"Captain Luke SMITHETT, a Dover man, was Commodore of the Dover Packet Service, and in those days the vessels that he personally commanded nearly always made the quickest passages.    Amongst the steamers on the Passage, in 1846, the swiftest were the "Princess Alice", the "Onyx", and the"Violet".  Captain Luke Smithett was very proud of the "Princess Alice", and did not believe that she could be beaten.  When the "Onyx" came on the Passage, in 1846, a race was arranged between that vessel and the "Princess Alice", which had then been running two years.  In a run of an hour and a half along the Kentish coast, the "Onyx" proved swifter by nine minutes.  The average time of the "Onyx" between Dover and Calais from 1846 to 1848 was one hour and twenty-five minutes."   (page 166 "Annals of Dover" by J.Bavington Jones, 2nd edn 1938)
     "The Smithett PAPERS range from A.D.1096 to 1912, and contain the pedigree of the ancient SMITHETT family, compiled by Mr.J.L.SMITHETT of Highbury, London, who traces the family back to Norman times.  From a very early period the SMITHETTs settled in Kent.  The most noteworthy member of the family in connection with Dover, was Sir Luke SMITHETT, a Dover magistrate, who was knighted for his services as Commodore of the Royal Packets on the Dover passage.  During the war with Russia,  Sir Luke was temporarily transferred to the French government to assist in the embarkation of the French troops for the Crimea.  Earlier, another member of the family was Mayor's Sergeant at Dover for many years."   (Catalogued as No.212 in the Dover Corporation records cabinet)  ("Records of Dover" by J.B.Jones, Honorary Library to Dover Corporation, published 1920, page 94 "Pedigrees and family papers".    These papers should be among those deposited at Kent County Archives)
      Sir Luke Smithett’s RESIDENCE:  "Immediately below the "Gate" in Snargate Street, No.17, now the office of the "Dover Standard", had been the residence of Sir Luke SMITHETT and, earlier, of Sir John HAMILTON, Sir Luke's father in law, the latter taking up residence there in June 1845, when the London and County Bank vacated those premises to occupy those lower down.  The strong vaults of the Bank are still left in the basement of the premises.  Sir John HAMILTON was one of our sea warriors of the 18th century.  He commanded the "Active" on October 11 1797 when Admiral Duncan, with sixteen sail of the line, attacked and captured the Dutch Fleet, under Admiral de Winter, off Camperdown. For that victory Duncan was elevated to the Peerage, and Hamilton was knighted.  Sir Luke SMITHETT also won his honours on the sea, but more peacefully.  He was born in the year 1800, and at the age of 25 took command of one of HM Packets on the Irish Station, and later, on the Mail Service between Dover and Calais, which he continued to be associated with until 1854.    He was generally selected to accompany the Royal yacht, and to conduct Royal visitors to and from this country.  He was in command of the vessel which brought the Prince Consort to this country in 1840;  and although he had ceased to be regularly employed on the passage, he commanded the vessel which brought over the Emperor and Empress of the French in 1855, and he was engaged at Calais in 1854 at the embarkation of the French Fleet for the Baltic.  He married Jane, the youngest daughter of Sir John HAMILTON.    Sir Luke, after his retirement, settled in Dover, was made a Justice of the Peace, Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Kent and was knighted in 1862.  He finished his course on the 17th December 1871, and his interment in Cowgate Hill Cemetery* was the occasion of a public