White Hart, Hooper Square, Whitechapel
The White Hart was a public house located in Whitechapel, London, which appears in the records from the early 1800s until the mid 1900s. Due to it's unusual location, the address appears variously in the historical records as:
- Hooper Square
- Goodman's Fields
- 4 or 5 Hooper Street, Leman Street
- 1 Rupert Street
An advertisement in The Times (05/Nov/1818) described it as a "most desirable long Leasehold Public-house, with two Dwelling-houses adjoining."
In February 1891, fears that the serial killer Jack the Ripper had returned to the Whitechapel area were sparked when police constable Ernest Thompson discovered Frances Coleman (also known as "Carroty Nell") dying of a knife wound to the throat on Chamber Street, a short walk away from Hooper Square. In the distance, Thompson could hear the sound of a man running away towards Mansell Street, however police procedure dictated that he had to remain with the victim until help arrived. 53-year-old merchant seaman James Sadler was later arrested and tried for her murder, but was found "not guilty".
In the 1911 Census, the publican of the White Hart is listed as 47-year-old army pensioner John Gilmore who lived at the pub with his Scottish wife Jemima, his four sons (Frederick, Albert, Arthur and Robert) and barman Edward Culverhouse.
After his marriage to Ellen Kathleen Hitchcock in December 1915, licenced victualler Harry Lee — who had previous worked with his parents Harry and Emily at the Copenhagen Tavern on Salmon Lane in Limehouse — became the publican at the White Hart. The exact date is uncertain, but certainly by March 1917 when the couple's first son, Henry William Lee, was born at the pub.
At the start of 1918, Harry enlisted, joining the Royal Naval Air Service at Roehampton. He was transferred to the RAF Reserves in October 1919 before being fully discharged in April 1920. It seems Ellen did not remain at the White Hart during this period, as she gave birth to their second child, Ellen Marcella Lee, in Oxford in September 1918. Harry is listed at the White Hart again in the 1920 Electoral Register and the address given on the birth certificate of his third child, Clifford John Lee born in March 1920, is Rupert Street. Within a couple of years, Harry fell ill and returned to the Copenhagen Tavern where he died of colon cancer in April 1924, aged 31.
The White Hart had closed by 1951 and was later demolished. The area around where the pub once stood is now residential flats.
The following archival map, compiled around the time of the First World War, shows the White Hart shaded in red:
A larger version of the map showing more of the surround area is available to download. This a large image file and may take some time to download fully.
- 1913-22 (1:1,056 scale) — 13,261×9,161 pixels (15MB)
The current apartment block on the former location of the White Hart:
- Local inquests were held at the White Hart in the early 1800s.
- The Era (19/Nov/1854) reported that the White Hart's licence had transferred from Richard Needle to Henry Needle.
- The Era (25/Nov/1855) reported that the White Hart's licence had transferred from John Witney Elliot to James Southouse.
- The East London Observer (22/May/1858) reported that the White Hart's licence had transferred from Jethro Viel to James Brand.
- The Era (08/Jul/1860) reported that the White Hart's licence had transferred from Samuel Chambers to John Howlett.
- The East London Observer (18/Aug/1860) reported that the White Hart's licence had transferred from John Howlett to Henry Kuhlke.
- The London Daily News (19/Dec/1861) reported on a manslaughter case. Thomas Madeley attacked cigar maker William Silvester in the White Horse on 23/Nov/1861 and Silvester died a few days later in hospital. Madeley was found guilty by the jury and judge Justice Keating said "this was another instance of the melancholy results that attended habits of intemperance, which were the fruitful source of many of the crimes that were investigated in courts of justice, and he hoped that this affair would be a warning to the prisoner for the remainder of his life." Madeley was sentenced to a rather lenient three months of hard labour, despite being found guilty of manslaughter.
- The Era (17/Mar/1863) reported that the White Hart's licence had transferred from Henry Kuhlke to John Henry Falling.
- The Era (11/Mar/1866) reported that the White Hart's licence had transferred from the late John Henry Fulling to his widow, Jemima Fulling.
- The Era (17/Jul/1870) reported that the White Hart's licence had transferred from Herman Bostelmann to Peter Bostelmann.
- The Times reported on the prosecution of Arthur Jones (aged 22) charged with stealing a gold watch, chain and a gold coin, valued at £45, from Mr. Otto Damm, proprietor of the White Hart.
- An article about forged cheques in the London Standard (15/Feb/1896) named the landlord of the White Hart as Henry Chaplain.
Notes & References
- See Casebook, Jack the Ripper: Frances Coles
- Born around 1864 in Crediton, Devonshire. He served in the Coldstream Guards from December 1880 until 1902 and attained the rank of Colonel Sergeant. Upon discharge, his address was given as The Union Tavern, Emmett Street, Poplar, London, where he is still listed as the publican in the 1910 Post Office Directory. See also Pub History: Union Tavern.
- Died 1915 aged 51
- Pub History: White Hart, Mile End Road