Author Topic: Can anyone shed any light on this?  (Read 8227 times)

Offline LorelyW

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Re: Can anyone shed any light on this?
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2023, 10:45:25 AM »
Sounds like I shall be arranging a trip to both the Medway and the Maidstone archives soon then - many thanks.

Offline MartinR

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Re: Can anyone shed any light on this?
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2023, 09:57:51 AM »
@Castle261, The Bryant Road site has not been Strood library for some years now.  The Medway archives moved there and the library is now in the Community Hub at 133 High Street.

Offline castle261

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Re: Can anyone shed any light on this?
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2023, 11:59:44 PM »
Try Strood Library - in Bryant Road - that`s where a lot of local records were held - on film - for viewing.

Offline LorelyW

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Re: Can anyone shed any light on this?
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2023, 12:29:15 PM »

The following photos show the reason for the fold marks..............
Extremely grateful for the photos of your Warrant Beachbum - as you say the wording has barely altered. Yes David Clegg's has similar folds, but alas either has become separated from the pouch that may have held it or judging by the 'tar' marks on the outer side it looks to me as though it was kept in an oiled pocket - perhaps from some form of seafarers coat?


I don't know where the Port of Rochester records are lodged, they might be in the Medway archives as the successor to the City of Rochester.  https://www.medway.gov.uk/archives
Good thinking MartinR - I contacted the Kent Archaelogical Society last week in case any of their members with a maritime interest might have an idea where other local records might be lodged, their Secretary has since come back to me and has put me in touch with two librarians at the Archives centre in Maidstone but as you say the Port of Rochester's records may be held at Medway so I'll email them tomorrow.


I thought perhaps Maidstone's Customs Office may have held some older records from the right time period, but seems they ceased operation in 2015, but it does appear that there is a national Boarder Force museum located at the Maritime Museum in Liverpool, so my final contact may well be them as perhaps some older records may have been sent there. I feel if I can find David Clegg's name attributed to a particular vessel, it might then give me a hint as to what happened to him, so fingers crossed!





Offline MartinR

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Re: Can anyone shed any light on this?
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2023, 12:12:21 PM »
It is hard getting used to reading "His Majesty" for "HM".

Offline Beachbum

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Re: Can anyone shed any light on this?
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2023, 11:23:34 AM »
The following photos show the reason for the fold marks..............

Offline MartinR

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Re: Can anyone shed any light on this?
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2023, 10:59:16 AM »
I don't know where the Port of Rochester records are lodged, they might be in the Medway archives as the successor to the City of Rochester.  https://www.medway.gov.uk/archives

Offline Beachbum

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Re: Can anyone shed any light on this?
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2023, 08:15:47 PM »
Here is a more recent version of the Warrant. You will see the wording is the same as the second image from LorelyW

Offline LorelyW

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Re: Can anyone shed any light on this?
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2023, 02:08:05 PM »
Thank you so much MartinR for taking the time not only to provide a comprehensive transcription but also the gloss and additional info re rowing boats used by the water guard at the time. Sincerely appreciated.


I've done some digging re boatmen who were employed and assigned specifically to the customs houses during this period (as opposed to crew on larger boats docked in the vicinity) as this could be a likely avenue David Clegg undertook. When I was at the National Archives I was able to examine the crew lists for vessels listed as stationed within the port of Rochester in particular the creeks around Maidstone - the Rattlesnake was the largest boat and none of the crew lists (which are quite comprehensive from 1816 onwards) list David Clegg as crew.


Starting to think that given the limited records I've found thus far as regards his death and buriel that it may have been the case that something unfortunate may have happened to him between his start of employment in 1814 and the start of the more comprehensive crew lists from 1816 onwards - hence why his family treasured the document.


Think my next 'port of call' is to perhaps make a visit to the Kent Archives Centre and see if they hold any records from the local customs houses that might cover the correct time frame. I also intend to seek out any firmer records that relate to when David Clegg may have died since ancestry research shows he had a half brother also called David Clegg, in addition to his first born son taking his name, all of whome stayed within Maidstone, which makes the singular death record that shows for a David Clegg in Maidstone between 1800- 1850 or so, harder to attribute.


Hopefully Chatham dockyards may also  have some localised information - so will keep my fingers crossed and update as and when any further information comes to light - but thank you all once again for your help.





Offline MartinR

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Re: Can anyone shed any light on this?
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2023, 04:26:17 PM »
I've examined the new scan, and the original transcript had a few errors.  They were mainly due to archaic spellings, the long-s and the folds.  I've redone the transcript and attached a gloss for those not used to early 19thC legal documents.  I hope it helps.

Just found this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headborough

This may be of interest: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HM_Customs#Preventive_boats :
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By the late 18th century the design of the rowing boats used in preventive work was more or less standardised: they were between 20 & 24 ft in length, beam on average 6 ft, and were propelled with three pairs of oars (some were also provided with a sail). They were painted black with a red trim and with the royal arms displayed on the transom; from 1721 they were required to wear the distinguishing flag of the relevant revenue service when on duty. Each boat had a permanent crew of three boatmen, who would assist the officers on board as well as manning the oars.

Offline LorelyW

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Re: Can anyone shed any light on this?
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2023, 12:10:18 PM »
Apologies for the delay - document is quite large so had to take it to a bigger photocopier to scan - please find attached hopefully a much clearer image however - again due to size the wording on the very left is cut off so this is the transcription from that section :-


“Nb by the act of the 244 Geo IIId Ch 47 sect 32 officers making collective seizures or directly or indirectly any bribe, recompence or reward for eg neglect or non-performance of his duty shall forfeit the sum of £500.
And if any person shall give, offer, or promote to give any bribe, recompence, or reward or make any collutive agreement with any officer of the customs or commit any act relative so the customs may  be evaded or broken, every such person shall forfeit £500.”



Have also contacted Chatham Dockyards Archive in the hope that the may have seen similar documents or could just confirm the type of document it is, and will of course report back with any findings.


Document itself was clearly kept for a long time folded and one assumes in a pocket ready to displayed as and when needed. Somehow it has survived intact and for over 200 years despite my ancestors widow dying in poverty, making its survival all the more curious.


I can only imagine keeping it at the time would have been either because it was sentimental due to the circumstances of my ancestors death (which remain unknown as yet but doubt drowning on the job as document has survived) or because it held value - again the point made as to security rendered being very interesting as I would assume HM Customs would have wanted it back in order to release the security held, which my ancestors widow would no doubt have needed at the time.




Offline LorelyW

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Re: Can anyone shed any light on this?
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2023, 12:03:47 PM »
Many thanks for the warm welcome grandarog, and for your helpful comments MartinR and Beachbum.
This appears to be a Warrant, which gave powers to operate. I have a simular Warrant from my Service.

I'll ask my son to scan the Warrant for me today on his machine and forward me a copy as he should know how to get the best resolution and I'll then upload asap. So glad to now have a descriptor for the document and confirmation of which Customs House issued it, as hopefully this might assist in narrowing down my search for any further information local archives may hold. I've tried to research the other signatories, and according to the Freemen/Poll books of the time, Mr Booth was a Chandler based in Maidstone, located a few doors down from the Maidstone Customs House, and Mr Richmond was also a Maidstone trader so seems interesting that they then are witnesses to a document issued at Rochester Customs House.



Regarding the Security mentioned, on this basis, would the Customs House in Rochester not have expected the Warrant to have been returned at the end of my ancestors employ, or was it commonplace for these to be kept? Since I could imagine that they risk being used at the time for less than honourable purposes should the former employee fall on hard times for example. During my visit to the National Archives, I was able to request the superannunation records for Customs Rochester for the relevant time period and several boatmen were mentioned but alas Mr Clegg was not one of them so seemingly no pension and no request made by his widow.


In case of any interest have attached to this message the article I found that relates to Mr Cleggs widow Elizabeth, who seems to have died rather tragically. I have made a search online of the coroners reports held by the Kent Archive centre, but sadly hers in not one of the reports that they hold. Again given that she died in poverty, it makes the survial of this document all the more strange/remarkable to me. My direct ancestry to David Clegg is via his second born son William (a bargebuilder), and the Cleggs appear to have been mostly known for running the Gingerbread Shop in Maidstone up until Davids father Daniel who became a Waterman in the mid-1700's and most male decendents then followed suit re: boatmen or bargebuilding etc. All seem to have stayed local, and the family plot is at All Saints church, but David does not appear to have been buried there and I assume Elizabeth would sadly have had a paupers grave based on the article attached.






Offline Beachbum

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Re: Can anyone shed any light on this?
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2023, 08:12:55 PM »
This appears to be a Warrant, which gave powers to operate. I have a simular Warrant from my Service.

Offline grandarog

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Re: Can anyone shed any light on this?
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2023, 06:21:16 PM »
Welcome to the Forum LorelyW.  What an interesting conundrum for our members to muse over.

Offline MartinR

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Re: Can anyone shed any light on this?
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2023, 04:40:35 PM »
At the bottom of your second photo it clearly says:
Quote
Custom H Rochester the 1 March 1814  Security given and Admited
but in the body of the document it mentions
Quote
Given under our hands and seal at the Custom House LONDON, this eighth day of February in the fifty-fourth year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King George the Third and in the year of the Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and fourteen
It would appear then to have been issued at London, forwarded to Rochester and then issued to your ancestor who had to pay in a security for good behaviour.  The printed text on the left is a warning not to accept bribes, penalty £500.  Also a warning not to offer bribes, but the fold of the paper makes that part unreadable.
Is it possible to get it photographed flat?  Either a flat bed scanner or else placing a sheet of glass over it and using a good camera would make the text more readable.  As a bonus, doing the latter might make an interesting picture on the wall for you!
Grrr.  Having studied the photos and responded, I've just now managed to get the transcription visible.  Note that although Maidstone is mentioned, it is the Port of Rochester.