Sort file:- Brompton, May, 2024.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 12 May, 2024.


Earliest 1703-

Queen's Head

Latest 1935

1 High Street (Brompton Road 1828) (Garden Road 1861Census)

Old Brompton

Queen's Head 1898

Above photo 1898, from by Ben Levick. Crowds waiting for the arrival of the procession during the visit of Lord Kitchener to Brompton on November the 8th 1898. The Queen's Head public house is clearly visible on the corner. Photo by Charlesworth of 3 High Street, Brompton.

Former Queen's Head 2010 Former Queen's Head 2010

Above photos 19 June 2010, from by Ben Levick.

Queen's Head bottle 1860

Above bottle, circa 1860, kindly sent by Simon Bourne.


From the 1700s until at least 1930 this was the Queen's Head public house. Later it became part of the Army Benevolent Society and is now in private ownership.


Research compiled by Leofwine. From

The Queen’s Head has been a popular inn name since the reign of Elizabeth I, although in this case it is almost certainly named for Queen Anne, who came to the throne in 1702. The Queen’s Head is one of the oldest pubs in Brompton, built in the first decade of the village’s existence. A deed in the Medway City Archives records that in 1703 John Bigg bought the recently built ‘Queen’s Head Inn and washhouse, outhouse yard backside boards-and-room with the little room next and adjoining thereto.’ His widow was still in possession of the establishment in 1758, although it seems she was the owner, not the landlady. By the mid 1760s it was held by Isaac Phillips. A local diary later records: 26 June 1804 Philips who kept the Queens Head Brompton some years back was running after a pig and dropped down dead.

In 1808 Frederick Beaumont was licensee. During the early 19th century the ‘Nelson’ and ‘Commodore’ coaches left here for London every weekday, and the horse-drawn omnibuses for Gravesend. In 1826 it burned down but was rebuilt, and the local Licensed Victuallers’ Protection Association held their annual festival here in 1859. The Brompton Hop Dinner took place here in 1861, probably as part of the trade’s campaign for the removal of hop duties, which happened in 1862.

In 1912 exclusive seats were kept in the beer parlour for the select company of Edward Nelson, the auctioneer, Thomas Woolley, the stationer, H. P. Williams, of ‘Reciprocity’ fame, Taffy Williams, the dog fancier and W. E. Stokes, the chemist.

The licence was agreed to be transferred to a new premises (to retain the name Queen’s Head) at the junction of Woodside and Maidstone Road, Wigmore on 4th Feb 1935. This was confirmed on 8th April 1935 and declared final on 16th December 1935. The Brompton premises was required to close down on the evening of 31st January 1936. The new premises at Wigmore opened on 2nd Feb 1936.

From the 1930s (or possibly earlier), until its eventual closure in 1954, it was a hotel for Thespians and travelling players who performed at local theatres (presumably just an unlicenced lodging house after 1935). In 1955 it became The Royal Naval Benevolent Trust.


Kent Gazette Reports 4 January 1805.


Wednesday died at Brompton, Mr. J. Rowe, master of the "Queen's head."


Kentish Gazette, 4 April, 1806.


On Wednesday, Mrs. Beaumont, wife of Mr. Beaumont, of the "Queen's Head, Brompton.


From the Kentish Gazette, 1 December 1840.


Opening Dinner at the "Queen's Head Inn," Brompton.

On Tuesday last the opening dinner of Mr. T. M'Grath's house, the "Queen's Head Inn," was celebrated in the large dining-room. The most extensive and excellent arrangements were made by the worthy host to give éclat to the celebration. At 4 o’clock a party of the most respectable gentlemen and tradesmen of Chatham and Brompton to the number of sixty sat down to dinner, Mr. Thomas P. J. Rowe, high constable of Gillingham, consented to take the chair, and Mr. Rickon, one of the Churchwardens for Chatham, officiated as vice. Amongst the gentlemen present we observed Richard Winch, Esq., Mayor of Rochester on the right of the Chairman, and Mr. Joseph Hopkins, on his left, Joseph Ashley, Esq. returning officer for the Borough of Chatham, Edward Wickham, Esq., Wm. Bryant, Esq., Mr. John Batten, Mr. T. Wells, Mr. Wm. Hills, Mr. Attwood, Mr. R. Ashenden. Mr. John Harrison, Mr. Robt. Fond, Mr. James Burrill, Mr. Ed. Ballard. &c., &c. The dinner consisted of every delicacy of the season. The dessert of choice fruits, and the wines were particularly fine, and notwithstanding there were persons in the room professing Radical opinions, an evening of genuine relaxation and enjoyment was secured. After ample justice had been done to the viands, and the health of the Queen and the Royal Princess and Prince Albert had been given and lustily responded to, the Queen Dowager’s health being cheered most enthusiastically, the health of the Mayor of Rochester and the Corporation was drank, and that of high constable of Chatham and Gillingham, together with Mr. Ashley's, Colonel Beat's, and Mr. Wickham’s. The evening was spent with the greatest hilarity, and the party separated at a late hour highly delighted with the entertainment. The worthy host was complimented for his taste and judgement in catering for his guests in so superior a manner.


From the Kentish Gazette, 5 December 1848.

Sudden Death.

On Saturday. Mr. George Butcher, formerly foreman of the match makers in the Ordnance department at Chatham, from which he was superannuated, suddenly fell down and expired as he was about to ascend the omnibus for Maidstone, where he had latterly resided. An inquest was on Monday holden on the body, at the "Queen's Head," Brompton, before J. Hinde, Esq., coroner. Death appeared to have arisen from apoplexy, and the jury returned a verdict accordingly. Deceased was 80 years of age.


South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 10 March 1857.

Sudden death of a soldier.

On Tuesday last an inquest was held at the "Queen's Head Hotel," Brompton, before T. Hills, Esq., coroner, on view of the body of Bryan Carr, age 33, a private in the 70th regiment, quartered in the huts at Prince Henry's Bastion, who died very suddenly on the previous Sunday morning.

Sgt W. Welsh, of the same regiment, said the deceased had latterly been in charge of the washing house at the huts at Brompton Barracks. Witness slept in the same hut as the deceased. About 2 o'clock on Sunday morning he heard a noise as of a man falling out of bed, and on lighting the gas in the hut found the deceased lying on the floor in a state of insensibility. Witness and another soldier immediately placed the deceased in the bed and bathed his temples, but were unable to get any water down his throat.

Witness started off directly to the Garrison Hospital and told the doctor on duty there; his name, he believed, was Dr. Kelsall. He told him that there was a man dangerously ill in the huts, on which Dr. Kelsall inquired if the deceased had been drinking?

Witness told him he had not, on which Dr. Kelsall desired him to be brought to the hospital. He (witness) said the deceased was senseless, and that it would do him more harm than good to remove him, but Dr. Kelsall desired him a second time to have the deceased brought to the hospital. Witness told him that in that case he should have to go either to the Brompton-gate guard, or to the main guard, for the stretches. Dr. Kelsall made no reply, and witness then left to procure the stretchers, but on returning to the hut was informed that the soldier was dead. Witness proceeded once more to the Garrison Hospital, and told the same doctor that the deceased was dead, on which he shook his head and said "he thought as much," and then ordered the body to be brought up to the dead house. It was scarcely five minutes' walk from the huts to the hospital. The doctor did not see the deceased until after he was brought to the dead house, and then witness went to report the case the doctor was in bed. Deceased enjoyed pretty good health in general.

Dr. Andrew Maclean, senior surgeon at the Garrison Hospital, deposed that he saw the body of deceased immediately after it was taken on the dead-house, between 7 and 8 on Sunday morning. On making a post mortem examination of the body, witness found the cause of death to have resulted from a diseased heart and cerebral apoplexy. In reply to the coroner, Dr. Maclean stated that there was always a medical man on duty at the hospital to attend upon any emergency such as the present case. From the examination of the body, witness should say that deceased must have died very shortly after he fell, and that no human aid could have been of any use in saving his life. After a few observations from the coroner, the jury returned a verdict in accordance with the evidence of Dr. Maclean.


South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 16 March 1858.

Death of a soldier through the alleged violence of a comrade.

On Tuesday last an inquest was held at the "Queen's Head," Brompton, on the body of Terence Hierby, age 19, a private in the 18th Royal Irish. Before he died he made a statement to the effect that a few days before his death her had been struck in the stomach by private in the same regiment, named Nicholas Ryan, and on his saying that he would report Ryan, he (Ryan) seized a stone and struck him in the back. This was without the slightest provocation. The stone did not hurt him, but the blow in the stomach did very much. He vomited clotted blood, and was taken to the hospital, where he vomited about 2 quarts of blood, and the next day 2 more quarts. Ryan, when taxed with having struck him, denied it altogether. Deceased died on Saturday morning week. Dr. Mandeville, surgeon to the 3rd Battalion, made a post mortem examination of the body, and found that the whole of the stomach was greatly inflamed, which did not appear to be from recent causes. It might have been from a blow given the day or two before, but he thought it was of longer standing. He had looked for traces of a blow in the stomach, but could not find any.

The jury returned a verdict of "Death from chronic disease of the bowels."


From the Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, 12 October 1861.

Rochester and Chatham. Shocking Cruelty to an Infant, and Committal of the Mother for Manslaughter.

On Monday afternoon, Mr. Thomas Hills, one of the coroner's of Kent, terminated a lengthened investigation, at the "Queen's Head Tavern," Brompton, into the circumstances attending the death of an infant, age 6 months, name Sophia Mitchell, from the inhuman treatment and neglect of its mother. Before the evidence was taken the jury went to view the body of deceased, which presented the most emaciated appearance and had evidently been grossly neglected.

Margaret Nicholas, living at the "King of Prussia," said the mother of deceased lived there for two months without the child before she fixed it from the workhouse. She was in the constant habit of treating it with the greatest neglect leaving it for several hours crying by itself, while she was away drinking. Whenever witness remonstrated with her for her treatments towards it, she replied, "It is no business of yours." The only food deceased had given it was a small piece of bread soaked in gin and peppermint in a small tea cup. It never had anything else to witness's knowledge. It was never dressed, and was only wrapped around with an old shawl, which, a few days before it's death, was washed and put on it half dry. The bread and gin and peppermint was given to it once a day. The mother always appeared to have plenty of money and means to get food, as she was in the habit of staying out till 11 o'clock at night, and had not been sober for three weeks. When told her her inhuman neglect of her child, she replied she wished "the ------- thing was out of the way," adding, that when she "could get a cooks place." On the day the child was taken ill the mother went for the doctor, and after he came she did not remain with deceased, but went out. Deceased died the following day.

Mary Jane Hughes also deposed to the above effect.

Elizabeth Erith, nurse to the Chatham Workhouse, deposed that the deceased was born in the Union. The mother left with it in May, but soon after deserted it, and it was brought back again in a very emancipated state. A short time after the police brought the mother there, and the deceased was fetched away.

Elizabeth Dunn said the child was brought to her to nurse while the mother was in a situation. She was to receive 5s. per week for it; but after keeping it several weeks, and hearing nothing of the mother, she took the child to the workhouse. It had no clothes whatever to wear, and was always wrapped in a shawl.

Mr. F. Seagreen, M.D. deposed to being called to see the deceased on the evening of the 28th ult. It was then sinking fast, and was in a most emanciated state, with nothing on it but an old stinking shawl. The body was covered with marks of vermin, and altogether in a most filthy neglected state. Witness go special directions for it to be supplied with nourishments, especially drinks. It was then evidently near its death. The mother was present and appeared to be sober. He had no doubt that death was occasioned by neglect and the want of proper nourishment; in fact from sheer wasting away.

The coroner briefly addressed the jury, going over the evidence, and pointed out the law respecting manslaughter.

The jury, after deliberating about 5 minutes, returned a verdict of "Manslaughter against Helen Mitchell," the mother, and the coroner immediately issued his warrant for her apprehension and committal to Maidstone gaol to await her trial at the next assizes.


Kent Times, 10 May 1862.

BROMPTON. Death from Fighting.

An inquest was held at the "Queen's Head" on Wednesday week, before T. Hills, Esq., coroner, on the body of William Johnson, a private of the 46th Regiment.

It appeared from the evidence, that in the evening of Wednesday, the 16th of April, deceased fought with a marine, named Brown, at the "White Lion Inn." Brown had his collar-bone broken, while the deceased appeared at the time to be very little hurt. The next day he was taken ill, and on the following Thursday he died. Assistant Staff Surgeon Madden, under whose care deceased was placed, stated that death was caused by erysipelas in the head, the consequence of a scalp wound. The wound in itself was very slight, but the intemperate habits of the deceased had predisposed him to erysipelas. The inquest was adjourned for the attendance of Brown.


Maidstone Telegraph. 5 June 1869.

Robbery at an hotel.

Rebecca Murphy was charged with stealing, at the "Queens Head Hotel," Brompton, on the 31st May, one dress, four pairs stockings, a petticoat, chemise and other articles valued at £3 5s. the property of Harriet Sowter and another.

Mary Ann Smith wife of a soldier, said she managed business carried on by Mr. Sowter at the "Queens Head Hotel," Brompton, she had seen the prisoner as a customer at the bar of the hotel; on Monday evening last shortly before 8 o'clock she saw the prisoner standing in front of the bar in company with a man and woman and remained there with them until shortly before 9; she did not go out of the house but went along the passage towards the interior of the house; the prisoner returned past the bar door and she noticed that as she left the house with a man and another woman that she appeared to be very confused; very soon after the prisoner left she went upstairs to her bedroom and on entering she saw that the wardrobe was open - that door was locked up but the key was left in; she felt sure that the prisoner had stolen something and communicated her suspicions to Miss Sowter and they afterwards examined the wardrobe and she messed a dress, petticoat and apron belonging to her; the property was worth 25s. some other property belonging to Mr. Sowter was afterwards missed; as soon as she found out that a robbery had been committed the police were sent for.

Harriet Sowter said she resided at the "Queens Head Hotel," Brompton; she knew the prisoner as a customer; on the 31st May she saw the prisoner after standing in front of the bar for some time pass through to the back of the house and on her returning to go out she observed that prisoner was very confused; in consequence of what Miss Smith told her she went up into the bedroom and looked into Mrs. Sowter's drawer, she missed the quantity of linen belonging to Mrs. Sowter, and which she had put away safe herself about 12 of the same day, the articles produced by the police were her property; the brooch and earrings produced by the police were also her property but she did not miss them until they were shown to her by the inspector of police. The value of the property belonging to her, and produced by the police, was £2.

Inspector J. E. Smith said on the 1st June he went and made enquiries in Brompton respecting the robbery, and from information he received he went, accompanied by Sergeant Freed, to the married soldiers quarters, in St. Mary's Barracks, where he saw the prisoner. Police sergeant Freed said there had been a robbery at Mr. Sowter's, and that she (prisoner) was suspected of having stolen the things; the prisoner said she had nothing but what belong to her. He and Sergeant Freed then searched the room, and, concealed in the bed on which the prisoner slept, he found the earrings and brooch, in the box he had produced. He then charged the prisoner was stealing the linen and other articles. The prisoner became very violent, and he took her into custody and brought her to the station. The prisoner told him that a man name Moss gave her the box with the brooch and earrings.

Police Sergeant Freed said he accompanied inspector Smith to Brompton on the 1st June, and went with him to the place where prisoner was lodging. He told prisoner she was suspected of committing and robbery at the "Queens Head Hotel," on the previous evening, and that they intended to search the room to see if there there was any of the property there. The prisoner said she had got nothing but our own things their. He asked Mrs. Wood, who was in the room at the time, who the large box standing in the corner of the room belong to, and Mrs. Wood told them that it was the prisoners box. The box was locked and he asked prisoner for the key, and she gave it up to him after some persuasion. On opening the box he found the whole of the articles stolen, with the exception of the jewellery, wrapped up in a petticoat. The Prisoner was then taken into custody.

Hannah Wood said her husband was a private soldier in the 27th regiment, residing in the married quarters at St Mary's Barracks. On the 22nd of May she employed the prisoner to do some work for her as she was engaged to go out nursing an officer's lady who was unwell; on the 13th of June she was at home in the morning about 10 o'clock, when the police came, and she saw the inspector take the small box containing the jewellery from out of the bed on which Mrs. Murphy (the prisoner) has slept on the previous night; she also saw the policeman take the linen articles from a box belong to the prisoner.

The prisoner said she was not guilty of stealing the things; she got them from an officers servant, who told her that they were his wife's property, and that he had just released them from the pawn office; he asked her to take care of them for him, as she was going to the "wake" of a man named Shelton who have died that day; she locked the things up in her box, and then went to the "wake" herself; she knew nothing at all about the things being stolen until the police came on Tuesday morning.

The Magistrates committed the prisoner to take her trial of the next quarter sessions for the County.



BIGG John 1703-15+

SMART Robert 1754-55

BIGG Mrs 1756

WHITE Thomas 1756-57

BIGG Dorothy (Widow) 1758

WHITE Mr 1758

DAY William 1758-61

DAY Elizabeth (Widow) 1762-63

PHILLIPS Isaac 1766-69+

ROWE J Mr to Jan/1805 dec'd


WILCOCKS Thomas 1828+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29 (Brompton Road)

HODGSKIN John 1828-40+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34

M'GRATH T Mr 1840+

SOWTER Robert 1849-77+ (age 43 in 1851Census)

SOWTER Elizabeth 1880

STEVENS Mary A 1881+ (manageress age 32 in 1881Census)

SOUTER Mrs Elizabeth 1882

SAVAGE William 1890-1911 Kelly's 1903

CRITCHELL Joseph Ashley 1913-16

RUSSELL Gertrude Mrs 1918

RUSSELL Edward 1919-21

RUSSELL Gertrude Mrs 1922

RUSSELL Edmund 1922-23

NICHOL Victor 1924

RUSSELL E F Mrs 1925

HOOD Robert 1926-27

BLACKMAN Russell Thomas 1928

ROOTS Edwin Charles 1928

MUSSON William C 1930

GIBBENS William Charles 1931-11/Apr/32

DOBBY Benjamin Harry 11/Apr/193231/Jan/36

Closed as a licensed premises 31 Jan 1936 as a pub and transferred to Wigmore, but appears to have remained as a lodging house in Brompton until 1954.

HOLBEN Arthur S 1938-51


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:-