top of page

1874: Daring robbery at The Kings Head Hotel

Eastbourne Chronicle - Saturday 11 July 1874


On Tuesday night, or Wednesday morning early, some thief or thieves effected an entrance into the Kings Head Hotel and carried off a lady’s valuable gold lever hunting watch, jewelled in 13 holes, a gold chain and eyeglass, with £1 8s in money, the whole being valued at £30.  

It seems that Captain and Mrs Millett and daughter are occupying a sitting and two bedrooms adjoin g, facing into the town, the ladies sleeping in the room adjoining the sitting room and the captain in the smaller room, all of which enter into a passage, they being in the habit of leaving their door unfastened. Mrs Millett, it seems, sometime in the course of the night - supposed to be between two and three, Mr and Mrs Jenner having long retired to rest, as well as the servants - fancied she heard some one moving in the room, but all being apparently still and quiet on her rousing up, took no notice of it, but the captain distinctly hearing some person pull out a drawer in his room and supposing it to be his wife searching for some article she wanted , reminded her, as he thought, that there were lucifers at hand and advised her to light the candle, it being very dark. He received no answer, but heard some person glide softly out of the room, the door being open.

The loss was not discovered until sometime after, when the lady found that her room had been ransacked, and the articles stolen, the purse containing the money being left behind.

The police were once informed of the robbery, when it was found that the thieves had managed to get upon the Leeds by means of a fence hiding a urinal in a passage close to the west end of the house and the smoking room side door, from whence they obtained access through a latticed window into Miss Jenner's bedroom, who was absent from home.

Cuckfield Kings Head c1890 (colourised)

Here they seem to have tried to ransack a chest of drawers, but being locked they were foiled in this attempt, although they removed them from the position in which they were standing.

They then appear to have visited the ladies room, from whence, after obtaining what they could lay hands on, they proceeded to the captains, but his watchfulness alarming them they missed a much heavier booty and made the exit out of a window near that by which they entered onto the leads and decamped.

The number of the watch was telegraphed for and obtained, but the police as yet have not obtained a clue to its recovery.



bottom of page