Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

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

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SUSSEX SMUGGLERS.                             177
a true and thorough repentance of all their past wicked lives and actions, being well assured that they had been smugglers many years, and that they had belonged to a gang, who committed many robberies, such as robbing houses in the same manner as the indictment had charged Diprose, Bartlett and Priggs; and also with having committed many robberies on the highway, besides other vile outrages, as well as smuggling.
They all behaved indifferently well under their unhappy circumstances, much better than those who had been smugglers generally did, and frequently prayed to God with great fervency, and were seemingly very sorry for their past misspent lives.
Thomas Potter, born at Hawkhurst, in Kent, twenty-eight years of age, declared he had been a very wicked sinner, and that he had been guilty of all manner of crimes except murder; which he declared he never was ; though he confessed he did design to murder the turnkey of Newgate, when he went to get Grey and Kemp out of gaol; but that he was glad it happened no worse than it did, and that he often prayed the man might recover of the wounds he gave him ; and that when he heard he was well again, he said it gave him great satisfaction.
He absolutely denied the fact for which he suffered, but acknowledged that he had committed crimes sufficient to have hanged him for many years past.
He refused to make any particular confession, but acknowledged that he had been a smuggler many years; and that he was well acquainted with the Kemps, Brown and Fuller: also with the Mills's, as likewise with Winter the Coachman, and Shoemaker Tom, who were both admitted evidences against their companions at Horsham. 12
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