Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

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

Home | Order | Support | About | Contact | Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

SUSSEX SMUGGLERS.                                227
1436, wharves* were assigned for the shipping of wool, to avoid the damage done to the King by those who shipped their wools in divers secret places and creeks, " stealing and conveying the same, not customed, to divers parts beyond the seas, and not to Calais." The shippers were required to find sureties and to bring back from Calais certificates of unlading there.
The price of wool fell considerably ; and, in 1454, it was not much more than two-thirds of its price 110 years previously; the wool-growers were alarmed, and their representatives in the Commons complained of the great " abundance of wools, as well by stealth as by license, uttered into the parts beyond the sea,"+ and prayed that wool might not be sold under certain prices ; Shropshire marsh wool was fixed at fourteen marks ; Kent at 3l., instead of 100s.; Sussex at 50s.; and Hants at seven marks a sack; whilst in the next reign (of Edward IV.) it was enacted that no alien should export wool, and denizens only to Calais.
In 1547, under Edward VI., complaints were made as to the falling-off in the amount of duty due to the crown ; the irregularity with which it was paid; and the mode in which the price was artificially raised by the merchants. An enquiry was directed into the rate of subsidy due to the King, and the weight and quality of the wool in England and Calais;I and a bill was introduced for regulating the buying by staplers and clothiers. In the year 1548, the act against regrating was continued.
About this time, it would seem that the woollen
* Act 15 Henry VI., c. 8.
t "Rot, Pari.," v., p. 274.
X Acts 5 and 6 Edward VI., c. 6.
Previous Contents Next