Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

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

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SUSSEX SMUGGLERS.                             173
warning by their untimely end, particularly all young people.
After they had said their prayers some time, they were all tied up to the gallows and turned out of a cart, crying to the Lord to receive their souls.
We shall now give our readers, as we promised, an account of those four notorious smugglers, tried also at the assizes at Rochester, for the county of Kent, for divers robberies, and who were executed on Pickenden Heath, near Maidstone; whose method of robbing was going in the evening, disguised, and getting into houses, then binding all the family and robbing the same.
Stephen Diprose and James Bartlett were indicted, together with John Crumpton, not yet taken, for forcibly entering the dwelling-house of John Rich, of Linton, in the county of Kent, on the 31st of October last, putting him in fear of his life, and feloniously taking away 1701. in money, one small box and three gold rings.
The prosecutor deposed that about six o'clock in the evening on the 31st of October, somebody knocked at the door, and on his servant going to see who it was, four men rushed in, all disguised, with pistols and cutlasses in their hands. When they came in they demanded money, and asked him where his money was, upon which he desired they would be easy, and he would give them what he had. But they put one over him, and two of them went and rilled the house; and when they were gone he missed the money, &c, mentioned in the indictment.
Thomas Rogers, an accomplice in the fact, was next called, who deposed that he, the prisoners Stephen Diprose and James Bartlett;, and John Crumpton, not yet taken, agreed to go and get some money upon the
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