Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

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

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156                             SUSSEX SMUGGLERS.
Mills's behaviour was very unbecoming one under his circumstances; but before we proceed to say any­thing more of this criminal, we will give the particulars of his being apprehended. The 31 st January last, a proclamation was issued for the apprehending several notorious smugglers that were concerned in the murder of Eichard Hawkins, of Yapton, naming this John Mills as one of them, promising his Majesty's pardon to anyone who should apprehend or give infor­mation of any of the offenders, although such informer was an outlawed smuggler, provided he was not concerned in any murder, or in breaking open his Majesty's warehouse at Poole. Now William Pring, who was a witness against the said Mills and the two Kemps, knowing himself to be an outlawed smuggler, yet not concerned in murder, nor in breaking open the warehouse at Poole, resolves, if possible, to get his own pardon by taking some of those offenders. To this purpose he applied to a great man in power, informing him that he knew Mills, and that if he could be assured of his own pardon, he would endeavour to take him, for he was pretty certain to find him either at Bristol or Bath, where he knew he was gone to sell some run goods. Being assured of his pardon he set out accord­ingly, and at Bristol unexpectedly found the two Kemps with him, whom he likewise knew as being notorious smugglers. They then began to talk about their affairs. Mills was in a proclamation for twro murders, that of Chater and that of Hawkins. Thomas Kemp was advertised for breaking out of Newgate, and Lawrence Kemp was outlawed by proclamation, and both the Kemps were concerned in robbing one farmer Havendon.
After talking over matters together, and observing that all their cases were very desperate, Pring, as a
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