Cornwall  Smugglers


Coast Guard / Revenue / Salt Officers


Trewman's Exeter Flying Post

1800 - 1801  - 1802 - 1803 - 1804 - 1805 - 1806 - 1807 -1808 - 1809 - 1810 - 1815 - 1816 - 1817 - 1828 - 1834 - 1835 - 1840


Thursday May 8th 1801

The "Bufy" cutter Mr. A. Fraser picked up off Penlee Point a raft, with 130 ankers of Brandy attached to it ;  and Mr. Bowden of Cawsand, same time picked up a raft with 120 ankers of Brandy attached to it and towed safe to the Custom House quay.

Thursday June 5th 1800

Old Bailey : Thursday was tried at the Old Bailey William Strick, for having with other malefactors and disturbers of the peace on the 15th of May 1799 in the parish of Kevern in the county of Cornwall, riotously and feloniously assembled with firearms and assisted other persons in rescuing and taking away from certain revenue officers 50 gallons of brandy and 40 gallons of geneva after of the same by the officers (they being unacustomed goods) For transcript of trial go here William Strick, 28th May 1800..

Thursday August 7th 1800

Plymouth: Arrived the "Three Friends" smuggling lugger, with 150 ankers of spirits captured by the "Spitfire" Captain Seymour: she had landed part of her cargo at Polperro but several boats were taken in endeavouring to escape: ons smuggler was killed.

Thursday 11th September 1800

Plymouth: Arrived the "Royal Sovereign" smuggler, of Polperro, from Guernsey with 400 ankers of spirits taken by the "Bufy" Cutter Captain Fraser, off Looe Island.

Thursday 23rd of October 1800

Falmouth: Arrived the "Ranger" cutter captain Fraser with a seizure of 100 ankers of spirits. (Many similar seizers were made where a smuggling vessel in making its escape would throw its cargo over the side. These were later recovered by the Revenue vessel.)

Thursday 30th of October 1800

Falmouth: Arrived the "Flora" armed Brig, Captain Carpenter, and brought in with her a large smuggling lugger called the "Tarter", of Guernsey, with 920 ankers of spirits onboard which they captured on the night of the 10th inst. after a chase of three hours and a half, about six miles S.S.W. of the Lizard.

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Thursday 26th February 1801

St Ives: Custom House, St Ives February 6th 1801:- Whereas it has been represented to His Majesty's Commissioners of Customs that on the night of February the Eighth of January or early on the next morning, the King's Warehouse belonging to the Customs House at St Ives, was feloniously BROKEN OPEN, by violently forcing the bolts of one of the Window Shutters of the said Warehouse, and eight ankers containing fifty six gallons of Foreign Brandy being a part of a seizure which had there lately before been made, and deposited in the said Warehouse, Stolen there from.

The said Commissioners of His Majesty's Customs for the better discovering and bringing to Justice the Persons concerned in this felony do hereby offer a reward of TWENTY POUNDS to any Person or Persons who will discover and apprehend or cause to be discovered or apprehended any one of the said Offenders, to be paid by the collector of his Majesty's Customs at the said Port of St Ives, upon conviction.

Thursday March 19th 1801

Came in the "Active" cutter Captain Kinsman from a cruize brought in with her a smuggling lugger belonging to Polperro, in Cornwall, laden with 450 ankers of spirits which she captured off Looe Island yesterday,

Thursday 26th March 1801

St Ives: By order of the Commisioners of Customs, On Wednesday the 8th of April next at 2 o'clock in the afternoon will be sold at public auction at this office the goods undermentioned, BRANDY 1,196 gallons, GENEVA 40 gallons. For the use of private families only. Also the broken up hulls of two boats. - Customs House 20th March 1801.

Thursday, May 14, 1801;

Falmouth, Saturday 8pm. Came in �Active� excise cutter, Kinsman from a cuize with the �Expectation� smuggling cutter of Polperro, Cap�t. Bunts, having 250 ankers of spirits on board which the �Active captured off the Longships yesterday ; during the chase the smuggler threw overboard the greater part of her cargo.

Thursday July 9th 1801

Falmouth, Arrived the "Active excise cutter, Kinsman, from a cruize with the smuggling sloop "Trial" belonging to Coverack. Capt. Dye, having onboard 310 ankers, and the boat "Joseph" belonging to Gerrans with a 150 ankers of spirits on board captured by the "Active" last night off this port.

Thursday July 30th 1801

Falmouth, Arrived the "Active excise cutter, Kinsman, from a cruize with the "Good Intent" smuggling cutter from Guerzey with 100 casks of spirits on board.

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Thursday 7th January 1802

Falmouth: The "Claufina" Cutter sent in a smuggling cutter with 400 ankers of spirits onboard.

Thursday 11th March1802

Falmouth: "Active " cutter (Kinsman) with the smuggling cutter "Unity", having onboard 500 ankers of spirits, from Guernsey.

Thursday 1st July 1802

Falmouth: Rosirio ? Sloop of War with the "Queen" smuggling lugger of Guernsey laden with 250 ankers of spirits.

Thursday 29th July 1802

Falmouth: "Active" excise cutter (Kinsman), from a cruise with an open boat belonging to Guernsey laden with 150 ankers of spirits.

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Thursday 13th January 1803

Plymouth: The "Atlanta", Capt. Masefield which went up the harbour last Saturday, was yesterday paid off, all standing and her crew discharged; Capt. M immediately recommissioned her ; she has been a most fortunate Cruizer against the smugglers, having captured in six months near 2.000 ankers of spirits.

Thursday 10th February 1803

Plymouth: Came in the "Ranger" , of 14 guns Cap't Frazer, with the "Patience" lugger of Polperro, smuggler having on board 400 ankers of Brandy and Geneva.

Thursday 3rd March 1803

Falmouth: Came in the "Active" excise cutter, Capt. Kinsman, with the "Fly" Mevagissey, having on board upwards of 400 ankers of spirits and some tobacco.

Thursday 24th March 1803

Falmouth: Arrive the "Hind" revenue cutter, Capt. Allan, from a cruize, and brought in with her the brig "Beaver" from Guernsey, having on board upwards of 150 Ankers of spirits and some tobacco and snuff which she captured off the Manacles.

Thursday 29th September 1803

Falmouth: The "Industry" smuggling cutter of Polperro, from Guernsey, with about 350 ankers of spirits on board , prize of the boats of the "Active" excise cutter, Capt. Kinsman.

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Thursday 1st March 1804

Plymouth: Came in the "Hazard" of Capt.  Neve with a seizure of 500 ankers of spirits.

Thursday 8th March 1804

Plymouth: Came in the famous smuggling cutter of Cawsand, which has reigned ten years, the "Stag" cutter with 138 ankers of spirits prize to the "Hind" cutter of Capt. Allen, after a chase of the Dodman. The "Hind was left weighing up a raft she (the Stag) had sunk with 400 ankers on it, all of which will be secured and lodged in the customs house here.

Thursday 12th April 1804

Falmouth: Arrived the "Resolution" excise cutter Capt. Stoneman, from a cruise with her prize the "Fancy" smuggling cutter belonging to Gweek, having on board 340 Ankers of spirits, which the "Resolution" captured last evening about a league S. W. of the Lizard.

Thursday 19th April 1804

Falmouth: Arrived the "Resolution" excise cutter Capt. Stoneman, from a cruise with the "Union" lugger of Guernsey having on board about 180 Ankers of spirits.

Thursday 21st June 1804

Plymouth: Came in the "Eagle" of Capt. Adams, from a successful cruise against the smugglers. She brought in the "John", a fine cutter of Guernsey for the western ports, having on board 500 ankers of Brandy etc besides salts and several bales of tobacco; also a second smuggler with 300 ankers of brandy, taken be the "Eagle" in sight of a battle ship; and a third cutter with 200 ankers of brandy, prize to the "Seagull" of Captain Burke, also from Guersey.

Thursday 26th July 1804

Falmouth: arrived the sloop "Thomas and May", with 200 ankers of spirits on board prize to the "Providence" cutter Capt. Worsell.

Thursday 23rd of August 1804

Falmouth: Came in the "Ranger" of Capt. A. Fraser, with a fine cutter called the "Liberty" of Polperro, having on board 730 ankers of spirits, wines and tobacco. The "Ranger" chased her from within the limits of the Dodman , to near Guernsey, where she captured her. She was formerly the "Valiant" lugger in the service of government.

Thursday 18th October 1804

Plymouth: Came in "Little Betsy" smuggling cutter with 100 ankers of spirits prize of the "Seagull" Captain H Burke, taken after a long chase off the Dodman last night.


Thursday 17th January 1805

Plymouth Wednesday: Came in the "Flying Fish" smuggler with 500 ankers prize of an hired cutter. She was captured off the Dodman.

Plymouth Thursday: Last night the boats of the "Eagle" of 14 guns capt. Adams picked up a raft off the Maystone with 500 ankers sunk but a few days since.

Also: Last night as the excise cutter commanded by Mr Jones was rowing near the Island of St Nicholas on duty, the weather being foggy, she struck on a sunken rock which upset her, by which accident Mr Jones and the boat's crew were for some time in the water  ; all were providently saved by a man of war's boat, except for Mr Jones, tide surveyor who was drowned, notwithstanding every means was used to restore him to life. He was a most excellent officer in his department tempering the duties of his office with humanity.

Thursday 14th March 1805

Falmouth: Arrived the sloop "Martin" of Romsey laden with 300 ankers of spirits and a quantity of Salt and Tobacco prize to the "Active" excise cutter, captain Kinsman.

Thursday 4th July 1805

Falmouth: Arrived the "Hind" cutter Capt. Allen, with a smuggling boat laden with 70 ankers of spirits.

Thursday 25th July 1805

Falmouth: Arrived the "Humber" armed ship with 100 ankers of spirits taken up at sea.


Thursday 6th February 1806

Plymouth: Came in the "Eagle" Captain Ward, with a smuggling vessel from Guernsey bound for some ports to the westward with 160 ankers of spirits etc.

Thursday 20th February 1806

Falmouth: Arrived "Fortune" of Gweek a prize to the "Hind" cutter with 200 ankers of spirits, captured last night off Coverack. The crew escaped on shore before the cutters boat boarded.

Thursday 27th March 1806

Plymouth:  Came in the "Lion" privateer of this port with a sloop marked on her stern "Jane of Plymouth". She has on board 270 ankers of spirits besides other articles and is supposed to be a smuggler, and deserted by her crew for fear of being pressed or was boarded by some French privateer and after taking out the crew seeing a cruiser standing on had not time to destroy her buy left her to her fate and made off. She will be a droit of Admiralty and of course a salvage will be given in style to the "Lions" people,

Thursday 1st May 1806

Plymouth: came in from the westward a fine smuggling cutter with 200 ankers of spirits on board, captured by one of the excise cutters.



Thursday 22nd February 1807

Falmouth: Arrived the "Active" cutter Captain Kinsman from a cruize, and has brought in with her the sloop "Good Endeavour" of Gweek, laden with160 ankers of spirits from Guernsey ;


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1815 Top

Thursday, May 11, 1815

Arrived the "Zenobia" brig of war from Gibraltar, having captured in the Channel the "Providence" sloop of Falmouth, with 300 casks of smuggled spirits onboard.

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Thursday 11th April 1816

Plymouth April 16th 1816 Arrived �Stag smuggling cutter of Guernsey captured by the �Wolf� cutter, Cap�t. Williams having on board 120 casks of contraband spirits and a Cawsand boat, with 80 casks of contraband spirits, captured by the Lapwing cutter, Cap�t Frazer.

ExeterFlyingPost - Thursday 20 June 1816

Saturday. Arrived his Majesty's brig, Heron, from a eruize, having captured and brought in WKith her a Caw- sand smuggling boat, called the Mari, having on board about 60 casks of contraband 

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Thursday, December 25, 1817

Plymouth December 23rd 1817 Very large quantities of contraband spirits have been smuggled on the coast of Devon and Cornwall in the last few days.

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Thursday, August 28, 1828

We understand that there is more smuggling going on at the moment than at any former period. All the high duty articles such as tea and tobacco are smuggled in great quantities.

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Exeter Flying Post - Thursday 04 September 1834

Captain Marsh, inspecting commander of the Coast Guard, Mounts Bay, with the crew of the Mousehole preventive boat, on Wednesday night' captured five farmers from the neighbourhood of the Land's-end and two boatmen belonging to the Scilly Isles, with 16 tubs. of spirits in their possession. The men have undergone an examination before Geo. John, Esq,, one of- the Magistrates for Cornwall, and been remanded. By. -a late enactment, - here more than three persons are found associated in a smuggling transaction, the magistrate before whom a conviction takes place is. required to commit them to the House of Correction for six months, at hard labour.ursday, September 11, 1834

Lieut. Youell of H.M. Cutter Harpy, lodged at the customs wharehouse on the 8th inst., 63 kegs containing 300 gallons of smuggled spirits, which had been crept up at Bigbury Bay.

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Thursday, December 3, 1835

On Saturday the 28th ult. 40 kegs of smuggled spirits were lodged at H.M. customs, Plymouth, which were taken at Penlee Point, by Mr. Foot, Cheif Officer of the Preventive Service Cawsand.

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Thursday, November 12, 1840

Another seizure by Lieut. Drew. - Last week Lieut. Drew commander of the Harpy, revenue cutter, captured the "Fox", Cawsand boat , off the Lizard, which proved to have on board 127 tubs or half ankers of smuggled spirits. The crew, consisting of four men, were also taken.

Exeter Flying Post - Thursday 03 November 1842

FALMOUTH.-SMUGGLING.-Lawrence Marote, second steward of the Liverpool steamer on Friday last, pleaded guilty to smuggling 49Tbs. of tobacco, which had been found in his possession on the arrival of that vessel, and was sentenced to pay the penalty of £1oo. or endure six months' imprisonment.





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