Officers serving in H M Customs on the Isle of Wight

This includes where available Excise Officers, although records in this respect are very limited, and Coast Guard Officers until about 1830. For Customs Officers the last date is 1925 (after which official records have not been released), although there are a few from later dates until 1950. I am currently attempting to compile a list of post war Officers and would be grateful for any assistance in this.

A - F

G -  N

O - Z

I have now (October 2009) issued Version 2.2 - This contains information from the Hampshire Telegraph and includes a number of Excise Officers (sometimes described as Inland Revenue Officers) and a small number of Coast Guards until 1856 (when responsibility for them passed from Customs to the Admiralty. Version 2.1 (November 2008) includes additional information from Treasury Records 1670 - 1714) and Version 2.2 additional details, mainly from the Collector to Board Letters Book.

As a separate project, I have prepared a page containing a list of Preventive Waterguard / Coast Guard Officers 1816 - 1832 which contains many names not included in this list. (This in Beta form at present)


1692 Excise Staff List

Held at the National Archives

1790 Staff List


Ages and Capabilities

The Ages and Capabilities Book held at the National Archives


At War with the Smugglers by Arnold-Foster


Rosetta Brading extracts from letters Books in The History of East Cowes

Charge Book

Charge Book detailing Charges of Misconduct against Officers

Cowes Records Records previously held at the Cowes Office


Board of Customs Establishment Records held at the National Archives. Currently sampled at 10 year intervals

Letters Book

Collector to Board Letters Book held at the National Archives (a date after indicates year information appeared)


Oath and Admissions Book held at the National Archives

Sac, Hants

Sacrament Certificate held at the Hampshire Records Office

Sac, IOW

Sacrament Certificate held at the Isle of Wight Records Office


Survey of English Salt Officers 1749 held at the National Archives


Letters of Thomas Thorold, Surveyor at Cowes (held at IOW Records Office)

Other Sources are shown individually

The dates used are the first and last dates I have found in the records, Officers (certainly during earlier periods) will probably have served before and after these dates, it is only an indication of when they served. Service may not be continuous. If the name, position and source are the same for both dates, they are included on one line. If not, consecutive lines are used.  Where a name is uncertain, italics have been used.


I do not take any responsibility for accuracy of the details, although this is a genuine attempt to list Officers who served on the Isle of Wight. It is an ongoing project and will be updated from time to time.


 Definition of Posts  

Coal Meter

Responsible for measuring and taking account of Coal.
Coastwaiter  The Officer responsible for controlling coastwise (domestic) Trade.
Collector The Chief Officer of a Port, responsible for recording details of all imports, exports and seizures and for supervising other officers.       
Comptroller The Deputy to the Collector, also responsible for checking Collector's accounts and forwarding a copy to Comptroller General, official title was Deputy Comptroller.
Glut or Extraman Men who were employed when there was a ‘glut’ of business, they were paid daily rates and were not the regular ‘establishment’ of a customs port.
Landwaiter  he Officer responsible for taking account of cargoes being discharged, they were overseen by a Land Surveyor
Riding Officer A mounted Officer stationed around the Coast to patrol in search of smugglers and hidden or abandoned contraband.
Salt Officer Officer responsible for controlling Salt works (Salterns).
Searcher  An Officer appointed to issue certificates for goods entitled to drawback (refund of duty); sometimes described as Searcher and Waiter.
Sitter Officer in charge of Customs boats prior to setting up of the Coast Guard.
Tide Surveyor Office responsible for overseeing arrivals of Vessels in the Port including Quarantine Controls. Also responsible for Surveying Vessels prior to Registration.
Tidewaiter   Officers who were placed on board ships at anchor to guard dutiable cargoes and rummage the ships, they were overseen by a Tide Surveyor.

Please note that this list is not exhaustive    

Preventive Waterguard/Coast Guard 1816 - 1832 

Contact me

Further details of Coastguard Officers (Off site)

Customs Cowes Homepage

Version 2.2 October 2009 (updated 18 October 2009)