The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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168                   THE SUSSEX COAST
one Tree on a Carriage, which they call there a Tug, drawn by Two-and-twenty oxen; and even then 'tis carry'd so little a Way, and then thrown down, and left for other Tugs to take up and carry on, that sometimes 'tis Two or Three Tears before it gets to Chatham."
The patrons of the smugglers were among the most honourable in the land; for instance, on August 22, 1717, Alexander Pope gave the follow­ing elegantly worded order to one, John Caryll, a Sussex squire of Jacobite proclivities. "I beg you to do me a familiar or rather domestic piece of service. It is, when a hogshead of good French wine falls into your hands—whether out of the skies or whatever element that pays no customs— that you would favour me with about twelve dozen of it at the price you give."
Unfortunately for the smugglers an unsympa­thetic Government, anxious to collect its duties, organised an effective system of coastguards, which enormously increased the risks of their calling and practically stamped out the industry. A return to Protection would have but little chance of restoring the venerable trade (excepting in the poor spirited and feeble form of secreting objects of value in hat, pocket, umbrella, or port­manteau bottom), for tobacco and alcohol, by far the most usual freight handled by the old smugglers, have never ceased to be liable to duty.
From the entrance to Shoreham Harbour, with its rather depressing surroundings, one passes in a few hundred yards to the tree-hidden village of Kingston, where house and church stand side by side amid beautiful shrubberies and lawns. From the twelfth to the fourteenth century the place belonged to the Norman family of de Buci or
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