Sort file:- Sevenoaks, February, 2023.

Page Updated:- Thursday, 23 February, 2023.


Earliest 1600s-

Black Boy

Closed 2020

(Name to)

13 Bank Street (7 Black Boy Lane 1891Census) (High Street 1841Census)


01732 452192

Black Boy 1949

Above photo 1949.

Black Boy 1959

Above photo circa 1959.

Black Boy 2011

Above photo 2011 by David Anstiss Creative Commons Licence.

Black Boy 2013

Photo taken in May 2013 from by Jules.

Black Boy sign 2008

Above sign and plaque 2008.

With thanks from from Roger Pester

Info on Plaque:- The Black Boy.

There are many reasons behind the unusual name of this unique house.

The renowned author of "Knole and the Sackvilles", Vita Sackville West, mentions in her chapter on Knole House in James' I reign, a John Morockoe, a Blackamoor. John must have been a remarkable man as it has been suggested that Black Boy Lane, now known as Bank Street, was named after him.

Another suggestion is that the lane was named after a school teacher from Sevenoaks School.

Whatever the reason, we do know that "Black Boy" dates back to 1616, it is therefore quite fitting that you can once again sit back and enjoy the atmosphere of this ancient inn, coupled with the hospitality of Shepherd Neame, Britain's Oldest Brewers, who also date back to the 17th Century.

Black Boy 2011Black Boy sign 2019

Above sign left 2011. Sign right 2019.

Black Boy 2019

Above photo, pre 2009, by Peter Sill.


It appears that 1959 the pub was supplied by Style & Winch. Later I am informed that the pub was leased to Friary Meux Ltd. Today (2016) it is leased by Shepherd Neame since 1998 from Sevenoaks District Council who own the site.


Kentish Gazette, 19 July 1775.

ROBERT DOLLING From the "Black Boy," in Sevenoaks, Kent, Returns his most grateful acknowledgements to the Gentry and Others, who have liberally conferred their favours on him, and humbly begs leave to solicit a continuance of their support at the "Royal Oak Inn," in the same town, which he has taken and fitted up in an elegant manner, for the reception of his customers, who may depend on the most assiduous endeavours, to render every kind of accommodation as satisfactory as possible, and as shall secure their future indulgences to their grateful, obliged, and obedient humble servant.

Robert Dolling.


From the Kentish Gazette, 2 August 1842.


July 16, at Sevenoaks, Mrs. Mary Clark, widow, many years landlady of the "Black Boy Inn," aged 55.


From the Maidstone Journal, February 1862.

Escape from a lock up.

Mary Jones and Henry Jones were charged before Multon Lambarde on Monday 17th February 1862 at the Magistrates' Clerk's Office, Sevenoaks; with having stolen 12 shillings 6d from the person of Edward Jury.

The evidence described by the Maidstone Journal as "rather lengthy, and unfit for publication" was given simply as follows:- The female prisoner enticed the prisoner (who was an old man over sixty) down a passage near the "Black Boy Inn" and in conjunction with the male prisoner, robbed him and at once decamped.

The prosecutor gave information to Superintendent Coleman and he immediately went in pursuit of the prisoners, and after much difficulty succeeded in capturing them. They denied the charge before the magistrate, but were committed for trial and taken to the lock-up, where they were confined in separate cells.

Police Constable Spear, on going to the lock-up, the next morning, found the lock of the outer door forced off, and the prisoners gone, he also found a portion of the brickwork of the back window broken away, as if someone had assisted them from the outside. The alarm was at once given, and every exertion was used to trace the prisoners, but without success.

The Maidstone Journal commented that "perhaps the Court of General Sessions will now see the necessity of providing accommodation for a resident constable at this lock-up; if this had been the case now, these two prisoners could not have escaped."


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 1 May 1874.

Sevenoaks Petty Sessions. Friday, April 24th.

Licence Transfer.

The licence of the "Black Boy Inn" was transferred from W. G. Todman to W. Purday.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, Friday 10 April 1885.


Arthur Haynes, a young man, of respectable appearance, agent to the Singer Sewing Machine Company, Sevenoaks, was charged with being drunk and disorderly in the Black Boy Lane on Easter Monday.

P.C. Stroode said he was on duty in the High Street, Sevenoaks, at 9:15 p.m., on the night in question, when he saw the defendant in the Black Boy Lane in company with several other young men. He was very drunk, and call creating a disturbance. He advised him to go home, and several of his companions endeavour to get him home. He, however, refused, and he (witness) locked him up. Prisoner was very abusive.

Defendant said that in the evening of the day in question, he was in the "Black Boy" having a game of billiards, when he was set upon by three or four. He struck them, and would do so again if they came for him in that manner.

Superintendent Waghorne said the defendant behaved very noisily at the station, and he had been disturbed during the night by the defendant.

The chairman said that the defendant seemed to think he might come into a country town and do what he liked, but he would find himself mistaken and he would be fined 10s. and 6s. costs.


Sussex Agricultural Express 01 January 1889.


George Milton, of the "Black Boy," Sevenoaks, was summoned for selling adulterated whisky, on the 19th of November. Supt. Waghorn proved that the whisky was, on the certificate of Dr. Adams, the county analyst, 5.96 below the legal limit. - The defendant said that the jar was nearly empty, and the strength had evaporated. Fined 20s. and costs.


From Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser 30 August 1889.


The houses during the past year have been generally well conducted, with the following exceptions:-

Ale House, No. 35. George Milton, of the "Black Boy," Sevenoaks, fined 20s. and costs 9s., on the 28th December, 1888, for selling adulterated whiskey.


From the Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser, Friday 30 September, 1949.


By an Old Inhabitant. THE BLACK BOY.

Aunt:- This house which I am going to talk a little about, is called the "Black Boy Inn." I should think that it had been built some centuries ago, as I have an extract which speaks about a Mr. Richard Blackboy granting some acres of land (near the Vine) for the benefit of the almshouses. This was in the 39th year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. (1597). I should think that this must have been the person that built the "Black Boy" originally.

The first person that I ever heard of living there was a Mr. and Mrs. Walter. They were respectable people, but after they had been there a few years the business did not answer and they failed. After this they left the house and Mr. Walter hired a small house, and a large room (up the Coffee House yard) for a boys' school. He met with encouragement and got on in his school. Soon after this he was elected to be Parish Clerk. He lived many years much respected by all that knew him and before he died he paid every creditor that he owed money to when he failed at the "Black Boy." Many of the creditors were dead, but he insisted on paying those whose right it was after the death of the creditors. If ever there was an honest man he was one. After his death he left each of his children a few hundred pounds. This man ought never to be forgotten, he was an honour to our dear old Sevenoaks.

Mary:- I thank you dear Aunt. I did not expect such a capital tale about the "Black Boy." I am very glad that you have recorded this interesting account of good old Mr. Walter.


I am informed by Keith Wade that the pub went under the name of "Evergreens" at some time during the 1990s, and that the date of the Walters may be an error, the earliest date he has managed to confirm that the pub was serving is 1637 to date, although other unconfirmed years say 1616. Both being after the said 1597.


From the By John James, 27 June 2020.

'The Black Boy': Shepherd Neame to change 'potentially unwelcoming' Sevenoaks pub name.

The Faversham brewer has announced they will be changing the name of the popular 'Black Boy' pub on Bank Street.

Many of us are waiting in anticipation for July 4 when all our favourite pubs will be open again, however some Sevenoaks drinkers may be in for a surprise.

Shepherd Neame yesterday (June 26) announced that it would be seeking to change the name and signage of 'The Black Boy' pub on Bank Street.

The Faversham brewer said it was 'not a decision taken lightly' but the current name was 'not potentially welcoming for all customers'.

The pub's new name will be 'The Restoration' in relation to the historic pub's connection to King Charles II.

The historic Sevenoaks pub has been in the centre of the town since 1616 and has had many names in its past including "Evergreens" and "Bank Street Brasserie."

Its current name 'The 'Black Boy' is thought to refer to the mining history of the area, however in a time of heightened sensitivities, the brewer has chosen to be proactive in the discussion around the pub.

News of Shepherd Neame's decision was broadly well received on Facebook with many people coming out in support of the brewer's intentions.

One person said: "Great decision Sheps - proud to read that my local brewery is stepping up on this.

"You’re not ‘destroying’ history, you’re making it!"

Another wrote: "It is good that this issue has been carefully considered and researched, and that you have explained the history.

"It is a correct decision. Well done Shepherd Neame."

Some people voiced their concerns that the Brewer was 'erasing history'.

One man said: "I think it is wrong to change the name!

"It is not possible to make every one in this World happy, so... The Black Boy is an important part of history where it is located!"

Another said: "Trying to rewrite history is not the answer to improving race relations.

"Keep the name as it is. Also as you point out there are several reasons why it may have its current name and no reason that I can see for you making this decision."

In response to the heated discussions, Shepherd Neame left a statement of clarification.

A spokesman said: "We appreciate your feedback, and would like to offer our reassurances that we have not taken this decision lightly.

"We have considered the issues carefully, and while we appreciate that some customers may not agree with our decision, we believe it is the right thing to do."


From the By Liane Castle, 29 June 2020.

Shepherd Neame to rename The Black Boy pub in Sevenoaks after Black Lives Matter movement.

One of Kent's largest brewers has announced it will rename one of its pubs in Sevenoaks in light of the recent global anti-racism protests.

Shepherd Neame says the "Black Boy" on Bank Street will soon become the "Restoration," a name which instead focuses on its links to King Charles II.

The Faversham-based brewer made the decision saying its current name could be seen as unwelcoming to some of its customers.

In a statement on its website, the brewer said: "Shepherd Neame is committed to equality and diversity in every area of its business, and strives to create inclusive, welcoming pub environments for all customers to enjoy.

"After much deliberation, we have decided to seek consent from relevant authorities to change the name and provide new signage for the "Black Boy" in Sevenoaks. It was not a decision taken lightly, but we recognise that its current name is not potentially welcoming for all customers, and feel that it is the right thing to do.

"In order to reflect the pub’s long history, we have chosen to focus on its potential connection with King Charles II, and are therefore proposing to rename it the "Restoration."

This is not the first time the town centre pub has had a name change. In previous years it has been known as "Evergreens" and the "Bank Street Brasserie."

Shepherd Neame says the pub, which is one of the most historic in Kent, dates back to 1616 with some suggesting it was named after John Morockoe who worked at nearby Knole country house during the reign of James I.

The statement continued to say there are several other "Black Boy" pubs in the UK and many theories around where their names came.

Some say it could be linked to coal mining or chimney sweeps, or the nickname given to King Charles II due to his dark-hued skin and exile during Cromwell’s reign. It is believed that a number of pubs changed their name to the "Black Boy" to show their allegiance.

Since the death of George Floyd in the US, anti-racism protests have been happening globally, with several towns showing solidarity here in Kent.




WALTER Mr & Mrs ?1597+?

DOLLING Robert to July/1775+ Next pub licensee had

BRIDGER John 1828+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29

CLARK Foreman 1832-41 Pigot's Directory 1832-34

CLARK Mary (widow) 1841+ (age 45 in 1841Census)

WHITBY Thomas Brand 1845+

LEBAS George 1851-61+ (age 43 in 1851Census)

WALE William 1871+ (age 33 in 1871Census)

TODMAN W G to May/1874

PURDAY William 1874+

ASHDOWN William 1881-82+ (age 43 in 1881Census)

MILTON George 1889-91+

MILTON Emily M 1891+ (managing inn age 30 in 1891Census)

BARTON Harry 1903-18+ Kelly's 1903

OAKLEY John W 1922-38+

KNIGHT Dennis & Janet 1970+


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



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