DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Sort file:- Folkestone, September, 2022.

Page Updated:- Tuesday, 13 September, 2022.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton and Jan Pedersen

Earliest 1692

King's Arms

Latest 1883

2 Sandgate Road Post Office Directory 1874

Shellens Lane Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34

Shelton Lane Pigot's Directory 1839

Folkestone

King's Arms

King's Arms Hotel, Sandgate Road. Sowing William Medhurst as the licensee over the door. Photo after 1847.

King's Arms Hotel

Above postcard, kindly submitted by Kathleen Hollingsbee.

 

Bagshaw's directory of 1847 states that the "King's Arms" was also operating livery stables.

 

From the Kentish Post or Canterbury News-Letter, May 2-6, 1730. Kindly sent from Alec Hasenson.

Auction of Foreign Brandy at the King's Arms in Folkestone, May 11, 1730.

 

From the Kentish Post or Canterbury News-Letter, Feb, 1750. Kindly sent from Alec Hasenson.

Cock fight at Mr. Binfold's at the King's Arms in Folkestone, Feb. 13, 1750.

 

Kentish Gazette 29 June 1776.

Advertisement.

Lost, on the 27th instant, from this town, a heavy pointer dog, with a whole tail, and some small liver coloured spots about his shoulders; answers to the name of Ponto. Whoever brings him, or gives information where he is, so that he may be had again, by applying to Mr. Geo. Boxer, at the "King's Arms" in this town, shall receive half a guinea for their trouble.

 

Maidstone Journal 18 January 1831.

Death: Jan. 7, at Folkestone, Mr. Wm. Gittens, of the King's Arms public house, aged 65 years.

Note: Later date for Gittens.

 

Kentish Gazette 3 December 1833.

Dover, Dec. 2: Tomorrow the Insolvent Southern Assizes Circuit Court will be held here, when the following prisoner will be brought before J.G. Harris Esq., His Majesty's Commisioner, upon petition for discharge –

In Dover Castle Prison: Nicholas Rolfe, late of Folkestone, victualler. (King's Arms.)

 

Kentish Gazette 10 December 1833.

Dover, Dec. 4: Yesterday Thos. Barton Bowen Esq., one of His Majesty's Commissioners for the Relief of Insolvent Debtors (in the absence of Jno. Greathed Harris Esq.) held the Assize Circuit Court in the Town Hall here, when the following prisoner was called to pass his examination to entitle him to his discharge: Nicholas Rolfe, late of Folkestone, victualler, to be discharged, conditionally, upon filing some papers relative to a distress which had been levied on his goods, and upon giving up possession of the house in the occupation of his wife, at Folkestone.

 

Dover Telegraph 28 January 1837.

Advertisement: Edward Pierson, "Folkestone Arms Inn and Commercial Hotel." Edward Pierson, having succeeded Mr. D. Cork in this establishment, respectfully solicits the respect of his friends, and the patronage of the nobility and gentry, the agricultural and commercial interests, and the public in general.

Genuine wines, foreign spirits, bottled ale and porter.

Well-aired beds and good stall stabling.

Note: Neither Cork nor Pierson appear in More Bastions.

 

Dover Telegraph 22 April 1837.

Advertisement: Capital Hotel in Folkestone, Kent. To be disposed of with immediate possession, the lease and goodwill of the well-known and long-established Free Inn, called the "Folkestone Arms," together with the spacious and convenient coach houses and stables adjoining thereto. The fixtures, stock, furniture, plate, linen, china, &c., to be taken at a valuation.

For further particulars apply to Mr. R.W. Watson, Solicitor, Dover, or Messrs. Brockman and Watts, Solicitors, Folkestone.

Dover, April 19th, 1837.

 

Dover Telegraph 13 May 1837.

Advertisement: To be sold by auction, by Mr. David Godden, on Wednesday, the 17th of May, 1837 and following days, on the premises, at the "Folkestone Arms Inn," in Folkestone, (under an execution), household furniture and other effects: comprising four-post and tent bedsteads and hangings, feather beds, mattresses, blankets, counterpanes, high and low chests of drawers, mahogany, painted and other chairs, mahogany dining, Pembroke, Card, and other tables, mantel, pier and chamber glasses, Brussels, Kidderminster and other carpets, sofa, mahogany sideboard, an eight-day and 30 hour clocks, wash-hand stands, mahogany desk, Moreen and other window curtains, sheets, tablecloths and pillow cases, plated candlestick and other articles, decanters, tumblers, rummers, wine glasses, Register and other stoves, fenders and fire irons, kitchen range, coppers, copper and iron boilers, tea kettles, saucepans, knives and forks, meat screens, a quantity of dishes, plates, tureens, earthenware and other kitchen utensils, also divers articles belonging to the coach house, stables and wash house.

The sale to commence each day at ten o'clock.

 

Dover Telegraph 31 August 1839.

Advertisement: To be let at Folkestone, that well-known and established roadside inn and commercial house, the "King's Arms."

The terms on which this house is to be disposed of are that the incoming tenant shall take all that the outgoing tenant leaves, at a fair valuation.

The operations of the South Eastern Railroad which are now in progress must tend very materially to increase the value of this house. Which possesses every convenience for the comforts of travellers, viz., in good and airy bedrooms, sitting rooms, water closet, with excellent stables, &c., &c.

Possession may be had immediately, if desired.

For further particulars apply to Mr. G. Dunk, on the premises, if by letter post-paid.

 

Kentish Gazette 22 March 1842.

SHOOTING MATCH, OPEN TO ALL ENGLAND.

To be shot for on Tuesday, 29th March, 1842, a Fat Bullock, weighing about Thirty Score, at Mr. John Bromley's "King's Arms Inn," Folkestone, Thirty Subscribers at 1 each, (including shots and pigeons).

N.B.—The Subscriptions to be paid on or before the 26th instant to prevent disappointment, and received by Mr. Taylor, "White Lion Inn," Canterbury; Spices' "Harp Inn," Dover; and at Mr. Bromley's "King's Arms Inn," Folkestone, where the Bullock may be seen by applying to F. Keen, on the premises.

 

Kentish Gazette 13 May 1845.

Marriage: May 8th, at Kennington, Mr. James Collard, of the King's Arms Inn, Folkestone, to Miss Jane Elizabeth Spain, of Kennington.

Note: No mention of Collard in More Bastions.

 

From the Kentish Gazette, 22 July 1845.

FOLKSTONE. FREEHOLD ESTATES. TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION.

By Mr. THOMAS ROBINSON,

ON MONDAY, the 26th day of JULY, 1845, at Mr. Collard’s "King's Arms Inn."

Lot 1:- An eligible FREEHOLD DWELLING-HOUSE and Appurtenances, situate in Fancy Street, FOLKESTONE, in the occupation of Mr. John Laws and others.

Lot 2:- A valuable Plot of FREEHOLD BUILDING LAND, situate in the rear of Fancy Street, and in a very advantageous and pleasant situation.

Lot 3:- A FREEHOLD DWELLING-HOUSE and Appurtenances, situate in Little Fancy Street, FOLKESTONE, in the occupation of Mr. John Mercer.

The Sale will commence at Four o’clock precisely.

For Particulars apply to Mr. Thomas Robinson, Auctioneer, 18, Bench Street, Dover, or Mr. Edw. Knocker, Solicitor, Castle Hill, Dover.

 

Canterbury Journal 12 December 1846.

A Catch Club has been formed here. From the success attending its first meeting, in the enrolment of nearly forty of the most respectable inhabitants of the town, it promises to be a useful society. It is held at Mr. Smith's, the "King's Arms," whose liberality and attention to his guests are too well known to require any comment.

Note. Smith does not appear in More Bastions.

 

Kentish Gazette, 22 January 1850.

FOLKESTONE. The Tradesmen's Dinner.

On Friday evening se'nnight the tradesmen of Folkestone, to the number of 50, dined together, at Mr. Medhurst’s, the "King's Arms." The chair was taken by Charles Golder, Esq. The toasts of the evening, loyal, corporate, and personal, were given with discretion and effect, and suitably acknowledged. The dinner was substantial and plentiful, and the wines excellent.

 

From the Folkestone Chronicle 9 February, 1856.

Friday February 8th :- Before James Tolputt esq., Mayor, and W. Major esq.

Mr. John Minter, Solicitor, appeared on a warrant taken out against him by Mr. T.A. Davidson, the clerk to the Magistrates' Clerk, the object being to bind him (the defendant) over to keep the peace, he having used (according to the charge) insulting language and behaviour, with threats, towards the plaintiff.

Thomas Atkinson Davidson, being sworn, said – On Friday last, February 1st, in the evening, I went to the "King's Arms" public house. After sitting there some time Mr. Richard Medhurst came in. Soon after, or at the moment, he had a bill in his hand, which he produced. It was a printed bill. I understood him to say that it had been put up in his house, and that he had taken it down. The bill was read to the company, and afterwards handed round, when I asked to have a look at it, and it was handed to me. I have not the bill, but I believe this (produced) to be an exact copy. (The bill was here read in court.) Upon reading the bill, I said whoever has done this it gives them no great credit for their grammar. Independently of the grammar, I said it is a dirty mean thing for anyone to have taken the liberty with Mr. W. Major's name in the manner they seem to have done, or words to that effect. I was not addressing myself to the defendant in particular, it was merely a general observation for the company. Mr. Minter, who was sitting at the other end of the room, said I should like to know if there is anybody as mean, or more mean, in the town than the clerk to the Magistrate's Clerk – and immediately looking at me, said, I should like to, or I shall, and I would if I could get a chance, punch your head. I am quite certain the defendant looked at me when he made the observation, but he did not put himself in any attitude against me. I was not apprehensive that he would there make any attempt as the room was full of company, and I felt I should be protected. So soon as he had said this, which was done in a very angry tone, (this was about 11) I said I beg your pardon, Mr. Minter, I was not addressing myself to you, (I spoke this very mildly) and therefore I will thank you to confine your observations to yourself. Mr. Minter then called me “a cur”. Some other observations equally offensive were made about my having brought his name before the magistrates, and he said if I did it again he would punch my head. Nothing more occurred then, but the next morning I took out a warrant against the defendant.

Upon a representation being made by Mr. Medhurst to me that the defendant did not mean anything, I asked him to see Mr. Minter, and if he could induce him to give me his assurance that he meant nothing by what he had said on the Friday night, and meant nothing for the future, I should be perfectly satisfied, and would proceed no further in the matter. I asked for no apology. I afterwards asked Mr. Elgee, Mr. Medhurst having mentioned his name to me. I got no answer in return. Not receiving any, I believed defendant was in earnest by what he said that night. I am afraid the defendant would, if he had a chance to, do me, or cause to be done to me, some bodily injury. I believe myself to be in danger. I do not know exactly whether he would do it himself or get others to do it.

Cross-examined by the defendant :- This occurrence took place on Friday night. I took out the warrant on Saturday. It was made out and signed by the magistrates on that day but was not issued. It was delivered to the Superintendent on Wednesday evening about five o'clock. The warrant remained in our office until it was delivered to Mr. Steer. The whole of this time I was under bodily fear from you, but in consequence of what was passing between Mr. Medhurst and others I retained the warrant, and studiously avoided meeting you. Not receiving any answer I proceeded with the matter. I did not see you in the meantime that I remember. I never spoke to you.

On Sunday evening when Mr. Medhurst was talking with me, you passed by, and I said good evening. I scarcely knew you until I looked at you. I was sober. I did not notice where you went. I think you passed me, and went round to the bar fire, and spoke with Mrs. Medhurst, but did not notice particularly. I cannot say how long I remained at the bar. I talked to Mr. Medhurst seriously about it, and was anxiously asking him to get me this assurance. I might have stood at the bar and had three glasses of ale. I did not see you the whole of this time. When I left I might have said goodnight, Mrs. Medhurst, goodnight, sir. It is possible I might have said so, but cannot swear. I will swear I went home sober last night. I may have had some other threats made to me by other persons, but none like this.

Observations were here made by the defendant as to the plaintiff's general character, to show that he was a very quarrelsome man.

Cross-examination continued :- I never threatened or struck anyone. You threatened me twice. I was perfectly sober, but you seemed excited. I remained some long time afterwards in your company that evening. I was arguing upon politics, but not with you. I believe you made some remarks agreeing with me. I was under no apprehension that night.

The defendant, (in answer to the Mayor) said “I bear no malice to the plaintiff”.

Mr. Minter here spoke at long length in defence, complaining in strong terms of the frivolous and vexatious nature of the charge, which was got up entirely to injure his character, and particularly of his having been apprehended on a warrant, and subjected to some hours confinement; and stated that the bill (or squib) in question, with which he had had nothing to do, had been introduced into court with a view to prejudice his case with Mr. Major (one of the sitting magistrates) whose name appeared in it.

The magistrates immediately dismissed the case.

 

Kentish Gazette 18 March 1856.

A pigeon shoot came off last week between Mr. Barling Sharpe, of the "Somerset Arms," and Mr. Medhurst, of Folkestone, ("King's Arms") for 5 a side at 21 yard rise. The former killed 15 out of 21 birds, and the latter only 13.

 

From the Folkestone Chronicle 31 July 1858.

FIRE

On Monday night a fire broke out in an out-house used as a bottle house adjoining the "King's Arms Inn". By the prompt assistance of many of Mr. Medhurst's friends the fire was prevented extending to the stables and the house, and was extinguished before the engines arrived, but not until the shed in which it broke out was burnt down. The water having been shut off from the Company's mains, the whole of it had to be fetched in buckets from a pump some 250 yards from the spot.

 

From the Folkestone Chronicle 3 December 1859.

COUNTY COURT William Medhurst v C. Armytage

Monday November 28th:- Before Charles Harwood esq., Judge

Claim for 5, balance of an IOU for 10 – defendant did not appears. Forthwith order.

 

Southeastern Gazette 5 November 1861.

Local News.

Mr. Medhurst, King’s Arms Inn, who has been collecting large penny pieces, had 8 of coppers, which he had purchased, in his bar, last Friday. A sporting farmer at Broadmead was talking about the weight of them, when Mr. Medhurst said he could not carry them so far as his home without stopping. The farmer thought to the contrary, and it was arranged that he was to pay down 1, an if he carried the coppers home, without resting once, he was to have them, which he did with perfect ease, thus winning 7. The weight was 110lbs.

 

From the Folkestone Chronicle 12 December, 1863.

COUNTY COURT DUD CHEQUE

Friday December 11th:- Before Charles Harwood Esq., Judge.

W. Medhurst v S. Fenn – Claim for 5.

Mr. Minter appeared for plaintiff.

It appeared from the opening statement of Mr. Minter, and the evidence of the plaintiff, that some short time ago the servant of defendant came to plaintiff's house, the "King's Arms," and asked for change of a cheque for 5, made payable to Self, drawn on the London and Westminster Bank, and signed “Bathurst”. The wife of defendant endorsed the cheque with her name. Plaintiff without any hesitation cashed the cheque – defendant being a customer. On being presented, however, it turned out that no person of that name banked with the London and Westminster Bank. Plaintiff thereupon demanded his 5 back, which was refused by the defendant, hence the present action.

For the defence it was urged that the cheque was sent to get changed at the request of the drawer, who was a person then occupying furnished apartments at defendant's house, and that plaintiff changed it at his own risk; that the person who wrote the cheque only paid her 33s. due to defendant, and took the rest of the money himself.

His Honour adjourned the case for enquiries to be made with reference to the person who uttered the cheque.

 

From the Folkestone Chronicle 30 January, 1864.

STEALING BOOTS

Mary Hart and Fanny Hardman were brought up in custody, charged with stealing one pair of boots, the property of Edwin LeButt, from his shop in Broad Street.

Mr. LeButt deposed that on the 26th instant the prisoner, Fanny Hardman, came into his shop and asked for some boots for Mrs. Lane to look at. Whilst looking out the boots, the prisoner said she was going to the "King's Arms" and would call for them on her return, but she did not come back. The same evening Mr. Hart, the pawnbroker, sent for him and showed him a pair of boots, which witness identified as being his; had only two pair of that description in the shop that morning, and had only one pair now; knew them by the private mark on them; they are worth 15s. 6d.

Mr. P. Hart deposed he was a pawnbroker in the High Street. On the evening of the 26th, the prisoner Hart came into his shop, and producing a new pair of boots, wished to pledge them. Witness having a suspicion of the prisoner detained them, the prisoner saying the owner was outside and she would send her in; she did not return, however, till next morning when she came in and said she had come to give every information that she had received them from the prisoner Fanny Hardman. Witness then sent for a policeman and gave her into custody.

Michael Upton deposed he was assistant to Mr. LeButt, by whose request he had followed the prisoner out of the shop. She did not, however, go near the "King's Arms," but up Church Street. Witness returned, and going up Bayle Street saw the prisoner, who immediately ran down the Bayle steps, when witness lost sight of her.

P.C. Ovenden deposed that he took Mary Hart into custody at Mr. Hart's shop. She said to witness that the prisoner Hardyman had given her the boots five minutes before she went into the shop to pawn them for her. Witness then proceeded to Hardyman's lodgings, and taking her into custody brought her to Mr. LeButt, who identified her as the girl who had been in his shop on the previous day. Prisoner was then charged with stealing the boots, and made no reply to it.

The magistrates ultimately discharged the prisoner Mary Hart, and remanded Fanny Hardman until Saturday, the 30th inst.

 

From the Folkestone Observer 6 February, 1864.

ASSAULTING A POLICEMAN

Saturday January 30th:- Before J. Kelcey and R,W, Boarer Esqs.

Fanny Hardyman was brought up on remand for stealing a pair of boots from the shop of Mr. Edwin Lebutt, Broad Street, valued at 15s 6d.

Edwin Lebutt, bootmaker, keeping a shop in Broad Street, said: The prisoner Fanny Hardyman came to my shop on Tuesday last, the 25th of January, and obtained from me three pairs of boots at her request, as she stated that she wanted to show them to a Mrs. Lane in Dover Street. She went away with them, and brought them all back. She stated that she wanted another kind of boot and I put up some, which she said she would call for. She then went away, but did not call for the second parcel of boots. I sent my shopman, Michael Upton, to watch the prisoner. Late in the evening Mr. Philip Hart sent for me, and on going to his shop I identified a pair of boots there which belonged to me, and which I had noticed in my shop in the afternoon of the Tuesday before the prisoner came in. I particularly noticed these boots in stocktaking, which I had been doing in the afternoon. The boots now produced are the same I was shown at Mr. Philip Hart's shop; they are quite the value of 15s. 6d., and were taken from my shop in the afternoon of Tuesday, but were not sold out of the shop. Am able to state decidedly that the boots are mine from the private marks which are made on the soles. I had but two pairs of boots of this particular kind in my possession, and I have the other pair still. When she (prisoner) asked for the second parcel of boots she said she was going to the "King's Arms," and would call for them as she came back. I received the boots from Mr. Philip Hart, and handed them over to Sergeant Newman. The boots now in court are the same I received from Mr. Hart.

Michael Upton, shopman in the employ of Mr. Lebutt, said: On Tuesday last, the 26th of January, the prisoner came into Mr. Lebutt's shop and asked for some boots to take to a Mrs. Lane in Dover Street. She had three pairs, and some time after returned with them. I followed the prisoner when she left the shop. She went round several streets, but did not go into Dover Street. I did not lose sight of her from the time she left the shop until she returned to it. On her return to the shop she said the boots were not the sort she wanted. She described what she wanted to Mr. LeButt and asked him to put some up for her by the time she came back: she said she was going to the "King's Arms." I followed her the second time. She didn't go to the "King's Arms," but ran round Church Street. I went back by Broad Street and met her on The Bayle. As soon as she saw me she started off running again, and went down the Parade steps. I then lost sight of her. The shoes produced belong to Mr. LeButt. I did not sell them out of the shop. I am quite certain she did not go to the "King's Arms," as she stated when she left the shop the second time.

Mary Howett, a domestic servant, but out of situation, said: The prisoner has been a fellow servant of mine. On Tuesday evening, the 26th of January, about half past 6, I met the prisoner in High Street. She had a pair of boots, which she showed to me, and said she had had them from home, but they were too small for her. She said she could not get home, and that she had no money and asked me to pledge them for her. At her request I took the boots to Mr. Hart's, the pawnbroker, at the bottom of High Street. On seeing the boots Mr. Hart asked me where I had got them from. I said the owner was outside and I called her in. The prisoner came in, and on Mr. Hart questioning her she ran out of the shop. I did not see her till the next morning. On Wednesday morning I went to Mr. Hart's, as I had promised him the previous evening that I would. I went with a policeman, and assisted him to discover the prisoner. I was then charged with stealing the boots, but was discharged by the magistrates.

Philip Hart, pawnbroker, keeping a shop at the bottom of High Street, said: On Tuesday evening, the 26th of January, a pair of boots (the same now produced) were brought to my shop to be pledged by the last witness. Having a suspicion, I retained the boots, and suspected they were stolen from Mr. Edwin LeButt's shop. I sent for him, and he identified them as his property. The last witness called at my shop on the next morning as she had promised. I marked the boots inside before I parted with them, which enables me to state they are the same which Mary Howett brought to my shop as above stated. I gave the boots to Mr. LeButt.

P.C. Newman said: I produce a pair of boots, which I received from Mr. Edwin LeButt, on Tuesday evening the 26th of January, which he stated to me had been stolen from his shop.

The prisoner was convicted, and sentenced to 2 months' hard labour.

 

From the Folkestone Chronicle 12 March, 1864.

BREAKING GLASSES

Monday March 7th:- Before Capt. Kennicott R.N., James Tolputt and A.M. Leith, Esqs.

William Cowen was brought up in custody charged with wilfully and maliciously breaking seven glasses, doing damage to the amount of 2s 6d, being the property of Mr. Wm. Medhurst, of the "Kings Arms Inn."

William Medhurst, sworn, deposed he was the landlord of the "Kings Arms Inn," and on the last evening, the 6th instant, prisoner came into his bar. Witness was sitting behind the screen, and presently saw a jug and some glasses come tumbling to the floor; some of the glasses were broken; witness got up and saw the prisoner in the passage; in his hearing Mrs. Medhurst said “This soldier has deliberately knocked the glasses off the counter”; witness put him out of the front door; he kept attempting to strike witness; he just struck witness, but not so as to hurt him; afterwards witness found seven glasses broken, their value is half a crown.

Richard Medhurst, sworn, deposed he was the son of previous witness; corroborated the statement of his father.

Prisoner convicted in 2s 6d for malicious injury, 2s 6d the damage, and 5s 6d costs. Prisoner committed for seven days in default.

 

From the Folkestone Observer 12 March, 1864.

BREAKING GLASSES

Monday March 7th:- Before Captain Kennicott R.N., James Tolputt and A.M. Leith, Esqs.

William Cowan, private, 5th Fusiliers, was charged with wilfully and maliciously breaking seven glasses, the property of Mr. William Medhurst, on the 8th instant.

William Medhurst, landlord of the "King's Arms," said that last evening about a quarter before 8 o'clock the prisoner came to the bar. He was sitting behind a screen and saw a jug and some glasses come tumbling on the floor, and some were broken. He got up, and saw the prisoner in the passage. In prisoner's hearing Mrs. Medhurst said to witness “That soldier has deliberately kicked the glasses off the counter”. He repeatedly attempted to strike witness, and did just strike him, but not to hurt him.

Richard Medhurst, son of complainant, saw the prisoner come into the bar and deliberately lift his leg, and sweep some of the glasses off the bar. He was not very drunk.

The magistrates fined prisoner 2s. 6d, with 2s 6d. damages, and 5s. 6d costs, or 7 days' imprisonment. He went to prison.

 

From the Kentish Chronicle, 28 May, 1864.

SALE OF FREEHOLD PASTURE LAND.

The 3n. 3r, 7p. of Freehold Pasture Land, known as Wiltie, in Highlands, was sold by auction by Mr. John Banks, at the “King’s Arms Inn,” Folkestone, on Wednesday. It was put up at 700, and after a very spirited contest, was knocked down to Mr. J. Kingsnorth, at the enormous sum of 1,530. This piece of freehold land, being a portion of several parcels of land, eight acres in extent, situated in different parts of the borough, was bequeathed to the town in the year 1595, for the relief of the town and parish, and formed part of what was known as Jacob, Stone, and Jenkins’ charity. For a long series of years it has only realized the annual rental of 12. By this sale, therefore, the charity will be benefited by above 50 per annum after all expenses are paid. The charity is distributed by the Mayor, and Aldermen, according to a scheme approved by the charity commissioners in 1859, the income being divided into eight parts:- four-eighth parts among the deserving poor of the town and parish —one-eights part to the treasurers of each of the public schools viz., St. Mary’s and Christ Church National schools, and the British School and the remaining one-eighth part for the benefit of the Dispensary. The piece of land situate in Mill-lane some time since laid out for building purposes, formed another portion of this charily land. We should be glad indeed if this could be turned to equal advantage.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 30 September 1865.

Saturday September 23rd:- Before Captain Kennicott R.N., A.M. Leith and J. Tolputt Esqs.

Mr. Valyer, of Sandgate, and a bus driver in his employ named Jordan were charged with having caused a wilful obstruction in the Sandgate Road on Sept. 19.

The charge against Mr. Valyer was that he allowed his cart to stand for two and a half minutes in the road in front of the King's Arms stables, and the charge against Jordan was that he allowed his bus to stand with one wheel a foot and a half over the kerb stones, marking the division of Mr. W. Medhurst's property from the road.

Mr. Minter appeared for the defendants and contended that no wilful obstruction, within the meaning of the Act, had been made out in either case, and the bench discharged the defendants with a caution.

 

Folkestone Observer 30 September 1865.

Saturday September 23rd:- Before Captain Kennicott R.N., J. Tolputt and A.M. Leith Esqs.

Michael Valyer, fly proprietor, appeared to answer a summons, charging him with causing an obstruction in a public thoroughfare on the 19th of September.

Mr. Minter for defendant.

Supt. Martin deposed that on Tuesday morning, the 19th of September, about half past ten, he was in his office in the Hall when the Mayor called him out and directed his attention to a trap which was standing opposite the entrance to the King's Arms yard, about three feet from the kerb. The Mayor directed him to have it moved, and he went to Mr. Valyer's man and told him to remove it. He then received an order from the Mayor to summon Mr. Valyer before the magistrates. He saw the trap there about two minutes.

By Mr. Minter – The trap was standing outside the kerb forming the boundary of the private property belonging to the King's Arms.

Mr. Minter said the case was simple enough. Valyer had driven up from Sandgate to the King's Arms, where, as was often the case in his business, he found it necessary to change horses, and the yard being filled with traps, and also the space in front of the inn, he left the trap in the road whilst the horses were being changed, and he was returning to have the trap removed when he met Supt. Martin.

He contended there was no wilful obstruction in the meaning of the Act, and called William Philpott, an omnibus driver, who corroborated the statement made by Mr. Minter and said the trap was left standing there two or three minutes only.

After a short discussion the Chairman said the magistrates had taken the case into their consideration, and bearing in mind the narrowness of the street they felt that no obstruction ought to be allowed for any period of time, long or short. They should, however, dismiss the case with a caution, recommending defendant to be careful for the future.

James Jordan, an omnibus driver, was summoned for causing an obstruction at the King's Arms on the Tuesday previous.

Mr. Minter for defendant.

P.C. Swain deposed that on Tuesday morning his attention was called by the Mayor to an omnibus and two horses which were standing opposite the King's Arms stables. The horses were eating from their nosebags, and one wheel of the omnibus was about a foot and a half outside the kerb. He saw it standing there a few minutes, and he then went and told the driver, who immediately removed it.

In answer to Mr. Minter, witness said he did not take a rule to measure, but he could tell it was about a foot and a half.

Mr. Minter said a more ridiculous case he had never heard brought before the bench. If they were to be so nice, really the police must be furnished with a rule to measure. But to speak seriously: to come and ask the bench to say that this was an obstruction was absurd in the extreme.

Case dismissed with a caution similar to that given in the previous case.

 

Dover Express, Saturday 13 January 1866.

Folkestone. Tradesman's dinner.

On Thursday evening about 50 of the principal tradesmen of the town dined together at the "Kings Arms Hotel." The Mayor, C. Doridant Esquire, took the chair, supported by J. Gambrel Esquire (Deputy Mayor) and Captain Leith. Mr. T. Caister accompanied the vice-chair. The dinner was provided in Mr. W. Medhurst's usual excellent style, and a very harmonious and pleasant evening was spent.

Baron Rothschild and his Constituents.

At the tradesman's dinner, at the "King's Arms," Folkestone on Tuesday a little incident occurred showing the strong feeling which exist in favour of an opposition to the return of Baron M de Rothschild at the next election for the borough. A tradesman, in proposing the health of the borough member, added dignificantly... "Although I am called upon to propose the health of the borough member Baron Rothschild - I must say that I am not very sweet on him" - an observation which drew forth a storm of "here, here." We have it on good authority that a gentleman of high standing is willing to contest the borough on Conservative principles, and there is every reason to believe the change would prove of great advantage to Folkestone. We understands the proposer of the toast forms one of the Baron's election committee.

Kentish Gazette.

 

Southeastern Gazette 16 January 1866.

Inquest.

On Monday afternoon an inquest was held at the Town-hall, before J. Minter, Esq., the borough coroner, on the body of a man found washing against the rooks of the old pier, Folkestone harbour. The body was that of a well-dressed man, who had not been positively identified.

Mr. W. Medhurst, at the King’s Arms Hotel, stated that the deceased came to his house on Saturday night, and engaged a bed, retiring to his room about half-past nine, apparently with some trouble on his mind. He left in the morning, and witness, on examining his room, found that the bed had evidently not been slept in, while the pillows, which were found to be covered with blood, had been placed on the sofa. There was also blood on the carpet, and in a night commode. The man again made an application for a bed on Sunday evening, but witness told him his room was engaged.

It seems that the prisoner then went to Mr. Powell’s coffee house, Beach- Street, engaged a bed, and left in the morning, leaving an Inverness cape behind him. About two hours afterwards the body was found washing against the old pier, and on being taken out it was found to be quite warm. Means were taken to restore animation, but without effect.

The body was examined by Dr. Fitzgerald, who found a number of wounds on the deceased’s arms which had been caused by the man himself in an attempt to open the larger blood vessels of the arm with a penknife, but they had been made in the wrong places, and there is little doubt that he attempted to commit suicide while he was at the King s Arms. A letter addressed to Mr. Taylor, perfumer, Worcester, was found in the pocket of the Inverness cape. It was found to be written in German, and was signed “Peter Muller.” The letter complained that, owing to some misunderstanding the writer had been unable to gain the affection of a young lady in Worcester, but offered no evidence as to his intention to commit suicide.

The jury returned a verdict of “Found drowned”.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 25 January 1873.

Wednesday, January 22nd: Before The Mayor, J. Tolputt and J. Kelcey Esqs.

Mr. William Medhurst applied for an occasional license authorizing him to keep the King's Arms Hotel open between the hours of 12 p.m. and 5 a.m. on the night of Wednesday, on the occasion of a ball at the Town Hall. Application granted.

 

Folkestone Express 20 December 1873.

Monday, December 15th: Before The Mayor, R.W. Boarer and J. Kelcey Esqs.

A private in the Royal Artillery, named Kennedy, was charged with being drunk and assaulting P.C. Keeler.

From the evidence of the constable, it seems that prisoner was making a noise near the King's Arms during the small hours on Sunday morning, and on requesting him to go away and be quiet, prisoner shouted “Come up here in the dark, you ----, and I'll warm you”. Witness then went down Rendezvous Street and prisoner followed him and said “If you don't come to me, I'll come to you”, and then struck him with his clenched fist on the back of the head, knocking him down. Witness got up and after two or three scuffles succeeded in locking him up.

Prisoner's Sergeant was in Court, and said he had only been in the service four or five months, and bore a good character. He had a pass up to six o'clock on Sunday morning. He would be punished on his return to camp for being drunk and exceeding his pass.

The Mayor said as prisoner would be punished on his return to camp, and as the Bench did not think much of the assault, he would be discharged.

Prisoner then left in custody of his Sergeant, evidently surprised and pleased with the decision.

 

Folkestone Express 2 January 1875.

Monday, December 28th: Before J. Tolputt and J. Clark Esqs.

Mr. William Medhurst, of the King's Arms, Sandgate Road, applied for leave to open his house for an additional hour on New Year's Eve. Granted.

 

Southeastern Gazette 10 May 1875.

Local News.

At the Police Court a few days since Robert Acton Beresford, a tramp, was oharged with begging in Sandgate Road.

Prisoner went into the King’s Arms and Guildhall Tavern, and told people that he was a cashiered military officer.

Mr. Boarer, before whom prisoner was charged, asked the ex-captain if they did not know each other, to which prisoner replied that he was not aware of it.

He begged to be allowed to leave the town, saying he had a family at Brighton.

He was told that he would be at perfect liberty to go away after he had received the public hospitality for fourteen days, during which period he would be kept to hard labour for the benefit of his health.

The “gallant captain,” who seemed indignant at the degradation he was doomed to undergo, was then removed.

 

Folkestone Express 29 January 1876.

Wednesday, January 26th: Before The Mayor, Col. De Crespigny, R.W. Boarer and T. Caister Esqs.

Mr. Medhurst, of the King's Arms Hotel, applied for an extension of time on Thursday, the occasion being a private subscription ball.

Application granted.

 

Folkestone Express 9 March 1878.

Local News.

A few days ago we inserted a paragraph retaining to wanton acts of mischief committed by a retriever dog. The same animal has since given further proof of the extraordinary development of his bump of destructiveness. Finding himself confined in the smoking room at the King's Arms Hotel, he gnawed a hole in the gas pipe. Not succeeding in making his exit by this means, and probably being incommoded by the escape of the noxious element, he with great sagacity turned his attention to the door, in which he also made a hole. The escape of gas was fortunately discovered, otherwise a terrible blow might have been inflicted on the ancient hostelry.

 

Southeastern Gazette 11 March 1878.

Local News.

A retriever is making itself famous by its development of the spirit of mischief. Among other antics it has recently gnawed a hole in a gas pipe in a smoking-room of the King’s Arms Hotel, and also in the door, effecting his exit from the room by means of the latter. The escape of gas was fortunately discovered before any accident resulted.

 

Folkestone Express 10 August 1878.

Wednesday, August 7th: Before The Mayor, Alderman Caister, General Armstrong, and J. Kelcey Esq.

The license of the King's Arms Hotel was transferred from Mr. William Medhurst to Mr. Richard Medhurst.

 

Southeastern Gazette 24 August 1878.

Corporation Meeting.

A meeting of the corporation was held on Wednesday morning, the Mayor (J. Fitness, Esq.), presiding.

A correspondence was read from Mr. Richard Medhurst in reference to his intention of rebuilding the King’s Arms Hotel, and asking the sum of 4,000 for a piece of land to be given up to the town for the purpose of widening Guildhall Street. After some discussion the matter was referred to a committee empowered to make arrangements with Mr. Midhurst, and report back.

 

Southeastern Gazette 21 September 1878.

Corporation Meeting.

The King’s Arms.

The Council was occupied for some considerable time in discussing the proposed widening of Guildhall Street, in the event of Mr. Medhurst pulling down and rebuilding the King’s Arms. A committee had been appointed to consider the matter, and they recommended the council to prescribe certain lines in Guildhall Street and the Sandgate Road, and to submit to arbitration the proposal to take over a certain portion of Mr. Medhurst’s land. It was stated that Mr. Medhurst had asked a very much larger sum than the corporation thought it was worth, and therefore the only resource was to refer the matter to a jury. The recommendation of the committee was adopted. Another resolution empowering the committee to appoint a valuer to value the land, and to offer the amount to Mr. Medhurst, was also carried.

 

Folkestone Express 19 July 1879.

Wednesday, July 16th: Before Captain Crowe and J. Fitness Esq.

Thomas Foster was charged with being drunk and disorderly in Sandgate Road on Tuesday, and with assaulting P.C. Sharpe in the execution of his duty.

P.C. Sharpe said about 20 minutes past five he was sent for to go to the King's Arms. He saw the prisoner in front of the King's Arms, helloing and shouting. His face was bleeding. He tried to persuade defendant to leave, but he said he would not until he found out who hit him. As he would not go, witness took him into custody. When they reached the middle of the road defendant kicked him and tried to throw him down. He obtained assistance, and defendant, who was extremely violent, was secured.

Sergeant Ovenden said the defendant was drunk and in a very excited state.

Defendant said he was excited by having been struck by someone. He was well known in the town, having supplied most of the publicans in the town with trade utensils for some years.

He was dismissed with a caution.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 22 November 1879.

Notice.

Notice is hereby given that the Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Folkestone, in the County of Kent, acting by the Council of the said Borough, as the Urban Sanitary Authority for so much of the said Borough as is not included within the Local Government District of Sandgate, [the same being under the Public Health Act, 1875, a separate Urban District, under the jurisdiction, for the purposes of the said Public Health Act, 1875, of the said Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses as the authority for executing The Folkestone Improvement Act, 1855] in pursuance of the 176th section of the Public Health Act, 1875, intend to present a petition, under their Corporate Seal to the Local Government Board for an order and authority to put in force with reference to certain Lands, Buildings and hereditaments within their district, required for the several undertakings hereinafter described, the powers of The Land Clauses Consolidation Acts, 1845, 1860, and 1869, with respect to the purchase and taking of lands otherwise than by agreement.

The nature of the said several undertakings, and the quantity of land required for, and in connection with the same respectively, are as follows, namely

No. 1: Guildhall Street and Sandgate Road Improvement

The altering, widening and improving Guildhall Street and Sandgate Road, and for the purposes of such improvement the acquisition of the whole of the property known as The King's Arms Hotel, with the Stabling, Yards, Land, Outhouses and appurtenances thereto, belonging to Richard Medhurst, jun., and in the occupation of himself and Michael Pierrepoint Valyer, jun.

The quantity of land required for and in connection with this undertaking is 1210 superficial yards or thereabouts.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 4 December 1880.

Town Council Meeting Extract.

Wednesday, 1st December.

The next business was “To consider claim of Mr. R. Medhurst for the value of the King's Arms Hotel, compensation, and as to offer. To appoint an arbitrator, and to affix seal of his appointment, and as to evidence to be obtained, and business in relation thereto”.

Ald. Hoad suggested they should have a small committee to report back, and he would name The Mayor, Deputy Mayor, and Mr. Dunk.

The Town Clerk said the matter must now be adjourned, as the necessary communications had not been received from the solicitors in the affair.

Mr. Pledge said that he should certainly enter a protest against a small committee, and should propose that the whole Council should deal with the matter. He should deem, if this business was relegated to three men, that a slight had been put upon the rest of the Council.

Mr. Coules expressed a similar opinion.

Ultimately it was agreed that this business should, when ready for consideration, come before the whole of the Council.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 25 December 1880.

Editorial.

The negotiation between the Council and the proprietor of the King's Arms Hotel has at length reached the practical stage, and we are in hopes that the great improvement to the town involved in the purchase of this property is not far off. On Monday evening a Special Meeting of the Council was held, when Mr. Medhurst's claim was made, which is given in our report of the meeting, and it was unanimously agreed that the matter should be decided by arbitration. We are glad to state that in view of these proceedings the Corporation – with one exception – maintained a judicious silence as to the amount claimed. For the same reason we must decline to discuss the subject, with the exception of saying that Mr. Medhurst, not yet having developed into a celestial being, and still having the elements of human nature about him, has done what everyone else would under the circumstances, and asked for substantial compensation for valuable property forced by the Corporation upon the market.

The value of the property will now be thoroughly argued in an Arbitration Court, and we feel confident that Mr. Medhurst will have awarded to him a just and equitable compensation.

Corporation and Council Meetings

A special meeting of the Corporation was held on Monday evening last, the chief business of which was to consider the claim of Mr. Richard Medhurst for the value of the King's Arms Hotel, lands, and premises, and compensation, &c., and as to steps to be taken, and offer to be made, and as to reference and arbitration, and as to the evidence to be obtained, and generally in relation thereto, and to make orders, and secondly to appoint an arbitrator, and to affix seal to such appointment.

The Mayor said that this matter, which had occupied their attention so long, had now advanced another stage. They should approach the subject in a calm and judicial mind. Let them face the issue before them, and as most of them knew by report the nature of the demands put in, they would, as men of business, dismiss that from their minds, and act on facts and facts alone, with the object of doing justice to both parties.

 

Folkestone Express 22 January 1881.

Local News.

The Kentish Post, published July 24th, 1731, contained the following advertisement:

The King's Arms in Folkestone, in the County of Kent, with about 18 acres of meadow land, with a very good garden, being a very good accustom'd house, lately in the occupation of Mr. Richard Vierrier, and now in the occupation of his widow to Michaelmas next. Enquire of Mr. Jacob Wraight, of Folkestone.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 22 January 1881.

A Special Meeting of the Corporation was held on Monday night, the business being to receive the report and certificate of the valuers (on the part of the Corporation), and of the Town Clerk as to the offer to be made to Mr. Richard Medhurst for the purchase, and as compensation, for the property and interest in the King's Arms Hotel.

The Town Clerk stated that he had communicated with the witnesses, all of whom had examined the premises. On Friday they met in London for the purpose of consulting as to the amount which should be offered as compensation. The Mayor said they would remember that on the last occasion he asked them to take no notice of the amount claimed by Mr. Medhurst, as it had no bearing on the real value of the place. They had taken the opinion of four or five eminent men, and the sum they advised the Corporation to offer was such a one as they could fairly stand upon. The Town Clerk said that he had received notice from Mr. Medhurst stating he had appointed Mr. J.W. Ellis to act as his arbitrator, and he (the Town Clerk) had arranged with Mr. Vigor to act for the Corporation.

The certificate of the valuers was then read, advising the sum of 8,000 to be offered to Mr. Medhurst, and which was signed by Messrs. J. Tootell, J. Orgell, R. Read, E. Rye, G.W. Haynes, and W.E. Springall. The Town Clerk said that if he had tried everywhere he could not have selected better men, and when the matter was mentioned to Mr. Vigor he said they had got first-rate and able men.

Ald. Hoad moved, and Mr. Holden seconded, that amount be offered to Mr. Medhurst, which was unanimously carried; also one appointing Mr. Vigor arbitrator to the Corporation.

 

Southeastern Gazette 24 January 1881.

Council Meeting.

A special meeting of the corporation was held on Monday evening, the Mayor presiding, to receive the report and certificate of the valuers (on the part of the corporation), and of the Town Clerk as to the offer to be made to Mr. Richard Medhurst for the purchase, and as compensation for his property and interest in the King’s Arms Hotel.

The Town-clerk explained the course of the proceedings which had been taken by him in consulting witnesses who had been to see the property, and who had on Friday last met together in London.

The Mayor wished to remind the council that he had told them on a former occasion to take no notice of the offer made by Mr. Medhurst, as it had really nothing to do with the final result as to the value of the property, and he thought they had, in the report about to be read, sum to offer that they might really stand by.

The Town Clerk, resuming, said that he received from Mr. Medhurst, on the 6th inst., a notice of the appointment of Mr. Alderman Ellis as his arbitrator, and the arbitrator for the corporation was Mr. Robert Vigors.

The report and certificate of the valuers was then read, recommending that the Mayor and corporation should offer 8,000 as compensation for the property and loss of business to Mr. Medhurst. The document was signed by the valuers, Messrs. J. Tootall, W. Orgill, R. Reed, E. Ryde, G. W. Haines, and W.E. Springall.

The Town Clerk added that he thought he could not have selected gentlemen more capable to value the property, and Mr. Vigors was of the same opinion.

Alderman Hoad proposed, and Councillor Holden seconded, that the sum of 8,000 be offered. The Mayor made a few remarks, urging upon the members to confine themselves to the recommendation of the valuers, and to stand or fall by their offer.

The resolution was carried unanimously, and the corporate seal was affixed to the appointment of Mr. Robert Vigers as the arbitrator on the part of the corporation.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 14 May 1881.

Editorial.

The King's Arms arbitration case is the subject of local importance which occupies the attention of the week. We regret the case has ever gone to litigation, and we are inclined to think the ratepayers must look and feel “glum” – a vulgar and expressive word – when they contemplate the expenses which must be involved in the legal lights engaged on this occasion. How this should teach Corporations to avoid litigation if possible. Of course we do not presume to offer any comment upon the evidence given, and which one paper devoted much of it's space to reporting. We have consistently maintained throughout that Mr. Medhurst should have substantial compensation for property that the Corporation insist upon his parting with. People who have shares in the Bathing Establishment, or property contiguous to the South Eastern Railway would be very tenacious of their rights if they were forced to part with them, and few, we imagine, amongst the most immaculate of our townsmen would be above asking for a fancy price.

What necessity is there for all this litigation? There needed to be only two parties to the contract – one meeting the other in as liberal a spirit as possible, considering the circumstances under which the claim is made. As it is, we think the ratepayers will have the opportunity of seeing the lawyers swallow the nicest, plumpest, and well-seasoned oyster they have ever in the course of their profession come across.

The King's Arms Arbitration.

On Thursday week the case of the Corporation of Folkestone v Medhurst came on for hearing at the Institute of Surveyors, London, before John Clutton Esq. (Umpire). Mr. Webster Q.C., and Mr. Biron (instructed by Mr. Minter) appeared for the claimant, and Mr. Philbrick Q.C., and Mr. Pitt Lewis for the Corporation. After Counsel had been heard and the evidence of Mr. Medhurst and other witnesses taken, the enquiry was adjourned until Friday next.

 

Southeastern Gazette 25 June 1881.

Local News.

In reference to the King’s Arms arbitration, in which the Corporation of Folkestone compulsorily acquire the King’s Arms Inn for purposes of street improvement, the umpire, Mr. Clutton, has awarded the owner and occupier 11,000, and the whole of the costs of the arbitration will fall on the council.


 

Folkestone Chronicle 9 July 1881.

It is with deep regret we record the death of Mr. William Medhurst, late proprietor of the King's Arms, in his 60th year, who, after a painful and somewhat lingering illness, expired on Saturday afternoon last. Amongst all classes of the community Mr. Medhurst was greatly esteemed. Indeed the hotel which he kept was more associated in the minds of those who frequented it with the idea of the kind-hearted, genial landlord than by it's name, for Mr. Medhurst was one of those few men who. By their courteous and generous disposition make friends with all and enemies with none. For the many years that he kept the King's Arms he was intimately identified with all movements which minister pleasure to the inhabitants and visitors. The cricket club, for instance, (at a time when Folkestone boasted of a club that did credit to the town), the local races, in the promotion of balls, in the superintendence of dinners, &c., on public occasions. When he retired from the hotel, the host of friends whom he had made hoped that he would have many years of happy ease before him, but it was not to be, and amidst the regrets of all, and especially the seven children he leaves behind him and his relatives, he was buried in the Cemetery on Thursday beside his wife, who preceded him to the grave by a few years, carrying with her equal respect and regret. The esteem with which Mr. Medhurst was held was seen by the representatives of all classes which attended his funeral on Thursday, and who mourned the loss of an old inhabitant, and a consistent, upright, true hearted man, who will long be held in regretful memory.


A special meeting of the Corporation was held on Wednesday last.

The King's Arms.

The next notice on the agenda paper was “To receive the reward of the umpire in the matter of the King's Arms arbitration, and to consider the steps to be taken in relation thereto, and as to purchasing the property and providing of ways and means”.

The Town Clerk said he had been to London and taken up the award, which he read to the meeting, and which offered the proprietor of the King's Arms 11,000, The necessary course now to carry into effect that decision was to obtain an abstract of the title, to communicate with the Local Government Inspector, and then arrangements could be made and the money immediately paid over, and the property must be given over.

The Mayor: Does the money include the valuation?

The Town Clerk said everything; stock, fixtures, house and land. It did not include costs, as Mr. Medhurst had got more than he was offered. They paid him compensation for the removal of the stock.

Mr. Robinson suggested that when they issued notices for the Debenture bonds they should have the law costs included.

The Town Clerk said that would be the case when they would be in a position to know the amount they would have to pay and to borrow.

Mr. Pledge said that he understood that the Town Clerk meant we had not the stock and furniture, but only the freehold. He wished to know whether it included the fixtures?

The Town Clerk said as he had intimated before, that compensation included everything, fixtures, license and building. When they went over stock and fixtures it was agreed to give Mr. Medhurst compensation for their removal.

In answer to a persistent enquiry by Mr. Pledge, the Town Clerk said they would see by the schedule that the fixtures would be arranged by agreement between the incoming and outgoing tenant.

The Mayor said that Mr. Pledge, as a man of business in this particular line, he should be acquainted with that fact by instinct. (Laughter)

Ald. Caister said they should get possession as soon as possible to avoid expense.

On the motion of Ald. Caister, seconded by Ald. Sherwood, the award was accepted.

 

Folkestone Express 9 July 1881.

Local News.

We have to record the death of our old and much respected townsman, Mr. William Medhurst, for many years proprietor of the King's Arms Hotel, who, after a lingering illness, expired at the age of 60 on Saturday last. The funeral took place on Thursday, and was attended by a large number of the deceased's friends.


 

Southeastern Gazette 9 July 1881.

Local News.

The Folkestone Corporation have decided to accept the award in the King’s Arms arbitration case, by which they will have to pay 11,000, and the costs of both sides in the case. The matter was referred to at the last meeting of the corporation, when the Town Clerk said he went to London and took up the award, and the course now to pursue was to carry that award into effect, unless either party differed on the subject and tried to upset it. So far as he had heard, Mr. Medhurst had no such intention, and the course would be this: to call upon him to produce an abstract of his title, and, upon that being found satisfactory, to apply to the Local Government Board to send down an Inspector to make the necessary inquiry, in order that power might be granted the corporation to borrow the necessary money.


In answer to the Mayor, the Town Clerk said the award included everything, excepting the costs which followed the event.

Alderman Sherwood said he thought they must accept the decision of the umpire as final. Mr. Robinson hoped when they raised the money they would know the amount of costs, so that the whole sum could be borrowed at one time.

The Town Clerk said that would be so. At the same time he did not contemplate the necessity of borrowing all the 11,000, for by arrangement they could sell the land they did not require, and deduct the proceeds from the amount to be borrowed.

Mr. Pledge asked whether, when the Town Clerk said the award included stock, fixtures, and fittings, it meant everything as it stood, or did the award merely cover the freehold and the licence?

The Town Clerk said all they would get was the land the place was built upon, the fixtures, and the licence. What he meant to convey was, that the award included a sum as compensation for the removal of the stock and furniture.

Alderman Sherwood moved that the necessary steps be taken to carry out the award, and that application be made to the Local Government Board for permission to borrow the money. Alderman Caister seconded, and the motion was agreed to.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 17 September 1881.

The King's Arms Hotel.

On Tuesday morning, Major Tulloch, Inspector of the Local Government Board, held an enquiry at the Town Hall, relative to an application by the Corporation to borrow 14,000 for the purchase of the above named hotel. There were present Aldermen Caister, Banks, and Sherwood, and the own Clerk. The Town Clerk stated that the Arbitrators wanted 11,000, and he estimated the law costs at 3,000. In answer to questions by Alderman Banks, the Inspector said the Corporation were compelled to resell the property, but he thought the Corporation could erect a market thereon, by consent of the Local Government Board. The Town Clerk stated that he had not yet received a statement of claimant's costs, although he had applied for them, and the Inspector stated that he thought the Board would require the Law expenses to be taxed. With regard to borrowing the required money, the inspector advised a temporary arrangement with the bankers of the Corporation, on an extension of the Board that they would be willing to grant such sum as they might require. The Board would not sanction a loan of 11,000. It was against an absolute rule. The loans would be granted in two sums, one for that portion intended to be resold, and one for that to be retained. In answer to the Town Clerk, the Inspector said he saw no objection to the Corporation borrowing 11,000 for six months, to be borrowed temporarily from the bankers. It was agreed after a long discussion between the Inspector and the Town Clerk that the application should be for permission for a loan of 11,000, on the understanding that the amount actually required should be lent for 30 years, and in the meantime an exact statement of account should be sent in.


 

Southeastern Gazette 17 September 1881.

Local News.

Major Hector Tulloch on Monday held an enquiry at the Town Hall, Folkestone, into an application by the Town Council for sanction to borrow 14,000 for the purpose of street improvement, the purchase of the King’s Arms Inn and the widening of Guildhall Street being the main object for which the money is required. A long discussion as to the propriety of the loan took place between Major Tulloch and the Town Clerk, and it was stated by the former that the Local Government Board would require a detailed statement of the taxed costs in the matter of the Kings. Arms Inn arbitration before they oould grant permission for 3,000 to be borrowed for the purpose of paying them. Consequently the application for the present must be confined to 11,000 and here again there was the objection, that if the corporation sold the land not required for the improvement, and it became necessary for all 6,000 to be borrowed, it would leave 5,000 at the disposal of the corporation which they might be disposed to devote to other purposes, and therefore the Local Government Board would probably decline to sanction the loan for this amount. Major Tulloch suggested an arrangement with the bank, and in reply to Mr. Harrison said he had not the slightest objection to recommend a loan of 11,000 for six months, but he did not think the board would do so, as it was unusual. Personally he saw no objection to it on the condition that at the end of that time the proceeds of the sale were immediately repaid and a detailed statement of the loan required sent in, its repayment to extend over 30 years. It was mentioned in the course of the enquiry that of the present King’s Arms Inn site of 10,704 feet, 3,100 feet is to be thrown into the road leaving 7,604 feet super to be resold for building purposes.


 

Folkestone Chronicle 17 December 1881.

Auction Advertisement.

King's Arms Hotel, Folkestone.

Notice of Auction Sale of the whole of the valuable stock, untensils-in-trade, and household furniture of the above old-established Hotel.

T.J. Harrison has been favoured with instructions from Mr. Richard Medhurst jun. (in consequence of his hotel being taken over by the Corporation of Folkestone) to Sell by Auction on Tuesday Decem. 20th and 21st the whole of the useful household furniture, stock, and utensils-in-trade of the above old established Hotel.

The furniture comprises iron bedsteads, beds and bedding, large quantity of mahogany frame and other chairs, couches, mahogany and deal tables, dinner wagons, sideboards, Brussels, tapestry, and other carpets, fenders, fire irons, and the usual kitchen and cooking utensils, several prints and engravings, Kent's refrigerator, excellent full compass pianoforte in mahogany case by Hopkinson, also the contents of a well arranged billiard room, comprising nearly new billiard table by Cox and Yeaman, with all balls, cues, markers, &c., deal seats in American leather, mahogany frame chairs, couches, &c. The stock consists of Old Vintage Ports, Sherry, Marsala, Champagne, Hocks, Moselle, Spirits, Cordials, Cigars, &c. The utensils-in-trade comprise a large assortment of glass, plated goods, dinner, tea, breakfast and dessert services, and all the requisites for carrying on the business of an hotel.

The whole will be fully particularised in Catalogues, to be obtained at the Offices of the Auctioneer, 14, Guildhall Street, Folkestone.

Goods on view, Monday, December 19th, between the hours of 10 and 5 o'clock.

Sales each day at twelve o'clock.

Local News.

On Thursday evening, a very gratifying testimonial was presented to Mr. Richard Medhurst, landlord of the King's Arms Hotel, by a number of his personal friends, to mark the occasion of his leaving the Hotel, with which himself and family have been so long and honou class="rably connected. The parting gift consisted of a large and handsomely mounted timepiece, with chimney ornaments, and in the presence of a circle of Mr. Medhurst's personal friends, the presentation was made, the gentleman deputed to perform the pleasing duty making a few appropriate remarks, which were heartily endorsed by all present. He said that that slight memento of esteem was the outcome of general admiration of Mr. Richard Medhurst, who, for the time he had been landlord of that hotel, had displayed those pleasing features of character which had made his father so generally popular and esteemed in Folkestone. In taking their final leave of the King's Arms – which they did that night – they were separating their connection with an hostelry which was a link, connecting the past and present of Folkestone. However, they hoped, they had not seen the last of the landlord. When a man was generally esteemed, as in the present case, they had a longing desire to know where he was going, what was to become of him, the new home that he was to make, the fresh circle of friends of which he was to become the centre, or part. Well, he, the speaker, trusted that the son of William Medhurst would remain in Folkestone, but if he, in the course of life, was called elsewhere, that clock would accompany him to remind him of the friends that he had left behind, and to recall many happy associations as pleasant to the recipient as they were to the givers. The paw of the Corporation having clutched within its claws what they must now look upon as an ancient building, the old landmark of Sandgate Road would soon be swept away, and not even the tail of a rat – proverbial in natural history for deserting a – he would not say sinking but a departing ship – would remain behind. One thing, however, would remain, and that was their happy reminiscences of the place of the good old sire, and the genial and straightforward son, and in the name of old inhabitants and fervent friends he begged to present him with that slight memento of esteem, coupled with the most earnest wishes that himself, wife, and family, wherever they went, may be swept into the harbour of prosperity on the tide of their good wishes.

Mr. Richard Medhurst, who was received with loud applause, in a few feelingly expressed sentences stated his gratification on receiving that mark of their regard. Few, whatever their positions, or wherever their lot may be cast, could escape enemies, or the voice of censure. It was his happy lot, however, to reflect that if he had foes he did not know where to look for them, but, on his leaving the old place, he had abundant proofs of the number of friends he possessed, and that testimonial would ever happily remind him of the fact, and wherever he might go would be the ornament of his home and the pride of his life.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 7 January 1882.

Corporation Meeting Extract.

The King's Arms Hotel.

The next business was to consider the bills of costs and charges of Mr. Medhurst's solicitor, and fees in the matter of the King's Arms Arbitration, and as to mode of dealing with the same, and as to claim of Mr. Medhurst for interest on amount of compensation, and letter from his solicitor thereon.

The Town Clerk, in the course of a long statement, said they now had before them the bill of costs on both sides, with particulars of items. The amount of Mr. Minter's claim, to begin with, for professional services was 406 12s.; Counsel's fees 438 18s. 6d.; amount for professional services and general witnesses 1,318 11s. 1d.; total, with other items 2,164 1s. 7d.

A communication was read from Mr. Minter stating that although the costs may be deemed high, they were made on the scale furnished by Mr. Ryde, President of the Institute of Surveyors. However, he was willing to come to an agreement, that Mr. Medhurst's witnesses should be dealt the same as those on behalf of the Corporation. If a settlement was not arrived at, and they preferred to go into Court, he should require that interest be paid on the amount claimed, as some time would elapse before settlement, particularly if they went to a court of appeal.

The Town Clerk then gave particulars of the claim made by the Corporation. The Town Clerk for professional services 378 11s. 11d.; for disbursements 286 16s. 7d.; stamp 25; counsel fees 326 1s. 6d.; professional and general witnesses 1,072; umpire's fees 171; Mr. Mowle's expenses for deed 1 11s. 6d.; Mr. Wright for conveyancing 26 15s. 6d., and other expenses, total 2,262 17s.

The Town Clerk then proceeded to explain to the Corporation the position they were in over this matter. They were bound to pay Mr. Minter, the plaintiff's solicitor, what was fair and just, and with regard to himself and accounts, he was willing to fix a time, and to go through his bill in all it's aspects. He believed it was drawn up in a moderate way, and therefore was willing to submit it to the judgement of any professional man. He had seen Mr. Minter , who stated that he was willing, if the Council so decided, to leave him (the Town Clerk) to go through is bill in all it's aspects, and to fix what he considered fair and reasonable for his own charges and those of others. Whether the Corporation would entertain that proposal, it was for them to decide. If they determined to so settle the bill, bearing in mind the non-settlement which prevented them taking the King's Arms, the matter could be speedily settled. With regard to the question of interest, they could pay the 11,000 into Court, and allow it to remain in consols. The interest would go towards the payment of claimant. But if they did that they would be borrowing at 5 per cent interest and investing at 3. He thought they should not deal with it in that way, as it would be an onus thrown on him, and an unpleasant one, and the simple question was this, that in trying to do their duty to the town, was it better to settle the bill amicably, or to have it taxed? He believed it could be settled without taxation. Referring to the charges of professional and general witnesses, he observed the amounts paid on behalf of the claiman were in excess of what the Corporation had paid. Incident to the evidence got up, was that of taking up quantities. Mr. Skiller had charged 220, and another architect 201 12s. 6d., the reason given for the charges being that unless they had taken quantities, they could not be cognisant of the plans. He had mentioned that to Mr. Minter, who hinted that himself and Mr. Medhurst would, if the Corporation desired, reconsider any of the items deemed extravagant charges.

Ald. Hoad said he was under the impression that Major Tulloch had said that it was essential that the costs should be traced.

The Town Clerk said that Mr. Hoad was in error. If the costs were deemed reasonable by the Corporation they would be accepted.

Mr. Tolputt could not understand the discrepancy between the counsel's fees on their side and those on the other side, and he wished to know what was included in the disbursements of 231.

The Town Clerk read through the list of items of money expended under this head, including 61 for shorthand notes.

Mr. Pledge said they now had the two statements before them, and they could all give an opinion and speak their minds freely. The Corporation ship had, between these two pilots, got into difficulty, and they must expect to pay salvage (Laughter). Now he should like to see this matter settled at once, if they could do so. Solicitors were like auctioneers; they made their bills as big as possible, expecting their wings to be clipped. (Laughter) If the bills went before a taxing master they would be sure to undergo the clipping process. But if they went through that routine, considerable delay would be involved. They would not get possessed of the keys of the premises until a settlement had been made. Then the decision of the taxing master might be appealed against, and so the matter might dwindle on. Why not for once make their Town Clerk taxing master and let him cut down these exorbitant claims within reasonable charges? He was most competent to do this, considering how well acquainted he was with the merits and circumstances of the case. If the two could not agree, then they would have no alternative but to go before the taxing master. Then, as the Town Clerk cut down the claims made by Mr. Minter, so he would be able to clip off some of his own (Laughter), and if there was any dispute about the matter between the Corporation and himself – well, they could appeal to Mr. Minter. (Laughter) The matter had been so long in hand, the final settlement so desirable, that he thought if they could make a compromise it would be better than the delay and trouble involved in taking the other course.

Ald. Hoad said there was so much necessity to discuss the details of the accounts that he thought they should have an adjournment for that purpose.

The Mayor said he was willing to fix a time in the afternoon to meet them.

Mr. Robinson contended that it was usual when bills were sent in of this nature from solicitors to have the same taxed. The Town Clerk was willing to have his taxed, and Mr. Minter's claim should be subject to the same process.

Ald. Banks said that admitting, for argument's sake, that the figures were right, what was the usual course in such cases? Either side would naturally expect to be taxed. This was a public affair (Hear, Hear). They were not dealing with their own property. They had been badly advised, but now they were in the difficulty, they must make the best of it. He was perfectly sure that Major Tulloch had intimated to them that it was necessary for them to have the costs taxed before the Local Government Board would grant the loan.

Mr. Tolputt characterised the charges made as most exorbitant. One charge of a surveyor and architect was 212, another 201. They were not to treat with this matter in their private capacity, but as ratepayers (Hear, Hear), but Mr. Pledge seemed ready to swallow anything. And then they had on their side the most preposterous claims. One, 64 10s., for his evidence, another, 78, a valuer from the country, 55, and another from a neighbouring town, 55. The question was, whether they were bound to pay these sums? They had to consider the outside public and not themselves over this matter. He should advise that they should meet in Committee and consider the matter over, and when they saw the different items in the charges made they would have their eyes opened.

Ald. Sherwood advocated having the bills before them, when they would be able to arrive at a conclusion over the matter.

Mr. Pledge said that Mr. Tolputt observed that he was ready to swallow anything. Now he had said in his remarks that the bills were most exorbitant and should not be passed. All that he advocated was that the Town Clerk should examine the same, and if a way out of the difficulty could be found without going to the delay and trouble of going before the taxing master he wished to follow it.

Mr. Willis said he disapproved of taking over the King's Arms, and was strongly opposed to it, but he thought they should now make the best of a bad bargain. He thought that if one portion of the expenses was taxed, all of it should be taxed. He considered it would be invidious to ask the Town Clerk to cut down another solicitor's bill.

Ald. Banks remarked, amidst laughter, that they might have to employ Mr. Wightwick to cut down both bills.

The question before the meeting being the advisability of adjourning the same, Mr. Holden wished to know what they would gain by an adjournment. They were there to do their duty on a most important matter. They would vote for taxing these bills, and he thought to adjourn for the examination of details would do them no good. These bills were enormous, and could not in their present shape be entertained.

The Mayor thought an adjournment necessary in order that they should not be in the dark. They ought to be thoroughly acquainted with the particulars.

Mr. Petts was opposed to an adjournment. They would be no nearer a solution of the matter at the conclusion than they were at the beginning.

Ald. Caister: I should like to go through the bills, and I will, too, before I give a vote.

Ald. Sherwood said they should look upon the matter in a business light. They would never think of disputing a bill unless they had seen it. As for the waste of time, they were there to give that for the benefit of the public and they should not grudge it.

Mr. Tolputt said he was interested in this matter, inasmuch as during his mayoralty it unfortunately had cropped up. The amount of the bills was so large that it was almost incredible how it was made up. However, they were plunged into this difficulty, and they should endeavour to see how to best meet it.

Ald. Banks characterised the charges as enormous, and reiterated his opinion that the bills should be taxed. He could not see what good there could be in meeting again, and why they should not vote at once for the taxation.

After some further observations a resolution to adjourn the meeting until six o'clock was carried.

The Adjourned Meeting.

The adjourned meeting of the Corporation to consider the King's Arms compensation was held at six, and lasted until half past nine, but was not public. We understand that no definite conclusion was arrived at, and the meeting was adjourned until Monday evening.

 

Southeastern Gazette 7 January 1882.

Council Meeting.

The important question of the costs in the King’s Arms arbitration came before the Folkestone Corporation on Wednesday morning. The meeting was called to consider the bills of costs and charges of Mr. Medhurst’s solicitor, and fees in the matter of the King’s Arms arbitration, the bill of costs and charges of the Town Clerk, and fees in the same matter, and as to making application to the Local Government Board for sanction to borrow a loan adequate to defray the costs incident to the arbitration, to the purchase of the King’s Arms property, the re-sale of the surplus land, and matters incidental thereto, and to make orders.

The Town Clerk said the amount charged by Mr. Minter far his own professional services was 406 10s: counsels’ fees incidental to the arbitration 438 18s. 6d: professional and general witnesses 1,318 11s. 1d.; total 2,164 1s. 7d. In sending in the account Mr. Minter wrote saying that the fees charged by the valuers were high, but they had informed him they were entitled to them according to Hyde's scale, and he understood the corporation witnesses had charged at the same rate. He was willing that in considering the bill the corporation should deal with those charges in the same way as they would with their own witnesses, and if they liked to make a proposal to pay an agreed sum and settle the whole matter, he would consider it. In the event of a settlement not being arrived at and the bills going before the taxing master he must call upon the corporation to pay the 11,000 into court or put the same upon deposit at the bank. In the case of taxing the bill and a probable appeal months would elapse before the affair was finally settled. With regard to his (the Town Clerk’s) bill it was as follows: Professional servioes rendered 378 10s. 11d., disbursements 231 16s. 7d„ stamps 55, making a total of 286 ;16s. 7d.; counsel’s fees 326 Is. 6d., professional and genera1 witnesses 1,072; amount paid to umpires 171- to Mr. Mowll for production of deed 1 11s. 6d.: to Mr. Wright for conveyancing 2 15s. 6d.; and reconveyance 1: Grand total 2,262 17s. There were two courses open to them, either to accept the suggestion of Mr. Minter and settle the bill if possible, or to refer it to the taxing master which meant considerable delay, and some months would elapse before they could get possession. If they settled the bill they could at once take possession and realise the property He believed the account could be fairly settled without taxation. Of course in dealing with the bill his greatest difficulty would be in respect to the charges made by the professional witnesses who, on Mr. Minter’s account, charged 1,318 and on the account of the corporation 1,070.

The question was discussed at considerable length, the opinion being that some of the charges were most exorbitant, but In the end the question was farther adjourned.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 14 January 1882.

Editorial.

The King's Arms Question,

It is to be regretted that the Council did not, when the question first came before them, resolve that the legal and other expenses over the late arbitration should have been taxed on all sides. It was admitted that some of the charges were most outrageously high; and much dissatisfaction would have been felt outside the Council if the paring down of the bills had been left between plaintiff's and defendant's solicitors. Messrs. Harrison and Minter have therefore reason for congratulation that the subject will come before the taxing master.

If the members of the Council had studied public feeling more than they have done, the meeting on Monday evening need not have been held. The dignity of the gentlemen who desired to have the matter locally settled was not enhanced by this sudden caving in before the unmistakable display of public sentiment, neither was the politeness of the Corporation shown by the refusal to allow the large hall for the ratepayers to wait in whilst the Council were discussing the matter in private. Why this privacy we cannot make out. The public might have been much wiser if they had heard the discussion; certainly they were entitled to do so, considering that they have to pay the piper. However, the demonstration will not be lost if it teaches the Council the necessity of going with, and not running counter to, public opinion.

Various are the proposals made for the use of the King's Arms site when it has become the property of the ratepayers. Some have proposed that it should have been converted into a Post Office, a Museum, and public offices for the town. We would ask the Council to seriously consult public opinion before they take any hasty step. We think it is not at all probable the Post Office will give the sum likely to be asked for the site, especially as perhaps at some future time and office might be established further west, when probably the Post Office authorities might obtain from the Lord Of The Manor a site on easy terms. As for a Library and Town Offices, they are quite sufficient for the purpose for many years to come. The ratepayers want to see some of the money back. The appropriation of the site to Corporation purposes would mean an expenditure at the lowest calculation of 20,000. On the other hand this large slice of ground, sold for an hotel (we believe the license alone would be worth a large sum) and other purposes, would bring in a considerable sum of money. Is the town prepared now to make this great outlay? Is it required? Are not the rates at present sufficiently high? Would not the increase this would involve be adding an extra burden to the town seriously detrimental to it's interest, when for it's welfare we should do all in our power to lighten local taxation to encourage people to reside here? These are serious questions. The representatives should consult the opinion of the ratepayers during the lucky interim before their decision will be given. The ratepayers, we would think, in the words of a familiar quotation, say “Consider it, take advice, and speak your minds.”

Corporation Meeting.

The adjourned meeting of the Corporation, held on Monday evening last, excited much interest in the town. The following is a copy of a bill which was extensively circulated about the town:

FELLOW RATEPAYERS!

Attend the Public Council Meeting, which will be held at the Town Hall, on Monday evening next, at 6 o'clock, to consider the King's Arms compensation case. Your interest is largely involved in the question then to be decided. Consider how your representatives Vote! When such enormous monetary issues are at stake it is only responsible that you should watch the proceedings of your Representatives with unusual care. We now know the grave responsibility connected with the selection of Councillors. By observance of the manner in which they Speak and Vote over this question, you may, perhaps, learn to select the fittest Candidates to guard your interest in November next.

A. RATEPAYER.

 

Before six o'clock the Town Hall lobby was crowded with a most respectable body of ratepayers, which stretched some distance into the road, whilst a number were in waiting within the precincts of the hall. The Superintendent of Police and two constables were stationed at the bottom of the stairs to prevent anyone going up. This crowd was kept waiting for an hour, and considerable indignation was expressed. About half past six, a letter was sent up to His Worship, through the Superintendent, signed on behalf of the audience by Messrs. S. Major and C. Wedderburn, requesting that they might have the use of the large hall to wait in until the meeting was opened to the public. No official notice was given to this respectfully worded communication, except a reply that they would not have to wait much longer. Another half an hour elapsed, the audience showing unmistakable signs of resentment. This was particularly the case with one ratepayer, who, casting his eyes towards the Council Chamber, shook his fist, and with an expression of the utmost indignation said he'd “let them know next November”. A cheer was given for the Superintendent, and a verse of Rule Britannia sung. The Superintendent appealed to them to keep order, as a respectable body of ratepayers. To this, Mr. Wedderburn asked whether it was not treating the ratepayers like “a lot of dogs” to keep them waiting in that manner. Other and similar complaints were heard on all sides, but the Superintendent reminded them that he was only stationed there to do his duty, and that was a question he could not enter into, a sensible rejoinder which elicited applause. Just before seven o'clock a strongly worded resolution was drawn up condemning the action of the Corporation, and it was about to be put, and would have been carried, had not fortunately an announcement that the Council Chamber was opened been made.

A great rush was made for the Council Chamber, which was speedily filled, but not a quarter of those present could be accommodated.

Mr. Wedderburn, amidst loud cheers, declared that the ratepayers had been treated like a lot of dogs.

Mr. Harrison moved, and Ald. Caister seconded, that the large room be used.

This, however, was objected to, as no preparations had been made.

The Mayor, amidst much confusion, explained what had been done in Committee. It had been decided to refer the two bills relating to the King's Arms business to the taxing master. (Cheers) They might talk as long as they liked, but it was impossible for them to do more.

The Town clerk read the resolution passed, moved by Mr. Robinson, and seconded by Mr. Holden, that the bills be sent for taxation in the usual way; also a resolution moved by Ald. Hoad, and seconded by Mr. Poole, that the Corporation be recommended to appoint a Committee, consisting of the Mayor, the ex-Mayor, Ald, Sherwood, and Mr. Holden to arrange for the conducting of the taxation, with power to appoint a separate solicitor to carry out the necessary steps.

Ald. Hoad and Mr. Robinson moved that the recommendation of the Committee be adopted. All the members voted for it, with the exception of Mr. Pledge.

Mr. Tolputt moved, amidst several interruptions, the adjournment of the meeting, a voice remarking “It's all cut and dried”, and another voice “Why can't we have the names of those who voted for and against taxation?”

After some further remarks, the Mayor reminded the meeting that the business was over, and they were then going into Committee.

Mr. Wedderburn: It's disgraceful! We've all been made fools of!

Mr. Robinson said it was the fact of their being present that evening that had brought about the result. (Cheers)

Some further observations followed, succeeding which Ald. Banks said they had been there an hour, but they had considered the public business, and these matters must be dealt with in Committee first (A voice: It's a hole and corner meeting). In sending these bills to be taxed they only desired to look after the ratepayers' interest. Did they think he would sit there in the Corporation for 26 years unless he looked after their interest as closely as he did after his own business? (Cries of Oh!, Oh!, and groans, which continued for some time), when Ald. Banks said that if they did not want to hear him, he would go about his own business.

In answer to a question from the Mayor, the Town Clerk said they were all standing there with nothing before the meeting. He should advise the Mayor to leave the chair, and the meeting would then be over. (Hisses)

The Mayor was leaving, but on the suggestion of Mr. Tolputt, came back.

The Mayor said “With a view to bringing these unseemly proceedings to a close”

Mr. Wedderburn: Why unseemly? The Council have been treated.

The Mayor, resuming, said that if they wanted to send one of their number to say what they wanted, they would hear him.

Mr. Stephen Major, amidst loud cheers, said that there was a strong feeling among the ratepayers that they should be informed why this large amount should be spent in law and litigation over the King's Arms matter. When negotiations were first commenced between Mr. Medhurst and the Council, there was a small Committee appointed to treat with Mr. Medhurst and report back. Why had that never been done? (Hear, Hear) He wished the Town Clerk to produce the minutes to show to the ratepayers that the Committee of the Corporation had done what was required of them. If the Mayor could have the minutes read, it would show that if the Committee had done their duty honestly and faithfully, it will satisfy the public.

The Mayor said the Mr. Major was in the Corporation at the time, and he should have called upon the Corporation then to do what was required.

In reply to Mr. Vaughan, Mr. Major said he was not a member on that Committee.

Some further remarks were made condemnatory of the proceedings, but the Mayor left the chair, and several members of the Corporation were hissed as they left the hall.

 

Southeastern Gazette 16 January 1882.

Council Meeting.

The King’s Arms question is still creating great excitement in Folkestone. Owing to an indisposition on the part of some of the councillors to vote for the large bills for law costs in connection with the arbitration to be taxed, an angry crowd assembled at the Town Hall on Monday evening, and when the doors of the Council Chamber were opened the ratepayers rushed in, threatening to overwhelm the collective wisdom of the borough.

Mr. Wedderburn asserted that the Corporation had treated the ratepayers like dogs, and a suggestion was made and loudly supported that the meeting should be adjourned to the big hall. Great disorder prevailed.

Mr. Counoillor Tolputt: If there is not order I will move the adjournments the meeting altogether.

The Mayor, who arose amid much interruption, said: A suggestion has been made by Mr. Tolputt that he will move the adjournment of the meeting if there is not order [groans]. It will be a very good thing for you if you will listen [great interruption]. He says if we can’t get order he will move that we adjourn altogether [groans]. Then there will be an end to the matter. If you will but listen for two or three minutes I think you will be satisfied with the course we have adopted.

A voice: Yes, all cut and dried [cheers and laughter].

The Mayor: Really, it is only fair to ask you to listen to what we have done, and the position we have taken. I will tell you just the course the corporation have adopted. It is perhaps a little out of order; but it is to satisfy you we have not been idle during the time you have been waiting. It has been decided to refer those two bills for taxation and then to appoint a committee to conduct the two bills through the taxing master’s office. Now you may talk as long as you like, but it is utterly impossible for any human being to do more than this [applause and laughter].

Mr. Fitness: Give them the names Mr. Mayor [loud cheers].

The Town Clerk: I will read the recommendation of the committee if you will kindly listen to me.

A Ratepayer: It is all cut and dried then [groans and cheers].

The Mayor: Listen to the Town Clerk.

The Town Clerk: The recommendations made by the committee of the corporation now sitting are these:—It was moved by Mr. Councillor Robinson [cheers], seconded by Mr. Holden [oheers], and carried, “That the bill of Mr. Medhurst’s solicitor, in respect to the ' King’s Arms’ arbitration case as presented to this corporation, together with the bill of the Town Clerk in the same matter and the original bills of the witnesses as named in the Town Clerk’s bill, be sent for taxation in the usual manner. The next resolution, whioh was carried, was moved by Alderman Hoad, seconded by Councillor Poole. It was “That the corporation be recommended to appoint a committee, consisting of the Mayor, the ex-Mayor, Alderman Sherwood, and Mr, Holden to arrange and conduct the taxation of the two bills, with power to appoint a separate solicitor to carry out the steps necessary and incidental to the taxation.”

The Mayor—That is the position of affairs.

Alderman Hoad moved that the recommendation of the committee be adopted by the corporation.

Mr. Robinson: I will second it.

All the members voted for the resolution excepting Mr. Pledge.

The Mayor: That is all the business, gentlemen, and I am sorry you have had the trouble of coming here [laughter].

The ratepayers did not see the fun of being dismissed so summarily, and they kept the Mayor a prisoner, continuing the altercation for a considerable time, and eventually the meeting broke up in confusion.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 21 January 1882.

A special meeting of the Corporation was held on Monday evening.

The meeting was called to consider notice from the solicitor of Mr. Medhurst demanding the immediate payment of 11,000, and interest at 5 per cent, as from the 22nd June, 1881, and as to steps to be taken.

The Town Clerk said he received the notice on the 10th. The Corporation still were prepared to pay 11,000 to complete that purchase, on condition of their having possession of the property, but they do not recognise any claim as to interest.

Ald. Hoad thought they had already passed a resolution that the 11,000 be borrowed from the Bank, and three members of the Corporation empowered to sign the cheque for the amount in the usual way, pending the bill of costs being delivered. He thought there was a Committee to consider the advisability of sending these costs to the taxing master, and he considered that the matter ought to have gone to that Committee.

The Town Clerk said that the matter could not come before the Committee because the claim for interest had been set up. The Committee had solely to arrange for taxation.

Ald. Hoad said that Mr. Medhurst was in possession as late as Saturday night, and he surely would not require interest as long as this was so.

Mr. Holden said he had seen goods removed that day.

Ald. Sherwood thought that they could not be desirous of interest, seeing the Corporation were not yet in possession. If they had been ready to complete, the Corporation would have been ready to treat, as they were one and all anxious to settle. He would move that the Town clerk be instructed to reply to the notice and inform Mr. Minter that the Corporation had been for some time past, and are now, prepared to pay the 11,000 and to carry out the award on possession, being given the whole of the property, subject to the existing tenancy of Mr. Valyer, but they did not recognise any claim for interest, and declined to pay interest as not being due or payable.

Mr. Holden seconded the resolution.

Mr. Petts, Mr. Simpson and Mr. Robinson having raised questions as to position the Corporation would be in, relative to Mr. Valyer's tenancy, the Town Clerk said they must remember the nature of Mr. Medhurst's claim. He could not send in a claim on any other form, and it was “subject to the weekly tenancy of Mr. Valyer”. That was the way ordinary cases of purchase and sale were transacted, that they complete the purchase subject to the existing tenancy. All they had to do was to give Mr. Valyer notice, but they could not compel Mr. Medhurst to get rid of him.

Mr. Pope thought there was a design in the matter. It was perfectly certain the money should be held until possession was given.

The Mayor and Mr. Fitness thought that the matter might be safely left in the hands of the Town Clerk.

Ald. Hoad said he could not vote for the motion unless the words in reference to Mr. Valyer's tenancy were struck out.

Mr. Holden said he was willing to have the words taken out of the motion if they wished.

The Town Clerk, after some further remarks had been made, said it was useless to strike out the words, for the very first claim sent in by Mr. Medhurst expressly stated that the property was subject to Mr. Valyer's tenancy as a weekly tenant. They had then Mr. Clutton's award, which was 11,000, subject to Mr. Valyer's weekly tenancy.

Mr. Pledge urged that it would be of no use to tender the money when Mr. Minter had told them that until costs were paid, he would not give possession.

Mr. Fitness said that Mr. Minter did not say so.

Ald. Caister: He did in a former letter.

Mr. Pledge wished to know why they desired a favour of Mr. Minter. They had gone so far now that they must deal with the matter in a business like manner. They had got into a mess – at least the Corporation had, for he washed his hands of the whole thing (Cries of Oh! Oh!). He would ask Ald. Caister and Mr. Willis whether he did not strenuously oppose applying for the Provisional Order. And because he had set his face against it, he was now branded as a traitor to his constituents, because he declined to vote for taxation. The most philosophical thing they could do now was to turn their attention as to how they could get out of this mess. The best thing they could do was to get the bills paid as soon as possible. Mr. Minter had as good as said that he would take any offer that was reasonable, and now he could say they had never condescended to make him an offer. They had now formed another small committee to carry the thing through and they would now have to employ another solicitor to watch the other two, and a precious pretty bill would come in bye and bye.

The Town Clerk said there was no asking Mr. Minter to do anything, and no asking a favour. There was a simple notice given by Mr. Minter demanding payment and interest. The response to their reply might be “If you don't pay, I shall take proceedings to recover”. At present they were simply answering Mr. Minter's letter to this effect, that the Corporation were prepared to complete the purchase, but they declined to pay interest. He should have answered Mr. Minter's letter himself, but he considered this was a subject of interest, and thought it best to call that meeting.

Ald. Banks said that if he understood the matter rightly, the Corporation was prepared to pay the money when the other party was willing to grant possession. The question of solicitor's costs must stand over. He always understood that Mr. Valyer was a weekly tenant. They were bound to pay and take possession at once. As to the costs, he never in his life heard of a solicitor's bill being paid at the time the award was made. It was generally, he could assure them, usual to have the costs taxed in such cases, and this should be no exception. All they could do was to instruct the Town Clerk to pay the 11,000, and to take possession. Mr. Valyer, it is true, might turn round and say he was a yearly tenant. They could not go to the County Court and get rid of him, but to the assizes, and undertake an expensive process to eject him.

The Town Clerk in reply reminded Ald. Banks of the case of an ordinary sale by auction. The purchaser was bound to complete the purchase, subject to the tenant in possession. The Corporation were in precisely the same position, the original claim of Mr. Medhurst being subject to the weekly tenancy of Mr. Valyer, and there was not the slightest scintilla of a doubt as to the position they were in.

Mr. Robinson suggested that it should be subject to the existing weekly tenancy as stated by Mr. Medhurst.

The Town Clerk said he would put the words in.

The motion was then unanimously carried.

Payment Of Costs.

The Town Clerk said that when the notice was served upon him he could foresee what was the meaning of the pressure for payment. He therefore made the remark that it was a pity that they had declined to complete the purchase, when he had given an assurance that he was ready to complete, and that the Corporation would pay costs. Mr. Minter then said that if they were prepared to take that course he would agree to it. He (the Town Clerk) replied that it would be subject to the bills being taxed. Mr. Minter replied that according to the determination of the previous evening he could not dispute it, and was willing to let it be so. An undertaking was immediately drawn up on the part of the Corporation to carry that intention into effect, and he immediately let Mr. Minter have it. He had not yet received the reply.

In reply to Ald. Hoad, the Town Clerk said it was most requisite to receive that reply, as it was very important that an arrangement should be made to give Mr. Medhurst the money, as it was for his benefit, which he would do if they arrived at an agreement, and it would also be better for the town to obtain the site. He fully believed that Mr. Minter intended to accept the offer, and he moved the meeting to be adjourned.

Mr. Tolputt said it was as clear as possible, and moved the adjournment of the meeting, which, being seconded, was unanimously carried.

 

Southeastern Gazette 21 January 1882.

Council Meeting.

A special meeting of the corporation was held at the Town-hall on Monday evening, the Mayor presiding. The following notices appeared on the agenda.

(1).—To consider a notice received from the solicitor of Mr. Richard Medhurst (the claimant), demanding the immediate payment of the compensation of 11,000 and interest at 5 per cent, as from the 22nd June, 1881.

(2).—To consider the proposal for the immediate settlement of the purchase of the King’s Arms Hotel and property, and as to proposed undertaking for payment of the legal costs, charges, and expenses, under the arbitration pursuant to the provisions of the Lands Clauses Acts, and the provisions as to taxation therein contained, and, if deemed expedient so to do, affix seal to an agreement for carrying out the arrangements and generally to make orders in relation thereto.

The Town Clerk, recommended that as they did not recognise any claim whatever as to the question of interest [hear, hear], that was the answer they should give.

Alderman Sherwood moved, “That the Town Clerk be and is hereby instructed to reply to the notice, and inform Mr. Minter that the corporation have been for some time past and are now prepared to pay 11,000 and carry out the award and complete the purchase on possession being given of the whole property, but they do not recognise any claim for interest and decline to pay the same as not being due or payable ” [applause].

Mr. Holden seconded, and the resolution was carried unanimously.

The Town Clerk said they would now proceed to the second notice on the paper. When Mr. Minter’s claim was served upon him of course he could see what that meant—i.e. extra pressure for the payment of the 11,000. He subsequently saw Mr. Minter, and made this remark to him, “What a pity it is: you have systematically declined to complete the purchase and receive the 11,000 and give me possession when I have offered to complete the purchase and give you an understanding to pay the legal costs.” Mr. Minter then said “Well, if you are prepared to take that course now I will agree to it.” He said, "Of course it will be subject to your bill and mine being taxed.” Mr. Minter said, “After the determination arrived at last evening I cannot dispute it; let it be so.” He (Mr. Harrison) afterwards drew up an understanding on the part of the corporation to carry that into effect, and he let Mr. Minter have it immediately. He had had it under his consideration since Mr. Moat saw him on Tuesday and he was then unable to give a reply, as he wanted to communicate with London, but he promised it by Saturday evening. On Saturday he said he had received no reply, but expected it on Sunday morning, and agreed to send the result on Monday. The reply had not yet been received. With regard to the other aspect of the case, if any arrangement could be made by which Mr. Medhurst could have his 11,000, it would be very much to his benefit and to the benefit of the town. In view of these facts he asked for a further adjournment of the matter, which was agreed to.

The Town Clerk said nothing would prevent the bills going to taxation.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 28 January 1882.

Corporation Meeting.

A meeting was held on Wednesday last, the whole of the members being present.

The Town Clerk referred to the proceedings of the last meeting, at which he stated he was awaiting the reply of Mr. Minter to a proposal that an undertaking should be given by the Corporation to pay the taxed costs. He had received no answer, but a writ had been served on him. On that, he wrote to Mr. Minter stating the proceeding was altogether premature. As to interest, he should strongly advise the Corporation not to pay it. The Corporation would pay the costs as soon as they were taxed. The question of interest could stand over to be discussed hereafter. He added that he should regret to have to pay the money into court, but the course which was being taken would leave him no alternative. The only result would be to increase the costs of Mr. Medhurst. The Town Clerk also complained that although the King's Arms was sold as a going concern, Mr. Medhurst had, notwithstanding that the Corporation had paid for new licenses, shut up the house. To that letter Mr. Minter replied, stating that the offer of the Town Clerk removed all difficulty, and he would advise his client to accept the 11,000. With regard to the complaint as to the business being sold as a going concern, Mr. Medhurst would have been only too glad to have handed it over, but the Corporation compelled him to dispose of all his stock, refusing to take any portion.

The Town Clerk said that was the shape which the matter had taken. At the same time, Mr. Medhurst's solicitor returned the memorandum of undertaking, with reference to the costs of arbitration, which had been submitted to him a week or two ago, in which was inserted a clause which he deemed essential with reference to the nature of Mr. Valyer's tenancy.

The Town Clerk read the memorandum, and then said he could now advise the Corporation to complete the purchase, and pay the 11,000. Then they would ask in what position it left them. Mr. Minter was setting up a claim for interest on 11,000, from the date of the award, and there was also the question of costs. As to interest, he advised strongly, there was no claim to interest which could be supported. As to the costs, they had already appointed a committee to see them taxed, and the first step would be taken in a few days to carry out those instructions. As to the other step which had been taken, the service of the writ; on the back was endorsed the demand for 11,000 due under the award of Mr. John Clutton &c., with interest thereon, at the rate of 5 percent from the 22nd June. He need hardly say that the question of the 11,000 would be disposed of at once by the amount being paid. The question of interest would be reserved for future decision. Assuming that they approved of the steps taken, they would pass a resolution that the corporate seal be affixed to the undertaking, when it had been signed by Mr. Medhurst. With rgard to the writ, it was absolutely essential that an appearance should be entered. That would require another resolution, “That the Town Clerk be instructed to enter an appearance, and that he be retained to defend any proceedings which might be taken against the Corporation”.

Ald. Hoad moved the first resolution, that the seal be affixed to the undertaking by the Corporation to pay the taxed costs. Mr. Holden seconded the resolution.

Mr. Pledge asked if the Corporate seal was to be affixed to the document, and that they were still to go on in litigation over this matter? He gathered, from what had been said, that the amount they were to give, according to the decision of Mr. Clutton when he made his award, was with interest from the date. And now Mr. Medhurst had served them with a writ, which was just what he expected. (Laughter, “Hear, Hear”, and “So you said”.) Did he understand that the Town Clerk was to put in an appearance against that which was quite right? (Laughter)

Mr. Tolputt rose to order. Mr. Pledge was not speaking to the question.

As Mr. Pledge persisted in speaking, Mr. Tolputt said that he protested against the abominable waste of time which Mr. Pledge was causing. (Hear, Hear) If he was so dense, so thick, he would say if he was so stupid (Laughter) as not to be able to understand the simple working of a resolution, that was not the fault of the Corporation. He got up and interrupted the business, when he ought to know better. Such conduct was an insult to the Corporation. (Hear, Hear)

Mr. Holden thoroughly endorsed Mr. Tolputt's remarks. As men of business they met there to transact their business in a proper way. (Hear, Hear) When a resolution was read, if a man could not understand the purport of it, it was not their fault, but his own. (Hear, Hear and laughter)

Mr. Pledge repeated that he was not present when the resolution was read.

Mr. Holden said that he ought to have been, whereupon Mr. Pledge rejoined that that was a hole and corner meeting.

The Mayor protested against such remarks. Mr. Pledge was perfectly aware that there was to be a meeting half an hour before the adjourned meeting to consider the question. The reporters were present, and were quite open to report anything.

Mr. Holden thought the time had arrived when the members were bound to make a stand against the irregular remarks made not only in that room, but in the public prints.

The resolution was then put and carried, there being but one non-voter, Mr. Pledge.

Alderman Sherwood then moved that the Town Clerk be instructed to enter an appearance to the writ served upon the Corporation by Mr. Medhurst, but he sincerely hoped that they would hear no more of it. Mr. Simpson seconded.

The Mayor then submitted the question to the vote and Mr.Pledge said that it was then true they were going on with litigation. (Laughter and interruption) He asked if it was possible for them to know when this business was coming to an end. It was one of the greatest sells they had ever had, and it had fetched a good price. He did not hesitate to say it was one of the finest milk cows ever brought into Folkestone, and they had milked 15,500 out of the ratepayers.

Some irregular remarks passed between Mr. Pledge and the other Councillors, when Mr. Petts protested against the waste of time, as the resolution was carried.

Mr. Tolputt said he must rise again to protest against the Mayor's Deputy's remarks. (Hear, Hear) He wondered the Mayor did not try to drive a little common sense into his mind. (Laughter) He (Mr. Pledge) knew very well there was a writ served on the Corporation. Why didn't he get up and make a proposition to pay? (Laughter) It was a waste of time, because Mr. Pledge knew very well they must put in an appearance. He repeated that it was an abominable waste of time. (Hear, Hear)

After some further desultory remarks the motion was then put and carried, there being only one non-voter.

 

Southeastern Gazette 28 January 1882.

Council Meeting.

The King's Arms Arbitration: This matter was again under consideration at the meeting of the Town Council on Wednesday, and it gained increased interest from a writ having been served on the corporation by Mr. Minter.

The Town Clerk explained at length the position of affairs, and said he should now advise the Corporation to pay the purchase money of 11,000, but with reference to the interest demanded, he advised them strongly to resist, as the claim could not be substantiated. The Corporation had ordered the costs to be taxed and the first step had already been taken, the necessary order having been obtained. On Saturday Mr. Minter served him with a writ, and the particulars of the demand were endorsed on the back “11,000 with interest at five percent from the 22nd June, 1881”. The 11,000 would be paid immediately, and the question of interest left for future discussion, if the other side followed it up. The question of costs would be decided by the taxing master.

Alderman Hoad then moved, and Mr. Holden seconded, “That the arrangements between the Town Clerk and Mr. Minter be confirmed and carried out.” This was eventually carried, Mr. Pledge not voting.

Alderman Sherwood next proposed: “That the Town Clerk be instructed to enter an appearance to the writ, and that he be retained to defend any proceedings taken against the corporation.” This was seconded by Mr. Simpson and also carried.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 4 February 1882.

Corporation Meeting Extract.

The next business to consider was the memorial from certain ratepayers “as to retaining the site of the King's Arms hotel for the purpose of establishing there the General Post Office, and also Free Library, Science and Art Rooms &c., and as to powers and steps to be taken, and generally in relation thereto, and to make orders”.

Ald. Banks said he thought the memorial should be dealt with at once, coming as it did from 500 or 600 ratepayers, who, it was alleged, represented a fourth part of the rateable value of the town. He thought that in their present financial position they could not grant the request. They would not only be disposing of a first class site, but they would have to spend 10,000 or 15,000 for buildings, in addition to the establishment charges. If these 500 gentlemen would, however, form themselves into a company to purchase the site for some such purpose, he should be glad to be a large subscriber.

Mr. Tolputt said that many of the persons who had signed the memorial, who were entitled to their respect, were not aware of the dimensions of the site. He thought the building should be pulled down, and the consideration of the memorial should be adjourned until then, for the public would be then able to form a judgement in what they had got, and could decide how far it was expedient to erect a post office, a free library, and a school of science on the plot.

Ald. Banks said all the members of the Corporation would, he believed, be in favour of granting the site for the purpose asked on the memorial if they were in a financial condition to do so. There were means of getting the land if the 500 would form a company to purchase the site. He, for one, would take shares to the extent of 500. He did not think that as a body they had the power, if they had the will, to agree with the memorial in it's fullest extent. They would have to pay 15,000 for buildings, and establishments charges amounting to 300 to 400 a year. This ought not to be done without a public meeting being called. He would move that the Town Clerk be instructed to write to Mr. Whitechurch, whose name was attached to the letter, and state that the Corporation, after considering all the circumstances, could not grant the request. Ald. Caister seconded the resolution.

Ald. Sherwood said they did not come there to ventilate their own opinions as against those of the public. They had a very numerously signed memorial bfore them and surely this was a question which rested with the ratepayers, who had to find the money for the purpose. He understood the memorial would have been much more numerously signed if time had been given to it's promoters, and it certainly was premature to send an answer in at that moment.

Mr. Tolputt proposed that the consideration of the memorial stand over until the building was pulled down. This was seconded by Mr. Robinson, and on being put as an amendment, 9 voted for, and 7 against, and it was carried.

The Last Of The King's Arms.

Ald, Banks proposed that the King's Arms be pulled down. The material would be useful to the Corporation, and Mr.Pope had offered them a piece of land to deposit the material on.

This was seconded and carried.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 4 March 1882.

Corporation Meeting Extract.

The King's Arms Difficulty.

The Town Clerk stated that he had served a Notice to Quit personally on Mr. Valyer, which expired on the 14th February, and he attended to receive possession, but was refused. A letter came, in which Mr. Valyer said “I am in receipt of your notice dated today, giving me a week's notice to quit the booking office, stables, &c. I require the usual six months notice to quit, as I claim that my tenancy is a yearly one at 100 per annum. You are aware what buildings belong to me. If the Corporation are prepared to compensate me, I am prepared to give up possession immediately.” The Town Clerk said that he had no alternative then but to take the course the law prescribed, and he immediately issued a writ and served it on Mr. Valyer. It was open to Mr. Valyer to enter an appearance, but he believed up to that time he had not done so. Respecting the tenancy, he did not hesitate to say that on the oath of Mr. R. Medhurst himself, and in the statement in writing made by him in his claim for compensation, it was stated to be a weekly tenancy. Therefore they had it on the oath, not only of Mr. Medhurst, but of Mr. Valyer in his evidence in chief, when examined by his own counsel, and repeated in cross-examination more than once, that it was a weekly tenancy at a rate of 100 per year. It was corroborated in many other ways in connection with the arbitration. The Town Clerk then quoted the award given as an additional proof of tenancy. There was only one course to pursue, and the action must proceed. As regarded any matter of Mr. Valyer being entitled to compensation, he would never admit such a thing. But with reference to the sheds upon it, he said they were desirous to get possession, and if Mr. Valyer had any conditions to make as to giving up the key, and being paid for the things then left, and the buildings which were put up, then the only way in which it could be regarded would be a payment to be made for leaving a lot of things instead of doing what he was told to do, take them away. He mentioned it to the committee as to what had taken place with the solicitor of Mr. Medhurst, and it emanated from the committee that if Mr. Valyer left everything exactly as it was, he should offer Mr. Valyer 25, as h would simply have considered whether it was worthwhile to get rid of the difficulty by paying that sum.

Mr. Robinson moved that the Town Clerk be confirmed in the action he had taken, and that the matter be conducted in a proper, legal, straightforward manner.

Ald. Banks said that an offer of 25 having been made they had bound themselves by that offer.

The Town Clerk said he would not for a moment recognise any 25 in the shape of compensation at all if the key was delivered to him and the buildings – as they were – given over, his advice was for 25 to be given. That was all, nothing more. Mr. Valyer had the right to take them away, or the Corporation had the right to say “If you like to leave them, we will take them”. He would be perfectly willing to get into the witness box at Maidstone and state that.

Ald. Banks was proceeding to make some remarks on the course of the negotiations.

The Town Clerk appealed to him not to proceed. If so, he would not take the responsibility, as things had been said on former occasions, and reported, which would damage their positions.

The motion, after some observations, was put and carried, only Ald. Banks voting against it.

 

From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 3 March, 1882. Price 1d.

THE KING'S ARMS AFFAIR

At a meeting of the Town Council on Wednesday the Town Clerk said he had served notice upon Mr. Valyer to give up possession of the booking office and stables on the “King's Arms” premises, and the notice expired on the 14th February. He attended for the purpose of obtaining possession, but was refused. He had previously received a letter from Mr. Valyer acknowledging the receipt of a week's notice to quit and demanded six months notice, as he claimed that his was a yearly tenancy of 100 per annum. If, however, the Corporation would compensate him for the buildings, &c., which belonged to him he would give up possession. The compensation was to be arrived at by valuation. Following out his instructions he (the Town Clerk) had served Mr. Valyer with a writ of ejectment to be heard at the assizes, and he (Mr. Valyer) had until that day to enter an appearance.

The Town Council on Wednesday resolved “that the picture of the late Richard Hart, Esq., Mayor of Folkestone in 1857, and Clerk to the Justices for thirty years, and presented to the Town Council as an appropriate memorial of long services to the town, and of the great respect and esteem in which he was held, should be accepted.”

 

Southeastern Gazette 4 March 1882.

Council Meeting Extract.

The next business was to consider further as to the King’s Arms property. The Town Clerk said at the last meeting he was instructed to serve notice upon Mr. Valyer to give up possession of the booking office and stable on the King’s Arms premises. He did so and the notice expired on the 14th Feb., but Mr. Valyer demanded six months notice, as he claimed that his was a yearly tenancy at 100 per annum. If, however, the corporation would compensate him for the buildings, &c., which belonged to him, he would give up possession. The compensation was to be arrived at by valuation. Following out his instructions he (the Town Clerk) had served Mr. Valyer with a writ of ejectment to be heard at the assizes. To the question which had been asked “What is the nature of Mr. Valyer’s tenancy? ” he would state that it was a weekly one. He (the Town Clerk) would not entertain the question of compensation for one moment [hear, hear]. A conversation had taken place between Mr. Medhurst’s solicitor and himself as to what the corporation would pay Mr. Valyer if he left the buildings, which it was admitted were put up by him, and which he could take away if he chose to do so, and the sum of 50 was mentioned. He subsequently mentioned this to some of the members and it was decided by the committee that if Mr. Valyer would give up possession on the following Monday, and would leave everything as it was, they would pay him 25. He had not up to that time heard whether he had accepted that offer but as far as the action was concerned it was now proceeding. Mr. Robinson moved that the steps taken by the Town Clerk be confirmed, and that the idea of compensation be not entertained. Alderman Hoad seconded the resolution, which was carried, Alderman Banks alone dissenting. The meeting was then adjourned until the 16th inst.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 22 April 1882.

Editorial.

The King's Arms Hotel.

The unsightly appearance of this deserted hotel is an eyesore to the Sandgate Road, and people are loudly asking “Why is it not pulled down?” To this question when put to the members of the Town Council there is scarcely an intelligible answer. All we can gather is that in all probability the season will pass, and the King's Arms will still remain a monument of Folkestone folly and stupidity.

We are confronted by some with the remark “Mr. Valyer stops the way”. Firmness and determination at the outset might have overcome this difficulty. At any rate the Corporation could not be in a more ridiculous position than they now are, and much of ridicule might have been saved by the removal of the cause of it. As soon as Mr. Medhurst gave up possession, why was not the building pulled down? Why did they listen to Mr. Valyer's claim at all? Why, having listened to him, did they not give him half a year's rent, which we understand he would have been ready to accept, and close the matter? Thses are questions indignant ratepayers are asking, and they will call some of their representatives to account for their lamentable want of firmness if they are not answered.

The fact is, the King's Arms business, or the Folkestone Folly, has been a bungling mess all through. Mr. Medhurst says in the commencement no offer to negotiate with him was made from the Council, and certainly he has been approached since as if he were being anxious to swallow up the Corporation. We think that he is much to be commiserated with over the matter. He had something to sell which the Corporation wanted to buy. A small committee, meeting with him in a proper manner, might have steeled the whole matter in an hour.

We have had meetings upon meetings, squabbles upon squabbles, an arbitration, taxed costs, and 11,000 to pay, and now we cannot get rid of the nuisance or have the improvement. Surely they are not all light heads in the Council; some amongst nineteen must be balanced with the weight of Common Sense. The only one who receives any benefit as yet from the King's Arms is Surrey, who has turned it into a bill posting place. Surely, for their own credit's sake, the Corporation will listen to the indignant protest of the ratepayers and have this place down before the season. We know this, that if a master mind like the late Mr. Hart had been at the head of affairs, objection or no objection, Valyer or no Valyer, protest or no protest, as soon as possession had been gained busy workmen would have razed this ramshackle place to the ground, and he would have faced the consequences, which cannot be worse than what they now threaten to be.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 29 April 1882.

Corporation Meeting Extract.

The King's Arms Costs.

The first matter to be considered was the report of the Committee upon the taxation of the bills of costs of Mr. Medhurst's solicitor, and of the Town Clerk, and as to payment of same, and as to remuneration of witnesses.

The report of the Committee stated that the Council passed a resolution “That the Mayor, ex-Mayor, Ald. Sherwood and Mr. Holden be appointed as a Committee to examine the bills, with power to call in an independent solicitor to conduct the taxation, and to carry out the proceedings incident thereto”.

The Committee examined the bills and came to the decision that the taxation of the bill of Mr. Medhurst's solicitor should be conducted before the taxing master by the Town Clerk, and that the taxation of the Town Clerk's bill, and also the bills of the witnesses, should be taxed by the master himself, and that the presence of an independent solicitor thereat was unnecessary.

The requisite order for taxation was accordingly drawn up, and the bills left with the master for taxation.

As to the bill of Mr. Medhurst's solicitor, 2,217 15s. :

1st – The Town Clerk attended before the taxing master with a gentleman from the office of Mr. Medhurst's solicitor on the following days, viz. – Jan. 20th, February 3rd and 9th, and the taxation proceeded.

Here follows a minute statement of the account sent in, the following being a summary of the result:

As Delivered As Allowed on Taxation

Charges of the Town Clerk and Payments 1156 12 8 1061 10 8

Fees and costs of Taxation 29 0 0

________

1090 10 8

Surveyor's fees 1154 11 0 496 15 6

________ ________

Totals 2311 3 8 1587 6 2

 

And this sum of 1090 10s. 8d. is due to the Town clerk, and ought to be at once paid, and the Committee recommended it to be done.

Beyond this amount there are the Town Clerk's charges for business done in negotiations in 1878 and 1879, with Mr. Medhurst's bill, and for certain charges incurred since the delivery of the taxed bill, and for extra fees for attendance of himself and his clerk on the citation of his bill, and all which charges and fees will have to be raised under the order of the Local Government Board.

There is, however, another point to which the Committee desire to draw the attention of the Corporation, and that if the fees of the surveyors and skilled witnesses. The separate accounts as delivered by them amount to 1154 11s., from which the master has taxed off 657 15s. 6d., leaving a balance of 496 15s. 6d. only.

How is this disallowance to be dealt with?

The Town Clerk suggests that he should convene a meeting of the skilled witnesses in London, and lay the whole circumstances before them, explain the views and decision of the taxing master, and offer to pay the amount allowed, and report back to the Corporation; and the Committee is of opinion that this will be the most judicious course.

As to Mr. Minter's fees, as delivered, 82 11s., the Town Clerk has submitted them to the taxing master, and he has declined to allow more than 8 11s., and this sum has therefore been included in the item of fees to witnesses - 496 15s. 6d.

Francis Coules (Mayor)

Chairman of Committee,

Town Hall,

April 24, 1882

 

The Mayor said he wished to state that beyond the account of the Town Clerk, there were some charges for business done during 1878-79 in conducting the negotiations, and in the taxation of Mr. Minter's bill.

Mr. Robinson said that out of the original charge of 1,156 12s. 8d. of the Town Clerk, only about 95 had been taxed off. He wished to know whether it was for legal expenses, or for what that 95 had been deducted. Mr. Minter's bill had been terribly cut down, and he was surprised that although a solicitor (in the person of the Town Clerk) attended the taxation of Mr. Minter's bill, no solicitor was appointed to attend the taxation of the Town Clerk's. In justice to Mr. Minter an independent solicitor should have been present, but it appeared that the Town Clerk only attended to the taxation of his own bill.

The Mayor replied that they could not have got an independent solicitor to act in the matter. It was thought the wisest course to adopt that the Town Clerk should attend at the taxation of Mr. Minter's bill. They were advised by a legal gentleman that it was by far the better course, and that there would be justice done to both sides.

The Town Clerk reminded Mr. Robinson that it was not a solicitor, but the taxing master, who taxed the bill. The solicitors were simply asked questions that arose in the mind of the taxing master – nothing more. How, under the circumstances, was it possible to get a solicitor with information as to all the intricacies of the matter from beginning to end, or who could have got up a matter of that sort? There was only one person who could tax Mr. Minter's bill, and that was himself. The usual course was that when the bill of a public officer was under taxation, he should himself be present to give information. With reference to the 95, he said the whole bill, with the disbursements, being submitted for taxation, the whole of the disbursements were allowed, with the exception of 10.

Mr. Robinson was proceeding to make some further observations when the Mayor reminded him that he had spoken before, whereupon Mr. Robinson said that if they did not allow free discussion there, they could express their sentiments in the newspapers, whereupon the Mayor said “So you can”.

Mr. Simpson objected to the remark made by Mr. Robinson, and after some further remarks Mr. Holden said that although Mr. Robinson was in order, it was another thing when he attacked the Committee. He would ask him – What good was Mr. Ward before the taxing master? He was there in the interest of Mr. Minter, and all he could get was 508 7s. The taxing master had taxed off between 600 and 700 in respect to their witnesses, and considering that the Committee considered the charges so reasonable, he was surprised to see as much as 95 taken off the Town Clerk's bill.

Mr. Robinson moved that the report of the Committee be received and the whole matter stand over until they got the Town Clerk's bill in. It seemed that now they had got to meet witnesses in London and have a parley with them. He wanted the whole matter wound up, and to know really what they did owe.

Mr. Tolputt observed that the Town Clerk should explain their position as regards the witnesses they got so much taxed of, but were the witnesses going to take the money?

The Town Clerk said with reference to the items they had had taxed off the 1,90 odd, he did not see any other way of dealing with it. He could not see why he should be 700 out of pocket positively money paid, therefore he thought if they dealt at all with justice they would pay the bills now before them. It was impossible to bring up the bills relating to the whole matter until they got the loan. How were they going to deal with those gentlemen, several of whom had written to him for their accounts? Were they going to pay them the amounts asked for, or were they going to offer them what the taxing master had said was fair and reasonable? He merely drew their attention to these accounts certified to be due for disbursement, and secondly the charges which the master felt justified in saying should be awarded to several witnesses. The resolution he suggested was the report be received and adopted, and that the amount certified to be due to the Town Clerk should be paid, and the sums which the master had authorised to be paid to the several witnesses should be offered to them.

Ald. Sherwood moved that the report be received and adopted, and that the sum due to the Town Clerk and witnesses as certified in the report be paid. They could not, he was sure, come to a better determination. They could not expect that the Town Clerk's bill should be reduced the same as Mr. Minter's because the former was between party and party, and the latter between lawyer and client. In the bill of the Town Clerk there was a large sum paid out of pocket.

Mr. Petts moved an amendment that they vote the money paid by the Town Clerk out of pocket, but not the whole bill, until they got the whole account.

Mr. Simpson contended that they ought to have more time to examine the accounts. It would not occasion inconvenience if they allowed the matter to stand over.

Mr. Robinson, in seconding Mr. Petts' amendment, said that at the last Committee meeting bills for 300 for 1879 were presented. Those matters should be settled up, as all businessmen would do, every year. He was very much surprised to learn there were three gentlemen on the Committee who were anxious to cut things down. He should like to know who the fourth was, who was opposed to that. It was time they put their house in order. They did not know what they owed their legal adviser. He urged that they should insist upon having all the bills in and send them to the taxing master. They had not got all the bills before them. He wanted to see “all the boiling lot” of law charges brought in, and he, for one, did not care if they had to make a shilling rate to pay them off, so long as they could start on a clear course.

Mr. Tolputt said it was time to make a stand against the manner in which their business was conducted. The money must be borrowed from the Local Government Board, and it was high time some steps were taken in the matter. He was himself ashamed to see the bungling way in which the whole thing had been managed, although they had been fortunate enough, against the advice of Mr. Pledge, to get a good slice of the bills taxed off. He was not surprised to see that a strong article on the subject had appeared in a local paper, and he had no doubt it would have great influence in the town. Let them try to bring this interminable business to a close. He was prepared to vote for, say, a thousand pounds on account, but let them have all the bills in and know what they were.

The Town Clerk said that all he asked for was for money paid out of pocket.

In reply to a remark the Town Clerk said that they had all the bills with the exception of things relating to the action brought by Mr. Valyer.

Mr. Tolputt suggested that the Town Clerk be armed to pay the surveyor if they agreed.

The Town Clerk said it simply came to this: He would assemble the witnesses and say “Mr. Valter, will you take 47 5s. instead of –“ If he said he would, there would be an end of the matter.

Mr. Holden said they could not vote for Mr. Petts' amendment, because it left the witnesses out in the cold. They would be open to an action by the witnesses.

Mr. Robinson agreed to withdraw his amendment.

Mr. Robinson then moved that the Town Clerk be requested to send in the whole of the law bills due from the Corporation within one month from that date, and that they be submitted to the Council.

Mr. Holden seconded the resolution. What immediately concerned them was the King's Arms business, and he sincerely hoped they would have all the accounts in as speedily as possible, but the costs subsequent to the arbitration could not be before them until the whole business was settled.

The Town Clerk said that he could not bring in the bills relating to the action pending. He only succeeded in getting “the plea”, as it was called, from Mr. Valyer the other day. It was impossible for him to go any further, but they should have the whole of the bills, and every item owing to him, in a month.

Ald. Sherwood contended that the Town Clerk had done the best he could, and it was disagreeable to sit there and hear these bickering.

Mr. Tolputt said it was most unsatisfactory, these excessive law charges. They wanted to carry out many improvements, but they were prevented from doing so for fear of the law charges. If they wanted the Grace Hill improvement they would have more law expenses. Ald. Sherwood and Mr. Holden were frightened of going on with any improvements because of the excessive law charges. They wanted to build a new fish market, but in order to do that they must have an Act of Parliament. They ought to have an Act of Parliament to enable them to do several things, but he dreaded himself to initiate anything on account of the legal expenses.

Ald. Sherwood did not see why Mr. Holden and himself should be excepted out of the whole 19 members. (Laughter)

The subject then dropped, it being understood that the bills of the Town Clerk should be submitted to the June meeting.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 3 June 1882.

Editorial.

We wonder whether “Progress will be reported” as regards the King's Arms property at the next Council meeting. As things stand, the place is a disgrace to the town, and we were in hopes that before the advent of the Season something would be done to sweep away this unsightly place. We are afraid, however, that at the snail's pace the Corporation now moves, another year will find us in the same unenviable predicament in which the town now stands regarding this matter.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 10 June 1882.

Corporation Meeting Extract.

Professional Witnesses v King's Arms.

The Town Clerk gave the result of his interview with the skilled witnesses, the whole of the gentlemen being present. After putting the matter before them, the witnesses said they must adhere to their charges. At the same time they expressed their willingness to arrange matters in a friendly spirit, and said they were justified in adhering to the scale. He could not concur in that, because legally, Ryde's charges on which they relied, was simply a question of practice. He contended that they must charge for services actually rendered. He thought, having made the overture, they should leave it until some overture was made by the witnesses.

The matter was then allowed to stand over.

Valyer's Claim.

The Town Clerk stated that this action was now ripe for trail. He (the Town Clerk) had filed interrogations – that was, he had put questions to defendant, formed upon the shorthand notes of the proceedings taken. He never saw such vague and impertinent answers in all his experience, so much so that he had applied to the judge that the defendant should be made to give a further and better affidavit. The order was at once given that if defendant did not answer the interrogations faithfully the defence would be struck out, which meant that virtually the claim would be against him. At half past nine Mr. Valyer called at his office and said “I have called and wish to offer you the key without prejudice”. He declined to go into the question with Mr. Valyer, but requested him to make any communication he had to offer in writing. During the meeting the following note was brought to him – “I have now cleared out of the King's Arms, and am willing to give up possession to the Corporation without prejudice”. Having given the Corporation the key and not in the interrogatories, it was easy to arrive at the conclusion why this was done. They knew the answer had not been given, and the order of the Court been made. In such a case, when they were ripe for trial, they could not entertain the proposition for one moment. They had been driven – and he used the word strongly – to take these proceedings. If they once gave way he could not foresee the consequences. He hoped they would not swerve from the position they had taken. They were in position of vantage ground, and must not do anything to imperil it. The keys were offered to be given up “without prejudice”. They were easy words to pronounce, but very difficult words to put a legal construction upon. The solicitor who was acting for Mr. Valyer was a gentleman in Mr. Minter's solicitors' office, and his agent in London was Mr. Medhurst's solicitor's agent. Therefore he must say, looking at those points, that he did hope the Corporation would do that which they had hitherto done – rely on him, (Hear, Hear) and not weaken his hands by allowing what he considered and believed to be an attempt to try and burke the whole transaction at the last moment.

Ald. Banks said that if Mr. Valyer had offered to pay all costs they might have accepted the key. It was their bounden duty to uphold the Town Clerk.

Mr. Robinson said it seemed almost like a conspiracy by the way in which the property had been depreciated in value, some hundreds. He trusted the Corporation would proceed to the last extremity and obtain costs.

The meeting then adjourned.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 24 June 1882.

Editorial.

At length we appear to be in sight of a clearance of this obstruction and eyesore to the town. At the meeting held on Wednesday last the Corporation saw their way to instruct the surveyor to immediately pull the place down. The next question was: What to do with it after the ground was cleared? There were some who wanted it referred to a small Committee, or some other process whereby delay would be caused. Is there not too much referring of things to Committee? A little more openness on the part of the Corporation would be more agreeable to the public. There is a spirit of enquiry abroad amongst the ratepayers which is a healthy sign of the times. Men begin to open their eyes as they realise the fact of the thousands the Corporation are enabled to spend on what is termed an “improving town”.

They ask: Cannot the advisability of these improvements be discussed in public, instead of being recommended in a cut and dried form in private, and then passed after a few observations in public? What is there to conceal from the most interested party, the public? Surely, if a Corporation like Dover throws the whole of it's meetings open, a little more publicity may be courted by our Council. If they do not choose to make their Committee meetings open, they might at least refrain from sending so many matters to be decided, or perhaps cooked, in this secret chamber, to be sent up for the prepared digestion of the Council at a public meeting. Perhaps, too, a little less personal feeling imported into discussion might be advantageous, and of that elsewhere we have given our readers some notion.

The idea of the public is, that the King's Arms Improvement having cost so much, the Council should endeavour to get by the sale of the land as large a sum back as possible. The suggestion of converting it into a Post Office is not practicable, so Mr. Pledge's proposal was easily dismissed. The conversion of the same into a school of Science and Art would be most objectionable to the ratepayers, who would resent such an additional burden upon the rates, consequently the Council had the good sense to acquiesce in their views in this respect. Besides, Mr. Holden's remark on this subject deserves much consideration. The time will come when a free library will be required, in connection with which the Science and Art school might be identified, but for this purpose it is not necessary to select the most prominent and expensive site in the town. We are surprised, therefore, that almost in the same breath, such a sensible and practical man as Mr. Holden should suggest that the site should be laid out for shops. Who, in the presence of the fine shops erected in the Sandgate Road, would give the sum required by the Corporation to construct buildings of the size of what Mr. Tolputt calls “Lollipop shops”?

We believe that the way to realise the largest sum for the land is to sell it for an hotel. It's all very well for Mr. Tolputt to depreciate Mr. Banks's value of the license. This is a most suitable place for another medium class hotel. Moreover, premises of that character are required near the Town Hall on occasions of luncheons, dinners, balls, &c., and for the provision for which a kitchen was a few years ago arranged in the Town Hall. Now, sold for this purpose, the license must undoubtedly much enhance the value of the land. Sold without the license on it, there can be no doubt, amongst practical men, that the property would be knocked down at a very diminished figure. Then again, it should be sold as a whole, for the purchaser would know how to lay it out to his own advantage, and thus having freewill over the premises, would be inclined to give more than if restracted in his choice. We hope the Corporation will not fetter the purchaser with any vexatious restrictions. They have sufficient powers, when the plans for the new building are submitted to them, to eliminate anything objectionable. The great object should be to make the most of our JUMBO. He has passed through his state of “Must” and let us hope that some BARNUM will give a price for him to recompense us for all the trouble and annoyance he has caused us.

THE KING'S ARMS.

Active work is going on in pulling down the King's Arms, which it is anticipated will be demolished next week. A large number of rats were found in the basement of the building, and the people in Guildhall Street will have to protect themselves from an invasion. Rats, in leaving a fallen house, have a keen scent for newly built ones; Councillor Pledge's house being so handy, they some time ago paid him a visit, which he most indignantly resented.

Corporation Meeting.

Mr. Pledge asked for leave to explain his connection with Mr. Valyer's business. When Mr. Valyer applied to him, he did what the law required and registered the bill of sale, which was duly published, and it would have been unwise of him to make a song about the matter after the man had given a bill of sale. In such a case, the least said, the better. It was at the time that the Town Clerk, acting as the executors of the late T.W. Cobb, had put a distress warrant into Mr. Valyer's premises for 150. Mr. Valyer said “How can I pay it? I have not 150 to pay down”. He said he owed Mr. Sherwood 50 for rent. He (Mr. Pledge) said to Valyer “If I give this 150 to Mr. Harrison, 50 to Mr. Sherwood, and give you 50, it will get you quit of your creditors, and you will be in a position to carry on your business, and defy anyone to molest you”. He (Mr. Pledge) did this, and handed Mr. Valyer the rest of the money. Mr. Sherwood knew where one portion of the money went, and the Town Clerk the other, and after that he thought it was unfair and unjust to him that such a statement should go forth, that he was endeavouring to do the Corporation out of their rights. Mr. Pledge then handed the Council his cheque book to prove to them and to the ratepayers that there had been nothing clandestine, and he simply brought it forward in order that he might clear himself in the eyes of the Corporation and the public.

The King's Arms Once More.

The Town Clerk explained that he had filed interrogatories to which Mr. Valyer had not answered, and in consequence of his lapse judgement followed in their favour, and a writ of fi fa had been issued which entitled them to take possession of the King's Arms at once, and they could direct the surveyor to pull down the same at once. In such a case he should ask them to pass a confirmatory resolution ordering the same to be done.

Mr. Holden moved, and Ald. Caister seconded a resolution giving power to the surveyor to instantly carry out the demolition of the King's Arms.

What's To Be Done With It?

The next business was to consider the course to be taken in relation to the building.

The memorial sent by ratepayers, and a letter from Mr. Edward Whitechurch on the said memorial were read, and which had been received at a previous meeting, asking that the site be used for a building for the promotion of Science and Arts, a public library, &c. The memorial was signed by ratepayers holding upwards of 25,000 rateable value.

Mr. Robinson said that whatever they might do with the land they should recollect the value of the license, which, upon the authority of Ald. Banks, he understood, was not worth less than 1,000.

Mr. Pledge said that was before the Blue Ribbon Army had come here. (Laughter) He could not see that they could do anything until they had the plans of the dismantled ground before them.

Plans were produced.

Mr. Tolputt said that this matter of the King's Arms Hotel had been standing over an interminable length of time, and it was agreeable to think that there was some prospect of the affair coming to an end. Those were excellent ideas foreshadowed in the memorial, but he did not think they could be carried out, for if they were entertained they must also consider the desirability for utilising the ground for building municipal offices. The King's Arms would cost them something like 14,000, and the public were anxious to see some of the money come back, and although the memorialists represented a large body of largely taxed ratepayers, he did not think, with all due respect to them, that they could entertain the scheme propounded. He thought that the most advisable thing was to sell the land for a good medium class hotel. Such a place was required in Folkestone, for there was no good middle class hotel, and for want of such, visitors who would frequent this place were restricted in their choice between the Pavilion and the West Cliff Hotels, and he had no hesitation in stating that he believed that such a building would answer well. In this way he thought they would find the readiest manner in getting as much money as possible back. With regard to Mr. Robinson's statement of alderman Banks' estimate of the value of the license, he (the Alderman) said all sorts of things, had all sorts of notions, and spoke at random. (Laughter) He considered they must be prepared to face the matter with the idea of selling the land for the highest price it would fetch, and the sooner they realised, the better.

Mr. Pledge said he was of opinion that they should get as much money as possible to recoup themselves for the outlay. He was of opinion that it was just the site for the Post Office, and if they had the office built there they would have suitable accommodation provided for two generations. As the Post Office authorities were on the look out for a place, could not they be approached with respect to this matter?

Mr. Willis reminded Mr. Pledge that under the conditions that the property had been acquired there must be a public sale.

The Town Clerk, being appealed to, said that was the case, as in this matter they held the property in trust for the public.

Mr. Tolputt said that he could put Mr. Pledge right on this matter. The Post Office authorities would only build a place of one storey, they wanted the land cheap, and he had it on the authority of Sir H. Hunt that they would not think of giving the price they would require.

Mr. Pledge said that that being the case he would have no more to say on that point.

Mr. Holden said that they had heard that this land must go for sale. They had paid so much for it that he was sure the ratepayers wished them to realise back, however much they (the Council) might be in sympathy with the memorialists, who desired the same to be used at the public expense for another purpose. He thought that great care should be exercised as to the manner in which this property was brought before the public. He did not think that it should be offered in one site. If they sold this for a middle class hotel, which was said to be so much needed, he, for one, should be very guarded in watching what was done with the land as to the conditions made, so as to avoid the great nuisance which would be involved if they had stables attached to the hotel, as in the case of the King's Arms.

The Mayor said that stables, when well built, did not necessarily involve a nuisance, as they could see by so many which existed elsewhere in the town.

Mr. Holden, continuing, said that, if in connection with the land stables were not required, they would not want all for the hotel, and the rest might be apportioned out in lots for shops. He regretted that they could not listen to the prayer of the memorial, but he did not think the ratepayers would wish the land laid out in that manner. There was no doubt the time would come when they would have to find another site for the Free Library, but they did not require a valuable one for this object, one, for instance, in a large public thoroughfare like this, but that, at any rate, could wait for a time. They had a site of their own which might be available for this purpose.

Mr. Robinson moved that a Committee be formed, composed of the Mayor, Aldermen Banks and Hoad, and Councillors Holden, Petts, Gardner and Dunk, to whom the matter should be referred to bring up a report.

Mr. Tolputt objected to this course. What good could a Committee do? They had had the thing ad nauseum before them, and what better could they do than now to have the whole place down, and give instructions to sell the whole of it?

Mr. Fitness: What, without a reserve?

Mr. Tolputt said of course they all understood that they were not going to offer this property without having first a settled idea of what they would accept. He combated Mr. Holden's idea concerning apportioning the land for shops. What, he (Mr. Tolputt) wished to know, could they build there except a set of “lollipop shops”? (Laughter) And who would give the money they would expect to build premises of this character?

Mr. Fitness said he was one of those who always wished to have two strings to his bow. Why could they not do so in this case? In the first instance let them put the property up as a whole, and if it did not fetch what they anticipated, let them divide the same into lots. He could not agree with the remarks made by Mr. Tolputt with regard to a Committee. He thought the same could be relegated to a small Committee who would bring up a report, and he would name the Mayor, Ald. Banks, and Messrs. Tolputt and Gardner.

Mr. Pledge: But what about Alderman Sherwood? He has taken a great interest in this matter.

Mr. Robinson: Oh!, hang Ald. Sherwood. He is always shoved on every Committee. Let's have someone else. (Laughter, and cries of “Order)

Ald. Hoad suggested that the same Committee should take this in hand that had gone through the whole of the matter before, and he would move that the old Committee be re-appointed.

Mr. Pledge seconded the motion, as he thought that having gone through the question on a previous occasion they were now most competent to deal with it.

Asked the names of that Committee, the Town Clerk said they consisted of the Mayor, Aldermen Sherwood and Banks, and Councillors Holden and Tolputt.

Mr. Willis wanted to point out the position of the North and East wards, which he did not think was adequately represented, and he thought Mr. Dunk or Petts, practical men, should be placed on the Committee. This as much concerned east as west, and there had been complaints lately that these wards had not been represented. As far as the King's Arms job was concerned he protested against it then, and he did so now, as from beginning to the end it was a bad job.

The Mayor said he regretted that invidious comparisons had been made. He apprehended that whether they represented north or south they were equally animated with a desire to promote public interest.

Ald. Hoad also strongly protested against such language being used.

Mr. Simpson quite endorsed what had been said, and felt it a grievance that the north ward was persistently left out in the cold. He considered that it was an insult to him personally that he was not fit to be on the Committee.

Mr. Tolputt said that he should be pleased to name Mr. Simpson.

Ald. Hoad intimated that he should not agree to the addition.

Mr. Fitness said that he deeply regretted that such a scene should prevail in the Council Chamber. He was an old member of 21 years standing and formerly represented the east ward, and no man in the Council had voted more for the benefit of the town than he had done.

Ald. Caister (turning round excitedly and knocking his stick on the floor): Don't sound your own trumpet so. (Loud laughter)

Mr. Fitness said that it was necessary to do so sometimes when such comparisons were made between east and west.

After some remarks concerning the adding of additional names, Ald. Hoad said that he wished to explain that when Mr. Simpson was speaking, Mr. Robinson interfered, and, as he thought, cast a slur upon Ald. Sherwood. He did not think it fair for any member to do that, but Mr. Simpson took it to himself, but he intended to call Mr. Robinson's, not Mr. Simpson's, name into question.

Some other conversation ensued, and in the course of a remark made by Mr. Fitness, Ald. Caister said “All that you've done is to praise yourself”.

The motion for the appointment of a Committee, with the additions of Messrs. Simpson's and Dunk's names was carried.

Proceedings Against Mr. Valyer.

The Town Clerk said there were three claims against Mr. Valyer:- possession, which they had got; rent up to the day when they gave notice; thirdly, damages at the rate of 550 per annum, being interest at 5 per cent on 11,000. The amount, including damages, costs and rent was 240.

It was agreed, on the motion of Mr. Tolputt, that the Town Clerk be instructed to continue the proceedings.

Cost Of Witnesses.

It was agreed after an explanation given by the Town Clerk, which was in every way deemed by the Council satisfactory, to offer the witnesses 500 in settlement of their claim.


 

Southeastern Gazette 24 June 1882.

Council Meeting Extract.

The Town Clerk said that the next business was to consider as to the proceedings to be taken against Mr. Valyer for recovery of the costs, damages, and expenses in the recent action for ejectment brought against him. He asked whether he was to proceed in the ordinary way, and whether he was to proceed with the action in which were three claims; possession, which they had obtained; rent up to the day when they gave notice, which they had in part; and damages at the rate of five percent on the amount of award (11,000) from the 14th February, 1882, till last Wednesday, when they received possession. The ordinary course would be that the damages be reckoned, and judgment entered against the defendant in respect to those damages, and their recovery sought from Mr. Valyer. Estimating the costs of the action, and taking the interest upon the award, he thought 240 was about the sum they ought to recover from Mr. Valyer. He was directed to adopt the latter course.

The Town Clerk said that the witnesses in the King’s Arms arbitration had not accepted the amount the council had decided to offer them, and the matter stood thus: if they did not make overtures with reference to the settling of the amounts, and if the council made up their minds to adhere to the sum, then he would advise them to offer the amount to the witnesses in money in the ordinary way of tendering it. Then the council would be in the correct position if the witnesses should sue for payment and fail, for in that case the costs would not fall upon the council.

It was decided to draw a cheque for 496 15s. 6d., the amount awarded by the Taxing-Master and leave it to the Town Clerk to pay it over.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 8 July 1882.

Town Council Meeting Extract.

The King's Arms.

In the course of reading the minutes Mr. Tolputt took exception to the wording of a resolution which he had moved at the last meeting, and which embodied more than he intended. It was a motion relative to the payment of the skilled witnesses, and the words objected to were those which authorised the Town Clerk to tender to the several witnesses the amounts sanctioned by the taxing master. He (Mr. Tolputt) objected to that motion. What he proposed was that a cheque be drawn for 496 and handed to the Town Clerk to settle the business so far as the Corporation was concerned, seeing that 496 was all that had been allowed by the taxing master, and, as they were advised, that was all they would be allowed to borrow with the sanction of the Local Government Board. His motion was for the payment of the 496 to the Town Clerk, and for him to settle the best he could. He did not embody in his motion that he was to offer the sums to the witnesses.

After some discussion it was moved by Mr. Robinson and carried that the minutes be brought up for confirmation at the next meeting, and also a resolution was subsequently carried to let the matter of the claims of the skilled witnesses, and their refusal to accept the offer tendered, to stand over until the next meeting.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 15 July 1882.

The King's Arms.

On Thursday Mr. F. Scudamore, Under Sheriff for Kent, held a Court at Maidstone to assess the amount of damages to be paid by the defendant in the case of the Folkestone Corporation v M.P. Valyer for the latter unlawfully retaining some premises formerly occupied by him, but which had been purchased by the Corporation for the purpose of public improvement. Mr. Glynn, barrister, appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. F. Ward for the defendant. Mr. Glynn pointed out the damage sustained by the Corporation by this vexatious delay in the loss of rent, and after evidence had been called to prove the same, Mr. Ward briefly addressed the Court in mitigation of damages, which the jury assessed at 25.

 

Southeastern Gazette 15 July 1882.

Local News.

On Thursday at noon, Frederick Scudamore, Esq., under Sheriff for Kent, held a court at the Town Hall, Maidstone, to assess the amount of damages to be paid by the defendant in the case of the Folkestone Corporation v. Michael Pierrepoint Valyer for the latter unlawfully maintaining possession of some premises formerly occupied by him, but which had been purchased by the corporation for purposes of public improvement. Mr. Glyn, barrister, appeared for the plaintiffs, and Mr. J. Ward, of Folkestone, for the defendant.

In his opening statement Mr. Glyn explained that the Corporation had obtained possession of the property under an order of the High Court upon the defendant neglecting to answer certain interrogatories, and what the jury now had to decide was what reasonable compensation ought to be paid to the plaintiffs as damages sustained by the defendant retaining possession of the premises in question after the notice to quit had expired. The corporation, on the 26th January last, paid 11,000, being the amount awarded by the arbitrator for the King’s Arms and adjoining property, part of which was occupied by Mr. Valyer, and from that date they were entitled to possession. Notice to quit was given to the defendant, expiring on the 14th February, but he remained in possession till the 14th Jane, when possession was taken under the order of the High Court. The learned counsel then pointed out that by the action of the defendant the plaintiffs had been entirely debarred from proceeding with their improvement scheme, and said that besides that they had not derived, during these four months, any benefit from the payment of the 11,000. The interest on that sum, at five per cent., for the period named, would be 177 16s. 1d., and he asked the jury to award the plaintiffs such an amount as was reasonable compensation for the loss they had sustained.

Mr. Albert Moate, clerk to Mr. Harrison, Town Clerk of Folkestone, was then called, and proved the payment of the sum awarded by the arbitrator as the value of the King’s Arms and the premises occupied by the defendant. He confirmed the statement made by Mr. Glyn as to the delay caused in the commencement of the work by their being unable to obtain possession of the premises occupied by the defendant, and said Mr. Valyer knew what the proposed scheme was and what the corporation intended to do with the premises.

By Mr. Ward: The corporation decided on the first Wednesday in February that the scheme should be carried out. In the schedule of claim sent in by Mr. Medhurst, the vendor, the defendant was described as a weekly tenant, and the order of court was worded accordingly.

Mr. John Banks, auctioneer and valuer, Folkestone, said he valued the whole of the property in question in 1880 for the corporation at 11,994 12s., and he estimated that after the improvement was carried out the surplus land would fetch 6,000.

Alfred Emmerson, assistant to Mr. Smith, sheriff’s officer, proved taking possession of the premises occupied by defendant on the 14th June under the order of the High Court.

Mr. Ward briefly addressed the jury in mitigation of damages, observing that his client was never the tenant of the plaintiffs and that therefore they had no claim against him.

After deliberating in private the jury assessed the damages at 25.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 22 July 1882.

The Last Of The King's Arms.

The old material of the demolished building was sold on Thursday last by Mr. John Banks, auctioneer, who offered his services free to the Corporation. The ground will, it is understood, be offered for auction by the same auctioneer in the latter part of August, first in one lot, when, if it does not fetch the reserved price, it will be sold in plots.

 

Southeastern Gazette 5 August 1882.

Corporation Meeting.

A meeting of the corporation was held on Wednesday, the Mayor presiding. It will be remembered that at the last meeting a discussion arose as to the correctness of certain minutes relating to the payment of the witnesses in the King’s Arms arbitration case, and as the mover and seconder had objected to the wording of the resolution as it appeared on these minutes, the question was adjourned. It was now agreed to refer the matter to the General Purposes Committee. A letter was ordered to be sent to Mr Valyer demanding payment of the amount due from him.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 26 August 1882.

The Sale Of The King's Arms Site.

As might be supposed, considerable interest was attached to the sale of the above-mentioned property, bought by the town in order to widen Guildhall Street, and which has been the subject of costly litigation, and submitted to auction by Ald. Banks at the Town Hall on Thursday evening last. About 300 were present, including most members of the Council. At the commencement of the sale, Mr. Minter, who stated that he came there as a buyer, asked several questions in the particulars and conditions of sale, all of which were satisfactorily answered, and one of which was respecting the wall adjoining Mr. Major's property, and concerning which Mr. Major rose and entered a protest against it being sold. Another question related to the exercise of the right of veto the Council had over the building to be erected on the ground, Mr. Minter observing that although he had confidence in the judgement and ability of some of the Corporation to decide on such a matter, there were others in whom he had no such trust, a remark greeted with loud applause. Mr. Banks then proceeded to dilate on the value of the property. He asked for bids; 5,000 was instantly named; Mr. Holden bid 5,200. Other bids brought it up to 5,900. Mr. Minter followed with a bid of 6,000. There was then a pause, when, Mr. Banks looking round the Hall used his onerous words “For the first time – going, 6,000. For the second time. (No answer) For the third and last time.” (No answer) “Gentlemen”, said the auctioneer, “The property is sold” and the company instantly dispersed.

 

Southeastern Gazette 26 August 1882.

Local News.

On Thursday, at the Town Hall, Mr. John Banks, on behalf of the Corporation, sold the site of the well-known King’s Arms Hotel in Sandgate Road, having an area of 6,650 feet. The price fetched was 6,000, for what is considered the best piece of freehold building land in the town.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 9 September 1882.

Corporation Meeting Extract.

The Last Of The King's Arms Difficulty.

The next business was to consider the steps to be taken against Mr. Valyer consequent on the proceedings instituted by him for liquidation by arrangement or composition with his creditors.

After some discussion it was agreed that the Town Clerk should attend the meeting of creditors in Sept., and take the best course he thought proper in the interest of the Corporation debt, which was 97.

The meeting then adjourned.

 

Southeastern Gazette 30 September 1882.

Local News.

A special meeting of the Town Council was held at the Town Hall on Monday, Alderman Caister presiding. The only business for transaction was to affix the corporate seal to the conveyance of the site of the King s Arms which has been purchased by Mr. John Minter for 6,000. It was moved by Mr. Harrison, and seconded by Alderman Banks, that the corporate seal be affixed, and the resolution was carried unanimously.

 

Southeastern Gazette 7 October 1882.

Council Meeting Extract.

The Town Clerk next explained that the purchase of the King's Arms site had been completed, and the money paid on the day fixed. He remarked that the question might be asked “How long would that unsightly bit of building remain?” The answer was that as soon as soon as the plans of the proposed new buildings had received the sanction of the corporation and the transfer of the licence been obtained, the buiding would be removed.


 

Folkestone Chronicle 21 October 1882.

The King's Arms Site.

Workmen are busy digging out the foundations and making arrangements for the beginning, we hear, of as large an hotel as can be built upon the land. As the public are feverishly eager to know what is to be done with the site which has cost so much, we can only tell them what the local gossips say, whose mission in life is to find out everyone else's business. They say that the land has been purchased for three or four, one local businessman holding the lion's share, and an hotel with 90 bedrooms – some say 116 – is to be built, with other suitable accommodation. We cannot ouch for this, but, as we can get no other information from the reliable source, our readers must be satisfied with this.

 

Folkestone Express 27 January 1883.

Local News.

In excavating for the foundations of the King's Arms Hotel last week, the workmen came upon a large bone, which has been examined by experts and pronounced to have belonged to an animal much larger than the elephant of the present day. It is in a very fine state of preservation, and we understand that it will be placed in the Folkestone Museum. Several portions of the skeletons of extinct animals have been found at various times in this locality, which is frequently referred to as an “elephant bed”.

Note: During the early stages of the development of the Queen's Hotel it was often referred to in the press as the King's Arms Hotel.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 10 March 1883.

Editorial Extract.

Settlement Of Corporation Accounts.

At the last meeting of the Council, most important business was transacted, involving the discharge of accounts amounting to over 3,000. Two accounts were submitted to taxation – that of the Town Clerk for extra legal expenses, and the charges made by the “skilled” witnesses over the King's Arms litigation. On the agenda paper for consideration was a notice “to consider the position of the Town Clerk, and his remuneration or salary”. The discussion of the latter point was very properly adjourned for a future occasion. The Clerk of the Peace for the County, to whom, by Act of Parliament, it is arranged that disputed accounts should be submitted, reduced the original claim of the Town Clerk by about 200. It is only fair to Mr. Harrison to state that he gave explicit orders that every matter of a disputed nature should be carefully considered that he cheerfully acquiesced in his bill being taxed, and the comparatively small amount shows that as a legal practitioner acting for the town, he may claim to have kept within his legal rights. The result of this taxation will serve as a precedent to guide the Council in the future. Surely it should point as a warning against rashly embarking on any course likely to lead to litigation. In the case of the King's Arms litigation it comes particularly hard on many of the ratepayers. The accounts passed on Wednesday cover a period of something like six years, so that ratepayers who have recently come to Folkestone have to bear their share of these expenses, while those who have left the town during that period have escaped this liability. This is decidedly unjust, and we trust it will have the effect of producing a more regular arrangement, by which the public accounts will be presented more frequently.

Council Meeting Extract.

The King's Arms Again.

The next business was to receive the report of the Town Clerk upon the reference to Mr. Philbrick Q.C. of the claims of certain of the witnesses in the “Medhurst” Arbitration case and to make order for payment of the several amounts certified to be due to such witnesses, and also to the costs of and incident to such reference.

The Town Clerk presented the following report of amounts charged and taxed:

Charged Allowed

Vigors 105 0s. 0d. 89 5s. 0d.

Ryde 112 13s. 0d. 89 5s. 0d.

Orgill 92 8s. 0d. 73 10s. 0d.

Haynes 93 2s. 0d. 73 10s. 0d.

Reed 94 17s. 0d. 73 10s. 0d.

Clifton 84 0s. 0d. 70 0s. 0d.

Tootell 144 5s. 6d. 105 0s. 0d.

Terson 78 17s. 6d. 56 7s. 6d.

Total 805 3s. 0d 630 7s. 6d.

The Town Clerk said that three other of the bills were not settled; one from Mr. Hogg for 55, which, taken on the scale by which Mr. Terson's bill was reduced would be 39, and one from Mr. Bailey, both agreeing to have theirs reduced according to that allowed to the others. Mr. Fry's bill of 64 10s. was unsettled, but he had not heard whether he would accept the same as the others, and also one of 2 2s. from Mr. Andrews.

It was agreed that the whole of the bills with the exception of Mr. Fry should be paid, that gentleman being left on his own part to approach the Corporation on the matter.

 

Folkestone Express 23 June 1883.

Wednesday, June 20th: Before R.W. Boarer Esq., Alderman Hoad, and General Armstrong.

The license of the Kings Arms Hotel was transferred to Mr. Tolputt.


 

Folkestone Herald 13 January 1923.

Extract from “Our Ancient Buildings”

As far as the writer knows, the earliest building upon the site of the Town Hall was the King's Arms Inn and its yard, and the earliest plan showing this is one dated 1698, in the Manor Office. A tracing of a portion of this plan, together with tracings of corresponding portions from two other plans, also in the possession of the Earl of Radnor, are the principal sources of the information at present available.

A map of 1628, also at the Manor Office, shows the buildings very similarly on the site, but it does not give any reference to them, so that it is rather unwise to definitely state that the King's Arms existed at that date, though there is a strong probability.

The reference to No. 3 on the 1698 plan runs as follows: “The King's Arms and the Towne Prison”, and No. 4 as “The Market Place and Court Hall”; evidence that the municipal business of the town has been conducted in the same neighbourhood for two and a quarter centuries.

References Nos. 1 and 2 help materially to the understanding of the precincts of the King's Arms at the end of the 17th century, being; “Entering into the Towne is called Cow Street”, and “The cistern house against the King's Arms” respectively.

A careful observer of our earliest plan will notice that the buildings are conveniently drawn, with the exception of the King's Arms, which appears to have been a two-storied rectangular structure facing and abutting on the street; that a narrow path or roadway immediately to the north of the inn connected the street with a path leading to Gigg's Lane (Shellons Street) as at present, and that the land on either side of what is now Guildhall Street was not built upon.

In 1698, as the references to this map show, the King's Arms was a farm as well as an inn, and a list of the properties runs as follows: “Q, House, yard and garden; R Little Copt Hall; S, Great Copt Hall; T, Shellons; V, Great Dirlocks; W, Little Dirlocks. Total 17ac., 2 rds., 39 pls.”

A note to these maps comprising the 1782 survey says the buildings hatched with lines from left to right were either stables, barns, or warehouses, so that two of the buildings included in the King's Arms property facing Sandgate Road (Cow Street) came under this category.

Coming to our third plan, which is also one at the Manor Office, and which shows the property of the Earl of Radnor in detail, that of other owners having the frontage only drawn, we are able to study this part of the town in it's period of greatest change from narrow lanes to moderate streets. The gardens of the King's Arms have been built upon; a terrace of dwelling houses having areas in front and long narrow gardens behind occupy the site; Shellons Lane has been nearly doubled in width in the process; whilst the famous old inn has crossed the yard and supplanted the old workhouse yard, and the Wesleyan Chapel stands on part of the garden formerly cultivated by the unfortunate inmates.

 

Folkestone Herald 9 March 1929.

Felix.

I have before me a copy of some old Folkestone Corporation records, and here I read that “On September 25th, 1781, that the Common Assembly (Town Council) ordered that the town chests and records on account of the ruinous situation of the Town Hall be removed to Mr. Reynold's house (the Town clerk) until a new hall is built”.

Was this due to the “ruinous situation” of the Town hall or other causes? Was there a cold snap, or was it desired to give the proprietor of the King's Arms Hotel a good turn? Be it remembered that the King's Arms Hotel was Folkestone's principal hostelry. There was no Royal Pavilion then or other palatial hostelry of the character that now exists. What does this mean? Quoting from the records (dated February, 1782) I find “the Assembly (Town Council) was bidden by adjournment from the Guildhall to the King's Arms in Folkestone”. This latter, a small establishment that stood on the site of the present Queen's Hotel. Cannot we imagine the good Mayor looking round at his colleagues and requesting one and all collectively to partake of his hospitality. Cannot we imagine, too, how under the influence of the more pleasant surroundings and the home-brewed ale, the business of the town moved on apace? Cannot we imagine one councillor, perhaps for all his colleagues, asking “May we smoke?”? Cannot we imagine the ready answer “Certainly”? And then probably the long clay pipes with the red-waxed ends would appear with subsequent “incense” curling ceilingwards. By the way, a local solicitor (the late Mr. Till) once wrote a pantomime, the subject matter being local men and matters. One of the scenes in this was “The smoking room at the King's Arms”. And wasn't there some fun in this production?

It would appear that the meeting of the Assembly (Town Council) held at the King's Arms was a great success, for a further and like gathering was afterwards held in a public house down by the fishmarket known then, as it is now, as the Marquis of Granby. The entrance to it is Seagate Street. There was at one time here a fine specimen of a Tudor mantelpiece and fireplace. Cannot we imagine how these old Folkestonians would have quaffed “some of the best”?

Note: Not only is the location wrong, as will be corrected, but it appears he is confusing it with the Chequers, where the fireplace was.

 

Folkestone Herald 30 November 1957.

Guildhall Street by “L.R.J.”

It was a quiet little lane, about 12ft. wide, with few buildings along its length and wide open spaces either side of it. Almost a country lane. Shellons Lane was that part of the Guildhall Street of today from the Town Hall to the Cheriton Road turning, and it is so shown on a street map of 1782 in the possession of Folkestone Public Library. The present Shellons Street was then Griggs Lane, and the part of Guildhall Street from the Cheriton turning onwards was called Broad Mead, Bottom Lane.

Why “Shellons” Lane? Shellons was the name of a large field on the west side of the lane, and the thoroughfare, such as it was, took its name from it, just as Copthall Gardens derived from the field called Copt Hall, to the north of Shellons Lane.

Both these fields belonged to the King's Arms Farm, which in all consisted of about 171 acres. An old map of 1698 lists the various fields that formed the farm. There were only one or two old buildings on the west side of Guildhall Street a century and a half ago, and very few on the east side. Shellons Lane was ..... just a lane.

On the site where the Town Hall now stands was the King’s Arms inn, with next to it two or three small buildings. Behind it was the town gaol, with stocks in which malefactors were placed. Lord Radnor was the hereditary gaoler. Some time after 1782 the King's Arms was moved across the road to part of the site on which now stands the Queen's Hotel. It was the corner building of Cow Street (now Sandgate Road) and Shellons Lane. The old King's Arms buildings were demolished, and a building known as “The Cistern House” was erected on the site. This too was pulled down in 1859, to make way for the present Town Hall, opened in 1861. The Town Hall had no portico until 18 years later.

The first houses on the eastern side of Guildhall Street were erected in 1844, approximately where the Guildhall Hotel and the shop next door now stand. The hotel itself was opened probably about 30 years later, for the first reference to it is in 1870, when the proud landlord, named Andrews, announced “Mine is the only house in Folkestone where there is a stand-up bar like the London style.”

By 1844 Guildhall Street - still Shellons Lane - was built up on the east side to about the present premises of Messrs. Halfords. Development went on until by 1870 there were houses and shops up to the corner of Griggs Lane (Shellons Street), though Messrs. Vickery's premises were built a little later. For nearly a century the comer building now occupied by Messrs. Olby was a baker's shop. The premises were built in 1856. It is interesting to note that a very old boundary wall still exists between the premises of Richmond’s dairy and Halfords, a wall more than 150 years old. Towards the end of the nineteenth century Guildhall Street developed with the expansion of the town and undoubtedly became a popular shopping centre, but it was still far removed from the Street of today.

The west side of the Street, as has already been stated, had very few buildings in 1782. The removal of the King’s Arms from the present Town Hall site to the comer opposite may have been one of the first developments on this side of Guildhall Street. The exact date is uncertain, but it was probably after 1782. The road junction at that time was small, the meeting place of four narrow lanes, and the building stood well out into what is now the roadway. It was not until 1882, and alter protracted litigation between the owners and the Corporation that the junction was widened to its present proportions. The Kings Arms was a small hostelry by modern standards, with a billiards room at the back and a skittle alley. One wall ran a short distance along Guildhall Street and appears to have been a popular place for posting notices of auction sales, meetings and so on. Later the hostelry was extended and improved. When all the litigation was ended (there is a sizeable volume of the proceedings in the Reference Library) the King’s Arms was pulled down, and on May 30th, 1885, the Queen’s Hotel was opened.

A large garden occupied most of the length of Guildhall Street from the King’s Arms, nearly to what is now Messrs. Andrews’ shop. It is possible that this garden, quite extensive in length and depth, may have belonged to a Mr. Solomon, who built Alexander Gardens.

On the site of Stace’s stood two small cottages, known as Pay’s cottages, and where Mr. Lummus’s cycle shop is now situated stood another building, called Gun cottage. In the course of years the open spaces were built over. On the site of the Playhouse cinema once stood a substantial property known as Ivy House, and behind it, approached by the alley-way which still exists, were stables. A little further along was Marlborough House, the residence of a veterinary surgeon.

Part of the Guildhall Street of days gone by was the Gun barn, shown on the 1782 map. About 1840 the Gun brewery occupied the site of Messrs. Walter’s furnishing store. There is reason to believe that a brewery originally stood on the site of Messrs. Plummer Roddis in Rendezvous Street and was transferred to the new site rather more than a century ago.

The Gun Tavern takes its name from an old gun of the Tudor period, upended, that had long been in position at the comer of Guildhall Street and Cheriton Road. It was removed to the western end of the Leas prior to the 1914-18 war, and about that period it disappeared. What became of it is a mystery to this day.

The Gun brewery - and breweries were small and many in those days - was owned by a man named Ham Tite. His beer may not always have been up to standard, for in a County Cunt case in 1871 a witness said the beer was so bad that his customers couldn’t drink it. The brewery continued until about 1880, but by 1882 part of it had become, of all things, a Chapel and coffee house. It was known as the Emanuel Mission Church, conducted by a Mr. Toke. The tinted windows of the church remain and there is still an “atmosphere” about the building, though it has long ceased to serve any religious purpose.

The Gun smithy is certainly a piece of old Folkestone, for the building itself has changed, there has been a smithy on this site for at least a century.

The Shakespeare Hotel at the comer of Guildhall Street and Cheriton Road is more than a century old, for all its up-to-date facade. It was refronted in 1897, when it belonged to the Army and Navy Brewery Company. In 1848 it was the Shakespeare Tavern, and a directory of a later date announces that tea and quoits were available. For some obscure reason it was stated to be “near the Viaduct”.

So the transformation of Guildhall Street from the virtually open fields of Shellons Lane into a modern, progressive and popularshopping centre has taken place in less than 150 years. The unpaved, narrow lane is no more, gone are some of the ”landmarks” of over 80 years ago, many of the old names have been lost. Changes and development have given to Folkestone a street of which the town can be proud, a street of many trades, a progressive street, a street of good and efficient service to the public, a street of shops where the customer is always right. Guildhall Street.

 

Folkestone Herald 4 May 1963.

Local News.

The demolition of the Queen's Hotel, Folkestone, now almost complete, makes specially topical the gift within the past month of an old beer mug to the Folkestone Museum. The mug was found in 1883 during excavations for the foundations for the Queen's Hotel, and it has been given to the Museum by Miss. S. Medhurst, of Augusta Gardens, members of whose family in the past were proprietors of the King's Arms Hotel. The King's Arms originally stood on the site of the present Town Hall.

The mug is stamped with a crown and the letters W.R., and inscribed “Richd. Verrier at ye King's Armes in Folkestone, 1727”.

In 1727 the Queen's Hotel site was occupied by a brew-house, presumably producing “home-brewed” for the King's Arms opposite. At some time between 1782 and 1796 the King's Arms moved across the road and continued on its new site until it was acquired by the Corporation for road widening in 1881. Part of the site was sold in 1883 and the Queen's Hotel was erected on it and opened at Easter, 1885.

Who was Richard Verrier? There is no reference to him at the King's Arms in the Corporation Archives, but he is probably the same Richard Verrier, shipwright, who was admitted to the Freedom of the Corporation in 1663.

The stamp W.R. with a crown seems curious as William III died in 1702, and the next William, William IV, did not accede to the throne till 1830. It appears, however, that an Act of 1700 provided for the verification and stamping of ale quarts and pints with a W.R. and Crown, and the Statute was not repealed until 1824. The W.R. stamp, therefore, continued in use throughout this period, but was not invariable. Instances of A.R. and G.R. are also known.

We are indebted to the Borough Librarian and members of his staff for information concerning the King's Arms and the beer mug.

 

 

LICENSEE LIST

VERRIER Richard 1717-28+ Bastions

BINFIELD/BINFOLD Nicholas 1741-50+ Bastions

PILCHER Thomas circa 1765-66 Bastions

PILCHER Elizabeth 1766-68

BOXER George 1768-1800+ Bastions

Last pub licensee had PILCHER James 1815+ Bastions

GITTENS William 1823-30 BastionsPigot's Directory 1823Pigot's Directory 1828-29

ROLFE Nicholas 1830-37 BastionsPigot's Directory 1832-34Pigot's Directory 1839

CORK D Mr to Jan/1837

PIERSON Edward Jan/1837+

DUNK George John 1837-41 BastionsPigot's Directory 1840

BROMLEY John 1841 (age 28 in 1841Census)

RICHARDSON William 1841-46 Bastions

COLLARD James to Aug/1845 South Eastern Gazette

SMITH William Aug/1845-46 South Eastern Gazette

Last pub licensee had MEDHURST William 1846-78 (age 40 in 1861Census) BastionsBagshaw's Directory 1847Post Office Directory 1874 (Also "Rose Hotel")

Last pub licensee had MEDHURST Richard 1878-81 (age 33 in 1881Census) Bastions (Also "Rose Hotel")

 

Pigot's Directory 1823From the Pigot's Directory 1823

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

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

Pigot's Directory 1839From the Pigot's Directory 1839

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

Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

BastionsFrom More Bastions of the Bar by Easdown and Rooney

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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