Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

An Account of a notorious Smuggling gang in the early 18th Century

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In September, 1747, one John Diamond, otherwise Dymar, agreed with a number of smugglers to go over to the Island of Guernsey, to smuggle tea, where, having purchased a considerable quantity, on their return in a cutter, were taken by one Capt. Johnson, who carried the vessel and tea to the port of Poole, and lodged the tea in the Custom-house there.
The smugglers being very much incensed at this fatal miscarriage of their purchase, resolved not to sit down contented with the loss; but, on a consultation held among them, they agreed to go and take away the tea from the warehouse where it was lodged. Accordingly, a body of them, to the number of sixty, well-armed, assembled in Charlton Forest, and from thence pro­ceeded on their enterprise; to accomplish which, they agreed, that only thirty of them should go upon the attack, and that the remaining thirty should be placed as scouts upon the different roads, to watch the motions of the officers and soldiers, and to be ready to assist or alarm the main body, in case any opposition should be made.
In the night-time, between the 6th and 7th of October, they went to Poole, about thirty only present, broke open the Custom-house, and took away all the said tea, except one bag about five pounds.
The next morning they returned with their booty through Fordingbridge, in Hampshire, where some hundreds of people were assembled to view the caval­cade. Among the spectators was Daniel Chater, a
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