King's Cutters and Smugglers 1700-1855 eBook

Edward Keble Chatterton
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 351 pages of information about King's Cutters and Smugglers 1700-1855.

The remainder of the story is but brief.  For, at last, the seven men succeeded in pulling the boat away in spite of all the crowd’s efforts, and dragged it even across a couple of fields, where there was a road.  Here a conveyance was waiting ready, and thus the boat was taken away, and at a later date Vye was duly prosecuted by the Crown for his share in the proceedings.


[20] “Gays” was evidently trade slang to denote bandanna silk handkerchiefs, which were frequently smuggled, and some of which were found on board.



By an Order in Council of May 5, 1821, it was directed that henceforth all sums which were awarded for arrests on shore of any person concerned in smuggling should be paid in the following proportions.  He who made the arrest was to have three-quarters of the reward, which was to be divided into equal proportions if there were more than one person.  If there were any officer or officers present at the time of arrest, these were to have one quarter of the reward.  The officer commanding the party was to have two shares, each of the other officers having one share.  The reward payable for a smuggler convicted and transferred to the Navy amounted to L20.  And here let it be added that the persons liable to arrest in regard to smuggling were:  (1) Those found on smuggling vessels; (2) Those found unloading or assisting to unload such craft; (3) Those found to be carrying away the landed goods or concerned in hiding the same.  But before conviction it was essential to prove that the seized spirits were foreign; that the vessel had come from foreign parts; that the party who detained the smugglers was a Customs Officer; and that the offenders were taken before a proper magistrate.

We now come to the year 1821, when the Commissioners of Inquiry made an important report touching the Revenue service.  They suggested that the Riding Officers were not valuable in proportion to their cost, and so it came about that the Inspectors and superior officers, as well as a large number of the inferior classes, were dispensed with, but a small percentage of the lowest class was retained as a Preventive Mounted Guard, the annual cost of this being only the modest sum of L5000.  This Preventive Guard was to be employed in watching for any gatherings of smugglers, and whenever any goods might be landed and carried up into the country, they were to be followed up by the members of this guard.  They were also to maintain a communication between the different stations.

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King's Cutters and Smugglers 1700-1855 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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