Sort file:- Deal, September, 2022.

Page Updated:- Monday, 05 September, 2022.


Earliest 1743


Latest 1855

(Name to)

Beach Street



Building date from 1743.


From Laker 1917, P. 396

Samuel Baker, landlord of the "Ship," a small inn which stood near the present "Clarendon Hotel," in March 1857 murdered an ensign named McCarroll of one of the Dept. Regts. at Walmer.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 4 April, 1855. Price 4d.


Our town was thrown into a state of intense excitement on Sunday morning last, by a rumour that an officer belonging to the 44th Regiment of Foot, stationed at Walmer, had been found on the beach nearly dead, with a frightful gash in his head, and other contusions, of which he died an hour after he was discovered. The suspicion that he had met with foul play soon proved to be true. The facts are detailed in the subjoined evidence, taken before the Magistrates on Monday. It appears that the man, Samuel Baker, who committed the deed, keeps a public-house, the "Ship," in this town, and he has also been in the employ of Mr. Bates, coach proprietor, for the last twelve years. He has always been considered a very steady man - except when he was intoxicated, when he was very violent. The deceased, Lieutenant Edward McCarroll, an officer in the 44th Foot, was a quiet, gentlemanly young man, of about 20 years of age. He had mixed himself up in the excitement of the election on Saturday, and had evidently, when last seen alive, been drinking rather freely. Baker was placed in the dock about ten o'clock. He appeared rather grave, but quite calm. His countenance has rather a forbidden and determined expression; he is a short man, but strong and thickly built. There was a very full attendance of Magistrates, and the hall was crowded. The first witness called was a boatman, of the Coast-guard service, named Goldsworthy, whose evidence went to show the discovery of deceased on the beach, and the position in which the body was found.

Alexander Gibbs - I am Surgeon to the depot battalion at Walmer Barracks. On Sunday morning, at six or shortly after, I was called to go to the dockyard at Deal, where one of our officers was lying, who was supposed to be nearly killed. I went immediately and found it was an officer in the 44th, Lieut. Edward McCarroll. He was lying on the floor of the dockyard office, before the fire; he was insensible, but alive. His face had been washed, and on examination I found a wound on the back of his head, behind the ear. Mr. Mason, surgeon of Deal, was in attendance when I arrived. By my direction the deceased was removed to his quarters, in Walmer Barracks. He was conveyed thence on a stretcher, by some soldiers. He was immediately, on his arrival, put to bed, and in about an hour after he expired. He never regained consciousness at all, from the time I first saw him until his death. I noticed that the skin had been torn off the left fore finger of the deceased, apparently from the blow.

James Mordan  - I am a boatman of the Coast Guard, at Deal station. I was on duty from midnight of the 28th till six in the morning of the 29th. My guard joined that of Goldsworthy. About one in the morning of the 29th, when I was near the flag-staff, I was spoken to by the deceased. I bid him good morning. He asked me, who I was. I replied "a Coast Guard." he said he had been to the election and had lost 5. He asked if any public- houses were open. I told him yes - one opposite, namely, the "Ship," kept by the prisoner. I then walked up to the door with him; he knocked at it with his stick. Mrs. Baker opened the door, and asked who was there, and then deceased asked her to let him have a glass of grog "on tick." She refused him, and told him to go about his business. I saw him all the time he was at the door, and I did not see him do anything except knock at the door. I saw no one else there except Mrs. Baker. Deceased did not go into the house at all. When Mrs. Baker refused the glass of grog, I heard deceased say to her that that she might go to ---- and that was a good hot place. It is not possible that anything more could have been said or done than what I heard and saw, from the position I was in, between the deceased and Mrs. Baker. Deceased was at the door five or six minutes; and then I saw him go along the pavement towards Mrs. Fitches', in the direction of Walmer. A very few minutes after after deceased was gone, Mrs. Baker came out to where I was standing, and told me that deceased had shoved a stick into her mouth, and loosened two of her teeth. Soon after this, I saw the prisoner leave his house and go in the direction of Walmer, with his jacket in his hand. He returned after the space of about ten minutes, and entered the house. Another five minutes lapsed, and I saw him come out a second time; he then came across to me and asked me "which way that gentleman had gone?" I supposed he meant the deceased and I told him he had gone in the direction of Mrs. Fitches'. On this second occasion he had his jacket and hat on, but I did not notice that he had anything else with him. Directly I told him the direction in which the deceased had gone, he went the same way. He walked. He did not appear to be angry or excited. It was about half past-two in the morning that I saw him again. He was then standing with his wife on the Esplanade. I in the meantime had been on my patrol towards the Dockland. I went there soon after I had seen Baker walking away, in the direction of Fitches', the second time. It was about half-an-hour after this that I saw the prisoner and his wife walking on the Esplanade. He said to me - "I catched him near the Toll-gate, and I had something in my pocket and I gave it to him." I asked Baker where he had left him, and he said, "on the beach, abreast of the dockyard, and near the red light." After this I went to the end of the guard, but I did not notice anything or look for anything, as I fancied Baker had not spoken the truth. Deceased, when he came to speak to me on the Esplanade, had a Scotch cap on like the one produced. He was in liquor, but did not appear to be absolutely drunk. He could walk as well as I could. Baker appeared also to have been drinking, but he certainly was not intoxicated as not to know what he was about. He could walk well. In the morning, about half-past five, I was talking to Goldsworthy at the end of the guard, near the dockyard red light, when he saw something on the beach which turned out to be the body of the deceased. It struck me it was the man after whom Baker had run, whom I had seen talking at the public-house, and I told the circumstances, as I have already related them, to Goldsworthy. I will swear that nothing further took place than what I have narrated.

Henry Redsull, policeman, of Deal, was next called. He said -  was on duty on Sunday morning, in Prospect-place, at half-past one o'clock. At about that time I saw Baker (the prisoner) pass down by me, coming along Prospect-place, near the "Deal Castle" public-house. I said "Good night," and he returned the salutation. He was walking at the same time. I saw something in his right hand pocket; it had a piece of bone or ivory at the end, as it appeared to me, of about six or seven inches in length. I cannot, however, swear about this. The next time I sea him I apprehended him.

I apprehended him at half-past nine on Sunday morning. I told him that the body of a man had been found on the beach in front of the Dockyard; that he was dead, and that I must apprehend him on suspicion of being he person who struck the blow that ended so fatally. In reply the prisoner said, "Yes, he ran a stick into my wife's mouth and nearly drawed out her tongue." he further stated he went after him with a bobbin stick, that a scuffle ensued, and that he was compelled to use the stick. I have not found it, though search has been made. I have not seen anything in the house bearing any resemblance  whatsoever to what I saw in his pocket. He said that he had thrown the bobbin stick among the others.

By the Bench- When you went to apprehend the prisoner did you see his wife?

Witness - Yes, I saw her first.

Did she complain of ill usage at the hands of the officer?

Yes, she said that the officer had knocked two teeth out of her mouth, but I did not see any appearance of the kind. Baker was not at home when I called, but his wife told me that he was at the stables, and I there apprehended him.

Redsull's evidence closed the proceedings on Monday, which were resumed at ten o'clock on the following day.

George Mason, Esq., surgeon, Deal, deposed - I was called on Sunday morning, about half-past five, to see a man on the beach, reported to be in a dying state. I found he had been removed to the boat house in the Dockyard; he was lying on the floor with his face covered with blood, pulse scarcely perceptible, and in an unconscious state. By the direction of Mr. Wootton, he was taken to a room  belonging to the dockyard. I had his face washed, and used every means in my power to restore circulation, by means of brandy and ammonia. On examining the head, I found a wound, three inches in length, reaching down the skull; at that time, I did not know who he was; but on taking off his boots, &c., found he belonged to the 44th regiment, and immediately sent to the surgeon of the same, who arrived in about half an hour. With as little delay as possible, I caused the deceased to be removed to his quarters in barracks. By order of the Coroner, a post mortem examination was made, on Monday afternoon, by Dr, Gibbs and myself, when we observed several abrasions and ecchymose appeared on the outer end and lower part of the left arm, and a considerable laceration on the back part of the left side of the chest, and several scratches on the throat, apparently done with the hand. Abrasions were also seen on the outward and back part of the right thigh, and on the front and upper part of the same leg; blood was seen about the nostrils and left ear, and both pupils were dilated, but the pupil of the left eye more than that of the right eye. On removing the scalp, a quantity of effused blood was found extending behind the ear, and spreading over a great portion of the head.

Mr. Mason here entered into a detailed description of the contused wound, which was three inches below the incised one; the former, he considered, was caused by a very heave instrument, and not buy a fall - he thought a blow from a poker would have produced the effects presented. The fracture occasioned by the blow was seven inches in length, and extended through the temporal, parental, and small portion of the frontal bones; he was of opinion that death was caused by the contused would entirely, and that the deceased could not have had any consciousness after it was inflicted. Mr. Mason, at the close of his evidence, bestowed a deservedly high eulogium on Mr. Wootton, of the Dockyard; and Dr. Gibbs, who concurred in the evidence of Mr. Mason, found himself bound to acknowledge the prompt, kin and humane assistance rendered by Mr. Wootton on the occasion.

J. Dessant, brickmaker, deposed - I was at the "Ship" on Saturday night, the 28th, and on Sunday morning, the 29th; several persons were in the tap room, and the prisoner was in the company occasionally. About one o'clock in the morning, I saw Baker go out of the room; but before doing so, he went to the fire-place and put the poker under his coat, after which I saw nothing more of him. Nothing was said about Mrs. Baker being injured, and I was not aware of anything amiss had occurred.

Thomas Parker, policeman, deposed - While accompanying Redsull on Sunday last, we met Baker in Prospect place. Witness noticed that he had got something in his right-hand pocket, in which was also his hand; it appeared two to three feet in length, and projected from his pocket.

The evidence having been brought to a close, the mayor asked the prisoner if he had any defence to offer, or anything to say; in reply to which, Baker said that he should reserve his defence.

The prisoner was then fully committed for trial, and will be sent to Sandwich gaol until the next assizes at Maidstone.

baker was an omnibus driver, and came to Deal a few years ago from Faversham.


From the Ashford and Alfred News, No. 108, Saturday August 1st, 1857.

Maidstone Assizes - July 1857 - Samuel Baker for slaying Edward McCarroll at Deal on 20th April.

Samuel Baker, 36, was indicted for the wilful murder of Edward McCarroll. Mr. Deedes said Mr. Robinson conducted the prosecution, Mr. Sergeant Ballentine was specially retained with Mr. Denman to defend the prisoner.

The circumstances under which the charge was preferred were of rather an extraordinary nature. The deceased was a very young man and at the time he met his death, he was a Lieutenant in the 44th. Regiment and was stationed at Walmer Barracks.

The prisoner kept the "Ship" Public House upon the Esplanade at Deal and about 1 o'clock in the morning of March 29th, the deceased spoke to a coastguard name Mordan and asked where he could get something to drink. The deceased was evidently the worse for liquor. Morden directed him to the "Ship" and he knocked at the door, which was opened by Mrs. Baker and he asked for a glass of grog "on tick." She told him no one had drink "on tick" and told him to go about his business.

This answer evidently excited the deceased and he used some bad language to Mrs. Baker. After he was gone, she complained to Morden that the young man had forced out two of her teeth with his stick, although there was no direct evidence that he did use violence. She also told her husband this.

The deceased had gone towards Walmer barracks and was followed by the prisoner who was seen to take the poker from he fireplace and put it in his pocket.

Soon after Baker had left, cries were heard and although there was no doubt prisoner inflicted the fatal injuries there was no evidence of what indeed took place.

At 5.30 the same morning, the deceased was found lying on the sea shore in an almost lifeless state with his skull severely fractured, from which injury he died about 9 o'clock without being able to give any explanation of what happened.

The prisoner saw Morden on his way home and said "he had caught the deceased near the toll-gate and that he had something in his pocket to give to him." The deceased cap was found near the toll-gate and the prosecution claimed that the affray had taken place on this spot and that the body had been carried to where it was found and might possibly have been carried away by the tide.

Mr Serjt. Ballantyne made an able defence for the prisoner. Mr. Justice Wallace summed up, the jury retired for about 20 minutes and gave a verdict of manslaughter. Sentence deferred.

On Thursday prisoner was brought up for sentence and Justice Willis said he had conferred with his learned colleague, the Lord Chief Baron, and the result of their anxious deliberations was, that he must pass upon the prisoner the most severed sentence known to the law, next to death.

The sentence of the Court upon him was that he be imprisoned and kept in Penal Servitude for life."




BAKER Samuel 1841-57+ (also coach driver age 30 in 1851Census) Deal Licensing Register To "Seagull."

Ann Baker (wife of Samuel) went on to run the "South Foreland" in 1860


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