Dedicated to Old and Modern Kinson

 SMUGGLING IN KINSON  - List of those connected with Smuggling



Caught smuggling and he came to Dorchester gaol on 5th July 1809, aged 37. Height c1.78m. Very dk brown hair. Eyes hazel. Much pitted in the face by smallpox.  Worked in Dorchester Jail as an engine  driver/  days  labourer.   Behaviour orderly while in prison.  Discharged 26/10/1809. Died 1817, aged 46. Buried in  St. Andrew`s churchyard in Kinson and the service was performed by the Rev`d George Tito-Brice. It is thought that he was single man and few other details are known about him.

James Abraham was a juror at the inquest of Ann Hogg of Alderney Cottage who died from excessive drinking in 1810.

LUKE BUDDEN (junior)

Baptised at Kinson church. Caught smuggling when aged 19. He was committed at the Dorchester gaol on the 23rd September 1828. Page Number: 28. Entry number: 54.   Height c1.77m. Hair brown and eyes hazel. Complexion brownish. Small cut  in the left side of the underjaw. Discharged from prison 7th April 1830.  Probably lived at West Howe and later moved away from Kinson.


Luke Budden senior lived with his  second  wife  Jane in a cottage near Butcher`s Coppice.  When he was 80, William Butler and his grand-daughter Mary Ann lived with them. The Buddens and the Butlers were related by marriage. Luke died in 1847 aged 89. William was one of the fraternity under  John  Eason  of  the  Rose and  Crown who  troubled  the  countryside  from  Chapman`s  Pool  to Chewton Bunny. Recorded  in  the  Bournemouth  Times and Directory (1905) , as a veteran of  94 years, who at present resides with his  son  George  at  Ebenezer Cottage,  Newtown.   7  children christened at Kinson church and his wife was buried there.


Caught in 1827, aged 23, making a light on the sea shore to attract smugglers.  Height c1.75m.  Hair brow and eyes very dk hazel. Complexion sallow. A cut on the left side of the forehead. Small mole on the right cheek. Discharged from Dorchester gaol  after 3 months and removed by Habeas Corpus to the Hampshire County gaol.Believed to have later married Maria Reeks, raised a family in Kinson and was the last smuggler to be buried in 1861 in Kinson churchyard.

The King v Frampton (special jury), July 1827.  For having unlawfully made a signal to persons on board a smuggling vessel at Holdenhurst  on the 22nd October last, the jury without hesitation found the defendant guilty.

ISAAC GULLIVER - smuggler, wine merchant and land owner.

Born 5th Sept 1745 in Semington, Wilts.  His  smuggling father was seen at Canford Cliffs Chine in March 1758.  Marries Elizabeth, daughter of William Beale, Innholder and smuggler of Thorney Down.  In 1774, runs great quantities of smuggled goods  with his  father-in-law  and Roger  Ridout. 1775:  Isaac  Gulliver  buys  Pitts  farm &  other  Kinson   lands   including   Kinson  farm  which  included Pelhams.      In 1778, advertises 75 acres of land to rent. 1779, sells 20  good  hack horses at  the  White Hart  Inn  at  Longham.  1782,  Gulliver`s  name  appears  on  a  customs  list  for non-payment of duty on 4 pipes of wine. Obtains a pardon for smuggling.  1784, Customs  officers raid a  Kinson  barn and Hannah Potter  of the Dolphin Inn is seen in the crowd. Her husband,  John,  connected with smuggling, was a tenant of Pitts farm when sold by  Mary Barnes to Gulliver for £817.   1788,  Gulliver` s house at  Kinson  to  let. 1794, sells  Kinson  church  100  limestones for  one  shilling and sixpence ( 7-8 pence  modern  money).    1796,  Overseers of the Poor a/ccs,  Gulliver`s  name appears as  owning  Kinson  farm,  let to Charles Hill.     1796,  Gulliver  was  a  trustee  of  the Weare`s charity  which  distributed  50p a year to the poor.  In  later  times,  Henry Tiller & Luke Budden (smugglers) received help from this charity.  1800,  Gulliver is said to have carried out his last landing of contraband  near Bournemouth Pier.  Those connected with  his  family  have  said that Gulliver had 3 luggers and one was named "The Dolphin".   1802,  Charles Sturt of Brownsea Castle uses a pleasure schooner, owned  by Gulliver  who had  managed  to  avoid  prosecution  by accepting the King`s pardon in exchange for the enlistment of two men in the navy. 1807,  Messrs Hill and Corbin lease a house and land at Kinson  owned  by  Gulliver.   1815,  Gulliver and his  wife  live  at  Kinson  Cottage/  House  in  central  Kinson.  Enters  into   an  agreement   with  Harriet  Brouncker of Pelhams concerning premises at Kinson.  1816,  Gulliver  living  at  Kinson  House with  his wife and his daughter, Elizabeth, married  to  banker William  Fryer, was living at  Pelhams.  In 1822, Gulliver dies at Wimborne.  12,000 word will  & estate worth £60k. The Canford Award of 1822 reveals he owned or leased 390 acres in the Kinson area. Gulliver`s pistol in B`m`th museum.


Believed to have married at Kinson church  on 4th July 1765. Seen with a gang of  smugglers  relating to the Anson cutter incident in 1767 which took place near Boscombe beach. In 1774 said he was born at a place called  Decoy  Pond House, in  the  Parish  of   Holdenhurst.  When 14, bound  by  Indenture  to Wm Newman & Richd. Wills of Poole shipwrights.   Ran away to  sea  after 3-4 years.  Fired  several  times  during the Battle  of Mudeford in July 1784


Caught  smuggling  in  1827.  Fined £52.50,  and  imprisoned  from  3rd Oct to  July 4th 1828. Age 52.  Height c1.75m. Hair black grey. Eyes blue.  Complexion swarthy.  He had a cut over the right eye brow and another on the crown part of his head. Rumoured to have later lived in  the Parley area and to have been buried in West Parley churchyard.


Smuggler John Potter, owned the Dolphin Inn, (now known as The Acorn) .  Wife,   Hannah, had a brother with a family living locally in the 1780`s.

It is the oldest public house in Bournemouth dating to about 1750. The discovery of an ancient fireplace tends to suggest an earlier date than this, as do other printed records.

Henry and John Biddlecombe were licensees in the 1740`s. William Waterman , Edward Moores and Robert Hart held the Dolphin in 1753.

Edward Moores was certainly a well known smuggler and Robert Hart was connected with the White Hart Inn at Longham.

Back in 1763, the property was known as the Dolphin & Chequer, the licensee was James Matravers. Gulliver`s own father had his own doubts as to whether he was the father of Isaac. In view of Isaac Gulliver`s "great interest" in Kinson, could this Matravers have any connection with Isaac`s father`s uncertainty?

There is a Kinson record dated 11th February 1760 when a James Matravers married Elizabeth Franks by licence at St. Andrew`s church. Many years later, in September 1785, there is a record of a James Matravers of Semington, Wilts, letting an inn called or known by the name of the Bell, with out houses, offices, garden and a malt-house opposite the same wherein may be made twelve quarters a week.

John and Hannah Potter are known to have come to Kinson from outside this area. John was listed as the licensee in 1771 and was a tenant of Mary Barnes who sold Pitts Farm to Isaac Gulliver in the 1770`s.

The Potters also had the following children: Jenny (1763), Mary (1766), Anne(1768) and Ruth (1771). William entered this world in 1780.

Ruth Potter married Thomas Lecoque (as spelt in a Kinson Land Tax Return) at Kinson church and his uncle, Peter Lecoque was a well known Weymouth smuggler. Their family tree can be traced back to 1575 and is held by Moonfleet of Kinson and was given to us by the late "Uncle Ray" Spencer and Mike Spencer.

The inventory clearly shows that John Potter held 100 acres of leasehold land rated at 12/- per acre. Knowing the details of the surrounding farmland and who lived in the properties in central Kinson, it is for certain that John farmed the Kinson Common, or at least 100 acres of the original area we now refer to as the Kinson Common.

This theory is fully backed up by full proof, especially written records that those who later held the Dolphin Inn, especially the respected Spencer and Williams families, also farmed the land which we now call the Kinson Common, originally known as Howe Farm.

As for Hannah, she is mentioned on the 19th February, 1784.

On this day, we are reliably informed, Mr. William Lander, Commander of the cutter Laurel, with Mr.Samuel Colbourne, his mate, Mr.Richard Wilkinson, mate of the Diligence lugger in the service of the port of Poole, with 37 of their men, went out on duty to Kingston (Kinson),after being informed about concealed goods in a barn & stable there.

During the search more than 100 people, some on horseback, some on foot, all of whom were armed with pistols, cutlasses, bludgeons, pitch-forks and other offensive weapons attacked the search party.

So cruelly were the men beaten and bruised that no less than 27 of them ended up in the sick quarters under the care of a surgeon (at this place). None of them died!!

The Customs men recognised John King, the leader of the gang, John Dolman, William Russell and his son, John and William Butler, John Gillingham, John Sanders, Robert Brine and Hannah Potter the local innkeeper`s wife.

Some of those mentioned lived close to the Dolphin Inn and have interesting accounts to be retold about them!

In November of 1786, a new built malt-house with two kilns, 180 feet long and 24 feet broad, with one acre of ground, situate, at Kingston, was advertised to be sold by private contract. Those wishing to view the premises had to apply to Mr. John Potter, of the same place; or for further particulars apply to Mr. John Lester, at Poole; or Mr. Edward Beak, at Ensbury.

The advertised malt-house and land was right next door to the Dolphin Inn and Mr Beak or Beake, was probably the very same person known to be a very great smuggler who was also involved with Longham smugglers and Mr Gulliver.

Both Hannah and John died within a year or so of each other. Although the Dolphin Inn had very strong connections with the local smuggling trade, when the following inventory was taken, there was not an ounce of baccy or even a hint of brandy on the premises.

The inventory also refers to The Old Sloop House. It is believed that this property was the forerunner to a later  building raised on the site now known today as The Kinson Rectory.

The following is a unique insight into the personal possessions of a local smuggler and his very loyal wife.

Inventory of Mr. John Potter`s goods and stock at his decease by us, December 12th, 1795.

Cash in the house (Fifteen pounds)

Goods in the barter

2 Oak tables ,1 round mahogany table, a desk 3 plain chairs & 7 stained chairs, a warming pan A store, 1 large waiter & 3 small ones (trays) ,A looking glass (mirror), 9 front pieces, A large chainy bowl (china) & 2 small,13 dalp bowls (delph?), 11 tea cups & 10 saucers of chainy & 1 tea pot, 6 coffee ditto., 1 china bread & butter plate ,5 cups and a teas saucer of china, 2 comen (common?) tea pots, 2 china canesters & 2 cream mugs, 7 china waiters (slavers or trays), 5 wine decanters, 2 vinegar cruets & 4 half pint tumblers, 6 half pint tumblers, 2 blue and white china bread & butter plate, 4 large silver table spoons, a Punch ladle, a silver pepper pot & a cream mug, a pair of sugar tongs, Poker tongs fire brass & fender, 4 wine glasses.

Goods in the Kitchen

12 large pewter dishes 34 plate, a (pair) pint: nogen & a noggen, 2 funnels, a clock, 2 sparks? and a candle box, 9 iron candlesticks & 2 brass, 1 brass pistle & mortar, a pair of snuffers, a coffee mill, a pewter gallon, balance of weights, 6 rimers, ? half pint tumblers & 3 quarter? pint ditto, 2? dram glasses, 6 stone quart 60 pints & 12 half pint ditto, 3 tables, a setl, a pair of bellows & a small brush, a great iron cleaver, a cott? & a brander, 2 roasting doggs a smoke jack & jacks, a small tea kettle, a salt tub & 8 old chairs, a large water jug, a copper coffee pot.

Goods in the Bar

a large tea table, 2 tea pots, 5 tea cups & 8 saucers, 4? common basins, 5 silver tea spoons, 6 cream cooler? plate, 2 dozen and a half wine glasses, 1 pint rimmer, a small looking glass & pichter (picture?), a Japan? quart, a potato grater, 7 large glass bottles, a vinegar cruet, salt celer & a mustard pot, a blue & white print?, 1 dozen black handle knives & forks, a case of plated handle knives & forks, and a carving (set) of knives & forks,8 table cloths,a stained chair and a common, a dozen reading books.

Goods in the Cellar

1 Hogshead of best beer, 4 Hogshead of common? beer (ordinary), 8 gallons of Holland gin, 2 gallons of rum ,1 gallon of pepermint, 8 large barrel? cheese & 2 hamry (hams), 1 funnel 2 empty casks, a sels of half bushell.

Goods in the Milk Room

9 large pewter dishes & a waiter, 8 Yalo large dishes, 7 ditto plate, a large winsctot table.

In the Pantry

8 milk pans & 3 beer pots, an old cupboard, an old stool, a cheese board, 4 Crocks? & 2 pickling jugs.

Goods in Demot House (Domestic house)

3 trendles a small sets of looming lugs, a butter churn ,a dripping pan ,a large furness, a milk pale and 2 scalets, a large copper boiler, 2 iron pots, a brass ladle & iron scomer? ,an old cheese press.

Upstairs in the Little Chamber

A bedstead and green curtains, a feather bed two blankets & bolster & a rug, an old box and large pack chest.

Best Chamber

2 bedsteads & curtains, 5? dozen blankets, a candle piece, 2? featherbeds 2 bolsters and 4 pillows, small dressing table, Large looking glass, Wash hand basin,9? stained chairs, closs (clothes) stool, a water pewter plate, a small carpet.

In the Garrett

2 bedsteads a feather bed & 2 bolsters, 5 blankets 2 empty boxes,

In the Clob or Club Room

2 old chest of bottles, 1 large arm chair, a large table board, 4 large stools, a bed stead.

Demott House Chambers

a bedstead of bed curtains, 3 old beds & 3 bolsters 5 old blankets, 3 old linen quilts, a small deal table.

In the Little Chamber Demot House

an old bedstead & yalo rug? (tall boy?)

In the Straw Barden (Rick Barton)

3 Cows, 2 heffers, 3 cow curbs, 3 old wheels, 1 Pot cart, 1 small cart, Hay in rick-barton 2 tuns, Barley in ditto, Oats 4 quarters leder, a rick staff, Wheat in the barn, a corn screen a bar stock of heaver, 5 seaves, a half bushell & scoop,1 fork, one rake & 4 prongs, 1 mare, 1 mare 1 year old, 1 mare 3 yr old, 1 colt, 1 pair of thil harness, 3 ditto of traces ditto, 3 pairs of plough harness & traces, 1 peckax.

In the Cart House

a waggon, an old cart, 2 tall giggs, 7 quarters & 4 bushels Barley in the Granary at 30/- ,2 sacks peas, 20 sheep ,8 ackers of wheat at 3 bushells an acre, ploughing & sowing at 7/6 (8 acres).

Value of stock & personal possessions £214.12.06;Potter`s Estate leasehold at 12/- £60 - -; The Dolphin House £200 - - ;The Old Sloop House £30 - -; Total = £504.12.06.  The Dolphin Inn was on a quarter of an acre site.


Caught smuggling in 1826 aged 25. Height c1.68m. Hair light brown and eyes  hazel.   Complexion rather sallow. A cut just  above the back of the wrist on his left hand. Occupation, labourer, married.   Discharged  from  prison on 21st October 1827. Settled down at East Howe at Tiller`s Plot with Hester Carter.

The Tiller surname can also sometimes be written as Teller, Tillar or Tillor. In Old English,the interpretation of the name literally means tiller of the soil.

Henry was baptised on 3rd May 1801 at St. Andrew`s church in Kinson and was raised at East Howe. Henry married Hester Carter (bapt. 20th Nov 1796) at Kinson on 14th February 1825 and neither could write. Against his mark on the marriage document the name Henry White appears. This name now appears on a recently published document and this can mislead researchers especially as they no longer have access to the original registers.

He appears to have settled down again in East Howe following his release from prison, returning to work on the land. Children of Henry and Hester include: Mary Ann (born c1824), Ellen (born c1826),Esther (bapt. 10th June 1827), Henry (bapt. 4th Jan 1829), John (bapt. 24th July 1831), Julia Elizabeth (bapt 23rd June 1834) and Edward (born c1841).

At a Justice meeting in Wimborne in 1837, Henry Tiller was fined 10s. and costs of 5s. 6d. for assaulting William Carter in the Chapel-yard at Howe. The minister, Mr. Miller, undertook to pay the penalty.

In 1841, Three cottages, in close proximity to each other were occupied by the various members of the Tiller or Teller family at East Howe.

Cottage 1: John Tiller, (75), agriculture labourer, Ann Tiller (80), wife, and a son, William Tiller, aged 35.

Cottage 2: James Tiller, (40), Jane Tiller, (40), wife.

Cottage 3: Henry Tiller (former smuggler), (40), agriculture labourer. Esther (wife), (40), wife. Mary Ann Tiller, (17), daughter. Ellen Tiller, (15), daughter. Henry Tiller, (13), son. John Tiller, (10), son.

In 1851, Henry Tiller (50), is still an agriculture labourer. Living in the same cottage are: Hester (wife); Henry (20) son; John (19), son; Edward (11), son.

Henry died in 1853 and was buried in Kinson churchyard on November 23rd.

In 1861, the late Henry Tiller`s son, also named Henry, still resides at East Howe and was employed in agriculture. The details are: Henry (33); Eliza, (50), wife; Henry (8); James (5); Mary Ann (5); Rosa Jane (8 months).

Hester or Esther, wife of the late Henry Tiller (smuggler), is recorded in 1861 as a widow, probably living with or close to the Randall family.

Other Information about the Tiller family:

The banns of his parents, John Tiller & Ann Luther were published on the 12th, 19th & 26th (Sundays) in October of 1788 and they were married on the 15th day of November in the same year.

We also know where they lived as the area was named "Tiller`s plot". The small triangle where they lived can still be traced and is located at a point where a section of Kinson Road was straightened many years ago. On the c1840 Kinson Tithe map, the land is no: 369, house and garden of 1R 10 perches. This land was held by trustees under the will of Sir John Webb Baronet deceased as were nearby dwellings. Earlier in time, the property and land was marked no: 988, surrounded by a triangular section of land no: 989.

The Tiller family is faithfully recorded in the records of Kinson church. John Tiller`s wife and family were assisted in 1794, 1797, 1798 and 1803.

John and Ann`s children arrived as follows: Mary (bapt. 5th Feb 1792), Edward (bapt. 25th Dec 1794),James ( bapt. 30th Oct 1796), Thomas & William ( 20th Jan 1799) and Henry (1801).

It is believed that Henry Tiller received two shillings and sixpence in 1844 and 1846 from the Weare`s trust which was set up by a glovemaker from a place known as Little Canford. Luke Budden snr, also received help from this very same fund.

And of course, during his time in Kinson, a certain well known gentleman named Isaac Gulliver, was a trustee of this very same fund!


541 gallons of brandy & rum and 1871 pounds of raw coffee were seized from the Kinson granary of John Singer in 1780.  "Long  concerned  in  the  trade." "Reputed  servant  of  Gulliver."  John Singer dies and was buried at Kinson church, 12th April, 1781.

Robert Trotman - Kinson`s "adopted" smuggler


At the rear of Kinson churchyard you will find his grave. Robert Trotman came from Wiltshire and was killed during an affray with the Excise men on the north shore between Poole and Bournemouth.

His inscription reads

"To the memory of Robert Trotman late of Rond (Rowde) in the county of Wilts who was barbarously murdered on the shore near Poole the 24th March 1765."

A little tea one leaf I did not steal

For guiltless blood shed I to God appeal

Put tea in one scale human blood in t`other

And think what tis to slay a harmless brother

How Robert trotman died:

The smugglers, about 20 in number, were loading tea onto their horses when they were surprised by Lt. Down and 14 hands from the cutter Folkstone which was lying at anchor near the Brownsea road.

A midshipman (Robert Wilson) was the first on the scene, but the smugglers beat him with their horse-whips. Lt. Down`s clerk (Edward Morrice) suffered the same type of treatment and was also wounded by a pistol shot. The smugglers then dragged him into the sea to drown but he managed to struggle and crawl to safety and hid in a local chine.

Lt. Down ordered his men to cut the bags of tea from the smugglers` horses. The smugglers made use of all the means in their power to defend themselves injuring Eneas Atkins, an able seaman in the leg.

Robert Trotman from near Devizes, the head of this very desperate gang was killed. As it was dark (Sunday night after 11p.m. - not long after the Moon had set), Lt. Down nor any of his men could be certain who had shot him, they or the smugglers. Nine of the smugglers` horses died on or near the shore.

The smugglers did not wait for Lt. Down to inform the Coroner and sent to Ringwood for him themselves. The inquest on Robert Trotman was held on the following afternoon at North Haven House.

Passed down accounts suggest that two smugglers attended the inquest and were sworn in on the jury. The jury without proper notice being given to Lt. Down or any of his men, brought in their verdict, "wilful murder by person(s) unknown".

Extracts from The Salisbury & Winchester Journal state:

"Last Monday, nearly one ton of tea was brought to the Custom`s house, taken by Lt. Down of the Folkstone cutter."

"After a smart engagement overnight in which one of the smugglers was killed and nine horses were killed and three of the cutter`s men wounded. The horses were hamstrung to prevent them from galloping off with the tea. Tis thought that several of the smugglers are mortally wounded."

Smuggler Trotman was buried at Kinson on the 30th march, 1765. His burial entry reads: "A smuggler shot on the Shore."

Unanswered questions which still puzzle historians.

Who conveyed Trotman to Kinson? Who paid his funeral expenses?

Who wrote his inscription? Was it George Lockyer the Parish clerk?

Isaac Gulliver is known to have been extremely articulate and did he have a hand in the writing of the inscription which still survives to this day?

Was young Isaac Gulliver with Robert trotman on the night he died?

Suggested funeral expenses for one of the poorer classes before 1800:

A coffin cost between 6 and 9 shillings;

A shroud cost 5 shillings;

Beer at a funeral may have cost 3 shillings;

The Parish clerk may have paid 2 shillings and 8 pence to the bell-ringers to ring Kinson Church`s bells. 


Robert was a family man who died intestate. It was left to his widow to sort out his affairs. This sad tale also included a draper and an innholder and his wife who both died within a short time span of each other. There is also the jangle of silver buckles and a mother-in-law. It`s amazing what a heap of trouble, nearly one ton of tea can cause!



William Oakley of Cudnell had loving sons named William and John and a daughter  named  Jane.

William senior `s wife was named Mary.   Oakley`s   mentioned   in  deeds  of  Pelhams  dated 1715. William Oakley also bought Pitts Farm  from Thomas Pitt  in  1706   for  £141.  The  tomb  is  not  in  its original position. Hutchin`s History of Dorset  (c1868) states:  "The inhabitants  of  Kinson were till within the last thirty years, famous as smugglers .  The  top  of the  church tower  and the inside of a  large old altar tomb were favourite places for hiding contraband goods."


Text and photos © Rodney Haskell 2020 and forms part of an on-going research project. 




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