Sort file:- Chatham, July, 2019.

Page Updated:- Friday, 26 July, 2019.


Earliest 1793-


Latest ????

53 Brook


Swan painting

Above painting by N. T. Gibber mid 19th century, showing a "Scene at the Swan."


The Licensing Records of 1872 stated the premises held a Full License and was owned by James Hulkes of Frindsbury.

There may have been two pubs with this name having found two licensees for the same year. The other "Swan" having the address of Wood Street.


Local knowledge, further pictures, and licensee information would be appreciated.

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.


From the Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, 3 August 1861.

Concealment of Childbirth that Chatham.

Robert Barrow and Amelia Barrow his wife, were severely indicted for the wilful murder of an infant female child, at Chatham. Mr. Russell appeared for the prosecution, and Mr. Ripton for the prisoners.

Mr. Smith, in an able address, having opened the case for the prosecution, observing that the case the jury had to inquire into was one of the most serious character, - the charge against the prisoners was that of being concerned in the death of an infant child.

Alfred King, 10 years of age, residing at Brompton, said that he was with two other boys by the wall of Chatham dockyard at about 2 o'clock on the afternoon of July, picking up snails for his blackbird. He saw some blood on the pathway, with two stones lying at about 20 yards from the pathway in some nettles, and the body of a little child. The child was quite dead.

Joseph Philman, a marine, gave similar evidence to the last witness. He went up once for a policeman. The policeman carried the child away to the "Swan Inn." There was blood on the child's face and neck.

John Charles Saxton, baker and confectioner, High Street, Brompton, said:- The female prisoner was in my service. She slept out of my house, at her father's. On 29th June prisoner asked for leave of absence for the following day to go to London. She did not return on Monday. Her mother came and did her work. I had noticed the prisoner was pregnant about 2 months before her leaving.

Elizabeth Holloway, said that on Sunday evening 30th June, at twelve minutes past nine, she saw the female prisoner walking from the Marine barracks towards the dockyard gates, she saw the prisoner walking with a sapper, and going in the direction of Brompton. The sapper was dressed in forage cap and tunic. The female prisoner appeared very ill and unable to walk. Witness passed them about midway between the barracks and the dockyard gates. The females prisoner had hold of the soldier's arm.

By Mr. Addison:- A great many persons pass that way.

By Mr. Smith:- The direction in which the prisoner and sapper will going would lead them to the field where the child was found.

By the Judge:- It was about 10 minutes' walk to the spot where the child was found from where I saw the prisoners.

Rose Frances lodged at the "Swan Inn" on the 30th of June last:- On looking out of the window between 9 and 10 o'clock she saw a sapper and a girl crossing the road. The girl, who seemed in great distress, had on a light cotton dress, and was begging of the man not to leave her. The man replied that it was nearly time he was in barracks. They then went towards the steps leading to the dockyard field. She saw no more of them.

Charles Fulcher saw blood near the pathway and two stones lying on it on the morning of the 1st July. Had seen the woman about 10 the previous evening lying with her face on the grounds near the place where he saw the blood. The only person he met was a man in plain clothes about 200 yards from where the woman was lying.

Mr. Weeks, surgeon, deposed that on the 1st July he saw the child lying in some nettles on the bank; it was quite dead. It was a female child and full-grown. Made a post mortem examination and found scratches around the neck, and there were also punctured wounds on the head and body, with bruises around each, which appeared as if caused by stones. The mouth was empty, but he found a piece of grass in the throat, which proved that the child must have breathed. Was sent for by Superintendent Everist to the house of the female prisoner, whom he found in bed. She has recently been delivered of a child, which, in his opinion, was born alive. Saw a light dress, the bottom part of which appeared to have been washed at a different time from the upper. Saw blood on the soles of the female prisoners shoes. On his examination before the magistrates, he was shown a pair of trousers and shirt, on which were spots of blood.

By Mr. Biron:- The appearance of the child was not consistent with premature or unassisted birth.

By the Judge:- The skull was not injured in any of the parts where the wounds were.

Superintendent Everist deposed to going to prisoner's house on the 3rd June, between 8 and 9 o'clock. Saw the male prisoner coming out. Found the female prisoner in bed, and told her a child had been found, killed, by the dock wall, and told her he wished to question her, but she might do as she pleased about answering. She denied having recently given birth to a child. Witness told her he should send for a surgeon. Prisoner's mother said that her daughter had been prematurely delivered of a child the Sunday previous, and that it was a miscarriage. Prisoner said she had been married to the male prisoner the previous Sunday. Found articles of female under-clothing covered with blood. He took her into custody and then went to the Sapper barracks, and told prisoner that from information he received he thought it his duty to take him into custody. The prisoner replied that he was married to the woman on Sunday, and on coming home from a walk she was taken ill, and that was all he knew about it.

Police-constable Jobling gave corroborative evidence as to the finding of the articles of dress, and also produced the tunic and shirt of the male prisoner on which were marks of blood. When witness pointed out to witness the marks of blood on the sleeve of the shirt he made no remark.

Colour sergeant Campbell said that the prisoner belong to his company, and had a pass till 11 o'clock on the Sunday evening in question.

Caroline Ely deposed to lodging in the prisoner's father's house, and to hearing the prisoners come home about 11 o'clock on the Sunday night in question, and heard the male prisoner say goodnight.

Catherine Shonk, wife of Stephen Shonk, who resides at the Chatham lock-up deposed to the prisoner having been brought to the lock-up on Friday the 5th of July. She stated to witness that on Sunday evening she went for a walk with a male prisoner to Luton. They went to the tea gardens there, and had two or three pots of ale. When they returned home they came out of the "Star," at the top of Chatham Hill. They got home about 11, and the prisoner stayed with her a few minutes and then bid her good night.

Corporal McCoy, who had charge of the Brompton barrack gate on the night of the 30th of June, deposed to receiving the prisoners pass at the gate at about 11 o'clock.

This being the whole of the evidence.

Mr. Addison then briefly, but ably addressed the jury for the male prisoner, urging that it was inconceivable that on the same day the prisoners were married they should have concocted such a cold blooded murder, and that without any apparent object. It was not remarkable that the prisoner should be seen with his wife on her marriage day, but he submitted that there was nothing to connect him with the woman who was seen lying on her face in the field where the child was found, nor was there anything whatever in the evidence to connecting with a death of the child.

Mr. Biron then address the jury for the female prisoner, complaining that the medical testimony was of a very unsatisfactory nature, and he did not believe the jury would think it sufficient to justify them in convicting the prisoner.

His Lordship summed up at considerable length, remarking that the points for the jury to consider were, whether the child had had separate existence, whether the child found was the child of the female prisoner, and whether the male prisoner was in any way connected with it's death.

The jury then retired to consider their verdict, and after an absence of 40 minutes, acquitted both prisoners of murder, but found the female prisoner Guilty of Concealment of Birth, and she was sentenced to 3 months' imprisonment.



JACKSON Robert 1793+ Trade Directory 1793

WEBB Thomas 1793+ Trade Directory 1793

RELF Thomas 1872-81+ (age 55 in 1881Census) Licensing Records 1872

PRNFIELD Harry 1891+ (age 50 in 1891Census)

COCKRILL Benjamin William 1901-1903+ (age 24 in 1891Census)

BIDWELL Herbert Walter 1911-22+ (age 45 in 1911Census)

RATTRAY David B 1930+

MOORE James William 1938+



Trade Directory 1793Universal British Directory of Trade 1793

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:-