DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Sort file:- Dover, December, 2018.

Page Updated:- Thursday, 20 December, 2018.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1837-

Half Moon

Latest 1906

7 Blucher Row (or Street)

Military Road

Dover

Picture from the Dover Express and East Kent News, 16 August, 1939.

Blucher Row 1936

Blucher Row (17 August 1934), on Durham Hill, now the site of the Corporation flats. The name dates the property to about 1815. It was cleared under slum clearance in the mid-1930s. It is not known whether the Half Moon is in this picture.

Overlay map

Overlay map showing maps today (2018) and 1909. Kindly supplied by Paul Wells.

 

From the Dover Telegraph, 14 Oct 1837.

Inquest at Half Moon, Mount Pleasant:

BLANCHARD, Isaac, 78 yrs (Military Pensioner, original American War): Found dying; verdict: Natural death.

(Mount Pleasant was situated between Cowgate Hill and Military Road.)

 

From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 20 February, 1841. Price 5d.

DEATH FROM SUFFOCATION

Yesterday afternoon, an inquest was held at the "Half Moon," public house, before G. T. Thompson, Esq. coroner, and a jury of twelve persons to enquire into the cause of death of Thomas James Ashcroft, aged 6 months.

Mary Bennett, widow, said, I liver at No. 5 Bowling-green-lane, and the parents of the children occupy a front room on the first stair. I left my home about 7 o'clock yesterday morning, and did not return till the afternoon, when I was called by Miss Friend, who said that the house was on fire. I immediately ran home and went into Ashcroft's room, which, on opening the door, I perceived was full of smoke. I called the children twice, well knowing that they were in the room, but obtained no answer. I then ran to the well for some water, and on my return, fund that two children had been brought out of the room. The baby was quite dead, but the other child, who is about 5 years old, after a short time recovered.

George Meredith deposed as follows: I am a labourer, residing at Lowe-road, Mount Pleasant. Yesterday afternoon, about three o'clock, I was going up the hill with a quantity of rubbish, some woman cried fire! I ran to see where it was, and on getting to Mrs. Bennett's house, I saw the flames of fire coming out of the top window. I then took a pail of water and was going up stairs, when I saw a man engaged in throwing some burnt chairs down stairs. The flooring was being consumed, but I succeeded in putting out the fire by throwing water upon it. There was a large quantity of linen in a heap burning near the window. The smoke was so dense that I was almost suffocated. I then saw a child's foot sticking out from under a bed quilt, and upon uncovering it, I perceived that it was a child, about 5 years old, on its back. I immediately picked it up, and carried it down stairs, and on being told that there was another child in the room, I again went up, when I saw the child was on its face on the floor, by the side of a cradle which had been upset. The child lay about 18 inches from where the floor was burnt, and was apparently quite dead. One arm was a little scorched, but none of its clothes were burnt.

Thomas Hayward, carrier - Yesterday afternoon, on being called by Mrs. Bennett, I ran up stairs and discovered that Ashcroft's room was on fire. Near the window was a bundle of linen and a chair, on fire. The window frame was also in flames. The room was full of smoke, and I could see nothing but the flames. I went to the well to draw some water, and on my return I observed that the children had been brought out of the room. The grate in the room was cool, and there could have been no fire in it for some time previously.

Mr. G. E. Rutley, surgeon, said - Yesterday about half past four I was sent for to see two children, who, I was told, were very much burnt. On my arrival, I found the younger quite dead; but I did not observe any external marks of injury, excepting about the face. The child was put into a warm bath, but it was of no service. The other child was recovering rapidly at that time. I believe the cause of death arose from suffocation by smoke.

Thomas Ashcroft, labourer, the father of the child, on being examined said - I occupy a room in Mrs. Bennett's house. About half-past two o'clock yesterday, I left the room my two children being in it. The younger was asleep in the cradle, the other was sitting in a chair, close by him. I did not return till about half-past four, when I found that the room had caught fire. When I went out at about half-past two, there was a very small fire in the grate, but it was nearly out. I had not been smoking, and as the children are not in the habit of playing with fire, I considered that every thing was safe. I am out and in generally several times in the course of a day. My wife is generally out all day, and yesterday left home early. I cannot account how or in what manner the fire originated, unless it be that a spark had flown from the grate to the clothes under the window.

Jane Friend deposed, that she lodged in the front room on the ground floor, at Mrs. Bennett's. Yesterday afternoon, a little after three, she went to the well to get some water, and on her return she observed two pieces of rags, burning in the road, just under the window. She, at first, thought her chimney was alight, and took a brush and knocked in a cupboard adjoining the chimney, on which some smoke came out from under the paper with which the wall was covered. She immediately ran to Mrs. Bennett, who was at work at a house just below and informed her of the circumstance. On returning to the house, she saw the flames issuing from Ashcroft's window. She had not previously smelt fire, and did not hear the children make any noise whatever. The rags which lay on the road appeared as though they had been used to fill the holes where some panes of glass had been broken out.

Susannah Bennett, on being sworn said - Yesterday afternoon, just after Mr. Ashcroft went out of the house, I heard the children cry. I went up and asked the elder what was the matter? and he said he could not get his brother to sleep. I told him not to mind, but to rock the cradle. There was a little fire indeed in the grate; scarcely reaching above the first bar. Everything appeared quite safe; and I went down stairs and left the house. I did not return till after the fire had taken place.

Ashcroft on being re-called, said that two panes of glass were broken in the window, but they were not stopped with anything when he went out, but there was a cotton blind hanging on one side of it.

The Coroner then briefly summed up the evidence, when the jury returned a verdict, "Thus the deceased came by his death from suffocation by smoke, but how or in what manner the fire originated, there was no sufficient evidence."

 

From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 8 March, 1845. Price 5d.

CORONERS INQUEST

On Monday afternoon, at 4 o'clock, a Coroner's inquest was held at the "Half Moon," Mount Pleasant, before G. T. Thomson, Esq., Coroner for the Borough, on the body of Thomas Rogers, a pensioner in the Rifle Brigade, aged 57. - The jury being sworn, proceeded to view the body, when the following evidence was adduced:-

Edward Jones, surgeon, deposed, on Saturday night, at 12 o'clock, I was called upon to attend deceased, and found him suffering from rattles in his throat, with pulse scarcely perceptible. He was partially sensible. I asked him if he was in pain; but his answer was very indistinct, and I understood him he wanted to sleep. He appeared gasping for breath. I tried to get a little brandy down his throat, but I could not succeed. I remained with him nearly an hour, endeavouring to rouse the system, but not succeeding, went away, and sent him some medicine. On going at 7 o'clock on the following morning, he was dead. - I enquired if he had been ill, and I was told, (I think by one of his daughters), he had been ailing more than a week, and had taken no solid food during that period. He took only a little tea and coffee; some gruel had been made for him, but he could not take it. He had had no sleep since Monday, although he got up every day, and had been on the Heights the day he died between 3 and 4 o'clock. I enquired why they had not sent for a medical man; and they said they did not think there was any occasion. I cannot tell the cause of death. The only symptom of disease I could discover was the rattle in the throat, which might probably proceed from an accumulation of blood or phlegm.

Ann Rogers, daughter of deceased, deposed - My father had complained of a cold for about a week, but had been to the Heights every day to light the lamps. On Saturday when he went up as usual; but Mr. Marshall would not let him light the lamps, as he appeared too ill, and he sent him home. He was obliged to sit down on the bank and was led home, he did not complain of pain, and only coughed. He took nothing but a little bit of toast and some tea. He said that he had had no sleep all week. My mother wanted to send for a surgeon, on Wednesday and Thursday, but he said he did not want one, and should get better. He died about half-past 7 o'clock on Sunday morning. He has left a widow and nine children. I wished to send for the Rev. Mr. Bates, on Saturday, but he said there was no occasion, as he was not going to die.

Margaret Rogers, widow of deceased, was next called, and, after corroborating the above evidence, deposed -  that the deceased had suffered greatly from a cough and spitting during the week, but which left him on Saturday morning. In the afternoon, he went to the Heights, as usual, with two of his little boys, but Mr. Marshall said he was too ill, and Mrs. Marshall made him some hot elder wine. He then returned home, as far as the Mess-House, when he sat down on the bank, and said to one of the boys to fetch his daughter to help him home. When he came in, he complained of no pain, but said his legs were very weak. He went to bed, and about 11 o'clock he was taken with the rattle in his throat, and I sent for Mrs. Jones. He has always been a healthy man. He was servant to Capt. Frampton, when in the Rifle Brigade.

Mr. Jones being re-called, said - if inflammation had existed - the sudden ceasing of the cough might have caused death; and the Jury returned a verdict of "Died from natural causes."

 

From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 15 July, 1870. Price 1d.

INFRINGEMENT OF LICENSE

Richard Pay, the landlord of the "Half Moon," public-house, Blucher Row, summoned for having his house open during prohibited hours on Sunday last, was fined 20s., and costs 9s. 6d.

 

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 16 September, 1904. Price 1d.

A BLACK LISTER

William Woodgate, who is on the Black List, and who had been sentenced to fourteen days imprisonment a fortnight ago for drunkenness at the “Half Moon” public house was now summoned for obtaining beer when he was on the Black List. He did not appear, and it was believed that he had left Dover.

 

 

Active, on the land above York Street in 1839 but proved surplus to requirements in 1906 when Gardner's Ash Brewery received 631 in compensation and Stephen Collard the licensee, 60. Most of the property in the Row seems to be either empty or gone by 1910. Perhaps this escaped. There is further evidence of demolition in 1934.

 

It was described in 1913 as being boarded up because it was too large to let as a dwelling. It was still there in 1924 when a closing order was made. That year it was being used as a store with living accommodation over. Its dangerous condition proved its downfall.

 

DOVER EXPRESS first week OCTOBER 1906 reported the following:- Canterbury Sessions decided to close, under the Compensation Act, six Dover pubs including the "William and Albert", "Three Compasses", "Duke of York", The "Wellesley", The "Old Commercial Quay" and the "Half Moon".

 

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 16 February, 1906. Price 1d.

OBJECTION TO THE HALF MOON

The license of the “Half Moon,” Blucher Row, held by Stephen Collard, was then objected to, the objection being that the license was unnecessary in the interests of the public, whilst there was a further objection that the said premises had been ill conducted.

Dr. Hardman appeared to represent the tenant.

Inspector Fox stated that the license was transferred to the present tenant on the 27th January this year. There had been five tenants in the last ten years. There had been two convictions recorded against the house, in 1876 and 1896. There were five other licensed premises in the vicinity, the nearest being the “Bowling Green Tavern,” which was within 26 yards of the rear, and the “Greyhound,” Union Row, the furthest away, was 92 yards. On the whole of the hill bounded by Military Road, York Street and Cowgate Hill, there were nine licensed houses.

Cross-examined by Dr. Hardman. Of the five tenants who held the house, Fox had held it on two separate occasions, so that there were only four persons who held the license within the last ten years. The last conviction was for permitting drunkenness, and a fine of 40/- and 9/6 was inflicted. They looked upon that as a good conviction. Beyond these two convictions there was nothing illegal against the house or the present tenant. The present tenant had, in fact, conducted the house very well indeed. The class of business done was with people who resided on the hill, and no doubt the class of business done depended on the class of people in the neighbourhood in which the house was situated.

You do not suggest that hawkers and dealers do not require refreshment as well as other people?

I think they require as good lot. (Laughter.)

Witness (continuing) said that they did not subject the house to be opposed himself, but he did not think it was required in that neighbourhood, as there were more than sufficient houses there, but he had no particular reason for saying that this should be the house to go. He should say that the “Bowling Green Tavern” was as well conducted as the “Half Moon.” He could give no reason why this house should be selected beyond the fact that they must take a start somewhere.

Dr. Hardman, in addressing the Magistrates, said that the last ground of the objection that the house had been ill conducted, was the most serious one, because it was a non-compensation ground. If the bench were to come to that conclusion, and they were afterwards supported by another authority, they would get no compensation at all. But the only thing that was stated was that ten years ago the then tenant had been convicted, and Inspector Fox, with bated breath, said that the man was fined 40/-. Was that evidence against the present tenant that the house had been ill-conducted?

The Chairman said that he did not think Dr. Hardman need address the Bench on that point, as the opposition on that ground would be withdrawn.

Dr. Hardman said he was not going to contend that there was not too many houses in this district, but simply to say that there was no reason for selecting this particular house for the one to go. It lay upon the person objecting to make out his case, and asked the Bench to say that Inspector Fox had made no case why that particular house should have its license taken away. Its trade was a good one, and during the last ten years it averaged 231 barrels of beer a year; whilst in the last seven years its average was 187 barrels a year, and for the last six years the spirits returns averaged 95 gallons a year. He was not going to deceive the Bench in saying that the trade had been maintained during the last year. Last year, it did show a considerable falling off, but he did not think there was a single house in Dover, or anywhere about that had increased its trade during the last year. But in that house they had got a tenant who preferred to do a similar trade and keep the house respectable, rather than a large trade at all risks. He did not think that the house should be judged from its trade last year, and there was no question that the trade had been a very good one in the past. It was common knowledge that compensation means a loss to the owner and to the tenant and he asked them to say that out of five this one should not be the house selected for, report to Quarter Sessions.

THE MAGISTRATES DECISION

After a short consultation in private, the Magistrates turned to the Bench. The Chairman said “The following houses will be referred to the Kent Compensation Committee of the Quarter Sessions in due form: The “William and Albert,” The “Three Compasses,” the “Wellesley Inn,” the “Old Commercial Quay,” the “Duke of York,” and the “Half Moon.” The licenses for these houses will run until the time when the compensation is paid, and then the licences will cease. With respect to the “Devonshire Arms” and the “Lord Roberts,” and the “Nottingham Castle,” they will be withdrawn from the list.- These licences will be renewed in the ordinary way.

 

From the Canterbury Journal and Farmers' Gazette, Saturday 6 October, 1906.

On Tuesday the Committee settled the compensation to be paid to the owners and tenants of some of the houses, the licenses of which had been taken away. The following figures were agreed upon:-

"Half Moon," Dover. 691.

To the owners (Messrs. Gardner, Ash). 631.

To the Tenant. (Stephen Collard). 60.

 

 

Another "Half Moon" was listed in "Annuals of Dover" by John Bavington Jones (1916) as present in Biggin Street 1545.

 

LICENSEE LIST

REYNOLDS John 1840-51+ (age 45 in 1851Census) Pigot's Directory 1840Bagshaw's Directory 1847

GREEN Thomas 1853-65 (age 40 in 1861Census) Melville's 1858

PAY Richard 1865-99 (age 58 in 1891Census) Post Office Directory 1874Post Office Directory 1882Post Office Directory 1891Pikes 1895

Last pub licensee had FOX Charles 1899 Kelly's Directory 1899

MOTT A 1899-July/1901 Post Office Directory 1903Dover Express (Of Canterbury)

WHITE Edward July/1901-03+ Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1903

FOX Caleb John 1904

COLLARD Stephen 1904-Dec/06

 

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

Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

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

Pikes 1895From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1895

Kelly's Directory 1899From the Kelly's Directory 1899

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1901

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

CensusCensus

 

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

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