Page Updated:- Monday, 28 March, 2022.


Earliest ????


Closed 25 Jan 1912

The Square (Adj. Maidstone Road)



Licensee list found in various editions of the Kent and Sussex Courier.


Kent & Sussex Courier, 30, September 1892.

The Husar, Lenham.

Mr Mowll, of Dover, applied for the renewal of the licence of the above named house.

Superintendent Holman objected to the renewal on the grounds that the tenant, Thomas Bramble, was not a fit and proper person to hold the licence, and that the said premises, in respect of what he held the licence was of a disorderly character, and frequented by persons of bad character, thieves and prostitutes. A copy of this notice has been served on the applicant.

Superintendent Holman being sworn, said that on March 21st, then then tenant, Robert Goodbody, was convicted of selling beer during prohibited hours, and fined 2.10s. On the same day he was further summoned for permitting gaming in his house, and a further fine of 2 10s. was imposed. The licence was also indorsed. Both offences were committed on the same day, vis., March 3rd.

I.C. Joy deposed that on the 3rd March, he visited the "Husser," Lenham, about half-past ten at night. he found two persons in the house with the landlord and landlady, and he had previously heard long indecent and disgraceful conversation. He had also seen a Mrs Potter, known to be of a loose character, and a woman, named Shrubsole, a prostitute, in the house, and both would go away with young men. He saw this during February and March. The names of the two men he had spoken of were Bromley and Turk. The landlord was convicted on March 21st at that court for selling liquor after hours, and also for permitting gaming. The licence was also indorsed. The house was also frequented generally by thieves and prostitutes, and conducted very badly. The roughest element of the place used the house. All this happened in Goodbodys time.

The Chairman:- What has been the conduct of the house since the licence was transferred?

Superintendent Holman said the licence has been transferred, and he had nothing to say against the present tenant.

The Chairman (to Joy):- Do you know that the licence has been transferred?

I.C Joy:- No, sir, I do not; I am away from there now.

The Chairman:- You speak of prostitutes. Why do you speak of them as prostitutes? The Constable:- I know them to be prostitutes, and I've seen them leave the house and go away with young men.

The Chairman:- Have you seen them?

The Constable:- Yes, sir.

Answering Mr. Mowll, witness said that the names of the two women were Potter and Shrubsole. Both offences for which Goodbody was convicted were committed on the same day, and the prosecution was the result of his watching the house. He did not know the present occupier of the house, and he did not know anything as to the conduct of the house since Goodbody left.

Superintendent Holman repeated that he has nothing to say against the conduct of the house since Goodbody left. Since Mr. Bramble had been there it was well conducted, as he had said in his report.

Mr. Mowll then addressed the Bench. He said that the notice would have been read, and which had been served on the present tenant, Thomas Bramble, containing grounds which it was for the police to support in opposition of the renewal of the licence of Thomas Bramble. The notice has been served on him, and said that he was not a fit and proper person, and not of good character, to hold a licence for the sale of intoxicating liquor. Now they had not once thread of evidence proving that. On the contrary, the superintendent admitted that he was of good character and a fit and proper person to have the licence transferred to him. He considered it was a hardship on Bramble to have such a character imputed to him, and in support of which there was not the slightest tittle of Evidence. The second ground of the objection was that the premises in respect of which the licence was granted were of a disorderly character. As to that, they had not a scrap of evidence as regarding the present time. They were taken back to last February, and he would point out to the Bench they were confined to the four corners of the notice. He maintained that the notice should have read that during the tenancy of Goodbody the house was of a disorderly character, but it said nothing of the sort. It said that it was now of a disorderly character, but what possessed the Superintendent to say so in the notice and then say that he had in Court he did not know. Since Bramble have been there he had proved himself to be a respectable tenant. Thirdly, the Superintendent said that the house was frequented by thieves and prostitutes and others of bad character. Here, again, they he had not a scrap of evidence as to thieves visiting the house. They had evidence as to two women who have done so, but this was last February and March, and not during the tenancy the present occupier. Mr Mowll also preceded to point out that their Worships had temporarily transferred the licence to Bramble, who had paid the valuation; and if they did not transfer the licence it will practically put him into the streets. He also wish to point out that directly the owners of the house (Messrs, Isherwood, Foster, and Stacey, Maidstone) heard of the complaints against Goodbody and before he was convicted, they gave him notice to quit and he left the house. They asked the Bench to take everything into consideration, to consider the action of the owner's, and the present tenant's character; and then he did not think that they would see fit to take away the licence. Mr Mowll then called Superintendent Holman, who said that the present tenant was a good character, and he proved his testimonials when a temporary authority was granted him. He had not heard nothing since to alter his opinions.

Mr Alfred Ernest Keys, managing director to Messrs. Isherwood, Foster, and Co., Limited, said his company were the owners of the house in question. He gave Goodbody three months notice to quit on the 8th March. Up to the time that they heard of the complaints they had every reason to believe that Goodbody was conducting the house properly. They had an excellent character with the present tenant, and since he had been in possession they had had no complaints.

The Bench retired and on their return the Chairman said that the licence will be renewed to Thomas Bramble.


The Courier, 10 March, 1905.

The Hussar, Lenham.

Mr. Lance Monkton, solicitor, supported the renewal of this "on" beer house.

Police Sergeant Martia said the housing question for situated in Lenham Square. The population was 1,755, and the area 7,144 acres. There were 11 licensed houses in the district - viz. 7 ale, 3 beer, and one "off" licensed house. The population per house was 159, and there were three other fully licensed houses within a radius of 40 yards.

Mr. Walter Lewis, the licensee, said he had been in the house for six years. he had worked up the trade, till now it was a very considerable house of call for the drovers and waggoners passing by. he had more than doubled his trade during the last five years. During that time he had served 4,325 meals. He tried to make his house more like a working man's home for his customers.

The decisions.

After a retirement of nearly three quarters of an hour, the Chairman announced the Magistrates decisions as follows:- The "Hussar," Lenham, renewed.


Information taken from the Lenham History Society accessed September 2020.

The Hussar beerhouse. By Amy Myers.

The Hussar beerhouse was sold at auction and its licence revoked on 25th January 1912. By the outbreak of war in 1914 its premises had become our present post office run by John Hughes whose family ran it for many decades to come. However, when the Hussar sprang into being is not clear. Its name is an unusual, but not unknown, name for a pub. The theory in one Dictionary of Pub Names is that the name probably comes from the 11th Hussars

Hussars' Officer 1868

Officers oft he 11th Hussars, ca. 1856.

(Prince Albert’s Own) Regiment, famous for its part in the Charge of the Light Brigade in 1854.

Another possibility is that the name of the Hussar in Lenham stems from the late eighteenth century when Kent suffered from the fear of invasion from France after 1778 when France declared its support for America in its War of Independence.

All routes to London were carefully guarded and there were many military camps of which Lenham Heath was one, with Lenham village becoming a handy source of off-duty pleasure.

The peace treaty was signed seven years later and Lenham Heath camp was no longer active.

William Carter, one of the disbanded soldiers stationed there, wrote an elegy in its honour in 1785, including what might have been a tribute to the Hussar:

'The sun-burnt soldier at an alehouse door

'Pays from his scant purse his last night’s score

'And as his host a parting draught bestows

'The cum’brous belt o’er his broad shoulder throws

'Adjusts his knapsack shakes his landlord’s hand

'His musket grasps and takes his silent stand.

If that alehouse was indeed the Hussar, its publican remains nameless. More is known of its later publicans. In 1911 Alfred Pluck was a publican there, and later he moved on to Harrietsham. In 1886 as a corporal in the Royal Scots (Lothian) Regiment he had won a Good Conduct prize. Unfortunately the words good conduct could not be applied to all the Hussar’s publicans. On 30th December 1892 the Kent & Sussex Courier reported the distressing case of the then tenant of the Hussar, Thomas Bramble, on the grounds that he was not a fit and proper person to hold the licence, as the beerhouse was frequented by persons of bad character, thieves and prostitutes. Evidence was produced to this effect by the police that ‘the roughest element of the place used the house’. It seemed an open and shut case – except that it turned out that the tenant at the time had not been Thomas Bramble but 27-year-old Robert Goodbody and the licence had since changed hands. Thomas left the hearing without a stain on his character and the licence was duly renewed.

A happier tale is that of the splendidly named Augustus Worledge who was the licensee in 1907. Born in 1866 in Plymouth, he had married Emmeline Bauckham in the Medway area in 1906. In 1909 a happy event took place at the Hussar when Emmeline gave birth to their son, also splendidly named Augustus.

Today the only visible sign of the history of the Hussar is part of the word Taproom in the brickwork that used to be the rear of the beerhouse and is now private property. In the Hussar’s time the premises were much larger than they are for today’s post office, described in the auction details as consisting of a shop, parlour, kitchen, scullery, living room, large club room and four bedrooms with cellar etc. When the Hussar was up for sale, John Hughes had the choice of buying that or the "Chequers" which was also on the market. He chose the old Hussar to be not only his post office but his family home and now Lenham has both "Chequers" and the post office as thriving and indispensable amenities.


From an email received 27 March 2022.

In my family history I have found some of my grandmother's relatives ran the 'Fortune of War' pub for many years.

William Goodbody born 1858 took over ‘The Fortune of War’ 126, Upper Stone Street, Maidstone in 1882 and ran it until his death aged 71 in 1929. His son, also called William, took over until his death in 1946. Therefore, a Goodbody continuously ran the pub for 64 years.

Also other members of the Goodbody family were involved in the pub business in Maidstone. In a total of 2 generations of Goodbody’s they spent 176 years serving beer to the good people of Maidstone!

Frederick born 1861 took over the ‘Dog and Bear’, 37 King Street from brother John in 1891 and continued to run it until 1913. He died in 1946 aged 85.

Robert born 1863 was running ‘The Hussar’ in Lenham, Kent – just outside Maidstone in 1891. He had married Annie Hillman in 1883 and together they ran ‘The Hussar” for just over a year.

I hope this may add a little bit to your history of the pubs in Maidstone.

Val Lenthall.



GOODBODY Robert 1891-June/92 (age 27 in 1891Census) Kent and Sussex Courier

BRAMBLE Thomas June/1892+ Kent and Sussex Courier

LEWIS Walter 1901-05+ (also army pensions age 60 in 1901Census)

LEWIS Sarah to Jan/1907 Kent and Sussex Courier

WORLEDGE Augustus Jan/1907+ Kent and Sussex Courier

PLUCK Alfred 1911


Kent and Sussex CourierKent and Sussex Courier



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