Sort file:- Canterbury, September, 2020.

Page Updated:- Monday, 14 September, 2020.


Earliest 1824-

Toby Fillpot

Closed 1865

38 Watling Street (Dane John Place 1824Pigot's Directory 1824)


Location of Toby Fillpot 2017

Above photo, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe. Showing the location in 2017.

If the buildings were of "normal" size, then the "Toby Fillpot" would have been to the left of the Oasis Cafe and the "Dane John Tavern" where the street lamp is. Tina M's site supports the idea that the numbering ran then (late 19th Century) as it does now: consecutively. That puts 38 and 41 on the same side of the road as the entrance to the Dane John Gardens, opposite the Bus Station.

Further information says it was situated opposite the Countess of Huntington Church.

Toby Jug  Toby Jug  Toby Jug

Above pictures showing some typical Toby Jug designs.


A Toby Fillpot or Philpot is another name for the famous Toby Jugs. There are many theories in regard to how Toby Fillpot was brought into the world as a character. The name "Toby" was used originally to describe jugs which were made in the form of a seated male figure in a tri-cornered hat. He usually held a beer jug on his knee and sometimes held a pipe or glass in his hand. These hats acted as spouts and often had a lid seated inside that could be used as a cup.

In 1761 a London print shop, Carver and Bowles, published an engraving of a fictional character they called “Toby Fillpot.” The print depicts Toby as a jovial, obese, and intoxicated older man seated at a table enjoying a jug of beer and a pipe. English Staffordshire potter Ralph Wood of Burslem, who has been credited with designing and molding the first Toby jugs may have been inspired by this image. His earliest Toby Jugs, dating to the 1760s, look extremely similar to the engraving. One collector has described the Toby portrayed in Wood's jugs as “a short, corpulent, unsmiling old man with long, lank hair. He wears a full, long coat…a spacious waistcoat, a solitaire neckcloth left to dangle, knee breeches, stockings, and shoes ornamented with buckles. Sitting on a seat concealed beneath his coat skirts, Toby balances a jug on his left knee while his right hand raises a drink.”

Toby was dressed in the style of the 1700s, which consisted of a full length coat with low set pockets, waistcoat, cravat, knee breeches, stockings and buckled shoes. An interesting feature of the early jugs is the hollow cap which fitted into the top of the hat and was used as a cup.

He has been associated with the fat boisterous Sir Toby Belch in Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night," and "My Uncle Toby" from Laurence Sterne's "Tristam Shandy." This book did appear about the same time as the earliest Tobies, around 1700.

Other characters who may have helped bring Toby into existence include Harry Elwes, a Yorkshire man who is alleged to have drunk two thousand gallons of strong ale from a brown jug, and who bore the nickname of Toby Fillpot. He died in 1761.

The name Toby Fillpot occurred, probably for the first time in print in the song "The Brown Jug," published in 1761 in a volume of "Original Poems and Translations" by the Reverend Francis Fawkes.


This establishment at 38 Watling Street was obviously named after this character, although whether their drinking vessels were actual Toby Jugs remains to be seen.

 The premises was operating as a public house from between 1828 and 1858 so far confirmed, although I do have the name W. Swain who was living at that address in 1917, but no information regarding whether this person was a licensed victualler was mentioned.


Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette, Saturday 23 September 1843.


September 19, in Watling Street, Canterbury, Mr. R. Randall, landlord of the "Toby Fillpott," and proprietor of the Canterbury and Ashford van, aged 62.


Kentish Gazette, Tuesday 9 April 1850.

Richard Adams, a man who had many years been in the employment of Mr. Headdy, of the Hoy-office in this city, went into the stable of the "Toby Philpott" public house, in Watling Street, on Tuesday last, and, complained of a pain in his inside, asked permission of the ostler to lie down in the stable, which was readily granted him. On the ostler returning, about an hour and a half afterwards, he found Adams hanging to the rack, and quite dead, he having suspended himself with a cord, which did not belong to the stable. It was evident from this, and conversation he had with other person's, that he had premeditated destruction, he having often spoken about the matter to his own son, in whose company he was on the previous day, when he appeared to act so strangely as to lead the son to apprehend some such acts as this. Deceased had lately been discharged from Mr. Headdy's service.

At an inquest holding before Mr. Delasaux, a verdict of "Temporary Insanity" was returned.


Kentish Gazette, Tuesday 29 October 1861.

Canterbury Police Court.

Tuesday:- (Before E. Holttum, Esq., Mayor, and John Brent, Esq. Thomas Philpott Esq., and Edward Wootton, Esq.)

Interfering with the police. Attempting to rescue a prisoner.

John Burbage, veterinary surgeon attached to the Cavalry Depot in this city, appeared in compliance with the request from the bench, to answer a charge of obstructing the police in the execution of their duty, and also attempting to rescue a prisoner from custody, on the morning of Sunday, the 20th.

Mr. Delasaux appeared for the defendant.

Sergeant Andrews deposed:- On Sunday morning last, in conjunction with P.C. Fowler, I had Ensign Spencer in custody. On the way to the station house the cry was raised "they are coming to rescue him." That was when we were near the "Toby Philpott," in Watling Street. I directed P.C. Fowler to draw his staff and use it if necessary. This was in consequence of seeing a crowd approaching as. I charged person's to assist. The defendant at the bar, with other officers previously convicted, were among the crowd. The defendant walked on the right hand side next to Mr. Strouts, whom I had charged to assist me. When at the corner of Beer Cart Lane I was knocked down by someone. A gentleman blocked the way up going into Beer Cart Lane. he stood right in front of us. I told him not to annoy us. The cry was raised, "Now then," and on my turning my head round, I was knocked down. When I got up I collared Ensign Keogh, who struck me a violent blow on the eye, and at the same time called out, "Assist me." The defendant came up and grasped my stuff with both hands, and tried to wrest it from me. Keogh then ran away, but Burbage still held his hold on my staff. I, however, wrenched it from him, and said, "All right Mr. Burbage; I know you," and I then went in pursuit of Ensign Keogh.

By the Bench:- I had seen the defendant in the crowd previously.

By Mr. Delasaux:- They were probably about 50 persons in the crowd. I was not much excited at the time. I was a little excited after I have been knocked down. When Fowler had Spencer in custody, I had no recollection of hearing the defendant say to Spencer, "Go quietly." I did not hear him say, "Never mind your hat, come along." He tried to pull my staff out of my hand. He might have held it to prevent my using it violently. I have not made a mistake in stating that the defendant took hold of my staff. I could not have done so, as there was no one within 5 or 6 yards of us at the time we were struggling. I did not collar the defendant, but afterwards, in Beer Cart Lane, I put my hand on his shoulder, and said, "I have a good mind to take you, but I did not wish to be too fast." He said he would go with me to the station house.

Thomas Strouts, grocer, Northgate Street, deposed:- I know the defendant at the bar, and have done so for about 3-months. About 12:10 on Sunday morning I left the "Crown and Anchor" booth, in the Cattle Market. There was a crowd, and I heard some person say "Don't stand that." I then went towards Andrews, the who had Ensign Spencer in custody. P.C. Fowler was with them. This was near the "Toby Philpott." I was charged by Andrews to assist. There was a large crowd of persons, and I first saw Mr. Burbage near the "Toby Philpott." I expected an attack, and I said to Mr. Burbage "Do not come too near me, I know you. He replied, "Is not the road as free for me as for you?" I told him I was charged to assist the police. I then lost sight of Mr. Burbage, who fell back among the crowd. We then proceeded as far as St. Margaret's, where an attack was made upon us. Andrews was knocked down, and I took hold of the prisoner Spencer. I did not see the defendant Burbage afterwards till we were at the station house.

By Mr. Delasaux:- I cannot form any idea of the number of persons who were in the mob.

P.C. Fowler deposed:- I was with police sergeant Andrews on Sunday morning. We had charge of a prisoner, and were taking him to the station. We were followed by a crowd of persons. I saw the defendant near the "Queen's Head," walking alongside Andrews and Mr. Strouts. Mr Strouts told him not to push about. I then missed the defendant, and the crowd went forward to where Andrews was knocked down. Mr. Burbage afterwards came up to me and the prisoner Spencer in Beer Cart Lane, and said to Mr. Spencer "Come on."

Edwin Carey, compositor deposed:- On Sunday morning I saw a rush of the crowd down Watling Street. I went after them and overtook Sergeant Andrews and P.C. Fowler with Ensign Spencer in custody. There was an attack upon the police, and among the crowd I saw the defendant Burbage. I afterwards saw Burbage wrestling with Sergeant Andrews and Keogh. He was apparently trying to rest the staff from Andrews.

By Mr. Delasaux:- There were a great many there. I went to the "Crown and Anchor." I heard Mr. Burbage talking very loudly. I did not see him use any violence. He said to Andrews, "You can't take me; I've not done anything."

Mr. Delasaux then address the bench for the defence. He contended that the evidence was not sufficient to justify conviction against his client. The bench, however, did not adopt this view of the case, and Mr. Delasaux proceeded to call evidence for the defence.

William Wilson, 18, tailor, deposed:- I know Mr. Burbage. I have seen him before. I was at the "Crown and Anchor" on Saturday night, and saw the disturbance on leaving. I saw some people at the corner of Castle Street interfering with the police. Defendant was a little way in Castle Street. I saw Mr. Burbage there the whole time. Mr. Burbage did not interfere with the police.

Mr. Brent: That is, you did not see him do anything to them.

Witness:- If he had I must have seen him. Andrews came up to Burbage and said, "I know you, Mr. Burbage." Mr Burbage said, "I've not done anything. Andrews then collared him, when defendant said, "Let go, and I'll go with you." Defendant did not do anything. If he had I must have seen him, of course.

Mr. Brent:- How close were you?

Witness:- I was about 2 yards off.

Mr. Brent:- Were there many there?

Witness: Between 50 and 80.

Mr. Brent:- Mr. Burbage was there?

Witness:- Yes, sir.

Mr. Philpott:- You never lost sight of Mr. Burbage from the beginning of the fight to the end of the road?

Witness:- No, sir.

Mr. Brent:- Have you ever been defended before?

Witness:- Yes, sir.

Mr. Brent:- Did you see anything anyone struggling with Andrews?

Witness:- Yes, sir.

Mr. Brent:- Was it the defendant?

Witness:- No sir.

Mr. Brent:- Do you know who it was?

Witness:- No, sir, it was a tall gentleman whom I saw struggling with the police.

Sergeant Andrews:- Did you see the defendant speak to P.C. Fowler?

Witness:- I saw him speak to a gentleman who was with Fowler.

The Mayor:- Did you see him attempt to get the staff?

Witness:- No.

The Clerk:- Did you see the tall gentleman with Andrews doing anything?

Witness:- Andrews and he was struggling together.

The Clerk:- Did you see Mr. Burbage then?

Witness:- Yes, sir.

The Clerk:- How far was the off?

Witness:- About 20 yards.

Sergeant Andrews:- How far was I in Castle Street when I was struggling with the defendant?

Witness:- You were not in Castle Street at all.

Sergeant Andrews:- You say you were 20 yards off when I start was struggling with Keogh?

Witness:- I don't know the exact distance.

Sergeant Andrews:- I was knocked down in Beer Cart Lanem opposite to Mrs. Wood's slaughter house. Keogh ran up Castle Street.

By Mr Brent:- When did defendant tried to get my staff I was 5 or 6 places up Castle Street. I have just explained the reason why I was in Castle Street.

Thomas Dutnall, shopman to Messr's. Saxby, said:- On Sunday morning I was in St. Margaret's Street, and hearing the sound of a great number of people coming, I went up Watling Street, and saw a mob running after Sergeant Andrews and Police-constable Fowler. I got to the end of the mob, where I saw the defendant, and asked what was the meaning of this. He took me; and we walked behind them on the pavement as far as Castle Street, where I stood beside him on the pavement. He did not interfere with the police at all. He did not leave my side all the time the police were there. Sergeant Andrews came up afterwards and said, "I know you, Mr. Burbage, I've a good mind to take you;" to which the defendant replied, "I've done nothing."

Mr. Brent:- What was the nature of the struggle with the police sergeant?

Witness:- I was behind and therefore could not see.

By the Clerk:- When I first saw Mr. Burbidge he was beside the "Toby Philpott."

By Andrews:- I could not have seen him if anyone had taken your staff. I did not see you struggling with anyone.

By Mr. Philpott:- At the time the struggling was going on Mr. Burbage was with me. He had not spoken to Fowler not anyone else.

By Andrews:- There were several persons near us, but I do not know any of them.

William Filmer, compositor, supposed:- I was at the "Crown and Anchor" on Saturday night. Hearing a noise on leaving, I followed the direction of the sound, and came up with the mob beside the Riding Gate. I saw the whole disturbance. If I am not very much mistaken, P.C. Fowler was at the "Crown and Anchor Inn" in character. Mr. Burridge was not in the row. He was on the pavement beside Mr. Twyman's shop. He was there the whole time.

Ensign G. A. Spencer, 64th Regiment:- I was in custody on the morning in question. I was pushed down and there were two or three "peelers" on the. Mr. Burbage took no part in the proceedings.

Mr. Brent:- Have you had any application to withdraw this case Andrews?

Sergeant Andrews:- Mr. Delaxaux called on me yesterday, and asked me whether I had any ill feeling towards his clients, and whether I could withdraw from the prosecution. I said I'd speak to the Superintendent, but the case was in the hands of the Magistrates.

Mr. Brent:- You have had no money offered you?

Sargeant Andrews:- No, sir; and if I had I should not have taken it.

Mr. Delasaux:- Andrews has stated nearly word-for-word what passed yesterday. I certainly called on him, and I hoped even when this case came into court this morning that it would have been stopped. This is a case of mistaken identity, for Ensign Spencer has just told me that he knows the party who tried to get the staff. He will not tell the Bench who it is, but he most positively said it was not Mr. Burbage. Andrews has made a mistake, but not a wilful one. He has done his duty in the best way that he could.

The Magistrates consulted for a short time in Court, but there appeared to be some difference of opinion among them. Mr. Philpott said he could not vote for a conviction, but the weight of it appeared to be in favour of the defendant. Andrews might have made a mistake with regard to the identity of the defendant.

After some further consultation the Magistrates left the Council Chamber, in which the case had been heard, and were absent nearly half an hour. On the return it was remarked that Mr. Philpott was not with them.

The Mayor announced that the bench decided to find the defendant guilty and to find him 5 and 14s costs.

Mr. Delasaux:- Will the fine be remitted if I produce the very man who attempted to get the staff?

The Mayor:- You should have done that before.

The money was paid.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Monday 11 September 1865.

Application for New Licences.

Mr. George Potter, landlord of the "Toby Philpott," which has recently been sold, and is about to be turned into offices, applied for a licence for a house close by the "Toby Philpott," and which he proposed to be called the "Dane John Tavern," this application was granted.



SEATH James 1824-28+ Pigot's Directory 1824Pigot's Directory 1828-29

HILL Henry 1832+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

RANDALL Richard 1838-Sept/43 dec'd Stapletons GuidePigot's Directory 1840

RANDALL Maria 1847-58+ Bagshaw's Directory 1847Melville's 1858Historic Canterbury web site

POTTER George to 1865 Next pub licensee had


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

Historic Canterbury web siteHistoric Canterbury web site


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