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Families & History of Deal & Walmer

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Eastes – Deal Bricklayers

Bricklayer

In the Eastes Family Tree, there are a lot of Bricklayers. Sylvester Eastes Snr. and his four sons all worked in the building trade.

There were several brickfields situated in Deal where local clay from the fields was soon turned into the bricks required by the regeneration of the town that took place from 1834 onwards.

A town improvement Committee was formed and they set up their own building company to construct, amongst other things, a sea wall and a large building which incorporated a Library, Baths and a Reading Room. They both demolished and improved the dwellings along Beach Road. With all the bricklaying required it must have been a good source of income for Sylvester and his family.

Building of the Esplanade and Sea Wall

As Deal’s maritime trade declined the town’s leading dignitaries looked for other sources of income for the town. So from 1834 onwards, there were attempts to develop Deal into a holiday resort.

It was decided to build an Esplanade by demolishing the houses which then stood on the other side of Beach Street and buying up the capstan grounds. This then provided easy access to the beach for everyone.

Many townsmen ‘subscribed’ to the building of the Esplanade including Thomas Cavell and Silvester Eastes. Silvester also gained employment in taking down the Watch-house.

Tapleys – Deal Boatmen

The Deal Boatmen’s work was known as ‘hovelling’. They provided a number of services such as the ferrying of stores, mail and men to and from the shore and between the ships at anchor. Also licensed Boatmen could act as ‘pilots’ guiding vessels between Dungeness and the Downs. They were also at hand to assist and profit from the collisions and other accidents that inevitably happened with so many ships offshore.

After the Napoleonic War, the prosperity of the town began to decline. The Naval Yard, which had provided civilian employment was rapidly run down. The suppression of smuggling, which had continued throughout the war, and the substitution of chain for hempen cables and other safety measures contributed to the boatmen’s hardship. The biggest complaint though was against the 1826 pilotage regulations. Which meant that a Pilot could take over the ‘piloting’ of a ship from a licensed boatman without the boatman receiving any payment at all for his work.

So in 1832, a group of seven boatmen petitioned Trinity House on behalf of their peers. This fed to the Select Committee’s inquiry.

Examples of evidence given in 1833 to the ‘Select Committee on Cinque-Port Pilots’ that tells of the depth of poverty that the Boatmen & their families suffered

Joseph Marryatt Esq. M.P. for the town & port of Sandwich to which Deal & Walmer were united wrote

”… The state of the boatmen, I can assure your lordship is generally speaking, deplorable. They are pennyless and too frequently without food or sufficient clothing ….

Mr. T Robinson of the Dover Benevolent Society wrote

”..coals, soup and blankets, the latter on loan until 1st May in each year” and that  the boatmen’s dwellings …..for the most part are so wretched; furniture they have none, and their apparel (clothes) by day serves to cover their innocent babes by night….

Tapleys – Folkestone Privateers & Smugglers

Robert, like his brother Edward, was a Mariner. During the 1780’s he held  Letters of Marque. Robert owned two ships named Fame & Unicorn.

A letter from Edward Stanley, Customs House, London 22 May 1781 states:

”….. the firm of the House is Pinfold & Provo {Provo is a frenchman and lives at Dunkirk, Pin/old lives at Folkestone and JOHN MINTER of FOLKESTONE is one concerned in the House). ROBERT TAPLEY trades with Dunkirk in a cutter 180 tons, 14 guns & 40 men, he trades to Cornwall & sometimes to the YORKSHIRE coast …”

This suggests that not only Robert but also Edward who lived in Marske Yorkshire and their nephew Thomas, who also lived for a time in Yorkshire and John Minter who was Thomas’ father in law were all under suspicion of taking part in the ‘Trade’

Mr. T Robinson of the Dover Benevolent Society wrote

“..coals, soup and blankets, the latter on loan until 1st May in each year” and that the boatmen’s dwellings “….. for the most part are so wretched; furniture they have none, and their apparel (clothes) by day serves to cover their innocent babes by night….”

Robert, like his brother Edward, was a Mariner. During the 1780’s he held Letters of Marque. Robert owned two ships named Fame & Unicorn.

A letter from Edward Stanley, Customs House, London 22 May 1781 states:

”….. the firm of the House is Pinfold & Provo {Provo is a frenchman and lives at Dunkirk, Pin/old lives at Folkestone and JOHN MINTER of FOLKESTONE is one concerned in the House). ROBERT TAPLEY trades with Dunkirk in a cutter 180 tons, 14 guns & 40 men, he trades to Cornwall & sometimes to the YORKSHIRE coast …”

This suggests that not only Robert but also Edward who lived in Marske Yorkshire and their nephew Thomas, who also lived for a time in Yorkshire and John Minter who was Thomas’ father in law were all under suspicion of taking part in the ‘Trade’

The Deal Lieutenancy Papers of 1803

In 1803 Britain was once more under threat of invasion from Napoleon Bonaparte. Two acts of Parliament were passed early in the year to raise men for home defence and both required a list of all male inhabitants. These were the –

  • Army of Reserve Act passed on 6th July 1803 and
  • Levee en Masse Act was passed on 27 July 1803

Army of Reserve

No Name of person liable to serve Name of person exempt Description Ground of Exemption
987 Tapley James Mariner Belongs to Kings Buildings
470 Eastes Silvester Bricklayer Age 40
471 Eastes Silvester jr Bricklayer Apprentice

The Levee en Masse 

When initial attempts to raise volunteer forces for the ‘home guard’ failed to recruit the numbers of men required, this second Act was passed requiring each parish to return a list of all men in the parish between the ages of 17 and 55 and according to their suitability for military service by classifying them into 4 groups and specifying whether they were willing to serve as a

    • Volunteer
    • whether infirm or lame,
    • whether a Clergyman
    • licensed teacher
    • Holy Orders
    • a Quaker
    • Medical Man
    • whether serving in any military force
    • whether a constable or other peace officer. The 4 groups were
    • Class 1: age 17-29, unmarried, with no child or children under age 10.
    • Class 2: age 30-49, unmarried, with no child or children under age 10.
    • Class 3: age 17-29, married or have been married, with not more than 2 children under 10 These first 3 were liable for training and exercise in the use of arms.
    • Class 4: All men not included in Classes 1- 3.

Each county was given a quota of men to raise

Responsibility for implementing the Act was vested in the

      • County Lieutenants
      • Deputy Lieutenants
      • in the Cinque Ports, the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports

The Constables of the parishes were made responsible for

      • preparing lists of all persons liable to be balloted serve in the army
      • posting them on the door of their respective parish churches
      • posting a notice of when appeals might be heard

Substitutes could be enrolled in lieu of balloted men and there were exemptions which included:

      • Apprentices under the age of 21years at the passing of this Act
      • Professional Seamen or Seafaring Men and Dockyard employees
      • Men under height 5 feet 2 inches who were otherwise able-bodied and fit for service. (see Levee en Masse for further examples)

Balloted men who refused to serve or provide a substitute were liable to pay £20, and on default of payment would be subject to the same punishment s for absconding or deserting as would apply had they been enrolled.

No man could be enrolled to serve in the Army of Reserve until they had satisfied a medical examination and were required to take the following oath.

Levee En Masse for the Town of Deal

No Surname Forename Description Remarks
1002 Tapley James Mariner Volunteer Prince of Wales Gunboat
480 Eastes Silvester Bricklayer
481 Eastes Silvester jr. Bricklayer

The Registration of Birth Marriages and Deaths

Civil registration of births, marriages and deaths, in England and Wales, commenced on 1st July 1837.
The country was divided into Registration Districts, each under the control of a Superintendent Registrar Thomas Vincent Cavell was the first Registrar for Walmer and Deal being appointed in 1837. He was responsible for issuing certificates for births and deaths when they occurred in his area. His duty was to actively collect information and he would have been paid according to his success. It was up to him to be aware when babies were due to be born and the citizens of Walmer and Deal were about the breath their last. He must have been a very busy man. Thomas’ ‘claim to fame’ is that it is his signature on the Duke of Wellington’s death certificate. It wasn’t until 1874 that registration became compulsory. Thomas was succeeded by his son, Thomas E Cavell, as the next Registrar.

Thomas V Cavell 
Signing the Birth Certificate for Amelia Tapley
(daughter of Edward Tapley)

Thomas E Cavell
(son of Thomas V Cavell) 
Signing the Death Certificate for Edward Tapley
(son of JamesTapley)