Page Updated:- Thursday, 17 November, 2022.


Earliest 1794-

White Horse

Latest 1852+




Not a lot of information regarding this at present, and I do know of a "Flying Horse" in this village which could well be one and the same. I have also found reference to a "White Hart" as well.

However, certainly a different pub to the other "White Horse" at Egerton.

Hopefully an address or local knowledge will sort this one out.


Kentish Chronicles, 11 November, 1794.

Saturday last was married at Smarden, Mr. Stephen Gurr, to Mrs. Wilmott, of the "White Horse Inn," in that place.


From the Kentish Gazette, 4 August 1840.

Stabbing case at Smarden.

John James Bell, aged 21, was charged with killing and slaying William Munn, at Smarden.

Richard Cheeseman deposed that on 12th of May he was at the "White Horse" public house, where is saw the deceased and prisoner. Deceased challenged him to turn at fair chance for a pint of beer, which was lost by the prisoner. After having one or more pints, prisoner went out of the house, when deceased called him back. When he came in deceased said to him "you ought to be pulled out of this house" to which replied "do it if you like." Deceased then took hold of his legs and pulled him out of the chair upon the ground. A short time after deceased brought in a pail of water and placed before all prisoner, and said "now you may drink if you like." After a short time, prisoner said that he would go for a constable, and on his return said that one would soon be there. The landlady then demanded payment for the beer which he had drunk, when prisoners said that he did not owe for any. Witness then took his brush and shoes and put them into the stable until he paid for his reckoning. Prisoner then went out and came back in a quarter of an hour and took his seat, saying to deceased, "Now pull me down if you like." Deceased then got up and said "I do not wish to do it," and Clarke Wood told him to sit down and the young man would pay for his beer. Prisoner then sprang forward and struck deceased who exclaimed that he was stabbed. Witness seized the prisoner, took from him a knife and tied his arms with a cord. Prisoner said that he meant to do it. Deceased did not strike prisoner nor attempt to do so.

Clark Wood corroborated the evidence of Cheeseman.

_____ Upton stated that the prisoner came to their shop on the above day, when he appeared to be rather excited. He brought a pocket knife.

Mr. Chapman, a surgeon, deposed that he made a post-mortem examination, and discovered that the wound had been infected with a sharp instrument, which had penetrated the heart.

The prisoner put in a written defence, in which he stated that he had been very ill treated by the deceased, which produce much excitement in consequence of his having drank very freely that day. He had no recollection of what he did afterwards.

His lordship having summed up the case; the jury, after a few minutes deliberation, found him guilty of manslaughter.

The learned judge in addressing the prisoner, observed that he had a very narrow escape. These cases called for severe punishment, and this so nearly resembled the crime of murder, that he felt he should not discharge his duty to the public, if he did not inflict the full penalty of the law.

Prisoner was then sentence to be transported for Life.


From the Kentish Gazette, 2 June 1846.


A serious accident of a somewhat remarkable character, resulting fatally, took place on this line on Saturday afternoon, to the express train, by which the engine and train were thrown off the line, and the engine-driver killed. The train left the town terminus at a quarter past three o'clock, with but few passengers, comprising, in addition to the engine and tender, a luggage-van and two carriages, and on its departure the engine, which is numbered 122, appeared in proper working order. The ordinary speed of the train—viz., between 30 and 35 miles an hour—was attained, and we are assured on its passing Pluckley the rate was not greater than that stated. On its arriving about midway between Plackley and Headcorn—distant from town about 60 miles, and just as it had got into a cutting, the passengers were startled by a sudden jerk, and an immediate cloud of dust and smoke enveloping the train. In a few seconds it was brought to a dead stop, and, as may be naturally supposed, considerable alarm was manifested amongst the passengers. On looking out they discovered that the engine and train had got off the line, and the former was lying on its side across the rails, it having struck the bank of the cutting and turned over. The vast quantity of steam that was issuing from the engine, and the ground being strewn with lighted coke, for a time prevented any examination as to the fate of the engine-driver and fireman. In a few minutes, however, the unfortunate engineer was discovered under the engine. The poor fellow, we believe, was found alive, but before he could be extricated life was extinct. It was evident that he had made a struggle to escape, and had caught hold of the safety valve with both hands, thinking that the engine would remain upright. When it overturned, however, he was swung over, and the engine fell on him. The stoker was thrown by the concussion on his feet on the siding, miraculously escaping the least injury. The guard was thrown from his seat, and also providentially escaped. None of the passengers were hurt. The officials of the company have since made a report of the occurrence to the Board of Trade, in the event of the accident being deemed of such importance as to require an investigation on their part.

Ashford, Wednesday.

Yesterday afternoon Mr. Neve, one of the deputy coroners for the county, opened an inquiry at the "White Horse Inn," Smarden, into the death of Samuel Hill, the engine-driver, who lost his life on the preceding Saturday.

Mr. Seymour, the superintendent of the stations, Mr. P. W. Barlow, the acting engineer, Mr. Cudsworlh, the locomotive superintendent, and several other officials of the company were present, as also Mr. Bodmer, the patentee of the engine.

The Jury having viewed the body, Richard Droset, a fireman who accompanied the deceased on the engine, said it proceeded perfectly correct until we reached the Hag-Hill cutting, between Pluckley and Headcorn. The engine ran off the line, dragging the tender and carriages with it. We were going at about 35 or 40 miles an hour. We had no warning of its running off it went off all of a sudden, I cannot describe how it took place, so far as I can recollect the deceased had hold of the regulator, but I did not see him do anything with it. The engine fell over on one aide, and he fell underneath. I assisted in removing him. He seemed to have been crushed in the stomach. I staid with him for two hours, until he died.
By the Coroner:- I am sure we were not going faster than 35 or 40 miles an hour. Did not notice the deceased suddenly shut off the steam just before the accident. After the engine had run off, I saw that the steam was shut off. There was nothing unusual in the passage of the engine, it travelled as it usually did.

John King, guard to the express train, deposed:— I was in the luggage carriage next to the tender, made on purpose for the luggage of express trains. We were going at the rate of about 38 or 40 miles an hour. I am confident it was not a greater rate, for we were scarcely keeping our time. I cannot describe how the engine ran off the rails. The deceased was considered an experienced and good engine-driver and had been in the company's service since February. (This witness had a miraculous escape. He was seated in a kind of coupe, and attending to the break. The front part was completely crushed in by the tender; and had he not, at the moment, been standing behind the break-iron, he would have been instantaneously killed).

Mr. J. Burdon Norwood, the chief inspector of the permanent way, was next examined. I was a passenger by the express train that met with the accident, and was seated in the front coupe of the second carriage—a first class one—and the third from the tender. The first thing I saw of the occurrence was the luggage box rising on the lop of the next carriage, and almost turning over, and immediately afterwards the front part of the coupe I was in was stove in. The train instantly stopped, and I found the carriage off the rails, and the engine lying on its side on the bank of the cutting. As soon as I had succeeded in extricating the deceased from under the engine, I turned my attention to the state of the road, with a view of ascertaining the cause of the accident. I took the gauge and tried the rails, and found them perfectly correct. One of the rails was bent and driven out of its proper place at the spot where the engine had gone over and struck it.

By the Coroner:— I could not form an opinion as to the cause of the accident. On examining the rails, I found the powder of a crushed flint about ten feet from where the train had gone over. I was satisfied that the engine had gone over it. Could not say that the stone forced the engine off, nor can I say from the quantity of powder the size of the stone; but if it was a large one, I should say that it was quite likely to have forced it off. It had evidently been recently crushed. The train was travelling at about 40 miles an hour, but I did not pay particular attention to the speed, as I was taking down some notes at the time. The engine had mounted the rail about two feet from the crushed stone. It was on the left hand rail, which threw the engine on the siding.

The Coroner thought if it mounted on the left side it was more likely to have been thrown across the other line of rails.

Mr. Barlow, the resident engineer, replied that the flanges of the right wheels would have prevented that. The crushed stone was perfectly in the position of throwing the engine on to the bank. The engine had mounted the rail, the flanges had not cut it.

Mr. Norwood continued:— The rail was not cut. It was quite clear the engine had been lifted over the rail. The first carriage fell to the right, and obstructed the down line, but not to any extent. The crushed stone appeared to be of the same description as those lying about the line. Thomas Giles said, I am in the service of the company as plate layer, and live near the Hag-Hill Cutting. Just previous to the accident saw the train pass. It was not going particularly fast. Could not tell the rate. As it passed me I observed to a fellow labourer, "That is the first long boiler engine I have seen working the express," and scarcely had I said the words before I saw her run off the line.

Mr. Barlow:- Probably I may here be allowed to state that she is not a long boiler engine.

Witness’s examination resumed:— In answer to the jury.— Did not notice the engine oscillate or jump. Could not see any stone on the rails; it is my duty to see the line clear, but I was not on duty when I saw the train.

John Vane, a farmer, was about forty rods from the engine when it went off. It was not going unusually fist,—the usual rate of express trains. Heard the deceased say after he had been extricated, "that it was a rough piece of road.''

King, the guard, re-called:— Did not hear the deceased say that it was a rough piece of road. He said that he was cut in two, and that it was all up with him. He begged me to give his love to his wife, and then prayed for the Almighty to take him. Did not observe that the steam was shut off just before the accident.

At the desire of the jury, Droset, the stoker, was called and re examined:— The engine that went off is of a new construction; no other like it on the line. It has been on the road about 12 months, and I have frequently worked on her.

By the coroner:— It was the first time she had run an express train, although she has often been with the fast ones. She ran very easy, and is the steadiest engine I ever rode upon. After the accident. I spoke to the deceased. All he said was about his poor wife. Cannot tell if the steam was shut off at the time of the accident. If we had run over a stone, I should say we would have felt it. Never felt such a shock. Have been employed on an engine for nine years, and never knew one to have been thrown off by a stone. Suddenly shutting off the steam would have no effect in forcing it off. We do so every time we have to stop at stations.

The Coroner proceeded to address the jury. The simple question for them to consider was, whether the death of the deceased was accidental or otherwise. The jury returned a verdict, "that the deceased was killed by the accidental falling of a locomotive engine."

The engine it was said was solely constructed for the purpose of avoiding the many difficulties that the greater portion of engines now employed on the narrow gauge are liable to, and till the present unfortunate occasion, had answered the expectation. It is understood that the Inspector General of railways is of the same opinion as to the cause of the accident as the company's officers.


Kentish Mercury 13 March 1852.

Passing counterfeit coin.

James Austin (42, imp) shoemaker, and Robert Lambert, victualler, were placed at the bar on charges of passing several pieces of counterfeit coin.

Mr Deeds and Mr Macy Dawson prosecuted, and briefly stated the case, from which it appears that both prisoners resided at Biddenden the prisoner Lambert, keeping the "Chequers" public house. On the 27th of January the prisoners drove in the country, and went into several places on the plea of purchasing goods and refreshments; Mr West, landlord of the "Chequers" public house, Smarden, said the prisoners came to his house on the 27th of January, and ask for some gin, and give him half a crown, which he afterwards ascertained to be bad.

Mr Charnock cross examine the witness on behalf of the prisoner Austin.

Mr Ballantine with Mr Ribton, appeared for Lambert, and elicited from West that on the following day we went to Lambert's house, but did not speak of receiving the bad coin, given as his reason for not doing so was because he had received it from Austin.

Everton, toll keeper of Pluckley-gate, proved receiving a bad crown peace in payment of the toll.

Evidence was also taken of the prisoners calling at the "Black Horse," Pluckley at Mr Heathfield's, the "White Horse," Smarden; and other places.

The constable of Biddenden said that he searched Austen's house, when he found four counterfeit crown pieces and for counterfeit half crowns.

Superintendent Gifford, of the Ashford District, produced the pieces.

Mr Ballantine cross examined the witness for Lambert, and he stated that Lambert, on being charged with the uttering, said he must have receive the coins in his business. Also that the passed a crown piece at the gate. On searching his cash box, witness found about 4, all of which were good.

Gifford said, in reply to Mr Charnock, for Austen, that he the prisoner did not say he received change for a 5 note from a travelling Hawker.

Mr Bartlett, silversmith of Maidstone, proved the pieces to be counterfeit- the four being from the same mould.

Mr. Charnock on behalf of Austin, addressed the jury, urging that he had received change for a 5 note from a travelling hawker, and that he passed the money ignorant of it being counterfeit.

Mr Ballantine urged the improbability of a respectable tradesman, like the prisoner Lambert, placing himself in such a culpable position of passing counterfeit coin. He would put it to the jury, from West's evidence, of his calling on Lambert a day or two afterwards making no mention of the matter, whether that was not favourable to the prisoner Lambert. No bad money was found on his premises, but beyond that a large sum was found, proving he was beyond the reach of want. He called on the jury to return the prisoner back to society to sustain at the honest livelihood and good character with which he appeared to have earned among his fellow men.

Several persons were called who gave prisoners an excellent character.

The learned judge then went through the evidence, and the jury, after a minutes consideration, delivered the verdict of "Guilty" against both prisoners, stating they recommended Lambert to the merciful consideration of the court, as they thought he had been drawn into the crime by the other prisoner.

One of the jurors said that was not his opinion.

His lordship directed the jury to reconsider their verdict - when they again turned round in the box, and almost immediately returned a second time a verdict of "Guilty," recommended Lambert to mercy.
Mr Deeds on the part of the prosecution, joined in the recommendation.

Mr Ribton, on behalf of Lambert, produced a memorial as to the character, signed by 60 inhabitants of Goudhurst.

His lordship, in passing sentence said, he could not listen to the recommendation as of that importance to justify any great difference in the offence. It was not as if the prisoner Lambert had not arrived at such an age to know the nature of the crime; he was aware of it - he had been a tradesman, and he therefore knew its mischievous and great injury to that class. There was another case in the indictment which had not been before the jury, and he had no doubt if it had been done, they would not have joined in the recommendations. They appeared to have had occasion to pass through another turnpike; and although they had no necessity to pay the toll, they did so, by again passing the counterfeit half crown. he should therefore direct the prisoner Austen to be imprisoned twelve months, and Lambert nine months - both with hard labour.



HEATHFIELD Job 1851-61+ (also farmer age 47 in 1861Census)

TYE Rovert 1871+ (age 25 in 1871Census)




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