Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

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

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252                            SUSSEX SMUGGLERS.
after his father's execution, he met with Richard Hawkins, put him on horseback and carried him to the Dog and Partridge on Slindon Common, where Mills and his companions accused him of having stolen two bags of tea; and on his denying it, flogged and kicked him to death, and then, carrying his body twelve miles, tied stones to it and sunk it in a pond in Parham Park. Mills was entrapped to the house of an outlawed smuggler named William Pring, at Beckenham, and there betrayed. He was tried and convicted at the assizes holden at East Grinstead, and there hung on Aug. 12, 1749, being conducted to the place of execution by a guard of soldiers, as a rescue was feared from the smugglers ; and after execution, he was hung in chains on Slindon Common. Others of the gang were tried at the same assizes as highwaymen, and executed. At length two of the smugglers, who had been evidence against the men hanged at Chichester, gave information as to the place of meeting of Kingsmill, Fairall, Perrin and Glover; they were arrested for the breaking open of the custom-house at Poole, tried at Newgate, and convicted,* Glover being recommended by the jury to the royal mercy. Fairall behaved most insolently on the trial, and threatened one of the witnesses; Glover exhibited penitence; but Kingsmill and Perrin insisted that they had not been guilty of any robbery, because they only took the goods that once belonged to them. Perrin's body was directed to be given to his friends, and he was lamenting the fate of his associates, when Fairall said: " We shall be hanging up in the sweet air, when you are rotting in your grave;" and the night before his execution,
* See p. 131 of the same work as referred to on previous page.
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