Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

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

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one of the officers, that the custom-house was broken open; the staples were forced out of the posts; about five or six feet farther there was another door broken; at the door of my office the upper panel was broken in pieces, as if done with a hatchet, by which means they could more easily come at the lock, which was broken ; and another door leading into the warehouse was also broken in pieces, so that there was a free passage made up to the tea warehouse, and the tea all carried off, except what was scattered over the floor, and one bag of about five or six pounds and the bag of coffee. They never attempted the brandy and rum.
Q. Did anybody ever come to claim the brandy and rum ?
Milner. No, for it was condemned in the Exchequer.
Q. Was the tea in such sort of packages as the East India Company have ?
Milner. No, sir, it was packed as is usual for run tea, and the brandy was in small casks all slung ready to fling over the horses.
The counsel for the crown having done examining Mr. Milner, proceeded to call several witnesses who were concerned in the fact; and in order that nothing but justice might be done, and the truth only appear against them, the witnesses were called in separately, so that Steel, who was the second, was not admitted into court till Eace, who was the first examined, had gone through his evidence; and Fogden, who was the third and last examined, was likewise not suffered to go into Court till Steel had done.
John Eace was called and sworn ; who being asked if he knew the custom-house at Poole, answered, " I do know the custom-house at Poole."
Q. Do you know any thing of its being broken open ?
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