Collector to Board Letters Book 1810


These extracts are a partial transcription of the book held at the National Archives reference, CUST 61/20, words are shown in italics in case of doubt. The legibility of this Book is poor, particularly towards the end. Items in blue are additional or background information. I do not accept any responsibility for any inaccuracies.


2 January 1810              We most respectfully beg leave to inform your Honors that we have this Day Admitted Mr Richard Cass to the Office of Warehousekeeper at this Port as directed by your Honors Order of 30 Ultimo.


3 January 1810              Having pursuant to Order your of 30 Ultimo admitted Mr Richard Cass to the Office of Warehousekeeper at this Port, inclosed we beg leave to transmit an application to your Honors from Mr Grimes who has acted as Warehousekeeper during the Vacancy from the 1 February last to the 2 Inst Praying the allowance of the Salary for the above time granted by the Treasury Order 17 January 1809 amounting to Ninety one pounds fifteen shillings and eleven pence for payment of which we most respectfully wait your Honors directions.


15 January 1810            We beg leave to report that Mr Grimes was Clerk to the Collector, who, being every respect competent to execute the Duty of Warehousekeeper at this Port, he was directed to act during the vacancy by the Collector & Comptroller. [A marginal note states that the allowance was agreed by the Board.]


25 January 1810            Captain Ferris of the Drake Cutter in the Service of the Revenue having in conformity to your Honors Order of 2 Instant sent us a statement of the losses sustained by him during the time he was employed under the Orders of Rear Admiral D’Auvergue. Inclosed we beg leave to transmit the same for your Honors further consideration and direction.

From Captain Ferris to the Collector and Comptroller        

I have received your Letter dated 4 Instant with a copy of the Honorable Boards Statement that I am at liberty to before them an Account of the losses actually sustained during the time I was employed under the Orders of Rear Admiral D’Auvergue.

In consequence of the above, be pleased to inform their Honors that the losses I sustained by Victualling, Fire & Candles I have stated on the back, but the losses from Seizures it is impossible for me to ascertain, I therefore humbly pray that their Honors will be pleased to take that hazardous we were employed on into their further consideration and grant such remuneration to myself, Officers & Crew as in their opinion our services merited. [The Account amounted to £132 – 18 – 3, Victualling £116 – 4 – 9 & Fire & Candles £16 – 3 – 9. The date of Service was given as 18 November 1807 until 7 June 1809.]


30 January 1810            In Answer to you Honors directions signified in Mr Secretary Richmonds Letter of the 27 Instant, we beg leave to report that we received a Letter from the Registrar of Shipping at Guernsey acquainting us that the Smack Jane of this Port, was sold to persons resident in that Island & registered De Novo by him the 21 Ultimo and we also beg to report that the Licence was delivered to us to be cancelled on the same Day by the late Owner.


21 February 1810           In obedience to your Order of 19 Inst. we have directed the Tide Surveyor to make a further survey of the Vessel Mary & Jane under Detention at this Port and inclosed transmit his report thereof which we beg leave to refer.

We beg leave to report that the Licence for the Vessel Industry under Seizure at this Port is dated 26 August 1805, and the Trade & Limits allowed viz. intended to be employed in the Piloting and Foreign Trade in the British Channel.

Report by the Tide Surveyor        Respecting the further description of the Mary & Jane. I have to state that she is Clinker Built, registered as a Sloop but keel of the Bowsprit, not fitted to the Deck, as I stated in my first Account, the Bowsprit does not exceed two thirds of the length of said Vessel.


22 February 1810           Agreeable to your Order of 21 November 1807 we transmit at the foot hereof a list of Mariners belonging to the Stork Cutter in the Service of the Revenue at the Port who humbly pray of your Honors to grant them Protections. 







Richard Charles







George Haswell







John Turner






Thomas Williams







James Parsons








8 March 1810                In obedience to Mr Secretary Richmonds letter stating that your honours have it in contemplation to station a six oared boat near Atherfield Rocks within the limits of this Port and to erect a Boat and Watch House. We beg to report that in our opinion the best situation for erecting a Boat and Watch House is under the cliffs at Atherfield Rocks where we understand a piece of ground may be obtained for that purpose by paying a moderate rent. We also ask leave to state that we consider a boat with one sitter and seven men sufficient to guard that station which is most respectfully submitted.


8 March 1810                Inclosed we beg leave to transmit an estimate for providing a new boat for the sitter at Yarmouth within the limits of this port as directed by Secretary Richmonds letter.


1 March 1810                We beg leave to inform you that Richard Chiverton, Riding Officer & Coastwaiter at Ryde seized on 25 Ultimo, a Sloop and her Boat belonging to this Port, called the Jubilee Robert Williams Master for having Licences signed by your Honors instead of the Commissioners for executing the Office of Lord High Admiralty, which Vessel he brought here on last Saturday Evening.

We informed him that the Licences were strictly legal and endeavoured to convince him of his error by showing similar ones in the Office & the Letter authorizing your Honors to issue them & therefore the detention of the Vessel was illegal & that he should immediately restore her to the Proprietor, we desired him to give up the Licences which we understand he had brought from Ryde with the Vessel, he said he left them at Home – that they were also forgery, but he should send them to us the next morning, which he has failed to do, he also refused to deliver them to Mr Snudden the Officer we sent to Ryde to Supersede him in the Coast business, we submit to your Honors in our report on Coopers Petition dated 24 Ult. To which we beg leave to refer.

In order therefore to prevent, as much as possible, his committing further errors and violence under the sanction of holding your Honors Commission we have thought it our Duty to direct the Riding Surveyor to proceed to Ryde to deliver the Letter we wrote to Chiverton wherein he was informed that he had acted contrary to Law and refused to obey our direct Orders in the execution of his Duty in the Service of the Revenue, we suspended from his Duty as a Riding Officer as well as Coastwaiter and that he was to deliver to the Riding Surveyor his Commission as well as other papers. Inclosed we beg to the Riding surveyor’s report thereon to which we respectfully refer & wait your Honors directions thereon.

By the Actions and violent proceedings of this Officer and every other Person threatening those who attempt to oppose or who will not assist him in his current transactions & the threats and fears he puts everyone in, by carrying loaded Pistols in his pocket, leaves no doubt in our minds about his insanity.


28 February 1810    Report by William Robey, Riding Surveyor       

In obedience to your Letter of 26 Instant, I have been to Ryde for Chivertons Commission & Licence for the Jubilee both of which he positively refused to give to me saying he was capable of his Duty & begs me to refer the 35 Psalm (N.V.). The first time I went to Ryde I met him going to Newport on the Coach with his Hat off and a paper cap in his hand, he said he was going to the Barracks for Honor & I have every reason to believe Chiverton is deranged. [The Board stated that Chiverton should have leave of absence granted to him to recover his health and another Officer should be sent to Ryde to act for him. Note this page is almost illegible.]


8 March 1810                In obedience to Mr Secretary Richmonds Letter of 6 Inst stating that your Honors have it in contemplation to station a Six Oared Boat near Atherfield Rocks within the limits of this Port & to erect a Boat & Watch house for the appropriation thereof.

We beg leave to Report, that in our opinion the best situation for erecting a Boat & Watch House, is under the Cliff at Atherfield Rocks, where we understand a piece of ground may be obtained for that purpose by paying a moderate quit rent.

We also beg leave to state that we consider a Boat with a Sitter & seven Men as a sufficient guard for that station.


12 March 1810               In obedience to Mr Secretary Richmonds Letter of 9 Inst directing us to Report more particularly with respect to the necessity of expence incurred as to the Kent Man of War in our preparatory Account for the Christmas Quarter last.

We beg leave to state that the Ship brought to of Yarmouth in this Port about 10 September last and in consequence of an Order in Council dated 8th of that Month, stating that a number of Men found Vessels with a contagious Fever, the Collector for the safety of Public Health went off immediately to that place 12 Miles from home to ascertain whether there had been any communication from shore with the Ship & to enquire whether the Sitter of the Six Oared Boat stationed there kept a proper guard over the said Ship during the time she remained off Yarmouth.


3 April 1810                   Having in pursuance of your Order of the 1 Ulto called upon the Commander of the Ash Lugger at Alderney to state by what Order he kept a Pilot on board after his arrival on that station charged in his crave transmitted to your Honors the 24 January last. Inclosed we beg leave to transmit his Report thereon to which we most respectfully refer.


26 March 1810    Report from Commander of Ash Lugger, John Andrews                 

In obedience to the Orders of the Honorable Board contained in your Letter of 3 Instant, I beg leave to inform you that the Pilot was continued on board the Ash Lugger under my Command after Her arrival at Alderney by the advice & directions of Captain Pearce of the Hart Cutter.


5 April 1810                   Having procured another Estimate pursuant to your Honors Order of 26 Ultimo for a new Boat for the use of the Sitter at Yarmouth in this Port in lieu of the one transmitted the 8 of that Month. Inclosed we beg to transmit the same for your Honors further consideration & directions.


6 April 1810   From Isham Chapman, Comptroller

In obedience to your directions signified by Mr Secretary Richmonds Letter of 31 Ulto, I beg to inform you that I leave the Port this Day to proceed to Swansea to carry on the Duty of Comptroller at that Port until your Honors further Directions, and I have Appointed Mr Thomas Thorold Land Surveyor to execute the Duty of my Office during my absence.


6 April 1810                   Having received the inclosed Letter & Certificates from Lieut Good of the Navy craving the Reward allowed by the 47 Geo. 3 Cap 66 Sec 15 for Seizing from Charles Seal, a Seafaring Man, two bottles of cherry Brandy & one pack of Playing Cards taking the said man on board the H.M.S. Royal William.


31 March 1810   From Captain Good      

I beg leave to send you on the back hereof two Certificates respecting my apprehending a Seafaring Man by the name of Charles Seal who has been delivered over to H.M. Navy & put on board H.M. Ship Royal William at Spithead & as the Act of Parliament grants a Reward of £20 per Man to any Officer who Apprehends Smuglers, I have to request that you will be pleased to forward these Certificates to the Board of Customs in order that I might be paid the usual Reward for stopping this Smugler. (A marginal note states that this was refused as not coming with the Section.)


21 April 1810                 As it does appear necessary for the new boat at Yarmouth to be built with longer timbers than usual, we have in accordance with your order of 16 inst procured another estimate and inclosed transmit the same for your Honors further consideration.


1 May 1810                   We report that the result of the advertisement offering a reward of £50 for the discovery of the persons concerned in beating and wounding David Dore and George Granger was an indictment in the Court of the Kings Bench against William Matthews who was convicted of the offence and imprisoned in Winchester Goal where he remains. With this Charge an order from the Lords of the Treasury for which Discovery the informant William Daw was paid £50 by your Honors direction of 17 July 1806.

On the reward of £100 offered for the Discovery of the persons beating James Snudden the Land Waiter no information could be obtained, but in the year 1804 James Kingswell of Newport was indicted in the Court of the Kings Bench for obstruction and beating Snudden the Coast Waiter in the execution of his duty - 21 years. Convicted of the offence - which with the two presently are the only cases of maltreatment of officers of this port within the last 21 Years.


3 May 1810                   Inclosed we transmit Captain Ferris’s Nomination of Edward Bartlett to be a Sitter of a Six Oared Boat conformable to your Honors directions in Mr Secretarys Letter of 26 April last.


4 May 1810                   Inclosed we transmit Bills for Work done & articles Supplied the Drake Cutter William Ferris Junior Commander on the Guernsey station for the Lady Day Quarter 1810, pursuant to your Honors Order of 30 March 1810 with duplicates thereof Amounting to £69 – 1 – 5 the payment of which is respectfully submitted.


10 May 1810                 Mr James Turner, reduced Commander, whose Cutter Fox, under your Honors Order of 7 September last was delivered over to Captain Hopkins to be used as a tender on the Milford Station, has requested us to transmit to your Honors the inclosed crave for compensation having been out of full employ since the period of his reduction.


10 May 1810   Crave from Captain Turner I am acquainted with your Honors Order allowing me subsistence from July next until employed, but beg permission to state that I have not received any Salary 10 day October last nor subsistence from 14 day September when the Cutter was given as a Tender for the Milford Station and therefore crave your Honors your Honors Allowance of my salary from that time to 5 January last:

Salary from that time to 5 January last at £12 -10 per quarter                                             £12 – 10 – 0

And from 5 January to 5 April at the rate of £250 per annum being the Allowance

Granted to Commanders of Cruizers from statement & date by your Honors Order

of 7 September 1809.                                                                                                     £62 – 10 – 0

                                                                                                                                    £75 – 0 – 0

What loss I have sustained from not having any allowance for Victualling or Opportunity to make any Seizures, I submit to your Honors liberality & goodness for compensation.


14 May 1810                 We transmit at the entreaty of Mr James Snudden on of the Coastwaiters at this Port an Application praying your Honors to consider a loss that he has sustained in consequence of the Sale of some Peruvian Bark (seized under peculiar circumstances) being suspended at the insistence of your Honors for the purpose of furthering an investigation on the part of the Government to discover whence the Bark which was known to be Medical stores was taken.

At the period of Service 18th August 1807 and condemnation in the ensuing Term and on the subsequent issue of a Writ of Delivery, Peruvian Bark from its scarcity sold as high as 20/- and even 30/- and in the event of Sale then this Service containing 100 lb weight would there is no doubt have yielded for the Officer a net Moiety of £50.

The article now from regular Importations being in greater abundance we could find no one to offer more for it one of our late Sales than 6/- per lb and then only for 10 lb of the Bark. We understand it is of very first quantity and was said to be of the same kind as sold at Apothecaries Hall at the time of Service to the Medical Laboratory at 15/- per lb from which we consider that the Officer may receive an equitable Reward for his merit in the transaction permit us to submit to your Honors the propriety of moving the Medical Board to take 100 lb of the Bark at appraised value of 7/- per lb making a total of £35 to be divided after the usual deduction of Exchequer Charges between the Crown and the Officer – for more particulars of this case we submit if your Honors should deem it necessary, references to Mr C Litchfield Solicitor to the Treasury and Doctor Borland Inspector of Hospitals London both of whom know the facts of the Seizure.


15 May 1810                 Inclosed is an Account of the Seizures brought to the Warehouse since the last return of 27 Ultimo to prosecute which we pray your Honors directions.

The Boats Fly of Portsmouth & Fly of Weymouth, Seizures 3 & 6, were found out of the Limits expressed in their Licences & employed contrary to the conditions of their Bonds, as enacted by 45 Geo 3 Ch 121. We submit that the respective Owners, whose object in going to Alderney could only be to purchase prohibited Spirits to run into this Kingdom, should be prosecuted for the Penalties prescribed.


30 May 1810                 A seizure of ten chests of Tea found secreted in a small open boat, 11 tons, under 80 bushels of potatoes having been made by Captain Purcell of the Hart Cutter at Guernsey was sent to this Port for prosecution. Inclosed printed form containing the particulars for your Honors information on which we pray directions for removing the goods and vessel to the Court of the Exchequer.


1 June 1810                   In pursuance of your Honours directions of 5 March last for some officer to act at Ryde protempor in lieu of Richard Chiverton who had betrayed in his general conduct and behaviour Symptoms of Insanity. Mr. Jas. Snudden was accordingly appointed and acted at that station until 30 Ulto. When having received the opinion of several respectable Persons of that Neighbourhood and the report of the Landing Surveyor who visited Chiverton at his abode; that there was no longer doubt of his Mind being restored to sanity. We directed him to resume his Office with strict written injunctions to be execute his duty with attention and to refrain from all intemperate living and conduct himself with becoming decorum to Tradesmen and others, requiring his Official attendance, which is Officially submitted.


13 June 1810                 We have to represent to your Honors that Thomas Corke a Licenced Pilot of this Port brought Yesterday to this Office Mr Muwran a Citizen of the United States and a Merchant of Charleston whom he had taken from the American Ship Commerce off Portland on her Voyage to London with Cotton.

Mr Muwran having declared before us that the Cotton was grown in the United States, and that the proper Declaration by the 42 Section of the Order in Council accompanied the Cargo and was in the Masters possession. We should on this ground as well likewise by reason of the Parties having communication with ourselves and others of Custom House subjecting them to the restraint of Quarantine. We nevertheless humbly submit as Corke’s conduct is a gross violation of the Quarantine Laws that the Truth of Mr Muwran’s statement respecting the Certificate of growth of the Cotton should be enquired into. 


19 June 1810                 The six oared boat stationed at Yarmouth being on want of a new lugsail inclosed we submit an application from Mr William Arnold the Sitter, and also an estimate for the same amounting to £9 – 4 – 4 the necessity for which is duly certified in the accompanying letter from the Inspecting Commander Captain Blake.


19 June 1810                 We are requested by Mr James Snudden, Coastwaiter at Newport, who was directed by the Collector and Comptroller on 23 February last to repair to Ryde and execute the duty of Coastwaiter there during the mental derangement of Mr Richard Chiverton to forward the enclosed bill for hire of a room and extra expenses while living from his family amounting to £36 – 15 – 0. The charge he states to be unavoidably incurred and appear reasonable and the moment we could entrust Mr Chiverton with his office again, which was on the 1 June his attendance was discontinued.


23 June 1810                 This Morning the transient American Ship Bingham John Love Master from Philadelphia for London with Cotton, Sugar, Cotton and other Articles of War came to Anchor in the Roadstead for Orders from the American Consul. The Cotton not being accompanied with a Declaration of the Growth required by the 42 Section of His Majesty’s Order in Council of the 5 April 1805.

We have as directed by the 7th Section of the said Order in Council put the Ship under restraint, and inclose the Questions put to the Master by the Superintendent with the Answers thereto by which it appears there is a clean Bill of Health and the Crew are well.


5 July 1810                    Edward Waterworth, a Tidewaiter on the Establishment at this port having signified he cannot attend to his Duty. We transmit his Application and Request your Honors to accept his resignation. There does not appear to be any charge or complaint pending against Waterworth.


10 July 1810                  In return to your enquiry signified by the Secretary in respect of the situation for erecting a Boathouse on Atherfield Rocks, we have to inform your Honors that we have not failed, repeatedly by letter and personal application to Mr Tervell (the land owner, Mr Burnetts’ solicitor) to obtain terms for the spot desired. The Collector wrote to Mr Tervell and received an answer that Mr Burnett, who lives in the north, was daily expected on the Island and that immediately on his arrival the purtport of the Collectors letter would be communicated to him. No further information having been received on the subject the Collector again contacted on last Saturday when he appraised the Collector Mr Burnett was on his journey and that we should hear from him in a few days which is respectfully submitted. 


26 July 1810                  William Chamberlain a Tidewaiter at this Port having refused to be boarded yesterday when call on by his Tidesurveyor we sent for him to account for his misbehaviour when he delivered the enclosed letter requesting your Honors to accept his resignation.

“My income as a Tidewaiter of Customs at Cowes being very small as to see my family to be in a starving state. I beg you to ask the Honorable Commissioners to receive confirmation that I may be able to get a better income”


13 August 1810             Subjoined is a Copy of the Note received by the Collector from Mr Bernard’s Solicitor agreeing to lease to the Crown for 21 Years sufficient land on his Estate at Atherfield for building a Watch House on the Summit of the Cliffs at £5 per annum and ample space on the shore for a Boathouse underneath at 10/- per annum.

The necessity of dividing the Building, is we submit, indispensable – Firstly – that the People on Duty may have an expansive view of the Sea and over the Boat which they could not acquire on the Shore and – Secondly – that the ground in the Cliff is untenable after heavy rain, that it would not only be ill advised but also a waste of money to place any materials of solidity on it – annexed is a rough sketch of the Cliff at Atherfield – the Cottage on the summit is Vacant for the Watch House – the one below for the Boat into which it will be drawn by a Capstan – near the cliff are  number of Huts to shelter the Boat but none are habitable from the cause already stated, the badness of the Foundations. The Watchhouse being detached from the Boat House would require we apprehend no Upper Room for the accommodation of People and the Building for the Boat may be be built of rough stone covered with Tiles so as to afford shelter without incurring expence of appearance.


16 August 1810             Inclosed is a representation from Mr James Williams, Sitter of the Preventive boat at Atherfield Rocks stating that his Commissioned Boatmen William Harmer and two other Boatmen William Rubie and James Farender nominated by your Honors to that station have joined and put themselves under his command but Aaron Monday, James Green and Robert Barnes the other three appointed have declined to join the boat.

We are humbly of the opinion that it will avoid much inconvenience to the Service if Mr Williams application to allow three good men to complete the Boats Crew in the Isle of Wight was entertained by your Honors as it obviously appears that wives and families of men having local connections do not like to remove to distant places where they are strangers and at which no comfortable habitation may be immediately be found.

That the Established men can be carried into serviceable and prompt effect, we have not the least doubt and much satisfaction in informing your Honors that the Boat House already built can be had at the very low price of Six Pounds which sum if doubled will nearly be sufficient for making some necessary alterations and removal and when fixed will last the lease. The Watch House proposed should we conceive have a habitable cottage at one end for a family and one room in the front as the look out and we are sanguine enough to believe a very comfortable building ought to be put up for £250 or less.

Should your Honors be inclined to favor the idea of erecting a Cottage instead of a common Watch House we submit that one of the commissioned Officer may reside there on paying a moderate rent to the Crown.


22 August 1810             The Ensign Colour which we have been accustomed to hoist every year in Commemoration of the King and Queens Birth Days – and on other Public Holidays being worn out – we have humbly to crave a new one.


29 August 1810             We are desired by George Snook a Tidewaiter on the establishment at this Port to transmit his application to resign – the pay of his Office being insufficient to keep him.


8 September 1810          Herewith we forward the Boat Builders Bill for the new Six Oared Preventive Boat delivered to the Sitter at Yarmouth with a Duplicate thereof amounting to £23 – 12 – 4 the payment of which is respectfully submitted as this Sum does not exceed the Estimate tendered.


10 September 1810        Mr James Williams the Sitter of the Preventive Boat stationed at Atherfield Rocks being in want of a variety of articles for the use of the Boat, we transmit Inclosed Mr Williams crave for the same, the necessity of which is duly Certified by the Inspecting Commander of the District.

1 Anchor           )           May be provided at Cowes

1 Creeper          )

1 Mooring Cable

30 Fathoms 3½ inch rope to heave the Boat up the Cliff

20 Fathoms 12 Thread Ratline for Boats Halliards and Ties

A Horse Sail

A Boat Jack

A Sette of Firearms and Ammunition

1 Spying Glass

8 Ballast Bags

1 Compass


A Sette of Rummaging Tools


13 September 1810        Conformable to your Standing Order of 17 November 1797 herein we submit some suggestions for remedying what we humbly consider defects in some existing revenue Laws. The neglect or omission of an Owner of a Vessel to paint her name in the legal prescribed manner on her or the concealment of it, being punishable with a Fine of £100 under the 19 Sect 26 Geo. 3 Ch 56 we would propose as it often happens that Smugglers deface their names of their Vessels to conceal them by various methods. That a Regulation should pass into Law subjecting all Vessels to Seizure & Forfeiture (except Kings Ships & Square Rigged Merchant Ships at the time of War) that may be found in Harbour or at Sea without their Registered Name painted legally on the Stern in the same way as Boats are liable to forfeiture under the 2 & 3 Sect 27 Geo. 3 Chap 32 in default of their Names & those of the Owners or Masters being duly painted. The effect resulting from this Regulation would be an additional restraint on Smuggling Craft & a compulsive measure on Owners to Mark & Paint their Vessels Name.

It being represented to us that Persons at Portland & Weymouth profess to build Boats whose Dimensions are a fractional part without the pale of the Law to enable the Smugglers to Row or Sail it to Alderney in Summer Time for the purpose of taking in small crops of Fifty to Seventy Casks of Contraband Spirit avoiding by such Build the necessity of taking out a Licence & the Penalty attaching to it. We submit to your Honors to repeat such Evasions that the Provisions of the 9 Section of the 34 of His Majesty Ch 50 should be extended to all Boats whatever description or Construction & have the length of 14 feet & without regard to the thickness of the Timbers or Plank, all such Boats to be subject to forfeiture if found in Harbour or within 100 Leagues of the Coast of Great Britain without Licence. [The Letter continues with various proposals regarding Stone & Slate, the Export of Manufactured Goods & Emigration, which are not reproduced here.]


26 September 1810        There being no Boathouse as shelter for the Six Oared Revenue Boat stationed at Atherfield Rocks, we submit to your Honors it is expedient that some sort of rough Fabric should be erected at that Spot to save the Boat from damage while being hauled up on the Beach, exposed to the Sun & Weather.

By the Inclosed representation of Mr Williams, the Sitter, two Boat House (one being insufficient) already built there may be had for £13 and the expence of the Capstan will probably be £5 more. As to the Building, we entreat your Honors for providing it on the best and lowest terms must unavoidably remain daily lying off.


26 September 1810        Application having been made to us by Mr James Williams Sitter of the Preventive Boat at Atherfield, William Manner, his Commissioned Boatman and the people composing the Crew of the Boat for Wages between 5 July last the time of their discharge from the Cutters to which they respectively belonged and 19 July the date of their Commissions to the new appointment. Instructions for complying with their demands and specifying at what rate they are to be paid – Mr Williams was late Mate of the Batt Cutter, Mr Manners Deputed Mariner of the Falcon and the others Mariners in the Service.


27 September 1810        As directed by your Order 15 Inst. we transmit a Plan of a Cottage proposed to be erected near Atherfield Rocks for the Purpose of a Watch House and Dwelling for the Sitter of the Preventive Boat there Stationed with an Estimate from Mr James Dennet a respectable Builder for Building the same for the Sum of £20? Should this Tender not be deemed sufficiently explanatory, we submit that your Honors will please direct that the Surveyor of Buildings may supply us with a particular Specification of Materials and Quality to be provided to the Contractor.


28 September 1810        The Comptroller General having advised us there is wanting from your Honors a Special Certificate to exonerate the Collector from a Surcharge of £67 – 11 – 7½ paid by him in Lady Day 1809 out of Customs for Poundage on Seizures sent to London, we have humbly to request your Honors will be pleased to agree to the Regulations laid down in your General Order of 2 May 1809 to issue the Certificate accordingly. In the Order just quoted and which is numbered in this Port 102 the Collector was relieved of a Surcharge of £4499 – 2 – 2¾ but this Sum did not include the £67 – 11 – 7½ now applied for as the payment was made on 30 March 1809 and the Incident Book was still at Cowes when the Order of 2 May 1809 was issued. Since that period, when Money became due for Seizures and there was no possibility of paying it out of Customs, we have in obedience to your Honors Direction always craved your Orders thereon.


4 October 1810              We are requested to transmit the within Memorial of William Holloway Searcher at this Port humbly praying that as he has been in Office 32 Years and is 67 years of Age he may be permitted to take the benefit of the Superannuation allowance granted of the 58th of His Majesty Ch 117.

The allegations set out in the said Memorial appear to us strictly true and in Justice to Mr Holloway, we can safely say that he has always acquitted himself of the Duty of his Office with ability and has never during his 32 Years of Service been charged with any irregularity.

4 October 1810              The Memorial of William Holloway Searcher and Assistant Landing Waiter at the Port of Cowes humbly Sheweth

That the Memorialist was born was born in the year 1743 and admitted Waiter and Searcher at the Port of Cowes in 1778. Has been Thirty Two years in Office and has a Sallary of Two Hundred pounds per annum under Treasury Warrant dated 17 January 1809 in compensation for Fees and Emoluments abolished.

That your Memorialised being Sixty seven Years of Age and much afflicted with Swellings in his legs in the Winter time and Internal Complaints of the Body which at times renders him incapable of performing the Duties of his Office, Humbly solicits you Honors to grant him a Superannuation of Two-Thirds of his salary as allowed to Officers of this Class.


6 October 1810              We have today admitted John Ralph to the Office of Tide Waiter at this Port in the room of William Chamberlain resigned as directed by your Honors Order of 2 Instant.


12 October 1810            By the Statement on our account for last Month, transmitted this Day to your Honors it appears that there is wanting the sum of £5000 independent of the Money in Hand to defray Salaries & Incidents due 10 Instant for which amount we humbly pray an Imprest Bill may be given. As there is no prospect that the receipt of Duty will enable the Collector to make the payments (which are particularized on the other side) in a reasonable time.

Particulars of Payments for which an Imprest Bill is craved.

Established Salaries     £382 – 10
Established Cutters    
      Swallow  £850 – 0 – 0  
      Stork  £630 – 0 – 0 £1480 – 0 – 0
Incident Salaries £87 – 10
Boarding Bills     £96
Watching Rowing & Attendance  £280
Tradesmens Bills £35 – 10
Pensions £23
Coal Poundage & Meterage £60
Hart Cutter £800
Drake Cutter  £560
Lion Cutter £500
Hope Cutter  £200
Nimble Cutter £270
Wolf Cutter £270
Tonnage Rewards £94
Taxes £57

 In the Kings Chest



31 October 1810            Captain McBean Commanding some Military at an out station at the back of the Isle of Wight having Seized on the Shore two small Casks containing Six Gallons of Prohibited Spirit which had been run by Persons unknown, Inclosed we transmit your Honors an account of the same, pursuant to Warrant of the Lords of the Treasury date 13 January 1808 authorising your Honors to cause Payment of Rewards to the Military.


2 November 1810           We have to report to your Honors that Captain William Ferris of the Stork Cutter died this morning.


3 November 1810           As directed by your Order of 27 Ulto respecting the mode in which Officers Day Pay is connected at this Port, we have to that immediately on a Ships arrival from Foreign Parts whether they import a Cargo or are Transient, the Tidesurveyor places on he two Tidesmen, he then enters it in his Book kept at the Watchhouse intitled Account of Boardings agreeable to Form A the Officers names, the Ships name, particulars of the Cargo &c. The Tidesurveyor writes out the Boarding Bill No. 1 which is filed in his Office till the expiration of the Quarter when it is delivered to the Collector & Comptroller to be checked and entered in the Incidents Book for full payment. The same rule obtains with regard to Day Officers, employed in rowing, watching and attendance at the warehouse, see Form B and the Tidesurveyors Bill No. 2.

In the intervals between the periods of being boarded, rowing in the Boat, watching &c and the Tidesmen discharge. If they want money, they ask the Tide Surveyor for a Certificate of Time agreeable to Form No. 3. On such being produced to the Collectors Clerk he advances them what is due or what they demand in part weekly or monthly and debits them with the advance in the in the Petty Ledger Form C till the end of the Quarter when he Checks the Boarding Book ascertaining if any balance is due to the officer and then brings the whole to account in the Incident Book Form D, takes a Stamped Receipt from the officer for whole amount of the Quarterly Pay, which Receipt accompanies the Incident Book as do the Boarding, Watching & Rowing Books Certified by the Tidesurveyor. It never having been the practice here for him to sign any Document of Officers.


24 November 1810         We are requested by Mr Roach Coast Waiter at Cowes who was directed by the Acting Collector and Comptroller in February last to supply the place of Mr Snudden removed per Tempore to Ryde to execute the Coast Duty there During Mr Richard Chivertons Insanity to crave of your Honors his charge for Horse hire amounting to £13.

The Distance he had to travel from Cowes to Newport and the charge for Horse hire of 20/- per week does not seem unreasonable.

Your Honors were pleased by Order of 20 September last to allow Mr Snudden £32 for his Expenses while on Coast Duty at Ryde away from his Station.


1 December 1810           We transmit inclose an account of seizures brought to the warehouse since our last of the 31 October – the Prosecution which we pray your directions.

Mary Moses on whose Person Ten Pieces Silk Handkerchiefs were seized is the Wife of a Journeyman Baker as she states in very indigent circumstances earning for their joint support 18/- per week. To Obtain Your Honors Clemency she had made a voluntary Affidavit before the Collector as a Commissioner in the Court of the Exchequer the mode by which she procured possession of the Handkerchiefs and the name of the Person whom she conceives to be conceives to be the Clandestine Importer of the Article.

Joseph Randall is a Licenced Pilot of the Port under the Jurisdiction of the Trinity – is the owner of the Smack Dove and has given Security for the Running Bowsprit and proper Conduct of his Vessel in the Penalty of £600 – and the Bond of the 32nd of the King Ch 50 – in £100 not to Smuggle.

We have no proof that the Handkerchiefs were run on shore by his Vessel the Dove but Mary Moses informs us that he was present in the House and at the precise time when she received the Ten Pieces of Handkerchief from his Wife and incident which establishes beyond question Joseph Randalls privity to the Transaction and which would have inserted in the Affidavit had she mentioned it before it was sworn to. 


5 December 1810           Mr Isham Chapman the Comptroller of this Port having resumed his Office, after carrying on the Comptrollership at Swansea under the Boards Order of 31 March 1810.

He humbly prays you Honors will be pleased to allow him £33 – 3 – 0, the amount of his Travelling Charges and Subsistence on his Journey to Swansea and back.


13 December 1810         John Roach one of the Boatmen in the Preventive Boat at Atherfield having been returned by his Sitter – incapable of Duty on account of illness between the 21 October 1810 and 22 November following – agreeable to the Standing Rules of your Honors in regard to Officers receiving Day Pay we refused to Pay him 2/6 per Diem and pursuant to your Honorable Boards order of 26 March 1806 made his claim for 1/6 per Diem and for his Doctors Bill together being £6 which he humbly prays your Honors will be pleased to direct payment as his illness was acquired in the discharge of his Duty.


14 December 1810         We have acknowledged your Honors Letter of Yesterday inclosing a new Writ of Assistance dated the 6 Ultimo and in obedience to your Commands returning the ones that have been in our Custody.

No other Officer in this Port has a Writ of Assistance but we are of the opinion that if Mr Robey the Riding Surveyor at Yafford and Robert Willis the Stationary Boatman at Yarmouth were issued with one each, they might at times be used with advantage to the Service.


27 December 1810         Inclosed is a return of 40 Casks of Foreign Spirits brought to the Warehouse last Evening by Mr William Arnold, Sitter of the Preventive Boat at Yarmouth to prosecute which we pray your Directions.

The Sitters Report accompanying our return details for your Honors information a Series of Outrages & Violence on the part of Mr James Love, Mate of the Rose Cutter as cannot fail hereafter to bring forth your Honors reprehensions. Mr Love it appears had been in the Isle of Wight 3 days partaking of Christmas Wakes & was returning in the Passage Vessel from Yarmouth to Lymington to rejoin the Rose Cutter at Anchor in the Creek when in his transient course he observed the actions of the Yarmouth Sitter and hid Crew applied to the Collecting of a floating raft of Spirits, he suddenly … of in a very small Boat from the Passage Vessel with another Man, to interrupt the proceedings of the Preventive Boat and to lay claim to the Prize tho’ he had no reason to depend upon and was several miles distant from his own Cutter. The circumstance of the Seizure being within the Port of Cowes and within half a Mile of the Shore of the Isle of Wight, we must by the very violent and dangerous conduct of Mr Love who not only pushed down Mr Arnold the Sitter in the Preventive Boat and knocked down with his fist Richard W…. one of his Boats Crew in front of the People in two Private Boats who he has engages to assist him but also excited them by Language and Manner to despise the Authority of your Honors Officers.

William Arnold as will be seen has acted with much discretion in determining to search Warders Boat after the Seizure of 36 Casks had been carried to the Rose Cutter and from the result of his scouting Viz the discovering, that a Cask and the Moorings to which the raft was attached were in that Boat when she left the Rose warrants the belief that these Articles were clandestinely secreted of given by the same one Commanding the Rose Cutter, Henry Warden and his People for the partial assistance to Mr Love.


1808 - 1809


Customs Cowes Letters Books

© Transcription by Steve Holden, 2008. Original Book held at the National Archives.

2 August 2009