Sterling, Peter: Ann Mary Dawes

Ann Mary Dawes

Publican & licensee of the Queen’s Head, Walmer, Kent

by Peter Sterling

Ann Mary Dawes was the wife of William Dawes, a mariner from Deal in Kent. Ann Mary was baptised on 27 April, 1788 in the town of Deal during the reign of King George III. Deal is on the south east coast of England overlooking the English Channel. Ann Mary’s father, Richard, was a market gardener and Ann Mary grew up in Deal in the late 1700’s. On the 6th July, 1805, at the age of 17, Ann Mary married William Dawes in Walmer, Kent. Walmer is just a mile or two west of Deal on the coast of England. The marriage record shows that William Dawes was a bachelor and a mariner from Deal.

During the early 1800’s, Ann Mary and William established their family in Deal and neighbouring Walmer. The LDS records show that Ann Mary and William Dawes had at least 8 children:

Although William Dawes is listed as a “mariner” on the marriage record other records show that by 1811, six years after their marriage, William was the licensee of the “King’s Head” public House on Walmer Road in Lower Walmer. William took over as licensee during the reign of King George III. George III had been crowned king on 25 October, 1760 and would reign for 59 years. The earliest known reference to the public house known as the “King’s Head” on Walmer Road is documented in 1804 but the first licensee is mentioned in 1797.

On 29 January, 1820 King George III died and his eldest son George was crowned King George IV. The LDS records show that a William Dawes died in Deal in 1824 and was buried on 21 July, 1824 in Deal. After William’s Dawes death, Ann Mary Dawes took over the license of the pub. In the Pigot’s Directory of 1832-34 and again in the Pigot’s of 1840 Ann Mary Dawes is listed as the licensee of the “King’s Head”, Walmer Road.

The individuals who held the license for the “King’s Head” are:

In 1826 the pub was sold along with another 11 public houses in neighbouring villages for the sum of £425. It is not known who sold the pub or who purchased it.

On 26 June 1830 George IV died and his brother, William, was crowned king. King William IV reigned for 6 years until he died on 20 June 1837. Because King William had no surviving legitimate children, his niece, Princess Victoria of Kent, became the monarch Queen Victoria. Around this time, “Walmer Road” was renamed “The Strand” and in 1837 the name of the pub was changed to the “Queen’s Head”, 37 The Strand, Walmer while under the management of Ann Mary Dawes, probably to commemorate Queen Victoria’s ascension to the throne on 20 June of the same year.

The 1841 census shows Ann Mary Dawes was living on “The Strand” in Walmer, Borough of Sandwich, Parish of St Mary. The census shows:

In the Tithe award Schedule for Walmer signed on 7 February, 1843 the owners of the “Queen’s Head” public House are listed as “Trustees of Walmer Court” and the occupier is shown as Mrs. Dawes with house and yard totalling 12 perches. The area listed as 12 perches is equivalent to about 303 square metres.

The 1851 census shows that Ann Mary Dawes was now retired and was living with her daughter and brother at 111 Lower Street in Deal. The exact date that Ann Mary Dawes gave up the license for the Queen’s Head Public House is uncertain but the 1852 business directory shows that Edward Dawes was, by that time, the licensee of the Queen’s Head. Ann Mary Dawes died in the second quarter of 1858 at the age of 70. Her death is recorded in the records for Eastry, volume 2a, page 442.

The pub finally closed as the “Queen’s Head” on 31 December, 1914. In 1921 the premises reopened as the “Old Comrades Club” and by 1938 became known as the “Royal Marine Association Club” as we see it today.

Ann Mary Dawes was my Great, Great, Great, Great Aunt. She was the sister of my Great, Great, Great Grandfather William Dawes.