Sort file:- Dover, June, 2023.

Page Updated:- Thursday, 01 June, 2023.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1832

Old Commercial Quay Inn

Latest 1906

16 Commercial Quay


Old Commercial Quay Arms

Above photo, circa 1895. The "Old Commercial Quay" is shown above on the left of the picture next to the "Mariner's Arms". Beyond the three-storey house are seen premises, in the course of demolition, which were formerly another licensed house, the "London Packet." After three private houses came the large but forbidding-looking Pentside Baptist Church, later used by the Mission to Seamen. The properties shown above were demolished in 1930 for improvement of the quays.

Old Commercial Quay 1860's

IT'S amazing what some people find when taking down old wallpaper, tidying Cupboards, renewing the glass in a picture frame or clearing out the attic This picture of the Old Commercial Quay, facing Wellington Dock, and dating back to the 1860's is just one example of such a find. The picture is embossed with the name of the former Bench Street photographer J. G. Whorwell but is evidently a copy of the original because he simply wasn't in business as early as the 1860's.

Sharp's Commercial Quay public house, on the right of the picture  helps to date the picture as being from about 1861. Richard Sharp was an innkeeper at Commercial Quay in that year. Sandwiched between two and three-storey properties on the left is the single-storey workshop of a ropemaker and dealer in marine stores by the name of Dennis. The three-storey Dutch-style building towards the centre of the picture, similar in appearance to Dover's public library, was evidently very old.


This outlet of Leney faced the dock side and possessed a 61 year lease from Dover Harbour Board which had commenced in April 1867. 400 was spent on improvements in 1893 but nevertheless the licence changed hands eighteen times in twenty years up to 1906 so the closure that year would not have surprised anyone.



South Eastern Gazette 30 September 1845.


Sept. 18, at Dover, Mr. Smith, landlord of the "Commercial Quay," aged 38 years.


From the Kentish Gazette, 23 September 1845.


Smith.— Sept. 18, at Dover, Mr. Smith, landlord of the "Commercial Quay," aged 38.


Canterbury Weekly Journal 14 April 1855.

Quarter Sessions.

At the Quarter Sessions on Wednesday there was but one prisoner for trial – John Philpott, 21, for obtaining 10s. under false pretences from Mary Ann Freezer. It appeared that the prosecutor, John Gillivin, unable to write, got the landlord of the "Commercial Inn" to write a note to Mrs. Freezer desiring her to send him the 10s; and sent the note by the prisoner, who withheld the note, and obtained the money, Mrs. Freezer believing she knew the prisoner; but that turned out to be a mistake. Four months’ imprisonment with hard labour.


Dover Chronicle 14 April 1855.

Quarter Sessions, Wednesday; Before J.J. Lonsdale Esq.

There was but one prisoner for trial, John Philpott, 21, for obtaining 10s. under false pretences from Mary Ann Freezer. It appeared the prosecutor, John Gillivin, unable to write, got the landlord of the Commercial Inn to write a note to Mrs. Greezer desiring her to send him the 10s., and sent the note by the prisoner, who withheld the note, and obtained the money, Mrs. Freezer believing she knew the prisoner – but that turned out to be a mistake.

Mr. John Minter, who appeared for the prisoner, endeavoured to show that the note deposed to was only a direction enabling the prisoner to find Mrs. Freezer’s residence, and that having obtained the money he went to his father’s house at Cheriton, thence to Hythe, where he got tipsy, and, but for the incapacity thus caused, he would have handed the money to the prosecutor.

This ingenious defence seemed to influence some of the jury, as they were a considerable time absent. Eventually they brought in a verdict of Guilty.

The Recorder said he entirely agreed with the jury. In consideration of the prisoner having been already in gaol two months, he should sentence him to four months’ imprisonment with hard labour. He perceived by the list prisoner could neither read nor write, which he considered a disgrace to him and his parents, there being a national school in the parish. As to the excuse set up that he was tipsy and incapable, it was another instance of the connection, almost universal, of drunkenness and crime.


Kentish Gazette 17 April 1855.

Quarter Sessions, Wednesday, before J.J. Lonsdale Esq.

There was but one prisoner for trial, John Philpott, 21, for obtaining 10s. under false pretence from Mary Ann Freezer. It appeared the prosecutor, John Gillitin, unable to write, got the landlord of the Commercial Inn to write a note to Mrs. Freezer, desiring her to send him the 10s; and sent the note by the prisoner, who witheld the note, and obtained the money, Mrs. Freezer believing she knew the prisoner; but that turned out to be a mistake.

Mr. John Minter, who appeared fur the prisoner, endeavoured to show that the note, deposed to was only a direction enabling the prisoner to find Mr. Freezer’s residence; and that having obtained the money, he went to his father’s house at Cheriton, thence to Hythe, where he got tipsy, and, but for the incapacity thus caused, he would have handed the money to the prosecutor.

This ingenious defence seemed to influence some of the jury, as they were a considerable time absent. Eventually they brought in a verdict of Guilty.

The Recorder said he entirely agreed with the jury. In consideration of the prisoner having been already in gaol two months, he should sentence him to four months’ imprisonment with hard labour. He perceived by the list the prisoner could neither read nor write, which he considered a disgrace to him and his parents; there being a national school in the parish. As to the excuse set up that he was tipsy and incapable, it was another instance of the connection, almost universal, of drunkenness and crime.


Southeastern Gazette 17 April 1855.

Quarter Sessions, Wednesday last; Before J.J. Lonsdale Esq.

John Thomas Philpott, mariner, 21, was indicted for obtaining by false pretences, of Mary Ann Freezer, the sum of 10s. Mr. John Monter defended the prisoner.

The facts of the case were that the prisoner was on friendly terms with one Henry Gillham, who requested him to take a letter to the prosecutor to ask her to send him 10s. The witness Gillham got the landlord of the Commercial Quay, at Dover, to write a letter for him, which was given to the prisoner to take to Folkestone. The money was obtained, the prisoner stating his name was Hogben, but the letter was never delivered. The prisoner was afterwards taken into custody at his father’s house. The defence set up was that the prisoner intended to return to Dover and pay the money, but having lately returned from sea, he had met with some friends and got tipsy, and delayed going to Dover.

The jury, after a long absence, gave a verdict of Guilty.

The Recorder, in passing sentence, alluded to the prisoner being unable to read, which he said was a disgrace to him, and more to his parents, as there was a district school in the immediate neighbourhood where the prisoner was brought up. He then sentenced him to four months’ hard labour.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 31 May, 1867.

John Smith Norris, the landlord of the "Commercial Quay" public house, charged with infringing his license, was dismissed on paying the costs.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 29 July, 1870. Price 1d.


John Smith Norris, landlord of the "Commercial Quay," was charged with having his house open at an illegal hour on Monday morning, the 18th inst.

Police-sergeant Barton said he visited the house of the defendant at ten minutes past twelve on Monday, the 18th inst. He saw there in the front room, near the bar, three men belonging to the town and there were upon the table a quart jug and three glasses containing beer. In the passage he saw a soldier, close to the bar door, and on the bar door was a glass of ale, just drawn. In the bar parlour he saw another man belonging to the town. The landlord was present, and in reply to his remarks, said he was not aware that he was not allowed to remain open at twelve o'clock on Sunday night.

Police-constable Nash corroborated Barton's evidence.

The defendant said the men found in his house were about to commence work, in lightening a ship loaded with seed for the Oil Mills, which was detained here on demurrage, and he thought he was justified, under the circumstances, in supplying them with a little refreshment. The soldier had nothing to drink. The beer upon the bar door was drawn for the captain of the collier, who was lodging in the house. He called a man named Clark, foreman of labourers, in the employ of Mr. Latham, who spoke to these three men referred to being employed in the way stated.

It appeared that the defendant had been previously convicted of the same kind of offence; but the Bench, taking a lenient view of the circumstances, fined him only 5s. and the costs 10s. 6d., which he paid.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 14 November, 1873.


George William Pettit applied for permission to sell at the “Old Commercial Quay,” but as it was elicited that the outgoing tenant was dead, and the administration of his affairs had not yet taken place the application was ordered to stand over.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 16 January, 1877. Price 1d.


William Cox, officers groom, of the 10th Regiment, was charged with stealing from the person of the complainant, on the 23rd inst., at the “Old Commercial Quay Inn,” a purse containing one 5 Bank of England note, 15 in gold, two ten franc pieces, and a one franc piece.

John Kittell, proprietor of the “Gun Hotel,” said: On Tuesday evening I went to the “Old Commercial Quay Inn,” about 9 o'clock. I had a small leather purse with me containing a 5 note, 14 10s. in gold, two gold ten-franc pieces, one franc, and some silver. I called for a glass of gin and water and went into the private room. I showed my purse to the landlord and told her I had found it again as I had lost it on a previous occasion. I sat down in an armchair and fell asleep. There was no one in the room then. I slept about twenty minutes and when I awoke I felt in my waistcoat pocket and found my purse was gone. I did not notice anyone in the room then. I informed the landlady that I had lost my purse, and the next day I gave information to the Police.

By the Bench: The bar is close to the room where I was. The landlady could see into the room.

By the prisoner: I did not see you in the house on this occasion but I have on other occasions.

Hendy Cox said: My daughter keeps the “Grand Shaft Inn,” Snargate Street. I was left in charge of the house on Wednesday. The prisoner came that day some time in the afternoon, and called for a pot of ale. I served him and he laid down apiece of gold which I thought at first was a half-sovereign. I thought it felt rather light and I showed it to my wife and she said it was a ten-franc piece. I said to the prisoner “I say Bill, this is not a half-sovereign it's a ten-franc piece.” He said “Well, I know it is, give me change for it.” I said “I can't because I don't know the value of it.” I gave it to my mistress to take to Mr. Drincqubier's to change. She changed it and the prisoner then paid me for the ale.

Matha Bliss said: My husband keeps the “Perseverence Inn,” Snargate Street. The prisoner came to our house twice yesterday; the first time he asked for half-a-pint of whiskey. I served him and he paid me for it with a sovereign. He had other things besides the whiskey and treated some others who were in the bar. The second time he came it was about half-past two. He had a bottle of ginger-beer and a glass of brandy. Mt husband served him and he came to me for change. She gave me a gold piece which the prisoner had given her. It was a foreign piece of money and I did not know the value of it so I sent it to Mr. Drincqubier to be changed. The barmaid brought back 7s 9d. in change for it. The prisoner paid for what he had had and I gave him the change.

Charles Kittell, son of the prosecutor said: On Wednesday afternoon Police-constable Suters came to the hotel to see my father. When he came down the prisoner was in the bar. A conversation took place about the purse which my father had lost. Prisoner said he thought it was a very mysterious thing; there was nobody but himself in the room, and he stopped there about five minutes reading the paper while Mr. Kittell was asleep. I know my father had his purse in his pocket on Tuesday when he went out.

Mr. Kittel said he could swear to one of the ten-franc pieces as it was an old republic and he had take particular notice of it.

Police-constable Suters said: On Wednesday afternoon, under the direct of the Superintendent, I went to the “Gun Hotel.” I saw the prisoner in the bar and young Kittell. The conversation was about the loss of Mr. Kittell's purse. Prisoner said “It seems a very mysterious affair to me; I can't make it out, for I went into the room where he was sitting. I took up the paper and read. There was no one there when I was in the room with him, and I saw no one touch his purse nor him.” He said Mr. Kittell was asleep in the room.

Ernest Drincqubier said Mrs. Cox, from the “Grand Shaft Inn,” came into his house and asked him to change a ten-franc piece of Wednesday. He noticed the coin was black and rung it and found it all right. Having been previously warned by Police-constable Suters that there were some ten-franc pieces missing he put it on one side after he had given the change. He produced the coin, which was an old Republic of 1851. The same afternoon a young person came in and changed another ten-franc piece, that he put in the till.

Mrs. Cox and Margaret Tutt, the barmaid at the “Perseverance Inn,” deposed to changing the ten-franc pieces at Mr. Drincqubier's.
Mr. Kittell identified the franc pieces produced as one of those which he had lost with his purse.

Police-constable Baker said his attention was called to the prisoner in Biggin Street by Mr. Kittell, jun., who gave him into custody. He told him he was charged with stealing money from the person of Mr. Kittell. He said he must go to the barracks before he went anywhere else. He then took him to the Police-station where he became violent and he had to get the assistance of two men. When the charge was made out to him he said “That's all right. I know I was there.” The Constable searched him and found 6 10s. in gold with some tobacco in a pouch, 17s. in silver, and 2d. loose in his trousers pocket, and other articles.

The case was remanded till tomorrow (Saturday) for the attention of the landlady of the “Old Commercial Quay Inn.”


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 2 February, 1877. Price 1d.


William Cox, officer's groom, was charged on remand with stealing a purse containing moneys from the person of Mr. Kittell, proprietor of the “Gun Hotel.”

The evidence taken on Friday was read and the following additional evidence was taken:-

Fanny Lonan said: My husband keeps the “Old Commercial Quay Inn.” Mr. Kittell came into my house on Friday night between eight and nine. He came to the bar and I served him with a glass of gin. He did not pay for it then. I did not see Mr. Kittell take out his purse. I knew that he had previously lost his purse. He drank some of the gin and then went in the room. He there fell into the fire grate and two gentlemen picked him up. He then sat down in the easy chair and went to sleep about twenty minutes. There is a passage between the bar and the room where he was, and while he was there several gentlemen looked in but I did not see anyone go in. When he woke up he came to the bar and said, “Mrs. Lunon, give me my purse.” I said, “Kittell, I am astonished, I've not got your purse.” He then said the third time I had it, and stamped his foot violently. He said he had given it to me to mind. I sent to his home and a man named Landell came and took him away. The prisoner frequently visited my house. He was there on Tuesday afternoon some time before five but whether he was there in the evening or no I cannot say. I was in the bar the whole of the evening. I was busy and might not have seen anyone who went into the room where Mt. Kittell was. The prisoner was at my house on the Monday and borrowed half-a-crown. He said that he was short of money and that he expected some from his home in the morning and would pay me. On Tuesday morning, about nine o'clock, he brought me the half-a-crown back.

By the Bench: It was a half-a-crown piece he gave me. I do not think anyone could go into the room without seeing him. I only allow people to go into the room that I know. The strangers (the two gentlemen referred to previously) had been in the house about twenty minutes. They said when he was picked up, “Hasn't he cop't the brewer?” he was helpless when he fell into the grate. He did not say anything about the purse when he came in. he said when he came in in the morning that he had found his purse. He did not leave it with me as he said he had.

My Mr. Vidler: There were about twenty people in the bar at the time he came in. A man that was sent from Mr. Kittell's house and a young man from my house assisted him home.

By the Bench: He repeatedly said that I had got his purse and that he gave it me to take charge of. He did not make ant illusion to the prisoner.

The Prisoner: How long was I in the other room when I came out of the back room when you told me Mr. Kittell was drunk?

Witness: I don't remember seeing you that night.

Prisoner: Did I tell you that I would pay you the half-a-crown when I had got some money from home or after I had been to barracks?

Witness: You said you would pay me after you had got some from home.

The officer to whom prisoner acted as groom said the prisoner would not be in possession of a considerable sum of money on being in his service; he settled his own accounts himself.

The prisoner pleaded “not guilty” to the charge. He said: I found 12 on Wednesday afternoon in the closet of Mrs. Lunon's public-house, rolled it in a piece of brown paper tied up by a piece of string. When I opened it I think there were nine sovereigns beside some silver. I did not see a purse of any description there or the note spoken of. I should like to call a witness who is in the court.

Harry browning was called. He said: I am a coachman in the employ of a gentleman visiting Dover. I was in the “Old Commercial Quay Inn” on Tuesday evening, standing just in the bar, when Mr. Kittell came in. I did not see Mr. Kittell with a purse in his possession. He called for some drink and went into the room before referred to. In about twenty minutes he came out of the room and went down the passage towards the back door. In about ten minutes he returned again and came to the front bar and asked Mrs. Lunon for his purse. She told him she had not got it, and he said “I gave it you to mind.” A man named Landell came and took him home. I do not remember seeing prisoner in that room during the day. I have seen him in the house before. The front of the bar was full on Tuesday evening.

By the Bench: I was in the bar all the time. I saw the two strangers in the bar and saw them pick the defendant up. I cannot say how long they stayed after. I do not know where Mr. Kittell went. There was so many in the bar that I could not see who went in or who came out.

The bench committed the prisoner for trial at the next Quarter Sessions.


Dover News & S. Kent Echo 21 January 1879.


Edward Murgatroyd, landlord of the "Old Commercial Quay Inn," was summoned on remand by the Superintendent of Police for serving drunken soldiers with rum and beer. The Clerk read a previous case where the defendant admitted that two soldiers were worse for liquor, and he served them with two pots of beer and some rum. Defendant admitted the offence and was fined 40s and costs, the licence not to be endorsed.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 15 October, 1886. Price 1d.


This was a claim for 5 14s. The defendant said he kept the “Old Commercial Inn.” His business did not average two barrels of beer a week which was a turnover of 30s. he had six in family and four judgements against him. An order was made for 15s a month.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 6 February, 1891. Price 1d.


Thomas Friend was charged with being drunk and breaking a pane of glass value 2s.6d. at the “Old Commercial Quay Inn.”

The Magistrates fined prisoner 10s. and 7s. cost and damage 2s. 6d., but in default he went to prison for 14 days.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 30 August, 1901. Price 1d.


Mr. Dolbear, the present landlord, then made formal application for the renewal of the licence of the “Old Commercial Quay Inn.”

Mr. Rutley Mowll said he appeared to support the renewal of this licence. He understood that there was to be a double objection, from the Superintendent of the Police, and also from the Temperance Party, represented by Mr. Montague Bradley.

Mr. Bradley said he was instructed on behalf of the Dover temperance Council to oppose the “Old Commercial Quay Inn.” The grounds as stated in the notices, were that in December last the then tenant was convicted of opening the premises during prohibited hours, and fined 10 and costs, and the Magistrates ordered the licence to be endorsed. Another ground of objection was the record of the house, from which it would appear that on two previous occasions the licence had been endorsed; and the further ground was that the licence was not required, as it was situated in a neighbourhood which, it had often admitted, was over supplied with public houses. These were the three grounds, and he had no doubt that Mr. Mowll, when making his reply, would argue that those whom he represented were mere fanatics and wished to remove the whole of the licenses at one blow. They had heard that old story often before, but it was an entire miss-statement, for they came there for one specific licence, and he thought that when they heard the facts the Bench would be amply justified in declining to renew the licence of this house, and consider those who instructed him were taking a very moderate course in opposing this licence only. Dealing with the grounds of objection, he pointed out that the conviction was regarded by the Bench as a very serious one that required a considerable penalty, as they imposed a fine of 10 and endorsed the licence. The Magistrates clearly had it in mind that the licence ought to be brought before them for consideration as to its renewal or not. Frequently when opposition was based on a conviction, those applying were able to point to the previous record of the house and say that it was very hard lines because of one slip the licence should be taken away. There was not that opportunity in this case, because it was to be seen by the register which would be put in that the licence had been endorsed twice, and one conviction had not been endorsed. He was aware that some time had elapsed, but that was the character of the house. In dealing with the third ground, which was an important one, that it was not required, he would only refer them to the position of the house. It was on the Commercial Quay, and of seventeen consecutive houses, of which this was one, seven were licensed houses. The bench had expressed its desire to reduce them, and the Temperance Council opposed this licence in order to assist the bench in coming to a decision as to which house should be refused renewal. He was glad to find that he did not stand alone in his opposition, and that the Police were also opposing it. Whatever jest Mr. Mowll might treat them with, he felt that he would not be able to treat the opposition of the Police in any light manner at all.

Evidence of the service of the notice was given by Mr. F. W. Bartholomew, Mr. Bradley's Clerk.

Mr. E. Chitty said that he signed the notice of objection. There were, he said, about five licensed houses within a hundred yards, and ten within two hundred yards, all in a line. In seventeen consecutive houses in Commercial Quay, of which this house was one, seven of them were licensed. He considered that far in excess of the requirements of the neighbourhood.

In reply to Mr. Mowll, witness said that he should not like to say that his only knowledge of the conduct of the house was from the register of convictions. From common report he knew it was a house with a rough character. He did not object to the house last year, as the conviction had not then taken place. That was the principle, but not the only reason he objected to the renewal. If it had not been for that conviction, he should not be there to object to the house, although he should object to the house. This was not the only house he would like to see done away with, for he thought there were far too many in the town. He was not prepared to say that he would take away these licenses without compensating the brewer or tenant. He did not feel inclined to go into the question.

You are owner of a good many houses doing a trade. - not in this line?

You are quite right; I am part owner.

You are owners of a large number of baker's shops, are you not?


Would these bakers be tied to you in the same was as a tenant is tied to a brewer?

Mr. Bradley objected to the question. They were not objecting to the house because it was a tied house.

Mr. Mowll said that Mr. Bradley had put his objection in a most unanswerable manner. He had put his question, and Mr. Chitty had not answered. They might guess what the answer would be.

Mr. Bradley said that was his case.

Superintendent H. N. Knott produced notice of objection served by the Police on the tenant, and also the register of licenses, showing the three convictions.

In reply to Mr. Bradley, the Superintendent said he considered the number of houses very excessive in this particular locality. In a distance of 279 yards from the “Apollonian” to the “George Hotel,” there were twenty-five dwelling houses, seven stores, one chapel, and ten licensed houses. The character of the house was rough when tenanted by Cool, Faggater, and Colbreay, but it was well conducted by Maslin and the present tenant.

By the Magistrates' Clerk. When conducted by H. G. Maslin his four years' tenancy it was well conducted, and it was now well conducted by Dolbear. Colbrey was only in a short time.

By Mr. Mowll: Faggater was in from May, 1885, to November, 1895, and during that time there was only one conviction against him, and there was nothing against the house to justify taking out a summons. Faggater left in 1895, and in May, 1896, the house was occupied by Maslin, and he remained there until 1900. During those four years the house was very well conducted. Dolbear had been in the house since January of this year, and was a man of high character. He had held various licensed houses, and had conducted them well, and never been convicted nor cautioned by the Police, so far as witness could remember. He had occupied the “Mechanics Arms” on the Quay seven years, and the “Barley Mow” six years.

Supposing Superintendent, you had got to select a tenant for the “Old Commercial Quay,” can you name a single person who would be more suitable to be a tenant than James Dolbear?

I cannot.

Mr. Mowll called Mr. F. G. Hayward, who stated that in 1893 alterations costing 400, which made the house more suitable, had been carried out.

By Mr. Bradley: He thought the alterations would improve the character of the house. He knew there was a conviction two years afterwards, but not in consequence of the alterations. Since the alterations he was aware the licence had been endorsed twice.

The Chairman remarked that the alterations were apparently to improve the sanitary arrangements.

Mr. Howard said that was so.

Mr. R. Mowll, in asking the Bench to renew the licence, said he had evidence of the excellent manner in which the house had been conducted, with the exceptions that had been mentioned; but having regard to the high character that the Superintendent of Police had given to the conduct of the house by the present tenant and Maslin, he thought it unnecessary to trouble the Bench. Mr. Bradley in opening his attack on the house seemed to imagine that he was going to treat his opposition with jest. That was the very last feeling he had, because it was his client's property that was going to be taken away. He left it to others, like Mr. Chitty, who asked the Bench to take away the property which did not belong to them, the opportunity of passing any jest. The first ground on which they were asked to take away the licence was that the house was badly conducted. He thought that in considerating that point, a great deal of ancient history had been gone into. They were probably aware that in certain circumstances a licence was forfeited. If a licence were endorsed twice within a certain period that licence was forfeited. The 32nd section, however, provided a five years' limit, after which no evidence of a previous conviction should be receivable of the purpose of increasing the penalty or forfeiture. It was not therefore fair to call up against a man something which had happened over five years ago. Here they were not dealing with a man previously convicted, but they were asked to receive a conviction recorded against someone else, and which occurred a very long time ago. He made not technical objection, but pointed it out as an anomaly which the Bench should bear in mind in considering the merits of the case. Accepting the guidance given by the legislation, they had to deal with the conviction which took place in the past year. Mr. Chitty admitted that it was that conviction that brought him there. It was his lot to defend the tenant, and it was decided that the supper party which was alleged was not properly substantiated, and the Bench did inflict a severe penalty on the man. But the fact of punishing the man at the time did not alter the fact that three months previously, when applying for the licence, he had a character of 26 years faithful service in employ of the L.C.D. Railway. The character given him by Captain Morgan was as high a character as it had ever been his lot to see. Mr. Leney could therefore be hardly blamed for the fact that a man with such a high character proved subsequently to be an unsatisfactory tenant. The offence of being open during prohibited hours was very reprehensible, but was only a breach of discipline, and not a very serious offence. It was not a case where the house was being used by persons of an unsatisfactory character, and the previous convictions were of a similar character. He also referred to the excellent character the tenant bore, and the fact that Messrs. Leney were most particular as to the character of their tenant. The second ground on which they were asked to take away the licence was that it was not required. That had been before them on many occasions, and he referred them to an appeal to His Honour Judge Selfe, who said that the question whether a living was to be made in the house was not a matter which should be taken into account, but a commercial question for the consideration of those interested. In 1898 the “George” and “New Commercial Quay” licences were renewed, where both of the houses had been convicted of the offence to which he had alluded. If the licence of a house convicted of the most serious offence known to the licensing laws were renewed ought they not to renew the licence of a house convicted of a breach of discipline? As to the objection on the ground that the licence was not required, it had been said again and again that they could not take away a licence on that ground. How could it be said a licence was not required when the owner thought it valuable enough to spend 400 on it. How could it be said that it was not required when there was the immense shipping trade and the immense number of people who passed by, and the licences were renewed year after year and did a considerable trade? If they were not going to take away the licence on that ground, they were asked to take it away on the ground that the tenant had been convicted. Just picture Mr. Chitty coming before them and saying “I have got a house in this town - a baker's shop, - the tenant has been convicted of selling bread unweighed, and therefore I ask you to take away my property.” (Laughter). If the Bench could imagine Mr. Chitty applying these principles to his own property, he could not. (Laughter). In conclusion, he asked the Bench to renew the licence, which was held by a man of the highest character, and owned by a brewer who would take every possible care that the house in the future should be well conducted.

The Magistrates then adjourned for luncheon, and on the Court re-assembling, the Chairman said: The licence for the “Old Commercial Quay Inn” will be renewed.



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


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


In this case the tenant, James Gilbert, was unable to attend, and a certificate from Dr. Howden stated that he was recovering from pneumonia, was put in. Mr. Knocker appeared on behalf of the owners, Messrs. Leney and Co. the grounds of the notice were that the license were unnecessary, and that the house had been ill-conducted.

Inspector Fox stated that the license had been transferred to James Gilbert on the 6th October 1905. there had been seven tenants in the last 10 years, and about 18 changes in the last 20 years. There were five other licensed premises within the immediate vicinity, the furthest being 76 yards away. There had been convictions against the premises in 1879, 1881, 1885, and 1895.

The Chairman said that in regard to previous convictions, it would be better not to press them unless the premises were being conducted in an improper way at the present time.

Mr. Knocker said there had been no conviction within the last six years.

The Chairman said that ground of objection would be withdrawn from the notice.

Mr. Knocker said that under those circumstances he did not propose to address the Magistrates, or to make any objection to the notice.


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


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

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

"Old Commercial Quay," Dover. 920.

To the owners (Messrs. Leney, Dover) 850.

To the Tenant. (James Gilbert). 70.



Compensation was agreed in October that year and Leney received 850 and the tenant 70. It continued as a private dwelling.




SMITH Mr to Sept/1845 dec'd age 38

BARTON John S 1847 (Commercial Quay Inn) Bagshaw's Directory 1847

TAYLOR William 1852 (Commercial Quay Inn)

TAYLOR Matilda 1854 (Commercial Quay Inn)

SHARP Richard Next pub licensee had to Mar/1861 Dover Express

MARKS Mr W Mar/1861+ Dover Express

NORRIS John Smith 1867-71+ (age 67 in 1871Census)

PETTET George William 1874 Post Office Directory 1874

DYASON Mr dec'd Jan/1874 Dover Express

DYASON Mrs J Jan/1874 end Dover Express

INSKIP William 1875

JOHNSON John 1875

KITTELL John William 1877

LONAN Charles 1877

McKAY Daniel to May/1878 Dover Express

McIVER Kennett May/1878 Dover Express

MURGATROYD Edward 1879+

MACKAY John 1881-82 Post Office Directory 1882

Last pub licensee had COLE George 1883-85 end

Last pub licensee had FAGGETTER Lewis 1885-96 (age 40 in 1891Census) Post Office Directory 1891

MASLEN Henry P 1896-July/1900 Next pub licensee had Kelly's Directory 1899Dover Express

Last pub licensee had COLBREAY George Horace July/1900+ Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1903

COCHRANE William 1900 end (Commercial Quay Inn)

Last pub licensee had DOLBEAR James 1900-01 Next pub licensee had (age 57 in 1901Census)

CARLEY Henry to Dec/1902 Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903

JONES William Dec/1902-05 end Dover Express

GILBERT John 1905-Dec/06


Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

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

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1901

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express



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