92 Snargate Street
86 Snargate Street (88
Above shows the "George Hotel", identified by the flagpole on the apex
of the roof and was the first of the properties to go when it was
demolished to make an easier turn for the trams from Snargate Street
into Strond Street.
Next to the "George Hotel," on the town side, were the premises of
Samuel Suter, a ship-chandler, and then came the "Mechanics'
Arms," the Friendly Society convalescent home, Mrs. Wilson's
lodging house, and the premises of R. Tritton, baker and confectioner.
Beyond the "George Hotel" van be seen the facade of the "Prince
Imperial," the "Ship Restaurant," and the Waverley Temperance Hotel.
George Hotel is shown above marked with "XX" just to the
right of the ship. Markd with "XXX" is the "Mechanics'
Arms." The single "X" is the "Prince
To keep the record straight I have to say first that my searches produced
the "George Inn" of 86 Snargate Street and the "George Hotel" of the same
street. Not to be confused with the "George" of
Bench Street. There being some confusion here with the "George"
being in Bench Street just round the corner from the "George Inn" in
Snargate Street. The licensees shed no light on the matter either. I expect they are
one and the same establishment but I point that out before giving the facts
The only brewer revealed was George Beer. A description of the "George
Inn", which was said to date from 1720, identified it with a corner site on
the South side of Snargate Street and stated that it narrowly missed
compulsory purchase in 1835 when there were intentions to widen the approach
to the victualling yard. Lack of funds prevented that.
From the Kentish Post or Canterbury News-Letter,
June 17-20, 1730. Kindly sent from Alec Hasenson.
Sale of a Messuage advertised at the Sign of the George
at the Pier in Dover July 2.
A description of the "George Hotel" about 1900, stated that it stood
opposite the Packet Yard with entrances from Strond Street and Snargate
Street. It was permitted to open at five a.m. from 1876.
From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General
Advertiser, Saturday 4 February, 1843. Price 5d.
DOVER POLICE COURT
Mary Holliday, committed fro trial, charged with stealing a gown,
property of Mary Ann Spicer, from the "George Inn," Snargate Street.
From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General
Advertiser, Saturday 1 March, 1845. Price 5d.
DOVER POLICE REPORT
FRIDAY - W. Carol, labourer, was fined 19s. including costs, for
assaulting the landlord of the "George" public-house; and in default of
payment was committed for one week.
From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General
Advertiser, Saturday 26 December, 1846. Price 5d.
We last week published an account of a hoax practised on a tradesman
in London. On Tuesday a similar trick was attempted on Mr. Philpott,
landlord of the "George Inn," whose house for upwards of an hour was
besieged by parties who had received notes containing orders, seemingly
written by Mr. or Mrs. Philpott. Among those in attendance were - an
undertaker, to take the measure of a gentleman just dead; two barbers,
to shave the deceased; two butchers' men, with legs of mutton; two
grocers, with huge cheeses; a tobacconist; a chimney-sweep; a dustman; a
music master, &c., in addition to a mourning coach and three carriages.
From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General
Advertiser, Saturday 16 March, 1850. Price 5d.
An inquest was held on Tuesday at the "George Inn," Snargate Street,
before G. T. Thompson, Esq., Coroner for the Borough, to investigate the
circumstances attending the death of William Watkins, messenger in the
Naval Yard at Dover. Mr. Edward Beale was appointed as foreman, and the
jury having been sworn and the body viewed, the following evidence was
Joseph Dodd, also a messenger of the Naval Yard - I knew the
deceased, who was in the same establishment as myself. On a Friday
somewhere at out the middle of January last, I saw him take a ladder and
bucket for the purpose of washing the windows of the Superintendent's
(Capt. Baldock's house), I saw him again that day several times, when
there appeared nothing the matter with him. On Saturday, the day
following, he walked lame, and told me he had slipped off the ladder,
falling across the edge of the bucket, by which his urethra was injured;
he added, that there was a swelling there about the size of a hen's egg.
He continued about the yard this day, but on the following Monday was
absent from duty to which he never returned. He did not complain of any
one having shaken or touched the ladder.
Edward Jones, surgeon, of Dover I was called in to attend deceased on
Monday, the 21st of January last. I found a slight swelling behind the
scrotum, which deceased thought very lightly of. In a few days I
discovered that the urethra was ruptured, and the urine becoming
extraverted to swelling enlarged to the size of an infant's head. He
refused to have in incision made that were requisite, and in a short
time the whole of the parts sloughed away. Deceased afterwards gradually
sank, and expired on Sunday last, it would in all probability have sunk
sooner but for the kindness of Capt. Baldock, who supplied him with
wine, &c. The cause of his death was consequential on the blow he had
received in the region of the scrotum, and partially upon a stricture of
old standing. I have every reason to believe that his life would have
been prolonged had he submitted to the necessary operation.
Verdict - That the deceased died from an injury received by
accidentally falling from a ladder.
From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 18
AN IMPUDENT BEGGAR
James Henry, a cripple upon crutches, was brought up in custody
charged with begging and annoying persons upon the promenade, and also
with using obscene language.
The prisoner was released on Tuesday from six weeks' imprisonment for
a desperate assault upon a man called Cullen at the "George Inn,"
Snargate Street. A few hours afterwards he was apprehended upon a charge
of assault; but as the case coming before the Bench the prosecutor
declined to proceed against him, and he was discharged on promising to
leave the town. The prisoner, however, does not seem to have complied
with the conditions of his discharge; for on the preceding afternoon,
during the time of the performance of the 70th's band, complaints were
made to the police that he had been annoying persons on the marine
walks. A constable in plain clothes was accordingly set to watch him;
and soon afterwards saw the prisoner go up and speak to some ladies -
thought he could hear what he said - and at the same time offer them a
couple of tracts. The constable at once requested him to go away, to
which he replied that he was "selling tracts, and didn't care a ------
for anybody." He was then taken into custody, and removed to the police
station, where his language was most obscene.
The Bench asked the prisoner why he did not leave the town as
The prisoner replied that he got part of the way on the road, but his
shoe hurt him so much that he was obliged to turn back. On getting back
to the town, he sold his shirt to pay for his fare to Folkestone by
railway, and was just upon the point of starting when the police took
him into custody. He hoped the Bench would take a merciful view of the
case, and if they discharged him he would leave the town immediately.
The Bench remarked that mercy appeared to be thrown away upon the
prisoner. An opportunity for leaving the town was afforded him the
previous day; but instead of availing himself of it, he had given them a
repetition of his bad conduct. They had fined him 5s. and the costs, or
in default seven days' imprisonment.
Prisoner was committed.
From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 29
ASSAULTING A POLICEMAN
Frederick Knowlws, a stripling who has appeared more than once before the
Magistrates for disorderly conduct, was brought up by police-constable
Alexander Williams, charged with drunkenness in Strond Street, and
assaulting him, and was committed to the House of Correction for seven days.
In the course of the case the prisoner brought a counter charge of drinking
at the bar of the "George Inn," Snargate Street against the constable, but
it was not substantiated by any evidence, and the policeman himself denied
that it was true.
From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer,
25 November, 1865. Price 1d.
A VIOLENT FRENCHMAN
Auguste Fernie, a Frenchman on his way home from America, was charged
with being found in the "George Inn," Snargate Street, under suspicion
of being there for an unlawful purpose. He was also charged with
assaulting police-constable Belton while in the esecution of his duty
and thereby breaking his leg.
The prisoner declared himself unable to speak English.
Police-constable Gedds having been sworn as interpreter.
Prisoner said he knew nothing of the charge, and it appeared that he
was considerably the worse for liquor when taken into custody.
Leonora Browning said the "George Inn" was kept by her brother,
Charles Browning. The prisoner was in the house on the preceding evening
about a quarter past nine o'clock. He was not drinking there; but he
walked in and proceeded to the top of a flight of stairs leading to the
scullery. He made a great noise. She asked him what business he had
there and told him he must not go down stairs, but he did not seem to
understand her. He was very tipsy. She went back to the bar, and asked a
soldier of the Rifles, who was there, to come and help her to get the
prisoner out of the house. He accompanied her to the top of the stairs,
but the prisoner would not leave, and persisted in going down the
stairs. She then sent for a policeman, and on one coming in about five
minutes, she desired him to follow the prisoner down stairs and get him
out of the house. She was obliged to return to the bar, and in two or
three minutes she heard a cry of a man, and the words, "My leg is
broken!" Some other policemen subsequently arrived and the prisoner was
then taken away.
Charles Kettle, a private of the 2nd Battalion 60th Rifles: I was at
the "George" last evening, about a quarter past nine o'clock, when Miss
Browning came to me ands asked me to help her get a man out of the
house. On going along the passage with her I saw the prisoner, who was
down stairs in the scullery. He was wandering about the place, very
drunk, and as far as I could judge did not know what he was doing. I
brought him up the stairs. and on my persuasion he went out, but
afterwards came in again, and as it was impossible to get rid of him a
policeman was sent for. On the policeman Belton arriving, he took hold
of the prisoner by the collar and shook him up, at the same time asking
him what he was doing there. The policeman was in the act of lifting the
prisoner up, when the prisoner, who was tumbling about like a drunken
man, fell to the ground, the policeman falling with him, and in this way
breaking his leg. Another policeman who was with Belton went for further
assistance and I took charge of the prisoner till he was taken away.
By the Court: The prisoner did not kick or strike the policeman. The
injury to the policeman's leg was occasioned by their both falling
Police-constable H. Smith: I was on duty in plain clothes near the
"George Inn," about a quarter past nine last evening, and went to
Belton's assistance. On getting to the bottom of the scullery stairs I
saw the prisoner and Belton in the act of falling, their legs being
inter-twined. As soon as they were down Belton cried out that his leg
By the Court: The occurrence seemed to be purely accidental. I saw no
blows or kicking. The prisoner was very drunk. He was very violent on
the way to the station-house.
The magistrate considered the fracture of the policeman's leg as
accidental, but said the prisoner must be punished for resisting the
police, and he would be fined £1 including the costs.
The fine was paid.
From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer,
17 April, 1874. Price 1d.
EXTRAORDINARY CHARGE OF ASSAULT
Mr. Joseph Simmons, who keeps an eating-house in Strond Street, was
charged with assaulting Charles de Vere.
Charles De Vere deposed: I live at 195, Strand, but am presently
staying in Dover. On Friday, about twenty minutes past one, I was in
search of dinner after a long journey, and, with several members of my
company, went into the defendant's establishment. I asked if he had any
hot joints. He said no, but only hot vegetables and cold roast beef and
pork. I could also have chops and steak. Two of the company had pork,
but myself and lady being a little more particular asked to see the
joint of beef first. He said, "There it is in my window." I went to the
window with the lady, and, to speak candidly, did not like the look of
it, so asked for two chops, and until they appeared went away. We
returned in a short time, and he said, "The price of the chops will be
eighteen pence each." I said, "It's rather dear, I think. What makes you
charge so much?" He said, "Well, there's the fetching, the cooking, and
the mess afterwards, and I thought I should have some trouble in getting
the money from you after you had it." I said, "I think we will go to
some place where we can have more politeness," and he replied, "I don't
want your money; I took the measure of the lot of you before you came
in, and saw you were too good for my place. We all went to the door on
the pavement, the defendant during this time saying, "I don't want you,"
and that kind of thing. When we were outside he said, "Go up to the
theatre; you are a theatre lot of people; go on, go on." I had a cigar
in my hand, unlighted, but did not smoke in his shop. I never do. I
threw this into his shop contemptuously, remarking, "You are a very low
man." It did not touch him, but he rushed out of the shop, seizing me by
the collar, broke my tie and collar stud, and doubles his knuckles into
my neck, his other fist being doubled in front of my face. If it were
not that a young man stepped in between us I think he would have struck
me, but he let me go when the young man interfered. I do not take these
proceedings to gain any damages, but as I travel a great deal I have
done so for my protection.
John Wilson deposed: I am employed by Mr. de Vere. On Friday we went
into the defendant's shop and defendant said before cooking the chops he
might as well tell Mr. de Vere that they would be 1s. 6d., as he might
have some difficulty in getting the money. Miss Edith remonstrated with
him, and he then called us "dirty professionals." Mr. de Vere threw the
cigar end down at the entrance of the shop, and Mr. Simmons rushed out
and caught hold of Mr. de Vere, put his fist in his face, and used some
very foul language, saying that he would knock his head off. When I went
between them he caught hold of me and said he would knock his head off.
Miss Florence Montague, who is in the employ of Mrs. de Vere was
called next, and her evidence was to the same effect.
The defendant said that a part of what had been told the Bench was
true and the rest untrue. The complainant asked for the chops, and, as
he sometimes found difficulty in getting his money from his customers
after they had dined, he told them beforehand what the charge would be.
He was annoyed by their manner and by other things, and replied rather
sharply, whereupon Mr. de Vere, in a contemptible, aggravating way, such
as he had never seen before in his business, threw the cigar into the
shop. Like any other Englishman, he (defendant) then went out and seized
him, when "the other warrior" rushed in between them and separated them.
From firth to last there were a great many words between him and these
people, and he would not put up with their bosh. Indeed, he hoped that
such customers would never come into his shop again, for if they did he
would shut it up.
He called John Ford who deposed: I keep the "George Inn." My
attention was drawn to the noise at Mr. Simmons shop. They were talking
loudly, but I saw no blows struck.
The Magistrates, after consulting together, said they had given the
case their careful consideration, and although there was no doubt that
the defendant had some provocation, he was guilty of an assault in
putting his hands on the complainant. They had no alternative but to
convict Mr. Simmons, who would have to pay 15s., which would include all
From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer,
6 February, 1880. Price 1d.
Richard Lamb, 23, was charged with being a deserter from the 49th
Regiment stationed at Dover.
Police-sergeant Johnstone said: On Saturday night about 11 o'clock, I
met the prisoner down by the Commercial Quay, and when I turned round
and looked at him he ran away. I followed him and caught him at the
corner of the "George Inn." I asked him where he belonged to and he said
Dover, but refused to give his name. Seeing he had a military shirt on,
and suspecting he was a deserter, I called the piquet and asked if they
knew him; but as they did not, I took him in charge on suspicion of
being a deserter. At the station, where he still refused to give his
name, we searched him and found he had on a regimental shirt and also
Sergeant George Dunn, of the 49th Regiment, recognised the prisoner
as being a soldier missing since Friday night from the D Company 49th
The prisoner's description was taken and he said he enlisted on the
3rd of October, 1879, at Leeds.
The Bench ordered the prisoner to be taken back to his regiment.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 8 January, 1886. 1d.
An adjourned inquest on the body of Carl Heid Kruger, was held at the
“George Hotel” yesterday afternoon. It will be remembered that this
inquest was adjourned in order that inquiries might be made respecting
the steamer which was said to have run into Fidelio, of which the
deceased was a seaman. The Coroner (Sydenham Payn., Esq.), on this
occasion stated that enquiries had been made, but no particulars could
be gained respecting the steamer that ran into the Fidelio. It was now
some seven weeks since the occurrence took place, and nothing fresh had
turned up during the interval. The Jury then returned a verdict to the
effect “that the deceased was drowned from the wreck Fidelio, having
been run into by a steamer, name and nationality unknown.”
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 23 March, 1888.
FATAL ACCIDENT TO A PILOT
The tug Eagle, of Falmouth, put into Dover Hoarbour early on Sunday
morning, having on board a pilot who had received serious internal
injuries caused by a fall upon deck. The man was attended by Dr. Fenn,
but he died on Monday morning.
On Tuesday morning an inquest was held by the Borough Coroner (Sydenham
Payn, Esq.), at the “George Hotel”, on the body of Charles Brown, a
pilot, belonging to Falmouth.
Joseph H. Deeble said: I am the son of the owner of the tug Eagle,
belonging to Falmouth, and act as ship’s husband on the tug. The body
viewed by the Jury is that of Charles Brown, he was an oversea pilot
belonging to Falmouth. He was shipping at that place on the 12th inst.
As pilot to Hamburg, as the tug had to tow the barque Woodville there.
All went well, and on the 17th the tug was in the North Sea, off Texall.
It was blowing very hard, with sleet, a heavy sea was running, and the
tug pitched heavily. About 6 a.m. the deceased came down some time in
the cabin and said he was going to put canvas on the ship so that she
could tack, as the wind was so strong the tug could make no headway. I
replied, “Very well, pilot, do what is best.” He then returned to the
deck. I was putting my things on to follow, when I heard one of the men
call out “For God’s sake come up the pilot is dead.” I immediately went
on deck and found the deceased lying just outside the cabin door
apparently dead. He was taken below as quickly a possible. Having lost
the services of the pilot the tug could not proceed and the barque was
signalled to slip the tow rope and then we proceeded for the nearest
port we could reach. We arrived off the Admiralty Pier on Sunday morning
about 7.30 and I landed and procured medical aid, Dr. Fenn coming off.
From the time when the deceased was found he remained unconscious. He
breathed very heavily. I noticed about two hours after he was found that
blood trickled from his ear, but not much. The deceased appeared very
well when he shipped.
Thomas Snell, a seaman on the tug, also gave evidence, and it appeared
the deceased had fallen on the deck.
Dr. Fenn gave his opinion that the deceased died from a fracture of the
base of the skull.
The Jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.”
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 25 August, 1893. 1d.
DOVER BREWSTER SESSIONS
Mr. Smith, of the “George,” who was fined 40s. and costs for having the
house open on Sunday evening on the 21st of April was called up and
Problems emerged when the tram rails were laid in 1897. The sharpest
curve, described as a forty foot radius, occurred at George Corner. It
became the custom for the conductor to beg a bucket of water from the packet
yard and wet the rails in an effort to persuade the wheels to slide round
From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 28 March, 1902. Price 1d.
HOW THE MONEY GOES
John Duncan was charged with being drunk and incapable and obstructing
the football in Strond Street.
Police Constable A. Baker said that about 10.50 on Friday night he found
the prisoner lying helplessly drunk on the footway opposite the “George
Hotel.” Three sailors had been trying to get him home, but they had
given up. He was unable to stand or speak, and was brought to the
Station. There was £1 10s. 4½d. on the prisoner.
The prisoner was dismissed with a caution.
There was opposition to the licence prior to 1909 but that year the Chief
Constable added his weight. The forces under his command were never happy
about premises which could be entered and left from two streets, but in
addition, he pointed out that no yard was available and the toilets were in
the basement, approached by a winding staircase. It was an achievement to
get a suitable house licensed at that period. That sort of evidence meant
that the bells tolled. It closed on 31 December 1909. It was fully licensed
and contained four bars. The lease had expired in 1906 but it had operated
since then as a free house on an annual basis.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 5 February, 1909.
DOVER LICENSING SESSIONS
THE GEORGE HOTEL
This was an objection to the renewal of the licence of the George
Hotel, Snargate Street, by the Chief Constable. The objection was that
"having regard to the character and necessities of the neighbourhood,
the number of licensed houses there and in the immediate vicinity is
excessive and the licence now held by you is unnecessary; and, secondly,
in the interests of the public, the renewal of the licence now held by
you is undesirable."
Mr. R. Mowll appeared for the owners, Messrs. G. Beer and Co.
The Chief Constable said that the George Hotel was situate in
Snargate Street, and was fully licensed. The brewers were Messrs. George
Beer an Co. of Canterbury. The present tenant was A. F. Bidgood. It was
transferred to him on May 4th, 1900. The ratable value was £70 gross,
net £56. there were in the immediate neighbourhood the "Mechanics Arms,"
8 yards distant, the "Prince Imperial," opposite, 14 yards distant, the
"Barley Mow," Strond Street, 50 yards, the "Union Hotel," Commercial
Quay, 57 yards, the "Golden Anchor," Commercial Quay, 79 yards, and the
"Mitre," Snargate Street, 97 yards. Taking the block between "Apollonian
Hall" and the "George" there were 13 licensed houses. The total feet of
frontage of the "George" was 31 feet. There is a bar, public and
private, with entrances from Strond Street, and two bars with entrances
from Snargate Street. There is a coffee room upstairs. There is no yard
to these premises. The w.c. is in the basement, approached by a winding
staircase, which is very bad.
The Mayor: Has the house been well conducted? - Very well indeed; no
complaints against it.
Witness said that at 2.15 p.m. on the 20th January he visited the
house. There were no customers. At 10.15 a.m. on January 23rd there were
no customers. At 6.20 on Thursday, 28th January, there was one customer.
The Mayor: One of the bars is shut, I believe? - Yes, one of the bars
on the Strond Street side is not used by the public.
Mr. Mowll said the landlord had no questions to remark to make on the
The Bench retired to consider their decisions in the four cases, and
returned in a very few moments and announced that each would be put
forward for compensation, the licenses would only be provisionally
Demolition was proposed in February 1910 and was carried out in September
after ownership passed from Dover Harbour Board to the town. No doubt it
would have improved matters for the trams but I understand that it was 1930
before George Corner disappeared altogether.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 9 May, 1924. Price 1½d.
FAILURE OF FORMER LICENSEE
£1,000 LOST IN THE “LIBERATOR”
The public examination in bankruptcy took place in Canterbury on
Saturday of Albert Fitzroy Bidgood, a Folkestone greengrocer, and a
former licensed victualler at Dover (“George Hotel” May/1900-1910). The
liabilities were scheduled at £265, with assets nil.
In examination by the Official Receiver (Mr. A. Harold Ward), debtor
said that up to 1897 he was a Canteen proprietor in the Royal Navy. He
explained that he had the privilege of running a canteen business on
warships, and added that this business paid very well indeed. He gave
this occupation up because his wife did not care about his being away so
much at sea and wanted him to go into the “public line.” In the year
1897 they took a public house at Sheerness.
Asked what his capital then was, debtor replied that it ran into some
thousands of pounds.
On the Official Receiver expressing surprise, bankrupt stated that he
lost £11,000 in the Liberator Buildiing Society. He received a dividend
of about 3d. in the £ on his “Liberator” investment. After paying the
valuation of the Sheerness public house, he had some £700 or £800 over.
Afterwards, he took the “George Hotel,” Dover, where he remained till
1911. He was then out of business for a year. In 1912 he started a
retail greengrocer’s business at Cheriton Road, Folkestone, with a
capital of about £300. His business was, he affirmed, very good for a
time, and he considered it paid very well up to 1918. At times during
the war his takings were as much as £40 or £50 a week, but subsequently
they declined very much, and sometimes were as low as £2 a week. His
landlord brought a claim against him in the Folkestone County Court for
£22 arrears of rent, and debtor counter-claimed for £50 damages.
The Official Receiver: Apparently the result of the action was that the
landlord’s claim was successful, and your counter-claim was dismissed?
Debtor: Yes; because he had Counsel from London, and I could not afford
Debtor declared that he had never possessed any War Stock, or Exchequer
The examination was closed.
CULMER John Hottum 1826-40+
PHILPOTT Stephen 1844-50 end
INSKIP Henry 1850
PHILPOTT 1850-51 end
CURRIE Thomas 1858-64
BROWNING Charles Grist 1864-Nov/71
LAWS George Divus Nov/1871+
FORD John 1874-77
HART Mr C Jan/1878
CHEESEMAN E A 1877
HAPGOOD Charles 1881
DUMSDAY Albert 1882
PEARSON Charles 1882
OWEN Oliver C to Sept/1885
WEBB T S Sept/1885+
St. Paul's Road, Highbury)
HART Mrs 1887-89
HOOPER John 1887 end ?
HATWOOD William James 1891
SMITH Mr 1893
SMITH Mrs Sarah 1895
HOOLEY or HOLLY T E 1897-98
BYWATER Henry Archibald 1898-May/1900
BIDGOOD Albert Fitzroy May/1900-11 (09 end?)
From the Pigot's Directory 1824
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 1862
From the Post Office Directory 1874
From the Post Office Directory 1882
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1889
From the Post Office Directory 1891
From the Kelly's Directory 1899
From the Post Office Directory 1901
From the Dover Express