Sort file:- Canterbury, May, 2022.

Page Updated:- Tuesday, 24 May, 2022.


Earliest 1824-

(Name from)

Spread Eagle

Latest 1868

(Name to)

83 Northgate Street



Originally called the "Carpenter's Arms," then the "Prince Regent," next the "Spread Eagle," this premises seems to keep changing name for one reason or another.

In 1846 there was a report of disorderly conduct at the inn and another of disorderly conduct of 14th June, 1863. The report given by P.C. Twyman states:- "The "Spread Eagle" public house, Northgate, open at 12.05 a.m. and several persons in the bar drinking. S. Spratt, Inspector of Police.

Due to further disruptive conduct at the house the pub was renamed again this time to the "Two Brothers" in 1871 after W. E. and J. Rigden, the Brewers in the City took control of the license.

However, the "Two Brothers" is actually at number 91, but the "Clarendon" is at number 86, and the licensing lists appear to tally on this, so I am saying the above information is inaccurate, and this pub changed name to the "Clarendon."


Kentish Gazette, 6 January 1852.

A Disorderly House.

The landlord of "Spread Eagle," in Northgate, applied to the magistrates on Thursday for his license, but was refused, on the ground of having kept a disorderly house.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 26 January, 1861.


On Friday, and by an adjournment on Saturday evening last, T. T. Delasaux, Esq., city coroner, held an inquiry at the "Spread Eagle," in Northgate street, touching the death of a child, aged eight weeks, named Rosetta Matilda Cummings, and which, it was alleged had resulted from want of proper food and warmth. The following facts were given in evidence:-

Caroline Baker, the wife of a labourer, deposed that she attended the deceased's mother at her confinement, about eight weeks since, when she was delivered of twin girls, very fine children. While she attended the mother the children were well looked after, but the mother only suckled them with one breast. Witness did not believe the children had been fed often enough, and thought the food prepared had been too course for such infants.

Mr. Alfred Benjamin Andrews, surgeon, deposed that he attended the mother of the deceased in her confinement, and for about a fortnight afterwards, but she did not appear to take natural care of the children. Had examined the body of the deceased and found no external marks of violence sufficient to cause death. The body was much emaciated, doubtless caused by want of sufficient nourishment. The deceased was brought to his house on Wednesday evening by its mother, and he then administered a stimulant.

The inquest was then adjourned for a post mortem examination to be made.

On the re-assembling of the jury, Mr. Andrews stated that he had made a post mortem examination of the body of the deceased, and found nothing wrong with the exception of congested lungs, which might have been produced from various causes. The marks on the neck and nose were not those of violence. His opinion was that death was caused from the want of food and nourishment, and that cold caused the congestion. Could not say that the mother had neglected to give the child food, as he did not know but that the child refused to partake of food.

Mr. Notley, one of the jurors:— Do you think the mother of the deceased is a fit person to bring up two infants?

Mr. Andrews.— I don’t know what to make of her; whether she is a fool or knave.

Mr. Notley:— One infant wants a good deal of attention, and I am sure two must require a good deal more. I don’t believe the woman is a fit and proper person to have the care of two children. I believe her to be an idiot. She is not able to get covering sufficient to keep the children warm.

The Coroner:— That will be for the consideration of the jury.

Mr. Notley:— Then I wish to know of the surgeon if he thinks the woman is in a sound stale of mind.

The Coroner:— That is not a part of our inquiry. Our duty is simply to ascertain the cause of death of this infant; not with regard to the state of the mind of its mother.

The Coroner then proceeded to sum up, and in so doing said that the evidence of the surgeon showed that the child died from emaciation, but however anxious they might be to punish the person causing that emaciation, they must have positive legal evidence so as to inflict upon that person the punishment due. Looking at the case, as he was bound, as a coroner and lawyer, to do, he did not hesitate to tell them that there might be a moral responsibility resting upon the inhuman mother of the child, but upon that no jury ought to commit the mother, and no judge would allow it to go to a jury. He thought they might conscientiously return a verdict of "Natural death."

The jury were then locked up to deliberate, and after a consultation of about twenty minutes, they returned the following verdict:— That the deceased died from a natural cause, accelerated by the want of proper warmth and food."


There are some circumstances connected with the general conduct and previous history of Mrs. Cummings, the mother of the deceased, which Mr. Andrews has felt it his duty to call the attention of the authorities. In the first place he communicated with the superintendent of police, and on Monday he attended before the city magistrates at the Guildhall. It appears that Mrs. Cummings has previously had children who have died so suddenly as to form the subject of remark among those conversant with the circumstances. In one case an inquest was held, but, though the circumstances were of a character to call for close investigation, the evidence was such that the jury felt bound to return a verdict of "Died from natural causes." This was in May, 1859. After the birth of the twins, in November last, the conduct of Mrs. Cummings was such that Mr. Andrews had fears for their lives, and hence he communicated with the superintendent of police. On one occasion when he called to see Mrs. Cummings, he was informed by the woman who had been attending her, that on the previous day she placed one of the infants in her lap, covered it with a cloak, and pressed upon it with her body. The attention of the attendant being drawn to the circumstance the child was taken from the mother and found to he quite black in the face in consequence of suffocation. Of course he could not say whether the mother intended to kill the child or not. It was for the magistrates to consider all the circumstances, and decide whether they would be justified in taking any proceedings against the woman, or whether something ought not to be done to ensure proper care being taken of the remaining child.

The Superintendent of Police said that the woman appeared to be imbecile and unfit to take care of her children.

The Bench recommended that the facts as reported should be laid before the parish authorities, who would probably adopt measures to ensure proper care being taken of both mother and child.

Mr. Andrews then withdrew.


"Kentish Chronicle, Saturday 10 March 1866.

Alleged Felony by Soldiers.

James Brewer, a private in the 16th Lancers, was brought up on remand from the previous Monday, charged with stealing 3 10s. in gold and a pocket handkerchief from the person of William Hazelwood, a private in the Royal Marines, Chatham Division, on the previous Sunday nights.

It will be remembered that the prosecutor stated that the prisoner held him while another soldier in the same regiment name Jones, took the money and handkerchief out of his pocket, and the case was remanded that the man Jones might be apprehended. It however, now transpired that there was not a man in the 16th Lancers station at Canterbury name Jones. There were, however, four or five person's named Jones in some of the other light cavalry regiments, but the prosecutor affirmed that the man was wearing the same uniform as the prisoner, and therefore it could not be either of them.

The prisoner called several witnesses to confute the statements of the prosecutor, among whom were. P.C. Alderton, Who said he was called by the prosecutor about 10:02 on the evening in question, who told him he had been robbed of his watch and chain. The constable then made enquiries about the stolen articles of the soldiers who were with him. They told him the statement of the prosecutor was incorrect, and that the watch and chain were in the possession of the landlord of the "Spread Eagle." on enquiring of the landlord, he told him the prosecutor had given him the watch and chain to take care of for him. The prosecutor was in a state of intoxication, and shortly afterwards called out for the police the second time. On the police running to his assistance he said he had been robbed of 3 10s. in gold, and a pocket handkerchief, by two soldiers who had just run towards the barracks. An Inspector of Police asked him if he would go up to the barracks and identify the men. He, however, refused, and was taken down to the police station, where he slept the remainder of the night. He said the money was loose in his pocket.

The prisoner accounted for his possession of the handkerchief by stating that he picked it up off the seats in the "Spread Eagle," when the prosecutor was in there drinking.

The Bench doubted whether the prosecutor ever had the money alleged to have been stolen, for, in given his evidence, he stated it was wrapped up in his handkerchiefs, where as he told the police constable it was loose in his pocket.

The Bench gave the prisoner benefit of the doubt, and dismissed him.



BANISTER John Fry 1824+ Pigot's Directory 1824

FERRIER John 1826+ (also cooper)

BANNISTER J F 1828+ (also cooper) Pigot's Directory 1828-29

BANNISTER Elizabeth Mrs 1832-51+ (age 72 in 1851Census) Pigot's Directory 1832-34Edward Wilmot CanterburyStapletons GuidePigot's Directory 1840Historic Canterbury web siteBagshaw's Directory 1847

BRISLEY William 1858+ Melville's 1858

HOOK James 1861-62+ (age 39 in 1861Census) Post Office Directory 1862

HARRIS P 1868 Greens Canterbury Directory 1868

(Name to "Clarendon" in 1868)


I believe the name John Ferrier is actually the same John Fry Banister.


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

Stapletons GuideStapleton's Guide 1838

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

Edward Wilmot CanterburyInns of Canterbury by Edward Wilmot, 1988

Historic Canterbury web siteHistoric Canterbury web site


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