Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bowsing-ken n.

also bowsing crib, bowzing ken
[bousing n. + ken n.1 (1) / crib n.1 (1)]

a public house, a tavern, an inn.

[UK]Awdeley Fraternitye of Vacabondes in Viles & Furnivall (1907) 5: A Tinkard leaueth his bag a sweating at the Alehouse, which they terme their Bowsing In.
[UK]Dekker Lanthorne and Candle-Light Ch. 1: If we Niggle, or mill a bowsing Ken.
[UK]Dekker O per se O L3: This killer brings to the slaughter-house of the Diuell (viz. a Bowsing Kenne) a Bleating Chete.
J. Taylor Crabree Lectures 191: Cove. I whid to thee: I budged to the bowsing Ken, & there I bowsed all my lower amongst the Beane Coves, and Doxes.
[UK]Brome Jovial Crew in Dodsley Old Plays 10 370: And talk as wild and wantonly / As Tom, or Tib, or Jack, or Jill, / While they at the bowsing ken do swill.
[UK]R. Holme Academy of Armory Ch. iii item 68c: Canting Terms used by Beggars, Vagabonds, Cheaters, Cripples and Bedlams. [...] Bowsing Ken, an Ale-house.
[UK]A. Smith Lives of Most Notorious Highway-men, etc. (1926) 203: Bowsing-Ken, an ale-house.
[UK] ‘Frisky Moll’s Song’ in J. Thurmond Harlequin Sheppard 22: I Frisky Moll, with my rum coll, / Wou’d Grub in a bowzing ken; / But ere for the scran he had tipt the cole, / The Harman he came in.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Bowsing ken, an ale-house or gin-shop.
[UK] ‘St Giles’s Greek’ in Sporting Mag. Dec. XIII 164/1: The cull [...] remained at the bowsing ken.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
Meerut Universal Mag. I 404: We sallied forth, and [...] as we were in Smithfield, took this opportunity of paying a flying visit to Harry Hormer who had set up a bowsing ken (in that respectable neighbourhood) .
[UK]Comic Almanack Apr. 132: The hulks is now my bowsing crib, the hold my dossing ken.
[US]Memphis Dly Appeal (TN) 10 Aug. 4/4: This den on Poplar Street [...] has been broken up. It was a regular ‘bowsing ken’ for rowdys and cracksmen.