Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

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

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184                            SUSSEX SMUGGLERS.
Eace. It was broken open soon after Michaelmas. I do not know the day of the month. It was a year ago last October. There was tea taken out of it.
Court. Look at the prisoners. Do you know either of them ?
Race. I know them all.
Court. Give us an account of what you know about it.
Race. I was not at the first meeting. The first time I was with them about it was in Charlton Forest, belonging to the Duke of Richmond: there was only Richard Perrin of the prisoners there then. We set our hands to a piece of paper to go and break open Poole custom-house, and take out the goods. It was Edmund Richards that set our names down; some of them met there Sunday, but I was not then with them; when we met on the Monday at Rowland's Castle, the prisoners were all there, except Kingsmill and Fairall, and were all armed when they met, with blunderbusses, carbines and pistols ; some lived thereabouts and some towards Chichester; so we met there to set out altogether. When we came to the Forest of Bere, joining to Horndean, the Hawkhurst gang met us, the prisoners Kingsmill and Fairall being with them, and they were seven in number, and brought with them, besides the horses they rode on, a little horse, which carried their arms; we went in company after we were joined, till we came to Lindhurst; there we lay all day on Tuesday, then all the prisoners were there ; then we set out for Poole in the glimpse of the evening, and came to Poole about eleven at night.
Q. Were all the prisoners armed ?
Race. To the best of my knowledge all the prisoners were armed both at Horndean in the Forest of Bere, and at Lindhurst; and when we came near the town
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