Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

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

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SUSSEX SMUGGLERS.
99
Steel, the witness, being cross-examined as to this, said, he never heard the prisoner say he would not have them murder the man, and added, that he was sure he must hear them talk of murdering while they were at his house.
John Race being called again, said : That after he had left the company at the widow Payne's on the 14th of February, he met some of the same company and others, on the Wednesday evening following, being the 17th of February, at Scardefield's, at Rake ; that the prisoners, Richard Mills the younger, Carter, Jackson, Tapner, Cobby, and Hammond, with Steel, Richards, Little Sam, Daniel Perryer, John Mills and Thomas Willis, were there; and it was proposed at that meeting to murder Chater. He could not say who first made the proposal, but to the best of his knowledge, it was either Carter or Jackson, and it was agreed to by all the company; it was not then resolved how it was to be done, but only in general, that he was to be murdered and thrown into a well; that they went to the house of Richard Mills the elder, to join Little Harry, who was left there to take care of Chater, and found Chater chained by the leg upon some turf in a skilling, at the back side of the house; that the prisoner, Richard Mills the elder, was at home, and ordered his housekeeper to fetch bread and cheese, and some household beer, for any of them to eat and drink that would, and was sure that old Mills knew that they came for Chater; that Tapner and Cobby were very earnest to go and see Chater; and Tapner having his knife in his hand, said, " This knife shall be his butcher " ; and thereupon the prisoner, Richard Mills the elder said, " Pray do not murder him here, but carry him somewhere else before you do it "; that Old Mills said this on seeing that Tapner had his knife in his
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