PE PEAKE family and the “Poor Pier District” taken from
“Dover: a Reminiscence of the past by an ancient Freeman”
“Poor Pier, forsooth! With such a galaxy of wealth, honours, intelligence and business ability.
Reference has already been made to the fact that the Licensed Dover Pilots having resided in my early days in the Poor pier end of St Mary’s parish, but one of the most noted of the worthies of that locality must not be overlooked, namely, Mr Daniel Peake, ,the aged Master of the Fellowship of the Cinque Ports Pilots, who resided at the corner of Bulwark Hill, leading up to the Archcliffe Fort.
He was a great favorite of the Duke of Wellington, who kept him in his office of Master for 9 consecutive years (much to the discomfiture of the next aspirant for that honourable and influential position). Both gentlemen were conspicuous men, the Duke at that period was thin and bony, which made his prominent nose more noticed, and Mr Daniel Peake was very corpulent and fairly tall, but with a portly commanding Roman nose also.
The Master of the Fellowship and a few wardens were the Examiners at the Court of Loadmanage, who put the young candidates aspiring for Licenses through their facings. The position was a coveted one and the young skilled sea men had to pay great deference to these gentlemen decked with such authority. But the Master was pre-eminent, wore a cocked hat in early times; his jurisdiction extended also over the 50 odd Fellowship Pilots of Deal, and some 6 at Ramsgate and Margate. Power of suspension for insubordination or incompetence or dereliction of duty was vested chiefly in him and upright, he never lost an inch of his dignity, who, with his four tall brothers, had in their day made many daring feats in saving life from shipwreck, and had risen to conspicuous positions. The brothers under the Customs authority chiefly. One, Mr Henry Peake, was a riding officer, resided at Sandgate for many years, and died at Charlton, Dover. He was a terror to smugglers from Dungeness Point to Archcliff Fort. His commanding figure, with two heavy horse pistols, Long sword and galloping steed, made him conspicuous. He could blaze away and make a good big noise, but was never known to blow the brains out of any of the notorious Aldington gang. They were afraid of him, but never molested him. Some officers they shot dead, vide the Kentish Express for this year 1903” (Kentish Express, Probably an article “looking back”.)