Sort file:- Canterbury, September, 2020.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 16 September, 2020.


Earliest 1776-

Shakespeare Hotel

Latest 1995+

(Name to)

Open 2019+

5 Butchery Lane


01227 463252

Shakespeare Hotel 1910

Above photo, circa 1910, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Shakespeare sign 1990Shakespeare sign 1992

Shakespeare sign left August 1990, right July 1992.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis

Shakespeare Arms 1950

Above photo, circa 1950. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Shakespeare 1954

Above postcard, circa 1954, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Shakespeare Hotel 1965

Above photograph by Edward Wilmot in 1965.

Shakespeare Inn circa 1988

Above showing the Shakespeare Inn circa 1988.


On the licensing list of 1792, and in an 1867 directory the inn was listed as a Tavern with billiard room

The Inns of Canterbury by Edward Wilmot's, 1988, mentions a document, date circa 1945 that gives the description of clientele at the pub as being "Commercial, farmers, shoppers, regulars."

Latterly this was a Shepherd Neame house.

The pub changed name by 1995 to "Casey's" but in 2013 this too closed, underwent some renovations and reopened again under its original name.

The "Shakespeare" had the ghost of William Corkine who was slain in Angel Yard – which is now the beer garden. He was murdered by Christopher Marlowe during a Sunday morning duel in 1594. Both men were fined for disturbing the peace. Corkine survived for three hours but bled to death from his injuries.


From the Kentish Gazette 6 May 1834.



(Late of the "Prince of Orange," in Orange Street), IN acknowledging with gratitude the very liberal favors of his friends and the public, begs respectfully to inform them that he has REMOVED to the "SHAKSPEARE TAVERN," where he pledges himself to use every exertion to merit a continuance of their patronage."

Genuine Wines and Spirits. - Good Beds.


Kent Gazette, 15 January 1839.

E. C. Rayner, "Shakespeare Tavern." Butchery Lane, Canterbury.

Begs to return thanks for the kind patronage he has received since he entered the above-named House, and to assure the Public that every attention shall continue to be paid to the accommodation of his friends.

The Billiard Room has been newly renovated, and the Table fitted in the first style.

January 14, 1839.


From the Kentish Gazette, 11 January 1846.

The annual general meeting of the members of the "Shakespeare" 50 Burial Club, Canterbury, took place on Tuesday evening, when the accounts were audited and passed, a balance of 87 17s. 9d. being in hand to meet the next death. The President and Vice-President were re-appointed, with nineteen members as a Board of Management for the ensuing year, together with the Secretary and Auditor. It was also agreed the members should sup together.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 20 October, 1860.

James Buckley, 30, and John Bremner, 24, soldiers, were charged with stealing one watch, value 25s., and certain money and other articles from the person of George Hatton, his property, at the parish of St. Mary Northgate, on the 2nd of October.

The evidence against the prisoners was very conclusive, although for the most part but circumstantial, the principal point being the fact that in the cell of the station-house in which they were confined on the night of their apprehension, the strap of the cup worn by the prosecutor at the time of the robbery was found.

The prosecutor (also a soldier), stated that he and the prisoners went together, on the evening of the robbery, at the Soldiers' Institute in Burgate-street; on leaving which they went together to the "Shakespeare Tavern" and had something to drink. On leaving there the prisoners said they would show him a near way to the Barracks, and they took him to St. Martin's-hill, passing over the fields leading to the Military Hospital. When in the fields they threw him down and took from him his watch, and in the scuffle he lost his cap, but had one of the prisoners' caps in its place on his head when he reached the Barracks. The strap found at the Police-station he could swear to, having been fastened to his cap by a pin in place of being sewed on.

Four years’ each penal servitude.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 11 April, 1863.


Mr. Petts, of the “Shakespeare Tavern,” complained of a travelling mender of cane chairs, a real native of the Emerald Isle, boasting the name of Patrick Mooney, for having called for a pot of best ale, a screw of tobacco, and a clean pipe, which was duly supplied him by Mr. Petts, but when requested to pay for them said he had spent all his money, but he could, if acceptable, give the landlord “a rale Irish howl for it.” This not satisfying Mr. Petts he was given into the custody of the police and lodged at the station-house for the night. Mr. Petts said that the accused with a companion had victimised several other persons in a similar manner. The Mayor asked Pat Mooney if he was discharged for this offence would he at once leave the town? This he most readily promised, and was therefore discharged with a caution.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 14 May 1870.


William Field, of the "Shakespeare" public-house, was charged with neglecting to have his child vaccinated, and thereby committing an offence against the provisions of the Vaccination Act.

Mr. Harris, public prosecutor, stated that the child was born in June, 1868. He had called on the defendant five times respecting the performance of the operation of vaccination, and gave him a notice on the 22nd April, which had not been complied with.

Mr. Field stated in support of his neglect that the child was not well enough to undergo the operation, and to substantiate this statement he produced a medical certificate signed by Mr. H. E. Hutchings.

Alderman Aris:- Have you shown the certificate to Mr. Harris?

Mr. Field stated that he only procured it that morning. The original document, which he intended showing to Mr. Harris, had been mislaid.

Mr. Harris said defendant acquainted him with this fact at the time, but he considered he had allowed him an opportunity of getting another by staying proceedings for such a time.

The Mayor asked defendant if he would have the operation performed if they dismissed the case with costs.

Defendant: Very likely I will.

Mr. Cooper:- We can’t accept that answer.

Mr. Field:- Well, I should like a month or two to consider the matter.

Alderman Aris thought defendant was already very much indebted to Mr. Harris for the leniency he had displayed towards him in the matter. He regretted seeing a respectable tradesman occupying such a position.

Mr. Cooper:- The medical gentlemen in these cases are also liable to heavy penalties if they do not supply the registrar with proper certificates.

Mr. Field did not see why he should be compelled to have the child vaccinated when one of his children had already died under the operation.

Alderman Aris:- If you persist we have only one alternative, now that the case has been proved. If you consent to have the child vaccinated as soon as it is well enough, the probability is you will only have the costs to pay.

The Mayor:- Otherwise we must inflict a fine of 1s. and costs.

Defendant:- I would rather submit to the fine and costs than make any promise.

The costs were 10s.


From the Whitstable Times, 1 June, 1901.


The City Coroner (Dr. T. S. Johnson) held an inquest at the "Shakespeare," Butchery Lane, Canterbury, on Tuesday evening, touching the death of Mr. James Clinch, a member of the Board of Guardians and an ex-Town Councillor.

Edwin Clinch, plasterer, living at 12, the Borough, identified the body of the deceased as that of his father, who was aged 78. He was a retired plasterer and resided at 1, Albion Terrace, Canterbury. Witness last saw him alive the previous evening when he was called to the "Shakespeare." Deceased was then in an unconscious state. Previous to then he was called to the deceased on Saturday evening, when he was in his usual health. The deceased had been a Town Councillor and he was a Guardian up to the time of his death. For the past three weeks the deceased had seemed poorly. He had had a doctor now and then, but had not had one attending him of late. When witness was called to the "Shakespeare" the previous evening he found the deceased lying on the sofa. A doctor had been sent for. Witness remained with the deceased up till the time of his death, which occurred about a quarter past eleven.

Edmund Ravine, landlord of the "Shakespeare," Butchery Line, stated that ha had known the deceased for the past forty years. He came to his house about 8.30 the previous evening, when he seemed very well. He had a small glass of beer, after which he said he would try a Guinness. The deceased then said he did not think be could drink it and he had a little brandy. He asked if he might lie down on the couch as he did not feel well. Witness said he had better send for a cab to take him home, but the deceased said he would sooner stay there a little while. However, witness sent for a carriage and also for a doctor, and for the deceased's son. The decease was unconscious. He had been in the habit of visiting witness' house.

P.C. J. Goddard stated that at about 11.10 the previous night he was called to the "Shakespeare." There he searched the deceased and found on him 1 1s. 4 1/2d. in money, a purse, a gold ring, a knife, a silver watch, and a bunch of keys.

Mr. Z. Prentice, surgeon, stated that he was called to see the deceased the previous night at about 10.20. He was lying on a sofa unconscious. He was paralysed on the right side. He died at 11.10. The deceased never spoke to witness. The cause of death was apoplexy. Witness attended the deceased some six years ago but had not done so since.

The Coroner having summed up the jury returned a verdict of Death from Natural Causes.



LACEY George 1792-Apr/1798 Edward Wilmot Canterbury

TANDY Richard Apr/1798+

HOOPER Robert 1824-28+ Pigot's Directory 1824Pigot's Directory 1828-29

EVANS Benjamin 1832+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

Last pub licensee had ROBERTS James May/1834+

RAYNER Edward Charles 1838-40+ Stapletons GuidePigot's Directory 1840

GOLDSMITH Thomas 1847+ Bagshaw's Directory 1847

PETTS Thomas Porter 1858-63+ Melville's 1858Post Office Directory 1862

FIELD William 1867-91+ (age 56 in 1891Census) Edward Wilmot CanterburyGreens Canterbury Directory 1868Post Office Directory 1874Post Office Directory 1882Post Office Directory 1891

RAVINE Edmund 1901-03+ Post Office Directory 1903

BUTLER Thomas 1913-38+ Post Office Directory 1913Post Office Directory 1922Post Office Directory 1930Post Office Directory 1938

DEMPSEY Mr & Mrs Ignatius to 1972+ Edward Wilmot Canterbury


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

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

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

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

Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1862From the Post Office Directory 1862

Greens Canterbury Directory 1868Greens Canterbury Directory 1868

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874


Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Post Office Directory 1930From the Post Office Directory 1930

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

Edward Wilmot CanterburyInns of Canterbury by Edward Wilmot, 1988


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