Collector to Board Letters Book 1823 - 1826 (No. 44)


These extracts are a partial transcription of the book held at the National Archives reference, CUST 61/36, words are shown in italics in case of doubt. Items in blue are additional or background information. I do not accept any responsibility for any inaccuracies.

This, and future books are 500 (rather than 250) pages long.

r. Baker feeling just and great confession for the act committed and having a Family dependant on him for support has signified to the Collector that he is disposed to reveal some Smuggling Transactions of his Neighbour that may be of Service to the Revenue and humbly hoping by such Disclosures that he may obtain through your Honors clemency an amelioration of his Punishment. – It becomes our Duty to state to your Honors that we are informed Lieut. Robins and his Boats Crew stationed at Freshwater have been accustomed to seeing Anthony Taylor and Andrew Baker frequently within this habitation last 6 months (their Habitation not being ¼ of a Mile from their Watchhouse) without any attempt being made on their part to capture them.


4 March 1825                The Executors of the late Sir Leonard Worsley Holmes Will having now proposed to grant leases, inclosed is Mr Sewells proposal for Terms for the Land at Sconce Point to build Cottages on. On reference to the Lease granted by Lord Yarborough at St Lawrence on which Mr Sewells letter observes, it appears that your Honors have a Tenure on it for the term of 60 years, on a first Lease of 21 years with covenant to renew at the yearly Rent of £5 with a further condition that should the Cottages erected on the said Ground be no longer wanted for Public Service, the land is to be surrendered and the Cottages given up to Lord Yarborough. The site of the ground for the projected Cottages at Sconce Point marked out by the Collector and Mr Sewell Wednesday the 23 Ultimo is on the rear of the Fort and is somewhat elevated and on rising ground, we are humbly of the opinion it would be advisable to confine the whole of the Building (the sleeping as well as the living room) to the Ground Floor.


7 March 1825                I obedience to your Orders of 11 & 15 Ult. the Collector on Saturday 5 Inst. prosecuted before a Bench of Magistrates the following Persons all of whom have been convicted in the full Penalties of Treble the Value of the Goods Seized from them Eliza Tribeck, Ann Dyer, Frances Jones, Elizabeth & Sarah Wright. – the former three did not appear but as their Residence are known, processes will be issued for the Recovery of the Penalties and the two latter being Mothers with large Families, the Magistrates from a feeling of humanity permitted them to return to their homes with the recommendation that they should immediately endeavour to raise the amount of the Penalties in which the were convicted viz. £12 – 18 – 9 and discharge the same, telling them if they failed so to do within one month that the Law must take its course with all its severity. [Penalties were Eliza Tribeck £4 10s, Ann Dyer £4 10s, Frances Jones (described as a boy) £1 7s, Elizabeth Wright £6 15s (Paid 8th June), Sarah Wright £6 3s 9d. All were stated to be of St Helens.]


11 March 1825               Annexed is an application from the Rev. Walton White Lord of the Manor of Shanklin on this Island on whose land your Honors in the year 1821 intended to erect some Cottages for the Coast Guard Service but which intention from some cause unknown to us has not been carried into effect requesting that we would crave your Honors an Order for discharging the sum of £8 – 6 – 0 the amount of an Architects Bill and send him in a description of the Elevation and appearance of the projected Cottages. We have no Order on record respecting an Architect employed but we recollect a Gentleman from the Office Surveyor of Buildings visiting Shanklin examining the Site for the Cottages and that he had communicated with Mr White on the intended Buildings at that time. It is right that we should observe that Mr White had no desire whatever to have the Cottages erected on his Estate, that it was at your Honors instance he acquiesced in the proposal of Building them for the Public Service.


14 March 1825               As Directed by your order 12 Inst. the Collector of Saturday prosecuted before a Bench of Magistrates at Newport Phillip Riddett under the 8 Ann Ch 7 Sect 17 and 7 Geo 3 Ch 87 Sect 8 who convicted him in the penalty of £100 but on account of his great age 75 and Poverty mitigated the it to £25. The Defendant not being able to pay the same has been committed to Winchester Gaol.


16 March 1825               It is with considerable reluctance we trouble your Honors with a complaint against the Principal Officer of the Waterside Department at this Port but the Spirit of Insubordination lately shown by him and his disregard of the Boards General Instructions for the Rule of his office force us to do so.

The facts we have to bring to your Honors are that on the 11 Ult. on the application of the American Consul to land the Cargo of the American Brig Resolution consisting of Iron and Wool arrived at this Port in distress. We gave order to apportion equally the Duty of the 2 Waterside Officers – Mr James Alford having the Coast Duty to perform, as well as that of Landing Waiter, addressed the Special Warrant for the Landing & reshipment of the Cargo (as part of it at that time being intended for Importation and the Landing Surveyor being on Leave) to Mr John Waller the Assistant Landing Waiter, he being most available.

On Mr Thorolds return to the Office on the 12 we apprised him of the circumstance and concluded he would supervise the Discharge. The Collector however on the inspection of the Assistant Landing Waiter & Tidewaiters Blue Books conforming to the Boards Minute 11 July 1823 & on 14 Ult. found that the Surveyor had not been near the Officers or the Wharf & accordingly on his return to Custom House we told him whilst standing in the Long Room, that we considered his not going to the Wharf a great Neglect and informing him thereafter to give the Business his Personal Attendance – to which he replied he had nothing to do with it or the Officers as he had long since put them out of his survey, an assumption of conduct we humbly submit not less extraordinary in expression than in Deed.

We obtained from Mr Alford who took charge of the Blue Books & the Warehouse on Mr Wallers departure for Poole 9 Inst. and inspecting them in accordance with your Honors Order of the 5 we discovered some discrepancy in tallies and Account and therefore called on the Surveyor as the Proper Officer to explain the same to which he sent the annexed answers inclosed herein.

About 2 years ago Mr Thorold & Mr Waller had some personal quarrel & high words and from that time have hardly exchanged civilities – we did not however fail to recommend reconciliation and to admonish them not to let private animosity interfere with Public Business – and we hoped we had succeeded.

Mr Waller is a man of strict integrity and possesses sufficient ability for execution of any duty of Landing Waiter knowing the methods of gauging Wine and Spirits and the admeasurement of Timber and if his Surveyor had any charge to bring against him he had the best opportunity so to do when Mr Morris was on his survey at this Port last August but not so doing is strong proof that Mr Thorold’s Enmity to Mr Waller arises from private pique much increased at this present moment from fancying your Honors Removal of Waller to Poole is an Act of Promotion.


17 March 1825               William Corke acknowledges that he sold a Boat built at Cowes no exceeding 14 feet in length to Emmanuel Charles in January last. There is no doubt she was built for Smugling, Wm Corke being one of the most systematic Contraband Traders.


22 March 1825               Your Honors Order of 19 Inst. for the prosecution of Neil M Harvey and John Wordlaw inclosing the Solicitors draft of Information to be exhibited before the Justices not arriving in time, the Collector proceeded against the Offenders on an Information drawn by Mr Hearn the Magistrates Clerk and supervised by Mr Cousins a Professional Gentleman occasionally employed of prosecutions for the Crown when on a Hearsay of the circumstances attached in Minutes of evidence the Magistrates came to the conclusion that if they had then performed Judgement, the Parties must be convicted under the 8 Enactment Geo 3 Sect 2 Ch 66 and adjudged to be sent to His Majesty’s Naval Service for 5 years. The Bench consisting of 8 Magistrates being of one opinion that Messrs. Harvey & Wordlaw were entrapped into the Smugling transaction by the Parties on board the Smuggling Vessel, now, as your Honors will see by Captain Sanderson’s affidavit annexed proving to be the Mary Ann of Portsmouth, they determined to adjourn the Court and its proceedings in the case in question till Saturday 26 Current directing their Clerk in the meanwhile to transmit to your Honors though no copies of Information & Evidence whether under all circumstances connected with the transaction the prosecution is to be further pursued.

On Captain Sanderson’s affidavit we have privately desired the Waterguard to seize the Mary Ann in which Anthony Taylor of Freshwater sails and who broke out of Southampton Gaol 12 months ago wherever they can find her.


6 April 1825                   In obedience to your Order of the 5 Ult. on the removal of Mr Waller the Searcher of this Port to Poole until further Orders we report that no Inconvenience whatever has been felt at this Port in consequence of the absence of Mr Waller, the Controller having sufficient time to perform the Duty of Controlling Surveyor of Warehouses and Mr Alford in the present state of Trade at Cowes being fully equal to the Duty of Searcher as well as that of Landing Waiter and in the event of Emergency such as two Supervisions of Foreign Cargoes at the same time we humbly suggest for your Honors approval that the Landing Surveyor who has much leisure in Office should be directed to attend the discharge of one of the Cargoes and enter the particulars in a Blue Book in the same way as a Landing Waiter by which arrangement and under our personal Supervision of the Officers in conformity to your Order 11 July 1823 the Business of this Port can be properly attended and without the necessity of having any auxiliary Officer from another Port.


11 April 1825                 In obedience to your Order of 5 Inst. inclosing a Draft of Information from your Honors Solicitor against William Eddes for carrying and conveying foreign Spirits, the Collector on Saturday last proceeded against him before a Bench of Magistrates at their Weekly Session under the Acts 45 Geo 3 Ch 121 Sect 7 and 3 Geo 4 Ch 110 who convicted said Eddes in the Penalty of £100. Two persons viz. James Flood and Peter Young having been detected in a similar offence against the Revenue and captured Thursday and Friday last and there not being time to obtain the Solicitors Draft of Information to be exhibited at the Session on Saturday. The Collector proceeded against the Parties immediately after the conviction of Eddes, both of them not being Seafaring Persons or fit for HM Naval Service were sentenced to pay the Penalty of £100 each conforming to the Statutes before quoted.


15 April 1825                 In obedience to your Honors Order of 15 November 1824 for a half yearly report on the state of Smugling at this Port, we have to submit our belief to your Honors that Smugling of Spirits on the coast and within the waters of the Wight has in no degree diminished since our return of 17 November last, the perseverance of the Contraband Traders having kept pace with the efforts and vigilance of the Coast Guard and Revenue Officers to detect and capture them.

The Number of Vessels engaged in the illicit Trade is upwards of 30, Rowing Galleys 15 besides other Craft and Boats which do not so openly betray their calling. In the last half year 8080 Gls. of Spirits have been seized and brought to the Warehouse and since the close of the present Quarter say 5 April 1400 Gls more have been received. The Stationary Cutters at the West end of the Isle of Wight as humbly recommended in our report of 17 November last has been attended with good effect, several Seizures having been made in consequence by the Stag Cutter, and we feel fully persuaded from such result and the frustration Smugling Vessels meet with in their attempt to get within the Wight by the Needles by the cruising and appearance of the Cutters that the continuance of such force and guard is the Best that can be resorted to. The space of Water at the Eastern Extremity say between St Helens and Chichester and Langston being more grand we are humbly of the opinion 4 Cutters should be constantly cruizing on such Station and not allowed to run into Port without being relieved and with such increase and co-operation of the Coast Guard Boats of the Isle of Wight Establishment many more captures are anticipated.


15 April 1825                 As directed by your Order of 2 Inst. respecting the residences occupied by the Coast Guard, we report that not having received from your Honors any Special Directions for the Collection of Rent none has been paid.

2 Stacks of Cottages for the Occupation of the Coast Guard have been built on the Island viz. one at St Lawrence the other at Atherfield and according to the Scale of Rent laid down in the 23 Article as the occupation of both commenced at the same period there will be due as follows viz. from the Chief Officer and Boatman at St Lawrence from January 1 1824 to 5 April 1825 @ £9 per annum                            £11 – 5

From 7 Boatmen at £5 per annum                                                                                               £43 – 15


and from the Chief Officer and Boatmen at Atherfield the same amount.

There are Watch Houses at Bembridge, Shanklin, Freshwater, Sconce Point and East Cowes and a room for a detached Boat Crew of the Bembridge Boat at Nettlestone in which individuals reside and a Watch Vessel at Newtown Station all of which under the 23 Article are within the Exemption granted.


19 April 1825                 We have much satisfaction in reporting to your Honors the arrest of William Webb of Yarmouth, a smuggler of great notoriety in this part of the Kingdom and the principal in the rescue of the Daniel of Portsmouth after her capture on 22 February 1824. Webb was taken this morning by John Murray, Chief Boatman aided by four of his people near Sconce Point. By virtue of a Magistrates Warrant he held for such objects and thereon conveyed him to Newport Gaol where he now remains. Should your Honors have any special directions to place on this man can they make an early communication of the same.


9 May 1825                   In obedience to your Order of 29 Ult., the Collector on Saturday last prosecuted John Baldwin before a Bench of Magistrates at Newport for the Penalty of £100 when after a full hearing they Acquitted Baldwin it appearing to the Bench from the Circumstances that indicated in the course of the examination of Witnesses for the Crown there was strong reason to believe that the Cask of Spirits was clandestinely conveyed into Baldwin’s House by the chimney aperture in the Dead of Night and that the late Chief Officer of Freshwater Station if not the Instrument of it was party to it or had some knowledge of the Disgraceful Transaction. Baldwin was suspected to be the Informer against Baker who broke out of Southampton Gaol about 12 Months ago whose capture by our Tidesurveyor and subsequent circumstances that transpired lead to the Dismissal.


17 May 1825                 Inclosed as directed by your Honors, we transmit estimates from two respectable tradesmen for erecting a Boathouse at Totland Bay being the only estimates we have been able to procure on account of the remoteness of the Spot from other tradesmen’s habitation.  The site chosen for the Boathouse is part of an undivided estate comprising it is said 10 or 12 different interests and as it impossible for us to ascertain who the proprietors are we would respectfully submit for your Honors consideration under such a circumstance and the declaration made by Mr P Barker of Lymington, one of the principal parties interested in the property in question to Captain Brigstocke, the Inspecting Commander, that he wishes to lease it to the Crown for £4 for 60 years and that he conceives such terms would be objectionable to no one.


24 May 1825                 Pursuant to your Honors Order 17 Inst. the Collector prosecuted Barney Groves before and Bench of Magistrates at Newport who convicted him in the Penalty of £100 but on account of it being his first offence mitigated it to £25. The offender not being able to pay such amount was committed to Winchester Gaol.


3 June 1825                  Mr John Eames, Coal Merchant of this Port having on Wednesday 25 ult. made a verbal complaint to the Collector against B Brown the Sworn Meter appointed to discharge the cargo of the Halcyon for being in a state of intoxication and incapable of performing his duty. We felt it incumbent on us to charge Brown with the said offence and herein transmit to your Honors the papers and evidence relating thereto. That the Meter was intoxicated when the merchant objected to his working later in the afternoon there can be no doubt, at the same time he is right we should state to your Honors that it does appear that Brown was weak from illness on the day in question and that his book was fairly kept. Brown was admitted a Sworn Meter 26 March 1808 and was charged once before on 10 September 1821 for similar misconduct when your Honors found him guilty and we were directed to severely reprimand him and to enjoin him to sobriety, and which we did not fail to do. [Brown was suspended from duty for one month.]


13 June 1825                 Pursuant to your Honors Order of 3 Inst. the Collector prosecuted Mark Butcher and his Wife before the Justices the 11 Inst. who being found Guilty was fined £9. The Parties not being able to pay the amount; proposed to the Magistrates Bail to pay it within one month, which when the Collector left the Court was about to accede to. [They were said to come from Brook.]


27 June 1825                 We have made the Communication to the Magistrates that they cannot under the 49 Geo 3 Ch 65 Sect 4 mitigate a Penalty sued for and adjudged to less than half which will be attended to. Barney Groves has paid the Penalty of £25.


4 July 1825                   As directed by your Honors Order the Collector on the 2 Inst, prosecuted Mr Martha Thompson before the Magistrates at Newport for Treble the Value of the Spirits found in her Possession who fined her the sum of £1 – 17 – 6 but the Party not appearing the money has not yet been recovered.


12 July 1825                  Annexed is a Medical as required by your Honors Order:

I certify that Thomas Thorold is suffering much from Debility in the feet & ankle joints in consequence of a severe attack of Gout as to be incapable of walking, but it is probable that in the cause of another week he will be sufficiently recovered to attend his Duty at the Custom House.

J Davids, Surgeon


20 August 1825             An open boat marked Jacob Wells of Cowes laden with 23 casks Foreign Spirits having been captured off the Nab Light 9 Inst. by John West Boatman belonging to the Ranger Cutter Lieut. Bevis Commander with six Smuglers on board whose names are John Frampton, William Tribbeck, Jacob Wells, Edward Osmond, Fred Callaway and Benjamin Richards. The Collector prosecuted said parties before the Justices at Newport all of whom were convicted when John Frampton, William Tribbeck, Jacob Wells and Edward Osbourne be fit to serve in His Majesty’s Naval Service were sent on board the Victory Man of War, Portsmouth to be impressed accordingly Fred Callaway and Ben Richards were convicted in the penalty of £100 each and in default of payment committed to Winchester Gaol.


21 July 1825                  The Petitioner John Chick was convicted of a Smugling Offence on the 4th Ult. by a Bench of Magistrates at Newport and adjudged to pay £100 being unable so to do he has been committed to Winchester Gaol where he made his application of 6 Inst. for Gaol Allowance. Your Honors were pleased by your Order of the 21 following to say an order as granted to the Collector at Portsmouth directing him to pay the said Chick


22 July 1825                  As Informers have always been 1/3rd of the Officers Share when any Goods have been seized & condemned – it did not occur to us at the time of making out the inclosed account but that he was entitled to a third of the Penalty recovered – he has not yet been paid the £7 – 6 – 0 as set forth, we will however apply for a moiety of the sum from John Panquedt to the King of condemned Goods and get the Officers to pay the Informer one third out of his Net proceeds which we humbly hope meet your Honors approbation.


[John Ward, Collector since 1801, was transferred to Dover, he was temporarily replaced by William Smith, Clerk, who signed letters until the appointment of a new Collector.]


2 August 1825               James Baker on Friday Afternoon having been arrested by James Tuck, a commissioned Boatman in the Bembridge Coast Guard Boat in the act of Carrying and Conveying one Cask containing 3¾ Gallons Foreign Geneva. The Controller prosecuted Baker before the Magistrates for the Penalty of £100 who convicted him in the full Penalty. James Baker not being able to pay the Money has been committed to Winchester Gaol.


10 August 1825             We have to state to your Honors that James Jewell & William Ford Coast Guard Boatman attached to the Bembridge Station on the 9th Inst. saw Charles Butt a Lad about 14 Years of age with a basket in his Hand near Nettlestone Farm within the Parish of St Helens and their looking at him attentively he put the basket down & stood beside it and was taken. On searching said basket found it to contain three quarters of Gallon of Brandy and half a pound of Black Tea which was sent this Day to the Warehouse as above. The detainees not being Commissioned Boatman took Charles Butt to Charles Clements Chief Boatman at Ryde who conveyed him to Newport Gaol for carrying and conveying said Goods. Preparatory to the Magistrates assembling on Saturday next when the case will be heard – we pray therefore to receive the Form of Information against the Offender by return of Post if possible to enable the Controller to attend the Sessions in due Time Saturday to prosecute him.


15 August 1825             Robert Beavis having on Thursday afternoon last been arrested by James Jewell & William Ford, Boatmen, with Carrying and Conveying one Cask containing 3¼ Gallons Foreign Brandy the above named James Jewell & William Ford took Robert Beavis to Ryde and delivered him to Charles Clements Chief Boatman in the Bembridge Coast Guard Boat who conveyed him to Newport Bridewell and on Saturday the Controller prosecuted said Beavis before the Magistrates for the Penalty of £100 who convicted the Offender in the full Penalty, which he not being able to pay has been committed to Winchester Gaol.


18 August 1825             Yesterday after the post Mr William Guy, Riding Officer at Ryde delivered a Cask containing 3¾ gallons of foreign Brandy to Custom House Warehouse, which he had seized from a man named Bowers, who would not give his Christian name, whom he secured and took to Newport Bridewell.  Guy followed Bowers into the house of George Williams who was aiding him in secreting said cask in a copper – Guy did not secure Williams, but he is to be taken at any time. As the Magistrates meet on Saturday next we beg the Information for prosecuting Bowers may be sent by return of post. [Bowers was prosecuted on Saturday 20th Instant and convicted in the Penalty of £100 and not being able to pay was committed to Winchester Gaol.]


22 August 1825             On Enquiry agreeable to your Honors Order of 18 Inst. – as to whether George Williams has ever been prosecuted by this Revenue of Excise, we learn he has not, but as we understand he runs a Receiving House for Smuggled Spirits and is a man of bad character.


5 September 1825         As directed by your Order of 27 Ult. the controller on 3 Inst. prosecuted before a Bench of Magistrates at Newport George Williams under 8 Ann Ch. 7 Sect. 17 and 57 Geo. 3 Ch. 87 Sect. 3 who convicted him in the Penalty of £100 but the Magistrates thought it fit to Mitigate the Penalty of £25 granting Williams seven Days to pay the same – which he gave Bond so to do.


12 September 1825       Barniby Callaway having been arrested Thursday evening by William Porter and John Perkins in the Act of Carrying and Conveying two Casks of Foreign Brandy / Quantity Four Gallons / the said Porter & Perkins took Barniby Callaway to Newport Bridewell and on Saturday the Controller prosecuted said Barniby Callaway before the Magistrates at Newport for the Penalty of £100, who convicted the Offender in the full Penalty, which he not being able to pay was committed to Winchester Gaol. [Barniby Callaway was said to come from the Parish of Freshwater.]


20 September 1825       We beg to acquaint you on the 13 and 14 inst. agreeable to your Honors order the Controller proceeded to the look out House at St Lawrence to attend a Court of Inquiry on Lieut. Roach and administer the oath to witnesses. In consequence of the days proving very rainy the Controller was under the necessity of hiring a closed carriage which he could not obtain for less money than the bill enclosed and humbly prays your Honors order for payment of the same.

Amount of Bill for Chaise hire                £2 – 13

2 days subsistence @ 10/6                    £1 – 1 

                                                            £3 – 14


[Thomas Hastings was appointed Collector 23 September 1825.]


29 September 1825       In reference to your Letter of 24 Inst. we have to report that the Controller of the Port proceeded to Newport for the purpose of getting the Order therein contained therein carried into effect. We beg to subjoin a copy of the Communication which he yesterday received the Justices Clerk thereon “It appearing to the Justices as well as by the confession of Williams, that he hath not any Goods whereon to levy the Penalty on they have issued a Warrant of Commitment (without issuing a Warrant of Distress) under the authority of the Act of the 5 Geo. 4 Ch 18 Sect. 1 & 4”. (Signed by Mr Hearn the Justices Clerk).


24 October 1825            In furtherance of your Order of 15 November 1824 for a half yearly report on the state of Smugling within this Port we have to submit that the Smugling of Spirits has in no degree diminished since the last report. We are not aware that any more effectual means than those already used can be employed for the Prevention of Smugling with a vigilant and attentive Discharge of Duties of the various Officers concerned.


5 November 1825          We have to report agreeable to the Orders contained in your Letter 27 September Ult. that Mr J Withers reported himself at this Office this Morning from the Port of Bristol. We have issued the necessary Instructions for his repairing to Yarmouth to take upon himself the Duties of the Office of Coast Waiter, and given Orders to Mr Sammes, at present acting there, to Deliver to him on his arrival at Yarmouth the several sets of Books & Documents belonging to the Office.


14 November 1825        We take the earliest opportunity of communicating to your Honorable Board the details of a Prosecution before the Magistrates at Newport which came before them Saturday last the 13 Inst. Late on Friday last the Collector received particulars of a Seizure of a Tub of Foreign Spirits made by the Bembridge Party of the Coast Guard Service with the usual Seizure Note accompanied with a request for him to attend at the Town Hall Newport on the following morning to conduct the prosecution, the features of the case are viz. a Commissioned Boatman stationed at Bembridge saw on the 11 Inst. about 7 am Joel Andrews take from under a Boat Keel uppermost  & which had been hauled up upon the Beach, a Cask containing about 3¾ of foreign Spirits which he wrapped up in his Coat & proceeded towards his own Home. After he, Joel Andrews had passed the Watch House, the Boatman came up and demanded what he had, the reply was an empty Tub, the Cask was immediately examined and found to contain Foreign Spirits. It was secured and conveyed to the Watch House. Joel Andrews was taken into custody about ½ past 8 o’clock am same morning and sent to Newport Bridewell for Trial. An Information was drawn out for the Magistrates and the offender prosecuted for the Penalty under the 45 Geo. 3 Chap 121 Sect 7. The evidence was perfectly clear and nothing offered in contradiction of that evidence. The Magistrates nevertheless thought proper to liberate the prisoner, on the pretence of the case coming within the Act of 52 Geo 3 Ch 159. We have our Duty to remark that we conceive that the case does not come within the meaning of 52 Geo 3 Ch 159 for it was proved that the said Cask of Spirits must have been intentionally placed in the situation where it was found and that within a few hours of the capture. These particulars we respectfully beg to lay before your Honorable Board with the fact that the said Joel Andrews is farmer to a Gentleman in the neighbourhood.


15 November 1825        We have to report that early this morning a party of the Coast Guard stationed at Freshwater within this Port captured a Smugler Henry Hales, a Blacksmith of the Parish of Freshwater in the act of conveying a Cask of Geneva containing 3¾ Gls. concealed in a bundle of straw. We pray an Order for the prosecution of said Henry Hales & form of Information &c. as the Magistrates will sit in Newport on Saturday next for the hearing of the case. [Hales was convicted and committed to Winchester Gaol in default of payment of the Penalty of £100.]


30 November 1825        Pursuant to your Order on the accompanying Report of the Inspecting Commander relative to the wall of 200 feet near Shanklin Chine, we transmit an extract of the Lease with reference to that part of the Inspecting Commanders report under scored, and also full & free liberty licence and authority to rig for and take the stone & sand from any of the accustomed quarries belonging to the said Manor of Shanklin for the purpose of building the said Boat & Watch or any other buildings it may be deemed expedient to erect upon the same plot of land.

We also transmit here Estimates of the Expense attending the proposed wall of 200 feet from:

Mr Thomson, East Cowes          120 – 0

Mr Stratton, Newport                 76 – 13

Mr Lock, Shanklin                      69

We feel our Duty to remark should the Honorable Board think fit the tender by Mr Lock of Shanklin that it will be particularly necessary to have the work when done carefully inspected. In anticipation of the probability that the lowest Estimate will be accepted by your Honorable Board, the Collector has conferred with Capt Du Cane, the Inspecting Commander, of the Port being near the spot that he will frequently give his attention to the work as it progresses.


15 December 1825        We have to report that there is no regular mode of conveyance from Newport to Yarmouth. It was expedient for the Service that Lieut. Porter made his return home with the least possible delay. We respectfully submit that the sum of 15/- as charged may be allowed.


31 December 1825        Petition from Newport Borough to the Commissioners

I have it in Command from the Mayor and Magistrates of this Borough to respectfully state that very great accommodation has been experienced by the inhabitants and traders of this Borough from the permission granted by your Honorable Board in the year 1816 for the service by a Coast Waiter at this place, which is a Creek of Cowes, of the power of dispatching vessels and cargoes and the general coast business normally exercised by the Collector and Comptroller and as no inconvenience whatsoever has arisen thereby to the public service or Revenue the Major and Magistrates hope you will be pleased to grant a continuation of this accommodation after 6 July next – a period at which as they have been informed the former permission will cease unless extended by your Honorable Board. The Mayor and Magistrates are confident this application will in no way be injurious to the Revenue and trust your Honors will grant their request. [This was one of a number of such petitions which were received and submitted to the Board. It appears the Coast Waiter remained at Newport. ]


9 January 1826              Agreeable to your Order of the 29th December Ult. the Collector attended at the Town Hall in Newport for the hearing of the case of John Wright to be prosecuted under 45 Geo 3 Ch 121 Sect 7 & 3 Geo 4 Ch 110 when the Magistrates thought it fit to postpone same till the Saturday following 7th. It was then heard but the Prisoner discharged on account of want of Evidence for the prosecution.


25 January 1826            We have to report that on the 20 Inst. William Ford, a Boatman of the Bembridge Station saw one Richard Sparrow about 2 o’clock pm in the Parish of St Helens with two Tubs of Foreign Spirits also two other men, who escaped, each with one Tub of Foreign Spirits, on pursuing the said Richard Sparrow and others, the Tubs were grounded, Richard Sparrow got into a Wherry, in which was another Man named Joseph Bown, after a time, with the assistance of the Dart Tender to the Coastal Blockade, the said Richard Sparrow and Joseph Bown were captured about eight miles South East from the Land, the Spirits were secured and the Men taken before the Magistrates of Newport, who have committed them to the Bridewell for hearing on Saturday next 28th Instant.

We apprehend there is not sufficient grounds for prosecuting the Wherry, as there were no Spirits, into which the said Richard Sparrow got; leaving the Tubs on the Shore, the quantity of Spirits Seized was 11 4/6th forty three over proof, we are not able to say whether or not the Men captured are Seafaring Men, or fit for the Naval Service, the probability is that they are, referring to your Instructions 15 March 1822 and 1 May 23 perhaps your Honorable Board may see fit for the prosecution to be conducted under two different forms of Information. [Richard Sparrow was convicted and sent on board HMS Victory, Joseph Bown appears not to have been prosecuted.]


31 January 1826            Pursuant to your direction of the 25 Inst. we have caused John Woolridge to be prosecuted before the Justices for the Penalty of £100 and the said John Woolridge having been convicted of the Offence for which he was charged, and not being able to pay the Penalty – he has been committed to Winchester Gaol.


10 February 1826           In obedience to the order contained in your letter 3 Inst. to report what inconvenience will arise to the Public or to the Revenue when the Act 6 Geo 4 Ch 105 comes into operation, we have to say, that from after 5 July next the period of its commencement no Cattle can be shipped or suffered to be landed coastways without the usual Coast Documents being issued from the Custom House, the relief intended for the people of this Island by the Act of 32 Geo of the late King commonly called the Isle of Wight Act will cease – We respectfully submit that the re-enactment of the Isle of Wight Act would remedy the inconveniencies anticipated by its repeal and we are not aware of any inconvenience that could arise therefrom either to the Public or the Revenue.


14 February 1826           Pursuant to your Order of 9 Inst. we have caused George Ryder and Thomas H Jones to be prosecuted before the Magistrates for the penalty of £100 each on 11 Inst.: George Ryder was found guilty but in default of payment was committed to Winchester Gaol, Thomas Henry Jones was discharged from the circumstance of a doubt having arisen on the part of the Magistrates in respect to the proof submitted against him and which they did not think sufficiently strong for their consideration.


18 February 1826           In obedience to your Orders of the 14 Inst. we ordered Mr Cass the Coast Waiter to repair to the Port of Portsmouth. It now becomes our Duty to call the attention of your Honorable Board to the subject of your Letter of 5 January 1820 wherein you were pleased to direct us to remind you of the proposal that the Office of Warehouse Keeper for Bonded Goods should be discontinued and also of your Letter of 22 January 1824 on the same Business. We have now one Landing Surveyor and one Landing Waiter for this Port. Altho’ the Duties of the Landing Waiter as regard the Importations are here but trifling yet the cases of Distress are frequent and the Duties to be performed in the Coasting constant. We therefore very respectfully submit that it appears to us that the better way for effecting the discharge of the Duties of this Port would be by a Sanction being issued from your Honorable Board authorizing us to issue such directions both to the Landing Waiter as well as to the Landing Surveyor from time to time as Out Door Officers as shall deem most desirable and according to the existing circumstances or the exigency of the case bearing in mind that the Landing Surveyor / agreeable to your distinct order on that head / cannot act as Landing Waiter.

While we solicit the privilege, prompted as we are for the general benefit of the Service of the Port as well as for the proper Economy of the Establishment thereof we think it right at the same time to say that if during the Employ of the Landing Waiter either directly in that capacity or in the assistance or in the Execution of their duties as a Coast Waiter a case of Distress should happen we should we should then be under the necessity of requiring the attention of a suitable Tide Waiter to act in the Warehouse for the reception of Goods from that Vessel.

To this we see not the least objection, but we think it expedient to obtain the previous authority for so doing from your Honorable Board.


21 February 1826           On the within Petition from the Agent of the Palafox of Boston E Fitts Master bound from Boston to Lisbon with a Cargo of Bailey Beans & Bale Goods to tranship as he says the said Cargo another Vessel in consequence of the Palafox having been condemned as unfit for repair. We have to say we see not the least objection for the same to be carried into effect. A Report of Distress was made by us 13 January Ult. regarding the said Vessel Palafox, the same was transmitted to this Office with an Order thereon “to report whether on the departure of the said Vessel she takes the whole of her Cargo”. We respectfully return the Papers submitting the case for the consideration of your Honorable Board.

1822 - 1823

1826 - 1828

Customs Cowes Letters Books

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

9 August 2009