by the mounted patrol ; so they had a number of egg-
boxes constructed with hollow sides, in which they packed
the silks. They imported a cargo of eggs, landed and
cleared them, packed them in the silk-lined egg-boxes,
and sent them to London by waggon.
238 PERIOD OF GRADUAL RELAXATIONS [1829-30
nected with the business gave information to the Customs,
and eggs and silks were seized on arrival.
Repeated information arrived as to the doings of the
Grace of Gweek. She was stated to have been often at
Roscoff, engaged in loading contraband, and to have
frequently met French vessels at sea, taken in contraband
goods, and landed them near Land's End. Her crew
were described as ' the three brothers Carlyon of Coverack,
We quote from the Dover list (April 5, 1829, to June 5,
1830) the seizures made by the officers employed in
examining imports and clearing passengers' baggage.
April 6, 1829. — 2 pairs silk stockings, 2 lace veils, i lace
scarf, 132 yards lace.
April 9. — 24 pieces of chip (for hats).
April 14. — 44 yards silk, i silk handkerchief, i pair silk
braces, i silk waistcoat, i silk cravat, 3 yards merino,
3 pairs leathern gaiters, 14 pairs leathern gloves, i book
containing 50 prints, 2 pairs earrings, 6 buttons, 6 metal
forks, I inkstand, i piece porcelain, 5 yards thread lace.
Another seizure of 2 yards velvet, 31 yards silk, 4 silk
handkerchiefs, i reticule, 12 reels and 21 skeins floss silk,
I silk band, i cushion, 2 worked muslin caps, 5 necklaces,
66 buttons, i pair bracelets, 6 snuff-boxes, 3 pairs leathern
gloves, I book containing 50 prints, i piece glass, 3 ounces
beads, 2 salt glasses, 4 decanter-stands, 2 pairs earrings,
I pair eardrops, i cream-jug.
Another of 12 yards silk, 3 yards merino, 4 wineglasses,
3 fans, I necklace, 4 pairs earrings, 2 glass balls, 5 papers
pins, and sundry beads.
April 23. — 224 yards silk riband.
April 30. — 446 yards blond lace.
May 2. — 13 pairs leather gloves.
May 8. — 22 yards silk, 2 flasks eau-de-Cologne, 2|-
May 10. — I clock.
May 13. — 16 flasks eau-de-Cologne, 136 yards silk
1829-30] THE DOVER RETURNS 239
May 14. — 47 yards cotton fringe, 24 flasks eau-de-
Cologne, 2f pounds tea, i trunk.
May ly. — 8 pairs silk stockings.
May ig. — i merino shawl.
May 23. — 9I pounds tea, 6 pairs gloves.
June 10. — 3 cambric petticoats.
June II. — 6 cartons manufactured hair.
June 16. — 36 packs playing-cards.
June 19. — 22 pieces lace.
July 8. — 3 musical boxes, 26 musical snuff-boxes, 18
July II. — 14 ounces plain silk, 10 ounces figured gauze,
I ounce silk gauze, 2 ounces figured silk.
July 13. — 7 pounds tea, 7 flasks eau-de-Cologne.
July 15. — 46 bottles and 50 flasks perfumery, 4 silk
The list proceeds in much the same fashion up to June,
1830. Now and then larger seizures occur, of which a
few appear below.
A seizure of 55 pounds vultures' feathers. Another of
44 yards silk riband, 2,170 ' porcelain teeth,' 300 human
teeth, and i bracelet. Another of 2 silk bonnets, 8 silk
dresses, 2 silk aprons, and 2 silk waistcoats. Another of
16 silk dresses, 24 pieces trimming, 4 silk tippets, 26 em-
broidered caps, 37 embroidered tippets, 42 pieces em-
broidery, I embroidered dress, and 8 bonnets. The list
shows seizures of musical instruments, percussion caps,
stained paper, ostrich feathers, and many other curios.
The rummaging staff at Dover are credited with three
tolerable seizures during the same period — one of a sloop
and 27 casks brandy ; one of a boat with 789 yards silk
and 544 yards riband ; and one of a ' raft ' of spirits, con-
taining 65 tubs. The Coast blockade at Dover seized
during the same period a boat with 14 tubs spirits, a boat
with 9 tubs, a four-oared boat with 167 tubs, 4 boats with
32 tubs, 2 boats with 229 tubs, a boat with 47 tubs, a boat
with 23 tubs, a boat with 37 tubs, and a boat with 35 tubs,
amounting in all to about 1,914 gallons spirits, besides an
240 PERIOD OF GRADUAL RELAXATIONS [1830-31
immense number of ' sunken tubs crept up/ in parcels of
from I to 10.
Below is a list of large seizures made during 1830-31 :
March 22, 1830. — By the Hastings Coast blockade.
The boat Mary, with 1,706 pounds tobacco and 487
March 31, — By the Hastings Coast blockade. The
smack Neptune, with 2,971 pounds tobacco and 1,389
May 29.— By the Margate Coast blockade. 2,439 yards
figured silk, 1,265 yards black silk, 3,667 yards coloured
silk, 35,825 yards silk gauze, and 4,607 yards Petersham
June 23. — By the Rochester Coast blockade. The
coasting brig Industry, with coals, and concealed beneath
the coals 1,850 gallons spirits, 2,688 pounds tea, and
41,110 yards silk gauze, which had been taken on board at
September 22. — By the Rochester Coast blockade. The
coasting sloop William, laden with oats, and 1,974 gallons
spirits and 1,203 pounds tea as above.
January 16, 1831. — By the Ramsgate Coast blockade.
3,940 pieces silk gauze, 1,515 ells crape, 5 silk dresses, a
velvet skirt, 1,591 pounds tea, and a half-anker of brandy.
An ingenious fraud was discovered at Southampton
early in 1831. A consignment of casks of cider from
Jersey was examined closely, and the officers found that
sections of the upper part of each cask were diagonally
' blocked off,' and that tobacco had been packed in the
spaces thus created.
The Coast blockade was abolished in 1831, as previously
stated. This force had been established in 1817, for
special protection of the coast of Kent and Sussex. The
blockade men had made many important seizures, yet
the authorities had never imposed implicit confidence in
them. The force was practically independent of the
Board's control, yet disagreements often occurred between
the Board and the Admiralty on account of its proceed-
1831-32] A NEW PREVENTIVE FORCE 241
ings. A committee inquired into the protection of the
Revenue in 1821, commented unfavourably upon the
constitution and discipHne of the force, and urged that it
should be governed by the Customs Board. Much corre-
spondence ensued, the Board losing no opportunity of be-
littling the blockade men, a task in which they were ably
supported by several of the collectors at the outports —
notably by the collector of Shoreham, whose confidential
reports on the matter contained most remarkable state-
ments. He declared that the force was composed prin-
cipally of ' raw Irishmen,' who had never been on board
ship previous to their taking passage for England, and of
old and worn-out seamen ; that the disciphne enforced
was barbarous, there being many cases of brutal flogging ;
and that when seamen were required for the expedition
to Navarino in 1829 not one-third of the men were found
fit for naval service. (After the Coast blockade was
abolished, the Revenue Coastguard took over the duties,
and the Board thus regained control of the whole of the
A report made by a revenue spy in May, 1831, seems
to show that there had been good reason for suspecting
the integrity of the blockade men. It stated that
smuggling was suspended in Kent and Sussex since the
abolition of the Coast blockade, as the various contraband
syndicates were busily studying the methods of the new
force, but that at one of the ports the smugglers had
actually stolen an eight-oared galley belonging to the
Coastguard, and taken her to Calais. A fleet of galleys lay
at that port, waiting orders from England. Later came a
report from Rye that in consequence of the suspension of
smuggling the price of spirits had risen from about 50s.
to £4 a tub.
The preventive regulations were strengthened during
1832 by the clauses in Cap. 84 enacting forfeiture of goods
fraudulently concealed in packages entered on biU of sight,
and liability of unauthorized enterers of goods and of
hirers of smuggling parties, and giving power to customs
242 PERIOD OF GRADUAL RELAXATIONS [1832
officers to stop and examine vehicles without being liable
to action at law if such examination were fruitless. It
was also directed that fishing and pilot vessels should be
painted black (that they might be readily distinguished
It had become a common practice with smugglers to
furnish false information, and to make demonstrations of
runs at certain places, in order to lure the preventive men
into watching and visiting the places in question. While
the guards were thus occupied, genuine runs were made
at other places.
There can be no doubt that some of the preventive men
were inclined to use weapons with remarkable prompti-
tude. Early in the morning of December 23, 1832, two
coastguardsmen named Carter and Lovell, stationed at
Weymouth, saw a fore-and-aft vessel hovering of^ ' the
old Sluice.' Then a boat with five men appeared, plough-
ing through the surf, and beached safely. The coast-
guardsmen fired a rocket as a signal for assistance, and
ran towards her ; the smugglers leaped out and escaped.
Attached to the boat by a warp were many tubs of spirits.
The coastguardsmen loaded their pistols, expecting an
attempt at rescue ; nor were they deceived, for up came a
number of men armed with sticks, who began to cut the
tubs loose. One of the men knocked Lo veil's cutlass
from his hand, and another attacked Carter, who at once
opened fire. The smugglers then dispersed, carrying off
many of the tubs. Assistance arrived, and the officers
collected 65 tubs of spirits, and found two of the
smugglers, named Webber and Burt, lying dead on the
beach. Mr. Thackeray, the Customs Lawyer who was
sent from London to attend the inquest, reported thus on
the result : ' The jury came to the best conclusion I have
ever known a Dorsetshire jury to do where smugglers
were concerned.' The verdict ran thus : ' The deceased,
James Webber and George Burt, came by their deaths by
being shot with pistol balls by some officers in the service-
of the Coastguard in the execution of their duty, for thi
i832] REVENUE WAR 243
preservation of themselves and to prevent the rescuing
of contraband goods which they had seized in the king's
Another and much more desperate melee occurred in the
Folkestone district. Information having been received
by Lieutenant Parry of the Coastguard that a ' forced
landing ' would be attempted at ' No. 5 Guard,' that
officer placed himself in ambush with a party of his
men, and soon after nightfall a boat laden with kegs of
spirits ran in through the surf. On the officers attempting
seizure, about 200 people, armed with clubs and guns,
appeared on the beach, and a battle-royal ensued. The
smugglers were beaten off, and one of them was killed.
Two of the coastguardsmen were badly injured, and Lieu-
tenant Parry received seven severe wounds, all in front.
The officers captured the boat and kegs, and took them
into Rye, bearing their wounded and the dead smuggler
with them. The Admiralty Minute on the papers read
thus : ' Inform the Board of Customs and Lieutenant
Parry that in approbation of the gallant conduct of the
lieutenant their Lordships have promoted him to the
rank of commander.'
Another battle-royal took place at St. Leonards. The
coastguard, under the command of Lieutenant Palmer,
came upon a party engaged in a run, and were at once
attacked by a squad of ' batmen, ' who beat them most
severely ; but Palmer and his men killed several of the
smugglers, and captured a boat and 46 ankers of brandy.
(Palmer was promoted for this and similar services in 1839.)
It must not be thought that all revenue officers were
like Messrs. Parry and Palmer. The inspecting com-
mander of Coastguard at Carne, Ireland, was by no means
inclined to take risks. On January 26, 1832, he apprised
the controller-general of Coastguard that the Carne dis-
trict was in rebellion. ' The tricoloured flag,' he stated,
' is displayed in open day. . . . The Rev. Mr. Staples,
the magistrate, was in conference with me this day,
intimating that he was fearful of an attack, and that he
244 PERIOD OF GRADUAL RELAXATIONS [1832
should be obliged to caU out the revenue police and the
Coastguard. At Clonmelly they pulled their priest on
Sunday from the altar, set fire to several stacks, houghed
cattle, etc. May I request to know, as there is no provision
made for naval officers in this service in case of loss of
life, whether I am to order a civilian to take charge of
the party when called on by a magistrate ?'
The controller-general drew his pen under the con-
cluding lines, and reported to the Board thus : ' An officer
who under such circumstances is capable of offering such
a suggestion for the purpose of avoiding personal risk is
utterly unfit for and unworthy of the office he holds.'
The Board referred the papers to the Admiralty.
Admiralty Minute : ' Direct his immediate removal.
Acquaint the Customs. Nominate Commander Henry
Parker.' The most amazing part of the business was
that the superseded officer actually wrote the Admiralty,
trying to justify his previous letter. He asked : ' When
naval officers are called upon to act offensive instead of
defensive, are they to be considered as acting afloat, and
remunerated in case of wounds ?' He ended with this
peculiar statement : ' These are times when it renders it
necessary to act with the greatest caution.' He received
The Admiralty had adopted a method of promoting
specially each year from among the coastguard officers
one captain, one commander, and one midshipman, for
distinguished services, the appointments being made on
the recommendation of the Customs Board. We furnish
a summary of one of the reports of recommendation.
Report on Commander Langharne : ' Employed for the
last eight years in Ireland. Was instrumental in bringing
about the capture of the Elizabeth and Grace by H.M.S.
Semiramis on the Irish coast, and the capture of the
Marie Theresa by H.M.S. Pike. In March, 1827, pre-
vented the landing of a large cargo, and captured several
persons who were signalling. In October, 1827, again
frustrated the plans of the smugglers, earning Board's
i832] DISTINGUISHED PREVENTIVE MEN 245
special approval. In March, 1829, was on leave. A run
took place during his absence. Returned, captured the
run goods (492 bales tobacco), dispersed a crowd several
hundred strong, that attempted rescue. Secured con-
viction of instigator of run (penalty £10,876 los. gd.).'
Report on Lieutenant Neame : ' Fourteen years in
coastguard, first at Mersea, Essex. Detected and con-
victed principal smugglers there. Went to Ireland in
1820 ; was very successful. Large run in Bray district,
February, 1820. Neame and party attacked by several
hundreds of the country people. Beat off the rioters,
kiUing and wounding forty or fifty of them, and captured
forty bales tobacco, fourteen horses and carts, and nine
men, seven of whom were convicted and transported.
Afterwards went to Antrim, and reorganized the Coast-
guard there successfully.'
Report on Midshipman Hay : ' Instrumental in capture
of several vessels, and about 2,000 kegs spirits. Saved
many shipwrecked people, notably when the Mary Ann,
East Indiaman, went ashore on the Devon coast in 1827,
and when H.M.S. Echo was wrecked on same coast in
' Langharne to captain, Neame to commander. Hay to
About the middle of 1832 the Treasury approved an
arrangement for fiUing vacancies in a new ' Mounted
Guard ' appointed for Kent and Sussex, by volunteers
from dragoon regiments, at the following rates of pay :
Sergeants, 5s. a day ; corporals, 4s. 6d. ; troopers, 4s.,
and allowances for the horses. Forage, saddlery, weapons,
and veterinary attendance to be paid for by the Crown.
(In the following year this force was increased so as to
guard the whole of the English coast.)
Another ingenious fraud was discovered by the South-
ampton ofhcers. A number of coops containing poultry
arrived from Guernsey. It was found that the coops had
false bottoms, fiUed with tobacco.
The various Government postal packets were deeply
246 PERIOD OF GRADUAL RELAXATIONS [1832
suspected at this period, and on January 26, 1832, a
special rummage was instituted on board the Messenger
packet, which had arrived at Falmouth from Gibraltar.
Below is a list of the contraband goods found :
414 pounds leaf tobacco and 44 pounds cigars under the
planking of the coal-hole ; 60 pounds cigars under the
plates of the engine-room ; 15 pounds cigars under the
cinders in the smith's forge on deck ; 2| pounds cigars in
the starboard paddlebox ; 2| pounds cigars under the
sails in the sail-room ; 16 pounds leaf tobacco under fire-
wood in the forehold ; 12 glass tumblers under a false
sill in the engine-room.
Said the rummagers in their report : ' The officers gave
us every assistance, with the exception of the boatswain,
who, with the engineers, stokers, and coal-trimmers,
acted in a very insubordinate manner, and threw every
impediment in our way.'
An important seizure was made on June 13, 1832, by
the Newhaven Coastguard. The victim was a vessel
named the New Speedwell, with 23 pounds cigars, 990
pounds leaf tobacco, 1,095 pounds tobacco-stalk flour,
and 12,986 pounds tobacco-stalks (in all nearly 7 tons).
To display the course of smuggling in the West Indian
colonies, we quote the following curious list of seizures,
made in Dominica in November, 1832 :
1. In a negro hut (for being illegally landed), 2 barrels
flour, I barrel bread, i barrel tar.
2. In the house of Francois Brown (for being illegally
landed), i barrel fish. (The above were American goods.)
3. In the house of Frederick Smith (illegally landed),
1 basket anisette, 3 baskets onions, i basket oil, i pair
shoes, 21 snuff-boxes.
4. In the house of Joseph RoUe (illegally landed),
2 baskets anisette, 2 baskets onions, i box candles, 18
earthen pots, a firkin of butter, a box of raisins, 6 boxes
5. In the house of Jeanne Rose (illegally landed), 18
drinking-glasses, i box eau-de-Cologne, i box candles.
1832-33] COLONIAL AND BRITISH SMUGGLING 247
6. In the house of Juhenne Marceau (illegally landed),
1 box soap, 30 earthen pots. (The above were French
7. In the house of Charles Melangam (illegally landed),
2 barrels flour, 36 earthen pots.
8. In the houses of Martial Roger, Mordesin de Blanc,
and Mariette Bellot (illegally landed), i barrel pork,
4 barrels flour, 2 boxes oil, 2 firkins butter.
In the Bay of Colihaut, 13 dozen ' goglets,' 22 firkins
butter, 12 boxes oil, i bag corn (two canoes used in con-
At Souffriere, 5 barrels flour, 2 barrels pork, 12 dozen
claret. (The above were partly French and partly Ameri-
The Board directed forfeiture of goods in all the cases,
but declined to authorize prosecution of the smugglers,
they being indigent coloured people.
Early in 1833 a number of bales of cotton, which had
been delivered into a lighter at Belfast from an American
ship, accidentally took fire, and it was discovered during
salvage that a large bale of leaf tobacco was concealed
within each package of cotton.*
A new system of rafting tubs was discovered at Lang-
stone Harbour. Sixty-three tubs had been lashed to-
gether ' in the form of a pile of shot.' Each tub had a
sling attached to it, and to each sling was fastened an iron
plate weighing about 8 pounds. The upper tiers of tubs
were painted white. This raft had grounded in 7 feet of
water, yet but three of the tubs were visible, and they
from a short distance only. Two grapnels were attached
to the raft, so as to be caught by dredging with a ' sweep
On September 13, 1833, the coasting barge Rebecca,
with a cargo of limestone, arrived at St. Germain's Lake,
Plymouth. The coastguardsmen overhauled her, and
* In 1835 ^ number of barrels of pitch were landed from the
same vessel, and it was found that a block of tobacco, weighing
100 pounds, was secreted within each barrel of pitch.
248 PERIOD OF GRADUAL RELAXATIONS [1833
found 211 tubs spirits beneath the hmestone. The tubs
had been taken on board at sea from a ' hoverer.'
Below are illustrative extracts from the seizure lists of
Port Louis and Montreal.
Port Louis, Mauritius.
Quarter ending January 5, 1833. — This includes cigars
and straw hats seized on a vessel from Calcutta ; coffee on
a vessel from Bourbon ; smoked salmon on a vessel from
Salem ; and coffee thrown overboard from a French
schooner, and recovered by divers.
Quarter ending April 5, 1833. — Muskets and bayonets
found on premises occupied by one Pyton ; loaf sugar and
the boat conveying it ; cigars and the boat conveying ;
coffee on a ship from Bourbon ; gunpowder and sperma-
ceti on an American ship from Salem.
Quarter ending July 5, 1833. — Arms and gunpowder
run ; sundry goods from Calcutta ; sundry goods from
Singapore ; cigars and preserved ginger on a ship from
Batavia ; arms on a vessel from Bourbon.
(The inhabitants were in a state of excitement over the
reinstallation of the unpopular Procurator-General, Mr.
Jeremie. This may account for the smuggling of arms
December 2, 1833. — Seized on the highway from a non-
resident foreigner, i horse, i sled, 132 gallons of American
whisky, and 156 pounds of coffee of the French West
December 30. — On the premises of I. Mack, innkeeper,
I bale American bristles.
December 30. — On bank of St. Lawrence (owner
unknown), 6 cases of clock movements, 156 dozen boxes
of combs, 9 gross of buckles, i bridle, i horse-collar,
I saddle, i umbrella (all American).
January 16, 1834. — In the street, ' from a non-
resident,' 12 pounds of tea.
i833] MAURITIUS AND MONTREAL 249
February 3. — In a cellar under a stable, owner un-
known, 1,530 pounds of American tobacco.
February 4. — On premises occupied by N. C. Kurcyan,
1,200 pounds of American tobacco.
February 10. — On premises occupied by P. Darragh,
4 chests of tea, 2 packages of tobacco.
February 15. — On premises occupied by C. Wilkinson,
78 gallons of American whisky.
February 18. — On premises occupied by J. Craig,
I chest of tea, 4 packages of tobacco.
February 26. — On premises occupied by J. Brown,
1 bag of coffee.
February 27. — On premises occupied by Louis Gareau,
2 chests of tea and 23 pairs of American gloves.
February 27. — On premises occupied by Stephen
Franchiri, 2 boxes of tea, 194 pounds of tobacco.
February 28. — On premises occupied by Stephen Dier,
10 kegs of tobacco, i bag of coffee.
March 7. — On premises occupied by W. Megill, 2 boxes
of tea, 232 pounds of tobacco, and 360 pounds of American
March 26. — ' In the cellar of a Frenchman ' (name
unknown), 2,160 pounds of American tobacco.
March 26. — In a barn owned by one Morrison, 840
pounds of American butter.
During 1833 the collector of St. Kitts forwarded to
the Board a deposition made by the master of a colonial
sloop, to the effect that in the previous year he had
conveyed the Honourable R. W. Pickwoad, judge of the
Vice-Admiralty Court, and Lieutenant Hutchinson of the
86th Regiment, ' to the French islands,' that they
bought there a considerable quantity of wine and per-
fumery, that he brought the sloop back to St. Kitts,
and landed the goods without the knowledge of the
Customs, and that the said goods were surreptitiously
conveyed to the Honourable R. W. Pickwoad's residence.
Both Pickwoad and Hutchinson denied the charge, and
the former wrote the Board, stating that he had pre-
250 PERIOD OF GRADUAL RELAXATIONS [1833-35
viously found it necessary to complain to the Secretary
of State as to the conduct of Lieutenant-Colonel Nickle,
the officer who administered civil government at St. Kitts,
and also that of the Attorney-General for the island, and
that those officials had induced the informer to make
the statements in question. (Considerable correspon-
dence ensued, ended by a statement from St. Kitts, on
February 27, 1835, that Mr. Pickwoad was dead.)
During 1834, by Cap. 13 of 4 and 5 Wm. IV., the practice
of sending convicted smugglers to serve for five years
in the na\'y was abolished. The pecuniary penalties
prescribed for certain smuggling offences were also
abolished, and justices were granted power to imprison
During 1835 the Board received information of a
subtle fraud. A quantity of brandy had been cleared
duty-free from bond for exportation, carried to sea,