Pub history and London

King's Head, West Street, Rochford

Henry III is rumoured to have stayed here.

King's Head, West Street, Rochford

18th July 1999

Taken by Stephen Parker

The deed of 1739 show that the Kings Head was once a part of the manor court held by John Offord. Until around 1793 it was called the Blue Boar. It was originally a coaching Inn.

The Whispering Court, so the story goes, originates from the night the Lord of the Manor, returning home late one night, heard whispering. He listened and heard some of his tenant farmers planning to kill him. As a penalty, he summoned them to attend the Whispering Post each year at midnight on the first Wednesday after Michaelmas, which was the lawless hour. The tenants names were whispered and if they failed to respond, they were heavily fined. Before the meeting, a feast took place at the Kings Head. Between 10 and 15 men sat down to a meal of boiled fowl, a leg of mutton with caper sauce, vegetables, plum pudding, apple tart and sweets. After supper a huge bowl of sweet punch was served and a silver spoon which contained a King George II silver coin. This steaming potion consisted of rum, brandy, port, sherry, shrub, spruce, hot water, lemon and sugar galore. After a toast to the Queen, the "revelry began and hilarity prevailed". Afterwards they made their way to the Whispering Post where the court took place. Then they returned to the Kings Head where another bowl of punch awaited them.

Supplied by Mave Sipple

Known Residents

The following entries are in this format:

Year/Publican or other Resident/Relationship to Head and or Occupation/Age/Where Born/Source.

1822/Mary Wilson/../../../Pigot's**

1823-4/Mary Wilson/../../../Pigot's

1828-9/Mary Wilson/../../../Pigot's

1832-3/Mary Wilson/../../../Pigot's

1839/Mary Wilson/../../../Pigot's

1845/John Offord/../../../Post Office

1848/John Offord/../../../White's

1851/John Offord/../../../Post Office

1851/John Offord/innkeeper + farmer (150 acres/6 men + 2 boys)/41/Stambridge, Essex/Census ***
1851/Harriett Offord/wife/40/Ingatestone, Essex/Census ***
1851/Henry Hart/brother in law, waiter/26/Prittlewell, Essex/Census ***
1851/Edward Steer/ostler/30/Hawkwell, Essex/Census ***
1851/Maria Sparrow/general servant/20/Hockley, Essex/Census ***
1851/James Bacon/lodger, ag lab/41/Eastwood, Essex/Census ***

1855/J. Offord/../../../Kelly's**

1861/John Thomas Clapman/Innkeeper & Farmer/46/Leytonstone, Essex/Census*
1861/Jane Clapman/Wife/40/Chelmsford, Essex/Census*
1861/Henry John Clapman/Son/16/Blackmore, Essex/Census*
1861/Arthur Clapman/Son/8/Grays, Essex/Census*
1861/Jane Clapman/Visitor/15/Edgware, Essex/Census*
1861/Sarah Barker/Servant, House Servant/20/Rochford, Essex/Census*

1862/John T. Chapman/../../../Kelly's

1867/John Thomas Chapman/../../../Post Office

1870/Henry Hart/Inland Revenue Officer/../../Kelly's

1871/Henry Hart/Inland Revenue Officer/../../Post Office

1874/Amos Brown/Inland Revenue Officer/../../Kelly's

1878/Charles Brown/../../../Kelly's

1881/Charles Brown/Innkeeper/32/Goldhanger, Essex/Census
1881/Julia A. Brown/Wife/27/Steeple, Essex/Census
1881/Rose Grainger/General Domestic Servant/18/Dorley, Middlesex/Census
1881/Walter Cripps/Boots/15/Great Wakering, Essex/Census

1882/Charles Brown/../../../Kelly's

1886/Arthur Gordon/../../../Kelly's

1890/William Taylor/../../../Kelly's

1895/William Taylor/../../../Kelly's
1895/Charles Frederick Lewis/../../../Kelly's

1898/Charles Frederick Lewis/../../../Kelly's

1899/Charles Frederick Lewis/../../../Kelly's

1902/Geoge Smith/../../../Kelly's

1906/Frederick Wilkins/../../../Kelly's

1908/Frederick Wilkins/../../../Kelly's

1910/Frederick Wilkins/../../../Kelly's

1912/Frederick Wilkins/../../../Kelly's

1914/Frederick Wilkins/../../../Kelly's

1917/Frederick Wilkins/../../../Kelly's

1922/Frederick Wilkins/../../../Kelly's

1925/Frederick Wilkins/../../../Kelly's

1929/Frederick Wilkins/../../../Kelly's

1933/Frederick Wilkins/../../../Kelly's

1937/Frederick Wilkins/Proprietor/../../Kelly's

* Provided by CG

** Provided by the Pubs, Inns and Taverns Index for England, 1801-1900

*** Provided by John Mead

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And Last updated on: Friday, 13-Jul-2018 15:28:17 BST