Sort file:- Folkestone, September, 2022.

Page Updated:- Thursday, 15 September, 2022.


Earliest 1866-

Red Lyon

Latest 1875+




I am wondering whether these mentions are actually references to the "British Lion."


Folkestone Chronicle 3 February 1866.

On Saturday afternoon two men named Underdown and Sell, employed under the Corporation Surveyor making excavations on The Bayle for the purpose of putting down a sewer to the new houses belonging to Mr. F. Coules had a narrow escape of losing their lives, and were actually buried alive for some time. In order to disturb as little of the surface of the road as possible, holes had been sunk about 8ft. deep and 12 ft. apart, and the intervening space tunnelled through to put in the pipes, leaving about 2 ft. of sand and soil above. While Sell and Underdown were busy at work the top of one of these excavations fell in on them, completely burying Sell, and covering Underdown up to the armpits. The labourers at once set to work to rescue their fellow workmen, and Underdown was quickly dug out, but some minutes elapsed before the other poor fellow could be found, and when they did get him and removed the sand with which he was covered, he was found to be insensible. He was placed in a chair and carried into the Red Lion public house, where Messrs. Bateman and Tyson, surgeons, attended him, and under their care he regained consciousness. Half an hour later he was able to walk home, assisted by two men.


Southeastern Gazette 6 February 1866.

Local News.

On the evening of Saturday week an accident happened to two men employed by Mr. Bamford, the borough surveyor, in laying down some sewer pipes on the Bayle. Holes had been sunk about eight feet deep and twelve feet apart, and the intervening spaces tunnelled through without disturbing the surface of the road. The soil, which is geologically known as green sand, was very easily bored, and the sides were cut down as level as a wall. At half-past four on Saturday afternoon, whilst a labourer named George Sell and Mr. Underdown, the foreman, were engaged in one of these little tunnels, the sand and earth fell in, leaving only the stones forming the road standing. Sell was completely buried, and Underdown was buried to the armpits. His cries soon brought the workmen to his assistance, who had to dig him out. Some minutes elapsed before Sell could be found, but he was at length got out, and carried to the Red Lion public house, where Messrs. Bateman and Tyson attended him, and in half an hour be was so far recovered as to be able to walk home between two men.


Folkestone Express 5 June 1875.


Early on Tuesday morning the body of an unknown man was found between tides on the beach, just beyond the toll-house on the Lower Sandgate Road, by a coastguardsman and a gardener. The body was fully dressed (with the exception of a hat) in good clothes, but had but three halfpence in the pockets. The corpse was taken to the tan house at the back of the fishmarket pending identification. While it lay there several persons who saw it recognised in it the body of a man named George Hopley, who at one time was a porter at the London and Paris Hotel, and more recently a railway ticket collector at Dover. A messenger was sent to Dover to break the intelligence to the young man’s friends, but returned bringing with him the supposed drowned man that he might lend his assistance in identifying it. Even then the resemblance was so great that those standing by remarked that if Hopley was not then present they should still consider it his body. In consequence of the false scent on which persons were thus put, a travelling copy of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, in which was pencilled the name Harry Frenshaw, Deane Street, Lincoln, was overlooked till late in the day. A gentleman living not a hundred yards from the Manor Road was also recognised in the body, but, like the ticket collector, he proved still to be alive and able to speak for himself. It was surmised that deceased was a betting man and that he had committed suicide, possibly in consequence of losses at the Derby, by making into the sea at high tide on Monday night, but these suppositions had necessarily no solid foundation to rest upon.

An inquest was held on the body at six o’clock on Tuesday evening at the Alexandra Hotel before Mr. J. Minter, Coroner for the Borough, and a jury.

John Sharp, gardener, said: I live in the Bayle, lodging at the Red Lion public house. This morning about half past four o’clock I was walking on the cliff, and when near the half way toll gate saw something near the edge of the beach. I drew the attention of a coastguardsman named John Fitzgibbon to it, and we went down and found it was the body of an unknown man – the one that has just been viewed by the jury.

John Fitzgibbon, a coastguardsman stationed at Folkestone, deposed: Just before five o’clock I was coming from my house at Sandgate to perform my duties at Folkestone, and when near the toll house on the Lower Sandgate Road, the last witness called me from the top of the cliff. I walked down the beach in the direction Sharp pointed and saw the body just seen by the jury. It was quite cold and lying on it’s back, with the head towards the eastward (the harbour) about fifteen yards below the last high water mark. He was fully dressed, except that he had no hat. The tide was high between seven and eight last night, and between eleven and twelve that night it would have receded to where the body lay. There were rocks to seaward, but none ashore of the body. I commenced the motions for restoring animation, but the state of the body showed me the man was quite dead. With the help of the last witness I drew the body above high water mark, and searched the pockets. We found in them the articles produced – a copy of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” containing the name twice written in pencil, Harry Frenshaw, Deane Street, Lincoln, a bunch of keys, a handkerchief, a penny, and two halfpence, which I delivered to the police. From the appearance of the body and the “little dock” that had been made in the beach by the rolling it received from the waves, I believe the body had not been moved after it was dead, not had it been in the water very long before we found it.

Mr. W. Bateman, surgeon, said he saw the body of the deceased at the tan house between seven and eight o’clock. He examined the body externally, but found no marks of violence. From the air bubbles on the mouth and nostrils and the pinched appearance of the features, death appeared to have arisen from drowning. He believed that the body had only been in the water a few hours. The body appeared to be that of a young man of about two or three-and-twenty.

In reply to a juror: The body could not have floated over any rocks that lie to seaward. The “little dock” described by the last witness would indicate that the man had not been far in the water when he was drowned.

Superintendent Wilshere produced some gold-plated sleeve links and studs removed from deceased’s shirts. The body was dressed in a tweed suit of olive green. There was no mark upon the clothing by which identification could be established. Witness had had the body photographed.

In answer to a juror, witness said he had not telegraphed to the address in the book because till within a short time of the inquest he had been on a wrong scent as to the identity.

The Coroner asked whether the jury considered they had sufficient evidence as to the cause of death, or would they adjourn for further evidence? It was almost certain from the doctor’s evidence that the deceased met with his death by drowning, but they could not tell whether he fell into the sea during a fit, whether he drowned himself, or if he was pushed in. Even if they met another day and evidence was adduced as to who he was, and even supposing it was stated that he left home in an unsound state of mind, that would not render the cause of death absolutely certain.

After a brief consultation the jury returned an open verdict of Found Drowned.


Folkestone Chronicle 24 July 1875.


Ancient Order Of Druids.

Red Lion Inn, Bayle, Folkestone.

July 20th, 1875.

The above Order beg to intimate to the Public that they HAVE NOT authorised TOM BURTENSHAW to solicit Subscriptions for the purpose of a rural fete.

By Order of The Lodge,

T.J. Mullett N.A.




SHAW Thomas 1717+


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