Gabriel Bray retired to Charmouth in 1809, becoming a Churchwarden at the church. Born in Deal in Kent, he spent much of his life in the Customs House service, defending the coast against smugglers. He is also a nationally celebrated artist who captured everyday life – both on shore and aboard his commissions. At Charmouth, in retirement, he proposed a new lifeboat design for which he received the Royal Society silver medal. He lived in The Street, in the house immediately facing the church and was, of course, buried in the churchyard.