Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

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

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shore and examined a cutter I suspected to be a smuggler. After quitting her I had a sight of the Three Brothers; I discovered her to the eastward, and after discovering her she put before the wind at N.N.W. I gave her chase with all the sail I could make; I chased her from before five in the afternoon till about eleven at night. After firing several shot at her, I brought her to. I went myself on board, and found she was loaded with tea, brandy and rum. The tea was in canvas, and oilskin bags over that, the usual packing for tea intended to be run; there was a delivery of it, forty-one hundredweight and three-quarters gross weight; there were thirty-nine casks, slung with ropes, in order to load upon horses, as smuggling brandy commonly is ; there were seven persons in the cutter. I cannot say any of the prisoners at the bar were there. I carried these goods to the custom-house at Poole, and delivered them into the charge of the Collector of Customs there ; the tea was deposited in the upper part of the warehouse; the brandy and rum were lodged in another part beneath.
William Milner, Esq., was next called and sworn: I am Collector of the Customs at Poole. On the 22nd or 23rd of September, Captain Johnson brought a vessel, whose name was given to me to be the Three Brothers. She had burthen two ton of tea, thirty-nine casks of brandy and rum, and a small bag of coffee. The tea was put in the upper part over the custom-house all together, except one small bag, which was damaged, which we put by the chimney. We made it secure; but it was taken away.
Q. Give us an account how it was taken away.
Milner. On the seventh of October, between two and three in the morning, I had advice brought me by
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