Pub Index

The Packet Boat Inn

A trial was held at the Court of King's Bench, Guildhall, London, before Lord Ellenborough, on June 8th and 9th, 1814, at which various parties were accused with conspiracy to commit a fraud against the London Stock Exchange.  The first witness was one John Marsh, Master of the Packet Boat public house, at Dover.

"His evidence went chiefly to prove the fact of a gentleman, drest in a grey great-coat and a red uniform under it, with a star, knocking at the door of the Ship Inn, early in the morning of February 21st, whom he assisted to get into the inn, and who said that he was the bearer of very important despatches from France. He was fully satisfied that Berenger (Charles Random de Berenger, one of the accused) was this person.  This evidence was confirmed by that of Gourley, a hatter, who was at that time in Marsh's house."

According to Smith there appear to have been three houses with this title: one in Strond Street, two doors from Holy Trinity Church; one in Bulwark Street in 1814;  and the "Packet Boat and London Family and Commercial Hotel" in Council House Street.  These were all in the Pier District, so it is difficult to be certain which of these was being referred to in the court case above.

"The house in Strond Street was already well established in that location in 1805.  Walker's lease probably commenced in 1814.  By 1851 a further attachment, known as the "Crown and Anchor Booth" had become a part. That may have ended in 1854 however. Certainly Newing came in for much criticism over it.

"The properties of Walker were auctioned in 1859 and this one, with its extensive yard, stabling and coach houses, realised 1,300.  Its 61 year lease had commenced in April 1834.

"Because of the house with like name in Council House Street it is difficult to trace the coaches. In 1823, Bates coach left every day from here at nine thirty a.m. to make the Deal trip, returning the same evening. By reciprocation, Hobson's coach did the same starting from Deal. Spain's coach left at eight a.m. for Romney, also returning in the evening. I suggest also that Union Safety coaches ran to London twice daily from here, That journey took nine hours and was made without change of coach or coachmen. With freight, the hover wagons of Rutley, Stanbury and Young, left Snargate Street at noon daily and arrived at the "White Hart", Southwark, the next morning. Another left the "White Hart" at two p.m. and arrived at Dover the following day at nine a.m."

Smith found no evidence of this one after 1863.


Information on this page taken from Smith (1991) and The Annual Register (1815)