Sort file:- Dover, February, 2024.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 11 February, 2024.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1713

Royal Oak Inn and Commercial Hotel

Latest 1893

 9 Cannon Street Post Office Directory 1874


Royal Oak 1900

Above photo from the John Gilham collection, circa 1900. The picture also shows the "Wellington Hotel" to the left of the church.

Royal Oak, Cannon Street

The Royal Oak public house was the main stage coach station in Dover in the early 1780's and was situated just opposite St. Mary's Church. Coaches used to leave for London at 4am and 6 am. It was removed when the street was widened in 1890.

Royal Oak Royal Oak

By kind permission of Dover Library. ILL/611.

A view of Cannon Street between 1875 and 1895 showing right to left Amos, Ladies Outfitter and Ironmonger, Philpotts Royal Oak hotel and stables opposite Standens Draper and Cabinet maker business, and Colonnade prior to demolition: old Dover disappearing for widening before the turn of the century.

It is believed that the "Royal Oak" had existed there since the Stuart days, and that it was named after the oak in which Charles II hid himself. These features disappeared in the widening of Cannon Street in 1893. Prior to that date the street was both crooked and narrow, and in earlier days it had been narrower still, the footway on the east side previous to the rebuilding of the church in 1843 having passed over a part of the churchyard, and after the rebuilding that part was permanently added to the street. The Royal Oak Rooms, at the back of the "Royal Oak" Inn, Cannon Street, were used for many years for public meetings, balls and banquets. The Dover Corn Market, also, was held there, and the "Royal Oak" yard was the "putting-up" place of coaches, omnibuses and carriers' vans - a rendezvous for country folk such as no longer exists in Dover. The Deal coaches made the "Royal Oak" yard their terminus until they ceased to run on the opening of the Dover and Deal Railway in 1881.

Information taken from John Bavington Jones' book "A Perambulation of the Town, Port and Fortress of Dover", 1906. (Reprint in The South Kent Gazette, July 25th, 1979.)

Royal Oak 1890's

Above photo, by kind permission of Dover Library, ILL/609.

Cannon Street in the 1890's before widening showing Chidwicks, tobacconist, Sutton's toy shop, Royal Oak Hotel, Wright Brothers, ironmongers, Harts, outfitters and pawnbrokers - on the corner of Market street - and, opposite Standen's, draper and cabinet maker, with colonnade labelled Lot 1.

Royal Oak circa 1850

The picture to the left shows a watercolour by Tucker of Cannon Street and the Royal Oak in about 1850.

Showing the Colonnade on the left, demolished in the 1890s for road widening. Next to the Royal Oak is Chidwick's the tobacconist's shop.



I doubt if an oak stood on this site for Charles to hide in but its origin was said to be in the time of the Stuarts. Alterations in January 1980 disclosed an old fourteenth century doorway which suggested a priest's residence associated with the church opposite.


Its rooms were used for meetings and concerts as well as trade and its extensive yard, with livery stables, was used by coaches and vans. The populace of the surrounding villages congregated here and coaches from Eythorne and Nonington ran every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, returning the same day. Two operators ran coaches from Whitfield, both on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, making the round trip. Coaches from Folkestone arrived here every day except Wednesday and Sunday, returning the same day. Coaches for Deal left the inn every day and the London coaches left daily at four a.m. and six p.m. stopping at Canterbury, Sittingbourne, Rochester and Dartford.


We know of its presence in 1770 but its demise, like so many others, was the result of a road widening. That had already been started in 1858, when the frontages between New Street and the inn had been set back.


I believe the tap to this pub was situated in Market Street.


From the Kentish Post or Canterbury News-Letter, April 18-21, 1753. Kindly sent from Alec Hasenson.

Advert: George Adams, late Master of the Dover Caravan, has taken the Royal Oak near the Market Place in Dover.


From the Kentish Gazette, June 9-12, 1770. Kindly sent from Alec Hasenson.

Sale of Household furniture at the Royal Oak in Dover, June 18, 1770.


From the Kentish Gazette, 5 January 1774.


On Tuesday Evening, the 4th of Instant, between Canterbury and Halfway House to Dover.


Containing three Shirts, two Neckcloths, two Pair of Stockings, a Pair of Boot Stockings, a Pair of Shoes, a Pair of Boot Shoes, a Pair of Gloves, and two Books.

Whoever has found the aforesaid Sack, and will bring the same to Mr. Noyse, at the “Mermaid”, Canterbury, or to Mr. Palmer at the “White Horse” in Bridge, or to Mrs, Gibson at the “Royal Oak” in Dover, shall receive HALF A GUINEA Reward.


Kentish Gazette, Tuesday 06 November 1787.

Royal Oak Inn, Dover.

Henry Mecrow returns his sincere thanks to his friends for their generous support; and informs them and the public in general, that he is now making a very considerable addition to his house, for the better reception of those who shall please to honour him with their company; he having determined that nothing, on his part, shall be wanting to render his house and entertainment agreeable to Gentleman travellers; he having for the purpose provided an additional number of good and clean beds, with very good stabling for horses, and the best of corn and hay.


From the Kentish Gazette, November 6 – 10, 1789. Kindly sent from Alec Hasenson.

Auction of a "Freehold Messuage", November 11, at the sign of the Royal Oak in Dover.


Kentish Chronicles, 26 May, 1795.

Lost, out of a field near Dover.

A bright Bay Colt, rising 3 years old, a star on her face, switch tail, white legs behind, and near 15 hands high.

Whoever finds the above Mare, and will convey her to the "Royal Oak" in Dover, shall be satisfied for their trouble.


Kentish Gazette, 25 March 1803. Canterbury

Monday morning Mr. Hodges, of Dover, set out from the "Royal Oak Inn," to run to the "Star Inn," in this city, in the space of 2 hours and a half, being the distance of sixteen miles; the first eight miles (although the worst part of the road), he accomplished in one hour and seven minutes, and performed the whole of this extraordinary feat, within the limited time, by one minute, notwithstanding he experienced a fall just before the termination of his journey.


Kentish Gazette 1 June 1819.


May 24, at Dover, Mrs. Butler, daughter of Mr. H Macros, of the "Royal Oak Inn," who has left a disconsolate husband and three young children to lament the loss of an affectionate wife and tender mother.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 30 November, 1833. Price 7d.

The meetings of the Friendly Musical Society at the "Royal Oak Inn" being suspended this winter, the Anacicontle Society has been revived at the "Fleece Tavern," under the presidency of G. W. Gravener, Esq. An orchestra of amateurs has been formed, and no doubt is entertained of the societies recovering the celebrity is formerly acquired.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 8 February, 1834. Price 7d.

Valuable Freehold Mills, Capital, Messuage and Garden, Farm and Lands, at Buckland, near Dovor.



At the Royal Oak Inn, Dovor, on Saturday, the 5th March, 1834, between the hours of One and Three in the afternoon., (by order of the Commissioners under a Fiat of Bankruptcy against Mr. William Kingsford.)

ALL THOSE FREEHOLD CORN AND PAPER MILLS, Capital Messuage, Garden, Farm and Lands, situated in the Parish of Buckland, in the County of Kent, and late in the occupation of the said Bankrupt.

Particulars will be given in future Advertisements, an information may be obtained of Mr. Surrage, Solicitor, Sandwich; Messrs. Shipdem and Ledger, Mr. Kennett, and Mr. E. Elwin, Solicitors, Dovor; and of the Auctioneer, Barton Farm, near Dovor.

Dovor, February 6th, 1834.


From the Kentish Gazette, 24 April 1838.

It is expected that very nearly 200 persons will sit down to the Conservative dinner this day, at the "Royal Oak Inn," Dover. Sir John Rae Reid, Bart, the representative, Mr. Fector, M.P. for Maidstone, and several other Members of Parliament, are expected to be present. Sir John Reid arrived from London on Saturday night, at the "Ship Hotel."


From the Kentish Gazette, 2 July 1839.


June 23, in London, Mr. William Mowll, of the "Royal Oak Inn," Dover, and one of the Council of that Borough.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 26 September, 1840. Price 5d.

A Temperance Tea party was held on Thursday afternoon at the Royal Oak Rooms, to which a Teetotal meeting was appended, in the same place in the evening. Though enlivened only by the circling teacup, the speakers exhibited a great deal of spirit in their several addresses; and portrayed in strong terms the ill effects of intoxicating drinks, and the beneficial results of Teetotalism. Several signatures were added to the list of members.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 26 December, 1840. Price 5d.

On Wednesday last a female servant at the Royal Oak, while at work in the hall, fell down and broke her arm. We understand another woman, one day this week, had her leg broken in Snargate Street.


From the Kentish Gazette, 5 July 1842.


June 27, at Dover, the wife of Mr. T. Shilling, of the "Royal Oak Tap."


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 31 August, 1844.

Henry Garlinge, William Bass, and William Frost, charged with being found in the “Royal Oak Tap” for an unlawful purpose. Mr. Hudson the landlord, stated that early on Sunday morning, his wife hearing a noise in the house, he got up, and on going down stairs saw three men in the tap-room, who immediately ran out. He called for assistance, and on going into the yard saw two or three other persons, who were getting over the wall. He could identify Garlinge and Bass, as being two of the persons in the tap-room, but not Frost. On examining the door he found that the lock had been forced back. He then fastened the door and went to bed, and between one and two o'clock he was again awoke by hearing a noise by breaking tiles. He called his son and went out of the front door to find the police, and meeting with sergeant Laker, returned with him and two of the police. On entering the house his son said that the men had just run round the corner down York Street, on which the police followed them. Sergeant Laker stated that on going down York Street, he apprehended Bass and Frost on the Folkestone Road. Garlinge was apprehended at his father's house about four o'clock in the morning.

The landlord on being recalled, stated that he missed nothing from the tap-room, as there were only tables and chairs in the room. He could not say what their intention was in entering the house. On examining the roof of the out-house, the tiles were found to be broken where they had forced an entrance. The bench decided, that there was not sufficient evidence to prove a felonious intent, and the prisoners were discharged on payment of 1s. each.

We almost regret this lenient decision of the Bench, as we understood on the following morning (Tuesday) some person broke open the out-house of the “Royal Oak Tap,” and three fowls were stolen therefrom.


Dover Chronicles 21 February 1846.


Feb 20, at Dover, Mrs. Mowll, the much respected landlady of the "Royal Oak Hotel.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 21 February, 1846.

February 20th, at Dover, deeply regretted, Mrs. Mowll, of the "Royal Oak Hotel," aged 49.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 6 February, 1847. Price 5d.


An inquest was held on Wednesday, at the “Royal Oak Tap,” before G. T. Thompson, Esq., Coroner for the Borough, on the body of Elizabeth Williams, a child aged three months.

The Coroner observed that the father of the deceased had very properly called upon him, and stated that the child had died very suddenly; and as she had not been attended by a medical gentleman, the father could not obtain a medical certificate as to the cause of death, and he (the Coroner) considered it his duty to hold the inquest, although it was but justice to say that he had no suspicion hinted at against the parents. – The following evidence was then taken:-

James Williams, stoker in H.M.P. service, residing in Youden's Court, and father of the deceased, deposed: The child had been subject to severe colds since her birth, but on Saturday she appeared recovered and quite well. She was taken to bed on Saturday evening by her mother. About half-past three o'clock my wife awoke me, saying the child appeared dead. She had not cried during the night, nor were the clothes over her face; nor she had been subject to fits or convulsions. I got up and called my neighbour, Mrs. Burton.

Hannah Burton: On Sunday morning Mr. Williams called me up, saying his child was dead. I went into his house, and saw Mrs. Williams sitting by the fireplace, with the child in her arms. I took the child, who was quite insensible; but she was warm, and I think breathed once. Mrs. Williams told me that the child appeared much better when it went to bed but that on waking in the morning she found the child lying on her breast, and thought it was dead. About a fortnight since I thought there was a boil or abscess forming on the child's back, and I wished Williams to send for Mr. Jones, who advised a poultice, and that the child should be put into a warm bath, which I did, and on taking her out the abscess burst. I cannot account for the child's death, but thought her sickly from the first, and that she would not live.

The Coroner and three of the Jury then proceeded to take the evidence of Mrs. Williams, who was unable to leave her house; and on their return the Coroner read her deposition, which confirmed the statements of her husband and Mrs. Burton, and, in addition, that the child had been afflicted with the thrush.

The Coroner said this was the whole of the evidence, and it was for the Jury to say if they were satisfied it was sufficient to account for the cause of death; if not, the only course would be to have a post-mortem examination.

The Jury considered that the evidence was sufficient, and that there was no grounds for suspicion against any parties; and after a short consultation returned a verdict of “Death from natural causes.”


Dover Chronicles 6 March 1847.


On Wednesday last, an inquest was held before the Borough Coroner, at the "Royal Oak Tap," Market Street, on view of the body of Elizabeth Williams, a child 3 months old, (daughter of James Williams, stoker of one of H.M.S. packets here, residing in Youden's Court,) who died suddenly on the morning of Sunday last.

From the evidence adduced it appeared the child, who had lately been suffering from a severe cold, had greatly recovered on Saturday last, and during that night it took the breast freely; and that about 3 o'clock on Sunday morning, when it's mother awoke, she found it dead, though it's body was warm. It's head was not covered by the bed clothes; it had not been noticed to struggle, or heard to cry as if it were in pain; and it's mother could not account for its death. It had been a sickly child from it's birth, and at times subject to the thrush.

Verdict:- "Died from Natural Causes."


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 19 February, 1848. Price 5d.

David Walsh, private 17th regiment, charged with stealing a quantity of rope, and netting needles, from the "Royal Oak Tap." It appeared that on the articles being missed, information was given that a soldier had been seen coming from the back of the premises early in the morning, on which application was made at the barracks; and on searching, the missing property was found under Walsh's bed.

Sergeant Kelly stated that shortly after seven o'clock, Walsh came to him in the barrack yard, saying he had found the articles on the hill; and that he afterwards took them into the canteen, where he made no attempt to conceal them. It was also proved that Walsh had been in barracks the whole night, and the case was dismissed.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 18 March, 1848. Price 5d.


An inquest was held on Monday, at the "Royal Oak Tap," Dover, before G. T. Thompsom, Esq., Coroner for the Borough, relative to the death of Edward Alexander Horn, a child ages 3 months. The jury having been sworn, and Mr. W. R. Mowll appointed foreman, the investigation was commenced, when the following evidence was adduced:-

Mary Ann Horn, mother of deceased, stated: I live in Youden's Court; the child from its birth was healthy, and never required medical advice. About half-past five on Thursday morning I suckled deceased, and he appeared quite well; I then placed him in the hollow of my arm, the bed clothes come up to his chin and my shoulder; he was then quiet, and I fell asleep. I woke up about a quarter past six, on my husband coming home from duty. Shortly after, not finding the child breathe, I looked at him, and he appeared dead. I awoke my husband, and he went for Dr. Rutyley, who arrived within a quarter of an hour; but he said he could do nothing for the child, neither could he tell the cause of death.

Thomas Alexander Horn, policeman, and father of deceased, deposed: On Thursday morning I left my duty at six. I then went to bed, and slept about half an hour, when I was awoke by my wife, who said something was the matter with the child. I took him in my arms and his mouth and eyes opened. I then ran for the doctor.

The jury then adjourned till this day, for the purpose of a post mortem of the body,



From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 26 August, 1848. Price 5d.


Jesse Thomas charged with an assault on Mary Ann Hills. Complainant stated that she was at the "Royal Oak Tap" on Wednesday evening, when defendant, without any provocation, struck her a violent blow in the face.

Thomas, in his defence, said he was drinking with some soldiers, one of whom was very flush with his money, and after treating with drink, changed a 5 note. Complainant and others endeavoured to get him into their company, and in preventing which, he pushed complainant away. Fined 10s., including costs, and in default committed to prison for 14 days.


Kentish Gazette, 10 July 1849.

Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows.

On Tuesday evening last the Assembly Room at the "Royal Oak Hotel" was the scene of one of the most interesting festal celebrations, associated with the above Order, that have transpired since its introduction into Dover.


Southeastern Gazette, 6 September 1853.


Family and Commercial Hotel, Cannon-street, DOVOR.

OSBORN LAMB, having lately taken the above old-established house, begs to inform Commercial Gentlemen and Families that the rooms have been entirely redecorated and modified, and will be found replete with every convenience, combined with moderate charges.

Horses taken in at Livery. Lock-up Coach-houses.

The large ASSEMBLY ROOMS, having been newly decorated, are highly eligible far concerts, balls, assemblies, and all public purposes.

All applications to be addressed to O. Lamb, "Royal Oak Hotel," Cannon-street, Dovor.


From the South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 2 June, 1857.


The wind-up of the last hunting season was celebrated by a substantial dinner at the "Royal Oak Inn," Dover, on Friday last; the main object of the gathering being to do honour to Mr. Michael Nethersole, proprietor of the West Street Harriers. The chair on the occasion was occupied by Mr. Gilbert Eastes, and the vice-chair by Mr. William Moxon. A large company assembled on the occasion; the dinner and wines provided by Mr. S. Philpott, were excellent; and the evening was altogether a pleasant and congenial one.


Kentish Chronicle, 2 June 1860.


May 24, at St. Mary's Church, Thomas, son of Mr. Thomas Holttum, of Upper Hardres, to Emma, eldest daughter of Mr. Stephen Philpott, of the "Royal Oak Hotel," Dover.


Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 22 December 1860.

Dover (1st Cinque Ports Artillery Volunteers.) Presentation.

The members of this Corps assembled in the large room belong to Mr. Philpott, "Royal Oak Inn," (which has been placed at their disposal by that gentleman,) for the purpose of presenting to the bandmaster of the 32nd (Lucknow) Regiment of gold mounted ivory baton, which had been purchased by subscription, as a token of their appreciation of his kind services and assistance in the formation of their excellent band. The capt-commandant (E. Wollaston, Esq.,) occupied the chair, and was supported by the officers of the Corps. The presentation made, Mr. J. Miller expressed his gratification in accepting such a mark of their satisfaction, adding that it was another link which bound the 32nd regiment to the inhabitants of Dover, and that that both officers and comrades would be equally as pleased when they saw the manner in which his poor services have been requited that evening. A social hour ensude, the song and toast being varied with performances by the band.


September 1864 saw the property, then in the occupation of Mr. Stephen Philpott, put to auction by "Jeken & Co's" Brewery Estate, with its extensive outbuildings, stables, corn market room and the appurtenances belonging thereto. It was advertised with the following:-

"There are peculiar advantages attached to this lot it being the Office of Inland Revenue and also the Corn Market, which is held there every Saturday; and having besides an extensive patronage bestowed on it by Commercialists. The stabling and coach-house accommodation is very extensive."


The remaining properties on that side were removed for the road widening in 1893. On completion of that widening the "Metropole Hotel" arrived, that building being commenced in 1895.


Compensation and purchase price paid by Dover Corporation for the inn, its store and yard, equalled 8,935.2s.6d.


A "Royal Oak Tap" was present from 1841 to 1847 but I do not know what its association was, if at all, with other houses of like name. This was situated in Market Street.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 13 April, 1867. Price 1d.

A meeting of the friends of the late Mr. E. T. Way, for twenty-three years superintendent of the South Eastern Railway Terminus, was held at the “Royal Oak Hotel” on Friday evening, when it was resolved, that as the widow had been left in somewhat straitened circumstances, a subscription should be set on foot to repay the funeral expenses, and likewise to render as much assistance as possible to the bereaved one, and for this purpose the Rev. W. Yate was appointed treasurer, and it was resolved that Mr. Jacobs, not being present, should be requested to undertake the duties of secretary.

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 21 June, 1867.


On Tuesday was celebrated at the parish church of St. Mary the marriage of Miss Louisa Philpott, the third daughter of our worthy and respected townswoman, Mr. S. Philpott, the proprietor of the "Royal Oak Hotel." The happy bridegroom in this instance is Mr. Henry Godfrey, of Oundle, Northamptonshire. The marriage was a grand one, the bridesmaids numbering half-a-dozen, and the ceremony being witnessed by a considerable number of spectators, who assembled in and outside the church. The carriages were furnished by Mr. F. Packham and not allowed to stand idle by the less interested partakers in the ceremony, who enjoyed the pleasures of driving along the beautiful valley of the Dour, during the afternoon, though the happy couple themselves left for town by the 3.45 p.m. train.


From the Deal, Walmer, and Sandwich Mercury, 22 April, 1871. 1d.


The complimentary dinner to Mr. M. Nethersole, of the West Street Harriers, and Mr. Smith, the huntsman, took place at the "Royal Oak Hotel" on Friday evening last, and was a great success. Captain Julles presided, and was supported by Mr. J. G. Churchward, Captain Coleman, Mr. Stephen Court, and other gentleman.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 26 May, 1871. Price 1d.


John Wood, a labouring man, was charged with causing an obstruction in Cannon Street on the previous evening, and with assaulting Police-sergeant Johnstone while in the execution of his duty.

Police-sergeant James Johnstone said that on the previous evening, about half-past seven, his attention was called to an obstruction in Cannon Street. On arriving there he found that a large crowd had congregated in front of the “Royal Oak Hotel,” rendering it very difficult for any one to get past. Some of the Mounted Rifles were throwing halfpence to a number of children. He succeeded in getting several of them away, when he saw Wood standing in front of the Hotel. He asked him several times to go away, but he refused. He succeeded in getting him some four or five yards up the street, when he (Wood) suddenly turned round and gave him a push. He then said he should take him in custody, and on his attempting to do so prisoner took hold of his shoulder and tripped him up, throwing him down on the pavement, and thereby injuring his left leg. Prisoner then laid down in the road and refused to get up. Police-constable Hemmings finally came to witness's assistance, and with the aid of one of the Mounted Rifles, who, on being charged, rendered his assistance, they took him to the station-house.

Prisoner denied having tripped up the constable; and said that it was the constable who had pushed him down.

The police-sergeant, in reply to the Bench, said he had not done so.

The Superintendent of Police, in answer to the Magistrates, said he knew nothing of the prisoner, except that he had been before the bench on a similar charge the previous October.

Johnstone, on being again questioned by the Bench, said he found a great crowd in Cannon Street. His attention, he said, was first drawn to it by Mr. Smith, the magistrate, who told him that the Mounted Rifles were throwing coppers to some children, who were completely blocking up the thoroughfare, and that he (Mr. Smith) had had the greatest difficulty in effecting a passage through the crowd.

The Magistrates said that the constables had a very arduous duty to perform, and that in the performance of it they must be protected. The prisoner had made himself liable to three months' imprisonment; and he might think himself fortunate, in the present instance, in being sent to gaol for fourteen days only, with hard labour.

A person giving the name of Mrs. Rogers, and stating that she resided in St. James's Street, here came forward and said that she was present on the previous evening at the occurrence in question. She said that the man who was really to blame had made his escape, while the defendant, who was a mere on-looker, was taken into custody. She saw the Rifles throwing money to the children, and they afterwards threw some water from the hotel window. Some of the water happened to fall on a gentleman standing beneath the window. The “gentleman,” who was very indignant, offered to fight any of them if they would come down; but they refused to come; and they told the man who had made his escape that they would give him half-a-crown if he would take the skin off the gentleman's nose. (A laugh.) This man offered to do; but when he saw the constable coming he ran off, and the defendant, who happened to be standing close by, was taken into custody.

The Magistrates, after some consideration, said that they heard nothing to induce them to alter their decision.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 1 January, 1875. Price 1d.


Charles Mills was charged with stealing one leather bag, one coat, one velvet coat, one waistcoat, a pair of black trousers, a pair of grey ditto, 3 shirts, and 2, being altogether the value of 8, the property of Stephen Solley, on the 10th of October at Dover.

Mr. Ormerod appeared for the prosecution.

Stephen Solley said: I live at the Military-road, Dover. I am a professor of magic, and have travelled, but do not do so now. I was at Walmer of the 10th of October, and I sent my luggage to Dover by the Deal Coach. It was supposed to be left at the "Royal Oak Hotel," at Dover. The prisoner assisted me to put the luggage on the coach. He went on with the coach and I came later. I appointed him to meet me in Castle-street, Dover at eight o'clock. He did not keep the appointment. I one of the boxes were two bags, and one bag is lost. The articles mentioned in the indictment were in the box. There were also in the box a bag of coins, being two sovereigns, and 21 counterfeit coins which I used for my tricks. One of the boxes had been broken open, and all the things I mentioned were gone. The articles now produced by the police I identified as my property.

Cross-examined by Mr. Glyn: At the time of the robbery I was a professor of magic. I travelled the country mesmerising ladies and gentlemen. I do not mesmerise counterfeit coins into good ones. The magic business was not so successful as it might be. I owed the prisoner no money, but I stopped 5s. for a debt for board and lodgings while he was away from me. He had 10s. a week. I paid him the full amount of his wages; sometimes in instalments. He may have paid for beer, but I paid it back. The prisoner did not demand 1 1s. 4d. from me on the day he left. He only asked for his fare by the coach, which I paid, I paid Mr. Makie, of the "Stag" at Walmer, on the day I left. I always paid my debts. One night there was only 2 left of the entertainment. I put that in the box. The prisoner used one of my coats; there were no magic pockets in it.

Henry Couthard, porter at the "Royal Oak Hotel," Dover, said that on the 10th of October he saw two boxes that came by the coach, and were deposited at the "Royal Oak." He saw a young man uncord the boxes, but it being dark he could not say who he was.

At this point the learned council for the prosecution was about to repeat the question, but the council for the defendant objected, whereupon the Recorder took the matter in hand, and asked if the witness had any belief one way or the other as to who took the goods. The witness was a long time in answering the question, and the Recorder repeatedly asked if he understood it. "Yes," the witness replied, with evident consternation, "It's about the belief, but I don't know what to say as I cannot swear to prisoner." At length the witness answered "No," and he further stated that the prisoner took out of the box a little bag containing coin and went away.

Mr. J. Long, of the firm Long and Bacon, said a person giving the name of Charles Mills, brought a shirt and waistcoat and pawned it for 2s. 6d. He could not swear to the prisoner.

J. W. Moore, assistant to Mr. Hart, pawnbroker, said the prisoner brought a coat and trousers to their shop and pawned them for 5s. He asked 1 for them. He said his address was Charles Mills, East-cliff. Mr. Solley afterwards came and saw the articles in question.

Cross-examined: I can identify the prisoner. I took particular notice of him, and should know him anywhere.

Police-sergeant Barton said he apprehended the prisoner on warrant in Middlesex. The prisoner was duly cautioned, and he replied, after he heard the warrant read, "I did take the things mentioned in the warrant." The coat and trousers I pawned at Hart's for 5s., and the shirt and waistcoat I pawned at Long's for 2s. 6d." I had told him, of the coins, and he said, "The coins you speak of are at my mother's at Sheperton Green. I went there and received some collars. I did not get the coins, but the mother made a statement.

Mr. Glyn objected to this statement being made.

The Recorder said the Sergeant was a special agent of the prisoner to get the coins, and therefore he would take the evidence stated in the prisoners' absence.

Mr. Glyn objected to this hearsay evidence. He said the person in question might have said that the prisoner had committed a murder. Surely that would not be admissible evidence.

The Recorder said that was not relevant to the charge. He would take the evidence if the prosecutor pressed it.

Mr. Ormerod said he would not press the evidence.

Witness continued that the prisoner was wearing a pair of trousers which he said were Mr. Solley's. He (witness) was not able to speak of the prisoners' character.

The prisoners' statement, admitted the theft having been read.

Mr. Ormarod made a second speech to the jury, in which he rebutted what he anticipated would be the defence.

Mr. Glyn for the defence urged that if the prosecutor owned the prisoner money, the jury could not find the prisoner guilty of felonious intent if he took some of the prisoner's goods to raise the money he was alleged was owing to him. Of course he could not advise anyone to act in that way but the prisoner having acted in that way was it felony? He submitted that the jury would not think so and that the prisoner should be acquitted.

The Recorder elaborately summed up, and in the course of the remarks pointed out that the allegation of money being owing from the prosecutor to the defendant on which the defence was based was pure fiction. If the money were owing, the County Court was the place to recover it, and it could not be permitted that the prisoner should break open a box and help himself to the prosecutor's property. The charge of indictment was felony, and if proved the jury would find a verdict of guilty.

A verdict of guilty was returned and letters were sent in from various persons giving a good previous character to the prisoner and the prosecutor said he had been a good servant and asked that he might be dealt with leniently.

The prisoner aid he had been living with Lady Bacon at East-cliff, Dover, and the sentence was deferred so that some of her ladyship's house might come to speak as to his character.

John Mitchell, coachman, to Mrs. Bacon, of Honiton House, East-cliff, said the prisoner was in Mrs. Bacon's service four months as helper in the stables. I had a very good character with him. He left to go with this person, the prosecutor.

The prisoner begged for mercy on the ground that he pledged these goods to get home as he had not a penny left.

The prisoner was sentenced to three month's hard labour.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 2 January 1875.


Charles Mills, 22, stableman, imperfect education, was indicted for stealing one leather bag, one cloth coat, one velvet coat, one waistcoat, one pair of black cloth trousers, one pair of grey trousers, three shirts, and the sum of 2, together of the value of 8, the property of Stephen Solly.

Mr. Ormerod prosecuted, and Mr. Lewis Glyn (instructed by Mr. Mowll) defended.

Stephen Solly deposed:- I live at the Military Road, Dover. I am a professor of magic, and have been travelling about the country. Prisoner has been in my employ. I discharged him on the 10th of Oct at Walmer. On that day I sent my luggage to Dover by the coach, directed "Professor de Solly," and I said it must be taken to the "Royal Oak Hotel." Prisoner went by the same coach, and I appointed to meet him in Castle Street, Dover, at eight o’clock the same evening. He did not keep the appointment. The luggage was contained in two large boxes. Besides the clothes mentioned in the charge there were two sovereigns and 21 counterfeit coins that I used in my tricks. On the 13th of October I sent for my boxes, and when they arrived I found they had been broken open. I examined them, and found that the clothes and money were gone. I gave information to the police immediately, giving Superintendent Sanders a list of the articles missing. I identify the two coats, the pair of trousers, the shirts, and collars produced as my property. I did not give any of the articles to the prisoner.

Mr. Glyn raid the jury had heard persecutor admit borrowing one sum and, according to prisoner, he owed him 1 1s. 4d. As tradesmen they knew that if they performed work on any article they stuck to it till they were paid. Prisoner had done the same and had sold some of his master’s clothes.

Had he realised more then his debt?

No; nothing like it. He (Mr. Glyn) would not attempt to show the jury by what process of reasoning they would arise at a verdict of not guilty, but be submitted that they could not in justice return the prisoner guilty.

The Recorder, in summing up, said that if prisoner had had any claim against the prosecutor he could have obtained redress in the County Court. It would be intolerable if when there was a dispute concerning wages between a master and workman, the latter were justified in taking goods to satisfy his claim.

The Jury, after consulting for a few moments, returned a verdict of guilty.

Mr. Glyn put in testimonials from prisoner's former employers, and John Mills, to Mrs. Bacon, at East Cliff, gave him a good character.

The Recorder, in passing sentence, said there was one thing he disliked in the ease, and that was prisoner’s having alleged in defence that the prosecutor owed him money.

(Prisoner: That is quite true).

He did not believe it was. Taking into consideration that prisoner had been already two months in gaol the sentence of the Court upon him would be only three months' imprisonment, with hard labour.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 24 March, 1882. Price 1d.

The annual meeting of the West Street Harriers will be held at the “Royal Oak Hotel” on Saturday, the 1st of April, after which a complimentary dinner to the Deputy Master, Morris Thompson, Esq., will take place, the Mayor, J. L. Bradley, Esq., presiding.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 22 April, 1887. Price 1d.


Peter Roberts, a stranger to the town, was charged with being drunk and disorderly at the “Royal Oak Hotel,” Cannon Street, and refusing to quit those premises when requested by the proprietor.

Mr. R. Philpott. Proprietor of the “Royal Oak Hotel,” said: last night, shortly before eleven o'clock, the defendant came into the passage. I asked him what he wanted. He replied that he had come to see a friend of his and intended staying until he had seen him. I requested that he go out and he refused. He was not sober. I afterwards put him outside and he made use of very abusive language. I followed him a short distance down the street, and afterwards saw him being turned out of the “Antwerp Hotel.” I then saw a Constable and gave defendant in charge.]

Police-constable Bass (D.28) said: last night, about a quarter to eleven o'clock, I was on duty in the Market Square near to the “Antwerp Hotel.” I saw several Volunteers go into the hotel, the defendant following them. I heard one of them tell Mr. Fox that defendant had just been turned out of the “Royal Oak Hotel.” Mr. Fox then requested the defendant to leave, but he refused. Mr. Fox then put him out. He attempted to go in again. Mr. Philpott then came up and gave him into custody. The defendant was drunk, and made use of filthy language. I had to obtain the assistance of a County Constable in bringing defendant to the Police Station.

The Bench find the defendant 5s. and 7s. costs, or in default seven days' imprisonment.

He paid the money.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 3 February, 1888.


James Charles Roberts was charged with stealing from the “Royal Oak Hotel” a quantity of coal, to the value of 9d., the property of R. Philpott.

Mr. R. W. Philpott said: I know the prisoner. He has been employed by the “boots” to do odd jobs, and go out with the commercial gentleman. He has been employed for some time. He has access to the cellar, but he had no business there. I have had reason to believe that the coal has been taken from my cellar for some time. From something I heard last Friday morning I communicated with the police. I cannot swear to the coal produced, the value of which is 9d. My place has been watched since Friday by the police. I also have some wood similar to that produced; I keep it in an outhouse.

Police-sergeant Suters said; According to the instructions I received I kept observations on the “Royal Oak Yard.” About a quarter to eight a.m. I saw the prisoner come out of the back of the hotel carrying the bag of coal produced. He took it to the gate leading into Cannon Street, stood it down and looked round the yard. He then put it on his back and ran out of the gate up Biggin Street into York Street. I stopped him in York Street and asked him what he had in the bag; he replied, “Some coals.” I asked him where he got it from, and he said from the “Royal Oak Hotel.” I asked him if he had any right to bring them away, and he said that one of the servants gave them to him. I told him that he would have to come to the Police Station, and he begged very hard not to be allowed to. He then said the servant did not give them to him, and I took him to the Police Station, where he was charged with stealing coals. I afterwards went to the prisoner's house in Durham Hill, and saw there about 30 or 40 pieces of firewood like that produced in a cupboard.

George Carter, living at 2, Hartley Street, said: I am employed by the “boots” at the “Royal Oak Hotel” as under boots. The prisoner had been employed there since Easter. About a quarter to eight I went into the yard and was going in the back door of the hotel, when I saw the prisoner at the top of the cellar stairs, where the coal is kept, and he had got a bag in his arms. He passed me and went out of the door, and I saw him no more. I have previously seen him carrying away something from the hotel.

Prisoner pleaded “Guilty” and wished the case to be dealt with summarily.

Mr. Philpott said he did not wish to press the charge heavily against the prisoner on account of his wife and children who were badly off.

From the prisoner's discharge it was seen that he was in possession of three good conduct badges, and had been in the 56th Regiment 14 years 128 days.

The Magistrates sentenced the prisoner to seven days' hard labour.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 4 May, 1888.


The annual meeting of this club was held last night at the “Royal Oak Hotel.” Sir Richard Dickeson was in the chair, and there was good attendance of members and supporters. Mr. H. W. Thorpe, the Treasurer, read the statement of accounts, showing that there were 120 subscribers, and that the balance in hand was 3 12s. 5d., the total subscriptions last year having been 165, being 16 in excess of the previous year. Sir Richard Dickeson was re-elected president. The Deputy-Mayor, Mr. E. Lukey, was re-elected Captain; and Mr. W. Bussey, Deptuty-Captain. Mr. Thorpe was re-elected Treasurer; and Mr. C. Flashman, Secretary. The Committee have ordered two new skiffs for the present season, and the opening day is fixed for Wednesday, June 20th. The season has, therefore, a promising prospect.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 20 September, 1889. Price 1d.


At the “Royal Oak Hotel” yesterday afternoon, Messrs. Bennett and Goodman offered for sale, by auction, Hougham Lodge and the grounds about an acre attached. The building reached 740, and at that point the auctioneer withdrew the lot, the reserved price not having been reached. The solicitor is Mr. Laurence, 210, Strand. The property is open for sale by private treaty.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 10 January, 1890. Price 5d.


During the internal alterations to the premises of the “Royal Oak Hotel,” there has been a discovered an ancient doorway of about the 14th Century, indicating that the premises had once been a Priest's residence, associated with the Church opposite.


Dover Express 27 May 1892.

Andrew Hoyster at "Royal Oak," Dover. Prosecuted for keeping his house open during prohibited times on May 11th.

Fined 19s 6d including costs.


Dover Express, 10 June 1892.

Fatal accident at the Royal Oak.

On Whit-Monday, about half-past one, a sad accident happened to a man named Thomas Garlinge a bricklayer's labourer, who was engaged in repairing the roof of the "Royal Oak Hotel."

He was taking some water onto the roof, when he missed his footing, and rolled down into the yard. He sustained frightful injuries, having an arm broken, and a leg fractured at the thigh. He was immediately conveyed to the Dover hospital, where he died on Tuesday night.

The inquest on the body of the unfortunate man was held at the Town Hall, on Wednesday evening, before the Borough Coroner Sydenham Payne, esq., and a jury of whom Mr. V. P. Kemp, was chosen Foreman.

After viewing the body, which was lying at the hospital, the following witnesses were called:- P.C. Danson said that the body lying at the hospital, was that of Thomas Garlinge. He was a bricklayer's labourer, and lodged with his mother at 25, New Street. He was 64 years of age.

Henry Jarvis, a bricklayer in the employ of Mr. Thomas Chamberlain, said that on Monday afternoon, he was at work at the "Royal Oak," along with the deceased, repairing the roof. About 1 o'clock they raised a long ladder, which they made fast to the chimney, and two more were made fast over the roof. Witness went up first to see what was the matter, and Garlinge came up twice to bring some mortar and tiles. Witness then went over to another part of the roof, and found a crack in the valley gutter, and then told deceased to go and fetch and empty pale to clear the rubbish out. Deceased went and shortly after he heard a noise, he was then called down, and he then saw Garlinge lying on the ground in the yard, very much injured. He went up to him and deceased said "Pick me up." Witness noticed a mark on the roof about half way up, also some mortar. He went for a doctor, and when he got back the deceased had been taken to the hospital.

William Ratcliffe, a bus driver, in the employ of Mr Philpott, said that on Monday afternoon, about twenty minutes to one, he was in the yard, when he heard a rattling on the tiles, and looking up, he saw the deceased rolling on the tiles. He fell onto the roof of the lavatory, and from there in to the yard. The height of the lavatory roof from the ground was about 15 ft. The deceased fell very heavily, and a great quantity of blood came from his mouth. He went up to him, and he asked witness to let him get up. Witness asked him how he fell, and he said he did not know.

Mr. A. E. Carruthers, house surgeon at the Dover Hospital, said that deceased was brought into the Hospital on Monday afternoon. He examined him, and found he was suffering from compound fracture of the left thigh bone, and the left arm was broken, he was also bleeding at the nose, and his face was very much bruised. He was at once put to bed and another surgeon cent for, it was then decided to remove the leg, but the deceased refused to undergo the operation. He was then put under chloroform, and the leg was set. Deceased became very restless, and tore the splints off his leg and arm. He died on Wednesday morning at half-past twelve from exhaustion, following the injuries.

The jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 12 May, 1893. 1d.


The buildings on the West side of Cannon Street, comprising the “Royal Oak Hotel,” Mr. Clark's, Mr. Sutton's and Mr. Chidwick's were sold by auction on Tuesday to Mr. Hanson, of the “Royal Standard,” London Road, for 60.


Corn Market 1893

Above photo is titled Corn Market 1893. The building that says BAR on it may well be the "Royal Oak Tap."

Above map 1871, showing the "Rose Inn," (yellow) the "Saracens Head" (blue) the "Prince of Orange," (orange) the "Royal Oak," (green) and the "Sailors Arms," (red)



TUCKNESS Bartholemew 1713+

ADAMS George Next pub licensee had 1753+

Last pub licensee had GIBSON Mary 1771-74+

MECROW Henry 1787-1823 Dover and Deal Directory and Guide 1792Historical Sketch 1799Pigot's Directory 1823 (Excise office keeper)

MOWLL William Rutley 1823-July/39 dec'd Batchellor 1828Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34Pigot's Directory 1839Pigot's Directory 1840

SCHILLING or SHILLING Mrs 1841-42 (Royal Oak Tap)

GIBSON G 1842  (Royal Oak)

HUDSON Mr G 1844-47 Bagshaw's Directory 1847(Royal Oak Tap Market Street)

MOWLL Mrs 1845

MOWLL William Rutley 1847-53 (age 31 in 1851Census) Bagshaw's Directory 1847

LAMB Osbourne Sept/1853+

PHILPOTT Richard William 1857-64

PHILPOTT Stephen 1864-72+

PHILPOTT Richard William 1874-88+ Post Office Directory 1874Post Office Directory 1882Dover Express (Also of the "Granville Arms, St. Margaret's from Oct/1884Canterbury Journal)

Last pub licensee had HAXELL A 1885+

HOYSTER Andrew 1892+

Last pub licensee had ADAMS John Feb/1894-95 (Royal Oak Bar) Next pub licensee had Dover Express


Dover and Deal Directory and Guide 1792Dover and Deal Directory and Guide 1792

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

Pigot's Directory 1824From the Pigot's Directory 1824

Batchellor 1828From Batchellor's New Dover Guide 1828

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

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express

Historical Sketch 1799Historical Sketch of the Town of Dover 1799 by G Ledger

Canterbury JournalCanterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette


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