Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

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

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had been pleased to entrust his lordship and brethren with his special commission, that public justice might be done upon the offenders against the public laws of the kingdom, and that the innocent might be released from their confinement.
His lordship likewise took notice of the dangerous confederacies that had been formed for many years past in Sussex and its neighbouring counties, for very un­warrantable and very wicked purposes; even for robbing the public of that revenue which is absolutely necessary to its support, and for defeating the fair trader in his just expectations of profit ; and which, without mentioning more, are the necessary unavoidable consequences of that practice which now goes under the name of smuggling ; and this, his lordship said, was not all, for this wicked practice had been supported by an armed force ; and acting in open daylight, in defiance of all the law, to the terror of his Majesty's peaceable subjects ; and had gone so far in some late instances, as deliberate murders, attended with circumstances of great aggravation, in consequence of those unlawful combinations.
His lordship likewise said, that in case of a murder, wherever it appeared that the fact was committed with any degree of deliberation, and especially where attended with circumstances of cruelty, the usual distinction between murder and manslaughter could never take place ; for the fact is, in the eye of the law, wilful murder, of malice prepense ; and involves every person concerned, as well those aiding and abetting as those who actually commit the fact, in the same decree of guilt.
His lordship was pleased further to take notice, that where a number of people engage together with a
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