Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

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

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SUSSEX SMUGGLERS.                             229
The Parliaments of Mary, Elizabeth and James granted the high duty of 1l. 13s. 6d. a sack on wool exported by natives, and double the amount by foreigners. It is noticeable that at this time short wools had become of still less value; and that the long Cotswold wool had come into the most favour.
These restrictions operated very prejudicially on the trade ; and in 1572 the Company of Woolmen petitioned the Queen to take off the restraints imposed by the act of the preceding year and by Edward VI.;* and five years afterwards (1577) the scarcity and high price were so great as to give rise to grave complaints against the merchants of the staple from the clothiers of Wilts, Worcester, Gloucester and Essex f (then the principal seats of the woollen manufacture). In August of that year commissioners were appointed in sundry counties to have the special oversight for the restraint of the unlawful buying and engrossing wool; t and towards the close of the reign of James I. (in 1621-24-26) bills were introduced prohibiting all exportation of wool.§
On April 17, 1630, Charles I. also published a proclamation against the export of wool, but still granted licenses. In 1647, in consequence of the high price, an ordinance passed wholly prohibiting the exportation of wool and Fuller's Earth.j| Again, on November 18, 1656, a further proclamation was issued against the exportation ; yet it was avowed, by an
* MSS. State Paper, Domestic, Lemon, p. 456. t Ibid., p. 550. 2 Ibid., p. 554.
§ It was prohibited, without license, by proclamation, July 20, 1622.
|| Fuller's Earth was found at Nutley Common, in Sussex.
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