Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

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

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criminals as given by the ordinary of Newgate; and afterwards conclude this book with a relation of some of the most notorious actions committed by them, and which have been communicated by their confederates.
Thomas Kingsmill, alias Stay maker, aged 28, was born at Goodhurst, in Kent, a young fellow of enter­prising spirit, and for some years past employed by the chiefs of the smugglers, the moneyed men or merchants, as they are usually amongst themselves called, in any dangerous exploits. As his character in general among his countrymen was that of a bold, resolute man, undaunted, and fit for the wicked purposes of smuggling, and never intimidated, in case of any suspicion of betraying their secrets, ready to oppose King's officers in their duty, and being concerned in rescues of any sort or kind, so he wanted not business, but was made a companion for the greatest of them all, and was always at that service when wanted and called upon.
He would own nothing of himself, and was scarce to be persuaded that he had done anything amiss by following the bad practices of smuggling.
He acknowledged he was present at the breaking open of the custom-house, and that he had a share of the tea; and said what was sworn at the trial was all truth; but that they must be bad men to turn evidence to take away other people's lives.
William Fairall, alias Shepherd, aged 25, was born at Horsendown Green, in Kent, bred to no business, but inured to smuggling from his infancy, and acquainted with most of the evil practices which have been used in those parts for some years past. In this behaviour he seemed equally as well qualified for the work as was Kingsmill, and it is generally believed that they were both concerned together in most of their undertakings.
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