Victorian London - Thames - Management - Customs
also Customs House - click here
Passengers', arriving by way of the river is now examined on board by the
officers, who come off at Gravesend and accompany the ship to her destination.
According to the Board's minute of February 8, 1867, they are to give passengers
the following notice:
"If you have any tobacco, cigars, gold or silver plate,
eau-de-cologne, or spirits of any sort, it is necessary that you should declare
the fact previously to examination of your baggage. If you do not so declare it,
and if any of the above-mentioned articles should be found, you may be subjected
to the inconvenience of a complete examination and the possible detention of all
your baggage. The importation of merchandise with baggage is prohibited."
In practice this notice is commonly subjected to considerable
abbreviation, and the restriction as to gold and silver plate may be said to be
entirely ignored. There would be no harm, and not very serious expense, in
having the caution printed, in say half-a-dozen of the most commonly used
languages, and handed to each passenger before search. This precaution would
also do much to mitigate a now very prevalent superstition as to the quantity of
tobacco, &c., which may be brought in free of duty, and the desagremens
likely to follow upon any little mistakes on this head.
The articles which are subject to duty, are: Ale, Beer,
Brandy, Chicory, Chloroform, Cigars, Cocoa, Coffee, Collodion, Currants,
Eau-de-Cologne, Ether, Figs, Geneva or Hollands, Gold Plate, Malt, Perfumed
Spirits, Pickles in Vinegar, Playing Cards, Plums, Prunes, Raisins, Rum, Silver
Plate, Spruce (Essence of), Tea, Tobacco, Varnish containing Spirit, Vinegar,
Wine; and any passenger upon being questioned by the proper officer denying the
possession of any of such goods, afterwards found to be in his or her
possession, is liable to forfeiture of the goods, and a penalty of treble their
Passengers are allowed the following free of duty provided
the articles are voluntarily produced for inspection: Cigars and manufactured
tobacco, half a pound; Ordinary drinkable spirits, without reference to
strength, one pint; Cordials or perfumed spirits, half a pint.
Passengers from the Channel Islands are allowed one half of
the above quantities only.
In cases where the authorised quantities are exceeded, the
full duty on the entire quantity is exacted.
Tobacco and cigars not exceeding 20 lbs. may be imported for
private use in passengers' baggage, whether accompanied or unaccompanied by the
owner, and delivered without application to the Board upon payment of duty and
fines according to the following rate: Cigars, snuff, and tobacco, manufactured,
if reported, or brought in one of Her Majesty's ships, or in passengers'
baggage, 6d. per lb.; not reported, 9d. Cavendish and negrohead tobacco is
subject in addition to above duty to a fine of 1s. 6d. per lb.; and if
unaccompanied, the provisions of the Act 26 Vict. c. 7, as regards labelling
must be observed. Tobacco, unmanufactured, if reported, or brought as above, 3d.
per lb.; not reported, 6d. Cigars, snuff, and tobacco, whether manufactured or
unmanufactured, including cavendish and negrohead, accompanied by the owner, if
from the continent of Europe, or other short voyages, and not exceeding
3lbs., no fine; if from the East or West Indies, or other distant places, or
when the owner may come overland from India, and the quantity shall not exceed 7
lbs., no fine; and any tobacco, &c, in excess of these quantities is to be
charged with fine at the rate fixed for tobacco reported; cavendish and
negrohead paying the additional 1s. 6d. per lb.
In all eases, excepting cavendish and negrohead, when the
quantity is more than 40 lbs., but is less than the legal weight, the fine is
levied upon the quantity short of the legal weight. When more than 20 lbs. are
brought in baggage, application must be made to the Board for delivery, and the
amount of fine will be fixed according to circumstances. Upon merchandise
brought by passengers and not reported, if under the value of £20 a fine of
10s. is levied; if the value is £20 or more the fine is 20s., but it may be
varied. Cigars and tobacco brought by foreign seamen about to join their ships
in London are considered as surplus stores and allowed to be shipped as such.
Officers of merchant ships are considered the same as passengers in regard to
Spirits brought by passengers for private consumption must be
in legal packages-i.e. in casks of 20 gallons capacity - or in bottles packed in
cases; but they can, with the consent of the Board, be entered on payment of a
fine, provided a satisfactory declaration is made to that effect. The fines are,
on casks or other vessels of :
1 to 3
gallons capacity 3s
3 to 5 " 5s.
5 to 7 " 8s.
7 to 10 " 10s.
10 to 12 " 8s.
12 to 15 " 5s.
15 to 19 " 3s.
If reported the fines are reduced one half, and the Board
reserve discretion to vary the scale. Surplus stores of wine or small cask may
be delivered at the highest rate of duty without testing. The Privilege accorded
to British ministers of receiving wine duty free does not extend to delivery
from the warehouse; but is limited to such wine as may have formed part of their
cellar stock while abroad, and which they may wish to send to this country on
the termination of their employment. Secretaries of legation are not entitled to
the privileges of diplomatic ministers as to the delivery of wine duty free; but
such other articles as it has been the practice to pass duty-free may be so
Baggage landed at London and brought by persons in transit to
foreign countries may, if the duties are not in excess of £20, and if the
officers receive a satisfactory statement, be conveyed by them to the port of
embarkation. The goods are to be examined carefully and an account taken at the
port of arrival, the duty taken in deposit, and the goods repacked, taped, and
sealed without charge. A Post Office Order for the amount of duty and full
particulars of examination must be sent by same post to the collector at the
port of embarkation, and the expense of remittance rests with the parties
themselves. In London the Post Office Orders are forwarded to the outports by
the Queen's warehouse-keeper for goods examined in that warehouse, and by the
dock officers for goods examined at the docks; but Post Office Orders and goods
from the out-ports to London must be sent to the Queen's warehouse-keeper. If
the goods are delivered to the officers at the port of embarkation within ten
days, the tape and seals being uninjured, and the goods agreeing with the
account taken at the port of arrival, the duty is returned to the parties and
the goods are conveyed on board the export vessel by an officer.
If tobacco be forwarded under these regulations no fine is
levied on it when belonging to passengers in transit.
The baggage of passengers by steam-vessels will, when not
containing any dutiable articles, be examined on board as far as practicable
between Gravesend and London, the owner being present at the examination, and
precedence being given to those who have but one package each. Packages
containing dutiable articles must be sent, if arriving on week-days, to the
Custom House Baggage Warehouse, but on Sundays, or before or after the legal
hours of business on other days, the duties on such articles may be received by
the officers on board.
Attendance is given at Fresh Wharf, St. Katharine's Wharf the
West India Docks, and the Tidal Basin, Victoria Docks, as follows: From March to
October 31 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and from November 1 to February 28 from 9 a.m.
until 6 p.m., and duties will be received by them free of expense. At the docks
the examining officer enters upon a form all particulars of articles found which
are liable to duty, receives the sum from and gives a receipt to the passenger
whose signature is also required. This receipt afterwards serves as authority
for delivery of the goods. These regulations also apply to ships' stores and
presents at the docks baggage warehouses. The officers attend immediately on
rise arrival of ambassadors, foreign-ministers, bearers of public despatches,
Queen's Messengers, and other officers in Government service, as well as, when
necessary, on the departure of a vessel with passengers.
If any person shall, in any matter relating to the Customs,
make and subscribe any declaration false or untrue in any particular, or if any
person required to answer any question put by officers of Customs shall not
truly answer such questions or shall falsify or counterfeit any document, or
wilfully use any document so falsified or counterfeited, he shall forfeit for
every such offence the sum of £100.
source: Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of the Thames, 1881
Customs - HEAD-QUARTER ESTABLISHMENT.-The portion of the Custom House in
Thames-street best known by name to the general public, as well as that in which
is transacted the greater portion of the routine business of the despatch and
arrival of vessels, is what is known as the Long Room. Dingy is an expression
which in connection with the appearance of the Long Room is altogether devoid of
any kind of adequacy. On one of those charming days not uncharacteristic of our
favoured climate, when the deep grey of the heavier clouds is pleasantly toned
by the thick brown smoke of the chimneys on whose tops they rest, it is not easy
in the Long Room to tell, except by the iron
bars, where the windows end or the wall begins. As for the ceiling, that has
long since been matter of tradition. The room itself is 186 feet long,
by 64 in width, and 45 feet high to the slightly heavier line of dirt which is understood to
be a cornice. Above that the ceiling itself is supposed to be arched, but the
height of the arch is not
recorded. This apartment, which is situated on the first floor of the
building, is entered
two doors in the middle of the north side, opening from
a good-sized hall in which are held the meetings of the Benevolent Society and
other associations connected with the officers of Her Majesty's Customs. It is
surrounded by a flat counter, with a cross section at the east end of the
room. Behind this counter sit some four dozen clerks of various ranks, the space
being parcelled out among the different requirements of the service in the
manner shown in the accompanying diagram; the course of the captain of an
English vessel lying, on each voyage out and home, from A to I, in
regular alphabetical order. The captain of a foreign vessel commences his
travels at C, taking A and B at the conclusion of his
At A is kept a careful record of the names, owners, and measurement of
all vessels belonging to the port of London, with a full account of all
mortgages, transfers, bills of sale, &c., effected on them; the duplicate
record of out-port and colonial registry having been transferred since 1873 to
the office of the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen in Basinghall-street. At this counter, also, the vessel is supplied on her first entry into
life with her nationality papers, or baptismal certificate, in the shape of a
parchment document wherein are recorded full particulars of her tonnage, construction, load line, &c., as ascertained by previous survey by officers of
the Board of Trade, with her name and official number, the former of which must
be painted in letters of certain prescribed dimensions on stem and
stern, whilst the latter has to be cut indelibly into the solid wood of the main
beam. Should she not be on her first voyage, some of these formalities will of
course be omitted; but any structural alterations, any change of name, or
generally any departure from the conditions as noted in her original
certificate, must here be noted before she can again obtain permission to leave
the port of London, even for the most trifling voyage. Until quite recently
this permission could be evaded by the simple process of a transfer, actual or
collusive, to a foreign flag. A vessel might even have been seized by the
officers of the Board
of Trade as altogether rotten and unseaworthy; but notice would be given at
counter A of her Mons. Crapaud, or Mynheer van Donck, and she would hoist her new flag and defy
Her Majesty's Customs to refuse her permission to carry it to the bottom in her own way. Thanks to the strenuous
exertions of Mr. Thomas Gray of the Board of Trade, the present Merchant
Shipping Act has abolished this privilege. Counter A will still record the fact
that the ship has been transferred to a foreign flag, but she will be under just
the same requirements as to surveys and so forth as before. These preliminaries
completed, she next puts in an appearance in the compartment B, marked off at
the east end of the room, where all business is transacted in connection with
her entry and clearance outwards; the former phrase, it must be understood,
having reference not to her personal coming into harbour, but to her entry in
the books of the office as about to sail. Her business in this section
concluded, and her papers in due order for departure, she has now nothing
further to do in the Long Room until her return, when her captain's first duty
is to present himself within at the utmost twenty-four hours of his arrival, in
company with the broker or his representative, at counter C, where Bills of
Sight and Baggage Sufferances are issued, and where he hands in his report in
the shape of a detailed list of every article on board, whether cargo or surplus
items remaining from the ship's stores, with all particulars as to addresses,
marks, &c., on each individual package. To the correctness of this list he
has to pledge himself by a statutory "declaration:" the clerk at counter
C being always a magistrate for the purposes of such declarations. This
done - and
about five-and-forty such reoports are received on an average daily from
foreign-going ships alone - the captain's personal duties in connection with
the Long Room are generally over for the voyage: the customary course being for the
broker to transact all further business. But
it is all supposed to be done by the captain himself, whose position in respect
of responsibility is worth a passing glance as affording a more than commonly
quaint illustration of the facility with with which logic may be dispensed with in
affairs of business life. The process of taking in and delivering cargo is as
follows. The bills of lading or lists of articles to be sent on board, with the
marks on each package, are made up, of course, by or for the shipper. The
articles are then received on board, and in the receipt compared package by
package with the bill of lading by the chief mate. On arrival the second mate
takes up the running, and personally superintending the re-delivery of the goods
which his superior officer has received, whilst meanwhile the bills of lading
have been, as a rule, forwarded by post to the broker at the port of arrival, by
whom the report is made out from them for the purposes of the declaration at the
Custom House. The one person connected with the ship in any recognised position,
who has no control over, no connection with, and no personal knowledge of any
single item of cargo or stores, is the captain. After which it is probably
superfluous to remark that he is the one person responsible step by step for the
whole transaction. Accordingly when any error or discrepancy occurs in the
report, it is the captain who is officially called upon for an explanation, and
on whom in inflicted the fine or other penalty imposed by the Board on the
offence. In the case, however, of a foreign captain manifestly ignorant of
English rules of procedure, the Board commonly takes a lenient view, and imposes
only a nominal penalty. The report delivered, and permission received at counter
C for the landing or warehousing of the vessel's cargo, the next visit is to
counter D, where light and pilotage dues are paid for the voyage. The remaining
operations have to do with the cargo only, and consist in paying at counter E
the duty on any tea that may be included in it; or at counter F occupying
the whole of the northwest corner of the room, upon all wines,
spirits, coffee, or tobacco. These two counters are officially known as
constituting the Treasury Branch. The whole Clearance Department is divided for
official purposes into two branches, the second being for warehoused tea only,
while the first is subdivided into two sections, the first of which is devoted
to all goods for house consumption other than tea, wine, or spirits; all "prime"
entries of any description of goods, and all fines and monies not duties other
than charges. Payments can be made in coin or bank-notes, by transfer, or
banker's cheque, which is a draft on the Bank of England which may be obtained
from any of the banks in the following list and are accepted as "cash," or
by the merchant's own cheque on any of those banks, crossed "Bank of
England for Customs' Duties." These cheques, however, are not received after
2 pm., and are only forwarded for clearance three times a day, viz., at 10, 12,
and 2 o'clock. Receipts for amounts so paid are only given after the actual
payment of the amount into the Bank of England. Receipts for duties are
forwarded from the Treasury to the Long Room at alternate intervals of ten and
twenty minutes, viz., at 15, 25, 45, and 55 minutes after each hour. These
deliveries would be made every quarter of an hour, but despatches being made to
the docks every half-hour, the alternate deliveries of receipts are advanced
five minutes each to ensure correspondence. Cash is received up to 3.30 p.m.,
except on Saturdays, when it in received up to 2.30 pm. only. The following are
the banks on which cheques may be drawn, and from which transfers may be
Alliance Bank, Bartholomew-lane.
Bank of England.
Bank of Scotland, Lothbury.
Barclay and Co., Lombard-street.
Barnett, Hanbury and Co., Bir chin-lane.
Bosanquet, Salt and Co., Lombard-street.
British Linen Co., 10, King William-street.
Brown, Janson and Co., Abchurch-lane.
Capital and Counties Bank, Threadneedle-street.
Central Bank of London, Cornhill.
Cheque Bank, 124, Cannon-street.
City Bank, Threadneedle-street.
Consolidated Bank, Threadneedle-street.
Dimsdale and Co., Cornhill.
Fuller and Co., Lombard-street.
Glyn, Mills, Currie and Co., Lombard-street.
Imperial Bank, Lothbury.
London Joint Stock, Princes-street.
London and County, Lombard-street.
London and South Western Bank, 7, Fenchurch-street.
and Westminster, Loth bury.
Martin and Co., Lombard-street.
Merchant blanking Co., 112, Cannon-street.
National, Old Broad-street.
National Provincial, Bishopsgate-street.
Prescott and Co., Threadneedle-street.
Robarts and Co., Lombard-street.
Smith and Co., Lombard-street.
Union Bank, Princes-street.
Williams and Co., Birchin-lane.
In the opposite corner of the principal compartment of the room, at
are given for the removal of goods from port to port, either at home or abroad,
without previous payment of duty. This is the busiest part of the room, a
little string of merchants being almost continually in waiting at the counter.
Persons desiring to enter into bond must execute a notice of bond
instrument setting forth the nature and value of the goods according to their
tariff rating, together with the name and address of the person proposed as
surety and the amount of stamp duty. Before sending in this notice it should be
ascertained that the surety will be able to attend at the Bond Office; and if
the bond is for exportation of goods, observe that the vessel is entered
outwards, and that the port of landing corresponds with the entry of the vessel.
In the case of notices of bond for transhipmsent it must be first
certified at the Report Office that the goods have been duly reported in
transit, and a correct account of them must be endorsed on the transhipment
bond-note. An appreciable economy of time is occasionally effected by persons
preparing their own bonds. If it is designed to adopt this course it should be
signified at the time of tendering notice. Great care must be taken in checking
the form of bond and the amount of stamp. Quantities should always be given in words, and
erasures and additions avoided. Before the bond is signed it
should be handed in for examination. When the bond is executed the fact is
certified upon the bond-note, and the same is returned to the merchant in cases
of exportation or transhipment ; but when the removal of warehoused goods is
in question, the bond-notes are taken to their destination by the appointed messengers,
who are despatched
from the Long Room every thirty minutes during office hours. In the case of
warehoused tea the bond-notes are taken to the tea department every fifteen
minutes. By a general order dated August, 1849, it is permitted that articles
of the same nature taken out for exportation may be described in the bond under
their generic instead of their specific denomination, as "Spirits," &c.
When this is done security is exacted in double the highest rate of duty on the
article, it resting with the Controllers of Accounts to see that the correct
description is endorsed upon the bond-note before delivery. Under the Act 33
and 34 Vic. C. 97, the stamp duties payable upon bonds taken in the Long Room
When the penalty does not exceed £25
When the penalty does not exceed £50 1s. 3d.
When exceeding £50 and not exceeding £100
When exceeding £100 and not exceeding £150 3s. 9d.
When exceeding £150 5s. 0d.
Under the Cattle Plague Act the amount of bond to be given on the importation of
a milch cow is fixed at £100. Bonds for passenger vessels, for
the removal and deposit of oysters, and for the exportation of tobacco entitled
to Customs' drawback, are exempt from stamp duty. The time allowed for the
due landing of goods exported under bond to any port of Europe, including
Malta and its dependencies, or to the east coast of North America, is three
months ; to all other ports six months; but discretion is vested in the
collector to allow a longer period in such cases as may seem to him to require
These bonds are all ready printed, and the process of filling up and
completing barely occupies a minute; but the applications are like those at the
pit-door when a popular piece is running, and the shillings and half-crowns for the
needful stamps pass in in a continuous stream. At counter H,
occupying the whole north-east corner of the longer compartment of the room, a
good deal of business is also carried on, duties being here paid on bonded goods
taken out for sale. Finally, at the little office at I, at the inner end of the southern half of the
cross counter, are paid the City Coal and Wine
Dues, together with what are known as the "Orphan Dues," formerly
collected its this office for the direct benefit of City orphans.
Finally, when a British vessel's last voyage is done, either merely as such
by reason of a change in her nationality, or absolutely through her actual
decease, whether by stranding or foundering, or by the rarer "natural
death" of the ship.breaker's yard, her last official obsequies are
the same counter A at which her official career commenced; her ultimate
fate and its cause is duly noted in the ponderous register wherein has been
recorded, step by step, every important incident of her life, and a closing
endorsement on her baptismal certificate converts it into one of death and
burial, henceforth to be laid up among the archives of the Registrar-General
of Shipping and Seamen.
Remains only the little counter it between the two entrance
functions attached to which are quite distinct from those of the remainder of
the Long Room. Counter K neither receives money nor issues documents, nor,
indeed, transacts any actual business of any kind. Its property is solely thus
collecting and affording information as to the doings of the rest of the room,
and its wording is of the utmost importance to the convenience of the
If any person shall, in any matter relating to the Customs, make and
subscribe any declaration false or untrue in any particular, or if any person
required to answer any question put by officers of Customs shall not truly
answer such questions or shall falsify or counterfeit any document, or wilfully
use any document so falsified or counterfeited, he shall forfeit for every such
offence the sum of £100.
After office hours the Long Room is used as a drill-room for the
Custom House regiments of volunteers, the 26th Middlesex (Rifles), and the 2nd Middlesex
(Artillery), whose guns are housed at either end of the entrance-hall.
The remainder of the establishment is divided into the
WEST WING. - Ground Floor: Tea
Office; Comptroller of Tea Accounts; Laboratory; Dry Goods, London Docks Pay
Office; Controller of Outdoor Staff; Surveyor Inspector General; Principal
Inspector of Gaugers. First Floor: Comptroller of Accounts ; Legal Quays
Department; Pay Office; Treasury; Bench Office; Principal Surveyor for Tonnage.
Second Floor: Customs' Benevolent Fund; Accountant and Controller General.
EAST WING - Ground Floor: Register Office; Home and Statistical; Fishing Office; Superintendents of
Lockers Medical Inspector. First Floor: Petition Office: Secretary's
Department; Official Post Office. Second Floor: Bill of Entry; Sugar Assessment Surveyor of Buildings;
General. Third Floor: Fireman. The Long Room on the first, and the Queen's Warehouse belonging to
the Receiver of Wrecks on the ground floor, stretch into both wings, occupying
the chief part of the whole area.
source: Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of the Thames, 1881
Custom House Museum, adjoining the east side of the Queen's Warehouse, on the ground floor, is a
curious and interesting museum, formerly occupying a space which allowed of
its being inspected to some purpose, but within the last few weeks swept
ignominiously away for some inscrutable reason into the dark recess at the inner
end of the department formerly devoted entirely to it and inaccessible except
to a very resolute explorer. Visitors armed with the requisite robur et aes
triplex of authority and perseverance, may still find there a very interesting
collection of documents bearing upon the history, duties, privileges, &c.,
of Her Majesty's Customs Establishment, not the least curious among which are
the neatly transcribed Pay Lists of the old heroic age, when time
was not reckoned by minutes, and well-grown goose-quills considered themselves
well employed in ornamenting their careful work with intricately artistic
flourishes laboriously executed in ink as deeply and lustrously black at this
present speaking as when first uncorked, hundreds of years ago. Occasionally a neatly indited
memorandum will be found in the margin to the effect that Mr. So-and-so, being a
Papist, his salary for the current quarter is not to be paid. On one occasion,
at least, a similar stoppage is inflicted as punishment for a similar
indiscretion on the part of some other Mr. So-and-so's wife. Another
interesting collection is that of the official standard samples of the various
articles of commerce with which Her Majesty's Customs have to deal. A good
many of these are now obsolete; the abolition, for instance, of the sugar
duties having done away with the necessity of a good many curious specimens of
sugar of various kinds from various countries, and in various stages of
preparation. But it seems a pity that the collection should be broken up. The
most interesting, however, and certainly by far the quaintest feature of the
museum, is to be found in the collection of articles seized by the Custom House
searchers as having been used for the purposes of those very small smuggling
transactions which in these days of Free Trade and low duties have taken the place of the old heroic exploits of
galley, and lugger, and smuggler's cave.
Here we have the Havre stewardess's crinoline, its fashionable sweep
maintained by means, not of steel or whalebone, but of circular bladders, duly
distended with many pints of excellent old cognac. Then a packet of books with
nothing but the bindings and the margins left, and the place of the missing
literature filled up with cigars. Another seeming volume is altogether a
delusion and a mockery, being merely a large brandy-flask artfully
constructed in that semblance, with the nozzle projecting from one end just
where it can hide itself snugly in the palm of the innocent student who is
carrying it out of dock. A loaf with the bottom crust neatly removed, and
replaced after the indigestible crumb has been taken out, makes a capital nest
for a pound or so of cigars, a considerable reserve of which may rest
securely in either of those tall hollow pedestals which once supported the
handsome cuddy lamps of some 'cute American trader. More elaborate still in
their immoral ingenuity, are the battered old pitch-kettle and the greasy
oil-can : the latter with a false stomach like a conjuring trick; the former with a tin-plate soldered right across it, a couple of inches or so
the edge, and covered with a thin film of innocent-looking pitch, only waiting
to be melted. No doubt good number of gallons of "right Nantz" had made
their way ashore in both before some unlucky chance or, as is just as often the
case, some Bacchanalian indiscretion of the bold smuggler himself, or some unkind "rounding" on the part of an insufficiently propitiated
made them targets for the fatal broad arrow. Of the snuff, made up into a
semblance of oil-cake so absolutely natural in appearance that Mr. Mechi
himself might have served it out to the most apoplectic prize monster of his
model farm, a considerable cargo had actually passed under the eyes of the
Customs' officers, - and was on its way to the ingenious importer's warehouse,
when one of them, profoundly occupied in the consideration of a new scheme of
retirement, which somehow could not be made, by any rule of mental arithmetic
of which he was master, to develop a satisfactory pecuniary esult,
abstractedly nibbled at a tiny fragment with which he had been playing as he
paced the quay. Whereon the origin of that irrepressible sternutation which had been so strangely epidemic among the men who were handing the supposed
oil-cake ashore became suddenly apparent, and the oil-cake, with its
accompanying fines and penalties, returned into the safe keeping of Her
source: Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of the Thames, 1881