DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Sort file:- Folkestone, September, 2022.

Page Updated:- Tuesday, 13 September, 2022.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton and Jan Pedersen

Earliest 1839

Victoria Inn

Latest 1905

26 South Street

Kings Bridge Street

Folkestone

 

Any further information or indeed photographs would be appreciated. Please email me at the address below.

This page is still to be updated.

 

Canterbury Weekly Journal 3 August 1844.

Assizes, before Mr. Baron Gurney.

Jeffery v The South Eastern Railway Company.

Mr. Sergeant Shee (with whom was Mr. Lush) stated that the plaintiff in this case had been a licensed publican at the "Victoria Inn," in Folkestone. The plaintiff carried on a most successful business. The railway company wanted communication between their railway and the harbour. When other persons than railway companies chose to break down people's walls and destroy their trees they were indicted for it criminally, and placed in the dock, but railway companies could do an immense deal without being molested, and were allowed sometimes to do nearly as they pleased.

The ground of the plaintiff's complaint was that his custom, which had depended very much on the fish market, and the traffic from the packets, was almost wholly cut off by the erection of the tramway, which the Company had executed without an Act of Parliament, and without any more authority than the man on the moon. They had committed a public nuisance, for which they were liable to be indicted, and in doing so they had done an injury to an individual, for which no sum that a jury would be likely to give could be considered an adequate compensation.

Mr. Peacock argued that before the opening of the railway the trade of the house was so bad that it was not worth anyone's while to keep it open, and that the plaintiff could not prove any substantial damage. He also contended that the falling-off in the plaintiff's trade arose principally, if not wholly, from visitors, whose attendance had fallen off as the winter approached.

Mr. Baron Gurney, in summing up to the jury, said that when a company obtained an Act of Parliament it was undoubtedly correct that they were enabled to take away men's property, but they could even then only do so by compensating the parties under the provision of that Act. If they had got no Act they might still take property on agreement with parties. In this case it had not been shown either that the company had had any right to take the property, or that they had entered into agreement for it. The plaintiff in this case had given 75 premium for the house, and there was no question on the evidence that a very large portion of his trade had been cut off by the erection of the tramway in front of his house. It was for the jury to say to what compensation he was entitled.

The jury found for the plaintiff – damages 125.

Note: Had Jeffery already left – as the report indicates?

 

From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 21 August, 1847. Price 5d.

FOLKESTONE BRUTAL ASSAULT

On Friday sennight, between eleven and twelve o'clock, a man named Pope, a fisherman, residing at the end of South Street, went into the “Victoria” public-house with two women, and called for beer. A second pint was called for, which the landlord (Mr. Boult) desired to be paid for; Pope refused, the landlord touched his coat to expostulate with him, when he was struck such a violent blow upon the lower jaw as to fracture it severely; the teeth were driven completely into the gums. Medical assistance was procured and on Saturday the jaw and teeth were set, but the poor fellow remains in great agony, being unable to partake in nourishment except through a quill. The man Pope was taken into custody, but through the intercession of his neighbours, and on his offering to pay all expenses of medical attendance, he was not given in charge by the landlord.

 

Canterbury Journal 22 December 1849.

At the Petty Sessions holden on Tuesday last by D. Major Esq., (Mayor), Chas, Golder, John Bateman, Samuel Mackie and Wm. Major Esqsq., John Tramsom Boult, landlord of the "Victoria," South Street, preferred a charge of assault against William Atkins, a policeman at the railway station, Folkestone harbour.

It appeared, from the complainant's statement, that on Tuesday night he went down to the station to “tout” for passengers, when he was ordered by the defendant to retire. He refused, when the policeman attempted to remove him by pushing him; he resented it, and in the scuffle the policeman had his eye blackened and his nose and upper lip cut.

The evidence proved that there had been unnecessary violence used.

The defendant denied in general terms having struck Boult, but admitted having pushed him; he referred to the state of his own face to prove he had been assaulted himself.

The Magistrates, however, were pleased to think differently, and fined him 50s., and costs 16s., or one month's imprisonment.

The fine was paid by Mr. Lockhart, the Superintendent at the station.

 

South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 18 February 1851.

Folkestone.

There was six publicans charged by the police with serving beer, &c., contrary to the law.

Mr. R. T. Brockman appeared for the watch committee. Mr. Delasaux of Canterbury for several of the defendants.

Henry George Taite Baker Hall, blacksmiths was brought up in custody of the police, charged with stealing.

John Transom Boult deposed:- I am landlord of the "Victoria Inn," South Street. I have frequently missed money from my till in the bar. Yesterday morning I took my breakfast below stairs, instead of as usual upstairs. I had previously marked a half crown, a shilling, and a sixpence, and placed them in the till. The prisoner generally came to my house every morning, at about 8 o'clock. He came this morning. I saw him go to the till, take the money, and put it in his pocket. I then sent for the police. In the interval the prisoner pulled the money out and put it on the bar, offering me 5s. to say nothing about it. The money produced is the same I marked.

The prisoner said that he was very sorry for having taken the money, it was only the second time in his life he had done so.

Committed for trial.

 

Southeastern Gazette 6 September 1859.

Local News.

Thomas Monstow, 24, servant to Mr. Prendergast, a barrister, staying at the Pavilion Hotel, was charged last week with stealing 2s. from the till at Mr. Boult’s, the Victoria Inn, South Street, Folkestone.

It appeared that the prisoner was in the habit of using the house, and the prosecutor having missed some money from his till, marked it. Prisoner came twice that morning, and on the second occasion was observed by Mr. Boult, who was watching, to put his hand over the counter and take out some money. On being detected he immediately laid it on the counter, and no further notice would have been taken, but the prisoner went to a sergeant of police, and told him what he had done, hoping that Mr. Boult would not prosecute him. He was then taken into custody.

He pleaded guilty, and expressed contrition, and was sentenced to one mouth’s hard labour.

 

From the Kentish Chronicle, Saturday, 10 September, 1859. Price 1d.

PETTY SESSIONS.

Thomas Monstow, 24, servant to Mr. Prendergast, a barrister, staying at the “Pavilion Hotel,” was charged last week with stealing 2s. from the till at Mr. Boult's, the “Victoria Inn,” South-street, Folkestone. It appeared that the prisoner was in the habit of using the house, and the prosecutor having missed some money from the till marked it. Prisoner came twice that morning, and on the second occasion was observed by Mr. Boult, who was watching, to put his hand over the counter, and take out some money. On being detected he immediately laid it on the counter, and no further notice would have been taken, but the prisoner went to a sergeant of the police, and told him what he done, hoping that Mr. Boult would not prosecute him. He was then taken into custody. He pleaded guilty, and impressed contrition, and was sentenced to one months hard labour.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 24 August 1861.

Annual Licencing Day & Petty Sessions.

Wednesday August 21st:- Before the Mayor, James Tolputt, W.F. Browell, W. Major, W. Bateman, and A.M. Leith esqs.

New Licences.

Mr. Harrison said he appeared to support an application made by Mr. Thomas Golder, for a licence to be granted him for a house he had lately erected in Harbour Street. Mr Golder was no doubt well known to some of the bench, having lived in Folkestone all his life. He of course was determined to keep the house highly respectable; he might add that a house stood a short time ago near the spot where his new house was erected called the Pilot Cutter, but which was removed when the improvements were carried out; and also another house called the Folkestone Arms, which was in the vicinity, was removed. He trusted therefore to have shown sufficient to induce the bench to grant the application. Mr. Harrison also produced a petition numerously signed in favour of the application.

Mr. Boult said he was a publican in the immediate neighbourhood, and if this licence was granted there would be five licenced houses without a single house between them, three adjoining at one side of the street, and two at the other. There had been many houses pulled down in the immediate neighbourhood and very few rebuilt; some that had been were not let.

The Mayor in answer said that the bench had unanimously agreed to grant the licence.

 

From the Folkestone Observer 15 March, 1862.

ASSAULT ON A LANDLORD

Thursday March 13th:- Before Captain Kennicott R.N., A.M. Leith and James Tolputt, Esqs.

Charles M'Bride, 21st Fusiliers, came up with another soldier to the "Victoria Inn," South Street, about 20 minutes past 12 o'clock on Thursday morning, just as Mr. Boult was closing his door, and wanted drink. Mr. Boult told them they could not have any; it was too late; and he shut the door. But they forced the door open, and prisoner collared witness; but P.C. Reynolds hearing a cry out, hastened up; and after some trouble, made him release his hold. On the way to the station the prisoner struck Reynolds on the face and kicked him. The bench sent him to seven days' hard labour.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 18 November 1865.

Saturday November 11th:- Before J. Kelcey, R.W. Boarer and S. Esates Esqs.

George Hill, a lad between 11 and 12 years of age, was charged with having stolen a sixpence from the till of Mr. John Transom Boult, of the Victoria public house, South Street, on the evening of the 10th inst.

Evidence having been taken, the boy, in answer to Mr. Kelcey, pleaded guilty. Mr. Kelcey said that the magistrates regretted to see a boy so young brought before them for such an offence, and they had tried to think that he had seen the till by accident, yet they feared that he had some contemplation of robbing it. They disliked to incarcerate so young a prisoner, and should therefore sentence him to one day's imprisonment, and a whipping, six strokes, and hoped that it would have a good effect upon him, as he seemed to be repentant.

 

Folkestone Observer 18 November 1865.

Saturday November 11th:- Before J. Kelcey, R.W. Boarer and Silvester Eastes Esqs.

George Hill, a boy of eleven years, was charged with stealing 6d from a drawer situate in the counter of the Victoria public house, South Street, the property of J.T. Boult.

Prosecutor, sworn, said – Prisoner came into his bar with a dozen of oysters last evening about seven o'clock. He left him standing at the bar whilst he went to get a dish to put the oysters on, which he had to take from him for a party he had upstairs. As he came downstairs he heard prisoner shut his till, and on going into the bar he found that he had shifted his position from where he left him standing to the end of his counter where his till was. Prosecutor then asked him what he was up to? He said nothing. He told him he had been up to something he had no business, but he still averred he had not. Prosecutor then went and looked into his till, when he missed a sixpenny piece. There was only one sixpence there, and he noticed it was there just before he left the boy to go upstairs. There were some coppers also in the till, but no more silver. He did not keep much in the till, as on the Saturday previous there was some money taken out. He then said to the prisoner “You young rascal, give me that sixpence you took out of that till”. He said he had not got the sixpence and began to throw off his jacket and apron in the bar, at the same time telling him he could search him, for he had not got it. During the time prosecutor was talking to him, William Collins, a shoemaker working opposite, picked up a sixpence in the street and brought it to him.

By Mr. Boarer: He did not see him throw it out. William Collins brought in a sixpence and said he had just picked it up in the street. He then sent for a policeman and gave him into custody.

Mr. Kelcey wished to know the position of the drawer, to see the possibility of the boy getting at it.

Prosecutor said the drawer was inside an end of the counter, which was about a foot wide and 3ft 6ins high, and the boy could reach over with ease and pull the drawer out.

William Collins, shoemaker said that he worked at a shop in South Street, directly opposite the Victoria public house. He was sitting there at work on the previous evening between 6 and 7 o'clock, and looked up on hearing Mr. Boult call out “You rascal, give me that sixpence”. He had hold of the prisoner and was standing in the doorway. He (witness) opened the door of the shop where he worked, when he heard the prisoner say he had not got it, and told Mr. Boult to search him and see. Mr. Boult then took him indoors and shut the door. Witness picked up a sixpence in the street about four feet from the door, and gave it to Mr. Boult.

By Mr. Kelcey: He heard a coin fall as he was opening the door. Mr. Boult was then in the act of shutting the door.

P.C. Woodland said he was called to take the prisoner into custody, and he then began to cry, and said “Don't lock me up, Mr. Woodland, I only took it out of the drawer”. He repeated this several times.

The boy has no father, but his mother appeared, and in answer to the magistrates wished them to decide the case at once.

The boy was then asked if he was guilty of taking the sixpence, when he replied “Yes, sir, I are Guilty”.

Mr. Boult requested the magistrates to be as lenient as possible.

Supt. Martin, in answer to the magistrates, said he knew both the boy and his mother, but never knew him to be up to anything of this kind before.

Mr. Kelcey said the magistrates regretted to see so young a boy before them on that charge, but they were afraid there was some contemplation on his mind before he committed the act, and believed he ought to be exceedingly well punished. As he appeared to be somewhat repentant, however, they all agreed to mitigate his punishment, and his sentence was one day's imprisonment with a whipping – six strokes.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 30 July 1870.

Auction Advertisement:

Lot 2: All that copyhold Free Public House, known by the sign of the Victoria Inn, situate on the West side of South Street, Folkestone, and having a frontage to the said street of 25 feet, containing in the BASEMENT – good airy cellars, GROUND FLOOR – bar, bar parlour and smoking room, FIRST FLOOR – sitting room and kitchen, SECOND FLOOR – 3 bedrooms. Yard in the rear abutting to Parade Steps. The premises are in the occupation of Mr. John Transom Boult, under a repairing lease, dated in October, 1850, for 21 years from 6th April, 1851, at the annual rental of 30. Held of the Lord of the Manor of Folkestone, at the annual rate of 4s. 9 1/2d. This Lot has the joint use with lots 3 and 4 of a pump and well in the adjoining yard, subject to one half-part of the expense of the repairs thereof, and is subject to the user by Lots 3 and 4 of a drain and water course from the said yard and pump, through the ground belonging to this Lot.

 

Folkestone Express 1 June 1872.

Wednesday, May 29th: Before The Mayor, R.W. Boarer, J. Clarke and S. Eastes Esqs.

Mr. Conley applied for a temporary authority for the Victoria Inn, Beach Street, and stated that he could not produce the original license, Mr. Boult, the previous occupier, having gone from home for a time, and his address could not be found although he had taken every pains to do so.

The Clerk told applicant that he would sell at his own risk.

 

Folkestone Express 13 July 1872.

Wednesday, July 10th: Before The Mayor, T. Caister and J. Tolputt Esqs.

The license of the Victoria Inn, South Street, was transferred from Mr. J.T. Boult to Mr. Conley.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 16 November 1872.

Monday, November 11th: Before The Mayor.

Morris Levy applied for temporary permission to sell excisable liquors at the Victoria Inn, under the license granted to Charles Conley.

Application granted.

Note: Name given in More Bastions is Jacob Levy.

 

Folkestone Express 30 August 1873.

Wednesday, August 27th: Before The Mayor, J. Gambrill, J. Tolputt, and J. Clarke Esq.

Annual Licensing Meeting.

The licensing committee met at ten o'clock for the purpose of taking into consideration the question of making any alteration in the hours for opening and closing public houses. Shortly after eleven o'clock the licensed victuallers present were called into Court, where the Clerk said the Bench would hear anything with reference to the alteration of the hours for the opening and closing.

Mrs. Levy, wife of the landlord of the Victoria Inn, South Street, applied for a renewal of the license.

Superintendent Wilshire produced correspondence he had had with the French police authorities, from which it appeared that Levy was sentenced on the 24th June last, at the Correctional Tribune of the Seine to two years imprisonment for picking pockets.

The Clerk told applicant that a married woman could not hold a license, and although the conviction of her husband had not been proved in the proper form, the Bench were bound to take some notice of what had been communicated with them by Supt. Wilshire.

Application refused.

 

Southeastern Gazette 2 September 1873.

Local News.

The annual licensing meeting was held on Wednesday, when the magistrates present were J. Hoad, Esq. (Mayor), J. Gambrill, J. Tolputt, and J. Clark, Esqrs.

On applying for a renewal for Morris Levi, for the Victoria Tavern, South Street, the applicant’s wife attended and stated her husband was travelling in the South of France. The Superintendent produced a document showing that he was imprisoned in France for two years on a charge of picking pockets. He was condemned on the 26th June last. The application was refused.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 4 October 1873.

Adjourned Licensing Day.

Wednesday, October 1st: Before The Mayor, J. Clarke and J. Tolputt Esqs.

This was the day appointed to consider the postponed licenses, and Mr. Mowll, of Dover, appeared, and in a long address, pleaded the cause of the following house, the license of which the magistrates renewed, giving the landlord a severe caution, that if they were again complained of, they would not be granted: the Victoria, South Street, transferred to Jacob Levy.

 

Folkestone Express 4 October 1873.

Adjourned Licensing Meeting.

Victoria, South Street.

Tuesday, September 30th: Before The Mayor, J. Tolputt and J. Clark Esqs.

Mr. Till, who supported the application, said that Morris Levi, the former landlord, was away in Paris and would not return. The application therefore was that the license should be renewed to Jacob Levi, his brother. He wished to call attention to an Act passed in the reign of George the Fourth which provided that if any person “removed from” any place the Bench might grant a license to a new tenant. Applicant had been living in Boulogne since the year 1842, and the Chief Commissioner of Police at that place had given applicant a very good character. No objection had been raised.

The Mayor remarked that it was brought before the notice of the Bench on the annual licensing day that Morris Levi, the former landlord, was in prison in Paris.

Mr. Till said that fact had not the slightest bearing upon the present application. It was a fact that Morris Levi had gone away from Folkestone and it was not necessary to confirm where he was. It was certain he would not come back.

Mr. Dickenson proved that the house was re-let to applicant.

Jacob Levi, the applicant, stated on oath that he intended to carry on the business for his own benefit, and not for the benefit of his brother.

Supt. Wilshere said he had no complaint against the house.

Application granted.

Note: No mention of Morris Levi in More Bastions. Jacob listed from 1872.

 

Folkestone Express 20 December 1873.

The Victoria.

Monday, December 15th: Before The Mayor, R.W. Boarer and J. Kelcey Esqs.

A temporary authority to sell was granted to George Tyas, who has taken the Victoria, South Street.

Note: Date differs from information in More Bastions.

 

Folkestone Express 31 January 1874.

Transfer:

Wednesday, January 28th: Before Col. De Crespigny, J. Tolputt and R.W. Boarer Esqs.

The following transfer of public house was granted:

Victoria – to George Tyas.

 

Folkestone Express 28 March 1874.

Wednesday, March 25th: Before The Mayor, Col. De Crespigny, J. Clark, W. Bateman, and J. Tolputt Esqs.

George Brooks, alias Poole, pleaded Guilty to being drunk and disorderly, and committing wilful damage by breaking a window, the property of the Executors of the late Charles Edward Jordan, South Foreland Inn.

Mr. H. Jordan said prisoner went to the South Foreland and asked for some beer, but as he was drunk he refused to serve him, and he became so abusive he was obliged to put him out, when he went to a private compartment and kicked at him through the window and broke it, doing damage to the amount of 5s.

Supt. Wilshere said the police were called to the Royal George, the Dew Drop, and the Victoria to turn prisoner out.

Mr. H.W. Le Butt, Royal George Hotel, said prisoner threatened him because he would not serve him with beer, and took up a pewter pot which he thought he was going to throw at him, and he sent for the police. Prisoner had been the terror of the neighbourhood for three days.

A previous conviction for assaulting the police in September, 1872, was proved.

Fined 1s. for the wilful damage, 5s. the cost of the window, 5s. for being drunk, and 7s. costs, or 21 days' in default.

 

Folkestone Express 16 November 1878.

The Victoria Inn.

Wednesday, November 13th: Before The Mayor, Alderman Caister, Capt. Fletcher, J. Fitness, R.W. Boarer, and Jas. Kelcey Esqs.

Temporary authority was granted to James Hawthorn to carry on the business of this house.

 

Folkestone Express 11 October 1879.

Wednesday, October 8th: Before R.W. Boarer Esq., General Cannon, Captain Crowe, and M. Bell Esq.

John Newman was charged with being drunk and begging in South Street on October 6th.

P.C. Hogben said on Monday evening he was sent for to the Clarendon Hotel, and from what he was told he went along South Street, and saw the prisoner go into the Victoria and hand his cap round to the people in the bar, and from there he went to the Paris Hotel bar and asked for coppers to pay his lodgings. Witness took him into custody. On the way to the station prisoner was very violent.

He was sentenced to fourteen days' for begging and to a further term of seven days' for being drunk, in default of paying a fine of 5s. and costs.

 

Folkestone Express 20 March 1880.

Saturday, March 13th: Before The Mayor, Alderman Sherwood, Colonel De Crespigny and J. Clark Esq.

The license of the Victoria Inn, South Street, was transferred from ---- Pegg to James Watson.

 

Folkestone Express 15 April 1882.

Inquest.

An inquest was held at the Town Hall on Wednesday evening on the body of Edward Cole, found in the harbour in the morning.

Rufus Poole, a seaman living in Dover Street, Folkestone, identified the body as that of Edward Cole, a sailor on board the Clarence collier, lying in Folkestone harbour. He was in company with deceased about a quarter past ten on Tuesday night. He went into the Victoria and saw the deceased. They stayed until eleven and left together. He left deceased at the corner of the wall opposite the Paris Hotel. He said he was going aboard his vessel, which was lying outside the tramroad. He was not sober, but could walk straight. Witness went aboard his own ship, which was lying near the clock house, and saw no more of deceased. The tide was out and the harbour was dry. The tide would begin to flow between one and two o'clock in the morning. The Clarence was lying some distance out in the outer harbour, and the deceased, to get on board, would have to go down a ladder fixed on the side of the tramroad.

William Dorrell, a labourer in the employ of the Railway Company, said he was at work on Wednesday morning about ten minutes to ten, and heard some men call out that there was a man overboard. He ran down a ladder and saw the deceased underneath the tramroad on the ground. Two men helped to pull him out. They laid him on an arched wall and sent for the police. Deceased was dead and cold. There was a chain running from the top to the bottom of the ladder.

Mary Watson, wife of the landlord of the Victoria, said she knew the deceased, who was a native of Greenwich. He went into her house about ten o'clock and sat in the taproom until eleven. He was not sober when he left the house, in company with Poole. He said he was going on board his ship.

Mr. Richards Mercer, surgeon, said he examined the body about midday. It was lying at the old police station. There were no marks of violence on the body, but a severe wound over the right eyebrow and forehead, cause in his opinion by a fall. The injuries in all probability would have caused concussion and rendered him insensible. Death appeared to have resulted from drowning.

A verdict of Found Drowned was returned.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 18 April 1885.

Tuesday, April 14th: Before The Mayor, Gen. Armstrong C.B., and Alderman Hoad.

Elizabeth wells, a young woman, was charged with stealing, on the 13th April, a sovereign from the person of Walter Manning.

Prosecutor, a seaman, of Camberwell, belonging to a ship lying in the harbour, said he went to the Victoria Inn, South Street, about half past nine on the previous morning, and went to sleep in the private bar. The landlady woke him up about half past eleven, and in consequence of what she told witness he searched his pockets, and missed a sovereign. When witness went to sleep he had two sovereigns and some other coins in his waistcoat pocket. Did not know the prisoner. Saw her drinking at the bar when he went in.

In answer to the Clerk, prosecutor admitted that he was not “quite sober”, and that he treated prisoner to a glass of beer.

Mary Watson, wife of the landlord of the Victoria Inn, said she saw the prosecutor and prisoner in the bar, where he sat down and went to sleep. Some time after, prisoner took a sovereign out of the man's pocket. Witness told her to put it back. She put something in the man's pocket, and then left the house. Witness could not see what she put in the man's pocket. She believed it was a halfpenny. Witness then woke the man and told him what had occurred. Prisoner had had some drink but she was sober. Witness saw the two sovereigns in the man's possession before he went to sleep. He searched his pockets in witness's presence, and he then had only a sovereign and a halfpenny.

Alfred Suckling gave corroborative evidence.

P.C. Wood said he apprehended prisoner in a draper's shop in Dover Street about a quarter to one. Going down Dover Street she said “Now I have got into trouble don't take me to my mother's house”. Witness said “Who is your mother?”, and she said “I may as well tell you my name is Wells”. She afterwards said she took the money out of the man's pocket, but she put it back again.

Prisoner elected to be tried summarily, and pleaded Guilty.

In answer to the Chairman, Supt. Taylor said nothing was known against the prisoner.

The Magistrates sentenced prisoner to one month's hard labour.

Mrs. Watson was warned by the Magistrates to be careful in the future not to serve persons who went to her house in an intoxicated state.

The Magistrates also told the complainant that it was a very disgraceful thing for him to be the worse for liquor at that early hour of the day, and they also advised him to avoid the company of such women as the prisoner.

 

Folkestone Express 18 April 1885.

Tuesday, April 14th: Before The Mayor, Alderman Hoad, and General Armstrong C.B.

Elizabeth Wells, a young woman, was charged with stealing a sovereign, the money of Walter Manning, a seaman, of 6, Hollington Street, Camberwell.

Prosecutor said he went to the Victoria Inn, South Street, about half past nine o'clock on Monday morning, and sat down in the private bar and went to sleep. The landlady woke him up about a quarter past eleven and told him to feel in his pocket and see if he had lost any money. He had two sovereigns in his waistcoat pocket when he went to sleep, and he found one of them was missing. He knew nothing of the prisoner, and had never seen her before Monday. She was then drinking with him in the bar. He treated her with a glass or two.

Prisoner admitted taking a sovereign out of prosecutor's pocket, but said she put it back again.

Mary Watson, landlady of the Victoria Inn, said the prosecutor and prisoner were in the bar together. They were neither of them quite sober. She supplied them with a pint of ale. Prosecutor then went to sleep, and she saw prisoner take a sovereign from his waistcoat pocket. She showed it to witness and then put it in her purse. Witness told her to put it back where she took it from. Prisoner put something back in the man's pocket, and then she went away. Witness woke prosecutor and told him what had happened. She saw the two sovereigns before he went to sleep, and when he woke he had only one sovereign and a halfpenny.

Alfred Suckling, a driver, living at Nelson Place, said he went into the private bar of the Victoria Inn. Prisoner and prosecutor were there. Prosecutor was neither asleep nor awake, but nodding. He saw prisoner take a purse from her bosom. It contained a sovereign and some coppers. She put something back into prosecutor's pocket. The landlady said just as he went in “I won't allow that in my house”. The man searched his pockets, and he had a watch, a halfpenny, and a sovereign. Witness then went to the Bricklayers' Arms, and while there prisoner went in and asked him if he was going to treat her.

P.C. Woods apprehended the prisoner in a draper's shop in Dover Street between one and two o'clock. He asked if her name was Wells. She said “No, my name is Smith”. He told her he should charge her on suspicion of stealing a sovereign from a man at the Victoria Inn, South Street. As they were going down Dover Street the prisoner said “No I have got into trouble, don't take me past my mother's house”. He asked her where she lived, and she said “My name is Wells, and I live in Dover Street. Take me up over The Narrows. I took the sovereign and put it back again”. When she was searched a purse containing 3s. was found upon her.

Prisoner elected to be tried by the Bench and pleaded Guilty, and hoped the Bench “would not put it down upon her too hard as it was the first time she had been in trouble”. She was sentenced to one month's hard labour.

The Mayor cautioned the landlady of the Victoria against serving people with drink when they were partially intoxicated, and also advised prosecutor to be more careful as to the company he got into in future.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 16 September 1893.

Local News.

Not many hours had elapsed since the Town Hall was occupied by a gay and brilliant company who were enjoying the pleasures of the terpsichorean art, when a gathering of a very different nature took place within it's walls at eleven o'clock on Wednesday morning. In the short space which had elapsed the Hall had been denuded of all it's tasty decorations and luxurious appointments, and had put on it's everyday appearance for the transaction of the business of the Special Licensing Session, which had been appointed for the purpose of dealing with the licenses to which notice of opposition had been given by the police.

At the end of the Hall, backed by high red baize screens, raised seats had been arranged for the accommodation of the Licensing Justices. Here at eleven o'clock the chair was taken by Mr. J. Clark, ho was accompanied on the Bench by Alderman Pledge, Messrs. Holden, Hoad, Fitness, Davey, Poole, and Herbert.

Immediately in front of the Bench were tables for the accommodation of Counsel and other members of the legal profession, while in close proximity were seats for Borough Magistrates who were not members of the Licensing Committee, and for the brewers and agents interested in the cases that were to occupy the attention of the Bench. The body of the Hall was well filled with members of the trade and the general public, whilst there was quite an array of members of the police force who were present to give evidence.

Objection to a Temperance Magistrate.

Mr. Glyn, barrister, who, with Mr. Bodkin, appeared in support of the opposed licenses, made an objection at the outset against Mr. Holden occupying a seat on the Bench. Mr. M. Bradley (solicitor, Dover), who appeared on behalf of the Temperance Societies, rose to address the Bench on the point, but an objection was taken on the ground that he had no locus standi. The Magistrates retired to consider this matter, and on their return to the court they were not accompanied by Mr. Holden, whose place on the Committee was taken by Mr, Pursey.

Mr. Glyn's Opening.

Mr. Glyn said he had consulted with the Superintendent of Police, and had agreed to take first the case of the Queen's Head. He accordingly had to apply for the renewal of the licence. The Queen's Head was probably known by all the gentlemen on the Bench as an excellent house. The licence had been held for a considerable number of years, and the present tenant had had it since 1889. It was a valuable property, worth some 1,500, and the tenant had paid no less than 305 valuation on entering the house. He need hardly tell the Bench that the licence was granted a great many years ago by their predecessors, and it had been renewed from time to time until the present. The Superintendent of Police was now objecting on the ground that it was not required, and that it was kept disorderly. With regard to the objection of the Superintendent to all these licenses, he (Mr. Glyn) thought he would admit when he went into the box that it was not an objection he was making on his own grounds, but an objection made in pursuance of instructions received from some of the members of the Licensing Committee. Of course a very nice question might arise as to whether under the circumstances the requirements of the section had been complied with, and as to the Superintendent acting, if he might say so, as agent for some of the justices had no locus standi at all to oppose these licenses. The Superintendent of Police, in his report, states that he raised these objections “in pursuance of instructions received from the Magistrates”. Therefore, those gentlemen who gave those instructions were really in this position: That having themselves directed an enquiry they proposed to sit and adjudicate upon it. He knew there was not a single member of that Bench who would desire to adjudicate upon any case which he had pre-judged by directing that the case should be brought before him for that particular purpose, and he only drew their attention to the matter. He did not suppose it would be the least bit necessary to enquire into it, because he felt perfectly sure, on the grounds he was going to put before the Bench, that they would not refuse to renew any one of these licenses. But he thought it right to put these facts before them, in order, when they retired, that they might consider exactly what their position was.

There was another thing, and it applied to all these applications. There was not a single ratepayer in the whole of this borough who had been found to oppose the renewal of any of the licenses. The first ground of objection was that the licenses were not required. He repeated that no ratepayer could be found who was prepared to come before the Bench and raise such a point. No notice had been given by anybody except by the Superintendent, who had given it acting upon the instructions of the Bench.

He understood that even the Watch Committee, which body one generally thought would be expected to get the ball rolling, had declined to have anything to do with the matter, and had declined to sanction any legal advice for the purpose of depriving his clients of what was undoubtedly their property. He ventured to say, with some little experience of these matters, that there never was a case where licenses were taken away on the ground that they were not required, simply because some of the learned Magistrates thought the matter ought to be brought before them, without any single member of the public raising any objection to any of the licenses, and the Watch Committee not only keeping perfectly quiet, but declining to enter into the contest.

He was dealing with the case of the Queen's Head, but his remarks would also apply to the others, with the exception of the cases of three beer-houses, the licenses of which were granted before the passing of the 1869 Act, and his client was, therefore, absolutely entitled to a renewal. With regard to the other licenses, they were granted a great many years ago. Although at that time the population of the Borough was about half of what it is now the Magistrates thought they were required then. They had been renewed from time to time since then, and were the Magistrates really to say that licenses which were required for a population of 12,000 were not necessary for a population of 25,000? He ventured to say, if such an argument were raised by the other side, that it was an absurdity. He should ask the Bench to consider first, and if they formed an opinion on it it would save time, whether having regard to the fact that all the licenses were granted a great many years ago when the population was nothing what like it is now, and also that there had not been a single conviction since the renewals last year. They were prepared to refuse the renewal of any of the licenses. He asked them to decide upon that point, because it decided the whole thing.

Some of the objections were only raised on the ground that the licenses were not required; others referred to the fact that there had been previous convictions, or that the houses had been kept in a disorderly manner. With regard to any conviction before the date of the last renewal he contended that the Bench had, by making the renewal, condoned any previous offence. In not one single instance had there been a conviction during the past year in respect of one of the houses for which he asked for a renewal, and he ventured to put to the Bench what he understood to be an elementary principle of British justice, that they would not deprive the owner of his property simply because it was suggested that the house had not been properly conducted, and where that owner had never had an opportunity of appearing before the Bench in answer to any charge which had been brought against his tenant. He challenged anybody to show that there was a single case in any Bench where a license had been taken away after renewal without there being a criminal charge made against that house, but only a general charge to the Licensing Committee.

Mr. Bodkin, who followed, reminded the Bench of their legal position with regard to the renewal of licenses, and quoted the judgement of Lord Halsbury in the case of Sharpe v Wakefield, in which he said in cases where a licence had already been granted, unless some change during the year was proved, they started with the fact that such topics as the requirements of the neighbourhood had already been considered, and one would not expect that those topics would be likely to be re-opened. Continuing, Mr. Bodkin said that was exactly the position they were in that morning. There had been no change with respect to these houses except that Folkestone had increased in population, and there had been an absence of any legal proceedings against any of the persons keeping these houses. He ventured to say it would be inopportune at the present time to take away licenses where they found the change had been in favour of renewing them.

Mr. Minter said he appeared for the tenants of the houses, and he endorsed everything that had fallen from his two learned friends, who had been addressing them on behalf of the owners. Mr. Glyn referred to the population having increased twofold since the licenses were granted, and he (Mr. Minter) would point out that while the population had increased no new licenses had been granted for the past twelve years. Mr. Minter then referred to the fact that there was not a single record on the licenses of any one of the tenants. Was there any argument he could use stronger than that? As to the objection that the houses were not required for the public accommodation, he was prepared to show, by distinct evidence, that each tenant had been doing a thriving business for the last four or five years, and that it did not decrease. How was it possible, in the face of that, to say they were not required for the public accommodation?

Mr. Bradley then claimed the right to address the Bench on behalf of the Temperance Societies, but an objection was raised by his legal opponents that he had no locus standi, as he had given no notice of his intention to appear, and this contention was upheld by the Bench.

The Bench then retired for a consultation with their Clerk on the points raised in the opening, and on their return to the Court the Chairman said the Magistrates had decided where there were allegations of disorderly conduct the cases must be limited to during the year, and no cases prior to the licensing meeting last year would be gone into. They thought it was right that the Superintendent should state the cases that they might be gone into, and that the Bench might know what the objections were.

The Victoria.

Mr. Glyn said the only ground of objection was that the house was not required. It was the property of Messrs. Mackeson and Co., and the present tenant had been in the house thirteen years, paying 25 a year rent. The house was properly conducted and an increasing business was done.

It was stated by the sergeant that there were six licensed houses within one hundred paces of this one.

Mr. Mackeson said the present value of the house was about 1,000. They had never had any complaints against Mr. Watson.

James Watson, the tenant, said he was a pilot. He had been in the house thirteen years. Before that he kept the Brewery Tap, in Tontine Street.

By Mr. Taylor: His wife attended to the house while he was at sea.

Mr. Taylor: How do you know how the house is conducted while you are away?

Mr. Bodkin: There is no objection on that ground, and this is one of the houses which you, in your report, say is well conducted.

Arthur Mepstead, fishmonger, South Street, and Captain Dunn, of 24, South Street, both said the house was respectably conducted, and they had no objection to it.

A Doctrine Of Confiscation.

This concluded the list of objections, and Mr. Glyn addressed the Bench, saying the result of the proceedings was that with regard to all the houses, except the Tramway, there was no serious charge of any kind. As to the Tramway, he challenged anybody to show that any Bench of Justices had ever refused to grant licenses unless the landlords had had notices, or unless there had been a summons and a conviction against the tenant since the last renewal. With regard to the other houses the only question was whether they were wanted or not. Superintendent Taylor, who, he must say, had conducted the cases most fairly and most ably, had picked out certain houses, and he asked the Bench to deprive the owners of their property and the tenants of their interest in respect of those houses, while the other houses were to remain. How on earth were the Bench to draw the line? There were seven houses in one street, and the Superintendent objected to four, leaving the other three. In respect to one of these there had been a conviction, and in respect of the others none. Why was the owner of one particular house to keep his property, and the others to be deprived of theirs? Mr. Glyn enforced some of his previous arguments, and said if the Bench deprived his clients of their property on the grounds that had been put forward they would be adopting a doctrine of confiscation, and setting an example to other Benches in the county to do the same.

The Decision.

The Bench adjourned for an hour, and on their return to the Court the Chairman announced that the Magistrates had come to the decision that all the licenses would be granted with the exception of that of the Tramway Tavern.

Mr. Glyn thanked the Bench for the careful attention they had given to the cases, and asked whether, in the event of the owners of the Tramway Tavern wishing to appeal, the Magistrates' Clerk would accept service.

Mr. Bradley: Yes.

 

Folkestone Express 16 September 1893.

Adjourned Licensing Session.

The special sitting for the hearing of those applications for renewals to which the Superintendent of Police had give notice of opposition was held on Wednesday. The Magistrates present were Messrs. J. Clark, J. Hoad, W.H. Poole, W.G. Herbert, J. Fitness, J.R. Davy, J. Holden, C.J. Pursey and J. Pledge.

Mr. Lewis Glyn and Mr. Bodkin supported the applications on behalf of the owners, instructed by Messrs. Mowll and Mowll, with whom were Mr. Minter, Mr. F. Hall, and Mr. Mercer (Canterbury), and Mr. Montagu Bradley (Dover) opposed on behalf of the Good Templars.

Before the business commenced, Mr. Bradley handed to Mr. Holden a document, which he carefully perused, and then handed to Mr. J. Clark, the Chairman.

Mr. Glyn, who appeared for the applicants, speaking in a very low tone, made an application to the Bench, the effect of which was understood to be that the Justices should retire to consider the document. The Justices did retire, and on their return Mr. Holden was not among them.

Mr. Glyn then rose to address the Bench. He said he would first make formal application for the renewal of the licence of the Queen's Head. It was known to all the gentlemen on the Bench as an excellent house, and the licence had been held for a considerable number of years. The present tenant had held it since 1887; it's value was 1,500, and the present tenant had paid no less than 305 for valuation for going into the house. The licence was granted a great many years ago, and had been renewed from time to time. The Superintendent of Police now opposed on the ground that it was no longer required and was kept in a disorderly manner. First, with regard to the objections of the Superintendent, he thought he would admit when he came into the box that it was not he who was making the objections to all those licenses, but that they were made in consequence of instructions received from some members of the Licensing Committee. Of course in his view, and in their view, a very serious question might arise, whether the Licensing Committee had any locus standi. His general observations in that case would apply to all the cases. The Superintendent, in raising those objections, was acting under instructions from the Licensing Magistrates, so that they were really in this position, that they were sitting to adjudicate in a case they themselves directed. He felt certain the Bench would not refuse to renew one of those licenses, but he thought it right to put the facts before them, in order that when they retired they might consider what their position was. He also pointed out that there was not a single ratepayer objecting to any of the renewals. The first ground of objection was that the houses were not required. Before going further he referred to the very important action of the Watch Committee, who were the parties one would expect to put the law in action. But they declined to have anything to do with it, and declined to sanction any legal advice to the Superintendent for the purpose of depriving his clients of what undoubtedly was their property. He ventured to think that in all his large experience in these matters that there never was a case where a licence was taken away simply because it was not required, or simply because some of the learned Magistrates thought it ought to be done and instructed the Superintendent to raise objections. There were two or three of the houses existing before 1869, and therefore his clients were entitled to a renewal of their licenses, there having been no convictions against them during the year. With regard to the other licenses, they were granted a great many years ago, at a time when th population of this borough was about half what it is now, and the Magistrates then thought they were required. They had been renewed from time to time by that body, and were they willing to say now that they were not required, and deprive the owners and tenants of their property and of their licenses? There was not a single Bench in the county, which, up to the present time, had deprived any one tenant of his licence and his property, simply because a suggestion had been made that it was not required. There had been one case in the county two years ago, but the party appealed to the Court of Quarter Sessions, and that Court said the licence ought to be granted. It would be very unfair to his clients, several of whom had spent large sums of money on their property, to refuse a renewal of their licenses, especially having regard to the fact that they were granted a great many years ago, and against which there had not been a single conviction during the year. In order to save time, he put two questions before the Magistrates:- first, were they prepared to deprive the owners and tenants of their property, and secondly, the licenses having all been renewed since any conviction had taken place, were they prepared to deprive the owners of their property without their having an opportunity and investigating the charges brought against them. It would save a great deal of time if the Bench would consider those two points.

Mr Bodkin followed with a few supplementary remarks. He referred to the case of “Sharpe v Wakefield”, in which the decision had been given that a licence, whether by way of renewal or whether it was an annual matter to be considered year by year, and not renewed as of right. He quoted from the remarks of Lord Halsbury, who seemed to consider that in dealing with renewals they ought not to deal with them exactly in the same way as in new applications. He dwelt upon the fact that last year all the licenses were renewed, and that though no new licenses had been granted for many years, the borough had increased in population, and there had been an entire absence of legal proceedings against any of the houses in the past year.

Mr. Minter, who appeared, he said, for the tenants, emphasised what had fallen from the other two legal gentlemen, and said it would be unnecessary for him to make any lengthy remarks. Mr. Glyn had referred to the population having increased twofold since those licenses were granted. There was another very important matter for consideration, and it was this. That although the population had increased twofold since the whole of those licenses were granted, during the last twelve years no new licenses had been granted. Mr. Glyn had also referred to the hardship on the owners if they lost their property, having regard to the fact that there had been no conviction against the tenants during the year, but in addition to that he desired to call attention to what was the intention of the legislature. The legislature had provided that in all cases where owners of licensed houses were brought before the Bench and charged with any offence against the licensing laws, the Magistrates had the power, if they deemed the offence was of sufficient importance, to record that conviction on the licence. They could do that on a second conviction, and on the third occasion the legislature said that the licence should be gone altogether. He was happy to say there was no record on any one of the licenses of the applicants, notwithstanding that they might have been proceeded against and convicted before the last annual licensing meeting. That showed they were of such trivial account that the Magistrates considered, in the exercise of their judgement, that it was not necessary to record it on the licence. Was there any stronger argument to be used than that the Magistrates themselves, although they felt bound to convict in certain cases, did not record the conviction on the licence? He cordially agreed with the suggestion of Mr. Glyn that the Magistrates should retire and consider the suggestion he had made, and he thought they would come to the conclusion that all the licenses should be renewed. There were cases where the houses could claim renewals as a right, and in which he should be able to show the licenses existed before 1869. That course would save a great deal of time.

Mr. Montagu Bradley claimed to be heard on behalf of the Good Templars.

The Court held that Mr. Bradley had no locus standi, as he had not given notice to the applicants that he was going to oppose.

Mr. Bradley thereupon withdrew.

The Magistrates again retired, and on their return the Chairman said the Magistrates had decided that where it was a question of disorderly conduct, it was to be limited to during the year just ended, and not to go into questions prior to the annual licensing day of last year. They thought it right that the cases should be gone into, in order that they might know what the objections were.

Mr. Glyn enumerated the houses, and they were then gone into separately in the following order:

The Victoria.

Mr. Glyn said the tenant of this house had been carrying on business for 13 years at 25 a year. The only ground of opposition was that it was not required.

Sergeant Swift said there were six other houses within 100 paces.

By Mr. Bodkin: I should not suggest that a house is simply required for the people in that street.

Mr. Mackeson said the Victoria was purchased by his firm in 1886. It's value was about 1,000. The rent paid by Mr. Watson was 25. It was respectably conducted, and no complaints had been made.

Henry Dunn, living in South Street, next door to the Victoria, said the house was a quiet one, doing a fair trade. He found no cause for complaint at all.

By Superintendent Taylor: I live at 24, South Street. (Laughter)

Mr. Glyn: We are told there are only seven houses. (Laughter)

By Superintendent Taylor: I should suffer no inconvenience if the house was closed.

Mr. Glyn said there was a mistake with regard to the number of houses – there were 30.

Arthur Mepsted, a fishmonger, living in South Street, said the house was respectably conducted, and fully up to the wants of the neighbourhood.

By Superintendent Taylor: There is only one other house in South Street - the others are in Harbour Street.

Superintendent Taylor: What inconvenience would you be put to if this house was closed? How much further would you have to go for your supper beer? – It would be no inconvenience to me.

By Mr. Glyn: I have never heard of any objection to the licence.

James Watson, formerly a pilot, gave evidence. Formerly he kept the Brewery Tap in Tontine Street. The house was fairly well attended.

By Superintendent Taylor: My wife manages the house in my absence. It is well conducted in my absence.

Mr. Glyn: This is one again which you, in your report, have said is well conducted. (Laughter)

Mr. Glyn then addressed the Bench on the whole of the cases, and urged that no Bench had ever refused a licence where there had been no complaint or conviction. He said the Superintendent had conducted the cases ably and fairly, but he had picked out several houses and asked the Bench to refuse licenses to them. How, he asked, could they do so? It would be very nice for the owners of other houses, no doubt. He emphasised his remarks that no Bench in the county had refused a licence on the ground that it was not wanted. Nothing had occurred in the neighbourhood to alter the position of things, yet Folkestone was asked, as it were, to set an example to other boroughs in the county, and to confiscate his clients' licenses, when there was no ground whatever for that confiscation. It was not a small matter. It was not a question of 15. The lowest value was put at 800. The ground of objection was merely that the licenses were not wanted, although they had been in existence many years, and the owners had spent large sums of money on the houses on the faith of the licenses which the justices' predecessors had granted, and which they themselves had renewed. The population had largely increased, and the Magistrates had refused to grant fresh licenses because they thought there were sufficient. He ventured to submit that they would not do what other Benches had refused to do, and deprive his clients of their property. They looked to the Magistrates to protect their property and their interests. If there had been any strong views in operation against the licenses among the public, it would be different. But they had not expressed any such views. There was the Watch Committee, the proper authority to raise those points, who had declined to support the objection, which came from a member of their body, who was not present, and who had not taken part in the proceedings. He asked them, without any fear of the result, to say that under all the circumstances they were not going to deprive his clients of their licenses.

There was some applause when Mr. Glyn finished his speech.

The Justices then adjourned for an hour to consider all the cases.

On their return Mr. J. Clark, the Chairman, said: The Magistrates have had this question under consideration, and they have come to the decision that all the licenses be granted, with the exception of the Tramway Tavern. (Applause)

Mr. Glyn said he need hardly say they were much obliged to the Chairman and his brother Magistrates for the care they had given the matter. With regard to the Tramway Tavern, he asked if they would allow him, in the event of the owners deciding to appeal, which it was probable they would do, to serve the notice on their Clerk.

Mr. Bradley said there was no objection to that.

Mr. Glyn said his friends felt they ought to acknowledge the very fair manner in which Superintendent Taylor had conducted those proceedings.

The business then terminated.

 

Folkestone Herald 16 September 1893.

Editorial.

The large audience who crowded into the Licensing Justices' Court at the Town Hall on Wednesday last were evidently representative of the interests of the liquor trade in this Borough. Every stage of the proceeding was watched with the closest attention, and it was impossible not to recognise the prevalent feeling that a mistake had been committed in objecting wholesale to the renewal of licenses. Thirteen houses in all were objected to, but as two of them, through a technical point of law, were entitled to a renewal, there remained eleven as to which the Justices were asked to exercise their discretionary powers. In the event, after a long hearing, and a weighty exposition of law and equity, the decision of the tribunal resulted in the granting of ten of these eleven licenses and the provisional extinction of one, as to which, no doubt, there will be an appeal. As this journal is not an organ of the trade, and as, on the other hand, it is not inspired by the prohibitionists, we are in a position to review the proceedings from an unprejudiced and dispassionate standpoint. At the outset, therefore, we must express our disapproval of the manner in which the cases of those thirteen houses have been brought up for judicial consideration. It was rather unfortunate that a Magistrate who is so pronounced a Temperance advocate as Mr. Holden should have taken a prominent part in having those houses objected to. We say nothing of his official rights; we only deprecate the manner in which he has exercised his discretion. We think it likely to do more harm than good to the Temperance cause, inasmuch as it savours of partiality if not persecution. We also think that Mr. Holden would have done well not to have taken his seat on the Licensing Bench. It would be impossible to persuade any licence holder that the trade could find an unbiased judge in the person of a teetotal Magistrate. Conversely, it would be impossible to persuade a Temperance advocate that a brewer or a wine merchant could be capable of passing an unbiased judgement upon any question involving the interests of those engaged in the liquor traffic. The presence of Mr. Holden on the Bench was not allowed to pass without protest. Counsel for the owners handed in a written document, the Justices retired to consider it in private, and as the result of that consultation Mr. Holden did not resume the seat he had originally taken. The legal and other arguments urged by the learned Counsel for the owners and the tenants are fully set out in our report. We attach special importance to one contention, which was urged with a degree of earnestness that made a deep impression in Court, and will make a deeper impression outside. All these houses, be it remembered, had had a renewal of licence at the annual licensing meeting held last year. At that date the discretionary power of the Court had been as firmly established in law as it is at the present moment. At that date whatever laxity had taken place during the previous year in respect of the conduct of any one of those thirteen houses had been condoned by the renewal of the licence. At that date the congestion of public houses in particular parts of the town was as notorious as it is now, and nothing had happened in the interval to change in any material degree the general circumstances which prevailed in 1892 when the licences were renewed. In no single case out of the thirteen has there been a conviction recorded on the licence since the licenses were renewed in 1892, and under these circumstances it was argued by Counsel that to extinguish any one of these licences would amount to an act of confiscation. There can be no pretence for saying, therefore, that the objections raised this year to the renewal of the licences originated in the laches of the tenants themselves. They had their origin with either the Bench as a whole or a section of the Bench, and it was at the instance of the whole body or of a section of the Justices that the chief officer of police was instructed to report upon the question. So far as the ordinary course of police supervision was concerned the houses, with one solitary exception, appeared to have had a clear record, there being no conviction for any infraction of the Licensing Acts. It therefore savoured of persecution to arraign the whole of these thirteen houses and to press against them the argument that they are not required by the population, although last year the Justices, by renewal of the licenses, had decided that they were. Under these circumstances it was rather unfair to throw upon the Superintendent of Police the onerous and invidious duty of making the best case he could in support of the objections. It is only right to say that the fair and straightforward manner in which that officer discharged the duty elicited the commendation of everybody in Court – Bench, advocates, and general audience. Ultimately the Justices renewed all the licenses, with the exception of that of the Tramway Tavern, and on this case their decision will be reviewed by an appellate court. The impression which all these cases have created, and will leave on the public mind, is that the Temperance party have precipitated a raid upon the liquor shops, and that in doing so they have defeated their own object. Persecution and confiscation are words abhorrent to Englishmen. The law fences the publican round with restrictions and penalties in abundance, but in teh present case the houses had not come overtly within the law. To shut up the houses would therefore savour of confiscation, although in strict law the licence is deemed to be terminable from year to year. In the result the victory lies with the trade, and the ill-advised proceedings against a whole batch of houses have created a degree of sympathy for the owners and tenants which was given expression by the suppressed cheers that were heard on Wednesday at the close of the investigations.

Licensing.

It will be remembered that on the 23rd ult. the Justices adjourned until the 13th inst. the hearing of objections to the renewal of the following licensed houses – Granville, British Colours, Folkestone Cutter, Tramway, Royal George, Oddfellows (Radnor Street), Cinque Ports, Queen's Head, Wonder, Ship, Harbour, Jubilee, Victoria – thirteen in all. These cases were taken on Wednesday last at the Town Hall, the large room having been transformed for the purpose into a courtroom. The Justices were Messrs. Clarke, Hoad, Pledge, Holden, Fitness, Poole, Herbert, Davy, Pursey, with the Justices' Clerk (Mr. Bradley, solicitor).

Mr. Glyn, and with him Mr. Bodkin, instructed by Messrs. Mowll and Mowll, of Dover, appeared on gehalf of the owners of the property affected; Mr. Minter, solicitor, appeared for the tenants; Mr. Montague Bradley, solicitor, Dover, appeared on behalf of the Folkestone Good Templars, Sons of Temperance, Rechabites, and the St. John's Branch of the Church Temperance Society. Mr. Superintendent Taylor, Chief Constable of the borough, conducted the case for the police authorities without any legal assistance.

Mr. Glyn, at the outset, said: I appear with my learned friend, Mr. Bodkin, in support of all these licences except in the case of the Royal George, for the owner of which my friend Mr. Minter appears. Before you commence the proceedings I should like you to consider an objection which I have here in writing, and which I do not desire to read. I would ask if you would retire to consider it before proceeding with the business.

Mr. Montague Bradley: I appear on behalf of some Temperance societies in Folkestone.

Mr. Glyn: I submit, sir, that this gentleman has no locus standi.

The Justices now retired to a private room, and after about ten minutes in consultation all the Justices except Mr. Holden returned into Court. It was understood that the objection had reference to the appearance of Mr. Holden as an adjudicating Magistrate, that gentleman being a strong Temperance advocate.

Mr. Glyn then proceeded to say: Now, sir, it might be convenient if you take the Queen's Head first, and I have formally to apply for the renewal of the licence of the Queen's Head. That is a house which is well known by everybody, and by all you gentlemen whom I have the honour of addressing, as a most excellent house. The licence has been held for a very considerable number of years, and the present tenant has had it since 1889. It is worth 1,500, and the present tenant paid no less than 305 valuation when he entered that house. I need hardly tell you that the licence was granted a great many years ago by your predecessors and it has been renewed from time to time until now, when the Superintendent of Police has objected on the grounds that the house is not required and that it is kept in a disorderly manner. As to the objection made by the Superintendent, for whom I in common with all others have the highest possible respect, I think he will admit that the objection in not made of his own motion but that it is made in pursuance of instructions received from some members of the Licensing Committee. Of course the point has occurred to my learned friend and myself, and it is a very nice one, whether under those circumstances the requirements of the Section had been complied with, and as to whether, the Superintendent having really been acting as agent for the Justices, he had any locus standi at all to oppose these licences. I must leave that to your body, guided as you will be by your most able Clerk. He knows the Section better than I do. He knows under what circumstances and objection can be raised, and that it must be done in open Court and not introduced in the way these objections have been raised. These observations apply to the whole of these renewals, and you will find in this case, sir, indeed in all these cases, that the Superintendent of Police in raising these objections has been raising them, as he says in his report, in pursuance of instructions he received from the Magistrates; therefore those gentlemen who formed that body and who give the Superintendent these instructions are really in this position, if I may so put it to them with humility, of people complaining, by having themselves directed an inquiry, upon which inquiry they propose to sit, and, as I understand, to adjudicate. Now, sir, I know from some long occasional experiences of this Bench that there is not a single member of this Bench who desires to adjudicate upon any case which he had prejudged by directing that the case should be brought before him for a particular purpose, and I only draw your attention to these matters because I am perfectly certain that on the grounds I am going to place before you this Bench will not refuse to renew any of these licences. I think it right, after very careful attention, to put those facts before you in order that when you retire you will consider exactly what your position is. There is another thing I ought to say which applies to all these applications. There is not a single person, not a single ratepayer, in all this borough – and I don't know exactly what the numbers are, but they are very considerable – but there is not a single ratepayer who has been found to object to the renewal of any of these licences. Anyone would have a right to do it if he chose, and I feel certain that the Justices will think that where none of the outside public care to object, this Bench will not deprive the owners and tenants of their property simply because they themselves think that the matter ought to be brought before them, as I understand has happened in this case, for adjudication. Now, let us see the first ground of objection in respect of all these licences. The first ground in respect of each of these licences is that the licence is not needed, and I desire to make a few observations on that. I repeat that no ratepayer can be found here who is prepared to come before the Bench and raise this point. No notice has been given by anybody except by my friend the Superintendent, who has told us in his report that he has been acting upon the instructions of the Bench. But, sir, there is another and very important matter. I understand that in the Watch Committee, which one generally thought would be expected to get the ball rolling, if it is to be rolled at all – if, as my friend suggests, there is any public opinion upon it that these licences are not required – the Watch Committee has actually been approached in this case, that is to say, by some gentlemen connected with the Corporation. I don't know whether it is any of the gentlemen I have the honour of addressing, but they have declined to have anything to do with it or to sanction any such device for the purpose of depriving my clients of what is undoubtedly their property. Therefore I venture to think, speaking with some little experience, that there never was a case in which licences were taken away simply because some of the learned Magistrates thought that the matter ought to be brought before them, and instructed the Superintendent to do so. Now, sir, I am dealing with the Queen's Head, but among the licences are some beerhouses that existed before the passing of the Act of 1869, and the owner is therefore entitled to renewal, for although notice of objection has been given on the ground of disorderly conduct there has been a renewal, and that renewal has condoned any misconduct there might have been. Therefore these houses are absolutely entitled to renewal. Now, sir, with regard to these licences that were granted a great many years ago. Of course at that time, when the population of the borough was about half of what it is now, the Magistrates then thought they were required. Those licences have been renewed from time to time by your body, and are you really to say now that although these, or some of these, licences were granted when the number of inhabitants was 12,000, whereas it is now 25,000 – these licences were not required or are not necessary for more than double the original population? I venture to say that such an argument reduces the thing to absurdity. Of course I know, with regard to these houses, that in this case the Magistrates are clothed with authority, if they choose to deprive the owners and tenants of their property, if they think the licences are not required. But you will allow me to point this out to the Bench, that there is not a single Bench in this County – I am glad to be able to say – who yet have deprived an owner or tenant of his property simply because a suggestion has been thrown out. That is at any rate the case as far as Kent is concerned. It was done at one Bench in this County, but when it came on appeal at the Quarter Sessions they upset the decision of the Magistrates who had refused the renewal of the licence on that ground. This is the only instance I know, and I am sure that I am right, where a Bench in this County had been found to deprive an owner of his property which you are asked to do in this way, and a tenant of his livelihood. I venture to express my views, and I am sure that all the Bench will coincide with me, that it would be very unfair in such cases, when owners – whether brewers or private individuals – have paid large sums of money in respect of licensed houses, when those licences have been renewed from year to year, when the tenants have paid large sums in respect of valuation, and some of them have been tenants for many years and have gained a respectable livelihood in this business – it would be very unfair to deprive the owners and tenants of their property without giving them compensation of any kind for being turned adrift. That brings me again to a consideration I must bring before you, that these licences were granted at a time when the population of the borough was about half what it is now; but now you are asked to say that the licences are not required when the population has become twice as much as it was when the licences were originally granted. Perhaps my friend Mr. Minter will coincide with me that if you should consider this point in the first place and form an opinion on it, it would save a great deal of time. It is now a question as to whether you are, under those circumstances, prepared to refuse the renewal of any of these licences, having regard to the fact that there has not been a single conviction since the last renewal. Having regard to the fact that these licences were granted so long ago and have been renewed from time to time, having regard to the fact that there has been no conviction in the case of any one of them during the present year, and that if any offence had been committed prior to the last renewal it was condoned by that renewal – are you going to deprive the owners and tenants of their property? Now, I only desire to say another word. Some of these objections are made on the ground that the licences are not required; others refer to the fact that here have been previous convictions or that the houses have not been kept in an orderly way. Of course we shall hear what the Superintendent says, and we know that he would be perfectly fair to all sides, but I want to make a general observation about it, and it is this; whether or not these houses have been disorderly. As to that I think you would say that inasmuch as in any case where there has been a previous conviction and you had renewed the licence, that renewal condoned any previous offence. It clearly is so, and if there had been any offence committed since the renewal we should have to consider what was the class of offence which had been committed. But that does not apply in this case. In no single instance has there been a conviction in respect to any of the houses which Mr. Minter and myself ask for the renewal of the licence, and I am going to put to you what I understand to be an elementary proposition of law, that you would not deprive an owner of his property because it is suggested that a house has not been properly conducted where that owner has never had an opportunity of appearing before the Bench or instructing some counsel or solicitor to appear before the Bench in answer to any charge under the Act of Parliament which had been brought against his tenant. If there had been any charge in respect of any of these houses since your last renewal, the tenant would have been brought here, he would be entitled to be heard by counsel, and the question would be thrashed out before the Bench. That has not been done in any single case since you last renewed the licences of these houses, and I am perfectly certain that no Bench in this County, and no gentleman in Folkestone, would deprive an owner of his property simply because it has been suggested that since the last renewal a house has not been properly conducted, although no charge has been made against the tenant, so that he might have a right to put the the authorities to the proof of the charge. I am not aware of such a case, and I challenge anybody to show that there has been any single case before any Bench where a licence has been taken away after renewal following a conviction when there has been no criminal charge against that house, but only a general charge after the renewal. I submit that you are not going to deprive the owners of their property when there has been no charge of any kind investigated in this or any other court against the holders of those licences, and if you would retire and consider this point and give an answer upon it, it would save us a deal of time.

Mr. Bodkin followed on the same side dealing with the legal questions involved in the application.

Mr. Minter then addressed the Court as follows: I appear for the tenants of these houses. The learned Counsel have been addressing you on behalf of the owners, and though I cordially agree with everything that has been said by them, it will be necessary for me to make a few observations. Mr. Glyn referred to the population having increased twofold since these licences were granted, but there is another very important consideration, and that is this – that although the population has increased twofold since the whole of these licences were granted, within the last twelve years, I think I am right in saying that no new licence has been granted. Not only were the licences now under consideration granted when the population was half what it is now, but there has been no increase in the number of licences since that period I have named. The second point is with respect to the hardship which would fall upon owners if a licence were refused on the ground of convictions against the tenant. The learned Counsel has urged that it would be unjust to take into consideration a conviction that took place prior to the last annual licensing meeting, and you will feel the force of that argument. What is the intention of the Legislature? The Legislature has provided that in all cases where the tenants of licensed houses are convicted of a breach of the Licensing Laws the Magistrates have power to record that conviction on the licence, and on a third such conviction the Legislature says that the licence shall be forfeited altogether. Appearing on behalf of the tenants, I am happy to say that there is no such record on the licence of any one of the applicants, and notwithstanding that a conviction may have taken place prior to the last annual licensing meeting, the conviction was of such a trivial character that the Magistrates did not consider it necessary to record it on the licence. Is there any argument to be used that is stronger than that observation? You yourselves have decided that although you were bound to convict in a certain case, it was not of a character that required the endorsement of the licence, and after that conviction you renewed the licence, and again on a subsequent occasion. One other observation occurs to me, with regard to suggestions that have been put before you by Mr. Glyn and Mr. Bodkin, and I entirely concur in what has been said upon it. It is very pleasing to be before you, but I think it will be pleasing to us and you will be as pleased yourselves if time can be saved, and if you will only retire and take into consideration the points which Mr. Glyn has suggested to you, I think you will come to the conclusion that the applications should be granted, but I am excepting the one or two cases in which I appear and in which I can claim as a right to have the licence renewed as they existed before 1869, and therefore these special cases do not arise on the notice served upon my clients. I am sure you will not take offence if I put it in that way, but if we have to go through each one of these cases, and I appear for nine or ten, the tenants are all here and will have to go into the box and be examined, and their evidence will have to be considered in support of the application I have to make. Now let me call attention for a moment to the notice of objection. You may dismiss from your mind the previous conviction; the suggestion is that the houses are not required for public accommodation. I am prepared in each case with evidence to show that the public accommodation does require it, and the test is the business that a house does. I am prepared to show by indisputable evidence that the tenants has been doing a thriving business for the last four or five years, that it has not decreased, and how is it possible with that evidence before you to say that the licence is not wanted? You may regret, possibly, that the number of houses is larger than you like to see, but you would not refuse to entertain the application made today unless you were satisfied that the houses were not wanted for the public accommodation. I hope you will take the suggestion of Mr. Glyn and that you will renew all the licences that are applied for, particularly as there is not a single complaint against them.

Mr. Montague Bradley: I claim the right to address the Bench.

Mr. Minter: I object.

Mr. Bodkin: My friend must prove his notice of objection.

Mr. M. Bradley: I should like Mr. Glyn to state the Section under which he objects to my locus standi.

Mr. Glyn: I should like to know for whom my friend appears – by whom he is instructed.

Mr. M. Bradley: I appear on behalf of Temperance Societies of Folkestone – Good Templars and others.

Mr. Glyn: Now, sir, I submit beyond all doubt that the practice is clear.

Mr. M. Bradley: I think, sir, that the question ought to be argued. I should like to hear Mr. Glyn state his objection.

Mr. Minter: We have objected on the ground that you have not given notice of objection.

Mr. Glyn: My friend should show his right – how he proposes to establish his right.

Mr. M. Bradley referred to Section 42, subsection 2.

Eventually the Chairman said: Mr. Montague Bradley, the Bench are of opinion that you have no locus standi.

Mr. M. Bradley: Very well, sir.

The Justices now retired to their room.

The Chairman on their return said: The Magistrates have decided that where there is a case of disorderly conduct it is to be limited to within the year, and that the Superintendent is not to go into any case previous to the annual licensing day of last year. We think it right that Superintendent should state these cases and that they should be gone into in order that we may know what these objections are.

The cases not eliminated by this decision were then proceeded with, seriatim, and are noticed below in the order in which they were called.

The Victoria.

To this the ground of objection was that it was not required, and Sergeant Swift said it was within 100 paces of six other licensed houses.

For the owner, Mr. Henry Mackeson said the Victoria, in South Street, was purchased by Messrs. Mackeson in 1886, and was of the present value of 1,000. Mr. Watson, the tenant, paid 25 per annum rent.

James Watson, pilot, said he had held the licence thirteen years, and before that he kept the Brewery Tap, in Tontine Street. The house did a fairly good trade, being frequented by the shipping interest chiefly.

Arthur Mepsted, fishmonger, and Henry Dunn, both living in South Street, and neighbours, attested to the respectability of the tenant and house, but in reply to Superintendent Taylor admitted they would suffer no inconvenience if the licence was abolished.

On the conclusion of the cases Mr. Glyn rose and said: The result of these inquiries is, sir, that in respect to all the houses except the Tramway Tavern there is no serious charge of any misconduct of any kind. It is only in the case of the Tramway Tavern that a serious attack has been made, and I have already addressed you as to the Tramway Tavern. If the brewers had notice they might have had an opportunity of testing the case, whether the house has been properly conducted or not, and I challenge anybody to allege that any Bench of Justices in this County other than the Bench I have alluded to have ever refused to grant the renewal of a licence unless the landlord had had notice, or unless there has been a summons or conviction against the tenant. I take that point, sir. It is a technical point, but I have not the slightest doubt that it is conclusive against the points raised. Now, with regard to the other houses, except the beerhouses which have a positive right of renewal. The only other question is whether the remaining houses are wanted or not. The Superintendent of Police has conducted his case most fairly and most ably indeed, and he picks out certain houses and asks the Magistrates to deprive the owners of their property and the tenants of their livelihood, and he asks that other houses may remain. How on earth are you to draw the line? There are seven houses in one street, and how can you deprive four of them of their licence, and grant the renewal of licence to the other three? I must again put before you that no Bench of Magistrates in this County have refused to renew a licence – with the exception of the case which I put before you, and in that case they were overruled – to any old licensed house on the ground on which you are asked to refuse, viz., because it is suggested that the house is not wanted. The County Magistrates, as well as the Magistrates in Boroughs, have felt this, inasmuch as their predecessors in office have granted licences upon the faith of which repairs have been done and expenditure has been incurred, it would be unfair to take that property away unless – as the late Lord Chancellor pointed out – something fresh had happened to alter the neighbourhood since the time of the last renewal. It is not suggested here that anything has occurred with respect to any one of these houses in order to satisfy you that they should be taken away as not being required, and I venture to submit that this Bench at any rate would not adopt a policy of confiscation, for I cannot call it anything else, and, as it were, set an example to other Benches in the County by confiscating my clients' property in any of these cases, having regard to the fact that they are old licences, having regard to the fact that the population has increased twofold, and having regard to the fact that nothing fresh, in the words of the Lord Chancellor, has arisen to induce you to deprive the owners of the licences that were renewed last year. I submit that you, gentlemen, will not be a party to the confiscation of property. It is no small matter that you have to consider. It is not a question of 10 or 15, for the lowest in value of the houses before you today is 800, and the licences have been granted by your predecessors and renewed by you. Your population has largely increased since those licences were granted, and as my friend (Mr. Minter) has pointed out, you have refused to grant any new licences, and under these circumstances I venture to submit that you will not deprive my clients of their property. My clients look to you to protect their property; they have no other tribunal. If there had been any strong view in the Borough against these licences the public would have expressed their views by giving notice of opposition, but they have not done it, whereas the Watch Committee, the proper body to raise these objections, have declined to touch it. Where does the objection come from? It comes from a member of your body, who has not taken part in these proceedings, but who has suggested that the Superintendent of Police should give notice in respect of these houses and have these cases brought before you. I thank you very much for the kind way in which you have listened to my observations and those of my friends, and without fear of the result I am confident that you are not going to deprive my clients of their licences, to which, I submit, the law entitles them. (Suppressed applause in the body of the court)

It being now 2.50, the Justices adjourned for an hour, returning into court just before 4 o'clock.

The Chairman then said: The Magistrates have had this question under consideration, and they have come to the decision that all the licences be granted, with the exception of the Tramway Tavern. (Suppressed applause)

 

Folkestone Visitors' List 20 September 1893.

Licensing.

That the lot of the publican, like that of the policeman in the “Pirates of Penzance”, is not over and above a happy one, must be conceded. There is no business to which so many pains and penalties are attached, and to embark in which a man must be prepared to go through so keen an enquiry into his antecedents as well as his character at the time when he applies for his licence; and in which he has at last, by the expenditure of much time and money, obtained permission to sell, during certain periods out of the twenty four hours fixed for him by a tender-hearted legislature desirous that he should not overwork himself, he is so heavily handicapped by the restrictions which surround him. In fact, the proverbial toad under the harrow would seem to lead almost a pleasant existence in comparison with unfortunate Mr. Boniface. His natural enemy, the teetotaller, is ever on the alert to worry him, and, if possible, to shut up his shop for him, totally careless at to the ruin which may accrue to him and his family.

In pursuance of some of these tactics some of the members of the Folkestone Licensing Committee a twelvemonth ago discovered all at once, after a lapse of some fifteen years, that there are too many houses in the town. How some few weeks back a prominent member of that Committee, and a steadfast advocate of the Temperance movement, reverted to that decision, and announced that if the brewers did not agree among themselves as to what houses should be closed, the Committee would forthwith proceed to act upon their own judgement, is all a matter of history. Between the time when this announcement was made and the licensing day proper, the Superintendent of Police, who does not seem to have held any pronounced opinions as to the number of houses, drew up, at the request of the Committee, an elaborate report upon that point, showing that there were in the town 130 houses; and in consequence of it he was directed to give notice to the owners and occupiers of thirteen houses that they would be objected to at the adjourned session.

On Wednesday, the 13th, the Special Adjourned Session was held. The Magistrates had wisely provided for the very great interest taken in the question by holding the enquiry in the Town Hall, a great improvement on the stuffy little apartment dignified by the name of a police court. As soon as the doors were opened the body of the hall rapidly filled, the trade, of course, being present in strong force, neighbouring towns also being represented. The teetotallers also mustered pretty strongly, but it may here be stated that Mr. Montagu Bradley, of Dover, who appeared for them, was objected to, and the Bench ruled that he had no locus standi; or in other words the Magistrates could decide the questions that would be submitted to them without the interference of any outside body. So Mr. Bradley politely took his leave shortly after the commencement of the proceedings. A somewhat singular feature in connection with them was the large force of police in attendance in the Hall; probably the authorities anticipated some exhibition of feeling, but none such took place, except early in the morning a working man shouted out “How can you expect justice from that lot? They gave me eighteen months for nothing”. He was speedily ejected, and the business for the remainder of the day was conducted in the most orderly manner. The Magistrates on the Bench were Messrs. Hoad, Pledge, Pursey, Herbert, Davey, Clarke, Fitness, and Poole. Mr. Holden also took his seat, but in deference to a written protest handed in by counsel for the owners he retired. Mr. Glyn and Mr. Bodkin appeared for the owners, instructed by Mr. Mowll, of Dover, Mr. F. Hall, Folkestone, and Mr. Mercer, Canterbury; Mr. Minter, the solicitor for the Folkestone Licensed Victuallers' Association, for the tenants.

Mr. Glyn first opened the proceedings in a temperate and exhaustive speech, delivered quite in the best Nisi Prius style, argumentative and without an attempt at claptrap or sensational appeal. It was a capital forensic effort, and afforded unmitigated pleasure to the Licensed Victuallers themselves, whilst we fancy, from the somewhat lengthened faces of the opponents of the licenses, they must have felt at it's conclusion that the ground had been cut from under them. There was just the faintest attempt at applause when the learned counsel sat down, but this, the only manifestation of feeling throughout the day, was speedily suppressed in the call for silence.

The Superintendent of Police supported his own objections – or rather the objections of the Committee – in person. Armed with a voluminous brief he made the best of a weak case, but evidently it was not a labour of love to him.

Mr. Bodkin's work was chiefly confined to the examination of witnesses, and those who attentively followed him could not have failed being struck with the fact that not an unnecessary question was put to a single witness.

Mr. Glyn based his arguments upon three general grounds, which he applied to all the cases collectively. The first was that this opposition did not emanate from the police. The Superintendent had no grounds for complaint, but was acting under the direction of certain members of the Bench. How far that was approved of generally was evidenced by the fact that the Watch Committee refused to grant him legal assistance in opposing these licenses. The objection urged against them was that they were not required. Now, up to the present time not a Bench in the county of Kent had been found to deprive an owner of his property or a tenant of his livelihood because someone chose to say a house was not necessary. But what were the facts in the present case? Why, that all these licenses were granted a dozen years ago, and if they were thought requisite when the population was only half what it was at present, surely they could not say they were not required now. Secondly, some of these houses had been objected to as not having been properly conducted. To meet that assertion the learned counsel adduced the fact that during the last twelvemonth not a single conviction had been recorded against any one of the tenants. Any previous conviction had been condoned by the renewal of the licence. That was common sense. The Bench admitted that it was so by subsequently deciding not to enquire into any laches that might have taken place previous to the last licensing meeting in 1892.

Mr. Bodkin followed briefly in the same vein, and Mr. Minter, on behalf of the occupiers, addressed himself to the requirements of the town, arguing, as we have ourselves pointed out in the List, that the very fact of their being supported by the public was a prima facie argument in favour of the existence of these houses.

The Magistrates, at the conclusion of the learned gentlemen's arguments, retired, and after an absence of about a quarter of an hour, on their return announced they would hear any complaints there were against any house since the last licensing meeting. This involved the calling of a large number of witnesses – owners, tenants, civil and military police, the examination of whom lasted well into the afternoon.

The Victoria, the Oddfellows, the Welcome, British Colours, and Granville were all objected to on the ground that they were not wanted; and the Tramway for the additional reason that disorderly conduct had taken place, this consisting of a civilian and a soldier coming out and having a fight; the disturbance, however, was not sufficient to warrant proceedings.

Mr. Glyn having summed up his case, the Magistrates retired for an hour to consider their decision, and on their return the Chairman briefly announced that all the licenses would be renewed with the exception of the Tramway.

Mr. Glyn intimated that in all probability the owners of the house would appeal against the decision, and having thanked the Bench for the attention they had given the cases, and Superintendent Taylor for the fair manner in which he had conducted the opposition, the proceedings came to an end.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 30 December 1893.

Local News.

A mariner named James Noble was charged at the Police Court on Wednesday with being drunk and disorderly in South Street.

P.C. Lawrence stated that he was called to the Victoria Inn, where he found the prisoner in the bar. He was very drunk and he was banging his fist down on the counter, stating that he would fight the landlord. When witness was requested to eject prisoner he said he would not go out for him, and if he would take his coat off he would like to fight him.

In answer to the Bench the prisoner said he got most of the drink he had had at the Victoria.

The Magistrates' Clerk: Landlords let men get drunk in their houses and then have them turned out by the police, and naturally they get angry.

Supt. Taylor said it was a common occurrence for landlords to allow men to get drunk and then have the police to turn them out. The landlords did not avail themselves of the clause in the Licensing Act by which they could prosecute a man for refusing to quit licensed premises, but they preferred the police to do their dirty work. He should have to consider whether he should not take proceedings in this case for allowing drunkenness on the premises.

Mr. Watson, the landlord of the Victoria, said when the prisoner entered their house he said he had had “fourteen pints” at another house, and no man could drink fourteen pints without being drunk.

The Mayor said the Bench had decided to look upon the case in a lenient manner, and would fine the prisoner 5s. and 4s. 6d. costs, or in default seven days imprisonment.

 

Folkestone Express 30 December 1893.

Wednesday, December 27th: Before The Mayor, Aldermen Pledge and Sherwood, and J. Fitness Esq.

James Noble was charged with being drunk and disorderly in South Street on Boxing Day. He pleaded Guilty.

P.C. Lawrence said the defendant was very drunk at the Victoria, and Mr. Watson asked witness to eject him. He refused to leave South Street, and was therefore taken into custody.

The Magistrates' Clerk (to defendant): What time did you go to the house? – In the afternoon.

Were you sober when you went? – Yes.

You were there all the afternoon, till you got drunk? – I went out and came back again. I can't remember when. I remember Watson striking me.

Where did you get drunk? – I got most of the drink in his house.

Superintendent Taylor said that it was a case in which he thought it necessary to send for the landlord. It was a very common occurrence for men to go to a public house and remain till they got drunk, and then, because they got noisy, the landlord sent for the police and had the offenders put into the street, where, being naturally annoyed at being ejected, they became disorderly, and often assaulted the police. In that case he sent for the landlord, and he was in court. He should have to consider whether or not it was a case in which he should have to summon him for permitting drunkenness on his premises.

James Wilson, the landlord, said when the defendant entered his house he said he had drunk 14 pints of beer in the Blue Anchor, and he could not have drunk 14 pints of beer without being pretty well drunk.

Mr. Bradley: If you are going to be summoned, you had better keep your mouth closed.

Defendant said he never went into the Blue Anchor on the previous day.

The Mayor said the Bench had decided to look on the case in a very lenient way. Defendant would be fined 6s. and 4s. 6d. costs, or 14 days'.

 

Folkestone Express 3 February 1894.

Advertisement.

Victoria Inn, Folkestone, TO LET; Ingoing and rent moderate; in possession of present tenant 15 years. Apply Hythe Brewery.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 14 April 1894.

Advertisement.

Under Entirely New Management, Victoria Inn, 26, South Street, Folkestone. John Todd (late Colour Sergeant, Scots Fusiliers, and latterly Steward of the Soldiers' Club), proprietor. Mackeson's splendid ales and porter. Spirits and Wines of the first quality. Tobacco and Cigars in good condition. The house is being put in thorough repair and every accommodation will be found by visitors.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 21 April 1894.

Local News.

Transfer.

The following transfer was granted at the Police Court on Wednesday: Victoria, South Street, to John Todd.

 

Southeastern Gazette 7 August 1894.

Inquest.

On Thursday morning James Watson, about 60 years of age, living at 14, Fenchurch Street, Folkestone, was found by his wife partially hanging from a rope attached to a banister over the staircase. She endeavoured to move him without avail, and Mr. Joseph Whiting, landlord of the Bricklayers’ Arms opposite, ran across with a knife and cut him down. Watson was then alive, but he died in about three minutes. The deceased had been harbour pilot at Folkestone for a very long period, and was landlord of the Victoria Inn, South Street, for some 20 years.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 15 February 1895.

Local News.

At the Borough Police Court on Wednesday, Arthur Felmingham, late landlord of the Princess Royal, South Street, was summoned for refusing to quit the Victoria Inn when requested to do so.

P.C. Osborne proved the summons and said defendant, who was hurt, was in bed.

The Superintendent said defendant's wife stated that he had a medical certificate, showing that he was unable to attend.

The case was adjourned for a week.

 

Folkestone Express 16 February 1895.

Wednesday, February 13th: Before W.G. Herbert and C.J. Pursey Esqs.

Arthur Felmingham was summoned by Arthur Smith for refusing to quit the Victoria Inn when ordered, but did not appear.

Supt. Taylor said he had received a doctor's certificate stating that defendant was not in a fit condition to attend.

The summons was therefore adjourned for a week.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 22 February 1895.

Local News.

On Wednesday morning at the Town Hall, Robert Felmingham, formerly of the Princess Royal Inn, South Street, was charged before the Borough Bench, on remand, with being drunk on licensed premises and refusing to quit the same. The offence was committed at the Victoria Inn, South Street, Mr. Hall conducting the prosecution on behalf of the licensee, Mr. Smith. Mr. Watts defended.

According to the opening statement of prosecutor's solicitor, the offence arose through jealousy on the part of the accused, who had an idea the custom of the house next door, which he had just left, had been taken by the Smiths.

Mrs. Smith, wife of the prosecutor, said on Monday, February 11th, while her husband was away at Ashford, defendant came to the Victoria Inn, and used indecent language to her sister, who was in charge of the bar. He was drunk. He went out eventually, only to return and make trouble by knocking over glasses and quarrelling with customers. Although asked five times by her to leave the premises, he refused to do so. He struck a man named Mackay, and a young fellow named Marshall.

Cross-examined by Mr. Watts, witness said she saw Mackay strike defendant, but he did so in self defence. She did not hear men say to defendant that they would “do” him. No-one knocked defendant down, he fell on the floor.

Annie Turner, the barmaid, was the next witness, and she corroborated the former testimony.

In answer to Mr. Watts, she said defendant was neither insulted, assaulted, or knocked down in the Victoria Inn.

A man named Onslow was called to prove defendant was drunk and fighting before he went into the public house. Witness saw defendant in the house challenging people to fight, and breaking glasses. He saw defendant put out of the house, and the door bolted against him.

To Mr. Watts: Defendant was knocked down twice by Mackay, who was compelled to do so in self defence. He did not consider defendant was drunk.

A further witness, named Bricknell, testified as to the determination of the defendant to fight while in the Inn, and said defendant took his coat off, and struck out right and left, knocking several people down. He refused to quit, except at the bidding of a constable, and said he would not leave for twenty constables.

For the defence, Mr. Watts urged that defendant was assailed when in the house, and got excited thereby; he was not responsible for the row.

The Bench convicted and imposed a fine of 1 10s., and 1 0s. 6d. costs. The money was paid by the wife of the defendant.

 

Folkestone Express 23 February 1895.

Wednesday, February 20th: Before J. Fitness Esq., Aldermen Pledge and Sherwood, J. Brooke, T.J. Vaughan, and Geo. Spurgen Esqs.

Robert Felmingham, whose wife until recently was the holder of the licence of the Princess Royal, was charged with being drunk and refusing to quit the Victoria Inn on the 11th February. Mr. F. Hall appeared for the complainant, and Mr. H.W. Watts for the defendant.

Caroline Louisa Smith, wife of Ernest Victor Smith, the holder of the licence of the Victoria Inn, South Street, said: On Monday the defendant came into our house. I heard him using bad language, and went down and requested him to leave. My sister had previously asked him to leave. He left after a few minutes, and the door was bolted to prevent him returning. He came back again when somebody else entered and was again requested to leave. I was afraid he would smash the windows. He went out and returned a second time. He put out his arms and knocked all the glasses over – two grog glasses and two pints of beer. I requested him to go out the third time, and he would not, and I sent for a policeman. In the meantime defendant commenced to fight. He said he had got no licence, and he was going to cause a disturbance in my house. His wife was the licence holder of the Princess Royal. When I went downstairs, defendant had blood on his face, and I saw that he was intoxicated. During the time he was there he was not served with any intoxicating liquor. He had been served with some soda water. He asked for whisky and soda, but we refused to serve him. A customer came in and asked for a pint of beer. Defendant took out his tester and tested it. When I went downstairs he asked me if I was the landlady. He tested the beer in front of my face, and asked where the landlord was. I asked him four or five times to leave, and after a time he went out. I saw him strike a man named McKay. He struck a man named Marshall as well. Defendant was the aggressor.

In reply to defendant, witness said: I requested you to leave four times altogether. I did not serve you with whisky and soda – only plain soda. I saw the blood on your face when I came down. It was here (pointing to her lips).

Mr. Watts, who came in rather late, took up the cross-examination at this point, and in answer to him she said: I did not hear anyone say to defendant “We'll do you”. I saw McKay strike defendant, but it was in self defence. I sent for Charles Caggett, a constable, between four and five. In the meantime another constable was fetched by a friend of defendant's.

Annie Louise Turner, sister of the first witness, and barmaid at the Victoria Inn, gave similar evidence as to defendant's behaviour.

Edward Henry Anslow, a labourer, said he saw defendant outside the Princess Royal on the 11th inst. He spoke to a young fellow, and asked him if he wanted a pint of beer, and he declined. He then asked witness if he wanted a pint, and he said “Yes”, but did not get it. (Laughter) Defendant offered him half a sovereign if he would hold his coat, as he wanted to fight a young man in the road, but he did not fight with him. Instead, he went and interfered with Mr. Tolputt's waggoner, and his nose was cut. When defendant returned he went into the Princess Royal, and the company there dispersed. Then he followed them into Swift's house. Witness went in after, and saw defendant with his clothes off. He said he was the best man in Folkestone, and no-one could take it out of him. He was served with some soda water – nothing else. He refused to quit the place three times. The second time he knocked over all the glasses – one pint of beer belonged to witness. He was not what witness would call drunk. He seemed to know what he was about. With regard to the row that took place between McKay and defendant, defendant kept saying he was the best man, and he struck McKay, and got knocked down.

In reply to Mr. Watts, witness said Mrs. Smith sent for a policeman before defendant was knocked down. When the constable came he was standing up.

Edward George Bricknell gave similar evidence. He said defendant wanted to fight with him.

Mr. Hall had other witnesses, but did not think it necessary to call them.

Mr. Watts said it must be admitted his client had a certain amount of liquor, but he was not responsible for the disturbance.

The Bench, however, held that the charge was fully proved, and fined defendant 30s. and 20s. 6d. costs, or a month's imprisonment.

Mr. Hall asked for the costs of his witnesses, but the Bench declined to allow them.

 

Folkestone Herald 23 February 1895.

Local Jottings.

Arthur Felmingham, late landlord of the Princess Royal, was charged on Wednesday with having been drunk and disorderly on February 11th at the Victoria Inn, South Street. He had ultimately to pay a fine of 30s. and 20s. 6d. costs.

 

Folkestone Up To Date 23 February 1895.

Hall of Justice.

On Wednesday a publican was charged with refusing to quit licensed premises.

Fined 30s. and 21s. 6d. costs.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 6 May 1899.

Editorial.

Under the heading of Folkestone Police Court this week we give details of the evidence taken in the case of a prosecution of publicans, which is one of the cases in the series we alluded to in our article last week, as taken by the police under instructions. In that article we made it clear, so we are glad to be informed, that we are at one with those who wish to see “The Trade” in Folkestone so much improved in tone and lawful dealing as to enable the needs of the town, as a holiday resort, being met, while every demoralising, or in the least degree baneful, effect is swept from among us. Assuming, for the sake of argument, that hotels, inns, and public houses are essential to the prosperity of a watering place like ours, we maintain that they can gain no advantage by any dereliction from the strict letter of the law. At the same time we hold that no good can come out of twisting Acts of Parliament to punish a possibly innocent man as an “example”. There is no wisdom in trying to sweep a floor clean with a dirty broom. In the case we report this week the Magistrates, though they convicted the alleged offenders, granted permission to appeal, not because they were compelled, but obviously because a doubt existed in their minds as to whether they rightly or wrongly interpreted the law. The charge against the two brothers Skinner was stated in the summons as follows: “To Fredk. Skinner and Alfred Skinner, both now or late of the Borough of Folkestone, licensed victuallers. Information has been laid this day by Harry Reeve for that you, the said Frederick Skinner, on the 25th April, 1899, at the Borough of Folkestone aforesaid, then being duly licensed to sell by retail intoxicating liquors in your house and premises there situated, known by the sign of the Victoria, unlawfully did sell by retail some intoxicating liquor, to wit, beer, at a certain other place, to wit, the Royal Pavilion Hotel extension works, situate at, or near, the Harbour in the Borough of Folkestone, where you, the said Frederick Skinner, were not then authorised by your licence to sell the same, contrary to section 3 of the Licensing Act, 1872. And that you, the said Alfred Skinner, unlawfully were then and there present aiding and abetting the said Frederick Skinner to do and commit the said offence, contrary to the statute in such case made and provided.” The licensed victualler has for his guidance “The Licensed Victuallers' Yearbook”, which for the year 1899 instructs him as follows under the heading of “Sale”:- “Where an order for beer is sent to the holder of an off licence by post, the contract for sale is made at the licensed premises, and where the order assents to the appropriation of the beer at such off licence place, though there is a delivery of and payment for the beer at another place, this is not a breach of the Licensing Act, 1872.”

Accepting this instruction as authority, the Skinners entered into an arrangement two years ago to supply beer to the men engaged on the Pavilion Hotel extension works, and to deliver the beer there, the men not being allowed to leave the works during the morning. The conditions of sale were that no man was to have more than one pint, and no man was to be served who did not order the drink on Skinner's premises beforehand. The plain-clothes police who gained admittance to the works and watched the delivery of this ordered beer by Frederick Skinner and his brother gave evidence proving that they received payment from the men. They took the names of four of the men, who were also called as witnesses, and swore that they gave the order for the beer before going into the works in the morning. Apparently there was nothing done in contravention of the Act. We cannot conceive, however, that so careful and fair-minded a Chief Constable as Mr. Harry Reeve has already shown himself to be, could possibly lay information in the case without having satisfied himself that the practice of supplying the beer, in the case of the Skinners, had lapsed into irregular and careless infringement of the law. The order books brought into Court by the defendants were, for instance, kept in anything but an accurate and precise manner. Nor did the Skinners take the order books over with them and check every man's order, as they ought to have done, before delivery. Against this it may be cited that the Skinners admitted they were not educated men and trusted to their memory. Their memory may have been good, though we doubt if this fact would weigh with judges in a court of appeal. We would not advise the Licensed Victuallers' Association to appeal in this case.

The more important question than the fate of the Skinners is, however, raised by the prosecution, and this question is one in which the Temperance party and the “Trade” are equally interested. The decision of the Magistrates amounted to a wholesale condemnation of the system followed by grocers who hold off-licences, and purveyors who devote themselves entirely to the off-licence trade.

Few people have not experience of the grocer's young man who calls round weekly with his order book, and asks, and when he can, accepts and books at the door, an order for wines and spirits, and calls round at the house for payment after delivery. The off-licence dealer in beer does the same. He never hesitates to solicit an order when he meets a possible customer, nor to deliver and call round for payment in the same way the grocer does. The decision of the Magistrates on Wednesday renders every grocer or off-licence dealer who adopts this system liable to information being laid against him by Mr. Harry Reeve, Chief Constable, for having sold liquors at a place other than that for which he holds a licence. The full penalty for the offence is, if a first offence, 50 fine, with the alternative of one month's imprisonment. The grocer who executes an order given anywhere but in his own shop may at any time have this penalty inflicted upon him. For ourselves, we regard the grocers' trade in intoxicating liquors a pernicious practice. The husband who makes paupers of his children by spending his earnings in the “pub” is bad enough – an evil thing in all conscience; but an insidious system which tempts wives to have bottles delivered in their grocery packets, and leads to their tippling while their children sit all round them, is a system which some say works greater disaster to English homes than all the gilded bar parlours in the country. We hope grocers will be wise enough to take the hint this gives them, and that should the crusade for the purification of the Trade be continued, the Bench will see that justice is done to every class of trader, and not confined to the few whose establishments are conspicuous to the eye.

Police Court.

The Folkestone Police Court was crowded on Wednesday, when a summons was heard which was regarded as a most important test case regarding the Licensing Laws. Additional interest was added to the occasion by the fact of the decision affecting the system of provisioning the workmen engaged in rebuilding the Pavilion Hotel, in which Sir John Blundell Maple has many thousands at stake. For the last two years, during the process of building, the men at work there have been in the habit of remaining on the premises during the breakfast half-hour, and two publicans have been in the habit of carrying over an urn and a jar of beer, along with a basket of pint glasses, and serving the men in a room of the Pavilion extension with pints of beer, which the men themselves declare were ordered at the Victoria Inn, kept by the defendants, beforehand. The publicans further maintained that before beginning the practice two years ago they consulted with the then Superintendent of Police (Mr. John Taylor), who advised them that if they took care the beer was ordered on the premises of the licence holder, there would be no infringement of the law. Mr. Taylor had since retired on pension, and his successor, Mr. Harry Reeve, laid information that the two publicans carried on the business in a way which was rendering them open to prosecution to selling beer where not authorised by the Act. This was the charge, brought under Section 3 of the Licensing Act, against Fred. Skinner, landlord of the Victoria Inn, South Street, Folkestone, his brother, Alfred Skinner, being charged with aiding and abetting him in the unlawful procedure. The evidence was as follows:-

Sergeant Lilley said: On the 25th April, in company with P.C. Johnson, I kept watch on the Pavilion's reconstruction works. I saw the defendant Frederick Skinner go into the works carrying a glass bottle containing about three pints of liquid, apparently beer. At ten past ten the defendant Alfred Skinner went into the works carrying on his shoulder a tin urn, holding about four gallons, and a basket containing glasses. Both the defendants came from South Street. At 10.25 a.m. both came out of the works. Alfred was carrying the urn, which appeared to be empty. At 10.35 both came back from South Street carrying the urn and went into the works. There were handles on the urn, and I should say it was full by the way they hitched up their shoulders in carrying it. About two minutes later we went into the works. In a room on the ground floor, facing the Lower Sandgate Road, I saw the defendant Frederick drawing beer from the urn and handing it in pint glasses to the men. Alfred was taking the money. I saw several men served and pay. In one instance a man tendered 6d., and received from Alfred 4d. in change. The men were working on the works. I heard the defendant Frederick say to Alfred “Has he paid you?” During a portion of the time I was standing looking over Alfred's shoulder. I touched him on the shoulder and said “I suppose you won't deny taking money, Skinner?” He looked round and said “It's all right, sergeant, it's all ordered”. I said “But you are taking money?” He replied “Yes, we have to take some, or we do not get it at all”. I said “I shall report you for selling intoxicating liquor at a place where you are not authorised bu your licence”. He said “All right”, and turning to Frederick said “The game's up. Come on”. Frederick said “No, let us serve this lot”. We took the names of four men who were served, and who paid, and I asked Alfred how much he had served. He said four gallons. There was no book in use, nor did I hear the defendants ask any of the men if they had ordered the beer. We left the building, and about ten minutes afterwards both defendants came out, and Frederick was carrying the urn, empty. Alfred said to me “This is just what I expected, sergeant. I suppose we shall get off by paying”. He asked me if I would stop while he fetched the book in which he had entered the orders. They both went into the Victoria, and Alfred brought out a book which he showed me, in which there were a lot of names and figures. There were about 20 men in the room, and Johnson and I were in plain clothes.

Cross-examined by Mr. Minter, who represented the defendants, Lilley said he had made no inquiry from the four men whose names he and Johnson took.

P.C. Johnson corroborated the evidence of Sergeant Lilley, and added that the defendant Alfred said to him “Somebody's been putting you on this. Still, I suppose we shall get off by paying. It won't be a hanging job”.

Mr. Minter protested that the proceedings were irregular, in that the defendant had not been notified to bring his licence.

Mr. Bradley (Magistrates' Clerk): If you persist we shall adjourn the case; that is all.

Mr. Minter, in opening the defence, admitted that according to Section 3 of the Licensing Act of 1872, under which the prosecution was instituted, the only place in which the defendants were legally entitled to sell was on the premises for which they held a licence, but he contended that the sale in the case in point had taken place on the licensed premises and nowhere else. The police could not deny that the defendants were respectable licence holders, and he asked the Bench was it possible they would offend their brewers, Mackeson and Co., and risk being turned out by wilfully committing a breach of the law, knowing too the heavy penalty of 50 fine which might be inflicted? He would bring evidence to prove that the evidence of the police was nonsensical. “One is not surprised”, said Mr. Minter, “at the evidence of Lilley. He believes he knows the law better than the Bench or the Clerk, and one is never surprised at any kind of evidence he gives”. There was an old saying “If you want to know anything, ask a policeman”. The defendant, who held the licence for the Victoria, asked a policeman. Before commencing the trade he had appealed to the man best qualified to advise him, to ex-Supt. Taylor, and had Mr. Taylor's advice that what he was doing was not wrong. He (Mr. Minter) contended that Mr. Taylor's advice was sound. Sergeant Lilley, the great authority on the law, seemed to think that he had proved the violation by proving that the defendant took money. The taking of money was not denied, but he contended, on the ruling of Mr. Justice Wills in the appeal case of Platts v Beattie, there was no infringement of the law. Mr. Justice Wills had laid down in that case a definite difference between sale and order, and had ruled that if the order were given on the premises for which the defendant held the licence, the sale was legal, no matter where the delivery. Further, in this case, the liquor was taken from licensed premises and served on licensed premises, as the Pavilion people held a licence. Another thing, he would put the defendants in the witness box, and they would deny that they ever used the words attributed to them in “the concocted evidence of Lilley and Johnson”. “I hope”, went on Mr. Minter, “the Bench will say that although a man is a publican it does not follow that he is a sinner, nor that he will get into the witness box and perjure himself, and I trust, although he is a licence holder, the Bench may come to the conclusion that he is a respectable man whose word may be taken on oath just as well as that of the professional swearers, the policemen you have had before you”. The police should, he added, have waited for the opinion of the Excise Officer before taking the action. If the Excise Officer was of opinion that there was no infringement of the law they had no right to set their opinion against it.

Mr. Fred Hall, representing Mesrs. Mackeson, the brewers, rose to inform the Bench that his clients were able to produce authority for such action as they had taken, but Mr. Bradley, Magistrates' Clerk, ruled Mr. Hall out of order, and the Bench refused to listen to him.

Fred Skinner was sworn, and said what he had done he did after taking the advice of the Superintendent of the Police (Mr. Taylor). He produced his order book, and swore that every pint of beer he sold had been ordered on his premises. Men at the works, who had not ordered the beer, had asked him to serve them, but in every case he had stoutly refused. As to the words the police said he used, he emphatically denied having used them.

Alfred Skinner said the statement of P.C. Johnson that he had spoken of it “not being a hanging job” was untrue. He never spoke a single word to Johnson about the matter.

The four men whose names were taken by the police, viz., Harry Cheeseman, William Baker, John Amos, and Frank Finn, were also called, and swore that they gave the order for the beer to the defendants at the Victoria Inn, on their way to the works, just after six in the morning.

The Bench decided that the case had been proved, and they fined the defendants 5 each, and 11s. costs, mitigating the fine from 50 as this was their first offence. The licence was not endorsed, and the fines were paid.

Mr. Minter asked the Bench to state a case for appeal to the higher courts to decide the point of law, and the application was acceded to.

 

Folkestone Express 6 May 1899.

Wednesday, May 3rd: Before W. Wightwick, and W.G. Herbert Esqs., and Colonel Hamilton.

Frederick Skinner, the landlord of the Victoria Inn, South Street, was summoned for selling beer where not authorised to do so, and Alfred Skinner was summoned for aiding and abetting him.

The case appeared to create a large amount of interest, for the Court was crowded, among those present being several licensed victuallers.

Mr. J. Minter appeared for the defendants, who pleaded Not Guilty.

P.S. Lilley said that on the morning of the 25th of last month, in company with P.C. Johnson, he kept watch upon the Pavilion reconstruction works. At ten a.m. he saw the defendant Frederick carry a glass bottle containing liquid, apparently beer. At ten minutes past ten the defendant Alfred went into the works, carrying on his shoulder a tin urn, holding about four gallons, and a basket containing glasses. Both defendants came from South Street. At 10.25 a.m. both defendants came out of the works, and Alfred was carrying the urn, which appeared to be empty. Both went along South Street. At 10.35 they both came back carrying the urn, and went into the works. About two minutes later he and Johnson went into the works, and in a room on the ground floor facing the Lower Sandgate Road saw the defendant Frederick drawing beer from the urn and handing it in pint glasses to the men. Alfred was taking the money. He saw several men served and pay. In one instance a man tendered sixpence, and received from Alfred fourpence in change. He heard defendant Frederick say to Alfred “Has he paid you?”, meaning a man he had just served with a pint of beer. During a portion of the time he was standing looking over Alfred's shoulder. He touched him on the shoulder and said “You won't deny taking the money, I suppose, Skinner?” He looked up and said “It's all right sergeant. It's all ordered”. He said “But you are taking the money for it”. He replied “Yes, we have to take some or we should not get it at all”. Witness said “I shall report you for selling intoxicating liquor at a place where you are not authorised by your licence to do so”. He said “Alright”, and turning to Frederick said “The game's up, come on”. Frederick said “No. Let us sell this lot”. They took the names of four men who were served and paid, and he asked Alfred how much the urn held. He said “Four gallons”. There was no book in use, nor did he hear defendants ask any of the men if they had ordered the beer. They left the building, and about ten minutes after both defendants came out, and they were carrying the urn. Alfred said to him “This is just what I expected, sergeant. I suppose we shall get off by paying”. He asked him if he would stop while he fetched the book in which he had entered all the orders. They both went into the Victoria in South Street, and Alfred on returning showed him a book in which there were a lot of names and figures. He and Johnson were both in plain clothes.

By Mr. Minter: I have no doubt the men knew me. I took the names of Harry Cheeseman and William Baker. Johnson took Amos and Andrews.

P.C. Johnson said on the morning of the 25th he was in company with P.S. Lilley keeping watch on the Pavilion works in Lower Sandgate Road, and at 10 a.m. he saw the defendant Frederick come through South Street and enter the works carrying a bottle which seemed to contain beer. At 10.10, defendant Alfred came through South Street with a can on his shoulder and a basket containing glasses. At 10.25 they came out and went back to South Street, Alfred carrying the can, which appeared to be empty. At 10.35, defendant came back carrying a can, and re-entered the works. About two minutes later he went into the works and saw defendant surrounded by about 20 men. Defendant Frederick was drawing beer, and defendant Alfred appeared to be taking money. Cheeseman called for a pint and handed defendant Alfred sixpence, and received 4d. change. Several of the other men had pints and paid for them. One man had a pint, which was served in a pint glass, and laid a penny on the top of the urn. Then Sergt. Lilley tapped the defendant Alfred on the top of the shoulder and said “You don't deny taking the money, I suppose, Skinner?” Defendant replied “If we didn't take some of it, we should not get any at all”. He then took the names of two of the men who were there, and came away. About five minutes later he saw the defendants coming away from the works and carrying the can. Defendant Alfred said “Someone has been putting you on to this. Still, I suppose we shall get off by paying. It won't be a hanging matter”. Defendant then went into the Victoria and brought out a book, which he showed to the sergeant.

Mr. Minter then addressed the Bench for the defence, and in the course of a speech extending over nearly three quarters of an hour he hit out very vigorously at times. He began with a little passage of arms with Mr. Bradley, contending that defendant should have been served with a notice to produce his licence.

Mr. Bradley replied that the production of the register was sufficient, but if Mr. Minter persisted in his objection the case could be adjourned.

Mr. Minter: We'll have a little fair play, Mr. Bradley. The case is closed.

He then proceeded to address the Bench on the section under which the proceedings were taken, viz., Section 3 of the Licensing Act of 1872, and, pointing out the penalties, asked them whether they thought that any respectable licence holder, as he claimed defendant to be, conducting his house in an exemplary manner, was likely to wilfully go and commit a breach of the law in the sense in which he was charged there, knowing the penalties he would incur under the Act, with the still further penalty of being kicked out of his tenancy by the landlords, who would naturally decline to have their property imperilled by improper conduct on the part of the tenant. Turning aside to describe P.S. Lilley as “the all-sufficient man who knew more about the law than the Bench or the Clerk to the Magistrates”, he went on with his remarks that there was an old saying “If you want to know anything ask a policeman”, and that was just what his client did. He asked the advice of one of the most important authorities in the town – Supt. Taylor. All he had done was actually under the advice and with the sanction of Supt. Taylor, and judging by a case he would refer to he should say that Supt. Taylor was right in thinking that defendant should sell beer in the way that he did. This was one of those cases where, although a man was a publican it did not necessarily follow that he was a sinner; although he was a publican it did not necessarily follow that he would go into the witness box to perjure himself, and that being so, he thought his client's word could be taken on oath just as well as that of the professional swearers who had been called before them. His client would say that he went to the highest authority in the borough and said “There is all this work going on at the Pavilion, and the men like my beer. I am close to the works, but I don't want to get into trouble, and I come to ask you whether I can serve them legally”. Supt. Taylor replied “You are perfectly justified in supplying these men if you get the orders while they are on your premises”. Having got this sanction, which of course was not binding upon the Bench, and having received the orders for the beer on his premises, defendant, continued the speaker, was quite justified in taking the money the way that he did. The defendants would deny most emphatically using the words attributed to them by the police, and expanding upon this point he described the evidence respecting these remarks as a concoction on the part of the constables to effect a conviction, and finally asked the Bench if they were going to say that these two eminently respectable men, the defendants, would perjure themselves, and that the policemen were the only ones that told the truth. Continuing, he pointed out that the beer was carried by a licensed holder to licensed premises, and delivered and consumed there. He should say that it was more a case for the Excise authorities, and if they were satisfied that there was no infringement of the law, surely there was no necessity for interference by the police? He quoted the case of Platts v Beattie in support of his contention that the sale having taken place on the premises of defendant, the delivery and receiving of money was immaterial. The defendants were charged there with selling – not delivering – and the point for them to decide was: Where did the sale take place? He should bring evidence to prove that the sale took place on licensed premises – the Victoria Inn, South Street. It had been ruled that the delivery and payment was of no consequence, and as it would be proved that defendant refused to supply any beer, except it had been previously ordered on his premises, he claimed the dismissal of the case.

At this point, Mr. F. Hall, who said he was watching the case on behalf of the owners of the Victoria Inn, Messrs. Mackeson and Co., rose with the intention of pointing out to the Bench that the defendant came with the highest testimonials, and had always conducted his house to the entire satisfaction of Messrs. Mackeson and Co., but was informed by Mr. Bradley that he was quite out of order.

Mr. Hall, however, persisted to the extent of completing his sentence, and Mr. Bradley told him that it was a “most unwarrantable intrusion”.

Mr. Hall: But I have not interrupted any part of the proceedings.

Mr. Minter then called Frederick Skinner, who said he was the landlord of the Victoria in South Street. He saw Supt. Taylor with reference to selling beer at the Pavilion works and followed his instructions. He did not supply any beer to any man on the Pavilion works on the Tuesday named by the police, except that which had been previously ordered in his house. Every pint of beer which he supplied had been previously ordered on his licensed premises in South Street. It was not true that he said to Sergt. Lilley “This is just what I expected. I suppose I shall get off by paying”, or anything to that effect. He never spoke to Johnson on the subject at all. He never used the words mentioned by Johnson in his evidence.

Supt. Reeve: How much did the urn hold? – About four gallons.

How can you tell who has ordered the beer? – I have the names in a book.

Can you produce the book? – Yes.

The book was produced and handed to Supt. Reeve, who inspected it.

Witness said he did not use the book on the morning in question. He knew his regular customers. He did not ask each man as he came up whether he had ordered the beer or not.

Alfred Skinner, the brother of the defendant, said he was helping him on this occasion. He had seen the names of those who ordered beer entered in the book, and he knew them all personally. He did not supply anyone who had not ordered the beer before at the house. He did not use the words attributed to him by P.S. Lilley. He spoke to Johnson about a window breaking affair.

By Supt. Reeve: He was quite sure that no-one had been served that morning who had not ordered it.

Harry Cheeseman, a labourer working on the Pavilion works, said he had some beer there last Tuesday, which he ordered at the Victoria Inn. He ordered a pint to be supplied every morning.

By Supt. Reeve: I gave the order for the beer at two minutes past six that morning.

William Baker, a labourer, said he had a pint of beer, which was supplied in accordance with an order he gave at the Victoria on Monday morning for a pint to be taken every morning.

By Supt. Reeve: I pay for the beer every Saturday.

John Amos, a labourer, deposed to having a pint of beer on the morning in question, which he ordered at the Victoria Inn at breakfast time that morning.

Frank Finn, a labourer, said the beer he had on Tuesday he ordered at the Victoria Inn at breakfast time that morning.

By Supt. Reeve: He paid for it on Saturday.

The Bench retired for several minutes, and on their return Mr. Wightwick said they considered that an offence had been committed, but as it was a first offence they would impose a mitigated penalty of 5 and 11s. 6d. costs in each case, or in default one month's hard labour.

Mr. Minter: I will ask the Bench to state a case upon a point of law.

Mr. Bradley: What i the point of law?

Mr. Minter: That defendants were justified in selling in the way which they did, because the beer was sold on licensed premises.

The Bench decided to state a case.

 

Folkestone Herald 6 May 1899.

Folkestone Police Court.

On Wednesday morning last a case of particular interest to licence holders was held before the Borough Bench at the Police Court.

Frederick Skinner, landlord of the Victoria Inn, South Street, was summoned for selling beer in a place not authorised by his licence, and Albert Skinner, for aiding and abetting him. Superintendent Reeve conducted for the prosecution, and Mr. J. Minter appeared for the defence. The defendants pleaded Not Guilty.

P.S. Lilley deposed: On the morning of Tuesday, the 25th of last month, in company with P.C. Johnson, I kept watch upon the Pavilion reconstruction works. At 10 o'clock I saw the defendant Frederick go into the works carrying a glass bottle containing two or three pints of liquor, apparently beer. At ten past ten the defendant Alfred went in the works carrying on his shoulder a tin urn holding about four gallons, and a basket containing glasses. Both the defendants came from South Street. At 10.25 both the defendants came out of the works, and Alfred was carrying the urn, which appeared to be empty. Both went along South Street. At 10.35 both came back carrying the urn and went into the works. I should say it was full. About two minutes later we went into the works ina room on the ground floor, facing the Lower Sandgate Road. He saw the defendant Frederick drawing beer from the urn, and handing it in pint glasses to the men. Alfred was taking the money, and he saw several men served and pay. In one instance a man tendered sixpence and received from Alfred fourpence in change. The men were workmen on the works. I heard the defendant say to Alfred “Has he paid you?”, meaning the man he had just served with a pint of beer. During a portion of the time I was standing looking over Alfred's shoulder. I touched him on the shoulder and said “You won't deny taking the money, I suppose, Skinner?” He looked up and said “It is all right, Sergeant; it is all ordered”. I said “But you are taking money for it”. He replied “Yes, we have to take some or we should not get it at all”. I said “I shall report you for selling intoxicating liquor at a place where you are not authorised by your licence to do so”. He said “All right”, and turning to Frederick, he said “The game is up now. Come on”. Frederick said “No. Let us sell this lot”. We took the names of four men who were served and paid. I asked Alfred how much the urn held. He said four gallons. There was no booking, nor did I hear the defendant ask any of the men if they had ordered the beer. We left the building and about ten minutes after both the defendants came out. Frederick was carrying the urn, empty. Alfred said to me “This is just what I expected, Sergeant. I suppose we shall get off by paying”. He asked me if I would stop while he went to fetch the book in which he had entered all the orders. They both went into the Victoria in South Street. Alfred returned and showed me a book in which there were lots of names and figures.

By the Superintendent: There were at least twenty men when we went in first. We were both in plain clothes.

Cross-examined: I daresay these men knew me. I took the names of four men they were supplying. The names were Harry Cheeseman, William Baker, and Johnson took Amos and Andrews.

P.C. George W. Johnson gave corroborative evidence, continuing as follows: In reply to Sergeant Lilley, the defendant said “Yes, if we don't take some of it we should not get it at all”. He turned to his brother and said “Come on, let's get out of it. The game's up”. Alfred said “Oh, don't be in a hurry. Let's get rid of this little lot”. I then took the names of two men who were there. I came away about five or ten minutes afterwards. I saw the two defendants come from the works. Frederick was carrying the can. Alfred said “Someone has been putting you on this. I suppose we shall get off with paying. It won't be a hanging matter”. He went into the Victoria and fetched a book out. He showed it to the Sergeant.

Mr. Minter now submitted that the evidence of the defendant's licensed premises would be the licence he held, which he had had no notice to produce. (Mr. H.B. Bradley advised that the register would be sufficient.) Mr. Minter then referred to the section of the Act under which proceedings were being taken and the penalties. He asked whether they thought that a respectable licence holder, which he claimed the defendant was, knowing the penalties which he would incur, would commit such an offence. He probabilities, he submitted, were in defendant's favour. All the nonsensical evidence the policeman had given he would brush on one side. Sergeant Lilley was one of those all-sufficient men who knew the law and generally attempted to teach them the mode in which everything should be done. He was never surprised at any evidence he gave. There was an old saying – “If you want to know anything, ask a policeman”. That was just what his client did. He asked the advice of one of the most competent men to give it, namely Superintendent Taylor. All he had done was actually under the advice and with the sanction of Superintendent Taylor. He did not think that advice was wrong; he thought the defendant justified in selling the beer as he did. Although a man was a publican it did not necessarily follow that he was a sinner, or that he would perjure himself in the witness box. He hoped the Bench would consider his word could be taken on oath as well as that of the professional swearer, the policeman. There was no intentional infringement of the law. The defendant asked Superintendent Taylor, telling him of the works, also that the men liked his beer and wanted him to supply it. He asked him whether he could serve them legally. Superintendent Taylor told him that which he submitted to the Bench was the law on the subject. Superintendent Taylor advised him that there was nothing to prevent him if he received the orders upon his premises. Sergeant Lilley, a great authority upon the law, seemed to think the offence was taking money. He submitted that the defendant was justified in taking the money, having previously received the orders for the beer. They had not got the tale just complete. Johnson put in “the hanging matter”, but Lilley did not put it in. Then there was the observation they both made that “the game is up”. Could they imagine the defendant saying a thing like that? They believed they had the right to do it. Why should they say that? They would deny using such words. Could they say the policemen were the only ones to tell the truth? The Pavilion Hotel held a licence and the beer was carried from licensed premises to licensed premises. He should have thought there would not be any necessity for the interference of the police if the Excise were satisfied there was no infringement. In support of his argument Mr. Minter quoted the case of Pleats against Beattie, and contended the defendant were entitled to the dismissal of the summons.

Mr. F. Hall, who said he appeared for Messrs. Mackeson, was about to inform the Bench of something, but Mr. Bradley said he was quite out of order.

Frederick Skinner, one of the defendants, then deposed: I am the landlord of the Victoria, South Street. I saw Superintendent Taylor with reference to supplying beer at the Pavilion works. I have followed his instructions. I did not supply any man on the Pavilion works on Tuesday with beer that had not been previously ordered. Every pint of beer I supplied to those men on that day had been previously ordered at my licensed premises. My brother helped me. I did not say to Sergeant Lilley that “this is what I expected. I suppose I shall get off by paying”, or anything to that effect. I did not speak to Johnson at all.

Superintendent Reeve: Each man you did serve you say had previously ordered the beer? – Yes, sir.

And each one had ordered a pint of beer? – Yes, sir.

Did you hear Johnson give his evidence that he heard one man ask for half a pint of beer and that it was served to him in a pint glass? – Well, unfortunately, he might not have had a half pint glass with him.

How do you know which man has ordered, and which has not? – You know your regular customer every morning.

You admit you did not check the order? – No, not that morning.

Did you ask every man whether he had ordered? – No, I knew them personally.

By Mr. Minter: He had done it for two years.

Alfred Skinner deposed: I was helping my brother on this occasion. The men I was supplying had ordered the beer in my presence. I saw their names entered in the book. I know every one of the men. I did not say to Sergeant Lilley that it was what I had expected, and I supposed I should bet off by paying. I never heard my brother say it. I did not hear my brother say to Johnson that someone has been putting him up to this, and he supposed it was not a hanging matter.

By Superintendent Reeve: I personally knew the men. Nobody had beer that I knew without having previously ordered it. I don't use the book in the room because I know each man.

Harry Cheeseman, William Baker, John Amos, and Frank Finn each deposed that they had previously ordered the beer at the Victoria Inn.

Superintendent Reeve remarked that he did not see the names of Cheeseman and Baker in the book.

Defendant said he booked the latter as “George”.

After the Bench had retired to consider their decision, the Chairman said they had very carefully considered the case and listened most attentively to the arguments of Mr. Minter, but they considered an offence had been committed. As it was the first offence they would mitigate the penalty to a fine of 5 and 11s. 6d. costs, or one month's hard labour.

Mr. Minter asked the Bench to state a case on the point of law that they were justified in selling in the way they did.

 

Folkestone Up To Date 6 May 1899.

Local News.

At the Folkestone Police Court on Wednesday, Frederick Skinner, of the Victoria Inn, South Street, and his brother, Alfred Skinner, were convicted of selling beer on the Pavilion Works.

The defence was that the beer was ordered.

The Bench imposed penalties amounting to 11 3s., including costs.

Mr. Minter, on behalf of the defendants, asked the Bench to state a case for a superior Court.

The application was acceded to.

Mr. Frederic Hall represented the brewers.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 5 August 1899.

Police Court.

Alfred Skinner, of the Tramway Tavern, applied for the licence of the Victoria, South Street, to be transferred to him from his brother, Frederick Skinner, and Frederick Skinner applied for the licence of the Tramway Tavern, Radnor Street, to be transferred to him. The case was simply one of exchange of premises. Mr. Minter, solicitor to the Folkestone and District Licensed Victuallers' Protection Society, appeared for both applicants. The Bench would remember, he said, that a few months back both were fined for serving drink off the premises to the workmen at the Pavilion new works. The offence, however, was a purely technical one, arising out of a practice which had prevailed for a long time and had been carried on under a misunderstanding of the proper interpretation of the law. The prosecution had resulted in the misapprehension being removed, but had left no stigma upon the Skinners, and there had been no endorsement of the licence. The Chief Constable had no objection to the transfer, and the Magistrates granted the request of the applicants without raising any question.

 

Folkestone Herald 5 August 1899.

Wednesday, August 2nd:

The following transfer of licence was allowed: Mr. Frederick Skinner, Victoria Inn, South Street.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 19 May 1900.

Monday, May 14th: Before Messrs. Hoad, Spurgen, Stainer, Vaughan, Medhurst, and Pledge, and Colonel Westropp.

Frederick Pearson, a labourer, was charged with being drunk and disorderly on Saturday evening.

P.C. Sales, about 8.45, was called to the Victoria public house. He found that the defendant had been ejected, and that he was swearing and causing a disturbance. Witness requested him to go away, but he refused, and used bad language. Defendant challenged the landlord of the Victoria to come out and fight, and caused a crowd to collect. With the assistance of Detective Burniston witness took him to the police station.

Defendant pleaded Guilty, but thought the constable had “put it on a little bit”.

Fined 4s. 6d. and 5s. costs, or seven days'. The fine was paid.

 

Folkestone Express 24 January 1903.

Monday, January 19th: Before E.T. Ward Esq., Col. Westropp, Alderman Vaughan, G. Peden, J. Stainer, and W.C. Carpenter Esqs.

Daniel Thompson was charged with being drunk and disorderly.

P.C. Taylor said about 6.45 p.m. on the 17th inst., he was in Harbour Street, where prisoner was drunk. Witness followed him into South Street, where he went into a public house, but the landlord refused to serve him. As prisoner was incapable of taking care of himself, witness took him into custody.

Prisoner told the Bench he had been working in the dock at Chatham, but the hands had been paid off in consequence of the frost.

As prisoner had been in the cells since Saturday, the Magistrates dismissed him with a caution.

 

Folkestone Herald 24 January 1903.

Monday, January 19th: Before Messrs. Ward, Peden, Stainer, Vaughan, Carpenter, and Lieut. Colonel Westropp.

Daniel Thompson was charged with being drunk and disorderly in Harbour Street on Saturday night.

P.C. Ashby stated that about 6.45 on Saturday evening he was on duty in Harbour Street when he saw the prisoner, carrying a bundle. As he appeared to be under the influence of drink witness followed him, and saw him enter the Victoria public house. Here the prisoner was not served with drink, and as he appeared to be incapable, witness transferred him to the station.

Thompson said that he had come to Folkestone from Chatham, where, owing to the frost, his work had been suspended. It was a long time since he had been before the Bench, and should he be given a chance it would be a long time before he again appeared at the Court. He was a native of Folkestone.

The Bench, considering that the prisoner had been locked up since Saturday, decided to discharge him.

Thompson was then dismissed.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 13 February 1904.

Licensing Sessions.

Wednesday, February 10th: Before Mr. W. Wightwick, Alderman Herbert, Lieut. Cols. Fynmore, Westropp, and Hamilton, Messrs. C.J. Pursey and E.T. Ward.

The Chief Constable (Mr. H. Reeve) read his annual report, which contained interesting figures with regard to drunkenness, etc. No person in Folkestone had yet been convicted a sufficient number of times to be placed on the “black list”. The Chief Constable objected to the renewal of the licence of the Swan Inn, Dover Road, and asked that the consideration of this licence might be deferred until the adjourned sessions.

The Chairman then read the Justices' Report, which stated that the number of licensed houses in Folkestone, and especially around the harbour, was out of all proportion to the population. The number of licences had not been reduced, owing to the fact that a Bill amending the Licensing Laws was shortly to be introduced in Parliament. Certain public houses – the Imperial Brewery Tap, the Hope, the East Cliff Tavern, the Victoria, the Lifeboat Inn, the Duke Of Edinburgh, and the Channel Inn had been inspected by the Justices, and recommendations with regard to their sanitary improvement and closing of back entries were made.

Mr. John Minter said that water had been laid on at the Channel Inn since the report on the bad state of the sanitary arrangements. Mr. Minter also suggested with regard to the Imperial Brewery Tap that a public bar should be made with an entrance from Mill Bay.

The Bench decided, however, that the orders made in the report should be adhered to.

Licences were then granted to the lessees of public houses and licensed premises.

 

Folkestone Express 13 February 1904.

Annual Licensing Meeting.

Wednesday, February 10th: Before W. Wightwick Esq., Lieut. Col. Hamilton, Lieut. Col. Fynmore, Lieut. Colonel Westropp, and W.G. Herbert, E.T. Ward, and C.J. Pursey Esqs.

The following was the report of Supt. Reeve: Chief Constable's Office, Folkestone, 10th February, 1904. To the Chairman and Members of the Licensing Committee of the Borough of Folkestone. Gentlemen, I have the honour to report for your information that there are at present within your jurisdiction 139 premises licensed for the sale of intoxicating liquors, namely: Full licences 87; Beer on 11; Beer off 6; Beer and Spirits (dealers) 16; Grocers 12; Confectioners 3; Chemists 4; Total 139 – an average of one licence to every 220 persons, or one “on” licence to every 313. This is a decrease of one full licence as compared with last year's return, the licence of the Marquis Of Lorne having been refused at the adjourned meeting in March. Twenty of the licences have been transferred during the year, namely, 14 full licences, two beer on, two beer off, and two grocers. One beer off licence was transferred twice during the year. One licence holder has been convicted since the last annual meeting of committing drunkenness on his licensed premises. He has since transferred his licence and left the house. The alterations which the Justices at the adjourned meeting last year directed to be made to the Packet Boat, Castle, Tramway, Bricklayers' Arms, Granville, and Star Inns have all been carried out in a satisfactory manner, and none of the licensed houses are now used as common lodging houses. Ten occasional licences, and extensions of hours on 21 occasions, have been granted to licence holders during the year. There are 14 places licensed for music and dancing, and two for public billiard playing. Eleven clubs where intoxicating liquors are sold are registered in accordance with the Licensing Act of 1902. For the year ending 31st December last year, 154 persons (131 males and 23 females) were proceeded against for drunkenness. 131 were convicted and 23 discharged. This is an increase of 65 persons proceeded against, and 51 convicted, as compared with 1902. The increase is chiefly due to the additional powers given to the police under the Licensing Act, 1902. Up to the present time no person within the Borough has been convicted the necessary number of times within the 12 months to be placed on the “black list” as provided by Section 6 of the Act of 1902. With very few exceptions the whole of the licensed houses have been conducted in a satisfactory manner. The only objection I have to make to the renewal of any of the present licences is that of the Swan Inn, Dover Road, and I would ask that the renewal of this licence be deferred until the adjourned meeting. I have the honour to be, gentlemen, your obedient servant, H. Reeve (Chief Constable).

The Chairman: I think, gentlemen, you will agree that the report of the Superintendent is a satisfactory one – in fact, I may say very satisfactory – for the whole year. With your permission I well read the report we now make to you. At the adjournment of the last general licensing meeting we stated that in our opinion the number of licences for the sale of intoxicating liquor then existing in the borough of Folkestone, especially in the part of the immediate neighbourhood of the Harbour, was out of all proportion to the population, and that we proposed between then and the general annual licensing meeting of this year to obtain information on various matters, to enable us to determine what reduction would be made in the number of licences. We invited the owners of licensed houses in the meantime to meet and agree among themselves for the voluntary surrender at this general meeting of a substantial number of licences in the borough, and to submit the result of their united action to the Licensing Justices for acceptance. Failing any satisfactory proposal for reduction by the owners, the Licensing Justices last year intimated that in the exercise of their discretionary powers they would at this year's meeting decide in a fair and equitable spirit what reduction should be made. But at the opening of Parliament last week it was announced in the King's speech that the Government intended to introduce in the House of Commons during the present session a Bill to amend the Licensing Laws. In view of this legislation we are of opinion we ought not, pending the passage of this Bill through Parliament, exercise the discretionary powers vested in us, and take measures for effecting a further reduction in the number of licences within the borough on the ground that certain licensed premises are not required for the public accommodation. We have recently inspected certain houses known as the Imperial Brewery Tap, the Hope, East Cliff Tavern, Victoria, Lifeboat, Duke Of Edinburgh, Railway Tavern, and Channel Inn.

As to the Victoria, these premises are structurally unfit, and not adapted for the purpose of fully licensed premises. There is no urinal, except one opening out of the bar parlour by means of a doorway, the smell from which is offensive. The bar parlour is badly lighted. We direct that the holder of the licence shall, within fourteen days from this date, properly ventilate the urinal, and remove the window looking into, and the door leading into, the adjoining yard, and substitute therefore a large plate glass window, with circular ventilator.

 

Folkestone Express 21 May 1904.

Saturday, May 14th: Before Alderman Vaughan, Lieut. Col. Westropp, and Lieut. Col. Fynmore.

William Spearpoint was summoned for being drunk and disorderly in South Street on May 12th. Defendant did not appear.

P.C. Watson said the defendant was about the town drunk that morning. At 10.45 on Thursday night he was on duty in South Street when he saw the defendant being ejected from the Victoria Inn. Defendant was very drunk, and was shouting about and using filthy language. Witness requested him to go home, and a friend took him home. Defendant was not in the Victoria Inn very long, and as far as witness knew he had not been served with ale.

The Chief Constable said the man was well-known to the Bench. There were many previous convictions against him. On the 11th of last month he was sentenced to 14 days' hard labour for a similar offence.

Defendant was sentenced to a month's hard labour.

 

Folkestone Herald 21 May 1904.

Saturday, May 14th: Before Alderman T.J. Vaughan, Lieut. Col. Fynmore, and Lieut. Col. Westropp.

William Spearpoint was summoned for being drunk and disorderly in South Street on the 12th inst. Defendant did not appear.

P.C. Watson stated that at 10.45 on the night in question he saw Spearpoint ejected from the Victoria Inn. He was very drunk, shouting, and using very obscene language. Witness requested him to go home, and a friend took him. He told Spearpoint he should report him for being drunk and disorderly.

The Chief Constable stated that there were a number of convictions against Spearpoint, the last being on the 11th April, when he was sentenced to 14 days' hard labour for a similar offence.

The Chairman said that as Spearpoint was not present to answer the charge they had decided to send him to Canterbury Gaol for one month with hard labour. A warrant for his arrest was issued.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 11 February 1905.

Licensing Sessions.

Wednesday, February 8th: Before Mr. E.T. Ward, Lieut. Colonel Westropp, Lieut. Colonel Fynmore, and Mr. W.C. Carpenter.

There was the usual animated scene as the names of licensees were called out in alphabetical order, and the usual theatrical ring of the burly constables shouting “Get your money ready, please”.

The Chairman opened the Sessions by briefly saying “I will ask the Chief Constable to read his annual report”.

Chief Constable Reeve then read the following:- Chief Constable's Office, Folkestone, Feb. 8th, 1905. To the Chairman and Members of the Licensing Committee. Gentlemen, I have the honour to report that there are at present within your jurisdiction 139 places licensed for the sale of intoxicating liquor, viz., full licences 87, beer (on) 11, beer (off) 6, beer and spirit dealers 16, grocers 12, chemists 4, confectioners 3. This gives an average (according to the Census of 1901) of one licence to 220 persons, or one on licence to every 313 persons.

Eighteen of the licences were transferred during the year, viz., 12 full licences, 3 beer on, and three spirit dealers. One full licence was transferred twice during the year.

The orders which were made at the last licensing meeting to close the back entrances to various licensed houses, and to make certain alterations to others, were complied with by the licensees.

Proceedings were taken by the police against three of those licence holders during the year, one for harbouring prostitutes, and two others for permitting drunkenness. The former only was convicted. He has since transferred his licence and left the house.

Two other licence holders were proceeded against by the Inland Revenue Authorities (six informations were laid against one defendant, and three against the other), and in each case a conviction followed, the defendants being fined 20s. and costs upon each summons.

For selling drink without a licence 8 persons were proceeded against by the Inland Revenue Authorities, and two by the police, in each case a conviction being recorded.

For drunkenness, 171 persons (143 males and 28 females) were proceeded against, 156 convicted, and 15 discharged. This is an increase of 17 persons proceeded against as compared with the previous year. One person was convicted of refusing to quit licensed premises when requested.

Six occasional licences and extension of hours on 42 occasions were granted to licence holders during the year.

There are 16 places licensed for music and dancing, and three for public billiard playing.

Eleven clubs where intoxicating liquors are sold are registered in accordance with the Licensing Act, 1902.

The general conduct of the licensed houses being in my opinion at present satisfactory, I have no objection to offer to the renewal of any of the present licences on the ground of misconduct.

I beg to point out that within the area formed by a line drawn from the Harbour through South Street, High Street, Rendezvous Street, Dover Road to the Raglan Hotel, thence over Radnor Bridge to the sea, there is a population approximately of 5,090, with 45 “on” licensed houses, giving a proportion of one licensed house to every 113 inhabitants. I would ask the Bench to exercise the powers given them by the Licensing Act, 1904, and refer the renewal of some of the licensed houses in this area to the County Licensing Committee for consideration, and payment of compensation should any of the renewals be refused.

The houses situate in this congested area which in my opinion should be first dealt with under the provisions of the Act are the following, viz.:- Victoria Inn, South Street, Duke Of Edinburgh, Tontine Street, Cinque Ports, Seagate Street, Providence Inn, Beach Street, Star Inn, Radnor Street, Perseverance Inn, Dover Street.

I would respectfully suggest that the consideration of the renewal of the licences of these houses be deferred until the Adjourned Licensing Meeting.

I am, gentlemen, your obedient servant. H. Reeve, Chief Constable.

The Chairman: The report just read by the Chief Constable is very satisfactory as to the general conduct of the houses, but we are sorry to see an increase of 17in the number of charges for drunkenness, and we hope that the licence holders will assist the police by doing all in theor power to prevent drunkenness, and a decrease in charges during the coming year. As a Licensing Bench we cannot close our eyes to the fact, as shown by Chief Constable Reeve's report that there are a very large number of licensed houses in one certain area, and as the legislature have taken steps to compensate licence holders for the loss of their licences, we have decided to adjourn the granting of the six licences mentioned in the Chief Constable's report, viz., The Victoria, Duke Of Edinburgh, Cinque Ports, Providence, Star and Perseverance. In the meantime notice of objection to the licences will be served, and the recommendations of the Justices will be considered by the Court of County Quarter Sessions (Canterbury), and if one or the whole of these houses are closed the owners will be compensated.

 

Folkestone Express 11 February 1905.

Annual Licensing Sessions.

Wednesday, February 8th: Before E.T. Ward Esq., Colonel Hamilton, Colonel Fynmore, W.G. Herbert Esq., and W.C. Carpenter Esq.

The Chief Constable's report was read (see Chronicle for full report).

The Chairman said the report was of a most satisfactory nature. The Magistrates were pleased to fine there were no complaints against any of the houses. It was, however, an unfortunate thing that there was an increase in drunkenness during the year, and they hoped that the licence holders would, in the coming year, be still more careful in trying to help the Bench and the police as much as possible in keeping down drunkenness, so that next year they might have a better report from the Chief Constable. With regard to the houses the Chief Constable referred to in what he called the congested area, there was no question that there were too many public houses there. By the new Act they were empowered to report to the County Quarter Sessions those houses which they thought were not required in the borough. They would therefore direct the Chief Constable to serve notices of objection against those six houses – the Victoria Inn, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Cinque Ports, the Providence Inn, the Star, and the Perseverance – so that they might report to the Quarter Sessions that those houses were unnecessary in the borough. Of course, if the Quarter Sessions upheld their decision with regard to those houses, or any one of them, then the owner would be compensated. If the Chief Constable would kindly serve the notices, the licences would be dealt with at the next Sessions.

The adjourned meeting was fixed for Monday, March 6th.

 

Folkestone Herald 11 February 1905.

Annual Licensing Sessions.

Wednesday, February 8th: Before Mr. J. Pledge, Lieut. Colonel Hamilton, Alderman W.G. Herbert, Councillor R.J. Fynmore, and Mr. W.C. Carpenter.

The Chief Constable read his report (see Folkestone Chronicle for details).

The Chairman said that the report of the Chief Constable was very satisfactory, and the Licensing Bench were very pleased to find that there was no complaint against any licence holders. There was an unsatisfactory matter in connection with the report, and that was the increase in drunken persons during the year, but the Bench hoped that the licence holders would be more careful, and so try to help the Bench in the matter of keeping down drunkenness, so as to have a better report from the Chief Constable next year. With regard to those houses which had been reported upon, there was no question about it that in the congested district there was a large number of houses, viz., one to every 113 persons. By the new Act, the Bench were empowered to report to the County Quarter Sessions those houses which they thought were not required in the borough, and they would therefore direct the Chief Constable to serve notices of objection before the adjourned meeting against those six houses. The Bench would then report to the Quarter Sessions that, in their opinion, those houses were unnecessary in the borough. If Quarter Sessions upheld the decision of the Bench in regard to one or all of those houses, those houses would be compensated.

 

Folkestone Daily News 6 March 1905.

Adjourned Licensing Sessions.

The Victoria.

Monday, March 6th: Before Messrs. Ward, Pursey, Fynmore, Hamilton, and Carpenter.

Mr. J. Minter, who appeared for the owners and occupiers, admitted receiving a notice that the house was not required.

Chief Constable Reeve put in an ordnance map showing an area of 96 houses, including 46 licensed houses, giving a licensed house to every 100 inhabitants. In the same area there are six off-licences. Ninety four cases out of 171 charges of drunkenness last year were in this area. The Victoria was a fully licensed house, occupied by Mr. Skinner, and owned by Mackeson and Co. It was assessed at 24 per year. The house is situated in South Street, which was a paved passageway 95 yards long and from 10ft. to 15ft. wide. There were five licensed houses opening on the street. The Royal Pavilion Hotel had a large bar which faced the end of the street. There was a bar and tap room on the ground floor, and the top was occupied by the licensees. Within a radius of 200 yards there were 34 licensed houses. Last year the back entrance was ordered to be closed. There appeared to be very little trade at the house.

Cross-examined by Mr. Minter: South Street was a public street, and had been opened for 100 years. The Paris Hotel was a side entrance. The other houses had back entrances. All structural alterations had been done to his satisfaction.

Inspector Burniston deposed that there were very few people who used the house. He did not think the licence necessary.

Mr. Minter said the tenant did not want to lose the licence. He protested, on the evidence, having the case sent to Quarter Sessions.

The Bench decided to send the case to the Quarter Sessions.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 11 March 1905.

Adjourned Licensing Sessions.

Monday, March 6th: Before Mr. E.T. Ward, Lieut. Colonel Hamilton, Lieut. Colonel Fynmore, W.C. Carpenter, C.J. Pursey, and W.G. Herbert Esqs.

Six licences were objected to by the Chief Constable, acting under the instructions of the licensing authority. These were: The Victoria Inn, South Street, tenant Mr. Alfred Skinner; Mr. Minter representing the brewers, Messrs. Mackeson and Co.

The Cinque Ports Arms, tenant Samuel Robert Webster; Mr. W.R. Mowll for the brewers, Messrs. Leney and Co.

The Duke of Edinburgh, Mr. Ralph tenant; The Perseverance, tenant Robert Henry Tracey, and The Providence. The brewers, Messrs. Flint and Co., were in these three cases represented by Mr. Horace Avory, K.C., instructed by Messrs. Nicholson and Graham.

The Star, Radnor Street; In this, the last of the six houses objected to, Mr. Haines appeared for the brewers and the tenant.

In all six cases both brewers and tenants objected to their licences being taken away simply on the grounds of redundancy.

Mr. Avory's objections were practically the same as those which has been urged throughout the Kentish district, and were on all fours with the advocates' objections who represented the other houses.

Chief Constable Reeve did not in any single case object on the ground of misconduct on the part of the licensee, but purely on the grounds of redundancy.

Mr. Avory K.C. submitted that the congested area in which the six licences objected to was an unfair one. If the boundary on the map were extended a mile, then it would be found that the houses were spread over and serving a large population. It was not a suffcicient ground to take away a man's licence on the grounds of redundancy without comparing the threatened house with other houses. He seriously submitted that it was worthy of the Magistrates' consideration as to whether any practical result could follow a reference to Quarter Sessions of these cases. So many licences in Kent had already been referred to Quarter Sessions that he doubted whether sufficient funds would be available for compensation purposes. The result would be a deadlock when these cases came to be considered; the Quarter Sessions would either be obliged to hold their hands, or there would be a gross injustice by the reduction of compensation below the proper amount.

After a long hearing the whole of the six licences were sent back to Quarter Sessions for reference.

 

Folkestone Express 11 March 1905.

Adjourned Licensing Sessions.

Monday, March 6th: Before E.T. Ward Esq., Lieut. Col. Fynmore, Lieut. Col. Hamilton, W.G. Herbert, W.C. Carpenter, and C.J. Pursey Esqs.

The first objection dealt with was that against the licence of Alfred Skinner of the Victoria Inn, in South Street. Mr. Minter, on behalf of Messrs. Mackeson and Co., Ltd., admitted receiving notice of objection.

The Chief Constable said he first of all put in a map showing the congested area. The whole of the “on” licensed premises were marked in red. The area he had marked was from the bottom of the steps leading to The Bayle, across the top of High Street, Rendezvous Street, Grace Hill, Dover Road, along Radnor Bridge Road, to the sea. Within that area there were 916 houses for a population approximately of 4,580. That included 46 “on” licensed houses, giving a proportion of one “on” licence to about every 313 inhabitants. There were also within the area six “off” licence holders. He should also like to point out that within the borough during the past year they had 171 charges of drunkenness. He had found that 94 of those charges arose within that particular area. The Victoria Inn was situate in South Street. It was a fully licensed house. The present licensee obtained a transfer of the licence on August 2nd, 1899. The registered owners were Messrs. Mackeson and Co., Ltd., of Hythe. The rateable value of the house was 24 a year. South Street was simply a paved passageway from the bottom of High Street to the Lower Sandgate Road. There were five fully licensed houses opening into the street, all at the Lower Sandgate Road end.Three of them adjoined each other on one side – the London and Paris, the True Briton, and the Harbour. The other two on the opposite side were the Princess Royal and the house in question. Directly opposite the end of the street was the Royal Pavilion Hotel, with a large bar opening into the Lower Sandgate Road. The accommodation was a front bar, divided into two compartments, with separate entrances. There was also a tap room at the back. The private apartments of the licensee were on the first floor, and were approached by a narrow staircase from a door in the tap room. Within a radius of 100 yards there were 18 other “on” licensed houses, within 150 yards, 26, and within 200 yards, 34. At the annual licensing meeting last year an order was made to close up a back entrance opening into a small yard at the rear of the house, and also to improve the ventilation and the urinal which opened directly from the tap room at the back of the bar. That order was complied with. It appeared to him at present there was very little trade to the house. In his opinion it was quite unnecessary for the needs of the neighbourhood.

Cross-examined, witness said there was no provision made for vehicular traffic in the street. The entrances in South Street of the Harbour and True Briton were only back entrances.

Det. Sergeant Burniston said he knew the Victoria Inn. Very few residents used the house. The class of people who used it were the workmen employed on the harbour. He considered the house was unnecessary for the requirements of the neighbourhood.

Mr. Minter said the tenant did not want to lose his licence, nor did the owners want to lose their licences. The opposition which had been given was that the licences were not needed, and therefore the police were asking the justices to report to the Quarter Sessions. He simply protested against it being sent to the Quarter Sessions upon the evidence, which he submitted did not justify them in doing so.

The Chairman said they had unanimously decided to report the licence to the Quarter Sessions. The tenant would be granted a provisional licence until that date.

 

Folkestone Herald 11 March 1905.

Adjourned Licensing Sessions.

Monday, March 6th: Before Mr. E.T. Ward, Alderman W.G. Herbert, Councillor Fynmore, Lieut. Colonel Hamilton, Mr. W.C. Carpenter, and Mr. C.J. Pursey.

It will be remembered that at the February Sessions the Bench instructed the Chief Constable (Mr. H. Reeve) to oppose the renewal of six licences on the grounds that they were not required for the districts in which they were situated.

The case of the Victoria, South Street, was taken first.

The Chief Constable put in a large plan showing the congested area, the map being on a scale of 1 inch in 500, and the public houses being marked in red. Taking the area from the Bayle Steps, South Street, High Street, Rendezvous Street, Dover Road to the Raglan Hotel, and thence to the sea, there were 916 houses, with a population, approximately, of 4,580. That included 46 on-licensed houses, which meant one on-licensed house to nearly every 100 inhabitants, though for the borough at large there was one house for every 131 inhabitants. There were six off-licence holders in the area under notice. The house with which he would first deal was the Victoria Inn. It was a fully licensed house, and the present licensee was Mr. Alfred Skinner, who obtained the transfer of the licence on the 2nd August, 1899. The registered owners of the house were Messrs. Mackeson and Co., and the rateable value of the house was 24. South Street was simply a paved passageway for foot passengers, leading from the bottom of High Street to the Lower Sandgate Road. It was 95 yards long, and varied in width from 10ft. to 15ft. There were five other fully licensed houses opening into the street, all at the Lower Sandgate Road end. Three adjoined each other on one side, viz., the London and Paris, True Briton, and Harbour Inn. Directly opposite the end of South Street was the Royal Pavilion Hotel, with a large bar opening into the Lower Sandgate Road. The accommodation provided in the house for the public consisted of a front bar, divided into two compartments, with a separate entrance to each, and a tap room at the back. The private apartments of the licensee were on the floor above, and approached by a narrow stairway from the tap room. Within a radius of 100 yards there were 18 other on-licensed houses. Within 150 yards radius there were 26 houses, and within 200 yards there were 34 other on-licensed houses. At the annual licensing meeting last year an order was made to close up a back entrance at the house under notice, and to improve the ventilation in the tap room of the bar. That order was complied with. There appeared to be very little trade to the house, and in his (Mr. Reeve's) opinion it was quite unnecessary for the needs of the neighbourhood.

Cross-examined by Mr. Minter: South Street had not been open to vehicular traffic. The London and Paris had a side entrance in South Street, and the other houses, the True Briton and the Harbour Inn, had back entrances.

Detective Sergeant Burniston said that very few residents visited the Victoria Inn. The class of people who used the house were workmen employed at the Harbour, and there were very few of them. The licence was unnecessary.

Mr. Minter said that neither the licensee nor the owner desired to lose the licence. The evidence before the Court did not justify the closing of the house.

The Bench unanimously decided to report the case to Quarter Sessions.

 

Folkestone Daily News 11 May 1905.

Local News.

We learn that the Compensation Committee at Canterbury appointed by the Quarter Sessions only intend to deal with 11 cases out of the 15 that were sent to them. There were six from Folkestone, five from Hythe, and four from Elham.

The six from Folkestone were The Providence, The Perseverance, The Cinque Ports, The Victoria, The Edinburgh Castle (sic), The Star.

The Committee have decided that there is no need to interfere with the Providence. The objection to that has been thrown without asking for further evidence. The other five will be dealt with shortly.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 13 May 1905.

East Kent Licensing Authority.

Lord Harris presided at the preliminary meeting of the East Kent Licensing Authority, held at the Sessions House, Canterbury, on Friday, when cases from Ramsgate, Folkestone, Hythe, and Elham were reported.

It was decided that the principal meeting to be held pursuant to the Licensing Rules, 1904, by the Compensation Authority for the East Kent Area should be fixed to take place at the Sessions House, Longport, Canterbury, on the 26th May, at 10.15 a.m. At that meeting the Authority will be prepared to hear, with reference to the renewal of the licences of the following premises, all those persons to whom, under the Licensing Act, 1904, they are bound to give an opportunity of being heard: Victoria Inn, South Street, Folkestone; Star Inn, Radnor Street, Folkestone; Cinque Ports Arms, Seagate Street, Folkestone; Duke of Edinburgh, Tontine Street, Folkestone; Perseverance, Dover Street, Folkestone; Rose and Crown, High Street, Hythe; Old Portland, Market Square, Hythe; Walmer Castle, Adelaide Gardens, Ramsgate; Kent Inn, Camden Road, Ramsgate; Bricklayers Arms, King Street, Ramsgate; and Albert Inn, High Street, Ramsgate.

 

Folkestone Daily News 26 May 1905.

East Kent Licensing Authority.

At the Canterbury Quarter Sessions this morning, before Judge Selfe and the licensing Magistrates, the cases of renewing the licences of the Duke of Edinburgh in Tontine Street, the Victoria in South Street, the Star in Radnor Street, the Perseverance in Dover Street, and the Cinque Ports in Seagate Street came up for hearing.

Mr. Pitman, instructed by Mr. Bradley, appeared for the Folkestone Justices; Mr. Hohler appeared for the Star; Mr. Bodkin for Messrs. Flint and Sons and Messrs. Mackeson; Mr. G.W. Haines for the tenant of the Perseverance; and Mr. Mowll for the Cinque Ports.

Mr. Bodkin raised a point of law as to whether the justices had investigated the matter before remitting it to Quarter Sessions.

Sir L. Selfe, however, decided against him, and the cases were proceeded with on their merits.

Mr. H. Reeve, the Chief Constable, recapitulated his evidence given before the Folkestone Justices. He was severely cross-examined by Mr. Bodkin and Mr. Hohler, but they failed to shake his evidence.

Mr. Tiddy and Mr. Jones, of Tontine Street, gave evidence in favour of the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Magistrates retired to consider the matter, and on their return into court Sir W.L. Selfe announced that they had come to the decision to do away with the licences of the Star, the Victoria, the Cinque Ports, and the Duke of Edinburgh.

These houses will be closed as soon as the question of compensation is settled.

The Perseverance, in Dover Street, was not interfered with at present.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 27 May 1905.

East Kent Licensing Authority.

The principal meeting of the Compensation Authority for East Kent was held at the Sessions House, Canterbury, on Friday, before Judge Sir W.L. Selfe.

The Folkestone licensed houses under consideration were: Victoria Inn, South Street, licensee Alfred Skinner; Star and Garter (sic), Radnor Street, licensee Henry T.T. Else; Cinque Ports Arms, Seagate Street, licensee Samuel R. Webster; Duke of Edinburgh, Tontine Street, licensee Frederic Ralph; and the Perseverance, Dover Street, licensee Robert H. Tracy.

Mr. Bodkin and Mr. Hohler appeared for the brewers, Mr. Pittman for the Justices of Folkestone, Mr. Haines and Mr. Rutley Mowll for the tenants.

Mr. Pittman having opened the case for the Justices of Folkestone, formal evidence as to the trade done by the various houses and their general character was given by Chief Constable H. Reeve and Detective Sergt. Burniston.

Mr. Bodkin said there was nothing against the five houses except the statement of two police officers that the trade done in two of them was small. The Victoria had been held by Mr. Skinner for about six years, and was used for a particular class of trade. It is used by sailors, fishermen, and railway men. It had a good steady trade, which had been fairly maintained for the last few years.

As to the Perseverance, Mr. Tracy went in last November and paid 180 for it. He had done a fairly good trade, and if now the licence would be taken away the compensation would be very small, and although he had conducted it with perfect respectability, he would be fined the difference between 180 and the small quantum of compensation that the Committee could award. He would ask on what possible basis the Justices selected the house, when close by was the Welcome, against which a conviction was obtained this year and one last year?

As to the Duke of Edinburgh, where the tenant, Mr. Ralph, had been 14 years, and had maintained himself and was satisfied, although it was next door to a fully-licensed house, it attracted a different class of trade, and was of use to the locality.

Mr. G.L. Mackeson, Managing Director of Mackeson Limited, and Alfred Skinner, the tenant, gave evidence as to the Victoria.

Eventually a licence was granted in the case of the Perseverance, but refused in all the other Folkestone cases.

 

Folkestone Herald 27 May 1905.

East Kent Licensing Authority.

Yesterday the Special Committee of Licensing Justices of East Kent, to whom the local authorities had referred the licences of five Folkestone houses, under the licensing Act of 1904, sat at the Canterbury Sessions Hall, and considered the reports which had been presented to them, as well as the reasons advanced in favour and against the renewal of the respective licences. Sir William Lucius Selfe was the Chairman of the Committee.

The houses in question were the Victoria, South Street, the Perseverance Inn, Dover Street, the Star Inn, Radnor Street, the Duke of Edinburgh, Tontine Street, and the Cinque Port Arms, Seagate Street.

Mr. Pitkin, barrister, appeared for the Licensing Justices, Mr. H.C. Bodkin, barrister, for the owners of the Victoria, the Perseverance, and the Duke of Edinburgh (Messrs. Flint and Co.), Mr. Hohler was for the owners of the Star (Messrs. Ash and Co.), Mr. G.W. Haines represented the tenant of the Perseverance, and Mr. Rutley Mowll (Dover) appeared for the owners of the Cinque Ports Arms (Messrs. Leney and Co.).

Mr. Pitkin said that at the annual licensing meeting this year the Chief Constable gave notice that he intended to oppose the renewal of the five licences named, and one other, that of the Providence. The notices were served on the people who required notices under the Act, and at the adjourned meeting the Chief Constable and his Detective Sergeant gave evidence, while evidence was also called on behalf of the licensees of the houses. At that meeting it was proved that in the area which the Chief Constable had marked out on the map, namely, from South Street, up High Street, down Grace Hill, to the railway arches, and across to the sea, there were in all 916 houses to a population of 4,580. Of these 46 were on-licensed and 6 were off- licensed. That was one licence to rather more than every hundred of the population, and if that was so there could be no doubt that that was a case in which some reduction was necessary. The renewal authority were unanimous in referring the whole of the five licences under discussion. At the preliminary meeting it was decided that the case of the Providence should not be proceeded with. The Chief Constable would tell them that in selecting those five houses he was guided by the fact that the houses were those which were doing the least trade, and that he had selected in each case one out of a cluster of houses, and that which appeared to be the worst of each cluster.

Mr. Harry Reeve, the Chief Constable, repeated the figures as to population, etc. He said in the whole borough there was one on-licence to every 313 people. During the year 1904 there were 171 cases of drunkenness in the borough, and 94 of those arose within the specified area. The Victoria was in South Street, which was merely a paved passageway from the High Street to the Lower Sandgate Road. The owners were Messrs. Mackeson, of Hythe, and the present holder of the licence was Mr. Alfred Skinner. The rateable value was 24. In South Street there were two houses on one side, and on the other three were adjoining. The accommodation in the Victoria Inn for the public was described by witness, and also that of the landlord. Within a radius of 100 yards of the Victoria there were 18 other on-licensed houses, and within 200 yards there were 34. Witness considered that the landlord did very little trade. There had been four tenants since April, 1894, though the present tenant had been in the house since the 2nd August, 1899. In selecting that house he had been guided by the principles that it was the house in the vicinity doing the least trade, and was the least suitable for a public house.

Cross-examined by Mr. Bodkin: It was from the whole of the Licensing Justices that he received instructions. With regard to the Victoria Inn, South Street, he had no definite knowledge of the state of trade, his opinion being gathered from what he saw as he went by. The licensee had been in occupation for six years, and while the population might not have altered in eight years, the population generally of the borough had increased very considerably. In 1881 there were 18,000, in 1891, 24,000, until last year it was 31,200. It had not increased much of late years, though it had not gone back much. The Victoria had been repaired during the last few months, and he believed it was in an excellent state of repair.

Detective Sergeant Burniston said that he had known the Victoria Inn for ten years, and also the other houses, which he had had to visit occasionally when making enquiries. Very few people used the houses. He had served Skinner with the notice of objection, and he had said “I wish I could leave this house tomorrow”. He said that on account of the trade being so bad.

Mr. Bodkin submitted that there was under that particular provision of the Act upon which the Committee sat, precisely the same powers as under the old conditions of appeal to Quarter Sessions. He would submit that there must be as careful and as exhaustive an enquiry in reference to the issue to each house as there ever had been under the Licensing Act of 1838. The chief case upon which one must rely in interpreting the duties of the Quarter Sessions was the well-known Farnham case, and in that case a statement was made by the Master of the Rolls, which really gave the key to the whole of the decisions. The Justices in that case formed themselves into a Committee, or appointed a Committee, and after an exhaustive enquiry, made personally by themselves, they declined to select from the houses generally within their area any particular houses which they might oppose prima facie before going round and making an inspection, and so finding out what they considered to be absolutely unnecessary for the requirements of the locality. What they did was decided as being the only possible and fair way of dealing with the question. Instead of giving notice of objection to individual cases selected out of Court, if he might so express it, they gave notice of objection to every single house in their area. What the Master of the Rolls said was “They (the Justices) were of opinion that the only fair and satisfactory way of dealing with the question was to cause objections to be served on all the owners of licensed houses, so that the cases of all of them might be formally inquired into, and for that purpose authority was given to the Justices' Clerk to object to such renewals on the general ground that the houses were not required, and also on the special grounds set out in that notice. That course gave everyone concerned their opportunity, and the Justices had the opportunity of weighing the merits and acting judicially in the matter of which public houses should remain and which licences should be taken. That is one course that might be taken, and it seems to me the reasonable and proper course”. That procedure had not been adopted in that case. It was very far from it. The procedure in this instance apparently had been to adopt the view of a particular official, the Chief Constable, and to instruct him to serve notices of objection solely on the houses which he had selected without giving any opportunity to the occupiers of such houses to show, by way of comparison of trade, accommodation, situation, the state of repair, and matters of that kind, how discrimination by the Justices should be made, and which should be referred to Quarter Sessions. In doing so, he submitted the Folkestone Justices had not followed the proper and legal course. They might have given just as easily instructions to the Chief Constable to serve notice on all houses in that selected area. How was a Quarter Sessions, sitting 50 or 100 miles away from a town, to distinguish between those and other houses in a selected area? A great many of the compensation authority would be absolutely ignorant of the locus in quo. Before any legal decision could be given in reference to any one property, in accordance with the procedure conducted by the Folkestone Justices, it was essential that there should be an enquiry into the needs of the neighbourhood. The case of Howard and King in Parliament was followed by the Raven and Southampton case, in which it was contended that the procedure adopted in the Farnham case was a reasonable one so that the course adopted by the Folkestone Justices was not equivalent.

The Chairman said that he would advise the Committee that the action of the Committee was sanctioned by an action in the King's Bench Division. For the purposes of that day they would not act under the decision of the King v Tolhurst. If the King's Bench had considered that the hearing in the Tolhurst case carried the case any further than the Raven case, they would no doubt have followed the decision in the Raven case.

Mr. Hohler said that he had acted for the Justices in that case, and they said that they had not only acted on the police evidence, but they had also acted upon their own local knowledge. The Lord Chief Justice, in his judgement, had referred to that.

The Chairman said the Tolhurst case had decided that the evidence must be sufficient to justify the Magistrates referring the matter to that Court.

Mr. Bodkin asked the Committee to state a case on that decision.

The Chairman: No, certainly not.

Mr. Bodkin said that he had no authority to say so, but he had every reason to believe that that decision was to be appealed against.

The Chairman replied that the Committee could not stay their hands on the possibility of an appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Mr. Bodkin then addressed the Committee on behalf of his clients, and he then called his evidences.

The Victoria.

Mr. C.L. Mackeson, Managing Director of the firm of Messrs. Mackeson and Co. Ltd., of Hythe, said that his firm owned the Victoria. The trade during the last year was 199 barrels and 380 dozen bottles. The spirit trade was about a gallon a week. The barrelage had gone up during the past year.

Cross-examined by Mr. Pitkin: Witness's firm had four houses in the congested area. His firm suggested that the licence should be removed on one occasion.

Re-examined: That was in 1903. The application was unsuccessful. The house wanted was in Warren Road.

Counsel: The justices were so assured of the Victoria that they refused the application? (Laughter)

Mr. Mackeson: That is so.

Judge Selfe: It might be put in another way.

Alfred Skinner, the landlord, said he did nothing other than look after the house, and he looked to it as his sole means of support. The trade mentioned by Mr. Mackeson was well maintained, and was increasing. Railwaymen, sailors, painters and plumbers, and everybody in the street patronised the house. The customers used the bar and the tap room, and anyone looking at the former in the evening might think it empty in appearance, though the latter might well b filled.

Cross-examined by Mr. Pitkin: He had been content with his living in the house for ten years. He could not answer a question as to whether he had told Detective Sergeant Burniston that he could barely get a living at his house. He did a regular trade all the year round. He did not know what he made on beer a week.

Counsel here said that the retail price of a barrel of beer was 33s., and a publican made 15s. on a barrel, which was about 150 a year in this case.

Witness, continuing, said that his house was the only public house in South Street. The others were all hotels.

After retiring to consider their verdict, the Committee, through their Chairman, announced their decision. Sir William Selfe said that in the course of Mr. Bodkin's arguments on the question of law, it had been said that the procedure of the Justices below in referring the licences for the consideration of that Court was not in accordance with the law. He (the Chairman) expressed the opinion that it was. The Committee had considered each case separately, without regard to any of the other cases that had been heard, and they had decided to refuse the renewal of all the licences except that of the Perseverance, which they would renew.

 

Southeastern Gazette 30 May 1905.

East Kent Licensing Committee.

The principal meeting of the East Kent Licensing Committee was held at the Sessions House, Canterbury, on Friday and Saturday. At the first day’s sitting, Judge Sir W. L. Selfe presided.

There were five applications from Folkestone, viz., in respect of the Victoria, the Perseverance, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Star, and the Cinque Port Arms. The licensees were represented by Mr. Bodkin, K.C., Mr. Hohler, Mr. Rutley Mowll and Mr. Haines, while Mr. Pitman appeared for the justices of Folkestone, and Detective Sergt. Bumiston having given evidence, Mr. Bodkin contended that the fact that compensation was now to be given did not affect the question, as to whether a license should be renewed or not, and the onus upon those who came there to prove that a license should be refused on the ground that it was not required was just as great as if they were acting last year instead of in the present year, and he thought it was necessary to bear this in mind because one heard in various quarters views expressed that now compensation was payable, these licensing cases might be got through in as short, and, if he might say so, as perfunctory a way as possible, without any enquiry of any sort, or careful attention given to the interests involved. Mr. Bodkin further argued that the primary duty of the Licensing Justices was that laid down in the Farnham case, viz., that they should personally select the houses which they deemed were not required, instead of leaving such selection to the discretion of the Chief Constable.

All the licenses were refused, with the exception of that of the Perseverance.

 

Folkestone Express 3 June 1905.

East Kent Licensing.

The Special Committee of Licensing Justices of East Kent considered on Friday, at the Canterbury Sessions Hall, five Folkestone licences which had been referred to them under the Licensing Act of 1904. The Chairman was Sir William Lucius Selfe. Mr. Pitman, barrister, appeared for the licensing justices, and Mr. H.C. Bodkin, barrister, for the owners of the Victoria (Messrs. Mackeson and Co.), the Perseverance and the Duke of Edinburgh (Messrs. Flint and Co.); Mr. Hohler for the owners of the Star (Messrs. Ash and Co.); Mr. G.W. Haines for the tenant of the Perseverance, and Mr. R. Mowll (Dover) for the owners of the Cinque Ports Arms (Messrs. Leney and Co.).

Mr. Pitman said that in 1903 the licensing justices announced their intention of exercising the power which they then had of reducing the number of licensed houses in the area of Folkestone, and especially in the neighbourhood of the Harbour district. In the beginning of 1904, in the King's Speech, there was mentioned a prospect of the present Licensing Act coming into force, and the justices determined therefore to hold their hand, and nothing was done in 1904. At the annual meeting that year, the Chief Constable gave notice that he intended to oppose the renewal of the five licensed houses which had been mentioned, and one other, the Providence. At the adjourned meeting the Chief Constable and the detective who assisted him in the enquiries made gave evidence, in which they stated that the area which the Chief Constable had marked off was a congested area, there being 915 houses for a population of 4,580. There were 46 on-licensed houses and 6 off-licensed houses, so there was rather more than one licence to every 100 of the population. He did not think that there could be any doubt that in such circumstances some reduction was necessary. The renewal authority recommended that the renewal of the six houses mentioned should be considered, but at a preliminary meeting it was decided that the Providence should not be proceeded against. He might mention that the Chief Constable, in selecting those houses for his opposition, was guided by the fact that they were the houses doing the least trade, and that he had selected in each case one out of a cluster of houses, and that which appeared the worst of each cluster.

Mr. H. Reeve, the Chief Constable, was the first witness, and he repeated his evidence given before the local licensing justices. In cross-examination by Mr. Bodkin, he said he received his instructions with regard to the houses from the whole of the Licensing Justices. With regard to the Victoria Inn, South Street, he had no definite knowledge of the state of trade, his opinion being gathered by what he saw as he went by. The licensee had been in occupation for six years, and while the population might not have altered in eight years, the population of the borough had increased very considerably. In 1881 there were 18,000, in 1891, 24,000, until in 1901 it was 31,200. It had not increased much of late years, though it had not gone back much. The Victoria had been repaired during the last few months, and he believed it was in an excellent state of repair.

Det. Sergt. Burniston also gave similar evidence to that given before the licensing justices.

Mr. Bodkin said he submitted under that particular jurisdiction precisely the same duty fell upon that tribunal as was upon the Court of Quarter Sessions in deciding whether or not the licences should be renewed. He submitted there must be as careful and as exhaustive an enquiry as to each house as there had been under the Licensing Act of 1868. Therefore it was necessary to say what the law was with regard to those cases, and whether there had been any difference of distinction made between the procedure under that Act to what there was under the earlier legislation. The chief case upon which one must rely as interpreting the duties of the Quarter Sessions was the well-known Farnham case. In that case there was a statement made by the Master of the Rolls which really gave the key to the whole position. The justices in that case formed themselves into a committee, or rather appointed a committee, and after an exhaustive enquiry made personally by themselves, they declined to select from the houses generally within their area any particular house which they might oppose prima facie before going round on their tour of inspection and trying to find out what was unnecessary for the requirements of the locality. What they did was described as the only possible and fair way of dealing with the question, which was just as difficult as it ever had been. Instead of giving a notice of objection to individual houses selected out of court, they gave notice of objection to every single house in the division. The Master of the Rolls then said that the justices were of the opinion that the only fair and satisfactory way of dealing with the question was to cause objections to be served on all the owners of licensed houses, so that the cases of all might be formally inquired into. That course gave the justices an opportunity of weighing the merits and acting judicially in the matter of which public houses should remain and which licences should be taken. That was the one course which might be taken, and it was a most authoritative statement. It was the statement which was made, and it seemed to him (the Master of the Rolls) the reasonable and proper course. That was a procedure which was described as a fair, reasonable, and satisfactory procedure. It was not adopted in that case; far from it. The procedure apparently had been to adopt the view of the Chief Constable, and to instruct him to serve notice of objection solely on houses which he had selected without giving any opportunity to the occupiers of such houses to show by way of comparison of their trade, accommodation, situation, state of repair, or matters of that kind, how discrimination should be made by the justices as to the houses to be retained and which ought to be referred to the Quarter Sessions. In not doing so, he submitted that the Folkestone Justices had not followed the proper legal course. They might have given just as easily instructions to the Chief Constable to serve notices on all the houses in the selected area. How was a Quarter Sessions sitting 20 or 100 miles away from a town to differentiate between those and other houses in a selected area? Before any decision was come to, it was essential that there should be an enquiry into the needs of the neighbourhood and the pros and cons of the other houses by the justices below.

The Chairman: I should certainly say that the course had been sanctioned by the King's Bench Division in the case The King v Tolhurst.

After further argument by Mr. Bodkin, the Chairman said it was suggested that the course in the Farnham way was a proper way, but not the only way. He ruled Mr. Bodkin's contention out, so far as he was concerned. The justices below had made a prima facie case out against the houses, and it was for them to answer the case.

Mr. Bodkin asked if the Committee would state a case upon that point.

The Chairman said they could not stay their hands on the possibility of an appeal.

Mr. Bodkin then addressed the Committee on behalf of the Perseverance, the Victoria, and the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Victoria.

Mr. G.L. Mackeson gave evidence with respect to the Victoria, which was the freehold property of Messrs. Mackeson, of Hythe. He said the house was assessed at 30. Skinner had been the landlord for nine years. The price of beer was 33s. per barrel. During the last three years the trade had been well maintained. During the past year the trade done was 199 barrels, and about 380 dozen bottles of beer, which, converted into barrels, would amount to about 218 barrels. The trade, therefore, would be over four barrels a week. The spirit trade was about a gallon a week.

Cross-examined, he said the trade in 1902 was 200 barrels, and the bottled beer trade corresponded. In 1903 it was rather less. He considered four barrels a week was very good. He had suggested that the licence was not necessary when they applied for a removal two or three years ago.

Alfred Skinner, the landlord, said during the time he had been landlord he had never had any complaint against him. He paid 25 rent, and 17 5s. 3d. for the excise licence. He did not do anything else but look after the house. He maintained himself, wife, and two children out of the house, which was his sole support. The trade was well maintained and increasing.

The Committee retired, and on their return the Chairman said he still held that the procedure of the justices below was in accordance with the law. The Committee had considered each case separately without regard to any of the other cases which had been heard, and they decided to refuse the renewal of the licences except that of the Perseverance, which they would renew.

 

Southeastern Gazette 5 December 1905.

East Kent Licensing Committee.

This Committee sat at the Sessions House, Canterbury, on Wednesday, to award compensation in the cases of those licenses which had not been renewed. Lord Harris presided.

The first claim was that of the Victoria Inn, Folkestone. Mr. G.C. Drake appeared for the owners, and asked for 1,728. The Committee granted this amount, apportioned as follows: For the owners, 1,445; tenant, 120; and fixtures, 63.

 

Hythe Reporter 20 January 1906.

Auction Advertisement.

Folkestone (Near the Harbour)

Cobay Bros. Limited will sell by auction, by the direction of Messrs. Mackeson and Co. Ltd., at the Queen's Hotel, Folkestone, on Monday, January 29th, 1906, at 3 o'clock, the valuable Freehold property, No. 26, South Street, until recently licensed as a Public House and known as the Victoria Inn.

Having a frontage of almost 25 feet in South Street, with a back entrance from the passage leading to the Bayle Steps.

Particularly suitable from its position for conversion into a Shop, Coffee House, Dining Rooms, or for any similar purposes.

Particulars and conditions of sale may be obtained at the Queen's Hotel, Folkestone; of the Auctioneers at their offices, Hythe; and of Messrs. Mowll and Mowll, Solicitors, Dover.

 

Folkestone Herald 30 November 1946.

Local News.

The funeral took place at Holy Trinity Church, recently of Mr. Frederick Skinner, 77, of 8, Martello Road, Folkestone, who died after a long and painful illness. Mr. Skinner, who was born in Canterbury, came to Folkestone as a young man. He entered the licensed victuallers’ trade and held the licences in succession of several premises.

A staunch member of the Borough of Hythe Conservative Association, he was an arduous worker in the East Ward. An active Freemason, his Mother Lodge was at Canterbury; he was also a member of Temple Lodge, Folkestone, and Castle Lodge, Sandgate. He is mourned by his widow.

The interment was at Canterbury.

 

 

LICENSEE LIST

HOGBEN George 1839-40

HOGBEN Victoria 1840+ Pigot's Directory 1840

JEFFREY Joseph 1840-45

BOULT John Transom 1845-72 (age 54 in 1861Census) Bagshaw's Directory 1847Melville's 1858South Eastern GazettePost Office Directory 1862Folkestone Observer

CONLEY Charles 1872

LEVY Jacob 1872-73

TYAS George 1873-77 Next pub licensee had Post Office Directory 1874

DEWAR Elizabeth 1877-78

HAWTHORNE James 1878-79

PEGG George 1879-80

James Watson 1880 1893 From Brewery Tap

Last pub licensee had WATSON James 1880-93 (also sea mariner age 53 in 1891Census) Post Office Directory 1882Post Office Directory 1891

WARMAN James 1893-94 (Also "Welcome Inn" 1893-95)

TODD John 1894

SMITH Ernest 1894-95

SKINNER Frederick 1895-Aug/99 Next pub licensee had (Kelly's 1903 outdated info)

SKINNER Alfred (brother) Aug/1899-1905 Next pub licensee had Post Office Directory 1903

 

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

Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

South Eastern GazetteSouth Eastern Gazette

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1862From the Post Office Directory 1862

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

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Folkestone ObserverFrom the Folkestone Observer

 

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

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LINK to Even More Tales From The Tap Room