Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

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

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202                             SUSSEX SMUGGLERS.
account of such of their wicked actions as have come to our knowledge.
About two years since William Fairall was appre­hended as a smuggler in Sussex, and being carried before James Butler, Esq., near Lewes, was ordered by that gentleman to be brought to London, in order to be tried for the same. They brought him quite safe to an inn in the Borough overnight, in order to carry him before Justice Hammond the next morning, but he found means to escape from the guards; and seeing a horse stand in Blackmail Street, he got upon it and rode away, though in the presence of several people.
He made the best of his way into Sussex, to his gang, who were surprised at seeing him, knowing he was carried to London under a strong guard but three days before; but he soon informed them how he got away, and his lucky chance of stealing the horse.
They were no sooner met than he declaied vengeance against Mr. Butler, and proposed many ways to be revenged. First to destroy all the deer in his park, and all his trees, which was readily agreed to; but Fairall, Kingsmill and John Mills, executed on Slindon Common, and many more of them, declared that would not satisfy them ; and accordingly they proposed to set fire to his seat, one of the finest in the county of Sussex, and burn him in it; but this most wicked proposal was objected to by three of the gang, namely, Thomas Winter, alias the Coachman, one Stephens and one Slaughter, commonly called Captain Slaughter, who protested against setting the house on fire or killing the gentleman ; and great disputes arose among them, and they parted at that time without putting any of their villainous proposals into execution; but Fairall, Kingsmill and some more of the gang were determined
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