1916 thumb Henry Tritton of Hythe–Customs OfficerMeet “One Eyed Tritton” a character from the days when Kent was notorious for its smugglers. His real name was Henry and as a Riding Officer in HM Coastguard of Riding Officers he patrolled the Kent coast and country lanes, stopping and searching carts and wagons suspected to be carrying contraband.

Henry’s likeness was discovered accidently, when we were researching the life of Sir William Ashbee Tritton, inventor of the ‘fighting tank’ in the First World War. In his Will, Sir William left ‘my little crayon picture of One Eyed Tritton’ to the Major, Aldermen & Citizens of Hythe.

Henry and Sir William’s common forebears were Christopher and Elizabeth (nee Filmer) Tritton, who were Henry’s parents and Sir William’s great x 3 (great-great-great) grandparents. Henry was Mayor of Hythe on seven occasions between 1789 and 1813. He married three times and died in 1827, leaving three daughters and three sons (one of who is featured in our article ‘A family at war’)

Perhaps you are a descendant of this interesting character, whose life and career we are researching for a future article? Did he, we wonder, lose an eye in a fight with a gang of smugglers leading ‘five and twenty ponies’ to a secret hideout in the hills behind Hythe?.

Article reproduced from TFH Iss.1 by Paul Tritton

tafbutton blue16 Henry Tritton of Hythe–Customs Officer

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