Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

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

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SUSSEX SMUGGLERS.
L'.V.
their mission to be known ; but the day after their arrival, the Mayor (who was supposed to have aided in the evidence) was assaulted in the town, because he would not tell what the soldiers came for; the soldiers were thereupon called out, and several arrests made of parties, who were conveyed to the Marshalsea. At the Admiralty sessions holden on Oct. 30, 1869, Thomas Phillips, elder and younger, William and George Phillips, Mark Chatfield, Eobert Webb, Thomas and Samuel Ailsbury, James and Richard Hyde, William Geary, alias Justice, alias George Wood, Thomas Knight and William Wenham, were indicted for the piracy of " The Three Sisters," and capitally convicted; and of these Thomas Ailsbury, William Geary, William Wenham, and Richard Hyde were hung at Execution Dock, Nov. 27.
So great was the panic occasioned by these arrests, that a shop-keeper, reported to be worth 10,000, absconded on information of having bought goods of the smugglers.*
In 1779 it became necessary to pass another act against smuggling; and, in a pamphlet making the new law known,-)- it is stated that the practice of smuggling had made such rapid strides from the sea-coasts into the very heart of the country, pervading every city, town, and village, as to have brought universal distress on the fair dealer ; that the greater part of the 3,867,500 gallons distilled annually at Schiedam, was to be smuggled into England; that a distillery had
* "Public Advertiser," Nov. 10, 1768.
t " Advice to the Unwary," 1780. The well - known "Smugglers' Act" was passed in 1736 : it was modified in 1779 and 1784 ; and a review of all the statutes relating to the subject was made January 5, 1826.
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