Tuesday, September 27, 2005
William Arthur - Gower Smuggler
Small remote bays such as Pwlldu and the aptly named Brandy Cove were undoubtedly used more than any other location to land 'the goodies', and it was at the nearby Great Highway Farm that Devonshire-man and illicit trader William Hawkin Arthur lived. Ideally located, Arthur soon gained the reputation of being Gower's smuggling king.
Arthur's smuggling gang would set to work as soon as a vessel had sheltered secretly within the dusk of a secluded evening shore. The illicit goods would then be swiftly unloaded and hauled by pack horses halfway through the deep valley at Bishopston to the quiet lane (today known as Smugglers' Lane) leading to Highway.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
The stranger insisted on pulling up the ‘lobster pots’, only to discover the kegs of brandy – unfortunately for the boatman and the smugglers, the stranger turned out to be the new Chief Customs Officer for Swanage and the smugglers were arrested the next time they went out to collect their loot.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Report just out....in 1813
Source: Smuggling in Kent www.digiserve.com/peter/smug.htm
Monday, September 12, 2005
Cornish Smuggler Ghost
From 'Smuggling in Cornwall'
Friday, September 09, 2005
French Peter and the Customs Man
French Peter was a smuggler who at one time had a price on his head, and a local anecdote tells how an innocent young customs man, John Tallman, visited the inn seeking information about French Peter. This inn is at Osmington, Dorset and is now called 'The Smugglers!'
"The landlord plied him with brandy and stories of French Peter's brave deeds and ferocious temper. With each glass the stories became bolder, and the young preventive's eyes wider. So when French Peter's ship, the Hirondelle, dropped anchor in the bay below the pub, Tallman was not quite so anxious to make his acquaintance. He turned to the landlord for help, and Emmanuel suggested he hide up the chimney in what is now the Old World Bar.
No sooner had the lad hauled himself up the flue but French Peter came in the door. Peter's greeting 'How do you fare, Manny?' wasn't met with the customary warmth. Emmanuel put his finger to his lips, rolled his eyes, and pointed at the large fireplace, then asked Peter if he'd like his usual glass of gin. The Frenchman, who drank only cognac (presumably not the stuff he imported) was quick to sense that something was not quite right, and replied 'I'm feeling a bit of a sea-chill today, Manny, perhaps I'll have a tot of brandy, and what about a warming fire in yonder grate?'
The two men set to work with damp twigs, heather and rotting leaves, and soon the choking smoke brought the unfortunate revenue man out of his hiding place, much to the amusement of the watching locals. After a further large tot, he was dusted off and sent back to Weymouth."
The Ordnance Survey Guide to Smugglers’ Britain, Richard Platt 1991
The Smugglers' Inn http://www.beerintheevening.com/pubs/s/13/13903/Smugglers_Inn/Osmington_Mills
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
hansomby-ponsonby seen at large