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

232                            SUSSEX SMUGGLERS.
and Sussex men by an enactment which lasted till our own day,* that no person living within fifteen miles of the sea, in those counties, should buy any wool before he entered into a bond, with sureties, that all the wool he should buy should not be sold by him to any persons within fifteen miles of the sea; and growers of wool within ten miles of the sea, in those counties, were obliged, within three days of shearing, to account for the number of fleeces, and where lodged.
All the care of the Legislature had been to no purpose; the coast men had set the law at defiance— openly carrying their wool at shearing-time, on horses' backs to the sea-shore, where French vessels were ready to receive it—and attacking fiercely anyone who ventured to interfere. Mr. W. Carter himself was sharply attacked in 1688 Having procured the necessary warrants, he repaired to Eomney Marsh, where he seized eight or ten men, who were carrying the wool on the horses' backs to be shipped, and desired the Mayor of Eomney to commit them. The Mayor— wishing, no doubt, to live a peaceful life among his neighbours—admitted them to bail. Carter and his assistants retired to Lydd, but that town was made too hot to hold them—they were attacked at night; adopt­ing the advice of the Mayor's son, they next day, December 13, came towards Eye. They were pursued by some fifty armed horsemen till they got to Camber Point; so fast were they followed, that they could not get their horses over Guilford Ferry ; but, luckily, some ships' boats gave them assistance, so that the riders got safe into the town, which had been " put into much fear:" and "had they not got into the boats,"
* 9 and 10 William III., c. 40, sees. 2 and 3.
Previous Contents Next