Sort file:- Chatham, December, 2018.

Page Updated:- Friday, 21 December, 2018.


Earliest 1858-

Carpenter's Arms

Latest ????

2 Skinner Street



The pub was operating under a Beer License in 1872 and was owned by (John Brenchley) John Courtney Stacy, John Ramsbottom Isherwood, Chas Marshall Foster, Lowes Brewery Maidstone.


From the Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, 2 December, 1856.


The following publicans and beershop-keepers were convicted of having their houses open after hours of closing, on the night of Saturday, the 15th inst. The cases were proved by Superintendent-constable Everist and Constables Bridges and Hulse.

William Gascoyne, "Carpenter's Arms," beershop, Skinner Street, Chatham. The defendant was unable to appear through illness, but his wife attended.

Fined 20s., and 18s. 6d. costs.

The penalties were paid.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 30 July 1859. Price 1 ˝d.


Burgess Masters was charged with attempting to murder James Wilkins, a Royal Marine, in Skinner-street, Chatham on Sunday, the 19th June last.

From the evidence of prosecutor, it appeared that he was 24 years of age, and had been in the corps of Royal Marines five years. He first saw the prisoner last March, when he arrived from South America, at the “Carpenters Arms” beer-house, where the prosecutor was lodging. About six weeks ago he saw the prisoner again at a house in which he was lodging, next door to the “Carpenters' Arms,” The prisoner was making a disturbance there, and prosecutor went in. Prisoner was in the kitchen with a poker in one band, and holding a woman named Matilda Simpkins, with his left. The landlord took the poker away from him. After prisoner had been deprived of the poker he struck at prosecutor, and they both scuffled and fell. As they were lying on the floor prisoner said, "I'll be one with you yet.” He never saw prisoner again until the 18th June, when, as prosecutor was walking down High-street with the woman Simpkins, at about half-past ten, prisoner came and tapped him on the arm, I and then walked away without speaking. Prosecutor left the woman, crossed over to where the prisoner was and asked him what he touched him on the shoulder for? Prisoner replied that he was not aware that it was him. After having some beer at the “Carpenters' Arms,” prosecutor and the woman went into the next house. The bedroom window was closed, and the shutters, but the latter was not fastened. Prosecutor could remember nothing that occurred daring the night until awoke by the woman speaking to him, when he found that his throat had been cut, and that he was covered with blood. The window shutters and window were open. A surgeon was sent for, and prosecutor was taken to Melville Hospital, where he remained three weeks. He had known the female about five years, but had never lived with her. He did not know till he came home that Simpkins bad been living with the prisoner; she told him that the same day she saw him. In reply to his question she said she was not married to the prisoner. Another marine took prosecutor to the house where she was lodging. He first saw her at a beer-house on the Brook, and had six pots of ale there; they then went to the “Running-Horse” and also to the “Wheat Sheaf,” at each of which they had some more liquor. They were both drunk.

Matilda Simpkins said she had been married about five or six years, but did not know whether her husband was now alive; he was a private marine. She had known the prisoner about two or three years, and he had lived with her a portion of that time. After Wilkins had come home prisoner frequently came to her. On the night after Wilkins came home prisoner struck witness and accused her of having been with Wilkins. On another occasion he struck her because she had drunk with Wilkins. On the night of the 18th June she and the prosecutor went to bed between 11 and 12 o'clock. Early the next morning she was awoke by feeling something wet on her face, which she found was blood. The window was open. She ran out of the room and called in Mr. and Mrs. Gascoigne, as she thought Wilkins was dying. Witness had not heard anyone about during the night. There was no knife or razor to be seen in the room. Some of the flower-pots in the room were knocked over. There were other lodgers in the home. The back door was not fastened. There is a cellar to the house, and this leads up into the room in which witness slept. The chain of the cellar window leading from the street was found on the next morning to be unfastened. A man could not get down that way. On the cellar being searched on the following morning, a candlestick and candle were found there. On the previous night the candle was on the table in the room. She locked her bed-room door when she went to bed, and it was found locked the next morning. The Cellar door was shut at night but was open the next morning.

Caroline Gascoigne, wife of the landlord of the “Carpenter's Arms,” Skinner-Street, stated that she remembered Wilkins and the last witness being at her house on the night of the 18th of June. While Wilkins was sitting in the bar, waiting for the last witness, witness saw a man, whom she supposed to be Masters, go through the yard of the house into that of next door. The best of her belief it was the prisoner. She did not speak to him. He was dressed as a sailor. About half-past 9 prisoner told witness he was going down to look for Ann; (meaning the woman Simpkin). About 10 o'clock witness met him again in the street, he was alone. Prisoner told her he had been unable to find Ann, and that he supposed that she would sleep with the marine. On returning home she found the marine Wilkins and Simpkin there. Witness said to her, “Do you know if Masters is in?” to which she replied “That's all right.” Witness told Wilkins he had better not go there that night, but he went. About daylight the following morning witness was awoke and told that the marine had had his throat cut. She immediately went in and saw the marine sitting on the edge of the bed covered with blood. There was also a great deal of blood over the female, Witness called her husband and then went for a surgeon. Prisoner and Wilkins had differed.

John Wilson, master at arms, on board H.M.S. Queen Charlotte, Sheerness, received a description of the prisoner from Captain Harvey on Jane 20. On the 4th of July 17 men were received on board the monarch from London. On the men being mustered the prisoner's name was on the list, and he answered. Witness took him to another part of the dock and questioned him, and from the answers he gave witness took him into custody.

Mr. E. A. Steddy, surgeon, found prosecutor on the bed with a severe cut in his throat, the windpipe being laid open. The wound was about four inches in length, straight across, and had the appearance of having been inflicted with not a very sharp knife. The prosecutor was taken to the Melville Hospital directly a stretcher could be procured. No important vessel or nerve was hurt. The extent of the wound on the windpipe was no more than would have been the case if a surgical operation had been performed on the windpipe.

William Stephen Gascoigne, keeper of the “Carpenter's Arms” beer house, had known the prisoner about a year.

About 9 o'clock on the Saturday night before the attempted murder, prisoner was crossing the yard to go to his own house. He asked witness if “Ann” should come in, to tell her he would not be long. The Marine and the female Simpkin, came into the house at about 11 o'clock, and left after having a put of beer. They were both the worse for liquor. On being informed what had occurred, witness went into the house next door early the next morning, and saw the prosecutor bleeding from a wound in the throat. The window of the room was open. Witness remembered, about five or six weeks before the occurrence, seeing the prisoner standing over the woman Simpkin with a poker, and attempting to strike her; he assisted in taking the poker from him. On one occasion witness had heard prisoner say he would “be one with Wilkins yet.”

[We had not received the conclusion on this case when we went to press.]


This pub is one in the list of my "Project 2014."

I will be adding the historical information when I find or are sent it, but this project is a very big one, and I do not know when or where the information will come from.

All emails are answered.



GASCOYNE William Stephen 1856-58

SMITH Thomas 1872+ Licensing Records 1872

SMITH Edward 1881-91+ (also baker age 31 in 1891Census)

COUSINS Joseph 1913+

HEWETT J H W 1938+


Licensing Records 1872Licensing Records 1872



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