Walmer, 10 June 1826

Below is another transcription of Edward Horn’s evidence against his former Aldington Gang colleagues:

As to the felonious assembly on the 10th June at Walmer when Lieutenant Brady was wounded – Night of 10th Morning of 11th June – Edward Horn states that on the Saturday night about the 10th or 11th June last, a Run of Goods took place at Walmer Castle when the whole Cargo of about 100 Tubs was worked.  In the morning of that day between 8 and 9 o’clock Examinant and his Brother John wen to Ransley’s House by his appointment to accompany him to look out (by which is meant looking out for a Boat) were they met Mr Smeed.  Ransley did not say where the Boat was expected they made their way in two Carts from his house by Jigger’s Green Bridge along the Bank of the Military Canal to Hythe. There they divided. Ransley and Smeed with his Cart went through the Town while Examinant and his Brother went by the back of the Town and they rejoined at the End of the Town and the Carts kept together till they had nearly reached Folkestone when Ransley’s Cart went forward and the other Cart followed.  Ransley stopped at Folkestone with Smeed and Examinant and his Brother proceeded up Folkestone Hill to the Valiant Sailor Public house where they put their Horse into a Stable and got refreshment.

They continued at this House for two or three hours till Ransley and Smeed rejoined them. Ransley had previous to this day sent him word he would want him and that he might set off with the Party on the proceeding night or go with his Brother in the morning. Examinant had intended to go on the preceding night and for that purpose had gone to Ransley’s but he was in bed and the Party had set off as Ransley told him about half an hour before when Ransley came into the Valiant Sailor he had got some Bread and Cheese in his Cart (3 or 4 Loaves and a Dutch Cheese) and he desired Examinant to pull is Frock off and carry some victuals over to the men.  Examinant accordingly took off his Frock put the provisions into it and accompanied Ransley to the House of James Hogben at Hawkinge about a mile distant out of the Road.

On his arrival at this House he saw Hogben and there were about 20 of the Party assembled there.  There were six men from Dymchurch of whom four was named Waddle, Flisher, Bourne and Whitehead he does not know their Christian names – there were also James Wilson, Samuel Bailey, Thomas Denard, Richard Higgins, James Hogben of Bilsington, Thomas Gillham, Thomas Winder , Richard Wire and several others known to Examinant but whose names he can’t recollect.

After waiting there nearly an hour Ransley and Examinant accompanied by another man a Stranger to Examinant but who he thinks was called Marsh and who had been engaged by Hogben returned to the Valiant Sailor and after remaining there some Time they were joined by two strange men from the Neighbourhood of Deal or Walmer, one an old and the other a young man Father and Son. The horses were put to the two Carts and towards sun set they started for Dover.  The Stranger from Hogben’s got into Ransley’s Cart with Ransley and those two went off to the left to meet the Party which had been at Hogben’s and to take up their fire arms.  These arms as Examinant understood had been carried to Hogben’s on the preceding night Examinant while at Hogben’s saw them in an outhouse belonging to Hogben.  Examinant and his Brother with William Smeed and the two Strangers from Walmer or Deal then proceeded to Dover, John Horn taking one of the strangers in his Cart and the rest viz Examinant, William Smeed and the other stranger proceeding before the Cart, which however passed them on the Road.  John Horn and his companions stopped at the [?]red Cow at Dover and there waited for Examinant and those with him and after getting a Pot of Beer there they all proceeded on the Canterbury Road, John Horn and his Companion in the Cart and the rest on foot and having gone nearly as far as the Palm Trees (at Casney Court) they turned to the right up Whitfield Hill and having got about 20 yards through the Turnpike Gate they waited till Ransley and the remainder of the Company came up which they did in about 10 minutes.  It was then between 10 and 11 – some of the Party went on to the Turnpike Houses to get some Ginger Beer there were Ransley, James Wilson and several others and Wilson who had got drunk on the Road stole two Rummers [?] from the Turnpike Man which the latter discovered, and Ransley to keep all quiet paid the man for them. Examinant was not in the House but Ransley mentioned it immediately afterwards on the Road in Examinant’s hearing and called Wilson a fool for doing such a thing that was of no use and have a piece of work made about it.  The name on Ransley’s Cart is Thomas Chancer Tenterden.  John Horn’s Cart had the name of Thomas Walker Ebony which was the name of a former owner who sold it to one Giles of whom his brother bought it.

They then proceeded on the Road past Mr Stingers [?] till they reached a turning and there the armed and working Parties turned off to the right and got into a Farm Yard (supposed Wingleton) where they were lost one of the Strangers the old man they had met at the Valiant Sailor had accompanied them as a Conductor and this man had lost his way. The young one accompanied the Company as a Conductor – Two of the farmer’s Servants got out of bed an looked out at the door. Ransley told them that if they would get up and she them their way to Ripple Court he would pay them for it they agreed and accompanied them to a spot at Ripple Court near to  windmill where the Carts halted.  They were met on the way be a Stranger supposed from Deal or Walmer here they were again joined by the armed and working Partys by Appointment and from thence Ransley and the whole Party (except John Horn, the old man and the son and the two Servants who were kept waiting with the Carts to prevent their making a discovery) proceeded on to Walmer Castle – Ransley hurrying them as he said the Time was nearly on when the Boat was to come in.

On their arrival at Walmer Castle they concealed themselves along by the Shrubbery wall for about 10 minutes while Ransley went forward (as usual) to look out for the Boat. It was then between 12 and 1 and on hearing Ransley give a Signal by a halloo the Party about 50 or 60 in number got up and proceeded to the Boat. Samuel Bailey was there but had no gun .  Examinant was stationed to the left or eastward – with him there were Denard, William Smeed, Thomas Winder, Richard Higgins and two or three others all armed with Guns. Richard Wire was there but he can’t recollect on which side.  Examinant had Samuel Bailey’s Gun which the latter delivered to him near the Windmill. The six Dymchurch men and one or two others was posted to the right or westward.  The Guns had been taken out of Ransley’s Cart near the Windmill by the Scouts.

Just as they were going down to the Beach, Examinant saw a man standing near the bow of the Boat and several of the smugglers calling out to him to keep off or they would shoot him. He ran away to the left and Ransley called out to his men don’t fire, but if you do fire low, meaning as Examinant understood to fire at his legs and not to kill him. After this man retired two other men supposed to be blockade men and another came up from the Eastward on which several shots (3 or 4) were fired at them from the Eastward, but with what Effect he does not know. They were 50 or 60 yards distant.  Examinant and Denard fired.  There was more firing by the Westward scouts amongst whom were Wilson.  This firing took place while the Boat was working which did not occupy more than 5 minutes when the Cargo which consisted of Tubs (about 100 in number) were got out the Company proceeding with them to the Spots where they had left the Carts which then proceeded on till near Ripple Court where they stopped and as many Tubs as they could conveniently hold were put into them about 40 Tubs and the remainder were carried away by some of the Company. As soon as the Carts were loaded Ransley dismissed the two Servants after giving them 9/ or 9/6 between them for their services.

The Carts then went off under the Care of Ransley and John Horn and the Company proceeded in Body guarding the Carriers of the Tubs as far as Whitfield Gate. Just before they reached it two of the Company collected the Guns and carried them off turning to the left – the rest then proceeded with the Tubs Carts and Men (having fallen in with the Carts near Mr Stinger’s House) through Whitfield Turnpike Gate down Whitfield Hill across the Canterbury Road by the Palm Trees through River[?] to a Public House at Capel where they all stopped and got Refreshment Bread and Cheese and Beer which Ransley paid for. He thinks they called up the Landlord who let them into the House it might be about 5 o’clock on Sunday morning.  Then another Cart joined them and was loaded with Tubs after resting near an hour at this House Ransley addressed them and said any of those who came from Aldington were minded to carry a pair of Tubs home, he would give each man 3/ to which many (Examinant among them) agreed and between 30 and 40 Tubs were thus carried to that Place.

The Carts were standing out in the Road and the Tubs not in the Carts  were laid down in a Green Cart while they refreshed themselves. Those who had agreed to carry the Tubs then accompanied the Cart to Aldington and the Tubs were deposited in an outhouse belonging to Ransley.  The Road they took was across the Country through Postling and Sellinge and at the latter place they stopped at the Duke’s Head, and there again got Beer, Bread & Cheese.  The landlord’s name is Hemmond. The Tub carriers then parted with the Carts and crossed a Stile on the left to Aldington fore head and then by the Walnut Tree and Aldington Corner by the Windmill to Ransley’s and in about a week afterwards he received from Ransley 20/ for working the Boat, 3/ for carrying the Tubs and 2/6 for Saturdays day’s work.

Note – The old man Conductor was seen by Lieut Brady returning in the morning apparently drunk.

Source

Access to Archives Reference: Depositions Regarding Smuggling, Edward Horn, U951/C27/4, 10 June 1826, Run of good at Walmer, held at Centre for Kentish Studies
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