Sort file:- Dover, April, 2024.

Page Updated:- Thursday, 04 April, 2024.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1713-

Three King's

Latest 1871

Wellington Bridge

Union Street (Snargate over the Sluice) Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1840

Snargate Street Pigot's Directory 1839



The original was present in 1792 but a new house was being constructed in 1845.


Kentish Gazette, 22 April, 1806.


April 16, at Dover, Mr. Argar, of the "Three Kings," public-house.


Kentish Weekly Post or Canterbury Journal 22 April 1806.


April 16, at Dover, Mr. Argar, of the "Three Kings" public-house.


Kentish Gazette, 23 July 1844.



This morning, about eleven o’clock, the body of Mr. Henry Rawlings, woollen-draper, of Basinghall-street London, aged 22, who was drowned on Monday, was picked up in the bay, and an inquest before the borough coroner, on the bodies of that unfortunate gentleman and Sophia Bennett, one of the young ladies (picked up yesterday, as narrated in the Kentish Gazelle of Tuesday last), who also perished by the upsetting of the boat on the name occasion, commenced at the "Three Kings," Union-street, at one o'clock.

Philip Fox, the boatman, who had charge of the boat on the occasion of the accident, deposed that on Monday afternoon, Henry Rawlings, accompanied by a lady and two little girls, came to him while he was on the beach, and hired the boat for a sail. Witness, accompanied by Newsome, went off in the boat Tiny, with the parties. At first, they had the full mainsail up, which they afterwards reeled, and the foresail was hoisted after they got out a little distance. When they had been off about a quarter of an hour, the boat being on the starboard tack, they ran her before the wind a few minutes and he was about to jib her, but while attempting to do so, a sudden puff of wind catching the sail, she jibbed before he was aware of it. The main sheet being either foul or fast (he could not say which) at the time, the boat overset and filled directly. Witness was steering at the time, and Newsome was forward attending to the sails. When I was about to jib the sail, I told Mr. Rawlings to shift to the other side of the boat, and while attempting to do so he staggered from the lurching of the boat, and catching hold of the tiller in order to save himself from falling, dragged it towards him, which immediately overset the boat. It is the custom for some seamen when about to jib a boat in a strong breeze to brail the mainsail, which is the safest plan. The wind blew a fresh breeze from the westward at the time of the accident, and witness intended to brail the mainsail, but the boat jibbed too suddenly for him. He did not think she would have jibbed so suddenly had not the gentleman caught hold of the tiller in the manner above described. When the boat upset, she immediately filled and sank, and they were all thrown into the sea. Newsome and he (witness) swam for some time, as did also the gentleman, and the lady floated above water on her back, but the two children went down. He had not been in the water above a quarter of an hour when the boat of a fishing smack was lowered, which, after picking up the lady, picked up him and Newsome also. The gentleman had sunk just previous to the lady's being picked up. Witness was here shown the two bodies which have been found, and identified them as those of Mr. Rawlings and one of the little girls who had accompanied him in the boat. The boat in question was sixteen or seventeen feet in length, and was not a good boat for a gale of wind. She carried rather too large a sail for her size in his opinion. He had been accustomed to boats, but Newsome had not been bred to the sea. If the sheet had not been fast at the time of the accident he believed the boat would not have capsized. Both he and Newsome were sober when managing the boat.

The inquest was adjourned at three o'clock for the evidence of the other boatman Newsome, who was absent from the neighbourhood.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 8 March, 1845. Price 5d.


A Coroner's inquest was held at the "Three Kings," on Tuesday, before G. T. Thomson, Esq., Coroner for the Borough, upon the body of a newly-born male infant, which was picked up, on Sunday, floating out of the Harbour.

The jury being sworn, proceeded to the Royal Humane Society's Receiving-house, to view the body, and on their return, the following evidence was adduced:-

Kennett Hall, watch-maker, deposed - On Sunday afternoon about half-past 4 o'clock, while walking on the North Pier, my attention was called by my children to what they called a dead monkey floating out of the Harbour. On looking at the object, I thought it to be a child, and hailed a boat which was coming towards the Harbour, and the crew picked up the body. When I first saw the body, it was floating out of the Harbour near the end of the North Pier. The body was quite naked.

Richard Dowell, a lad about 12 years of age, son of Mr. Dowell, bricklayer, deposed - On Sunday afternoon, on the North Pier, I saw something in the water, which I thought to be a dead monkey floating in the Harbour. I went down the ladder, near the red lights, and turned it over with my foot, when I found it to be the body of a child, and I told some gentlemen on the Pier.

Edward George Rutley, surgeon, deposed - On Sunday evening, I was called to see the body of a child lying at the Humane Society's Receiving House, but being dark, I did not examine it closely till the following morning, when I made a post mortem examination, and from appearance, it was evidently the body of a newly born infant, which must have bee in the water some weeks. The funis was divided close to the abdomen, which circumstance alone, supposing the child to have breathed, must have very shortly terminated its existence; and from that circumstance, no medical man could have been present at the birth. The child was of full growth; but, from the decomposed state of the body and other causes, I cannot give any satisfactory opinion whether the child was born alive. The lungs, which were of a dark colour, shewing little or no appearance of blood, did float, but that might have been caused from being so long in the water. The blood having escaped through the umbilical cord, I could not decide from the state of that fluid.

A boatman named Kemp was next called; and, in reply to a question from the coroner, he explained that the body might have been washed into the harbour on the rising of the tide.

The Coroner, in addressing the jury, observed, that from the evidence of Mr. Rutley, it was impossible to say whether the clild had been born alive; and if so, from its decomposed state, they could not identify it, even if there was any suspicion attached to any one as being the mother.

The jury, after a short consultation, returned a verdict, "That the body was found floating on the water."


From the Kentish Gazette, 18 November 1845.

The purchase of the "York Hotel," the "Three Kings," and the "Liberty" public-houses, for the improvement and enlargement of the harbour, was agreed upon.


From the Kentish Gazette, 16 December 1845.


Epps:— Dec. 11, at Dover, Mrs. Epps, wife of Mr. Epps, of the "Three Kings" public house, aged 46.


Dover Chronicles 7 March 1846.

Dover Petty Sessions. Monday.

This being the transfer day for ale house licences, the following transfers took place.

The "Three Kings," public house, having been pulled down for the harbour improvements, a new licence was granted to a newly built house, nearly opposite to the "Union Hotel." The sign to be as heretofore, and the same landlord.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 7 March, 1846. Price 5d.


The following public-house licences were transferred this day:- The “Three Kings,” Leonard Epps, to a new house in Union Street, the old one having been pulled down for the new harbour improvements.



The address was sometimes Wellington Bridge and the thoroughfare as above. Epps moved from the old to the new in 1846 and the licence from the old pub was transferred to the "Good Intent," Queen Street. Its neighbour was the "Royal Arms" and its lease was for eighty years. It changed hands in 1859 after Thomas Walker sold off the Phoenix brewery to Leney's.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 6 July, 1850. Price 5d.


On Saturday evening at eight o'clock, an inquest was held at the "Three Kings," Union Street, before G. T. Thompson, Esq., Coroner for the Borough, on the body of Richard Wilden, aged 51 years, porter in the employ of Messrs. Killick and Back, drapers, Market Place, whose body was picked up in the harbour near the Wellington Bridge, about half-past 6 six o'clock that morning. The Jury (having appointed Mr. W. T. C. Atkins as their foreman) were then sworn, and proceeded to view the body, after which the following witnesses were examined:-

Robert Reynolds, a commissioned officer in the customs deposed - Last night, between half-past 11 and ten minutes past 12 o'clock, while on duty in the quays, I saw a man, whom, having seen the body of the subject of this enquiry, I believe to have been the same, three or four times. The first time I saw him, he was sitting under the clock house, and had two women with him, who, I thought, from their appearance, were respectable parties. The next time he was on the new quay, apparently on his way towards Wellington Bridge, in company of the same women. The last time, he was on Wellington Bridge; the shortest woman was ten by his side, and the other a short distance behind. He called out to the one behind, saying, "Come along; make haste." I saw no more of him during the night, the whole of which I continued on duty. I heard no noise of any person falling into the water.

William Hocking, a stoker on board H.M.P. Onyx, deposed - This morning, between half-past 6 and 7 o'clock, as I and Richard Gill, another stoker, were going along the quay leading from the clock-house to the Wellington bridge, I noticed in the other harbour, near the new steps, an object in the water, which I took to be a dog, but on looking more closely I saw it was a man. There was then about 4 or 5 feet of water over the mud. I procured a boat, and with Gill, went to the body, which I floated alongside the boat to the steps. Some men, who were there then gathered on the steps, took it and conveyed it to the shed opposite the bridge. The body was dressed in a sleeve waistcoat, a pair of dark moleskin trousers, half-boots, one blue stocking and one white one. The clothes were not disarranged, further than his waistcoat was unbuttoned, which might have resulted from my taking hold of it to raise the body. There was no hat or cap on the body. It lay about twelve feet from the edge of the quay.

Mrs. Mary Collard, wife of Henry Collard, shoemaker, deposed - I live in the Almshouses. I have seen the body, it is that of Richard Wilden, who was a porter in the employ of Messrs. Killick and Back, linen-drapers. His age was 51. He always had his meals at my house, but occupied lodgings in Adrian Street. I last saw him alive at about half-past 11 o'clock last night; he was then at my house, and appeared very much depressed in mind. I asked him what was the matter, and he replied that he should have his discharge on Saturday night, and he could not bear going to the Union. I remonstrated with him, but it did not seem to raise his spirits. When I left my house to go to his lodgings, I accompanied him, and saw him go in, and bade him good night. His manner has been very different for about five weeks past, and he has several times stated to me that he should be discharged. Deceased was a very steady man.

Elizabeth Forth, residing in Adrian Street, deposed - The deceased lodged at my house. About half-past 8 o'clock last night, he came there and stopped about 2 minutes. I observed that he looked very strange, and on this account went to Mrs. Collard's, and told her that I wished her to speak to him. He did not return to my house till until half-past 11, when Mrs. Collard came home with him. Again observing that he looked very strange, I remarked it to him. He then went out to get some beer, taking a small mug with him. After being absent a few minutes, he returned, and said the house (meaning the "Odd Fellow's Arms") was shut up,  and that he should go to the Wellington. After this he did not return. He has never said to me that he would destroy himself. his trouble seemed to arise from a fear that he would be discharged, and have to go to the Union.

Mr. Back, one of the deceased's employers, who was present, said that deceased had been unwell for some time past, and had been under the advice of the medical gentlemen at the dispensary. Since the deceased indisposition, he (Mr. Back) had employed another porter, in order to lighten the deceased's duties, which were rather heavy. He had no idea of discharging Wilden, but, on the contrary, had promised to keep the other porter as well as him, until he might obtain as easier situation.

Police-constable Bayley, who searched the body of deceased, found 7 11s. 3d. in the pockets.

The Coroner summed up, in the course of which he minutely detailed the evidence. He thought that after hearing the evidence of Collard and Forth, the Jury would put the evidence of Reynolds out of the question, looking at the unsatisfactory manner in which he gave it, and the time at which he states he saw deceased, compared with the time deceased left his house. He (the Coroner) thought it most probably that Reynolds must have been mistaken in the party.

Verdict - Found drowned.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Saturday 16 July 1859.

To let by tender.

The following public houses situate in and near Dover, Eastry, and Folkestone, viz:-

1. The "Bull Inn," Eastry.

2. The "Halfway House" and land, on the Dover and Canterbury Road.

3. The "Chequers," at Folkestone.

4. The "Chequers" and land, at West Hougham.

5. The "Red Lion," at Charlton.

6. The "Fox," in St James's Street.

7. The "Ordnance Arms," in Queen Street.

8. The "Cause is Altered," in Queen Street.

9. The "True Briton," on Commercial Quay.

10. The "Three Kings," in Union Street.

11. The "Fleur-de-Lis," in Council House Street.

12. The "Cinque Port Arms," in Clarence Place.

13. The "Red Lion" in St James's Street.

14. The "Dolphin," in Dolphin Lane.

The above houses are to be let as free houses, in consequence of the proprietors of the Dolphin Lane Brewery discontinuing that business.

The holdings of the present Tenants expire under notice to quit, as follows, viz:- No. 2, on the 6th January next, No. 3, on the 6th July, 1860, No. 10, at Lady Day next, No. 13, on the 23rd October next, No. 14, on the 6th April next, and reminder on the 11th October next.

Tenders must be sent into the offices of Mr. Edward Knocker, Castle Hill, Dover, on or before the 20th day of July next, marked on the cover "Tender."

Particular and Terms of hiring, with the forms of Tender, to be obtained on application to Mr. knocker, or Mr. Thomas Robinson, Estate Agent, Bench Street, Dover.

Tenders may be given for the whole together or separately. The Tenders will be accepted subject to the houses being sold on or before the 20th day of September next, and the proprietors do not bind themselves to accept the lowest or any tender.

N.B. The proprietors are open to treat for letting the Brewery, Malthouse, and Premises, in Dolphin Lane.

Edward Knocker. Castle Hill, Dover, June, 1859.


South Eastern Gazette, 13 November, 1860.

Death by Drowning.

An inquest was hold on Saturday week, before W. H. Payn, Esq., the borough coroner, at the "Three Kings" public-house, Union-street, on the body of John Day, a stonemason, aged 24 years, which had been picked up on the same morning on shore opposite the Esplanade. Day had been at work on the previous day upon the Western Heights, and returned home in the evening at his usual time; but was observed by his wife to be exceedingly irritable without any known cause, except that he was subject to epileptic fits, and was frequently so when unwell. Suddenly he jumped up to go, as he stated, to his father's, and his wife went after him there, but he had not arrived, and was not again seen till found on the shoes next morning by some fishermen.

The jury returned a verdict of "Found drowned."


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 26 November, 1864.


William Iverson, landlord of the "Three Kings Inn," Union Street, was charged with infringing his license, and charged 10s. and costs.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 6 December, 1867.


William Everson, landlord of the "Three Kings" public-house, Union Street, was charged with having his house open for the sale of intoxicating liquors after twelve o'clock on Saturday night. - The Magistrates dismissed the summons.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 10 March, 1871. Price 1d.


Mr. Claris appeared on behalf of Mr. Allen, the landlord of the "Three Kings," a public-house in Union Street, which had just been acquired by the Harbour Board with a view to its demolition for the purposes of Harbour improvements, to make application for the transfer of the license of that house to the house, 29, Snargate Street. He pointed out the powers of the Magistrates under the Licensing Acts to make such a transfer and read several testimonials to character in the applicant's possession. Mr. Claris concluded by calling Mr. Coleman to prove the formal service of the notice.

Mr. Fox who appeared to oppose the application, cross-examined Mr. Coleman to show that the house in Snargate Street to which it was desired to transfer the license, was known as the "Gothic Inn," and that it had been closed since the last annual licensing day in consequence of the manner in which it had been conducted by the previous tenant. At the adjourned licensing meeting of the Magistrates, held at Broadstairs, application was made on the part of the fresh tenant, with a view of inducing the Bench to re-consider their decision; but the witness believed that this application was unsuccessful.

Mr. Fox said this was the case, and he confidently appealed to the Magistrates, in view of the strong decision they had arrived at so recently, to refuse the present application. At the Broadstairs meeting, he reminded the Bench, the application was made, like the present, on behalf of a fresh tenant; but, although it was supported by the eloquent pleading of Sergeant Sleigh, the Magistrates refused to entertain the matter, and he submitted that there was nothing in the present circumstances calculated to induce them to change their opinion. He pointed out that there were a number of licensed houses in the immediate locality of the "Gothic Inn," and that there was nothing whatsoever, therefore, so far as the public accommodation was concerned, to call for the licensing of an additional house.

Mr. Claris said that it was not the fact that the eloquence of Sergeant Sleigh was brought to bear upon the Bench, the fact being that, although Sergeant Sleigh attended for the purpose of supporting the application, the Magistrates declined to hear him.

Mr. Fox said that the admission of his friend, Mr. Claris, would answer the purpose of his (Mr. Fox's) argument equally well. (A laugh.)

The Bench, after a short consultation, determined to grant the transfer of the license.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 21 July, 1871. Price 1d.



Messrs. Robinson and Son are honoured with instructions from the Commissioners of Dover Harbour, to submit for sale by public auction, on the Premises of Union Street and Strond Street, on Monday 7th August, 1871, punctually at 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

FOUR HOUSES THREE OF WHICH ARE NEARLY NEW, and will be sold without any reserve; to be pulled down within a specific time to be named in the Conditions of Sale, viz.:

Lot 1. All that newly erected Public House, known as the “Three Kings,” together with the fixtures that are therein.



Improvements by the Harbour Board in 1871 again called for its removal. The "Gothic" nearby, had been closed for irregularities since September 1870 and Allen the brewer was fortunate enough to effect a reopening with this licence.



HILL Thomas 1713+

PREST Hugh 1792-93


ARGAR Mr to May/1806 dec'd

MOORE Young 1823 Pigot's Directory 1823

HUKE Alexander 1826-39 Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34Pigot's Directory 1839

EPPS Leonard 1839-59 Next pub licensee had (age 48 in 1851Census) Pigot's Directory 1840Bagshaw's Directory 1847Melville's 1858

New pub in March 1846

COTTLE Mrs S 1862 Post Office Directory 1862

IVERSON/EVERSON William 1864-68 Dover Express

ALLEN Mr 1871 Next pub licensee had


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

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1862From the Post Office Directory 1862

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express



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