Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

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

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"Benjamin Tapner, of West Stoke, in Sussex, labourer, son of Henry Tapner, of Aldingbourne, Sussex, bricklayer, aged 27, before he was turned off, owned the justice of his sentence, and desired all young persons to take warning by his untimely end, and avoid bad company, which was his ruin. When in gaol, before he was brought out for execution, he said he did not remember he put the rope about Chater's neck.
" William Carter, of Eowland's Castle, thatcher, son of Win. Carter, of East Meon in Hants, aged 39, at the place of execution and in gaol, confessed the justice of the sentence passed upon him, and acted more suitably to a person in such unhappy circumstances than any of them; he likewise at the gallows, cautioned every one against those courses that had brought him to so shameful an end.
" Tapner and Carter, when all the ropes were fixed, shook hands, but what or whether any words then passed between them, was not heard.
" Eichard Mills the elder, of Trotton, in Sussex, colt-breaker, son of-----Mills of List, in Hants, labourer,
aged 68, was unwilling to own himself guilty of the fact for which he died, and said he never saw Chater ; but being asked whether he never heard him, as he was confined so long in the next room to that in which he generally sat, made no answer.
" Eichard Mills the younger, of Stedham, coltbreaker, son of the aforesaid Eichard Mills, aged 37, would willingly have been thought innocent; and it being put to him whether he made that speech about the council of war, &c, and whether he was not at the consulta­tion, denied both ; but in the latter Tapner confronted him, and said, ' Yes, young Major, you was there;' to which Mills replied, ' Ay, for a quarter of an hour or
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