Sort file:- Margate, September, 2021.

Page Updated:- Monday, 27 September, 2021.


Earliest 1830-

Tivoli Gardens

Latest 1901+



Tivoli painting 1830s

Above painting by C. Hllmandel, 1830s.

Tivoli Hotel Tea bar 1848

Above engraving showing what was titled the Tivoli Hotel Tea Bar Cosmorama, 1848.

Tivoli Gardens engraving 1873

Above engraving by J Shury, 1873.

Tivoli Gardens map 1872

Above map dated 1872.

Tivoli Gardens stereo slide

Above taken from a stereo slide, date unknown.

Tivoli Gardens magic lantern slide 1898

Above picture taken from a Magic Lantern slide 1898.


From the Kentish Gazette, 28 April 1846.


The greatest animation was caused in Margate on Wednesday last, the day appointed for the Hon. Order of Odd Fellows of Thanet and friends to accept an invitation given by a Brother, the host of the Tivoli Gardens, to spend the evening with him at those delightful gardens. Hundreds flocked there to enjoy the music and dancing, each countenance beaming with cheerful smiles, and every one determined to be happy.

Early on the following morning a report was current that a person named John Price, who is respectably connected residing at Rancorn, and carrying on the business of a carrier, had been stopped on his way home, about half-past ten, between the gardens and Hartsdown, and that in making a resistance he had rendered his assailant insensible, and had given him in custody on a charge of attempting to commit a robbery. The man, who had been taken to the station-house, and was there lying in a very dangerous state proved to be James Sutton, a native of Ramsgate, aged 33 years, and respectably connected. The affair caused the greatest sensation throughout the place. The resident magistrate, John Boys. Esq., ordered Price into custody and subsequently investigated the circumstances of the case, during which, notwithstanding every surgical aid, the poor man died shortly after four o'clock without having uttered a word. The result of this inquiry was (and nothing transpired to contradict a statement made by Price, but rather to confirm it), that the further hearing was adjourned until ten o’clock, in the hope that additional light might be thrown on the lamentable affair, and heavy bail was taken for Price's appearance. On the following day, however (Friday), at five o'clock, a respectable jury was empanelled, by G. T. Thompson, Esq., of Dover, the coroner, to inquire into the cause of, and the circumstances attended upon, the death of the deceased. The moat important evidence adduced before this officer was that of Inspector Merchant, who deposed to a voluntary statement made by Price on preferring the charge against the deceased, and which was as follows:—

"On Wednesday night, about half-past ten, I was going home from Tivoli, and when half-way between that place and Hartsdown, Sutton (if it were him) jumped out of the hedge by the footpath, and demanded of me, catching me by the collar, if I had a watch; I said I had (although I had not it with me at the time). he asked me if I had any money; I said I had (and by fact had two sovereigns at the time). He then caught hold of my neckerchief, and said he must have it or my life. We struggled together, and I slipped up my hand and untied my neckerchief. He then knocked me down twice, and kicked me in the loins. I at length got the better of him, and got him down. He threatened to stab me if he had his knife. I struck him several times violently on his head, calling out to keep him down. Young Kemp I believe, was the first who came to my assistance. We were straggling for three quarters of an hour. I was sober and alone. I do not know the man."

Inspector Merchant further deposed, that he had examined the spot where the fortunate occurrence took place, he observed a quantity of blood, and the marks of a very violent struggle; and on the earth close to the hedge two heel marks of boots, and the buds of the hedge trees were rubbed off, as if some one had been rubbing against them; and in the hole which was evidently made by beating the head against the ground, there were two small stones, each sticking up about an inch.

Isaac Kemp was next examined, and gave evidence to the effect, that on his way home from the gardens to Garlinge in company with Kitchingman, he saw some one before him who called out "Hollo." He replied to the person (who turned out to be Price) said, "Is that you Isaac?" Witness replied "Yes." Upon which price advanced towards them, and said "Here's a man who rushed out of the hedge and collared me;" and then made a statement corresponding with the one related to Merchant. Witness further said, that upon walking two or three rods further on they came to the spot where Sutton was lying on the ground, who neither spoke nor moved. They sent Kitchingman back to the gardens for assistance, Price declaring he would stop by the man till daylight to see who he was. Kitchingman returned with Police Constable Crump. Witness further stated that Price was sober, and assisted in removing the deceased to the garden, and subsequently to the station-house.

William Sutton, of Ramsgate, deposed that he had identified the deceased as his brother James, and stated he had last seen him when both were in company with Mr. Randall, a victualler, near upon eleven, in the gardens: that his brother was in liquor, but not badly so; and that all three had been together nearly the whole of the evening, and that Randall had never been out of deceased’s presence from his first entering the gardens until nearly eleven, when he went out to bid his son good night, leaving deceased smoking his pipe in the coffee-room, and that on his return in a short time deceased was gone.

This evidence was confirmed by Mr. Randall, and both witnesses stated that Price was a stranger to them, and had not been in their company the whole evening, and that, consequently, up to eleven o'clock no quarrel could have taken place between them.
Mr. Hurst, of Ramsgate, a shipwright, gave the deceased, who had worked for him many years, an excellent character.

Cramp, P.C., and others were examined but the facts deposed to by them were similar to that already reported. A girl named Philpot, gave testimony that, upon deceased being removed from the gardens to the station-house, she heard Price say he had given the buffer a a Scotch prize. Thus, beyond the statement of Price there was no evidence as to the origin of this fatal occurrence. A post mortem examination of the body was made and medical evidence adduced to show that the deceased died from concussion of the brain, and which might be caused by beating the head upon the ground, and was evidently the result of the injuries he had received. The head of the deceased was dreadfully knocked about—the eye blackened and lip cut; the forehead and back part of the head much bruised; also marks on the throat, as if he had been seized by the neckerchief and the knuckles forced violently against the throat. After a lengthened enquiry, occupying about five hours, the jurors retired for consultation, and on their return into court delivered a verdict of "Manslaughter" against John Price, considering the violence used more than necessary. Price, who was in court during the inquest, was delivered into custody, and committed to take his trial at the ensuing Maidstone assizes.

Additional Remarks on the Above Melancholy Affair.

The coat of Price, which was produced, was much torn. he apparently had received but very little injury, bearing but two slight marks on his face. He is a much smaller man than the deceased, who was the worse for liquor, and was entirely out of his road either for Margate or Ramsgate; but Price was in his direct way home. Price throughout had evinced not the slightest disposition to conceal anything, but, on the contrary has shown a desire to give every information, and continues to adhere solemnly to the correctness of his statement; and the evidence rather confirms it than otherwise. The witness Kemp stated that he himself did not think, nor did he believe, that Price was aware when he first came up that the man was so much injured. There the matter remains. Both were members of the Odd Fellows. Many false reports have been circulated, as may be naturally expected; but we do not notice them, our duty being confined to strictly the facts of the case.


Illustrated London News, Saturday 2 May 1846.



An affray of a fatal and extraordinary character has recently occupied the attention of the magistrates and Coroner of Ramsgate. The facts elicited by them went to show that on Wednesday (last week) a large number of the inhabitants of the neighbouring villages congregated in Margate to celebrate a festival of a benevolent society, in the Tivoli Gardens. Amongst them was a man named James Sutton, reported to be respectably connected, who, towards night, attracted attention by his boisterous conduct. It appears that after the evening’s amusement he left his brother’s company, and nothing was heard of him until midnight, when two men named Kemp and Kitching, on their return home from the gardens, while proceeding along a footpath leading to Hartsdown, an adjacent parish, saw a man some distance in advance calling “Holloa!” On coming up they found it to be John Price, a carrier, living at Runcorn. Price said, in a very excited manner, “Here is a man who has been attempting to rob me, and I will not leave him until I see who he is.” A few yards distant they saw a man lying on the ground, who seemed senseless, who was discovered to be Sutton. Price then charged Sutton with attempting to rob him. His statement to the Inspector on duty was as follows:—

“On Wednesday night, about half-past ten, I was going home from the Tivoli, and when half-way between that place and Hartsdown, Sutton jumped out of the hedge by the footpath, and demanded of me, catching me by the collar, if I had a watch? I said I had. He asked me if I had any money?

He then caught hold of me by the neckerchief, and said he must have it or my life. We struggled together, and I slipped up my hand and untied my neckerchief. He then knocked me down twice, and kicked me. I at length got the better of him, and got him down. I struck him several times violently on the head, calling out for assistance, and sitting across him, to keep him down. Kemp was the first who came to my assistance; we were struggling for three-quarters of an hour. I was sober, and alone. I did not know the man.”
The man Sutton being apparently dying, medical aid was promptly called to him, but he never rallied, and expired in the course of a few hours. On the magistrates hearing of the death, they ordered Price to be arrested, but subsequently liberated him on bail. On the Inspector inspecting the spot where the affray occurred, he noticed a quantity of blood on the ground, and marks of a very violent struggle; and in the ground was a hole, evidently made by a man’s head beaten against it, and in the centre were two small stones sticking up about an inch.

At the Coroner’s Inquest, Mr. Thornton, a surgeon, who had made a post mortem examination of the body, deposed that death had been caused by concussion of the brain, and which might have been produced by beating the head upon the ground. The head was dreadfully knocked about; the eye blackened, and lip cut; and marks on the throat, as if seized by the neckerchief and a man’s knuckles forced into the flesh. It was proved that the deceased and Price were perfect strangers. The deceased's relatives spoke to his being a quiet, orderly man; and called the police to show that they knew nothing of him, at least in the shape of a highway robber. The Coroner’s Jury, after a lengthened consultation, returned a verdict of “Manslaughter” against Price, considering the violence more than necessary; and he was forthwith committed to Maidstone gaol to take his trial at the ensuing assizes.


Kentish Gazette 27 July 1858.


These gardens, having been entirely remodelled, are now open daily, and the spirited lessee, Mr. Humphryes, has spared neither pains nor expense in rendering them worthy of public support. The principal walk in the garden, affords a most pleasing view to the visitor on entering, numerous figures being placed on each side, and so arranged as to light the path in the evening. The beautiful Lake, that was once nothing but a rude-looking stream, has been altered in shape, thoroughly cleaned out, and a boat placed at the side for any who may be fond of aquatic sports. The ball-room has been under thorough repair, and the accommodation for dancing is somewhat extended. An excellent grotto has been erected by Bailey, with Eve at the fountain; and not many yards distant a maze has been planted for the juvenile visitors. At the extreme end of the garden may be seen a correct model of Shakspeare's house; and just opposite the bar a monster platform has been erected for open-air dancing. Altogether, Tivoli Gardens are not what they were; they have been raised to some importance, and claim the attention of the public. The amusements are very numerous—so much so, that there is a continual stream of entertainment from an early hour in the evening. The dancing is under the direction of Mr. R. R. Gardner.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 26 September, 1863.


One day last week an accident happened to Mr. W. Humphreys, the late proprietor of the “Tivoli,” who whilst walking on the Fort was shot in the chin by a gentleman practising archery. The arrow went a considerable way into Mr. Humphrey’s chin, but no serious injury resulted.



The gardens themselves, although I don't know about the Hotel, were renovated on several occasions, the latest I know of being in 1901 and were reopened in August of that year. The programme of events is shown below.


Tivoli programme 1901



WALTON Walter 1841+ (age 20 in 1841Census)

DIVERS John 1847+

HUMPHRIES William 1858-63 (age 52 in 1861Census)




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