Sort file:- Canterbury, November, 2023.

Page Updated Canterbury:- Sunday, 19 November, 2023.


Earliest 1600s

Black Boy

Latest 1908

(Name to)

40 Burgate Street (4 Buttermarket 1899)


Black Boy 1906

The "Black Boy" shown circa 1906 next to the "Olive Branch" which was then Walkley and Co., Wine and Spirit Merchants,

Black Boy 2016

Above photo, March 2016, kindly taken by Rory Kehoe.


Walkley's Wine & Spirits store became the "Olive Branch" (c.1930) and was a Bushell, Watkins & Smith house, then (presumably) a Taylor Walker house after 1948 and eventually, in the 1960s, an Ind Coope house.

The Black Boy closed in around 1903. In 2013 the site became part of the "Shakespeare" (Butchery Lane) which it backs on to, trading as a licensed coffee house.

The "Black Boy" it is reputed was built on Roman ruins as a lot of Roman flint has been found in the cellar. The premises has been a pub since the 1600s and possibly earlier, and remained as the "Black Boy" till 1908. It is now called the "Old Buttermarket."

It was mentioned in the Carpenter's Company Accounts that in 1663 it was a billeting house for four soldiers.

It is recorded in the 1692 list of inns and was a very old coaching inn then. The coaches driving through an archway to the courtyard the entrance to the courtyard is still there in Butchery Lane.


From the Kentish Weekly Post, 17 May 1741.

Wednesday May 20.

To the worthy FREEMEN of the City of Canterbury who are Interest if Sir THOMAS HALES.


You are desired to meet the Friends of Sir Thomas, tomorrow Morning, being the Day of Election, at either of the following Houses, viz.

The "King's Head," in High Street,

The "Fountain," St. Margarets,

The "Dolphin," Burgate,

The "Rose," St. Georges,

The "Black Boy," Burgate,

The "Flying Horse," Dover Lane,

The "Three Compasses," St. Peter's,

The "Golden Lyon," St. Peter's,

The "Mitre," High Street,

The "Rising Sun," St. Dunstan's,

The "Black Swan," North Gate,

The "White Swan," North Gate,

The "Tolerated Soldier," North Gate,

The "Fox and Seven Stars," St. Alphage,

The "Saracen's Head," St. Pauls,

The "Maiden Head," Wincheap,

The "Two Brewers," St. Mildred's,

The "Seven Stars," St. Alphage,

The "Three Tuns," St. Margaret's.


Kentish Gazette, 2 October, 1792.


Yesterday morning died, and his 83rd year of his age, Mr. Peter Plomer, master of the "Black Boy" public house, (wherein he was born) in the Buttermarket, in this city.


Kentish Gazette, 18 November, 1806.


Friday morning, Mr. Harris, landlord of the "Black Boy," porter-house, Canterbury.


From the Kentish Gazette, 9 April 1839.

We are sorry to state that Mr. J Minter, butcher, of Butchery-lane, in this city, dislocated his ankle and broke his leg, in a scuffle at the "Black Boy," in the Butter market, on Monday evening.


Kentish Gazette, 25 May 1847.


Harris:— May 21. Mr. Thomas Harris, of the "Black Boy Inn," Butter Market, Canterbury, aged 54.


Kentish Gazette, 27 November 1849.


Harris:— Nov, 9, in the Butter Market, Canterbury, Mrs. Ann Harris, landlady of the "Black Boy Inn," in this city, aged 62 years.


Kentish Gazette, 30 November 1852.


(Before Charles Horwood, Esq., Judge.)

The usual monthly court for this district was held on Tuesday last. There were upwards of 50 cases entered on the plaint list, but many of them did not possess any general interest.

Cobb v. Caroline Harris.

A claim of 3 9s., for 6 gallons of gin and a box of cigars. Mr. Delasaux was for defendant.

It appeared that Charles Harris, brother to defendant, was formerly in plaintiff's employment, and early in January last year had the above-mentioned goods, which he sold his sister, and keeps the "Black Boy," and she now produced a receipt to show it to have been a bona fide sale.

Plaintive expresses surprise to her when he applied for payment, and she stated that her brother had informed her that plaintiff was indebted to him, and he had taken them in outset.

Plaintiff denied that he owed him anything.

Verdict for the defendant.


Kentish Gazette, 5 September 1854.


Sole Agent for Canterbury.

CAROLINE HARRIS, "Black Boy Tavern," Canterbury. Families and the Trade supplied.

August, 1854.


Kentish Chronicle, Saturday 3 June 1865.

The Adventures of Some Banknotes.

On Saturday last, a man named Richard Holness, a woodreeve, residing at Herne, went to Messrs. Hammond and Co's Bank, Canterbury and cashed a 60 check, for which she received 10 in gold and 50 in notes. In passing through St. Margaret's Street he manage somehow or other to drop the notes out of his pocket. He did not discover his loss until the following morning, when he found the gold in a bag in his pockets and the notes gone. He immediately went to Superintendent Davies, and who having ascertained the number of the notes, took prompt measures to recover the same. He had them cried and made all the necessary enquiries. On Sunday evening a boy in the employ of Mr. Prett, Palace Street, brought one 5 note to the Superintendent being one of those missing, and said he had received it off a boy named Nash, who was apprenticed to Mr. Swain of Wincheap. The Superintendent sent for Nash, who, said that he picked up the note in St. Margaret's, and that he did not know what it was. He had never seen one before, and he thought it was a paid bill, as he saw Mr. Furley's name at the bottom of the note, and he gave it to the little boy. He said that he also saw two labouring men, one short and the other tall pick up some more notes at the same time. From enquiries made by the Superintendent, he traced out that the two men in question were named respectively Sutton and Newing. Sutton the same evening went to the police station, having heard that the notes had been cried, and produced two 10 and five 5 notes, which he said he and Newing had picked up in St. Margaret's. The owner of the notes who is but a poor man, very liberally rewarded the finders with 4, which the Superintendent divided by giving Sutton 3, for picking up notes to the value of 40; Newing with 10s., for a 5 note; and the other two boys 5s. each, for the remaining 5 note. The division of the reward, however, caused a quarrel on Monday evening, between Newing and another man named Barber, who was with him at the time he picked up the note, and who thought he had some claim for a portion of the reward. The men quarrelled and fought in the "Black Boy" and afterwards in the Buttermarket. They were taken into custody, and brought before the magistrates on Tuesday morning, when the landlord of the "Black Boy" said he did not wish press the charged, and they were dismissed with a caution.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 13 January 1900. Price 1d.


On Tuesday, the death occurred in Canterbury of a well-known character. The deceased - Mark Garfit - was a retired clergyman and had retired with his cousin, the landlord of the “Black Boy” (Benjamin Mitchell), for the past sixteen years. He lived on an annuity which was paid to the deceased once a month, and since Christmas Day it appears that the deceased had been in an excitable condition. On the morning of the 7th January while downstairs in the “Black Boy” public house he called to his cousin to get him some ginger beer. The deceased was sick and suffering from diarrhoea. Mr. Brian Rigden was sent for, and on seeing deceased a second time he stated that he was dangerously ill and directed that his friends should be communicated with, which was done. At Christmas time deceased had 1 sent to him. According to the doctor's evidence given at the inquest held last evening at the “Shakespeare” public-house, Butchery Line, the deceased died from heart disease, and the jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence.



PLOMER Peter to Oct/1792 dec'd

HARRIS Mr to Nov/1806 dec'd

HARRIS William 1824-28+ Pigot's Directory 1824Pigot's Directory 1828-29

HARRIS Thomas 1832-21/May/47 dec'd (age 41 in 1841Census) Pigot's Directory 1832-34Stapletons GuidePigot's Directory 1840

HARRIS Ann 1847-9/Nov/49 dec'd Bagshaw's Directory 1847

HARRIS Caroline Miss 1851-61+ (age 40 in 1861Census) Post Office Directory 1855Melville's 1858

BAKER H 1862-66+ Post Office Directory 1862Greens Canterbury Directory 1868

RAMSDEN Thomas E 1874+ Post Office Directory 1874

WRAITH Edward 1881-82+ (age 46 in 1881Census) Post Office Directory 1882

PAGET Charles 1891+ Post Office Directory 1891

MOORCROFT George J 1891+ (age 58 in 1891Census)

JOHNSON Robert M 1899+

MITCHELL Benjamin 1900+ Whitstable Times

O'GRADY Edmund 1903+ Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903


Pigot's Directory 1824From the Pigot's Directory 1824

Pigot's Directory 1828-29From the Pigot's Directory 1828-29

Pigot's Directory 1832-34From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34

Stapletons GuideStapleton's Guide 1838

Pigot's Directory 1840From the Pigot's Directory 1840

Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Post Office Directory 1855From the Post Office Directory 1855

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1862From the Post Office Directory 1862

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874


Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Whitstable TimesWhitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald

Greens Canterbury Directory 1868Greens Canterbury Directory 1868


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