History of The Duke of Cumberland
This inn known by the name and sign of the Duke of Cumberland was built during the reign of George II, in the year 1749. In that 3rd year of George King on England, France and Ireland, circa 1749, one Joshua Quested, an equine breeder of the hamlet of Derringstone built his house here in the village of Barham. He had owned a dwelling house with land in the hamlet of Derringstone which he sold in 1748 to William Arter, and with the proceeds he purchased a parcel of land and several outbuildings here at Barham. Early in 1749, he began erecting this house and an adjoining stable block. By the end of that year the work was completed and by the spring of 1750 he was trading as a horse dealer and livery keeper. He lived here until his death in 1763. During that time, eight of his ten children were born here; two elder sons were born at Derringstone. Of the eight born here only five survived the perils of infancy. Of that five, a son, Filmer, aged seven, and a daughter, Corna, aged eight died from drowning sometime in 1758.
When Joshua Quested died he bequeathed this house to his widow Naomi. She would appear to have had little benefit from her bequest, since she died within a week of her husband in 1763. Her eldest son Thomas, the executor of her will, inherited this house and all its appurtenances by the terms drawn up in it. The remaining Quested children were provided for in their father’s will, though the youngest three appear to have remained here until they came of age. Thomas Quested not only inherited this house, but his father’s business. The years between 1763 and 1766 saw him trading as a horse dealer and breeder. In the latter year, whilst trading in that capacity, Thomas Quested stood before magistrates at Canterbury, offered two sureties of his good character to uphold and keep an orderly house and was granted a licence to sell ale from these premises. At the brief hearing, Quested registered the house under the title of the Duke of Cumberland in honour of William Angus, Duke of Cumberland, (1721-1765) British General. He was the third son of George II who earned the nickname of ‘the Butcher’ because of his brutal repression of the highlanders after the Battle of Culloden in 1746. The reason for giving the house this title is obscure. There are other inns and taverns in this part of Kent whose title relate to the Duke. It may have been that the men of Kent swore their allegiance to him by calling their houses after him. In the case of the Duke of Cumberland here at Barham, it was almost a year to the day that the Duke died, so Quested named the house in honour of him. In some cases, the naming of an inn or tavern was left up to the discretion of the clerk or court, so it may have been his allegations to the Duke that put the title on this house. The real reason probably went to the grave with Thomas Quested in 1792.
He had drawn the first ale in October 1766. The terms of his licence decreed “that he may suffer ale to be tippled in his house”, but “he shall not suffer ale to be tippled in his house during divine services, nor shall he suffer ale to be tippled in his house from pots of illegal measure nor shall he suffer adulterated ales to be tippled in his house, nor shall he suffer or permit gaming in his house, nor shall he suffer or harbour thieves in his house”. He seems to have abided by the terms laid out in his licence for he went on to keep the house until his death in 1792. Throughout his time here, he stuck to his original trace of dealing and breeding horses. After his death, the trade of horse dealing declined here, though the tradition of a livery was kept up here for many years and later a coach-house was added to the property.
Quested’s widow, Frances, inherited the Duke of Cumberland and went on to keep it until the year 1830. In that year she sold it to Henry and William Mackeson brewers and maltsters of Hythe. In June of that year, they drew up the first lease on the house in favour of one on James Rayner of a house called the ‘Canteen’ in the town of Hythe. He kept the house until the year 1814, giving it up in that year to Richard Knott, inn-keeper of the ‘Three Ravens’ at Tilmanstone. He dies here in 1821 whereupon his widow Rachell took over the house which her husband had held on a 500-year lease and went on to keep it until 1829, handing it over in that year to Thomas Pyner, a grocer of Barham. He served here until 1836, being succeeded in that year by Charles Hornsby. He remains to date the longest serving keeper of the Duke of Cumberland here at Barham. In 1838, he stood before magistrates and was granted a wine and spirit licence and the Duke of Cumberland became a registered inn. He was here through the deaths of William Mackeson and Henry Mackeson, and saw the latter’s son Henry take over the brewery and its assets. He went on to keep the house until his death in 1871. He had been keeper here for thirty five years.
Hornsby’s widow Clara took over the house until 1873, giving it up in that year to William Stevens. It is interesting to note that at this date there were two other inns at Barham apart from the Duke of Cumberland and three beer houses. These were the ‘Woodman’s Arms’ and the ‘Halfway House’. William Stevens died here in 1876 whereupon his widow Mary Ann took over the house. She served here until her death in 1894. Her son Charles took over the house until 1897 when he was succeeded by Robert Pryor. By this date, the Hythe Brewery was in the hands of Mackeson and Company.
Robert Pryor left in 1903 and was succeeded by Edward D Duffil, he in 1904 by Thomas S. Page, whose family for many years had kept the aforementioned ‘Woodman’s Arms’, he in 1910 by Harry Keeler, he in 1912 by Harry H. Hopkin, he in 1914 by William Bleach and he in 1916 by Thomas W. Lowe. In 1929 whilst in his hands, Mackeson and Company of the Hythe Brewery sold out to Jude, Hanbury and Co. of Canterbury. Lowe was still here in 1933 when they were taken over by Whitbread and Co. of London, though brewing at Hythe never actually ceased until 1968. Lowe left the Duke of Cumberland in 1937, being succeeded in that year by Frank Pepper who was here until 1945 when he handed over to William Henry George Stringer. He served here until his death in 1966, whereupon his widow Irene was granted a widow’s year. However, in 1967, she was granted the tenancy and went on to keep the house until 1977 when she handed over to Michael Brian Swain, he in 1980 to Kenneth Joseph White and he in 1983 to Christopher Ian Stewart. In 1999 John & Fiona O’Shea acquired the lease. In 2000 Punch Taverns purchased the property and the first tenant was Shaun Cassidy who sold the lease onto Linda Sprules two years later. She in turn sold onto Sally & Kevin Corrigan in 2004 who sold onto Duncan & Karen Gray. In 2007 Eric Gaskell & Helen Brown took on the lease and remain the current owners of the business.