Pirates! & Tudors!

There are few very, very old pubs, inns or taverns left these days.

The Fox and Hounds in South Godstone has been a pub since the census of 1601 when Queen Elizabeth I was the reigning queen of England whilst the building itself has been here since 1368. As every schoolchild learns, Elizabeth was the fifth (and last) monarch of the world famous Tudor dynasty, in fact Elizabeth was the daughter of the most famous Tudor of all and perhaps Englands most famous king, Henry VIII and his current wife, Ann Boleyn.

The pub is the last resting place of pirate-turned-smuggler John Trenchman. We know that at the age of twelve John ran away from home for a life at sea with the notorious pirate Captain Henry Morgan in the Caribbean. Trenchman was one of the pirates who looted the Spanish colony of Porto Bello in Panama in 1668 in a bloody battle.

At the age of fifty five John retired from sea life to become a smuggler carrying contraband just up the road to Croydon. Everything was going well for John until a fellow gang member turned kings evidence to save his own neck from the noose. An ambush was laid by the kings men and John, fatally wounded, staggered to The Fox and Hounds where he died some hours later from severe loss of blood.

John was buried at St Nicholas church in an unmarked grave but later had to be given a christian burial as strange things had started happening around the village such as pools of blood around the church alter. His new headstone bears the pirates skull and cross bones and you can see it for yourselves in the church graveyard.