The following information about the alehouses of the old parish of Chillenden in East Kent came to light some twenty or more years ago whilst I was researching the alehouses of Nonington and was therefore not pursued in any great detail and is in note form. The information was obtained in the main part from the Wingham magistrates annual licencing records held at the Kent County archives at County Hall, Maidstone, which is now the Kent Archives and History centre, and from documents held at the now closed KCC archives at Whitfield. I hope this information will be of interest and, hopefully, some help to other local historians and family researchers
East Kent Order Book, Epiphany 1654/5
John Godfry of Chillenden is a man of good behaviour and the house where he dwells has been a very ancient victualling house, this court does now licence the said house and the said Godfrey to keep victualling and John Godfrey shall go with two sureties to a justice of the peace and enter into a recognizance to keep the usual articles entered into by victuallers.
The Dogg, later The Griffons/Griffins Head.
In the mid-1670’s Ursula Hudson, widow, of Chillenden appears on victuallers licencing rolls with John Menbell and James Nash, a wealthy inhabitant of Nonington, giving recognence of £.10. each.
Richard and Elizabeth Jones also appear separately on the rolls in the 1670’s as holding a victualler’s license in Chillenden.
Ursula Hudson’s husband appears on the Heath tax list in 1664 as a taxpayer living in the borough of Chillenden in Wingham Hundred. No signs are listed on these early licencing documents so it must be presumed that the aforementioned were licencees of The Dogg, The Griffins first known name.
Richard Bear is listed as living in Chillenden in the assessment for Church repairs tax of 1692. A victuallers license is shown as being issued in 1706 to Richard Bear/Bearman , licencee of premises known as the Dogg, the Dogg appears to have changed its name to the Griffons/Griffins Head about 1724.
1724/25 John Johnson holds a victuallers license at the same time as Thos. Bax at the Griffon, no sign shown, pays 8/- for license, the same as Bax, and the same two people stand surety for both licencees. No licence appears to have been issued to Johnson after 1726, no details for alternative premises at present.
1670’s, no sign listed.
Ursula Hudson, widow.
Elizabeth Jones, widow.
1706. Richard Bear/Barman.
1719/20. Thos. Baxon/Bax/Baux licencee and carpenter.
In 1707 Elizabeth D’Aeth, nee Narborough of Knowlton Court, the first wife of Sir Thomas D’Aeth inherited the Knowlton Court estate to which owned The Dog. The D’Aeth crest was “A griffin’s head, or, with a trefoil in his mouth, vert”.
1724, The Dogg changes it’s name to The Griffon’s or Griffin’s Head [the spelling varies].
1746/47 Thos. Bax dies
1747. Widow Bax.
In the 1740’s the Parish Vestry (the precursor to the parish council, but with much more power and authority over parish administration ) appear to have met in the pub as they pay a bill for beer ect. To Thos. Bax. Village vestries often met in pubs, although, as the name implies, they originally met in the Church vestry. Inquests were also usually held in pubs.
1751. Thos. Bax. jnr., licensee and carpenter.
1790’s. Believed Wm. Bax, son of Thos. Jnr. is licencee and carpenter.
1800. as above.
1825. John Petit.
1847. Sarah Petit.
1878. Alfred Groombridge.
1880’s. Henry Chas. Chapman.
1890’s. Thos. Soames, also listed as a local carrier.
1911. Robert Wm. Fox.
Captain, later Major, Lewis D’Aeth of Knowlton Court was a heavy, and not very successful, gambler whilst servicing in the Army. Over the years he was the recipient on several court orders for non-payment of debt. Parts of the Knowlton estate, such as Kittington Farm, were transferred to various Army officers, presumably as payment for gambling debts.
In 1897 ownership of The Griffin’s Head public house in nearby Chillenden had been transferred by the then Captain D’Aeth to Maj. Gen. Craster Lambert, Lt. Col. Henry Smith and Alexander Browne of Doxford Hall, Chathill, North Humberland (and Callaly Castle, Northumberland).
The now Major Lewis D’Aeth sold the Knowlton estate to Francis Elmer Speed, a barrister and stockbroker, in 1904. Soon after the sale of the Knowlton estate The Griffin was sold to Francis Speed by its co-owners.