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Joseph Dexter Stationed at Beale
I am trying to contact A "PETE" who posted the article below. Joseph Dexter was also my G, G, Grandfather. He married a Wilhelmina Evans and they begot my Grandfather George Evans Dexter.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.



Joseph Dexter

Joseph Dexter was my Great, Great Grandfather and was reputedly a Captain in the Royal Navy,as my ancestors proudly recalled.
Joseph Dexter was a Captain in the Royal Navy ?

Joseph was born on 10th. October 1800. He retired in October 1849 with a pension of £54 p.a. A Captain in the Royal Navy's retirement pension would have been £191-12-6d.

Navy Lists were published quarterly and have been examined for the years 1831,1832,1839,1842 and 1849. In no list is Joseph Dexter shown as a Captain, Commander, Lieutenant or as an officer serving in the Coastguard. So it is clear that Joseph was not a Naval Officer who at some time had been seconded to the Coastguard Service in Ireland.

Researching "Coastguard - An Official History of H.M. Coastguard" by William Webb and published by HMSO 1976.
The Coastguards were created in 1822 to break up smuggling. Initially it consisted of 3,000 men commanded by R.N Officers. At the end of the 18th.. Century approximately 50% of the spirits drunk had been smuggled into the country without payment of duty. In 1831 the Admiralty decided that the coastguards could become a reserve for the Royal Navy. All appointments in the Coastguards of any rank should be held to be of equal rank in the R.N. There were 28 districts in Ireland, each district under an Inspecting Officer - Naval Rank of Commander.

In Ireland in 1839 there were:-

Chief Officers - 153
Chief Boatmen - 180
Commissioned Boatmen - 349
Mounted Guard - 796

At Five Mile Point where Joseph was Chief Officer in 1825 the Establishment was:-

Chief Officer - 1
Chief Boatman - 1
Commissioned Boatman - 2
Boatman - 4

This then was the background of at the time Joseph joined the Coastguard Service as a young man.
The following were the places at which he was stationed as given by his daughter Wilhemina and can be confirmed by study of the Establishment books at the P.R.O. ADM 175/15 & 16.

Nanny Water
Clogher head - Port Drogheda 3rd. August 1822
Five mile Point (25m.South of Dublin) 1st February 1825 Chief Officer
Milk Cove
Skerline (Sherkin) (Island of the coast of Cork) 10th. October 1829
Valentia 3rd. July 1830
White Strand Inspecting Officer
Beale 10th. October 1831
White Horse (or Blue Hill) 10th. July 1849 Inspecting Chief Officer

Regarding Joseph being a Harbourmaster. On Page 316 of the Coastguard Establishment Book, a page which covers the Station of Howth in Co. Dublin, there is a pencilled note reading "The Inspecting Chief Officer is also Harbourmaster at a salary of £20 p.a." So it seems that it was possible for Joseph to have been both Coastguard and Harbourmaster or alternatively to have been Harbourmaster at Tralee when he retired.
In summary it seems likely that the rank of Captain in the Royal Navy was an equivalent rank in the Coastguards and which was used by his family and contemporaries and subsequently passed down through the generations.

Joseph Dexter's Grave

We visited Ireland in 1994 and found Joseph's grave at Ballylongford in the Protestant Cemetery. It was very much overgrown, but we were able to make out the inscription as being :-

of Ahanngran
Who Departed this life July the 26
1858 Aged 57 years
Formerly of HM Royal Navy
And Inspecting Chief Officer of
Coast Guard
Affectionate Widow.
Evans Dexter
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