Showing posts with the label smuggling

The Landguard: Smuggling in the 18th Century.

The Landguard:Smuggling in the 18th Century. When it comes down to the subject of 18th century Smuggling, not much is mentioned about the unsung heroes of the Landguard. There are not to many public houses or taverns called 'The Riding Officer' ,but plenty called or referring to smuggling.  The Riding Officers and the Landguard had it tough, it was a thankless task and with the odds stacked against the Riding Officers. Those brave enough executing the job were open to corruption and danger. One such example of how dangerous being a Riding Officer was in 1740 Thomas Carswell found a stash of tea in a barn at Etchingham, East Sussex after shadowing its landing by none other than the Hawkhurst gang at Bulverhythe, Hastings. Carswell with assistance of some Dragoons recovered the tea from a barn and started to convey the tea to Hastings Customs house. However, 'Trip' Stanford, who was leading this particular landing received word about Carswell taking the tea. The  intoxica

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