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Captain Tilden is in charge of the Treacle Mine Road Watch House who in one trouser leg of time recruited John Keel as his new Sergeant and in another leg allowed Sam Vimes to recruit himself as Sergeant-at-Arms in one of the strangest job interviews in the multiverse.

Captain Tilden is an ex-military man (Lord Venturi's Medium Dragoons) and is around seventy years old, having been given the job as a kind of pension after he retired from the regiment. He has never quite left the army behind; a large engraved silver inkstand with a gilt regiment crest on it is a high esteemed memento for him. His features include a mustache, a brass ear and a wooden leg - he seems to be a commander that has only led his men from behind.

It is clear that Tilden has always done his best to be conscientious and honourable - he is uncomfortable and unhappy with the orders coming from The Palace and from Cable Street, but he has never disobeyed an order. As a result of this and his age, he considers retiring from his post as captain. When he hears news of the Dolly Sisters Massacre (which involved his old regiment) and reports that the Watch Houses may be attacked by 'revolutionary elements' he is badly shaken and gives the dangerous order 'Do what you feel necessary' to Keel/Vimes.

During the events surrounding the Glorious Revolution and the foundation of the People's Republic of Treacle Mine Road, a runner comes in the night with an envelope for the captain. The next morning, he and his silver inkwell are gone, and no sign of the mysterious envelope can be found. Later it is revealed that he was given the push.