2 Council House Street
The above photograph was kindly sent to me by Jane Soyturk who says
that George Austen, born 1870, and shown in doorway, was her Great
The photo to the left shows George Austen at the 1908 Dover Pageant,
and above a group photo with George on the left.
These photographs were kindly sent to me from Jane Soyturk who says:-
"They played 'The gentlemen of France' and besides George the other men
were Mr R Murray, Mr Barnes, Mr Scott, and The French Ambassador Mr A C
"Unfortunately I don't know which is which."
See also "Flying Horse Tavern". Boyce kept it in 1805 and Holmes in 1845.
Perhaps a closure between then and 1851 when Crittenden started. At an
auction in 1859, the premises were then on a 61 year lease which had
commenced in April 1834. Also, at the same auction, Thomas Walker's Dolphin
Lane Brewery was looking for a bidder. It was offered as a whole and
included the malthouse, coach house, stabling, yards, cooperage and garden
together with the counting house and store.
From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General
Advertiser, Saturday 22 February, 1845. Price 5d.
DOVER POLICE REPORT
SATURDAY FEB. 15. - John Young, mariner, was fined 15s., including
costs, for assaulting Mr. Thomas Holmes, landlord of the "Fleur-de-Lis."
He was allowed 7 days to pay the fine.
Returning to the "Fleur de Lis" and it is not known if any sale had
resulted by then, a fire developed at the pub on 26 June 1859. (See below). Barry
that his notes do
not elaborate but the establishment did continue to serve until 1940. That
year the continuation was opposed by the Chief Constable on the grounds of
necessity. His views were accepted and on 7 June its epitaph was written.
Compensation was agreed on 19 July but I have no figures.
From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 1
William Smith and Frederick Holness, shoemakers, were charged with
wilfully breaking five panes of glass at the "Fleur-de-lis" public
house, Council-house Street, and assaulting the police. Holness, it
appeared, was under recognizance's to keep the peace.
George Ransley, landlord of the "Fleur-di-lis," said the prisoners
came to his house about half past one o'clock on Christmas morning. They
were drunk. They wished to be served with some rum and water, but
seeing they had already had sufficient, he refused to serve them, and
ordered them out. They refused to go, but he pushed one (Smith) out
himself and a friend of his wife who was in the house at the time pushed
out the other, after which witness shut the door and bolted it. The
prisoners attempted to force the door by kicking against it, but finding
they could not succeed they smashed five squares of glass in the sash
next the door, and also broke the frame of a zinc blind, which ran
across the window. The amount of the damage thus occasioned was 10s.
Charles Goodban, ticket porter, said he was near the "Fleur-di-lis"
about half-past one on the morning of the 25th, when he heard a
scuffling in the passage, and saw two men put out and the door shut. The
men began hammering away at the door; but finding they could make no
impression, Holness with his fist smashed one of the windows. The other
man ran away, but Holness called him back, and Smith thereupon used both
his hands in the demolition of the glass. Witness then went for a
The prisoners, in defence, said they had no recollection of the
The Magistrates fined each of them 10s. and the costs, 6s.; and in
default ordered them to be committed for 14 days. The assault upon the
police was then proceeded with.
Police-constable Faith said that he was called into Council-house
Street early on Saturday morning. When he got to the "Fleur-di-lis" the
landlord gave Holness and Smith into his custody, for breaking his
windows; but before he could apprehend them he received a violent blow
from Smith. During the time he was endeavouring to put handcuffs on the
same prisoner he received from him several kicks and blows. The prisoner
was also very violent all the way to the station-house, and it was with
great difficulty he was got there, even with the help of Mr. Baker, who
lives in the same street, and who volunteered his assistance.
Smith, on being called on for his defence, said that the police
treated him with unnecessary violence, and wished Mr. Baker to be called
to prove that he went quietly to the station-house.
George Baker, on being sworn, said that after he came to Faith's
assistance the prisoner went along pretty quietly; but before that he
had been very violent, and had "required a good deal of persuasion" to
go to the station-house.
By the prisoner - I did not see the policeman strike you.
By the Magistrates' Clerk - The prisoner attempted to strike Faith in
Police-constable Barton said that he was in Council-house Street
about half-past one o'clock on the morning of the 25th. He heard the
sound of breaking glass and came up to the "Fleur-di-lis" in time to
take Holness into custody. On handcuffing his he received from him three
severe kicks in the stomach, which so disabled him that he was compelled
to leave the witness Baker to finish putting the handcuffs on him. The
prisoner then proceeded pretty quietly till he got near the "George
Inn," at the bottom of Snargate Street, when he resisted with great
violence, striking, biting, and kicking him. Mr. T. B. Rutley came to
his assistance, however, and after a great deal of difficulty prisoner
was conveyed to the station-house. Witness was not in uniform, but was
on duty, and prisoner knew him perfectly well, as he spoke to him on the
subject of his bond and frequently called him by name.
Smith was fined £1 with costs, 10s., and in default was committed to
prison for three weeks, with hard labour, the last named period to
commence at the expiration of the sentence already passed.
Holness was fined the same amount, in default of paying which he was
sentenced to one month's imprisonment, with hard labour, in addition to
the punishment previously recorded against him.
Both the prisoners went to prison.
The witness Goodban said that he considered great credit was due to
the police, who had acted in this case with much forbearance under
circumstances of considerable provocation.
From the Dover Express. July 1859.
On Sunday last a fire broke out in the cellar of the Fleur de Lis, a
public house in Council House Street Dover. The supposed origin of which
is not a little singular. It appears that the floor of the pantry, which
is immediately over the cellar there is a small hole caused by a knot in
the floorboard having some time been forced out. It is supposed that a
fragment of burning tobacco or the end of a fuse or something of the
sort, accidentally dropped through this little aperture and fell into a
hamper containing straw or some ignitable materials that very soon set
in a blaze. The accident was fortunately discovered before it had
occasioned any serious damage and by the energetic and praiseworthy
assertions of Mr. G. Baker of the Clarence Inn and Police Constable
Fyfe, both of who live near the spot the fire was promptly suppressed.
The alarm had been given at the station of the South-Eastern Railway and
the powerful and effective engine belonging to the company was got out
with great alacrity by the employees. Under the direction of Mr. Way the
Station Superintendent but before it could be brought into requisition,
the fire was effectively subdued in the manner described. The greatest
credit is due both to the police constables and Mr. Baker for the ready
assistance they lent in extinguishing the flames. As in all probability
considering the close neighbourhood in which the Fleur de Lis is
situated, the conflagration would have been attended with the most
disastrous effect had it once obtained ascending over the lower floors
of the building.
Information kindly supplied by Joyce Banks.
More reading of Dover at
From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 3
SUMMONSES AGAINST PUBLICAN
John Joseph Bell, landlord of the "Fleur de Lis Inn," Council House
Street, charged with refusing the police admission to the house between
two and three o'clock on Christmas morning, was dismissed on paying the
costs, 7s. 6d.
From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 9
INFRINGEMENT OF LICENSE
Joseph Bell, the landlord of the "Fleur de Lis Inn," Council House
Street, summoned on he information of Sergeant Gedds, charged with
infringing his license by having his house open, for the sale of liquors
at 10.20 a.m. on Sunday last. Mr. Lewis for defendant. - Fined £1,
From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 9
Joseph Bell, a youth, the son of the landlord of the "Fleur de Lis
Inn," Council House Street, was charged with obstructing the
thoroughfare in front of his father's house, in a state of drunkenness;
but it appeared that there were some mitigating circumstances in the
case, and as this was the defendant's first appearance, he was cautioned
From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer,
1 February, 1867.
FATAL ACCIDENT AT DOVER
On Tuesday afternoon an inquest was held by the borough coroner, W.
H. Payn, Esq., at the "Fleur de Lis Inn," on the body of Thomas Overton
, a stonemason in the employ of Messrs. Lee and Son, the contractors for
the Admiralty Pier Works, who was killed while engaged in his works on
Tuesday, the 10th inst. It appeared from the evidence, which we subjoin
at length, that on the day in question the deceased was employed in
setting the stones of the parapet running along the western side of the
pier. The contrivance used for the purpose was a "jack", upon the foot
of which a plank rested and supported one end of the stone, which was
then gradually lowered into its place, the deceased standing on a
trestle about six feet from the ground for the purpose of seeing that it
deposited properly into the place designed for it. As the jack was being
moved, the plank slipped out of its position and released the stone,
startling the deceased, and causing him to fall off the trestle on to
the roadway below. By this means his sustained a fracture to the ribs
and an injury to the head; and although the deceased was able, with
assistance, to walk home, where his injuries were properly attended to,
his illness took an unfavourable turn towards the close of last week,
and death ensued on Monday morning last.
Mr. T. Middleton was appointed the foreman of the jury, who
afterwards proceeded to view the body, which was lying at the house of
the deceased man, in Middle Row.
Sarah Overton: I am a daughter of the deceased. He was a stonemason
by trade, and was employed upon the Admiralty Pier. He was sixty years
of age. I last saw him alive on Saturday evening. He died yesterday
morning. I was told that he had sustained an accident while at work
whereby his ribs were fractured and his head concussed.
The Coroner: Did he say by whose fault?
The Coroner: Did he complain to you of anybody?
Witness: He did not complain to me, but I believe he complained to my
mother, and told her the accident had occurred through neglect or
The Coroner: Of course you know nothing of the circumstances?
Witness: No, I do not.
By the Jury: I believe my father told my mother that the gear was not
good enough, or not properly fastened. He had previously said that some
accident would take place as the result of the defect, whatever it was.
The Sergeant of Police said the widow of the unfortunate man seemed
so deeply affected at the loss she had sustained that she had abstained
from calling her as a witness, but, that there were in attendance men
who were working with deceased at the time of the accident occurred, and
they could give all the necessary information.
Samual Office: I am a labourer, living at Buckland and am employed
upon the Admiralty Pier Works. I witnessed the accident by which the
deceased Thomas Overton lost his life. It occurred on Thursday the 10th
January. The deceased was employed in "setting" stones on the top of the
parapet wall. He was standing on a high trestle, which was placed below
the level of the parapet. He fell from the trestle, but I cannot say
what caused him to fall. I was engaged in lowering the "jack." He was
standing on the trestle, watching the stone as it descended, to see that
it fitted into its proper place. His head was level with the base of the
stone as it moved into its position. I was standing below, with my hands
upon the "jack" ready to raise or lower, as the deceased might tell me.
He waited a short time, and then he told me to lower again. I made a
turn or two in obedience to his order, when the plank which rested on
the foot of the "jack" and supported the block of stone at one end,
slipped from its place, and suddenly released the stone. The jerk, as I
think, occasioned the deceased to fall from the platform on which he was
standing down into the roadway. There was a layer of cement for the
stone to descend upon, and as it came down suddenly it must have sent a
quantity of this into his face, and this might have caused him to start
back. His face was found to be covered with cement after he was picked
up. The platform on which the deceased was standing was six feet above
the roadway. A doctor was fetched, and the deceased was led home. A fly
was sent for, but the deceased preferred to be led home. It was not then
known what hurts he had received.
The Coroner: Was the stone in this case lowered in the usual manner?
Witness: Yes, that is the plan I have always seen followed. We had
put in two or three stones before, in the same way, just previous to the
The Coroner: Have you any idea of the reason of the plank slipping?
Witness: I have not. It was placed in the same position as usual, and
an examination of the jack after the occurrence did not reveal any
defect. There was a little piece splintered off the end of the plank.
By the Jury: The jack was a flat jack. The plank was used to make the
jack longer. It was not a clumsy contrivance or make shift. No jack
would reach the height at which these stones were required to be set,
and this is the place we always adopt in setting at that height. There
are no other means of doing it.
Dr. Gill was in attendance, and as he particularly requested that hsi
evidence might be taken at once, the coroner acceded to his desire. He
said he was called to attend the deceased on the 10th January. He found
him at his house in Middle Row. Some of his ribs were broken, and he had
also sustained injury to his head. He went on very favourably for some
days; but about Thursday last he began gradually to sink, and he died on
the previous day. His death witness believed to have been caused by the
injuries he had received, the result (in addition to the injuries in the
ribs) being a shock to the system generally from which he could not
The Coroner: Did he complain of anybody?
James Crosby, a "ganger" of labourers employed on the Pier Works, saw
the deceased fall from the trestle. Witness was standing at the top of
the parapet, and therefore could not see the position in which the
deceased was standing as the stone descended into its place, but he knew
that the stone suddenly descended on being released, through the plank
slipping away from the jack, and at that instant the deceased fell.
Witness could not say what made the deceased fall from the trestle, but
he believed it was in consequence of the cement being spattered into his
face, which caused him involuntarily to start back, and as he was
standing on the edge of the platform he fell backwards before he could
The Coroner said the foreman of the stonemasons was in attendance, if
the Jury desired to have him examined; but after a short discussion it
was considered unnecessary to call any further evidence. The Jury had no
doubt the occurrence was purely accidental, and they had no reason to
suppose there was any defect in the gear.
A verdict of "Accidental death" was then unanimously returned.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday,
13 March, 1868.
INQUEST BY THE BOROUGH CORONER.
On Monday last an inquest was held before W. H. Payn, Esq. at the
"Fleur de Lis Inn," touching the death of Thomas Gillman, a fisherman,
who was taken from a boat the day previous and died immediately
afterwards. The following evidence was adduced:-
John Tremeen siad: I am a mariner, living in Paradise Street, Dover.
I have known deceased, Thomas Gillman, many years. He was a fisherman,
residing in Blenheim Square. He sailed with me in a smack called
Blue-eyed Maid, belonging to Dover, John Harvey, master, and on Sunday
last, at half-past two o'clock, we returned to Dover Harbour from a
fishing excursion. The deceased appeared at the time quite well, with
the exception of a little cough. The captain gave him orders to make a
rope fast to the buoy in the harbour. I saw him get into the boat, and
he went about two boats' lengths from the vessel when he called out
"Pull me back again; I have broken a blood-vessel." The captain then
told me to get into a boat, and he came with me to the deceased. The
captain then said we had better get him home as quickly as possible. I
assisted in taking him home, and also in taking his things off and
getting him up stairs. The captain went for a doctor, but I believe the
man was dead before the doctor came. The deceased walked home with my
assistance, and also aided by the captain. Lately the deceased had not
appeared well. He complained of a cough and a pain in his side. On the
occasion in question he had not exerted himself violently in the boat.
He was a married man and aged 39 years.
Mr. T. W. Colbeck, surgeon, deposed: On Sunday morning, about ten
minutes to three o'clock, I was called to see the deceased, Thomas
Gillman. I found him in a room in Middle Row, lying on his back upon the
floor. He was quite dead and I should think he had been dead a few
minutes only. Blood was running from his nose and mouth. From the
examination and enquiries I then made, and from the evidence I have now
heard, I have no reason to doubt that his death was caused by a rupture
of a blood vessel, occasioned probably from a disease of the lungs; the
immediate cause of death was most likely the exertion of rowing and
handling a heavy rope. I saw no marks of violence about him. The jury
after a short consultation, returned the following verdict.
"That the deceased, Thomas Gillman, died from the rupture of a
blood-vessel, produced from natural causes."
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 13 February, 1885.
James Dawson was charged with stealing a pot of ferns from the “Fleur de
Lis,” Council House Street.
William Tite of the “Fleur de Lis,” Council House Street, said: The pot
of ferns produced were standing on my bar counter. The prisoner came in,
and after he was gone I missed the ferns. I went towards the pier to see
if I could see the man, and whilst I was there he came into the “Cinque
Ports Arms” and offered them for sale for 4d. I said they belonged to
me, and if he did not give them up I should give him in charge. The
defendant would not give them up, and the landlord put him out of the
house. I followed him and asked him again to give them up, and as he
would not I took them away from him and gave him in charge.
The prisoner pleaded “Guilty,” saying that he was drunk at the time and
did not know what he was doing.
The prisoner was sentenced to seven days’ hard labour.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 8 September, 1950.
Demolition has been in progress this week in two parts of the town.
Near the Marine Station, in Clarence Place and Council House Street,
workmen have been taking down buildings upon which the Corporation had
posted notices ordering their removal as being "in a ruinous condition
and dangerous to passengers."
The buildings concerned include the "Royal
Hotel" Flats in Clarence Place and two houses and the "Fleur de Lis"
in Council House Street.
At the other end of the town, in Woolcomber Street, contractors
employed by the Corporation have been pulling down four old houses in
Exhibition Place, which was so named because the buildings there were
erected in 1851 - the year of the Great Exhibition. These properties
were included in the Central Area No. 1 Compulsory Purchase Order.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 15 September 1950.
THE LAST OF EXHIBITION PLACE.
The four houses comprising Exhibition Place, in Woolcomber Street,
built almost a century ago, in the year of the Great Exhibition,
gradually come down under the attention of the demolition experts. On
the left of the picture are the remains of Old St. James Church.
From an email from Jane Soyturk 12 May 2008.
My Great Grandfather was
George Austen who had the Fleur de Lys from around 1895 to 1910 - I'm
not sure of the exact dates, I am sure you can tell me more. If you want
I have a lovely picture of him standing outside the Fleur de Lis. There
are adverts in the window for the Dover pageant which I presume would be
the 1908 one. I would also be grateful for any information you may have
on him and the inn. I have a feeling he may have run into money
difficulties which is why he left, but unfortunately it was one of those
I have attached the picture of the Fleur de Lis. George Austen is the
man standing in the doorway. He did perform in the Dover pageant in 1908
which presumably is why he is advertising it. I have pictures of him in
costume as well if they are of any interest.
He was born in 1870 so would not have been the other G Austen you
mention, so couldn't have been the licensee from the Bell in St James
Whether it was from the Fleur de Lis or the New Commercial Quay in,
he seemed to have contact with quite a few French and Spanish sailors.
We still have a bayonet given to him by a French sailor and my Mum has
some small wooden shoes given to my grandmother by a Spanish sailor. My
Grandmother would have been born at the Fleur de Lis in 1900.
Thanks for your help, if I find out any more I'll get in touch.
HOLMES Thomas 1823-47+
CRITTENDEN James 1851
TRIM Daniel Jarvis 1858
RANSLEY George 1858-59
BELL John Joseph 1860-64+
STILL George 1874+
STILL Mrs Sarah Ann to Nov/1881
MORRIS John Nov/1881-Jun/82
GORE James Dawson Jun/1882+
St. Peter's Isle of Thanet)
DANE Davis William 1885
TITE William Feb/1885+
CLARK Thomas to Sept/1885
BRIDGEMAN Thomas Sept/1885+
St. Mary Church, Devonshire)
KINGSMILL Richard 1886-1891+
AUSTEN George 1895-Jan/1910
KING Frederick William Jan/1910-Apr/36 end
GRAHAM Truman George Apr/1936-39 end
LUKEHURST George 1939
From the Pigot's Directory 1823
From the Pigot's Directory 1828-9
From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34
From the Pigot's Directory 1839
From the Pigot's Directory 1840
From Bagshaw Directory 1847
From Melville's Directory 1858
From the Post Office Directory 1874
From the Post Office Directory 1882
From the Post Office Directory 1891
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1895
From the Kelly's Directory 1899
From the Post Office Directory 1901
From the Post Office Directory 1903
From the Post Office Directory 1913
From the Post Office Directory 1922
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1923
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1924
From the Post Office Directory 1930
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1932-33
From the Post Office Directory 1938
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1938-39
From the Dover Express