Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

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

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of Poole, we sent two men to see if all things were clear for us to go to work, in breaking the ware­house, &c. The men were Thomas Willis and Thomas Stringer; Thomas Willis came to us and said " There is a large sloop laying up against the quay; she will plant her guns to the custom-house door, and tear us in pieces, so it cannot be done." We were turning our horses to go back, when Kingsmill and Fairall and the rest of their countrymen said, " If you will not do it, we will go and do it ourselves." This was the Hawkhurst gang. John and Eichard Mills were with them; we call them the East-country people; they were fetched to help to break the custom-house. Some time after this, while we were consulting what we should do, Thomas Stringer returned and said the tide was low, and that the vessel could not bring her guns to bear to fire upon us. Then we all went forward to Poole. We rode down a little back lane on the left side the town, and came to the seaside. Just by this place we quitted our horses '■> Perrin and Lilliwhite stayed there to look after them.
Court. Why did you leave Perrin and Lilliwhite with the horses, more than anybody else ?
Race. Because Perrin was troubled sometimes with the rheumatism, and not able to carry the goods so well as the rest; and Lilliwhite was a young man and had never been with us before."
Court. Well, go forward with your evidence.
Eace. We went forward, and, going along, we met a lad, a fisherman; we kept him a prisoner. When we came to the custom-house, we broke open the door of the inside; and when we found where the tea was, we took it away. There was about thirty-seven hundred­weight and three quarters. We brought it to the horses, and slung it with the slings, and loaded our
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