76 Glimpses of Our Ancestors.
proceeded to the Custom House, broke it open, loaded their horses with goods, and rode off, first to Fordingbridge and thence to Brook, where they divided their booty and dispersed.
Now follows the tragic part of the affair. A reward was offered for the apprehension of the perpetrators of this daring act, but for some months with no avail. At length, a man named Diamond was captured and lodged in Chichester Gaol. The chief witnesses against this man were a Custom House officer named Galley and a shoemaker of Fordingbridge named Chater. On the 14th of February these two were on their way to Major Batten's, a Magistrate at Stanstead, near Chichester, to have their evidence taken, when they were induced to stop at the White Hart, at Rowland's Castle, in Hampshire, for refreshment, and here something fell from them which led the landlady to suspect the business they were travelling on. It shows how strongly the popular feeling was in those days with the smugglers that this woman should have sent for two of the men engaged in the late outrage, named Jackson and Carter, and communicated her suspicions to them. They sent for others of the gang, and Galley and Chater being made drunk they were put to bed, and then, in the middle of the night, were woke up, brought out, and, having been placed on a horse, their feet were tied under its belly, and a journey commenced, which, perhaps, is unparalleled for barbarity in a civilised country. As they rode along the smugglers lashed the unfortunate men with their long whips, until, in their agony, they fell with their heads under the horse's belly, and so the journey was continued, until Lady Holt Park was reached, and here Galley was taken from the horse in order to be thrown down a well. Changing their purpose, however, the brutes replaced the wretched man on the horse, and then, re-commencing their torture of him, whipped him to death on the Downs, and there dug a hole and buried him. Chater was still alive, and was reserved for further sufferings. Being taken from the horse and chained in a turf-house, he was here brutally