Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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78                 Glimpses of Our Ancestors.
as they were travelling over Hind Heath and to rob them! In company with the Judges were officers of the Court and Counsellors, altogether enough to fill six coaches, each drawn by six horses, so that the smugglers thought the risk was too great; and the Judges escaped this danger and the country a very great scandal.
So far, however, from the execution of these men acting as a warning, a crime of the same character was, shortly afterwards, committed with the same circumstances of brutality almost on the same ground. The son of Mills above referred to, meeting one Hawkins, whom Mills and a party of fellow-smugglers suspected of stealing two bags of tea, they accused him of it, and, on his denying it, they flogged and kicked him to death, and then, carrying his body to a pond in Parham Park, twelve miles off, sunk it there. Mills—the third of the family who so suffered—was for this crime hung in chains on Slindon Common, and others of the gang were convicted at the same Assizes as highwaymen and executed.
Still there were some of the leaders in the attack on Poole at large—amongst them, Perin, the concocter of it, and Kingsmill, the leader. Both of them were, however, betrayed by one of their gang and captured and convicted, with two others, named Glover and Fairhall. Their behaviour at their trial was most insolent. Fairhall threatened one of the witnesses, and when Perin, whose body was directed to be given up to his friends, was lamenting the fate of his associates—not so favourably treated—Fairhall exclaimed : " We shall be hanging up in the sweet air, when you are rotting in your grave." The night before his execution, Fairhall kept smoking with his friends till he was ordered by his keeper to go to his cell, when he exclaimed: "Why in such a hurry ? cannot you let me stay a little longer with my friends ? I shall not be able to drink with them to-morrow night." Kingsmill was only twenty-eight, and Fairhall only twenty-five years of age, at the time of their death.
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