Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

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

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132                            SUSSEX SMUGGLERS.
dangerous gangs and confederacies, that encouraged by numbers they might exercise cruelties and commit barbarities, which, abandoned as they were, they singly durst not attempt. Villains ! not to be won by lenity, despising and rejecting proffered pardons, proceeding from crime to crime, till they arrived at the highest and, until now, unheard-of pitch of wickedness: who, not content with defrauding the King in his customs and revenues; not satisfied with violating the properties and possessions, pursued the lives of his subjects and servants, whose very blood could not satiate their malice—tortures were added to aggravate the pangs of death.
Before we take leave of these wretches, and begin upon the account of that most notorious villain and murderer, John Mills, and the rest, as promised, we think it will be very necessary to inform our readers of their several behaviours at the place of execution, not mentioned before in the account given by the three clergymen.
The prisoners were brought out of the gaol about two in the afternoon of Thursday, the 19th of January, 1748-9, being the day after receiving sentence, when a company of Foot Guards and a party of Dragoons were drawn out ready to receive them, and to conduct them to the place of execution, which was about a mile out of the town. The procession was solemn and slow; and when they came to the tree, they all, except the two Mills's, behaved a little more serious than they had done before.
Carter said the sentence was just on them all, for
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