Pub Index

The Ship Hotel

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.

"Mr. St. John, who was then at the Ship Inn as a traveller, deposed in like manner to the arrival of a person who asked for a post-chaise, to his dress, and to the identity of Berenger as this person.

"Admiral Foley was then called to prove the receipt of a letter dispatched to him as port-admiral at Deal, by express from Dover, from a person at the Ship Inn, who signed himself R. Du Bourg, Lieutenant-Colonel and Aide-de-Camp to Lord Cathcart, and which which was proved to be in the handwriting of Berenger. "

According to Smith

A "Ship" was listed in the census of 1545. Six beds and stabling were shown but no address was given. Also shown was the "Ship Victualling House" with four beds and that was in Biggin Street. It is recorded that Henry Rouse, innkeeper of the "Ship", died on 28 August 1697 and Samuel Foote, actor, died at a "Ship Inn" in 1777.

This hotel was active in 1799 with Worthington the host. History has it that Wellesley was carried shoulder high to this amenity when he returned from the low countries following Waterloo in 1815.

"Worthington's Hotel and Ship Inn" stood with its front facing the harbour, the Granville Dock was not so named before 1871, with a rear entrance in Strond Street. That would be in 1838. From 1805 to 1823 it was "Wright's Hotel and Ship Inn". Birmingham took over about 1844, staying to 1865 and then becoming the owner of the "Lord Warden Hotel".

By all accounts, a busy staging post this one. In 1823, mail coaches left here every evening at eight and proceeded to the "Angel Inn", St. Clement .'s, London, another leaving that place at the same time every evening for Dover. Every day also, at six and ten in the forenoon and six in the evening, coaches ran to the Atlas Office, 8 Piccadilly; to the "Golden Cross" at Charing Cross and the "White Horse" at Fetter Lane. By reciprocation, coaches returned from those places every morning and evening.

Much of this establishment seems to disappear when a corn store was erected hereabouts by Bradley brothers in April 1878. The hotel was sold later, in January 1899, for E1,500. Part was then used as the Railway "Marine Offices up to 1914 when the new railway terminus opened at the South pier.

I should have said earlier that the Licence was renewed by them as early as 1868. It may not have been demolished before 1947 or even the early fifties. The annexe at one time was Admiral House, the Dover Naval Headquarters and that may have survived to the 1960's.

Another house in Strond Street used this sign from 1872.



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