Showing posts with the label Hawkhurst gang

The Hawkhurst Gang Season 1 Episode 5 The Trio of Murders !

The Hawkhurst Gang Season 1 Episode 5  The trio of Murders ! Following the Crown's humiliation of the raid on the Poole customs house, the authorities issued a reward of five hundred pounds (Approx ninety thousand pounds in today's money according to the Bank of England inflation calculator) for information leading to the conviction of those involved.  Daniel Chater saw his chance following his casual and unexpected meet with Diamond at Fordingbridge. Upon splitting up after the Poole raid some of the gang namely John 'Smoker' Mills and Jeremiah 'Butler' Curtis chose a different route via Slindon Common and stashed tea at a barn. On 13th of January 1748 they returned for their stash of tea and found the innocent Richard Hawkins working out of the barn thrashing corn. Mills and Curtis accused Hawkins of stealing their tea. Hawkins denied it. The Hawkhurst pair produced their pistols and forced Richard Hawkins to go with them to the Dog and Partridge pub at Slindo

The Hawkhurst gang Season 1 Episode 4 The Raid on Poole

  The Hawkhurst Gang Season 1 Episode 4 The Raid on Poole. "If Poole was a fish pool, and the men of Poole fish, There'd be a pool for the Devil and fish for his dish!" On the 22nd of September 1747. The Three Brothers cut through the English Channel swell, the morning mist had lifted. Portland stuck out over the portside and Wight on the starboard. She made sail for Lymington, Christchurch Bay, Dorset. She was carrying Tea,Brandy,Rum and some interesting passengers, Richard Perin and John Diamond of the Hawkhurst gang. The crew of the Three Brothers sighted through their spyglasses, the fast approaching privateer the Swift closing in at speed after giving chase at 5pm.According to the Old Bailey trial documents concerning the Poole raid, the Swift opened fire on the T hree Brothers which ended the chase at around 11pm. Captain Johnson then boarded and made this discovery ' she was loaded with tea, brandy, and rum. The tea was in canvas and oil-skin, over that the u

The Hawkhurst gang Season 1 Episode 3. The Battle of Goudhurst.

The Hawkhurst Gang Season 1 Episode 3.   The Battle of Goudhurst 1747. Goudhurst, a pretty village in the Kent weald countryside was to host a significant battle between the infamous Hawkhurst gang and the villagers of Goudhurst led by 29 year old 'General' George Sturt (a former soldier) who led the militia group.   "that on the 21st of April 1747 He would attack Goudhurst, kill the residents (broil their hearts)......and burn the place to the ground." - Thomas Kingsmill about the village of Goudhurst. Thomas Kingsmill a native of Goudhurst and now the Boss of the gang faced his first challenge since the incarceration of Arthur Gray and the capture of his brother William Gray by the lesser known Cranbrook Association. The gang must have been demoralised by the loss of such senior members and therefore it now fell to Kingsmill to raise morale and assert his authority not just with gang members, but with locals too. Kingsmill had to control of the roads to ensure the

The Hawkhurst Gang Season 1 Episode 2

The Hawkhurst Gang Season 1 Episode 2 As the gang entered the 1740s, expansion west to the more accessible and flat beaches of West Sussex was an obvious business move. Gray and by now the notorious bunch of men who followed, were expanding by amalgamating with other gangs  through alliances and hostile take overs. This could be described in contemporary terms as a 'turf war'. Arguably, the struggle for Gray was not necessarily the Revenue and Dragoons as they were thinly spread, it would have been the other gangs.  Smuggling was a battle of survival, hearts, minds and only the fittest or maybe in this case the cruelest would survive. The lawlessness continued..... Mermaid Street, Rye. On right pub sign for the Mermaid Inn. A regular haunt for the gangs as well as other villains was Rye, East Sussex. The Transport gang led by Jeremiah Curtis (aka Alexander Pollard) worked with John Grayling in the Hastings area. Hastings would have been rich pickings in the 1740s with its beach

The Hawkhurst Gang Season 1 Episode 1.

        The Hawkhurst Gang Season 1 Episode 1.       The 18th century made for a hard life and arguably, the Civil war made no material difference to working families as they remained poor and isolated, usually tied to an area for labouring purposes. There was no welfare state to take care of these families. If you were poor you were poor ! The smuggling gangs (or free traders) offered relief for all. For example, a tub-man could earn more money than his day job walking overnight contraband to a tavern. The said tavern could then sell that contraband with no tax paid and enhance its profit to customers in need of a beverage. The big profits of course went to the financiers and city merchants in London who also were slave traders and the wealthy, what could be described today as the the elite and richest one per cent. Some of those families and companies exist today and it is worth mentioning they are still very good at avoiding tax ! Smuggled goods where accessible to the poor, such a