Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

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

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38                               SUSSEX SMUGGLERS.
undoubted portion; of which we already have given two melancholy instances, and could produce more; one especially is so very notorious, that we shall make a little digression, and relate a few particulars of it, and reserve a more circumstantial account till the trials of these cruel villains are over, who were the horrid perpetrators of it.
Eichard Hawkins, of Yapton, in the county of Sussex, labourer, being at work in a barn, two of their gang, in January 1747-8, came to the barn in the said Parish of Yapton, where the poor man was threshing corn.
The names of the two men who came to him were Jeremiah Curtis, of Hawkhurst, in Kent, butcher, and John Mills, of Trotton, in Sussex, labourer (this last one of those who were concerned in the murder of Chater, and who is not yet taken), and having found Hawkins at work, as before mentioned, thev told him that he must go along with them ; and on his showing some reluctance to comply with their commands, they swore they would shoot him through the head that instant if he did not come away without any more words. Poor Hawkins being terrified at their threats, put on his clothes, and went along with them to the sign of the Dog and Partridge, an alehouse, on Slindon Common, and going into a back room, he saw Thomas Winter, of Poling, near Arundel, and one called Eob,. or Little Fat Back, servant to Jeremiah Curtis, who lived in or near East Grinstead. In the back room these two were waiting for them. This was in the afternoon, and having kept Hawkins there till about twelve o'clock at night, took him away; but whither they carried, or what they did with him, was not known for a long time ; for the man was not seen, nor heard of, till the body was found in a pond in Parham Park, belonging
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