TRINITY HOUSE HARBOUR AND RIVER PILOTS IN THE UK

A typical family of Thames Pilots, who are also Spiers, is given below the main text.
Prepared by Ron Spiers from sundry sources, October 2002.

THE CORPORATION OF TRINITY HOUSE, LONDON, ENGLAND

Background
The Corporation of Trinity House was incorporated by royal charter in 1514. There is a tradition which dates the existence of a Trinity guild from the 13th century but there is no firm evidence to support this. When the charter was granted, Trinity House had a hall and almshouses at Deptford. Premises were acquired in Ratcliff and Stepney in the 17th century and meetings were held at all three sites. The Corporation bought a property in Water Lane in the City of London in 1660. The Hall in Water Lane burnt down and was rebuilt twice, in 1666 and 1714. When it proved too cramped for proposed improvements in the 1790s, the Corporation bought land at Tower Hill on which Trinity House was built 1793-6. The present building retains the 1790s facade but a bomb on 30 December 1940 destroyed most of the rest of the original building which was sympathetically rebuilt in 1952-3.

The Corporation of Trinity House has had three main functions:-

1. General Lighthouse Authority for England, Wales, the Channel Islands & Gibraltar: It was responsible for providing lighthouses, light vessels, buoys and beacons.

2. Principal Pilotage Authority for London and 40 other "outports" including Southampton but excluding Liverpool, Bristol and several ports in the North-East of England. Although the Corporation had general powers to regulate pilotage from 1514 and the exclusive right to license pilots on the Thames from 1604, the system of outports was only formally established in 1808. Separate records of examination and licensing of pilots only begin in 1808. Until the Corporation lost its role as a pilotage authority in 1988, it licensed but did not employ pilots who were all self-employed. The pilotage service provided by the Corporation was financed by a levy on pilots' earnings, by dues paid by vessels and by pilots' licences. Each pilot had to renew his licence yearly when his general health, eyesight and knowledge of local waters were tested. The Corporation remains the licensing authority for deep sea pilots.

3. Charitable relief of mariners and their dependants in distress.

Early river pilots were known as Lodesman or Lotesman (German word linked to Lodesone the early compass). The name "pilot" derives from the Dutch "Pijl" = vertically straight and "Leod" = plumb lead used for measuring depth. Pilots came into being in the earliest times of maritime trade principally to provide ships with safe passage into harbours or through dangerous waters. As a consequence pilots were usually experienced mariners with particular knowledge of the local waters where they plied their trade. The Laws of Oleron (the underlying laws forming the basis of maritime law) exacted severe penalties on any pilot who lost a ship in his care. He was beheaded at the windlass by the crew who were free of any penalty. In England in the 13th century a pilot could be hanged for losing a ship. In the 16th century Henry VIII appointed Sebastian Cabot as Grand Pilot of England. The Cabots operated out of Bristol and one of the earliest pilots of the area, George Ray, formerly a barge master, went with John Cabot on his voyage of discovery in 1497.
During the early 16th century pilotage on the Thames, London became a problem. A significant number of young inexperienced mariners claiming to be pilots put life and trade at risk. As a result Henry VIII granted a charter to the already existing Trinity House, London to ensure the safe regulation of shipping on the River Thames on 20 May 1514. Prior to that Trinity House had been an Association of Shipmen and Mariners of a semi-religious character and with benevolent objectives.

18th & 19th Century Piloting
Following the creation of Trinity House of Deptford Strand in 1513, which ultimately became the principal maritime authority in the UK, it took many years before a reasonable amount of authority was gained over Thames pilotage. In other parts of the country developments followed on a local basis. In Dover the Fellowship of the Dover Ferry Services founded the Court of Loadmanage of the Cinque Ports. There was acute rivalry between them and Trinity House which was to last for 400 years. Trinity House of Newcastle was formed in 1536 and regulated pilotage on the River Tyne. Trinity House of Kingston-upon-Hull (founded 1369) was given a charter in 1541. Possession of a charter did not automatically command obedience. Some masters would not pay the dues and unlicensed pilots operated although they could be fined by Trinity House. Unlicensed piloting existed into the 20th century. For example at Newport in Wales, "Dock Pilots" who were not licensed by the Newport Pilotage Authority operated alongside the licensed "Channel Pilots" right through to the middle of the 20th century. The records of Trinity House at Hull record many instances of unlicensed piloting during the 18th century where individuals were fined.

By 1801 the four major ports of the UK were London, Liverpool, Bristol and Hull. Pilotage control was not officially exercised at Liverpool until 1766 when an Act appointed Commissioners to do so. These comprised the Mayor & Council together with Merchants, Mariners and the late Commanders of Vessels. Prior to 1766 pilotage existed and was operated by fishermen and local seamen with special knowledge of the area. In Bristol control of pilotage had been vested in the Corporation of Bristol and was delegated to the Society of Merchant Venturers of Bristol from 1611 onwards. Bristol controlled all pilotage in the greater part of the Bristol Channel and exercised this power for pilotage into the ports of South Wales. Swansea obtained independent control in 1791. Cardiff, Newport and Gloucester obtained independent pilotage control from 1861 onwards. Exe Estuary pilots were subject to the control of Exeter City Chamber in 1687 when pilotage was made compulsory for all vessels with a draught of 5ft or more. The local navigational difficulties resulted in high piloting charges which, in 1884, were amongst the highest in the kingdom. This, in part, contributed to the decline of the Exe ports during the 19th century.

During the 17th century there was a shortage of pilots for the Royal Navy. Samuel Pepys, as Master of Trinity House, wrote a memorandum on the subject. Pilots on Royal Navy ships were not members of the Royal Navy nor members of the crew and, therefore, had no standing and were treated very casually by Naval Officers and were often not provided with food or accommodation. Problems continued between Trinity House (and other Authorities) and the Royal Navy throughout the 18th and early 19th centuries. It was not uncommon for pilots and their apprentices to be impressed into the service. Pilots bringing in homeward bound merchant ships often warned the masters of the presence of press gangs and advised them on ways to avoid them. Pilot cutters did not change a great deal between the middle of the 18th century and the early 20th when steam cutters were introduced. The Bristol Channel pilots favoured boats of around 20 tons (range 12 to 30 tons) manned by the pilot, a boatman ("westerman") and frequently an apprentice. They were fast little skiffs because speed meant that the pilot could beat his competitors to win business in a highly competitive field. Between 1800 and 1914 pilots faced some of the most difficult years any had to face. Steam power and improvements in safety of ships, frequently iron built and driven by screw propulsion presented new challenges to pilots. The size of ships grew rapidly and they were capable of greater speed and less dependent on tides and wind. In addition ship-owners suggested that pilots were no longer important and suggested reductions in tariffs. They also suggested that vessels towed by tugs did not need pilots. In 1812 an Act included the paragraph:- "No owner or master of any ship shall be answerable for any loss or damage for, or by reason of, any neglect, default or incompetence of any pilot taken on board of any such ship under any provision of this act." In effect this clause gave absolute freedom to ships under compulsory pilotage from claims for damage done to other vessels or property. This clause was to be a problem for over 100 years. There were conflicts between Trinity House and local pilots. Trinity House licensed pilots (in areas under its control) and local pilots were paid a controlled rate for ships they handled. Rotas of pilots were set up to cover the port. In 1862 a conflict arose between Trinity House at Newcastle and the local pilots, as a result a new Pilotage Board was set up for the Tyne. In the 1870 a serious dispute broke out at Cardiff between the 84 pilots there and the Dock owners. Two pilots refused to take ships through a dredged channel at the Cefn-y-wrack shoal on the grounds of safety because of silting of the channel. The dispute between the dock-master and the pilots led to them being suspended. To avert an impending strike by the pilots Samuel Plimsoll was called in and after a thorough investigation including sounding the channel he reported to the Board of Trade in favour of the pilots. There were frictions between the Pilotage Authority and the 37 pilots at Bristol at about this time. The pilots there decided to organise themselves into a Pilots Association and from this sprang the United Kingdom Pilots Association in 1884. This organisation represents the interests of licensed pilots throughout the UK today. It gave added power to the individual pilot or group of pilots who might run foul of a Pilotage Authority or of harbour management.

ACCESS TO THE RECORDS
The records of the Corporation of Trinity House, London have suffered from fire in 1666 and 1714 and from bombing in 1940. Though the court minutes survive from 1660, many other series of records are only present from the 19th century. Because of the many ways in which the Corporation of Trinity House has touched on British maritime life, the records which survive are still very rich and extremely varied. The archive is subject to a fifty year closure period and researchers must seek permission to see any record less than fifty years old.

PILOTS
Pilots were licensed, not employed, by the Corporation of Trinity House. When a pilot first applied to be licensed, he had to have British nationality, have several years' experience as a watch-keeping officer of a ship, hold a foreign-going Master Mariner's certificate (or Naval certificate of service) and be under 35.The Corporation examined London Pilotage district pilots itself (about two-thirds of all pilots). The London Pilotage district extended from Felixstowe to Dungeness, taking in all the intermediate harbours and the River Thames up to London Bridge. In the forty outport districts, sub-commissioners of pilotage, appointed by the Corporation, examined pilots and recommended them for licences. In the smaller ports, Trinity House pilots, were often fishermen.

Major family history sources for Pilots are :
Registers of pilots' licences (London) 1808-1929.
Registers of pilots' licences (outports) 1808-46 & 1810-76 covering different ports.
Both these series of registers give pilot's age, residence, qualifications and physical description.
Lists of pilots already working in outports 1808.
Returns of pilotage listing pilots (by port) 1854-1912, giving name, age and qualification.

5) MERCHANT NAVY MASTERS AND MATES
Masters and mates, if examined by the Corporation of Trinity House, could be granted pilotage exemption certificates to enable them to pilot their own vessels in waters where they would otherwise need to take an independent pilot.

Family history sources for Masters and Mates are :
Registers of exemption certificates 1850-1957, giving age and physical description, and the vessel's name and shipping company. Registers of masters' & mates' examinations 1864-1986. The Captain's Register held by the London Guildhall Library.

TRINITY HOUSE WATERMEN
The Corporation of Trinity House had the right to license mariners to row on the Thames as watermen. These watermen were both older and fewer in number than the apprentices and freemen of the Company of Watermen and Lightermen. The London Guildhall Library holds the records of the Watermen and Lightermen's Company.The only surviving register of Trinity House Watermen covers 1829-64.

CHRIST'S HOSPITAL MATHEMATICAL SCHOOL
Mathematical school boys were examined by Corporation of Trinity House elder brethren and bound as apprentices for seven years to ships' captains. The only surviving register of "ships' apprentices" covers 1816-57.

Sources for the above article:
1 - Records of the Corporation of Trinity House; Guildhall Library, City of London.
2 - Sea and River Pilots, Nancy Martin, publisher Terrence Dalton Ltd, 1977 ISBN 0 900963 72 7
3 - River and Harbour Pilotage in the UK, by Alfred Collins.

AUTHOR
Ron Spiers' grandfather was born in London and served his apprenticeship on a Pilot Cutter and on square rigged sailing ships, later holding his Captain's certificate for sail and steam ships. His great-grandfather, also born in London, was a Customs Officer boatman working on the River Thames, the River Mersey and out of Swansea Bay. His uncle was a Royal Navy Petty Officer serving in WW2 on convoys to Russia, and was on board the battle cruiser, HMS Exeter, which took part in the Battle of the River Plate against the German battleship Graf Spee off Montevideo in 1939.

A SPIERS FAMILY OF PILOTS
The following family are from Gravesend, Kent. In four generations they had 13 members who were either Mariners, Trinity House Pilots or Thames Watermen. The personal descriptions given in their Trinity House warrants are interesting. The author acknowledges the information given him by surviving members of the family which added to his own researches. The families relationship to the author's ancestors is uncertain at present.

FIRST GENERATION
George SPIERS. Born 1787 perhaps in London. Died about 1860 in Gravesend. Occupation - Waterman. Mariner. Lighterman.

It is assumed that, as pilots were this families main profession, and as trades often ran in the family then George is the father of Stephen Joseph. They were both from Gravesend. This link needs to be proven.

George married Mary unknown in about 1800 in Strood, Kent. She was born in 1785 in the London area.
They had the following children:
Stephen Joseph SPIERS
George SPIERS
Thomas SPIRES
Henrietta Mary SPIERS
James SPIERS

SECOND GENERATION
Stephen Joseph SPIERS. Son of George SPIERS & Mary unknown. Born 15 Dec 1810 in London. Christen 17 Jul 1811 in St Pancras. Died 7 Apr 1882 in Gravesend, Kent.
Occupation - Waterman. Lighterman. Trinity House Pilot.
The Company of Watermen & Lightermen lists him as an apprentice commencing 6 Jan 1825. He would have been aged 14, the usual age of entry was 14/16years old. Ref Guildhall MS6291/4 1808-1835. Their Quarterage Ledgers for subscriptions paid has eleven entries for him for Gravesend for Xmas 1833, 34, 36, Midsomer 1837, Michaelmas 1844, 46, 47, Ladyday 1854, 59 and Xmas 1859.

The Trinity House London Pilots list has the following -
Pilots Warrant No.560 dated 20 Aug 1839, aged 28, 5 ft 7 1/2 ins high, dark complexion, dark brown hair. Residence, Gravesend. Qualifications - From London Bridge down the River of Thames to Gravesend and back again to London Bridge. 1 Sep 1842 - licensed for vessels above 14 ft draft of water. Record marked as Dead but no date given.

He married Susannah Sarah LUKES in about 1836 in Gravesend, KEN. Born 1811 in Gravesend, KEN. Christened about 1812 in Gravesend, KEN. Died about Nov 1869 in Gravesend, KEN.
They had the following children:
Mary Ann SPIERS
Joseph SPIERS
Mary Ann SPIERS
George SPIERS
Susannah Sarah SPIERS
Clara SPIERS
Charles SPIERS
Alfred SPIERS
Stephen SPIERS

George SPIERS. Son of George SPIERS & Mary unknown. Born 1815 in Gravesend, Kent. Christened 3 May 1815 in St Peter and St Paul, Milton by Gravesend, Kent. Died 21 Aug 1860 in Gravesend, Kent.
Occupation - Waterman. Lighterman. Trinity House Pilot.

Trinity House London Pilots has the following on him -
Warrant No 668 of 6 June 1843, aged 28, of Gravesend, 5 ft 6 ins high, brown hair, fair complexion. Qualifications - From London Bridge down the River of Thames to Gravesend and vice versa. 18 June 1846 - examined & certified for vessels exceeding 14 ft of water. Dead Aug 1860.

The Company of Watermen & Lightermen has him listed as an apprentice commencing 10 Sep 1829, bp 3 May 1815 at Milton & Gravesend, no birth date recorded, but apprenticeships started at age 14 to 14 3/4. The Quarterage Ledger for subscriptions has a George James Spiers at Gravesend listed for Xmas 1839, Michaelmas 1846, 47, Xmas 1854, Ladyday 1855, Xmas 1859, then given as dead.

He first married Esther SPIERS nee? in about 1858 in Kent. Born about 1815 in Kent.
They had the following children:
Esther SPIERS
He second married Mary Ann MARTIN, daughter of George MARTIN on 10 Oct 1850 in Holy Trinity Parish Church, Dartford, Kent. Born about 1829 in Milton next Gravesend, Kent. Died 11 Mar 1854.
They had the following children:
Caroline Mary SPIERS

Thomas SPIRES. Son of George SPIERS & Mary unknown. Born about 1816 in Kent. Christened 31 Dec 1816 in St Peter and St Paul, Milton by Gravesend, Kent.

Henrietta Mary SPIERS. Daughter of George SPIERS & Mary unknown. Born about 1819 in Kent. Christened 12 Feb 1819 in St Peter and St Paul, Milton by Gravesend, Kent.

James SPIERS. Son of George SPIERS & Mary unknown. Born 7 Mar 1823 in Milton next Gravesend, Kent. Christened 9 Apr 1823 in St Peter and St Paul, Milton by Gravesend, Kent. Died about 1883 in Camberwell.
Occupation - Mariner. Waterman. Pilot.

The Company of Watermen & Lightermen lists him as an apprentice commencing 13 April 1837, bn 7 Mar 1823, bp 9 Apr 1823. The Quarterage Ledger for subscriptions has a James Spiers at Gravesend for Michaelmas 1844, 46, 50, Xmas 1859.

He first married in about 1844, wife unknown.

He second married Charlotte PRICE on 1 Jan 1849 in Strood, near Rochester, Kent. Born About 1825 in Strood, Kent.
They had the following children:
John SPIERS
Elizabeth SPIERS

THIRD GENERATION
Mary Ann SPIERS. Daughter of Stephen Joseph SPIERS & Susannah Sarah LUKES. Born about 1837 in Gravesend, Kent. Christened 23 Jul 1837 in St Peter and St Paul, Milton by Gravesend, Kent. Died Feb 1840 in Gravesend, Kent.

Joseph SPIERS. Son of Stephen Joseph SPIERS & Susannah Sarah LUKES. Born 19 Dec 1839 in Milton next Gravesend, Kent. Christened 12 Jan 1840 in St Peter and St Paul, Milton by Gravesend, Kent. Died after Jan 1911.
Occupation - Trinity House Pilot, Waterman.

Trinity House London Pilots has the following on him -
Warrant No.1102 of 29 April 1869, aged 29, of Gravesend, 5 ft 9 ins high, dark brown hair, fresh complexion, scar across right wrist. Qualifications - From London Bridge down the River of Thames to Gravesend and back again to London Bridge. 3 May 1872 - Certified for vessels exceeding 14 ft of water. Pensioned Jan 1911.

The Company of Watermen & Lightermen lists him as an apprentice commencing 13 April 1854, bn 19 Dec 1839, baptism not given.

He married Sophia SPIERS nee? in about 1871 in Gravesend, Kent. Born 1839 in Milton next Gravesend, Kent. Died about 1895 in Gravesend, Kent. They had the following children:
Stephen Joseph SPIERS

Mary Ann SPIERS. Daughter of Stephen Joseph SPIERS & Susannah Sarah LUKES - 795. Born about Aug 1841 in Milton by Gravesend, Kent. Christened 3 Oct 1841 in St Peter and St Paul, Milton by Gravesend, Kent.

George SPIERS. Son of Stephen Joseph SPIERS & Susannah Sarah LUKES. Born 15 Sep 1843 in Gravesend, Kent. Christened 25 Oct 1843 in St George, Gravesend, Kent. Died after Jan 1908.
Occupation - Trinity House Pilot.

The Trinity House London Pilots list has the following on him -
Warrant No.1203 of 6 Jan 1876, aged 32, of Gravesend, 5 ft 9 ins high, Black hair, fresh complexion. Qualifications - From London Bridge down the River of Thames to Gravesend and back again to London Bridge. 17 Jan 1879 - Certified for vessels exceeding 14 ft draft. Superannuated 30 Jan 1908.

The Company of Watermen & Lightermen lists him as an apprentice commencing 13 May 1858, bn 15 Sep 1843, bp 25 Oct 1843.

Susannah Sarah SPIERS. Daughter of Stephen Joseph SPIERS & Susannah Sarah LUKES. Born 28 May 1845 in Gravesend, Kent. Christened about 1845 in Gravesend, Kent.

Clara SPIERS. Daughter of Stephen Joseph SPIERS & Susannah Sarah LUKES. Born About May 1847 in Gravesend, Kent. Christened 2 May 1847 in St George, Gravesend, Kent. Died about 1850 in Gravesend.

Charles SPIERS. Son of Stephen Joseph SPIERS & Susannah Sarah LUKES. Born 6 Apr 1849 in Gravesend, Kent. Christened 23 May 1849 in St George, Gravesend, Kent.
Occupation - Waterman.

The Company of Watermen & Lightermen lists him as an apprentice commencing 11 July 1865, bn 6 April 1848, bp 23 May 1849.

Alfred SPIERS. Son of Stephen Joseph SPIERS & Susannah Sarah LUKES. Born 7 Jan 1852 in Gravesend, Kent. Christened 1 Feb 1852 in St George, Gravesend, Kent. Died 10 Oct 1928 in Medway Institution, Chatham, Kent.
Occupation - Trinity House Pilot. Waterman.

The Trinity House London Pilots list has the following on him -
Warrant No.1345 of 23 April 1884, aged 32, address not given, 5 ft 7 ins high, brown hair, fair complexion. Qualifications - From Gravesend down the River of Thames and South Channels to Dunganess & vice versa. Also for navigation at the back of the Goodwin Sands, round the Southsand Head into the Downs and into and out of Ramsgate Harbour.

A further entry is as follows -
Warrant No.1357 of 19 May 1886, aged 34, personal details as for Warrant No.1345. Qualifications - From Gravesend down the River of Thames and the North and South Channels and round Longsand Head through the Downs to Dunganess and into and out of Harwich Harbour. Also for the navigation at the back of the Goodwin Sands round the Southsand Head into the Downs and into and out of Ramsgate Harbour and also from Dunganess through the South Channels to Gravesend. 20 May 1887 - Certified for higher draft South Channel 25 July 1889 - Certified for higher draft North Channel 2 Aug 1894 - Further licensed for Dunganess Westward to Selsey Bill. Superannuated 12 Jan 1922.

The Company of Watermen & Lightermen lists him as an apprentice commencing 14 Aug 1866, born 7 Jan 1852, Gravesend, baptism date not given.

Stephen SPIERS. Son of Stephen Joseph SPIERS & Susannah Sarah LUKES. Born 11 May 1855 in Gravesend and Milton, Kent. Christened 3 Jun 1855 in St George, Gravesend, Kent. Died about 1933 in Strood, Kent.
Occupation - Trinity House Pilot. Waterman.

The Trinity House London Pilots list has the following on him -
Warrant No 1364 of 12 Dec 1888, aged 33, of Gravesend, 5 ft 11 ins high, dark brown hair, fair complexion, mole on left side of face. Qualifications - From London Bridge down to Gravesend and back again to London Bridge. 14 Dec 1891 - Certified for higher draft.

The Company of Watermen & Lightermen lists him as an apprentice commencing 8 June 1869, bn 11 May 1855, Gravesend & Milton, baptism date not given.

Esther SPIERS. Daughter of George SPIERS & Esther SPIERS nee? Born About Nov 1859 in Gravesend, Kent. Christened 16 Nov 1859 in St George, Gravesend, Kent. Died 4 Nov 1860 in 47 Parrock Street, Milton next Gravesend.

Caroline Mary SPIERS. Daughter of George SPIERS & Mary Ann MARTIN. Born about Feb 1853 in Gravesend, Kent. Christened 30 Dec 1852 in Holy Trinity, Milton by Gravesend, Kent.

John SPIERS. Son of James SPIERS & Charlotte PRICE. Born 27 Jul 1850 in Gravesend, Kent. Christened 25 Aug 1850 in Holy Trinity, Milton by Gravesend, Kent. Died 5 Feb 1924 in Gravesend, Kent.
He was a linguist, educated in France and spoke Japanese.
Occupation - Waterman.

He first married Jane DAVIS on 27 Aug 1872 in Milton by Gravesend, Holy Trinity, Kent. Born 1853 in Milton next Gravesend, Kent.
They had the following children:
John James SPIERS
Walter George SPIERS
Charles Ernest SPIERS

He second married Louisa Mary Ann HOOKER on 25 Dec 1896 in Parish Church, Beckenham, Kent. Born about 1871 in Beckenham, Kent.
They had the following children:
Edward Frederick SPIERS
Louise Elizabeth SPIERS
Edith Helen SPIERS
William Robert SPIERS

Elizabeth SPIERS. Daughter of James SPIERS & Charlotte PRICE. Born about Feb 1853 in Milton by Gravesend, Kent. Christened 23 Jan 1853 in Holy Trinity, Milton by Gravesend, Kent.

FOURTH GENERATION
Stephen Joseph SPIERS. Son of Joseph SPIERS & Sophia SPIERS nee? Born about Aug 1872 in Milton next Gravesend, Kent.

John James SPIERS. Son of John SPIERS & Jane DAVIS. Born 28 Jul 1873 in Milton next Gravesend, Kent. Died 1943 in Chatham.
Occupation - Waterman.
There is a John James Spiers listed in the Company of Watermen & Lightermen as an apprentice commencing 8 Sep 1891, bn 28 July 1873, Gravesend. It is assumed he is the son of James to wife, Jane Davis.

Walter George SPIERS. Son of John SPIERS & Jane DAVIS. Born about Nov 1874 in Milton next Gravesend, Kent. Christened 17 Feb 1875 in Holy Trinity, Milton by Gravesend, Kent. Died about 1939 in Camberwell, Surrey. He married but wife is unknown in about 1900 in Kent.
They had the following children:
Annie SPIERS
Amy SPIERS

Charles Ernest SPIERS. Son of John SPIERS & Jane DAVIS. Born about Feb 1877 in Milton next Gravesend, Kent. Died in 1950 in Southwark, Surrey. He married but wife is unknown. He had no children.

Edward Frederick SPIERS. Son of John SPIERS & Louisa Mary Ann HOOKER. Born 24 Oct 1899 in Gravesend, Kent. Christened 1899 in Gravesend, Kent. Died 25 May 1979.
Occupation - Waterman, Lighterman, Merchantile Mariner, Policeman. Went to Australia in 1927.

He married Lilian May ROBINS in 1920 in St John the Baptist, Tilbury, Essex. Born about 1899.
They had the following children:
Ronald Frederick SPIERS
Eileen Mary SPIERS
Marjorie Helena SPIERS

Louise Elizabeth SPIERS. Daughter of John SPIERS & Louisa Mary Ann HOOKER. Born about Aug 1901 in Gravesend, Kent. She married Frederick BIGGS.

Edith Helen SPIERS. Daughter of John SPIERS & Louisa Mary Ann HOOKER. Born about Nov 1902 in Gravesend, Kent. Christen 1902 in Gravesend, Kent. She married MANSFIELD.

William Robert SPIERS. Son of John SPIERS & Louisa Mary Ann HOOKER. Born about May 1907 in Gravesend, Ken.
Occupation - Mariner.
He married Elsie unknown in about 1920.
They had the following children:
Martyn SPIERS
Janice SPIERS
Elaine SPIERS

FIFTH GENERATION
Annie SPIERS. Daughter of Walter George SPIERS & unknown. Born about 1900 in Kent.

Amy SPIERS. Daughter of Walter George SPIERS & unknown . Born about 1900 in Kent.
She married unknown PARKER.

Ronald Frederick SPIERS. Son of Edward Frederick SPIERS & Lilian May ROBINS. Born 1925 in Orsett, Tilbury, ESS. He married Dorothy Bains STEER nee Southgate.

Eileen Mary SPIERS. Daughter of Edward Frederick SPIERS & Lilian May ROBINS. Born 1921 in Gravesend, Kent. She married Lawrence Maxwell JONES in Australia.

Marjorie Helena SPIERS. Daughter of Edward Frederick SPIERS & Lilian May ROBINS.
She married Frederick Charles KELLY in Australia.

Frederick BIGGS. Son of Frederick BIGGS & Louise Elizabeth SPIERS.

Sylvia BIGGS. Daughter of Frederick BIGGS & Louise Elizabeth SPIERS.

John MANSFIELD. Son of MANSFIELD & Edith Helen SPIERS. Born about 1929 in Kent.

Martyn SPIERS. Son of William Robert SPIERS & Elsie unknown. Born about 1925 in Kent.

Janice SPIERS. Daughter of William Robert SPIERS & Elsie unknown. Born About 1930 in Kent. She married unknown WOOD.

Elaine SPIERS. Daughter of William Robert SPIERS & Elsie unknown. Born in Kent.
She married Thomas GROWNS in Kent.