Sort file:- Dover, January, 2023.

Page Updated:- Monday, 09 January, 2023.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1713

Plume of Feathers

Latest 1861

18 Limekiln Street



Knowles kept a pub with this sign in 1725 and old records indicate that the bricks and mortar were purchased by Susan Nichols that year for 3 5s., she being the highest bidder. Durtnall is our next contact, with the house in Limekiln Street in 1826. It had been closed by 1859 but was reopened that year when the licence was restored. I have no knowledge of it after 1862.

For photo of Limekiln Street click here.


From the Times, Saturday 5 March, 1829.

To be permanently sold, pursuant to a decree of the High Court of Chancery, made in a cause of "Larkin verses Allen," with the approbation of Francis Paul Stratford, Esq., one of the Masters of the said Court, at the house of George Harrison, known by the sign of the "Plume of Feathers", at Dover, in the county of Kent, on Wednesday, the 18th day of March 1829, at 6 o'clock in the evening, in 6 lots, four several Leasehold Messauges, situate in Snargate Street, aforesaid, also held under the said Warden and Assistants of Dover Harbour. printed particulars may be held (gratis) at the said Master's chamber, in Southampton-buildings, Chancery Lane, London; of Messr's Eagan and Waterman, solicitors, Essex-street, Strand; Messrs. Holme, Frampton and Loftus, solicitors, New-Inn, London; Mr. Thomas Pain, solicitor, Dover; Mr. Knocker, solicitor, Dover; Mr. Thomas Birch, auctioneer, Dover, and at the place of sale.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 27 February, 1836. Price 7d.


The anniversary supper of this Society took place, a short time since, at the "Plume of Feathers." In the course of the evening some of the members expressing a wish to join in a bottle of wine, a person being present who had authority to take orders for the article, some was procured. One of the company, Mr. R. Hamilton, an officer of Excise, knowing that "mine host" had no wine license, gave information of this supposed breach of the law, but it was proved that the Landlord had not received the money for the wine. At a special meeting convened on Wednesday evening it was unanimously resolved, "That Mr. R. Hamilton be no longer considered a member of the Institution the members not reconciling themselves to sit in company with an individual who sought an opportunity of punishing their error, rather than honourably endeavouring to prevent it. 


Kentish Weekly Post or Canterbury Journal 30 May 1837.

From the Kentish Gazette, 23 May 1837.

The inhabitants of the streets near the pier at Dover were thrown into a state of great excitement on Saturday morning last, by the sudden death of the wife of Mr. Michael Husband, in Bulwark street, who was stated to have many marks of apparent violence upon her body. The clamour got to such a pitch that a deputation waited upon the Mayor and requested him to urge the Coroner to hold an inquest upon the deceased, which was complied with. A jury, consisting of 23 gentlemen, were accordingly sworn, and who proceeded to view the body about fire o'clock on Saturday evening; after which they adjourned to the "Plume of Feathers" public-house to hear the evidence, which was of such a conflicting nature that they determined, about half-past seven o'clock on Saturday evening, to adjourn until Monday at 11 o'clock; and in the mean time to have a post mortem examination by professional men. The coroner and jury reassembled this morning; and having heard the evidence of the medical and other witness's, at length came to a verdict that the deceased died from apoplexy, accelerated by drunkenness.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 20 April, 1844. Price 5d.


An inquest was held on Thursday, at the "Plume of Feathers," Dover, before G. T. Thompson, Esq., Coroner for the Borough, on the body of an unbaptized infant, the son of Jane Mann, spinster.

Mary Knott, wife of William Knott, mariner, deposed, tat she was lodging at the house of Luke Smithett, in Limekiln Street. That on Monday week Jane Mann came to the house, and in the evening was suddenly taken in labour, and delivered of a child. Mr. Hunt, th surgeon, was in attendance. On Saturday and Sunday the child cried very much, and she gave it, on two occasions, a spoonful of weak gin and water. It was better on Monday, till the evening, when it began crying, and continued all night. In the morning it appeared more composed, till noon, when it began to kick and cry violently. She then gave it half-a-teaspoon of Baby's cordial, which she purchased at Mr. Cottrell's. As it did not get better, she gave it a similar dose about half-past four o'clock. At five o'clock it was taken in a fit, which lasted about a quarter of an hour. It then recovered, but had a similar attack shortly afterwards. It again recovered, but had a third attack, which lasted half an hour, when the child expired.

By the Coroner:- No medical man was called in.

In reply to a question from a Juror, witness produced a phial, containing the remainder of the mixture, which she said Mr. Hunt had seen.

Luke Smithett corroborated part of the above evidence, and, in addition, stated that from hearing the woman say the child had taken several doses of Godfrey's Cordial, he wished Mrs. Knott and Jane Mann to send for a surgeon, to examine the child; but as they seemed declined, he went to Mr. Hunt the following morning (Tuesday.) His wife and Jane Mann both told him the child had taken Godfrey's Cordial. In reply to a question from Mr. Brockman, the foreman of the jury, witness stated that he went to Mr. Hunt for his own satisfaction, and that it might not afterwards be said the child had been made off with.

Mr. R. T. Hunt, surgeon, deposed that he attended Jane Mann at a premature confinement. The child was very healthy, and he had since seen it when attending the mother. On Wednesday, Smithett came and asked him to come and examine the child, saying it had died rather suddenly the day previous, and he was not satisfied as to the cause of death, as Godfrey's Cordial had been administered. On going down he found the child presented a perfectly natural appearance. Was told by Mrs. Knott and other women that the child had strong convulsions. Asked Mrs. Knott what had been given to the child, and she gave him a bottle, which he examined, and found the contents perfectly simple, being composed of syrup of poppies and caraway seeds. This mixture was perfectly harmless, and would not cause death if a much greater quantity had been given. He had on that day, (Thursday) made a post mortem examination, and found the stomach perfectly healthy, containing only a small quantity of bread, which smelt slightly of medicine which had been administered. On examining the head - found the vessels of the brain highly congested, which might excite convulsions and cause death.

The Coroner, addressing the Jury, observed that he considered the conduct of Smithett very popular, and from the reports afloat considered it necessary an inquest should be held. From the evidence of Mr. Hunt, however, there appeared no truth in the rumours; and the Jury, without hesitation, returned a verdict of "Died of natural causes."


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 27 February, 1847. Price 5d.


On Monday last an inquest was held at the “Plume of Feathers,” before G. T. Thompson, Esq., Coroner for the Borough, on the body of Elizabeth pain, aged 5, whose death was occasioned by her clothes having caught fire.

Mary Lane, wife of Elias lane, deposed: On Saturday afternoon, at three o'clock, I heard loud screams, and my daughter cried out “Mrs. Pain's child is on fire,” and I then saw the child running down the lane in flames. I took the door mat and threw it upon her. Some man came to my assistance, and we extinguished the flames. The clothes were then burnt off the child's back. Mr. Hammond then took the child to Mrs. Pain's house. Shortly after Mrs. Pain came up the lane.

William Hammond, mariner, deposed: I saw a crowd round Mrs. Lane's door, and on going towards it, saw the child standing there with its clothes burning. I tore off the upper part of the frock, and took the child in doors. There was no one but the eldest daughter in the house, and she was crying. There was a fire in the grate, and the sister told me she was reaching a doll off the mantel, when her (the child's) clothes caught fire. Mrs. Pain came in and took up the child in her arms, when the skin came off. I advised her to go for a doctor, or get some linseed oil. I have lived next door to Mrs. Pain about four months, and have often known her children to be sitting up alone till 11 or 12 o'clock at night.

Susannah Pain, wife of William Pain, mariner, deposed: Deceased is my daughter, and is 5 years old. I left home about 3 o'clock on Saturday afternoon, leaving two children there. I went to the “Two Brewers” to ask Mrs. Cullen for a piece of fish, when a little girl told me my child was on fire, and I ran home. The child was put to bed; and in the evening she said that she was reaching a doll from the mantel, when her pinafore caught fire. I have often left the children alone for two or three hours, when I have been going out for errands, or I have left them at night, it has been while I took my husband's supper. The child died about half past ten the same evening.

Rachel Pain, a child 12 years of age, was the next witness, but after stating that she had been only two weeks at school, and that she did not know the nature of an oath, the Coroner told the Jury he could not take her evidence.

It was stated by some of the Jury that Pain, the father of deceased, was a sober, steady man; and that when he first took the house he had well furnished it, but that from the intemperate habits of his wife the furniture had been made off with, and he had for some time been compelled to sleep on board the vessel in which he sailed.

The Jury then, after a short consultation, returned a verdict “That deceased died from injuries received from her clothes accidentally catching fire.

At the request of the Jury, Mrs. Pain was again called in and feelingly addressed by the Coroner on the impropriety of her conduct, and the neglect of properly educating her children; the Coroner observed that he hoped the unfortunate accident would be a lesson to her for the future.


Dover Chronicles 27 February 1847.


On Monday afternoon, an inquest was held at the "Plume of Feathers, Lime Kiln Street, before the borough coroner, on view of the body of Elizabeth Payne, a little girl of between 5 and 6 years of age, (daughter of William Payne, seaman on board H.M.S.P. Onyz., who died from the effects of injuries which she sustained from her clothes catching fire, in the absence of her mother.

The following is the evidence:- Mary Lane, wife of Elias Lane, deposed:- I live in Lime Kiln Street opposite the residents of deceased's parents. About half-past 3 o'clock on Saturday last, while at the back part of my house, I heard screaming and crying opposite, but took no notice, as I am much accustomed to this. My daughter called out "Mother! Mother! Mrs. Pain's child is on fire." I immediately ran to my door, and saw the child with her clothes enveloped in flames, and she ran towards me. I seized my door-mat, and threw it around her to extinguish the flames, in doing which I was assisted by Mr. Hammond, who came up at the time; but the flames were not quite extinguish till her clothes were completely burned off her back. She was removed home on a shutter. Mrs. Payne three children were in the house alone when the child was taken home; they are very much left alone, and I often hear them screaming, crying and quarrelling. Mrs. Pain came from the street towards her dwelling shortly after the child had been carried home.

By a Juror:- The deceased was dressed with very loose clothing.

William Hammond, mariner, deposed:- At 4 o'clock last Saturday afternoon, seeing a crowd round Mrs. Lane's door, I went up to it, and saw deceased with her clothes burning. I helped to extinguish the flames, and tore the smouldering dress from her person. She was so much burnt that her breasts and shoulders presented an appearance of smoked bacon. I then took the child home, where I saw the oldest girl Rachel. The fire, which projects a little out into the floor, was burning; and the room was almost destitute of furniture. Rachel told me her sister was reaching for a doll on the mantelpiece, when her clothes caught fire. While I was there, Mrs. Payn came home. She took the child up and cried, and hugged it in her arms, which made its skin drop off. I know her to leave her children too much alone, and have often seen them sitting alone, without fire or candle, at 11 or 12 o'clock at night.

Susanna Payn, mother of deceased, deposed:- On Saturday afternoon I went out shortly after 3, (leaving my my eldest daughter Rachel, aged 12, and a deceased at home) to ask my sister, who was landlady of the "Two Brewers," for some fish. I had not been there many minutes where my sister's little girl told me my youngest child was burning. I ran home directly and found her much Burned. I obtained Mr. Coleman's, surgeon's, assistance, but she died at 10:30 the same night. I have left my children very much alone; but I've only done so when compelled to go out on errands. I never left them late at night, accepting when I had to take my husband's supper to him, at his vessel; and then I used to put them to bed first, though they got up again when my back was turned. I am not in the habit of frequenting public houses - I go to my sister's at times, and remain half an hour or so - I never go to improper houses, nor am I ever out at improper hours. [Witness, wept bitterly throughout her examination, and especially while the closing interrogatories were being put to her.]

Rachel Payn, the eldest daughter of last witness, was called in, but when questioned by the Coroner, did not know the nature of an oath, and said she'd never been at church, and had been only a fortnight at school. Her evidence, was, therefore, inadmissible.

The Jury returned a verdict to the effect "that Elizabeth Payn" died from severe burns caused by her clothes accidentally taking fire;" and requested the Coroner, in a reprimand, to express to the deceased mother, indignation at a cruel neglect of her children, and their opinion, that but for its the lamentable circumstances which had called them together might have been prevented.

The Coroner accordingly recalled Mrs. Pain, and administer her in a feeling manner; and hope the calamity she had experienced in the death of a child would induce a reformation in her habits, and make her set about raising her children from the awful state of ignorance in which they had been up to this time left.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 22 May, 1847. Price 5d.


A Coroner's inquest was held on Saturday evening at eight o'clock, before G. T. Thompson, Esq., Coroner for the Borough, at the “Plume of Feathers,” Limekiln Street, on the body of James Hewitt, aged 25 years, who was employed as malt-man at Messrs. Pages' brewery, and whose body had been that morning discovered hanging in the malt-house.

The Jury having been sworn and appointed Mr. W. Westrope, foreman, proceeded to the malt-house where the body of deceased was found, lying on the floor with a thick rope suspended from a beam above. On ascending the floor above, and from which it is supposed deceased threw himself from the beam down an opening into the room below, the following writing was found chalked on the floor boards, on which a silver watch and some money were found lying.

“God Bless you all.”

“Please to let my dear Child Robert have my Watch.

“Dear father and Mother, brothers and Sisters, God Bless you all.”

“I have your unhappy Sun.”

The body presented the appearance of a robust and strongly muscular man; and, on the return the Jury to the inquest room, the following evidence was adduced:-

Samuel Barnes, tun-man in the employ of Messrs. Page, deposed: Deceased was malt-man in the same business. This morning about 10 o'clock, one of our boys in the brew-house, named Podevin, came and asked if I had seen “Jim,” that being the name by which deceased was known. I replied that I had not seen him since 7 o'clock, when he skimmed the tun with me. I made enquiry among the other men, but none having seen him, I went and searched the premises, thinking he had gone to lay down, and having told me in the morning that he had been out drinking the night previous. After searching some parts in vain, I went to the barley loft and called him several times, but receiving no answer, I searched round, and behind a partition I found deceased hanging from a beam. I immediately ran down and told Mr. Page, who went for a surgeon, and I ran back to the loft with Podevin, and cut the body down. His toes just touched the ground. He was quite dead, but the body was warm. On going to the floor above, I saw some writing in chalk on the floor, beside which his watch and some money were lying. Close to the rail the dust appeared to have been brushed off towards the beam, from which the deceased must have thrown himself. The rope by which he hung was similar to some used in the brewery. I have known deceased about three months, and have never observed any change in his manner, even up to the last time I saw him this morning. He was a sober, steady man, and of a jocular disposition. He was quite sober in the morning, but said he met friends last evening with whom he remained drinking till 2 o'clock.

Charles Podevin, deposed: I am employed in the tun-room with Barnes. Deceased and myself usually have our breakfast together in the cooperage, at 8 o'clock, but he not being there this morning, about 10 o'clock I asked Barnes if he had seen him. He said he had not since 7 o'clock, and he then went in search of him. He shortly returned saying deceased had hung himself, and I went with him and helped cut down the body. I have seen no difference in the manner or conduct of deceased since he has been employed at the brewery.

John Lincoln, waggoner at the brewery, deposed: Deceased came to work this morning at 6 o'clock, when he appeared very cheerful and was joking with the other men. At 10 minutes before 8 o'clock, deceased and myself had a pint of beer together in the cooperage, when I saw no alteration in his manner. Deceased left work with me last night at 10 o'clock, and after supper I went with him to the “Duke of Cornwall,” where we had a pint of porter each. He left shortly after 11 o'clock, saying, he was going to the “Kent Hotel” to get the number of a cask, which he had delivered that day, and which he had forgotten. He was then quite sober, but said this morning that he had been out and spent 3s. 9d.

Richard Ayres, smith, deposed: Deceased was my brother-in-law, and was 25 years of age. The writing in chalk on the floor, in the barley loft, was that of deceased, and the watch is similar to that worn by him. About 11 weeks since he came to lodge at my house, where he remained 5 weeks. He supped at my house on Thursday evening last. I have observed a difference in his manner lately. He appeared distracted in his thoughts, although jocular I his manner. When he was at my house on Thursday, he said he was quite happy, and had got a good master. He was of a sober, steady disposition, but I have ascertained that he did not go home last night. I know of no family matters or other cause that could have affected him.

Superintendent Correll produced a watch, and 10s. 8d. in silver and copper, which were lying on the floor close to the chalk writing.

Mr. Peake stated that soon after 11 o'clock deceased came to the “Kent Hotel,” and asked me to let him see the number of a cask which he had left that day, and had forgotten. I got a candle and went with him to the cellar. After he had taken the number, he had a glass of gin, which he drank at the bar. He then left and was quite sober. There was no one with him when he came, and I saw no one when he left.

Mr. Alfred Page said that deceased had been in the employ of the firm 3 months, during which period his conduct had been unexceptionably.

The Coroner summed up the evidence at considerable length, explaining the law of Felo-de-se and temporary insanity, and then left the Jury to consider their verdict.

After a lapse of nearly half an hour, the Coroner was called in, when the foreman stated that he regretted to say that the majority of the Jury were in favour of a verdict of “Felo-de-se.”

The Coroner then directed Superintendent Correll to take the body in his charge, and see that it was buried within 24 hours, between the hours of 8 and 12 o'clock at night, without burial service.

Deceased, whose body was interred in the Old Burial-ground on Sunday night, as directed, has, we regret to hear, left a widow and two children, to lament their untimely bereavement.


Kentish Gazette 22 June 1852.


An inquest was held on Tuesday evening at 7 o'clock, at the "Plume of Feathers Inn," Limekiln Street, before G. T. Thompson, Esq., Coroner for the Borough of Dover, on the body of John Hugh Smith, aged 25 years, who died that morning from injuries received on board H. M's P. Garland, lying in Dover Harbour. The jury returned a verdict— ”that deceased died from injuries accidentally received while in the execution of his duty on board H. M's P. Garland."


Kentish Gazette, 7 December 1852.

Coroner's Inquest.

On Wednesday, an inquiry was instituted by the Coroner for the Borough, G. T. Thomson, Esq., touching the death of Susanna Marsh, the wife of Mr. William Marsh, brasier, &c., who died late on Tuesday night from taking poison.

The jury assembled at the "Plume of Feathers Inn," Limekiln—street, Dover; and Mr. W. Frazer was chosen foreman. The body having been viewed, witnesses were examined, and the evidence elicited as follows:—

That for some time past deceased had not enjoyed very excellent health, and occasionally took medicine—a little magnesia, &c. On Tuesday morning, about 8 o'clock, she mixed up what she supposed was a dose of magnesia, and drank it off.

Subsequently, feeling increasingly unwell, she told a neighbour she thought she had taken arsenic instead of magnesia, remembering that she had purchased some of the former about 12 months since for killing rats. A surgeon was sent for, and shortly afterwards Mr. Coleman was in attendance, when the fact of a poisonous mixture having been taken was observed from the symptoms exhibited. The necessary remedies were promptly resorted to, but without avail, as deceased expired at 11 o'clock at night on Tuesday.

There was nothing in the evidence affording just ground for suspicion that deceased intentionally took the arsenic; and a verdict to that effect was recorded.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 23 January, 1858. Price 5d.


On Tuesday afternoon, at two o'clock, an enquiry took place before the Dover Coroner, George Thomas Thompson, Esq., at the "Plume of Feathers," Limekiln Street, touching the death of John Firth, a gunner of the Royal Artillery, who died on Sunday evening from injuries sustained by a cartridge exploding while firing a salute from the Drop Redoubt on Saturday morning, on the departure from Dover for London of her Royal Highness the Princess of Prussia. Mr. G. Bennett was chosen foreman of the jury; and after viewing the body, which was lying at the Western Heights Hospital, the following depositions were taken:-

James Davis, bombardier, Royal Artillery - I knew John Firth, who was a gunner of the Royal Artillery. On the 16th instant, at about eleven o'clock in the morning, a salute was fired from the Drop Battery. I had charge of a gun. Deceased and three other gunners were with the gun; he was at No 3, and his duty was to put the cartridge into the muzzle. We had fired one round, and were in the act of loading for the second round, when the cartridge exploded. To the best of my knowledge, deceased must have been in the act of leaving the gun when the explosion took place. On the gun being fired, the vent was pricked, and served by No. 4, the cartridge put in by the deceased, and No. 2 (the other gunner injured) was in the act of ramming home, when the cartridge exploded. The rammer was blown over the parapet to a long distance, and deceased and No. 2 were blown into a ditch below, which I take to be nearly forty feet deep. We directly left firing from that gun, and several of the men ran round to where deceased fell, but some of the officers' servants got there first. I did not go. The cartridges contain about 2lbs. of powder, and are enclosed in thick flannel bags, sewn together, and so constructed that loose powder cannot escape. I should say that the cartridge had not been rammed in above two feet. I cannot say exactly how the explosion took place. Mp opinion is, that the cartridge had ignited before it was put into the gun. The gun was so run out, that the muzzle extended twelve or eighteen inches over the grass, which was about a foot below it. I have seen the grass ignited by guns being fired, but I don't know whether the grass was ignited by the first discharge on Saturday. It is my opinion that deceased, either in getting upon the parapet with the cartridge in his hand, or in stooping down to put it into the muzzle, brought it into contact burning grass, and caused its ignition. The gun is not faulty; and if the vent was well served, and the gun properly sponged, I believe no spark could have remained in it. I saw the gun properly sponged on the first round being fired. It was my duty to do so.

By the Jury: It would have been much easier, and more safe, to have run the gun back to load it. We have run them back to load since the explosion of Saturday. I don't think any one looked to see whether or not the grass caught fire after the first round. The gun has been fired from since, but was not fired after the explosion during the salute. We have six guns for saluting. There are 15 seconds allowed for the loading of a gun; there is an interval on one minute and fifteen seconds before our turn would come round to fire again.

Edward Protheror, surgeon, Royal Artillery: On Saturday morning last, I was within fifty yards of the men on the occasion of their firing the salute. I heard that some of the men had been injured, and on going up found John Firth in the ditch of the Drop Redoubt. I saw that he had lost both arms, and on his being raised up the hilt of his sword came out of his abdomen. He was taken to the hospital immediately, and amputation of both arms performed. He died at a quarter past nine on Sunday night. I have since opened the body of deceased, and I find the cause of death was from rupture of the intestines, by the hilt of the sword. He was 37, I believe.

John Harding: I am a gunner of the Royal Artillery, and I was stationed at No. 2 gun on the firing of the salute on Saturday. I was No. 4 at the gun, and my duty was to serve the vent. Following the first discharge, I stepped in, pricked the gun, and served the vent, while No. 2 sponged the gun. I saw him go through the motion of sponging the gun. I cannot say whether he sponged it effectively, or not. I saw deceased go to the muzzle with the cartridge in his hand, and also saw him stoop down and put it into the gun. Upon his having done so, I saw No. 2 in the act of ramming home. At that moment the gun exploded, and I believe the cartridge was not further down the gun than eighteen inches. I do not know where No. 3 was when the gun went off; if he was before the gun, he had no business there, for after putting the cartridge in he ought to have left the gun, and fallen back instantly. I do not know whether the grass below the muzzle had ignited on the first discharge of the gun, but I have often seen it ignite, and on the evening of the same day, when firing another salute, I saw sparks on the grass while I was loading the same gun. The brick parapet is about two feet high; the gun was run close up to it, and its muzzle extended over the grass for nearly two feet. The gunner loading had to step on to the parapet with the cartridge, and might have put his hand on the grass to assist him, having the cartridge in his hand, when a spark on the grass probably ignited the flannel. To load the gun properly, it ought to have been run back. I have never known guns to be loaded while out as those were at the Drop Redoubt on Saturday.

By a Juror: There was an officer in command, who kept the time. It was my duty to serve the vent until the ramming had ceased, and then to prick the vent and retire. No. 5 then approached with the port fire. My thumb was on the vent when the explosion took place. the sponge and rammer are separate; the latter was blown away. At another part of the day, on firing another salute, we had a different sponge.

This was the whole of the evidence adduced; and after a few observations from the Coroner, the Jury returned the following verdict:-

"That the deceased, John Firth, was accidentally killed by the explosion of a cartridge, while firing a salute." The verdict was accompanied with a request from the Jury that the Coroner would write to the Commander of the Garrison, expressing the Jury's hope that in future salutes the guns might be run back for loading. We understand that a report of the accident was forwarded to the Horse Guards, a telegram was despatched in reply, ordering the guns to be always run back, in future, before loading.


The remains of the deceased were interred on Thursday in the cemetery at Copt Hill. The coffin was conveyed on a field piece drawn by six horses; and in addition to the company to which deceased belonged, the funeral cortege embraced a field battery fully equipped from Shorncliffe, which rendered the procession very imposing, and attracted considerable attention in the line of march. The bands of the Sussex Militia also attended.


In reference to the other unfortunate gunner, who was blown over the parapet with Firth, and also sustained the loss of his arms, and other injuries, we were informed on Tuesday that his case could not then be spoken of very favourably. His name did not transpire at the inquest.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 10 September, 1859.


A man named Riggs, the landlord of the "Plume of Feathers," Limekiln Street, applied that his licence might be restored to him, in favour of which a memorial from the inhabitants of the street was read, pointing out the necessity which existed in the neighbourhood for a house of this description. On the last general licensing-day, the magistrates had suspended the license of the house in consequence of the disorderly way in which it had been kept; but it appeared from the Superintendent of Police that it had been conducted in every respect satisfactorily during the past twelve months, the Bench decided to hand over the license to the landlord, hoping this would act as a caution to him to take better care of the house and to endeavour to keep it in a respectable manner, so that no further complaints respecting it might be received.


Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 24 November 1860.


(Before C. Harwood, Esq.)


Gluber v. Riggs. — It will be remembered by our readers that at the last sitting of this Court Mr. Gluber, (the leader of the Dover German band) who with his company of musicians had taken lodgings at the "Plume of Feathers," was nonsuited in consequence of a wrong taking out of the County Court plant, which had been served in error upon the brother of the landlord.

Mr. Fox now appeared with the "amended bill" and having opened the case; and Mr. Minter (for defendant) denying his client's liability, Gluber underwent a long examination, by which it appeared that Gluber and his band, when they came to Dover to play for "the season" hired two rooms at the defendant’s tavern, and purchased their own commodities, the landlord undertaking to clean up their apartments, and let them have the use of cooking utensils, &c. In the top room eight of the musicians slept, and the room below it was occupied by Gluber himself, and two of his companions. They were accustomed to deliver one of the keys to the landlord, or some member of his family, that the bedrooms might receive proper attention during the day. On the 29th of September Gluber discovered when he returned home in the evening that his box had been broken open; and a brooch, a ring, and twelve or thirteen sovereigns been abstracted.

Mr. Minter:— Now, did it contain twelve or thirteen — which?

Gluber:- As I am on my oath I will swear to twelve.

His Honour:- He swears to the smaller amount.

Mr. Minter:— Now, when the policeman came, did not Mr. Riggs say "you did not leave the key as usual" — meaning one of the three keys?

Gluber:- Don’t you make things up. We are before the court — it must be right with the world, and right with heaven too.

His Honour laving elicited from plaintiff that the landlord had no claim against any of the band for refreshments, observed that probably the question would now arise as to whether plaintiff would be considered as an ordinary guest, or as a lodger.

After the evidence of the policeman, (Bailey), who was called in by Gluber on the night of the robbery, had been taken, Police-sergeant Scutt stated that on the morning of the 29th of September he had some conversation with Mr. Riggs in the street, who asked him if the police had heard anything about a robbery, because two soldiers had been at his house who seemed rather flush of money.

Mr. Minter for the defence, contended that his friend Mr. Fox had failed in his case, as he had not proved the "Plume of Feathers" to be a common inn.

Mr. Fox having subpoenaed the landlord to produce the license, although he had certainly omitted to call for it, his Honour overruled Mr. Minter's objection.

Mr. Minter:— I bow with all deference to your Honour’s decision. I shall now submit that plaintiff was not there, in the ordinary acceptation of the word, as a guest, because he got his food just as if he were in a private house. Another point: his learned friend must prove that a person staying in such house is a traveller, or the landlord will not be liable. Plaintiff was no traveller, and the way to prove it was thus:— Suppose Gluber had gone out during his stay in Dover, and obtained refreshment on a Sunday morning, and the landlord of a tavern had afterwards pleaded the "travellers" privilege, the magistrates would have made no difficulty in regarding the position of Gluber as not being that of a traveller. In Bacon’s "Abridgement on Inns" you will find that it is necessary to prove, — Firstly: That the inn be a common inn; and secondly, that the party must be either a traveller or a passenger.

Mr. Fox.— The landlord of this tavern was entrusted with a key and the custody of these goods.

Mr. Minter:— Then the proper way would be to prosecute for a felony.

His Honour having decided on hearing further evidence with reference to the keys, Mr. Minter said, there was no getting away from the fact that a robbery had been commuted, and it most probably had been done by one of the plaintiff's companions, or by somebody in the house, or by the landlord himself. After giving an outline of the defence, Mr. Minter added, he would call witnesses in compliance with His Honour's wishes, but should nevertheless reserve the points of objection he had already taken.

James Alton Riggs:— I have kept the "Flume of Feathers” about four years; previously to this I was in the Naval Service— I entered it as a boy, and rose to be leading seaman and constable. Two or three years ago, some of Gluber's companions broke open his box and robbed him, and this time when he told me of the same thing having been done. I said to him "You ought to have called in a policeman, before you said so much about It." It was the custom of Mr. Gluber and his companions to leave one of their keys, which was kept upon a hook in the bar. On this particular day, the key was left as usual in the morning, and it was given to them again at dinner time. It was Gluber's practice after dinner to go out with a small red book, and call upon various patrons for their subscriptions while the men remained behind, and one of them generally took the leader's flute to him when they afterwards went out to play. The men used to occupy the rooms, with other persons (their friends), during Gluber's absence — the man who had brought the broken box into court was one of them. It was scarcely probable, and hardly possible for a person to pass up the staircase, which was directly opposite the bar, without being seen. As soon as Gluber told me of the robbery, I said "You did not bring the key as usual and he replied "I locked the door, and took the key with me." At the same instant, a man named Christian happened to come down, and I said to him, "Who locked the door today, Christy?" He answered "I did." I told Gluber he ought to have sent for a policeman without saying so much about his loss, so that people might have been searched.

Mr. Fox cross-examined defendant as to the character of the house he conducted, and Mr. Minter was about to call another witness, when His Honour told Mr. Fox it was quite impossible for any judge or any court to give relief to his client without being armed with the testimony of the joint occupiers of those rooms. They ought to have it on oath that no one of these joint-occupiers had taken the money.

Mr. Fox:— The remedy would be worse than the disease — for the men are now probably scattered throughout Germany, they having returned home.

His Honour:— Then you had butter take a nonsuit.

On the application of Mr. Minter, attorney's costs were ordered.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 9 February, 1861.



Ann Hall v. James Rigg:- The defendant in this case, the landlord of the "Plume of Feathers" public house, Limekiln Street, was summoned for assault upon the complainant, an unfortunate. The defendant pleaded not guilty.

The complainant having been sworn, said -  On Wednesday night I was in the company of two young men in Limekiln Street, when the defendant, who was standing outside the door, came up. Both young men were the worse for liquor, and one, a little fellow, particularly so. The little fellow offered to fight any man, and Riggs, responding to the challenge, took off his coat. He first struck the other man, Hedgerly, and knocked him down, cutting his head open. He was then about to strike the other, who was the more drunk of the two, when I stood before him and said, "Don't strike this one, Mr. Riggs." Riggs then said, "Get out of the way, or I will strike you," and with that he struck me a blow in the eye, causing the bruise it now exhibits.

The defendant said he had been much annoyed by persons congregating near his house, and that complainant and the other men were making a noise underneath his window when he went out and removed them. He denied assaulting the complainant; but there was a general scuffle, and he might have got injured in the course of it. He called

Charles Revell, fireman, living in Oxenden Street, who said - I was at the "Plume of Feathers" on Wednesday night and heard a row outside. Two young men assaulted Mt. Riggs, and he struck one of them in return. The woman interposed to prevent the other getting at Riggs, and that was how I think she got a black eye.

The Magistrates thought the defendant to blame in pulling off his coat and offering to fight. As the landlord of a public-house he ought to have known better. He would be fined 3s. and costs.

Defendant paid fine, considering, however, that he was very badly dealt with, and denying that he took off his coat at all.

The Magistrates said he should have questioned the complainants on that point when opportunity of doing so was afforded him. The case was now settled, and the facts could not be re-opened.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 8 February, 1862.


Charles Lamb, a private of the 64th regiment, was charged with assaulting police-constable Corrie in the executions of his duty.

It appeared from the policeman's statement that between one and two o'clock the same morning he had taken the prisoner into custody on the complaint of Mr. Riggs, landlord of the "Plume of Feathers," and handed him over to a picket of the Shaft guard. The prisoner was very violent, and although the picket had taken charge of him he escaped fro them and assaulted Mr. Riggs in witness's presence. Witness told the non-commissioned officer in charge of the picket to do his duty. The prisoner was then taken into charge by the picket, but he escaped a second time, and then assaulted witness, the picket looking on. He (witness) then got the assistance of police-sergeant Stevens, and having handcuffed the prisoner conveyed him to the station-house.

Mr. Riggs having confirmed the statement of the constable and informed the Bench of the cause of his complaint to the police, which, it appeared, had been occasioned by the prisoner and some other soldiers breaking a number of windows in his house.

The prisoner was called on for his defence. In answer he said he was drunk and did not recollect what occurred.

A corporal of his company was in attendance, and gave him a good character, which the Magistrates probably took into consideration, as they fined the prisoner in the small sum of 3s. and 7s. costs; or, in default of payment, seven days in the House of Correction.

The prisoner declined to pay the money, and he was therefore committed.

The Magistrate instructed the clerk of the court to communicate with the military authorities with respect to the laxity with which the picket had performed their duty.




KNOWLES Samuel 1713-25+

DURTNALL John 1823-29 Next pub licensee had Pigot's Directory 1823Pigot's Directory 1828-29

HARRISON George 1829+

PREBBLE Richard 1832-39+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34Pigot's Directory 1839

BROCKMAN Thomas 1837-49+ (age 40 in 1841Census) Pigot's Directory 1840

LANE Elias 1847 Bagshaw's Directory 1847

TERRY Mary 1851 (age 47 in 1851Census)

DOYLE 1851 end

RIGGS James Alton 1856-61 (age 38 in 1861Census)


From an email received from Stuart Kinnon, 2 September 2009.

From the 1861 census, James Riggs 33 was a publican. His brother William 42 was a tobacconist and pipe maker. Both James and William's wives lived with them along with William's two children. They are named on the census as living at number 18, The Plume Of Feathers.


Stuart Kinnon.



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

Pigot's Directory 1828-29From the Pigot's Directory 1828-9

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



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