Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

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

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kicking, him, the said Richard Hawkins, over the face, head, arms, belly, and private parts : of which wounds, bruises, kicks and stripes he instantly died. And John Reynolds was indicted for aiding, assisting, comforting and abetting the said John Mills, alias Smoker, and Jeremiah Curtis, alias Butler, alias Pollard, and Richard Rowland, alias Robb (both not yet taken), in the murder of the said Richard Hawkins.
The counsel for the King were Mr. Staples, Mr. Steele, recorder of Chichester, Mr. Burrel, Mr. Smythe (one of the king's counsel, learned in the law, and member of Parliament for East Grinstead, in the county of Sussex), and Mr. Serjeant Wynn.
One of the counsel for the King having opened the indictment, Mr. Smythe observed to the court and jury that the practice of smuggling having prevailed all over the kingdom, particularly in that and the neighbouring counties, to so great a degree, and the persons concerned therein became so very audacious, that a great many murders were committed, and very barbarous ones too, upon such persons who should show the least inclination to prevent their pernicious practices. That the murder for which the present prisoners were indicted, was one of the most bloody and most cruel that ever was perpe­trated in this, or any other civilized nation, except in two others that had happened in this county; that the prisoner Mills seemed to have the honour of committing the first, and setting the example of this species of most terrible murders, though some persons who committed the other murder had been first brought to justice. That many people were induced to think smuggling was no crime at all, or if it was one, but a very small one, it was but cheating the King, and that was no harm; not at all considering that it is a crime not only against
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