SMUGGLING IN SUSSEX.
BY WILLIAM DURRANT COOPER, ESQ., F.S.A. Reprinted from Vol. X. of the "Sussex Archaeological Collections."
The system of smuggling in Sussex and the neighbouring counties on the sea-coast, dates from a period long prior to that in which heavy customs duties on imports encouraged, what is locally and technically called, " the free-trader."
The southern counties were first used for an illicit export trade in wool; and, till after the reign of Charles I., it was only during our wars with France, Holland and Spain, when the products of those countries were prohibited here, that there was an illicit import trade of any magnitude.
A few notes on the wool trade will best illustrate the origin of the illegal export of that article, of which Dryden in his " King Arthur," says:—
Though Jason's fleece was famed of old, The British wool is growing gold,
No mines can more of wealth supply. It keeps the peasant from the cold,
And takes for kings the Tyrian dye.
In the reign of Edward I., among the articles of inquiry before the jurors on the hundred rolls, 1274,