Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

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

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less ; the punishment of loss of life and limb was soon repealed. In 1341, Winchelsea, Chichester (and thirteen other ports not in Sussex), were named, from which wool might be exported, on payment of a duty of 50s. a sack ;* and licenses were granted for all who should give 40s. upon a pack of wool of 240 pounds, beyond the due custom of half-a-mark a pack. The next step taken by Edward was to regulate the price of wool; and accordingly, in 1343, an Act was passed, fixing, for three years, the price of Kent, Sussex and Middlesex wool—the best wool being fixed at nine marks (or 8/. 3s. 6d. of our money), and marsh at 100s. (or 13l. 14s. 6d. of our money), showing the distinction between the two breeds of short and long woolled sheep in this country. Similar attempts at regulating the price were, from time to time, made by the Legislature. In 1353, they gave the King duty of 50s. a sackf on exported wool; and by the same statute, Chichester was one of the ten towns in England appointed as staples for weighing the wool. Ten years later, the staple was established at Calais, and there was a prohibition on exportation elsewhere; this so lowered the price of wool, that in 1390 the growers had three, four and five years' crop unsold ; and, in the next year liberty was given to export generally, on payment of a duty. In 1363, it was declared that all merchants and others, for their ease, might ship wools at Lewes, where the customers of Chichester were directed to take the customs.* (In 1394, John Burgess, of Lewes, was
* Rymer's " Foed.," ii., p. 1158.
t A sack was to contain twenty-six stones of fourteen lbs. each, or 364 lbs.
t Prynne's " Records," 37 Edward III. 15'
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