The Captain Digby
Whiteness Road, Broadstairs, Kent
It is the oldest licensed pub on Thanet. It was a former pilgrims’ hospice. The name, Captain Digby, came from Robert, a nephew of Lord Holland, who commanded a warship of the English fleet in 1759. It records that when Lord Holland died he left a sum of money so that Captain Digby’s health could be drunk once a year by the customers at this pub. In 1769, the Battle of Botany Bay took place nearby when Revenue men ambushed Joss Snelling and his gang as the smugglers unloaded their booty. Snelling and four others escaped through an opening in the cliffs. A riding officer was shot on the cliffs and taken to the pub where he died from his wounds. He haunts the inn, along with the smuggler, Snelling. When Snelling manifests, he , witnesses report, as being a fat old man surrounded by a curious odour of putrescence. He had been born in 1741. It was fined £100 for smuggling at the age of 89. Snelling died aged 96 and late in life been introduced to royalty as the ‘famous Broadstairs smuggler’.