Sort file:- Rainham, June, 2023.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 11 June, 2023.


Earliest 1861-

Man of Kent

2008 (Name to)

Broad Walk / Watling Street


Men of Kent 1937

Above photo circa 1937, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Men of Kent 1938

Above photo circa 1938, kindly sent by Garth Wyver and Debi Birkin.

Man of Kent

Above postcard, date unknown.

Former Man of Kent 2010

Above photo 2010 by David Anstiss Creative Commons Licence.

Man of Kent signMan of Kent sign

Above signs, dates unknown, kindly sent by Debi Birkin. At present not sure whether these are correct for this pub.

The one on the left is the same as the "Man of Kent" at Ashford, and the one on the right the same as the "Man of Kent" at Crundale and also the "Man of Kent" at High Halden. Confirmation required please.

Man of Kent card 1937

Above card circa 1937, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.


First identified in the 1861 census, with James Brooker and his wife Sarah as the licensees. The name being derived from those born east of the Medway.

Recently the sign which I haven't got a copy of yet, featured two men, one recognisably Charles Dickens, the other anonymous.

This was one of the pubs that boasted an indoor skittle alley attached to the house, and this was later converted to a tearoom. The Tudor Cafe situated next door offered an alternative venue for refreshments for those who didn't wish for alcoholic beverages, but the pub was still a favourite stop-off for coaches travelling to and from the Thanet coast before the M2 was opened.

A hop garden just opposite was a scene of excitement during the war when a German pilot was captured there. Children collecting shrapnel spotted the parachute descending, and they and their mothers watched as the airman, offering no resistance, were surrounded by pole-pullers and arrested without incident.

The small houses to the right in the photograph, whose rents were devoted to the poor of Rainham, were called Almshouse Cottages, while Meresborough Road was once known as Almshouse Lane, (sometimes East Kent Lane).

I am informed that there used to be a pottery business on the A2 that unfortunately closed in the 1970s, and this referred to the pub as the "Man of Kent" and not "Men," but that may have been an error on their part.

Further research tells me that it did in fact change name to the "Men of Kent" in 2008 and closed one year later. So much for changing tradition. However, I have recently seen evidence that it was the "Men of Kent" as early as 1937. Did it ever have the name of Man at all?

The pottery next door at one time operated a tea-room, also called the "Man of Kent Cafe."


South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 9 July 1861.

Shocking Accident.

An inquest was held at the "Man of Kent," before T Hills, Esq., coroner, on Wednesday last, on the body of a lad nearly 11 years of age, named Henry Miles.

It appeared that the deceased was at work in a field on Tuesday last, and that about 12 he went into an orchard adjoining, for the purpose of getting some cherries. While there a man in the employ of Mr. Watson, named Croucher, came from the orchard where he has been minding the fruit, and seeing something in a tree which he mistook for a bird, he fired his gun, and unfortunately shot the poor boy.

Mr Everest, surgeon, was soon in attendance, but the life was extinct.

Verdict, "Death from misadventure."

Croucher was brought before the magistrates at Sittingbourne on Friday, and was liberated on sureties being entered for his appearance when called upon.


Kentish Gazette, Tuesday 24 September 1861.

James Brooker, of the "Man of Kent Inn," Rainham was summoned for having his premises open for the sale of beer during prohibited hours on Sunday, the 18th August. Mr. Hills, of Chatham, appeared for the defendant, who pleaded "not guilty". Police-constable Relf stated that about 20 minutes past eleven on Sunday, the 18th ultimo, ho was passing the house of defendant, and hearing a number of voices, he went to the back of the house, and found five men standing at the back door, and nine men in the stable, some smoking, having three quart pots and one pint pot, containing beer. He knew some of the men; they were not lodgers nor travellers. There were five men in the garden, but they got away.

By Mr. Hills: I am aware that defendant sells market produce. There was no one in the house.

Mr. Hills, for the defence, said that several of the persons found there came for potatoes, and others for cabbage, &c., which defendant is in the habit of selling; that the remainder were lodgers, and he would prove that the beer they were drinking was drawn for the lodgers, and by them taken away to the stable for their use in the morning, and that there was none drawn by defendant that morning. He called Thomas Nott, who stated that he was a lodger, and with seven other men, inhabited the stable. The beer the policeman saw was drawn for them on the Saturday night. He paid for a portion of it. The witness most distinctly swore that no beer was brought from the house.

William Andrews, another lodger, was also called and corroborated these statements.

Mr. Hills submitted that his client had not transgressed, and that there was to case.

The bench decided otherwise, and inflicted a penalty of 1 and costs 14s.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser - Monday 5 December 1864.

Georgt Pettit, a labourer, living at Bobbing, was charged with stealing a coat, of the value of 3s., the property of Allan Smith, a labourer, living at Newington. Prosecutor stated that on Saturday morning, the 26th November, he left his coat on a tub in the Skittle-alley of the "Man of Kent," Rainham. He went for it about half-past one, and found it was gone. Police-constable Morgan stated that he apprehended the prisoner at Bobbing Court, about half-past four on the 26th Nov. He was at work in a stable. He found the coat be now produced, and which was identified by the prosecutor, in the loft over the stable. Prisoner told him he had taken the coat by mistake. Jane Miller, a woman, living at Rainham, from seeing the prisoner take the coat and go away with it. Prisoner pleaded guilty, and was remanded till the 6th December, to be dealt with under the Criminal Justices Act.


East Kent Gazette, Saturday 12 June 1869.

RAINHAM. Inquest.

On Tuesday an inquest was held at "Man of Kent" public-house, Rainham, before Mr. Coroner Hills, on the body of Harriet Webb, 33 years of age, who died on Sunday evening. It appeared that the deceased was attended by a midwife named Smith in her confinement, and about an hour after the birth of the child dangerous symptoms set in. Mr. Everett, surgeon, was called to see her, but the case was hopeless, and she died ten minutes afterwards. The infant survives, and there are five other children. The jury considered the circumstances of the case, and acquitted the midwife of blame, as she was only called in during the afternoon. They returned a verdict of "Death from natural causes."


East Kent Gazette, Saturday 4 December 1869.


In the matter of JAMES BROOKER, of Quay-lane, in the Parish of Rainham, in the Count of Kent, Carter, before that of Quay-lane aforesaid, Carter and Farmer, before that of Quay-lane aforesaid, and of the "Man of Kent," Moor-street, Rainham aforesaid, Carter and Victualler, adjudged Bankrupt on the 27th day of January, 1869.

A MEETING of the CREDITORS of this will be held before the Registrar, at the County Court Office, High-street, Sittingbourne, on the 10th day of December, 1809, at Two o'clock in the Afternoon, for the purpose of declaring a Dividend, and also whether any allowance shall be made to the Bankrupt.

Proofs of Debt will be received, and Creditors who have not yet proved, and do not then prove, will be excluded the benefit of the Dividend.

JNO. A. ANDERSON, High Bailiff.


East Kent Gazette, Saturday 1 July 1871.

Alleged robbery from the person at Rainham.

Alfred Newman, 22, hawker, and Ellen Levett, 26, married woman, were indicted for stealing 2 2s. 1d. and a purse, the property of Alfred Webb, from his person at Rainham, on the 20th April.

Mr. F. J. Smith prosecuted, and in his opening remarks said the evidence in this case as regarding stealing the person money pointed more to the male than to the female prisoner, but my evidence as to feloniously receiving the money would be brought against the female.

William Still depose:- I am a labourer, living at Rainham. On the 20th of April I was at the "Man of Kent" public house, Rainham. Both prisoners were there. A concertina was sent for, and the male prisoner danced with the prosecutor, Alfred Webb. After they had danced they sat down together on a stool in front of the fire. The female prisoner was sitting on the stairs. I saw the male prisoner put his hand quickly into the prosecutors pocket. I could not see whether he took anything out of the pocket. The male prisoner then went to the female, and put his arms around her neck. Both went outside for about 5-minutes. Epps was sitting beside me at the time.

By the chairman:- There were several others in the house when this occurred. Prosecuted danced with another man before she danced with a male prisoner.

Alfred Webb deposed:- I am a private soldier in the 19th Regiment. In April last I was on furlough at Rainham. On the 20th April I was in the "Man of Kent" public house. Between 8 and 9 o'clock in the evening the two prisoners came into the house, and I danced for the male prisoner. I paid for some beer, and put my purse in my right hand trousers pocket. It was safe there while I danced with the prisoner. After dancing, the male prisoner sat beside me on a stool in front of the fire, and I felt his hand come out of my right hand trousers pocket. I immediately got up, and, feeling in my pocket, found my purse, containing about 2 2s. was gone. I went to the landlord, at the bar, to send for the police, and in the meantime the two prisoners went out in the backyard together. I asked the male prisoner for my purse, and he denied taking it. The policeman came about a quarter of an hour after this, and I gave the two prisoners into custody.

By the Chairman:- I danced with some one, a perfect stranger to me, before I danced with a male prisoner. I was in the house from half-past 2 in the afternoon till half-past 9 in the evening. None of the person's in the room were drunk; they were "fresh." Witness here caused much amusement in court by attempting to describe, in answer to the chairman, the difference between being drunk and "fresh."

Re-examined:- I was not anyway drunk at the time, I knew what I was doing. I had 4 sovereigns in gold when I first went into the house.

Henry Epps depose:- I am a labourer living at Rainham. I was at the "Man of Kent" public house on the 20th of April, in company with the witness Still.

Witnessed corroborated the evidence given by Still.

By the Chairman:- Prosecutor was the worst for liquor when this affair occurred.

Poloce Constable Webster, stationed at Rainham, deposed:- On the 20th of April I went to the "Man of Kent" public house, and received the prisoner into custody. They were searched. I found only 1s. 1d. on the male prisoner. I have made every possible search, but have failed to find the purse.

By the male prisoner:- Most of those present were rather "freshy." they had been drinking.

The male prisoner, in defence, said he knew nothing about this matter.

The female made a long statement, the object of which was to show that she had nothing to do with what she turned "the unfortunate occurrence."

William Callaghan, the female prisoner's brother, and the former employer of Newman, was called to give evidence as to the previous character of the prisoners.

The Chairman having summed up the evidence, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty in the case of each prisoner.


East Kent Gazette, Saturday 1 July 1871.

Rainham. A Singular Discovery.

As will be seen by our report of the trial of prisoners at the East Kent Quarter Sessions, at Canterbury, on Tuesday last, the prisoners, Alfred Newman and Ellen Levett, charged with robbing a soldier of his purse and a quantity of money at the "Man of Kent" public-house, in this village, were acquitted.

In company with Levett's brother they returned from Canterbury by train, and alighted at the Rainham station, from whence they immediately went to the "Man of Kent" and while the two men were drinking at the bar, the woman was observed in the lane at the side of the house, apparently searching for something. The landlady of the public-house went to her, and asked her what she was looking for, when the woman made no reply, but stopped searching. A few yards from this spot, police-constable Webster shortly afterwards found the purse belonging to the soldier, which contained several shillings at the time it was recovered.


Kentish Gazette, Tuesday 28th May 1872.

Petty Sessions. The monthly Petty Sessions were held on Monday week, before E. Twopenny, Esq., Rev. G. B. Moore, J. D. Dyke, Esq. and W. Water, Esq.

William Jenkins, of the "Man of Kent" beer house, Rainham, James Akhurst, of the "Three Mariners" public house, Lower Rainham, and William Stephens, of the "Railway Arch" Beer House, Sittingbourne, were severely charged with keeping their houses open for the sale of beer at prohibited hours on Sundays.

Mr Hayward appeared for Stevens and contended that his client was not liable on the ground that the room in which the parties were drinking, which form part of a cottage adjoining the defendants house, but with which there was an internal communication with the beer house, was underlet to a man named Terry.

The magistrates considered the separation between the rooms was insufficient. The Bench considered all three cases proved.

Those of Jenkins and Akhurst were adjourned till next month for the production of their licences.

Stevens was fined 2 and 10s. costs.


East Kent Gazette, Saturday 21 June 1873.

Extension of Hours.

Permission was granted to William Deacon, (possible error) landlord of the "Man of Kent" public-house, Rainham, to keep his house open an hour later on Saturday next, it being the occasion of the anniversary dinner of the benefit club held there.


East Kent Gazette, Saturday 12 July 1913.

Co-operative Employers' Outing.

The annual outing of the employees and friends of the Rainham Co-operative Society, Limited, took place on the 2nd instant, and proved a great success. The Rainham party were joined by a party from the Hoo Co-operative Society, the whole numbering 65. Two motor char-a-bancs (from Sittingbourne and Maidstone) had been engaged. and the party motored to the "Anchor Inn," Ospringe, where they had breakfast. There the journey to Margate was resumed, this favourite resort being reached in good time. At Margate the party dispersed, and spent the day as they chose. On the return journey in the evening a brief halt was made at the "Falstaff," Canterbury, and advantage was taken of the opportunity to pass a hearty vote of thanks to the Rainham Society for voting three guineas to the outing fund, and also of thanking Mr. A. W. Barnes, the managing-secretary, for the excellent manner in which he had carried out the arrangements for the day. The homeward journey was then resumed, and the party pulled up at the "Man of Kent," the house of Mr. F. Barden, the President of the Society, at 10.30, having had a delightful trip.


East Kent Gazette, Saturday 7 April 1923.

Death of Mr. Barden.

We regret to have to record the death of Mr. Frederick H. Barden, licensee of the "Man of Kent," Moor Street, Rainham, the sad event occurring on Sunday last.

Mr. Barden had been in failing health recently, but it was only as recently as Friday in the last week that he was taken ill seriously with asthma, pneumonia supervening. Despite the skilful attention of his medical attendant, Dr. Irby Webster. Mr. Barden passed away in the middle of the day. Mr. Barden, who was 66 years of age, was born in Rainham, and spent all his life there. He had been licensee of the "Man of Kent" for very many years. He will be best known, however, from his close association with Co-operation in Rainham. He was one of the pioneers of the Co-operative movement at Rainham, and he was the first and only President the society has had, a post he ably held for 15 years. In fact it was only through failing health that he had just retired from the position. In recognition of his splendid services the society at the last quarterly meeting decided to present him with a gold watch and chain, and illuminated address, and the presentation was to have taken place at the end of this month. Unfortunately death has intervened and consequently all the arrangements are upset. Mr. Barden was for a time a member of the parish council. He took a keen interest in parochial affairs, and as President of the Co-operative Society he displayed great ability, rugged determination, and good organising powers. His death is generally regretted in the parish. He leaves a widow, five sons and two daughters. The interment took place at Rainham yesterday (Friday) afternoon, particulars of which will appear in our next issue.


East Kent Gazette, Saturday 21 April 1923.


Mrs. Mary Ann Barden was granted a transfer of the license of the "Man of Kent," Rainham, held for seventeen years by her late husband, Frederick H. Barden.


East Kent Gazette, Friday 1 April 1949.

Rabbit Show.

The Rainham Society's spring show was held at the "Man of Kent" on Saturday when there were over 100 entries. Best exhibit was a Polish Rex shown by Mr. Bryant. Other winners were Mr. P. Trice (Havana) and Mr. E. J. Clements (silver fox).



The pub closed in 2009 and was converted into an Indian Restaurant.

The census's and directories often inaccurately referred to this as the "Men of Kent," as I am under the impression that it didn't have that name officially till 2008.



BROOKER James 1861-67+ (age 37 in 1861Census) Post Office Directory 1862Post Office Directory 1866

JENKINS William 1867-85+ (age 45 in 1881Census) Kent Harrods Directory 1867Post Office Directory 1870Post Office Directory 1874Mannings & Co Directory 1877Post Office Directory 1878Kelly's 1887Kelly's 1891Kelly's 1895

STEWART John 1899-05+ (age 56 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1899Kelly's 1903Kelly's 1905

BARDEN Frederick Horace "Moses" 1906-Apr/23 (age 54 in 1911Census) Kelly's 1907Sitingbourne District Parrett's Directory 1908Kelly's 1909Kelly's 1922

BARDEN Mary Ann Apr/1923-35+ Kelly's 1924Kelly's 1927Kelly's 1830Kelly's 1933Kelly's 1934Kelly's 1935

FRENCH George 1937-39 Kelly's 1937Kelly's 1838Kelly's 1939

DAVIES Harold O 1939-57+ Kelly's 1948Kelly's 1957

LACEY Barry 1971+ Kelly's 1971

COX H 1972-74+ Kelly's 1972Kelly's 1973Kelly's 1974

???? Tom & Eileen 1975+



Post Office Directory 1862From the Post Office Directory 1862

Post Office Directory 1866From the Post Office Directory 1866-67

Kent Harrods Directory 1867From Kent Harrods Directory 1867

Post Office Directory 1870From the Post Office Directory 1870

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Mannings & Co Directory 1877Mannings & Co Directory 1877

Post Office Directory 1878From the Post Office Directory 1878

Kelly's 1887From the Kelly's Directory 1887

Kelly's 1891From the Kelly's Directory 1891

Kelly's 1899From the Kelly's Directory 1899

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Kelly's 1905From the Kelly's Directory 1905

Kelly's 1907From the Kelly's Directory 1907

Sitingbourne District Parrett's Directory 1908From the Sittingbourne District Parrett's Directory 1908

Kelly's 1909From the Kelly's Directory 1909

Kelly's 1922From the Kelly's Directory 1922

Kelly's 1924From the Kelly's Directory 1924

Kelly's 1927From the Kelly's Directory 1927

Kelly's 1830From the Kelly's Directory 1930

Kelly's 1933From the Medway Kelly's Directory 1933

Kelly's 1934From the Kelly's Directory 1934

Kelly's 1935From the Medway Kelly's Directory 1935

Kelly's 1937From the Medway Kelly's Directory 1937

Kelly's 1838From the Kelly's Directory 1938

Kelly's 1939From the Medway Kelly's Directory 1939

Kelly's 1948From the Medway Kelly's Directory 1948

Kelly's 1957From the Medway Kelly's Directory 1957

Kelly's 1971From the Medway Kelly's Directory 1971

Kelly's 1972From the Medway Kelly's Directory 1972

Kelly's 1973From the Medway Kelly's Directory 1973

Kelly's 1974From the Medway Kelly's Directory 1974


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