Sort file:- Dover, March, 2021.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 31 March, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1856

(Name from)

Golden Fleece

Latest 1870

56 Snargate Street



A "Golden Fleece" was closed in 1870 together with the "True Briton" and the "True Blue". The report said all were in the same vicinity.


A "Golden Fleece" was also reported in Snargate Street in 1862 and a writer describing it in 1856 added "alias Swiss House".


8th September 1864 saw the end of this public house when it was auctioned off as Lot 27 of 27 lots owned by the "Jeken, Coleman & Rutley" Brewery of Custom House Quay.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 22 October, 1864.


Edward Hagan, a private of the 13th Regiment, stationed at this garrison, was charged with stealing a half crown, a shilling, and some coppers, and a petticoat, value 2s., from the "Golden Fleece," public-house, Snargate Street.

Ellen Matson, wife of the landlord of the "Golden Fleece," said; Yesterday morning, between nine and ten o'clock, prisoner came into the "Golden Fleece." He remained there nearly two hours. In the afternoon he came in again. He had something to drink, and stood in front of the bar sometime. I had occasion to leave the bar, and during my absence I heard a noise as if someone was at the till. I going to look I met the prisoner coming from the direction of the bar. He went upstairs into the smoking room, and I went to the till and found that half-a crown had been taken out. I followed prisoner upstairs and accused him of the robbery, when he exclaimed, "Oh my God," and immediately bolted away from me and ran down stairs. As he was passing the cellar stairs he took the petticoat produced from his trousers and threw it down the stairs. He was stopped before he could get out of the house, and he then handed me a half-crown, a shilling, and two pence in coppers.

Police-sergeant Bayly said that about 3 o'clock on the previous afternoon he went to the "Golden Fleece" and took prisoner into custody on the present charge. Prisoner begged very hard of the landlady not to hurt him. He took him to the station-house, and the charge having been taken and read over to him, he said he knew nothing about the robbery. He (witness) produced the money and petticoat, which were given to him by the landlady on his taking prisoner into custody.

Prisoner, in reply to the usual questions, pleaded not guilty; but the Magistrates considered that the charge had been fully proved, and committed him to the House of Correction for one month with hard labour.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 4 November, 1865. Price 1d.


William Lawler, a labourer employed about the quays, was charged with assaulting Richard King, another man of the same calling, upon the Commercial Quay, on the previous day.

It appeared that the defendant was drinking in the "Golden Fleece Tap," Commercial Quay, on the previous afternoon, and was creating a disturbance, when the landlady of the house requested the complainant to go for a policeman. Complainant, knowing her husband was not at home, and being desirous of doing the woman a good turn, as he expressed it, went to the police-station, where he saw Sergeant Back, who promised to send down a constable as soon as possible. On his (complainant's) return, the defendant, who was still in the house, came up to him and said "You're the ______ who went for a policeman, aren't you?" at the same time seizing him by the hair of the head and "pummelling" him with his fists. Defendant, he said, struck him in the face, and kicked him. In the course of the scuffle they got out into the road, where defendant continued his ill-treatment till another man came from the bar of the public-house and took defendant off him. He (complainant) was then down on the ground. At that moment; and when the defendant was about to renew his attack, the policeman appeared upon the scene, and took the defendant into custody.

In reply to a question from the defendant, complainant said he did not strike him first; but defendant persisted that he did.

The policeman who had taken the defendant into custody said he saw defendant squaring up to the complainant upon his arrival, but did not see any blows struck.

In defence Lawler said the complainant squared up to him and struck him first. He declined to fight in the house, but on getting outside the house he did box with the complainant, although what he did was done in self-defence.

He called: Patrick M'Cabe, who said he did not know how the row commenced, although he was standing by. He saw a scuffle between the men, but it was not true that King was thrown down and kicked by the defendant. Lawler, however, he admitted, struck the first blow.

The Magistrates had contemplated the adjournment of the case for the attendance of the landlady, but they thought after the evidence of the defendant's witness, this was unnecessary. They considered the assault arose out of a drunken squabble, and that the justice of the case did not require them to inflict a fine. They therefore dismissed the case.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 4 November, 1865. Price 1d.


John Matson, landlord of the "Golden Fleece Inn," Snargate Street, was charged with having his house "opened at illegal hours for the sale of beer."

The defendant, for whom Mr. Lewis appeared, pleased not guilty.

Police-constable Irons said, that on Sunday morning, about a quarter past eleven, he visited the "Golden Fleece," in company with Police-constable Raymond. They knocked at the door, which was shut and fastened. The landlord admitted them immediately. On going into the back room, over the tap, which looks onto Commercial Quay, Irons saw three men, a soldier of the 60th rifles, and three females. The soldier was smoking his pipe and sitting next to one of the females, and, on searching, a pint pot nearly full off beer was found under the bench on which they were seated. The attention of the landlord was called to this, and he said he had only served a pint of beer to his brother, who had come from Appledore. The three civilians were all strangers to the police. One of the men produced a railway ticket showing that he had come from Appledore. Irons knew that one of the woman was a low prostitute, and believed that she lived in the house. One of the others he had seen about Dover, but the third woman was a stranger to him.

The evidence of Irons was confirmed by Raymond.

By Mr. Lewis: The soldier was on pass. I cannot say that the man described by the landlord as his brother was not his brother.

Mr. Lewis submitted that there was no case, the house being closed, and not "opened for the sale of beer."

The Magistrate's Clerk thought the Bench could not convict in the light of his objections, but the course would be to amend the summons for selling beer within prohibited hours, and grant an adjournment if Mr. Lewis desired.

Mr. Lewis said he would allow the information to be amended, without asking for an adjournment. He then urged that all the persons in the house were lodgers. The soldier had a pass, which he produced, and was lodging in the house, the woman he was sitting beside being his wife. The civilians were all from Appledore, one being the landlord's own brother; and he submitted, therefore, that the exceptions specified in the Act of parliament, excluded lodgers and travellers from the operation of the act, were in this case met.

The Superintendent of Police, in reply to the Magistrates said the defendant had been previously before the Bench for keeping a disorderly house, and he believed the military had orders not to frequent the "Fleece."

Mr. Lewis submitted that this case ought to stand or fall on its merits alone, there being nothing to show that the defendant had not profited by the warnings conveyed in his previous conviction.

The Bench considered the offence of selling proved, and fined defendant 2 including the costs.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 9 March, 1866.


Michael Hurley, 28, and Charles Stephen Reeves, 21, privates of the 48th Regiment, stationed at Shorncliffe Camp, were charged with deserting their quarters.

It appeared from the statement of police-sergeant Barton that he saw the prisoners in the "Golden Fleece" public-house in Snargate Street. He asked them if they had passes, and they both said they had passes, which they had lost.

The prisoners denied that they were deserters, but admitted being absent from Shorncliff without leave, and the usual return having been made out, the Magistrates directed that they should be conveyed back to the camp in custody.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 4 January, 1867. Price 1d.



Fanny Stringer, alias Anne Thompsett, a prostitute well-known to the police, was charged with being drunk and disorderly and obstructing the footway.

Police-constable Bowles stated the case. He said that about twenty minutes to eleven o'clock on Sunday evening he saw a crowd of people near the "Golden Fleece" public-house, and also saw the defendant, who was in liquor, falling about on the pavement. She refused to go away, but continued to make a disturbance, and he took her into custody.

Mr. Latham: Were you being kicked about by any one?

Defendant: Yes, sir, by all four of the girls that live in my house.

Bowles said that the defendant's legs were so bad that she could hardly walk, in consequence of the landlord having kicked her out.

The Magistrates sent her to prison for three days, in default of paying a small fine and costs, and advised her to take out summonses against the girls who ill-used her.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 17 September, 1869. Price 1d.


An application was made by Mr. John Matson, of the "Golden Fleece," Snargate Street, for the license of that house to be transferred from him to Mr. John Peel; but the license having been withheld on the annual licensing day, the Magistrates now declined to consider the renewal of the same until the meeting at Broadstairs.




WATSON John 1859+

GOODMAN 1861-Mar/1864 (age 46 in 1861Census) Dover Express

HAMBROOK Mr Mar/1864 Next pub licensee had Dover Express

MATSON John 1864-65+




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