Sort file:- Chatham, May, 2022.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 04 May, 2022.


Earliest 1838-

Dark Sun

Latest ????

High Street



In 1872 the premises was operating under a Full license and was owned by Edward Winch of Chatham.


From the Sevenoaks Chronicle, 31 August 1852.


Friday being the day appointed for the general annual Licensing day, and for hearing applications fro granting new licenses, the county magistrates assembled in petty sessions at eleven o'clock. There were present, the Rev. G. Davies (chairman), Capt. Baker, W. M. Smith, Esq., M. P., W. H. Nicholson, Esq., Major Boys, and the Rev. J. J. Marsham.

There were several applications for granting new licenses, and the proceedings were watched with some interest by those concerned.


Mr. Arnold then applied for a license for the "Elephant and Castle" beer-shop, situate on the Luton Road, Chatham. The ground near it, he said, was laid out for building purposes. The nearest licensed house on the Chatham side was the "Dark Sun" and on the Luton side the "Hen and Chickens," the former being half a mile distant from the "Elephant and Castle."

Application refused.

The Magistrates then proceeded to granting the renewal of the several licenses within their jurisdiction, and at the close of the business dined together at the "Crown Inn." ("Northfleet")


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Tuesday 18 May 1858.

Mysterious death of a soldier.

From an inquest which was held at the "Queen's Head," Brompton, by T. Hills, Esq., coroner, on Monday week, and immediately adjourned to Thursday evening last, we find that a private in the 23rd Regiment came by his death on Sunday evening week, under very peculiar and melancholy circumstances. We cannot suppose that the matter can rest here.

Peter Phillips, Sergeant in the 61st Foot said:- Deceased, Edward James, was a private in the 23rd Regiment, and was 22 years old. I was on picket last night (the third inst.), and at 8:30, what's by the "Dark Sun," in Chatham. I was called there by the landlady, or some other female, and on going into the taproom, I saw three four men scuffling together. Two men were on the floor, deceased being one, and another was named Shields, a private in the 23rd. I gave Shields in charge to the corporal and found deceased senseless. I sent for a stretcher, and took him with the help of others, to the hospital, but before we could get him there he was dead. He was very drunk, and Shields also had been drinking. I saw no blow, but they had evidently been a scuffle between Shields and deceased. I have heard that a private in the 23rd gave deceased whiskey before I went into the "Dark Sun."

Henry Hulsh, surgeon of the 2nd Battalion, said:- I examine the body of the deceased. I found no external marks of violence except a slight bruise on his forehead and nose, but this was not such as to have caused serious injury. The heart and lungs were highly gorged with blood. The bowels were highly congested, as also so were the spleen and kidney, and a stomach was filled with blood. In the stomach there was a strong smell of whiskey. The coat of the stomach was softened and inflamed from large quantities of raw spirit. There was an effusion of lymph in two cavities of the brain. Death was evidently caused by congestion of the lungs and brain, which might be caused by excessive drinking, or by violence of which there was no sign.

John Lear, private and the 23rd, said he was at the "Dark Sun," on the Sunday evening, with deceased and Shields. Deceased called for half a pint of whiskey, and drank it. He was drunk when he called for it and afterwards went to sleep. Shields was falling out with some girls, and tried to wake deceased to get into barracks, but finding he could not wake him, knocked him off the settle. Shields was drunk and quarrelsome, and witness went for the picket.

John Austen, Corporal in the 20th, went with picket to the "Dark Sun." He saw two or three men scuffling. Deceased was on the floor, and Shields on the top of him with his hands around his neck, as if strangling him. As Shields was being lifted off him he raised deceased's head by the hair and hit him on the back of the neck.

Harriet Downey lived at the "Dark Sun." Deceased and other soldiers came in on Sunday "May 3). Deceased and Shields being both very drunk. They became so rough that witness left the room. Lear pressed the sergeant of the picket to drink with him, but witness advised the sergeant not to do so.

The Coroner summed up briefly, and said that he thought Shields could not be convicted of manslaughter on the evidence, and the jury returned a verdict that the deceased died from excessive drinking.


South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 8 February 1859.

The Late Fatal Accident on East Kent Railway.

To the editor of The South Eastern Gazette.

Sir, A few days since, as is generally known, there was a slip of land on one of the cuttings of the East Kent Railway, which ending in death to one man, and serious injury to another. The wife of the former, anxious to see her late husband before he was buried, was obliged to pledge part of her clothes to pay her fair to Canterbury.

Some gentlemen passengers in the omnibus, seeing her destitute state, subscribed for her a few shillings, and on their arrival in Canterbury represented her case to Mr. Clements, the respected omnibus proprietor; he at once ordered some refreshment for the poor creature, who appeared hardly able to crawl, and then ordered her a fly to convey her to the hospital, to see all that remained of him who had been a partaker of her joys and sorrows for 24 years.

The poor woman's condition has since been reported to Mr. Finnegan, the manager of the East Kent Railway, and he directed the fare to be returned to her, and a pass was forwarded for her return to Chatham.

It appeared her husband was out of work more than a year, and had been working on the line of rail for 3-weeks only; he walked to his home, 24 miles on the Sunday previous; he had no money to take, as they are paid by the contractors once a month, and received tickets for provisions in the interim. The wife appeared to be in the last stages of consumption; she goes to her desolate home unable from weakness to work.

Perhaps Some of your reader's, Mr. Editor may be induced to visits and relieve this daughter of a affliction. In such hope I enclose her address and remain, Sir, yours respectfully, a commercial traveller (J.C.)

2nd February 1859.

Mary Latter near the "Dark Sun" public house, Chatham.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Tuesday 28 May 1861.

Coroner's Inquest.

The Fatal Accident at Chatham Hill.

On Tuesday morning last, an inquest was held at the "Dark Sun" public house, on the bodies of John Wisden, 40, and Henry Marsden, 8, who were killed on the Saturday morning previous, by the falling in of a chalk pit. We gave the particulars in our last. After an extremely lengthened investigation, chiefly of a speculative character as to cause, in which it was elicited that Wisden had received repeated cautions of the needless danger he was incurring.

The jury returned a verdict in each case of "Accidental Death."


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Saturday 14 July 1866.


Michael Coyle, a private in a 12th Foot, was charged with breaking into the residents of Robert Norris, the "Dark Sun" public house, Chatham, on the 9th instant, and stealing property therefrom. It appeared that upon the morning in question the prosecutor heard a noise, and going out of his bedroom saw prisoner with the property. He detained him until the police came, when he was given into custody. The prisoner, who said he had nothing to say, was committed for trial at the assizes.


Chatham News, Saturday 27 August 1870.

Robbery from the Person.

Catherine Davies an unfortunate, was charged with stealing two sovereigns and some silver money, at the "Dark Sun," on Friday the 19th instant, from the person of Michael Molloy.

From the evidence it appeared that the prosecutor, and old Irishman, who said he had been harvesting, arrived in Chatham on Friday the 19th instant. After being at other places in the town, he went to the "Dark Sun," where he met with the prisoner, who cooked him some potatoes and eggs. He was the worst for liquor, and went upstairs with the prisoner, and afterwards missed two sovereigns from his watch pocket, and 6s. or 7s. in Silver. A witness named Emily Williams stated that the prisoner on coming downstairs asked her to go up the street with her, when she showed her two sovereigns, and then went and purchased several articles, amounting to 1s 6d. Police constable Gates was sent for and the prisoner was given into custody.

The prisoner pleaded not guilty. She said the prosecutor gave her the two sovereigns, instead of two shillings, as he thought.

Committed for trial at the Maidstone Quarter Sessions.


The 1871 census lists Stephen Faucett age 40 as being a Licensed Victualler addressed at 1 Lavender Square, but no pub name given.



FARRATT H 1838+ Wright's Topography 1838

JARRETT Henry 1840+

FAUCETT Stephen 1858+

LANGFORD William 1861-62+ (age 30 in 1861Census)

COYLE Michael 1866+

NORRIS Robert 1871-74+ (age 37 in 1871Census) Licensing Records 1872

LAWRENCE Charles 1881+ (age 29 in 1881Census)


Wright's Topography 1838Wright's Topography 1838

Licensing Records 1872Licensing Records 1872



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