Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

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

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250                             SUSSEX SMUGGLEES.
Stedham, and had been with his father in business. It seems that, on February 14, 1748, Galley and Chater were on their road to Major Battine's, at Stan stead, to have Chater's evidence taken, when they were induced to stop at the White Hart, at Rowland's Castle, the landlady of which, being afraid that they were going to hurt the smugglers, sent for Jackson and Carter, and communicated her suspicions to them ; others of the gang came in, and Carter soon got from Chater the real business. The men were then made nearly drunk, and put to bed; from which they were awoken to be tied to one horse, with their legs under the belly, and to be whipped till they fell twice, with their heads under. They were then taken to a well in Lady Holt Park, where Galley was taken from the horse and threatened to be thrown into the well; this, however, the smugglers did not do, but, putting him again upon the horse, whipped him to death on the Downs, and then dug a hole and buried him. Chater was then chained in a turf-house, from which, after being maimed in his nose and eyes by a knife, he was taken in the dead of the night to Harris's Well, and Tapner, having fastened a noose round Chater's neck, bid him get over the pales of the well; they tied one end of the rope to the pales, and pushed him into the well; the rope, however, was short, and he, being some time without becoming strangled, they then untied him and threw him head­foremost into the well; and, to stop his groans, threw upon him the rails and gate-posts round the well, and large stones. Galley's body was found by Mr. Stone whilst hunting; and six miles off, in the well, the body of Chater. The murderers were tried at a special assize for smugglers, holden at Chichester, before three judges —Sir Michael Forster, Knight, Sir Thomas Birch,
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