tired. Defendant did not think he was drunk. He considered that the three men were not drunk. Rawlings and Smith had nothing to do with Monk at all.

By Mr. T. G. Sandford:- He catered for the roughest class of people in the town.

Louisa Wootton, and assistant in the bar of the "Waterman's Arms," also gave evidence, saying that the men were not drunk. The house was a very rough one, and she wished she had never seen it (laughter).

After a short consultation in private, the Bench fined defendant 40s., and 1 6s. costs.


Kent Messenger and Gravesend Telegraph, Saturday 28th July, 1917.

The licensing (Consolidation) Act, 1910.

Notice as to Sending in Claims to be treated as Persons Interested in Licensed Premises.

County of Kent, Western Division.

Notice is hereby given that the Compensation Authority for the above area having decided at their Principal Meeting held on 12th day of July, 1917, to refuse the Renewal of Licences of the premises specified below, all persons claiming to be interested in the said premises for the purpose of the payment of Compensation under the said act other than the Licencees and the Registered owner of the said premises are required to send to the Compensation Authority notice of their claims before the 20th day of August, 1917, for the purpose of enabling the Compensation Authority to ascertain in manner provided by the Licensing Rules, 1910, the persons entitled to Compensation on under the said Act in respect of the said premises.

Notice of claims, giving particulars of the interests claimed, should be sent to the Clerk of the Compensation Authority at this Office at the Sessions House, Maidstone.

"Watermans Arms," 16 Church Street, Gravesend. Publicans. William Dearing. Russell's Gravesend Brewery. Ltd.

W.B. Prosser, Clerk of the Compensation Authority, Sessions House, Maidstone. Dated this 26th day of July, 1917.


Maidstone Telegraph Saturday 17th November 1917.

West Kent Licensing Committee. Compensation appointments.

Mr. Coles Child presided, on Thursday, at a meeting of this committee, at the Sessions House, Maidstone, the other members present being: Colonel J. M. Rogers, Colonel Grubb, Messrs C. Tuff, Joseph Barker, R Batchelor, P. Butt-Gow, S. Lee Smith, H. Hannem, W. A. Smith-Masters, J. H. Hay Rudton, H. J. Wood and G. Naylor with the Clerk (Mr. W. B. Prosser), and the Valuer (Mr. H. M. Cobb, of Higham).

It was the "supplemental" meeting for the awarding of compensation in respect of licences "referred" earlier in the year.


The Clerk announced that agreements had been arrived at in the following cases:-

"Watermans Arms" public house, 16, Church Street, Gravesend, 1,560 - 1,385 for the owners (Russell's Gravesend Brewery Ltd. Mr. Edward Kelly Purnell, Windlesham, Surrey, and Mr. Herbert Russell, Sackville Street, Piccadilly, London,) and 175 for the tenant, (Mr. William Dearing.)




UPTON Richard 1824-28+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29

JONES John 1832-55+ (age 55 in 1841Census) Pigot's Directory 1832-34

WISSENDEN Henry 1858+

JONES William H 1861-66+ (also Seaman Boarding House age 47 in 1861Census)

PITT Constantine 1862-65+

JONES John 1874-82+ (age 46 in 1881Census)

CARTER Caroline Mrs 1891

GATES James 1891+ (age 57 in 1891Census)

NUNN Thomas 1901+ (age 46 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

COOPER Thomas Sept/1902-03+ (age 69 in 1903)

BISHOP E 1913+

DEVING William 1917+


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 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903



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