BYGONE SUSSEX - online book

Essays, Sketches and Illustrations of bygone Sussex

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IN DENIS DUVAL'S COUNTRY.                63
the name of Joseph Hart. They now passed as James Clark and Thomas Smith. George was arrested, tried at Warwick Assizes, and con­demned to be hung, but escaped from jail. At the end of 1778, the brothers had a vessel of their own at Folkestone, and were called " the gentle­men smugglers " by the meaner crew engaged in that illegal but lucrative business. They are heard of in Scotland again, and also in Liverpool. The crowning exploit of their career as highway­men was on January 29th, 1781, when they robbed the Bristol Mail, and took from it the large sum of ,£10,000. George travelled in a post-chaise north to Newcastle. Several of the bills were passed by one of the brothers, disguised as a footman. About Michaelmas, the brace of rogues took the " Friars," Winchelsea, and passed as Mr. Johnson and Samuel Watson. They had a couple of " ladies " with them, who were supposed to be their wives. They were milliners of easy virtue from Red Lion Square, but as ignorant of the real character of their husbands as the rest of the world, "Mrs Johnson" and "Mrs. Watson" were quiet, well-behaved girls, and were received without suspicion by the neighbouring gentry. The Westons kept up good style, had servants
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