Cornwall  Smugglers


Coast Guard / Revenue / Salt Officers




The West Briton Archive


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W.B.25 December 1812 -  THREAT TO A CUSTOMS-MAN


Custom-House, London, December 1812. Whereas it has been represented to the Commissioners of His Majestys Customs, that a threatening letter was on the 28th inst, received by Joseph Platt, an officer of the Customs, at the port of Falmouth, of which the following is a copy: Pray to God to forgive you, Joseph Platt, your doom is fixed as Perceval [the recently assassinated Prime Minister], received his death by a ball, so you shall fall. Your late proceedings with the packets, has driven me to despair, & ere I leave this earth, my determination is fixed to put an end to your wicked and cruel existence, unless you discontinue your committing such robberies as you and your crew has perpetrated for some time past. I give you, J. Platt, to consider of this as above until 30th March 1813, my dear. friend although my cruel enemy, and my mien, for the sake of your soul, pray to Jesus to forgive you, I say again your fate is fixed. A friend to the community, 


W.B 28th Nov. 1812. - Falmouth 

The said commissioners of His Majestys Customs, in order to bring to justice the person who wrote or sent the said letter, are hereby pleased to offer a reward of fifty pounds to any person or persons who shall discover and apprehend or cause to be discovered and apprehended the person or persons who wrote the said letter. . .   


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W.B 23rd April 1813.  - THE MAYOR OF ST. MAWES


Sir, I hope you will allow me, through the medium of your paper, to call the attention of the public to the very great hardship and oppression which the tradesmen of Falmouth endure, in consequence of a new mode of procedure adapted by the officers of the Customs at that  [They] layholdon various articles of British manufacture, not otherwise liable to be detained because they are suspicious that there is cause to suspect that they are destined for the packet trade.. . Mr. Williamson had a parcel of goods of British manufacture on board his own boat; the worshipful Mr. Jago, Mayor of the respectable borough of St. Mawes, and an officer of his Majestys Customs, took it into his head, that it would be for the benefit of the revenue or of some body connected with it, to seize the boat and what it contained; so he followed Mr. Williamson, who had landed at Trefusis Point, and put the broad arrow upon the boat and its contents. Seeing that Mr. Williamson, who had left the boat, and was proceeding from the beach, had a box under his arm, one of his worships men followed him, and seizing upon him with the grasp of a highwayman, he cried in the tone of one of that fraternity; d - - n you deliver what you have. This exclamation was followed by a struggle, in which Mr. Williamson was I compelled by force to resign to the mayor of St. Mawes, a very valuable box of British jewelry. But the most extraordinary part of the business is, that this box never reached the Custom-house; mind, Sir, I cannot say how this has happened; his worship may have lost or mislaid it; I dare say it will be found yet. . . Yours etc. Job. Thornberry. [The mayor and his co-officers, having been indicted for assault settled the matter out of court by the payment of compensation.


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The Hind revenue cutter sent into Falmouth on Tuesday last a boat belonging to Cadgwith, having on board 50 ankers of spirits. Four men, who were on board the smuggler, have been taken to Plymouth for the purpose of being put on board the fleet about to sail under Lord Exmouth, against the Algerines.  

[Ed. writes - This fleet, of 25 ships, sailed from Plymouth with the purpose of bomb barbing Algiers in an endeavour to put an end to the depredations of Barbary pirates and the seizure of men from British ships for slavery. Fortunately for the four smugglers, the expedition was a total success, and it is probable that eventually they returned to England.]



 W.B 23 August 1816 -  FRENCH SMUGGLERS IN LOOE .


  On Thursday last a small French vessel was observed to be nearly on shore, not far from Looe harbour; happily by the exertions of persons belonging to the port, she was got in safely.. . The vessel is chiefly laden with fruit, and having entered it at the Custom-house at Looe, a great part of the cargo was speedily disposed of. The custom-house officers took particular notice of twelve elegantly formed toys, in the shape of horses, the bodies of which were about four inches in diameter; and on handling them, they were led to suppose that they were more valuable than they appeared to be. Accordingly, one of them was emboweled, which led to a similar examination of the rest. The result was, the finding of 51 pair of silk stockings and 9 silk shawls which had been carefully secreted in the bodies of these elegant play-things. The Kings broad arrow has been placed on the vessel and cargo, in consequence of this unlucky discovery





Custom-house, London, 4th December 1815. Whereas it has been represented to the Commissioners of His Majestys Customs, that in the night of the 23rd day of November last, Richard Hosking, sitter of the preventive boat in the service of the Customs, stationed at the port of St. Ives, in the county of Cornwall, seized on shore within the said port, between two hundred and three hundred casks of smuggled spirits; after which, the said Richard Hosking and his assistants were violently assaulted, and obstructed by a great number of smugglers unknown, who rescued and carried away the said goods.

The Commissioners of His Majestys Customs, in order to bring the offenders to justice, are hereby pleased to offer a reward of £200 to any person or persons who shall discover and apprehend, or cause to be discovered and apprehended, any one or more of the said offenders, to be paid by the Collector of Customs at the port of St. Ives, upon conviction.


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  During a very heavy gale on Tuesday afternoon, 15 or 16 large fish of the species called grampus (Editor -Risso dolphin) were driven on shore at Mevagissey. Several of them measured from 15 to 20 feet in length. A vast number of them appeared in the bay, and being observed by the persons engaged in the preventive service, were mistaken for a raft of kegs of smuggled spirits which the gale had torn from their moorings, at the bottom, and which were floating and driving about on the surface. Under this idea and in the hope of obtaining a rich prize, the boats were manned and put out, regardless of the tremendous seas then going. Having ascertained their mistake, they were on their return, when one of the boats unfortunately upset; and of seven men who were aboard, three, named Johnson, Clarke and Partridge, were unfortunately drowned; the others were picked up by the boats in company.


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In the night of Saturday the 29th ultimo, James Sturgess, Chief Officer, James Farrow and George Kingston, boatmen all belonging to the preventive boat in the service of the Customs, stationed at Polperro, in the county of Cornwall, were out on duty for the prevention of smuggling and saw near Trelawney Gate, in the parish of Pelynt, in the said county, five or six horses laden with small casks, and guarded by several smugglers, upon which the said boatmen immediately made towards them, and upon one of them coming up to them, he was struck a violent blow on the head with a stick, by one of the said party of smugglers, but succeeded in seizing and securing from them two casks of foreign rum spirits; that the said smugglers threatened further violence, but on the other two boatmen coming up, they galloped off and made their escape


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  Last week, a man named John Curgenven met with some officers of the Customs at Truro, and offered to sell them smuggled tobacco and French brandy, part of a cargo which he said he had landed. He produced three quarts in two jars and a bladder, as samples, for which he asked 24s. per gallon, and said he could supply them with any quantity. Upon this they took him into custody, and on searching his person, found upon him a small measure and a funnel; he was kept in charge until the following morning, and taken before the Collector, who examined him and also the spirits seized, and found that the French brandy, for which he had asked 24s. per gallon, was British brandy of a very inferior quality, which he had purchased at one of the taps in Truro, the same day, at 35. 3d. per quart; in this manner the lovers of that precious article are nine times out of ten duped. 

[Curgenven was incautious in approaching strangers thus, although virtually everyone in Cornwall, directly or indirectly, was associated with smuggling, and approved of it. In fact, while it was illegal to land contraband, to sell smuggled goods was not.]


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W.B 10th July 1829 - SEIZED OFF CAWSAND


  On Saturday evening last, about eight oclock, Mr. Foot, of the preventive waterguard, at Cawsand, captured a sprit sail boat, called the Five Sisters, belonging to Cawsand, with 98 tubs of foreign brandy and geneva on board, together with three men and a boy. The boat was first discovered by one of the preventive men on the look out from the bill, and conceiving her to be suspicious, he informed Mr. F. of the circumstance, when the latter accompanied by four men well armed took one of the pilot boats from the bay, and proceeded towards the boat in the offing. The smugglers did not suspect the persons in the pilot boat of any design on them until they were close to them; but on perceiving who the intended visitants were, they immediately crowded all sail, to effect their escape. This they were likely to effect when the preventive men showed their colours and commenced firing musketry at the smugglers. The seventh shot fired cut away the sprit-sail halliards, when the main-sail fell, and the pursuers came alongside and secured the boat with its cargo and crew


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W.B  19 February 1830 - CONTRABAND IN A ST. JUST MINE.

  The men on the preventive service at St. Just, near the Lands End, aided by a party from the Dove revenue cutter, last week seized 173 tubs if spirits and 20 tubs of tobacco, which had been landed from a cutter, and hidden in a shaft of a mine at that place. During the search, one of the preventive men named White, fell from a plank into a shaft of the mine and was killed on the spot. The deceased was a native of St. Just, and led the party to the place where the seizure was effected.




On Monday morning, 48 tubs of brandy and 16 tubs of gin, were lodged in the St. Ives custom-house stores, by the coast guard stationed at Portreath. The spirits were captured the preceding night together with a boat... It appears the boat came from a small sloop rigged vessel which was seen on Sunday hovering off the coast, and the persons on board were in the act of landing the cargo within Hell Bay, about 3 miles west of Portreath, and which is bounded by terrific cliffs, termed Hells Mouth. Mr. Mortly, the officer of the Portreath preventive guard, with three of his men descended these cliffs at the imminent hazard of their lives, as a single false step would have precipitated them down the precipice, which is about 50 fathoms in height, and at the foot of it they came upon the smugglers, when the boat, her cargo and two of the crew were secured. It appears the smugglers had resolved on making a desperate resistance, as two of the preventive guard who had been at Hayle, and were proceeding to join Mr. Mortly and his party, were encountered near the summit of the cliffs by eight smugglers, who were armed. Shots were exchanged and the preventive men were overpowered, one of them named Rice, having received a ball in the thigh. Rice lies ill at Gwithian, to which place he was carried, and is under the care of Mr. Angove, surgeon, of Hayle, by whom the ball has been extracted. 


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As Captain G. Peirce, R.N., inspecting commander of the coast guard on the Fowey station, was on the look out, with some of his men, on Saturday night, they discovered a large body of smugglers evidently engaged in conveying contraband spirits from the shore. . . The body of smugglers, who were armed with clubs, exceeded 100 men, but they were attacked at different times, .then after some desperate struggles, ten of the smugglers and 118 tubs of spirits were captured... In the encounters between the parties, one of the coast-guard and several of the smugglers were severely wounded; some of the latter were taken off by their companions on horse�back, and conveyed from the coast  


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W.B 3rd June 1836 - Scilly
Several petty seizures of spirits have lately been made, by the Preventive Coast Guard, on the Islands of St. Marys and St. Agnes, in consequence (as is understood) of private information.  Two of the St. Agnes pilot-boats, named the "Champion" and the "Exmouth", 
have likewise been seized and detained, which will occasion distress of no ordinary kind to the inhabitants of that Island.
On Tuesday in Whitsun-week (being holiday time) a number of young persons at St. Mary's got an effigy prepared, which they paraded through the town and country, preceded by a flag, a bell, and music; and followed by a merry group of boys and girls, amidst much jeering and laughter by the by-standers, which continued until the figure "made an illustrious exit in flames", according to the common custom in such cases made and provided.
On the same day the "juveniles" of  St. Agnes wished to treat themselves and others with a somewhat similar exhibition, but they were interrupted by some preventative men (who had been "armed" in expectation of a riot) and who, with drawn swords and pistols, attacked  some and pursued others of the "merry-makers" which gave the affair an aspect rather serious.  No real mischief, however, ensued; and on the following day "the party" was allowed to carry, and burn, their effigy in quietness, as originally intended.  The two offending preventive men were subsequently convicted before the magistrates at St. Mary's, on two different charges of assault, and ordered to pay ten shillings each.


W.B June 24th 1836 - Smuggling at Penpoll

Smuggling - In consequence of information having been received at the Customs House in this town, J. S. Stansmore, Esq. the Collector, and F. Hingston, Esq. the Comptroller, proceeded on Friday last, to Penpoll Wood, about two miles down our river, where they found secreted in a cove about sixty kegs of smuggled spirits, which were safely lodged in the Customs- House. It is generally supposed that large quantities of contraband spirits have, from time to time, been landed in this wood, and from thence carried into different parts of the county. On Wednesday evening last, the Coast Guard at Kynance, captured about 50 tubs of contraband spirits on the beach. They also found a boat and two men in it at Gilling, which was seen near the spot but a few hours before; but as there was not sufficient evidence to commit the men or warrant the detention of the boat, they were set at liberty.


W.B July 23rd 1836 GORAN HAVEN
On Monday last, 100 tabs of contraband spirits and glass, were crept up, off the Deadman, by the "Fox" Revenue crazier, in conjunction with Mr. Bolt, chief officer of the station at that place, and were taken the same day to the Custom-House at Fowey.


W.B 6 August 1836 - Smuggling At Falmouth

A boatman, named Rowe, of Falmouth, has been committed to Bodmin for six months, for having been found with some smuggled tobacco in his possession. 


W.B 4th November 1836 - Smuggling:

Smuggling - On Monday night last, a boat belonging to the "Dove" cutter, at Falmouth, captured a waterman's boat, with a bale of tobacco of about 156 pounds, and a young man with it, who says he was only a passenger. The men are committed to the town prison, till an answer from the Board of Customs is received.

W.B 11 November 1836 - Smuggling

On Tuesday last, the two persons noticed in our last, as having been taken in a boat at Falmouth with a quantity of smuggled tobacco, underwent an examination at the Guildhall in that town.  The owner of the boat exonerated the other from having anything to do with the tobacco, but refused to say whose it was.  They were consequently fined in the sum of �100 each, or six months imprisonment in the Town gaol, which latter punishment they will undergo.


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PORT OF TRURO - By order of the Honorable Commissioners of His Majesty's Customs - On Friday the 3rd of February, 1837, at Eleven o'clock in the Forenoon, will be exposed to PUBLIC SALE, at the Custom-House in this Port, the BROKEN UP HULL of the Brig MERCURY, of London - Seized and condemned for having been employed in smuggling; together with the Sails, Ropes, Masts, Yards, Boat, and all the other Materials belonging to the said Vessel. Also, about 130 Gallons of FOREIGN BRANDY, the greater part nearly proof; twenty-two oars and one Mast. The Goods may be viewed at the Custom-House, on the day of Sale and on the day Before. Custom-House, Truro, January 20 1837


W.B 6 OCTOBER 1837 - Merit rewarded
The French Government has presented Mr. Buckett, Searcher and Landing Waiter of the Customs, Falmouth, with a gold medal, in acknowledgment of his meritorious services in rendering assistance to certain French vessels, wrecked in 1830, at Port Holland beach, within that port.  The medal is very handsome.  On one side of it is a head of King Louis Philippe, beautifully executed; on the reverse is the following inscription: - A. Buckett, Nicholas Martin, officer Des Douanes DAngleterce  Courage et Devouement Pour Secourir Les Equipages De Navires Francois Saufrages 1830.  The Lords of the Treasury, in transmitting the medal to the Board of Customs, express their satisfaction that the conduct of Mr. Buckett on the occasion was such as to produce this mark of approbation; and the Board of Customs in forwarding the same to Falmouth with a copy of the Treasury Letter, are also pleased to express their satisfaction.  Mr. B., (we believe), received some time ago the thanks of the Russian Government for [his] meritorious and successful exertions in the case of the Russian brig St. Nicholas, which vessel was wrecked at Port Holland beach at the same time as the French vessels before alluded to.  It is but right to observe that the services rendered on this occasion were no doubt prompted by zeal for the benefit of the Customs Revenue, [th]ey will probably not be lost sight of by the heads of [that] department.  Mr. Jonathan Bolt and Mr. Reginald [Ba]rrett, officers of the Coast Guard, have also received [fro]m the French Government, silver medals, for their meritorious exertions on the occasion of the loss of the  vessels above mentioned.  

W.B 10 Nov. 1837 - SeizurE
On Friday last, the "Fox", revenue cutter, in conjunction with the Coast Guard station at Goran Haven, crept up 79 tubs of brandy, near the Deadman.


W.B 10 nov. 1837 - SmugglinG
On Tuesday last, George Sampson, and John Jaikes, watermen at Falmouth, were taken in the act of landing some contraband articles at that port, and were committed to the town gaol to await an answer from the Board of Customs, to the report of their case which has been forward


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W.B 8 JUNE 1838 - Smuggling

The four men noticed in our last weeks paper, as having been taken by the Dove cutter, were tried on Monday last, and sentenced to six months imprisonment in Falmouth-town jail.  One of them broke prison on the preceeding Wednesday, but was retaken on Sunday evening.



The two men that were captured and brought in to St. Ives last week, in the smuggling cutter Mermaid of Plymouth, by the Coast Guard at St. Agnes, were convicted on Wednesday, and sent to the treadmill, Penzance, for six moths.


W.B 21 Dec. 1838 - SeizurE
The French schooner "La Vigilance," of  Roscoff, has been seized with ninety-two tubs of contraband spirits on board, and a crew of six Frenchmen and two Englishmen, off Eartus Island, near Newquay, by Mr. John Tanner, of the coast-guard station, St. Agnes.  The crew are in charge of the officers and the spirits are lodged in the custom-house, St. Ives.


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The GAOLER's REPORT stated that there was nothing connected with the discipline or health of the prison that called for any remark. The gaoler felt it his duty, however, to report that there were no fewer than nine men in prison committed from St. Ives for smuggling, and of these, only three had been sentenced to labour. The others remained indoors. He felt it necessary to bring this subject before the magistrates, as there was an order from Government for the payment of 6d. a day for the maintenance of persons imprisoned at the suit of that department of the revenue. No allowance was made except the sentence was not to hard labour. It seemed reasonable that on proper application orders should be given for payment of a similar allowance to all crown prisoners, and he begged to observe that the Government did so in some instances. The return of prisoners was 91 men, 16 women, total 107. The rules and regulations of the gaol had been complied with.

W.B  15th February 1839 - SMUGGLING
On Wednesday last, John Lowry, shopkeeper, Falmouth, was summoned by the Board of Excise to appear before John Ellis, Esq., mayor, and W.H. Bond and T. Hill, Esqrs. magistrates, to answer a charge preferred against him, of having in his house in October, 1838, 7 lbs of negro-head tobacco, the same being smuggled.  The prisoner was defended by W. J. Genn, Esq., and the defence set up was, that the notice was informal and imperfect, and also that the wife of the said John Lowry was the person on whom they should have served the notice, as the count set forth that the said John Lowry did knowingly conceal, &c., when it was clearly proved by the witnesses for the Crown that the husband was not present.  The prisoner's counsel moved for an adjournment to allow time for calling witnesses, and the further hearing was put off to that day fortnight.  The penalty sued for was GBP 100.



Thomas CHAST[?], the boatman named in last week's paper as having been committed to prison for smuggling, was brought before the magistrates at Falmouth on Monday, and threw himself on the mercy of the Court. The fine incurred was GBP 100, and in default of payment to be imprisoned six months. Several persons in court gave him a good character; and as it was his first offense, it is hoped he will soon be discharged. He is very poor and has ten children.

W.B 29 MARCH 1839
CORNWALL LENT ASSIZES CROWN COURT - Wednesday, March 27, 1839 before Mr. Baron Gurney
The calendar was exceedingly heavy, there being 56 prisoners in gaol, a number, we believe, far greater than has ever before been committed for trial in any one assize in this county - and there are also many persons out on bail. Besides these, there are ten prisoners in gaol confined on former orders, most of whom are imprisoned for smuggling.



Smuggling - On Wednesday week, the schooner "Marie Victoire" Capt. Barnett, laden with coals, entered the Falmouth Harbour, when she was boarded by one of the preventative men, named Bright, who, as she had long been a suspected vessel, remained with her while she was unloading her cargo, off Malpas. Bright suspected there was something wrong, but the sailors conducted themselves in such a careless and unaffected manner, as to very much shake those suspicions. On Saturday, when a great part of the coal was cleared out, Bright commenced boring in different parts of the vessel, and at length set his gimlet into a cask of brandy. He immediately went after the seamen who had gone on shore, but they had effected their escape. The vessel was then brought up to Truro Quay, where she underwent an examination, and was found that she had a false bottom, and that she was well stored with spirits. On Sunday, the officers began to remove their booty, which amounted to 276 tubs of brandy and! Geneva; and the vessel, which was registered in the name of Mr. Jago, of Redruth, is now being cut up. She has been in active operation for nearly three years, and has several times been examined in different ports, without any discovery being made. On Monday, a man who gave the name of Brown, was apprehended on board the Hayle steamer, bound for Bristol, who had belonged to the "Marie Victoire," when she was taken. He was brought to this borough on Tuesday, where he was recognized by Bright, and evidence taken against him sufficient to justify his being remanded for further examination. It is expected that the other men will also be taken.

W.B 31 MAY 1839 - Smuggling

On Monday, James Sanders, the man apprehended last week at Hayle, for having been on board the "Marie Victoire" smuggling vessel, lately seized at Truro, was brought before G. Wightman and W.P. Kempe, Esqrs., county magistrates, when he pleaded guilty to the information exhibited against him, upon which he as convicted in the penalty of GBP 100, and in default of payment committed to Bodmin gaol for six months.


W.B. 23 August 1839 - SMUGGLING

John MARTIN, Samuel HOYDEN, George BASTIAN, and John TRIPCONEY were charged with having assaulted and obstructed Francis BEATTY and Philip CALF, coastguard-boatmen, in the execution of their duty. Mr. Sergeant Bompas, Mr. Moody, and Mr. Erle appeared for the prosecution; Messrs. Cockburn and Smith for the prisoners.

Francis BEATTY sworn: Witness is a coast-guardsman. On the night of the 4th of April last, when on duty, near Penair estate, he heard a whistle; and in the morning, he found a boat on shore; there were slings in her such as are used by smugglers. There were footsteps on the each, which he traced towards Penair farm, kept by Wm. TRIPCONEY. He searched the barn there, but found nothing. He then went into a lane nearby, where he saw the prisoner Martin, and Philip CALF, a coast-guardsman. Saw Martin trip up Calf. A great many people were there. A scuffle ensued, and Martin had Calf in a hedge and held a large stick over his head; but witness saw no blows struck then. Calf sang out "For God's sake, don't kill me." Upon this, witness ran up, when Bastian collared him. Tripconey struck him with his fist. Some men struck him with sticks, and with their fists. Witness was thrown back into a pool of water. Farmer Tripconey came up, and said "What are you about? Don't kill the man." Witness then got clear of his assailants, and he and Calf seized three kegs of smuggled spirits.

Cross-examined: When Martin tripped up Calf, both turned round. Cannot say which struck first. Calf used his stick freely, but struck no violent blows. Witness did not hear Calf challenge any of the party to a fight. John Tripconey struck him. Calf was walking quietly on, when he was tripped up. Did not see Hayden standing between Calf and Martin endeavouring to quiet them. Does not know whether John Tripconey, of Trenance, was there. Bastian was laying about him with a stick when he went up to Calf. Tripconey struck him, as did several others. He recognized Tripconey among a crowd of men in Helston street. Witness received a blow under the ear, and his face was covered with blood. Tripconey was not there then. Witness had a lump in his back, as big as his fist, from the blows he received.

Philip CALF corroborated the evidence of the last witness. He further stated that just below Penair farm, he found a warp such as is used in getting the tubs ashore. He found three tubs in a turnip-field on Penair. George Bastian and John Tripconey were close to him; the other prisoners were about 70 yards off. They saw him find the kegs. Between 29 and 30 men were near. Witness saw nine or ten come out of the barn; John Tripconey was among them. He did not know him till then; had known the other prisoners for five or six years. When Martin tripped him up, he struck him with a small stick, which was broken by the blow. Witness was struck with other sticks, and with fists. Martin stood over him as he lay against the hedge, holding a stick over him. Most of them had sticks. Martin took off his cap, hurrahed, and said they had done for witness and his companions. The prisoners knew they were officers. Witness seized the tubs in the Queen's name, Bastian and Tripconey must have heard it. William Tripconey asked the men if they knew the consequence of what they were about; and said every man of them would be transported. He said the officers were welcome to search all his premises; he had nothing to do with the job. Hayden was then near. About 100 yards from the barn, 12 tubs of smuggled spirits were found concealed under potatoe-stalks.

Cross-examined: Witness did not challenge any two of them to fight. Hayden did not attempt to prevent Martin from beating him. Martin swore if he had a pistol he would blow witness's brains out.

John PERKINS, commissioned boatman, proved the seizure of the kegs. He himself was not molested. John Tripconey was one of the party. Simon TAMBLY, a boatman, gave similar evidence.

Lieut. BOYDER, R.N., chief officer. Witness came up about an hour after the affray, and found Beatty very much beaten. He was bleeding from the nose and ear. Calf appeared much beaten about the head. In all, 29 tubs were taken, containing 116 gallons of foreign brandy and 10 of gin. Witness's men generally carry cutlasses and pistols. There had been a dreadful storm the night before.

The Learned Counsel for the prisoners called: William TRIPCONEY. Witness is the farmer at Penair. On the morning of the 5th of April, Martin came there to shoe his oxen. Calf and Beatty came about nine o'clock to search; witness gave them permission. Martin finished his work between nine and ten o'clock and left the place. He was tipsey when he came. Witness heard that a row had occurred, and went to the gate, then saw the coast-guard men and the other men in the road. Hayden was standing between Calf and Martin, trying to prevent them from fighting. Bastian stood a little distance off advising them not to quarrel. Witness asked what they were quarrelling about; Hayden said Calf had hit Martin on the head. Calf was in a very great passion and swearing. Witness heard him offer to fight any two of them; this witness used all his endeavours to keep them quiet. No violence was used in his presence.

John TRIPCONEY is related to witness, and was in the house when witness went into yard; and when witness returned he was there still. There were not more than 8 of 9 men altogether when witness was at the gate.

Cross-examined: Witness did not send anyone to harrow his field that day, but afterwards found it harrowed. Some of the tubs were found 150 yards from his barn; the second lot not far from his barn. Bastian worked for witness as a tailor. Hayden does not work for him. He did not say anything about transporting to the men while at the gate.

Verdict: Martin, Hayden and Bastian Guilty. Twelve months' hard labor, the first and last weeks solitary. Tripconey Not Guilty.



SEIZURE OF CONTRABAND BRANDY - On the 8th instant, Mr. Gains, supervisor of excise, at Launceston, assisted by Mr. Giles and Mr. Hayne, two officers of the district, succeeded in capturing at Chapman's-well, between Holsworthy and Launceston, two vans having each two horses, and loaded with 73 tubs of smuggled brandy, accompanied by three men, whom they also secured. It appears that the brandy was landed near Hartland, and was on its way to Plymouth, under the care of the parties taken with it, but to whom it belonged has not yet transpired.


SMUGGLING - On Sunday morning last, H. M. cutter "Sylvia" commanded by Lieut. Brewer, captured an Irish craft, near the Land's end, having on board 400 tubs of brandy, and four men, and brought them into Penzance pier.



On Saturday morning, Mr. H. C. Turner, and Mr. Edmund Randall, two vigilant and active officers, the first of the Excise, and the other of the Customs, having some cause to suspect that contraband goods were brought into town by the stage vans coming from St. Austell, Tregony, and other places near the south coast, took their station about a mile out, on the eastern turnpike road, and carefully searched all the vans as they arrived. Among these was one belonging to a man called Nicholas Fugler, of Tregony, in which they found a keg of French brandy, concealed in a hamper with a little straw on top of it. Upon this they seized the van and all it contained, together with the van horse, and drove off to the Customs house, carrying Fugler with them in custody. The goods were quickly secured in the Queen's warehouse, and the horse and van properly disposed of; while Fugler was taken before the Mayor, who, on hearing the case, remanded him until Friday, agreeably to the Act of Parliament, to afford time for the receipt of orders from the Board of Customs, as to the further proceedings against him. Such of the goods found in the van as belonged to innocent persons, will, no doubt, be restored to their owners.


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W.B 10 January 1840 - AN INFORMER AT TREGONY

On Wednesday evening last, a mob assembled in the street at Tregony, with bundles of reeds and faggots of wood, in order to burn the effigy of Mrs. Rundle, who has been most unjustly accused of giving information against Fugler, the person who has been committed to prison for six months, for having been detected with a keg of contraband spirits in his van: but the rabble was soon dispersed and driven out of the town, by one of the constables acting under the orders of the mayor.  


W.B 5 JUNE 1840 - SMUGGLING - 

On Wednesday last, William HOBB and Isaac SYMONS were brought before J.S. BLIGHT, Esq., mayor, and James CORNISH, Esq., one of the magistrates of the borough, charged by J. HALL, Esq., collector of the Customs, with having, on the 6th of April, a quantity of smuggled goods in their possession, which were seized at their respective houses. The value of the goods found at the dwelling-house of William Hobbs was £17. 16s. 3d., which, when trebled, amounted to £53. 8s. 3d., and the value of those found in Symons's house was £21. 2s., when trebled, amounted to £63. 6s. Both the defendants pleaded guilty, when the magistrates, taking into consideration the circumstances of the case, reduced the penalty incurred to one-fourth its amount, which, in the case of Hobbs was £13. 8s. 2d., and in that of Symons, £21. 2s.



JAMES HAWKE, 48, was charged with stealing two parcels of stockings, and one of tobacco, from Messrs. HICKS and NORMAN, of Wadebridge. Mr. HOCKIN stated the case, and called R. INGLEDEN, police officer, of Wadebridge, who stated that he apprehended the prisoner, at one o'clock in the morning of the 23rd of April. Witness stopped his wagon and said, "I understand you have smuggled goods here." Prisoner said, "No, I have not: jump up and see." Witness searched the wagon, and found some oats. A man called PENALIGAN(?) was in the wagon. Witness produced a parcel of stockings, and a parcel of tobacco, which he had received of prosecutor. Richard FRADD received two parcels from Mr. John NORMAN, on the morning in question. Cross-examined by Mr. JOHN.  Did not open the parcels. He knew the parcel of stockings, because the paper was torn and the stockings came through. Saw it opened before the magistrates. Mr. John Norman had lost a parcel of stockings, but could not positively say if it was the same as that now produced. Mr. Joseph HICKS, jun., saw Ingleden seize the prisoner about one o'clock, on the 23rd of April. The wagon was immediately put into the yard. Witness afterwards searched the wagon, and found the stockings and tobacco now produced. There was a private mark on the parcel of stockings, in witness's hand-writing. They never let private marks go out of the shop. Cross-examined by Mr. John.  Did not know what became of papers that had been wrapped round goods when they were of no further use. When stockings were sold, they put the papers away with other waste paper. There was no mark upon the tobacco. Witness had had words with the prisoner three weeks before. Prisoner said he would twist his neck; and witness replied that he should not get anything by saying so. Mr. Joseph Hicks, sen., would swear to the private marks. After prisoner was committed, witness read over a letter to him, which witness had received from his daughter at Truro, and said, "Jem, I am sorry you had not known better. I did not think you was so big a rogue. I have no doubt you have robbed me of hundreds of pounds." Prisoner replied, "no, 'tis the first time. I hope you will be merciful to me," Witness replied, "I will show you as much mercy as you have shown me," and told him he was a "deep chap" but was caught at last. Cross-examined. Witness had sold 24 or 25 dozens of these stockings out of 30 dozen. They were in parcels of dozens, like that produced. When the stockings were sold, the papers were used for sending out soap or other dirty things. Would swear the stockings produced were never taken out of the paper they came down in. Mr. Henry HUGHES heard the conversation between Mr. Hicks and the prisoner. When Mr. Hicks said he should not be merciful, Prisoner said "Then I'm done." Mr. LUXMOORE, clerk to the magistrates, proved the prisoner's examination. It stated that the oats and other things were in the waggon, before Penaligan got in, to go to Truro. Mr. G.D. JOHN, for the prisoner, addressed the jury at great length, and called the following witnesses to character:- Mr. James WYATT and Mr. J. JOHNS, of Wadebridge; and Mr. SOLOMON, of Bodmin. Verdict, Not Guilty. JAMES HAWKE, the same prisoner, was charged, on a second indictment, with stealing 72 gallons of oats, from Messrs. HICKS and NORMAN. A second count charged the prisoner with being a servant at the time of committing the felony. R.A. INGLEDEN again stated the circumstances of the prisoner's apprehension, as he was leaving Wadebridge for Truro, on the morning of the 23rd of April. Witness found, in the waggon, three bags of oats; and prisoner said, "the oats are my perquisites; I make a shilling or two by it; don't tell my master; it will be the rain of me. He afterwards said he had bought the oats of a farmer, 12 miles the other side of Camelford. Witness took and secured the oats. On the road to the prison, prisoner said, "I am sorry for it, I had no occasion to do it. It is my own fault." Mr. FRADD, in whose cellar the oats had been secured, proved that they were in the same bag as those now produced. Mr. Joseph Hicks, sen. said that the oats produced, resembled those belonging to himself and partner. They were mixed, about one-sixth part white. On the evening before prisoner's apprehension, witness ordered him to go to Truro, at one o'clock the next morning. (Witness here repeated the evidence as to the letter and conversation given in the former case.) Mr. HUGHES and Mr. LUXMOORE gave evidence similar to that in the last case. With reference to the present charge, the prisoner's examination stated that he had sold three bushels of oats at Truro, the last time he was there, and promised to bring them down on his next journey. He afterwards bought some oats at Camelford, and brought them home. He carried part of them to his master's yard; and the next morning, wanting the bags to put some salt in, he emptied his oats into his master's core-hutch, and at one o'clock on the morning of the 23rd of April, measured them out again. Mr. JOHN, for the prisoner, addressed the jury in a most able and eloquent speech; and then called James COCK, who stated he lived at Advent, near Camelford; and on the 15th of April, he sold the prisoner four bushels and a peck of oats, for 10s. a bushel, for which prisoner paid him honestly, 'home to a farthing.' Mr. HOCKIN replied; and the Chairman very carefully summed up the evidence. Verdict, Guilty. Twelve Months Hard Labour; One Month Solitary Confinement.


W.B 18 SEPT., 1840 - SMUGGLING - 

On Monday last, a boat belonging to the Royal Tar, Peninsular steamer, was seized, by order of the Honourable Board of Customs, in consequence of some contraband goods having been found in her on her arrival at that port on the 5th instant. An order had been received to secure four of the seamen, but they were discharged in London. In the course of the afternoon, two of the men arrived in the Dublin steamer, Devonshire, and were conveyed to the town prison to be kept till Tuesday next, when an answer from the board might be expected. One of them, named Richard TRANICK, sought for a hearing; and, on Wednesday, he was brought to the Town-hall, before S. BLIGHT, Esq., mayor, and J. ELLIS, Esq., magistrate, when, the witness not being certain of his identity, he was discharged. The other man, named Andrew FRANCIS, remains in custody.

W.B 28, SEPT. 1840 - SMUGGLING  

On Tuesday last, a seaman named Andrew FRANCIS, one of the two belonging to the Royal Tar, Peninsular steamer, who were taken for smuggling, was brought to the town-hall, Falmouth, before the bench, and on the case being proved, was fined one hundred pounds, or, in default, six months imprisonment. The fine not being paid, the man was committed to the town prison.

Early on Firday morning, the 18th instant, H.M. Custom-house at Helford, within the Port of Gweek, was attacked by a body of men, consisting, it is supposed, of upwards of thirty persons, who broke open the heavy doors and strong locks, and robbed the cellars of 126 kegs of contraband Brandy, each keg containing four gallons and a half of spirits, which was seized on the 3rd instant, at Coverack. The burglars commenced their work about one oclock, and in the course of half an hour succeeded in removing all the
kegs except three, which they left for the benefit of the officers at Helford. The man and his wife who live at the custom house heard the men breaking open the cellar doors, but were afraid to give an alarm, which indeed, they could not well do, as the custom house is a remote building nearly three quarters of a mile from any house. From the tracks of wheels, it is supposed there were at least three wagons employed in removing the spirits, and it is probable that the property has found its way to some distance from Manaccan.


W.B 30 SEPT. 1840 - SMUGGLING-
On Monday last, a woman named TOMS was brought before the Magistrates of Falmouth by the Board of Customs, on account of some smuggled goods having been found in her house a short time since. The charge having been made, the prisoner pleaded guilty, and threw herself on the mercy of the court. The fine was 100, but it was mitigated to 25, which was paid.



On the 3rd instant, the same coroner held an inquest at St. Ives, on the body of Alexander McMICKEN, who belonged to the Coast-guard service, and was stationed at Pendean, in St. Just. He was one of the three persons who had succeeded in capturing a smuggler, laden with spirits, of Zennor, in the morning of the previous day, which they carried into St. Ives. The deceased had endured a good deal of fatigue in the course of the capture and afterwards, in assisting in the discharge of the cargo without taking any food and just as he had seated himself at table to partake of some dinner, late in the afternoon, he was suddenly taken ill and died in a few minutes. The attack was supposed to be apoplexy. Verdict, "Visitation of God in a natural way."


On the 27th ult., the "Harpy," R.C., Lieut. George DREW, R.N., commander, seized the "Five Brothers" smuggling boat, of Cawsand, with seventy-two half-ankers of foreign spirits which she had thrown overboard during the chase, about 14 miles to the southward of the eddystone. The remainder of her cargo was sunk with large stones, so that the people of the "Harpy" could not recover them. The "Harpy," on Friday the 30th ult., also captured, about 15 miles off the Lizard, the "Fox," of Cawsand, with 126 half-ankers of contraband spirits, three men, and the notorious smuggler, Peter BENALLACK, tailor, of Veryan, and deposited them in charge of the Collector of Customs at Plymouth. This makes seven smuggling boats Lieut. Drew has taken since he has held the command of the "Harpy," and eleven more have been compelled to throw overboard their cargo during chase to effect their escape.


ST IVES - On the 9th instant, the crew of the French sloop, "Le Commerce," that was seized by the Coastguard, and brought into this port, were examined before Samuel HOCKING, Esq., mayor, and J.N. TREMEARNE, Esq., justice, and were sentenced as follows:- Philip LIGHT, Englishman, nine months imprisonment; two of the Frenchmen, six months, and the other two, six months hard labour. William GENDAL, a notorious smuggler, of the parish of Morvah, who made his escape from the same vessel, was apprehended on Monday, and is remanded by the magistrates until Friday, for further examination.

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On Friday last, the "Sylvia" Revenue cruiser, on the Penzance station, descried a suspicious looking craft about three leagues from the Land's-end, Lieut. BREWER immediately pursued her, and after a run of five hours, both vessels going at a tremendous rate although the wind was light, it became nearly a calm. The cutter's boat was then hoisted out, and, after a smart chase of three hours more, they succeeded in coming up with, and taking the smuggler, about 40 miles S.W. from the above place, and found the crew, seven Frenchmen and three Englishmen, in the act of throwing some contraband goods overboard. It appears that she is called the "Mystery," of Cherbourg, it's a very handsome vessel, cutter rigged, and had on board 36 tubs of spirits. She was brought into Penzance pier on the following day, and on Monday the crew underwent an examination, when they were remanded until Saturday next.


W.B 16 APRIL 1841 - SMUGGLING - 

The crew of the smuggler "Mystere", captured by H.M. cruizer "Sylvia," as we stated last week, have undergone an examination before the authorities, and have been disposed of as follows: Pierre Poulain, alias Peter WALTERS, John SARGEANT, alias John Sargeant BRETT, and John TRUDGEON, alias John Trudgeon, BAG, were each sentenced to six months' hard labour in Bodmin gaol; and William SEAWARD, Alias William CHAMP, being an old offender, was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment at hard labour. There were also several Frenchmen on board the smuggler when taken, but being claimed by Richard PEARCE, Esq., the French Consular agent, subjects of the King of the French, who were not liable to any penalty in this country in consequence of not having been within the limits affecting foreigners, they were discharge.


W.B 11 JUNE 1841 - SMUGGLING - 

The captain of the "Mystere," French cutter, lately seized off the Land's-end by the "Sylvia," revenue cruiser, and brought into Penzance, was again captured last week off Portland in a smuggling lugger by the "Eagle" cutter. This must be a bold and persevering man; but he is rather an unlucky one. He escaped imprisonment at Penzance because it could not be proved that he had been within a certain distance of the land; but now, we understand, he will be subject to that punishment.



On Monday morning, an old man, named Nicholas THORNING, a waterman, was brought up on a charge of smuggling. It appeared that he was taken into custody early that morning by the custom-house officer, on board the Montrose, peninsula steamer, for having in his boat alongside that vessel, 13 � gallons of contraband brandy. At the close of his examination, he was remanded to the town jail for a week. On Wednesday, Samuel ODGERS was charged with having stolen on the preceding night, two oars, from the launch belonging to H.M. packet Penguin. The case was deferred until Friday.

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W.B 11 MARCH 1842 - SMUGGLING - 

On Saturday evening last, a boat was taken in Falmouth harbour with two men and about 22 cwt. of Brazil sugar. The men were detained till Monday on board the cutter, and then remanded to the town prison till an answer was received from the board in London; but we understand the men have since been liberated. The sugar is, however, detained.



The steam-packet "Montrose," Captain WILSON, which arrived at Falmouth on Saturday last, with the Peninsula mails, has been seized by the Custom-house authorities there, in consequence of a large quantity of contraband tobacco having been found on board.



CHARLES, ALEXANDER and JOSEPH MACDONALD, three brothers were charged under five different counts, with having obstructed and ill-treated a custom-house officer, named Paddy, whilst in the discharge of his duty on board of the "Tyrian" packet, on the 28th of February last. Mr. GENN conducted the prosecution; and the prisoners were defended by Mr. MOORMAN. Mr. Moorman took several objections to the indictment, all of which were overruled by the Recorder. Paddy, on the morning of that day, was put on board to packet to prevent seizable articles being smuggled ashore. In the evening, between seven and eight o'clock, observing something going on in the bow of the vessel rather suspicious, he went on the forecastle, and saw under the bow a boat, which he ordered to the gangway. On her way, he heard several things thrown overboard, and when he got into her he seized a demi-john in the Queen's name. Resistance was offered by all the parties in the boat, except the waterman, and he identified the prisoner Charles as having given him a violent blow in the nose, whilst endeavouring to lay hold of the same demi-john, which they had forcibly taken from him and thrown into the water. During the scuffle, one of them said "throw the b----r overboard after it," which they proceeded to do, but he twisted his legs around the thwart, and held on the gunwale with his left hand, and cried out murder, which eventually brought assistance. They so far succeeded, however, as to put his head under the water. He could not identify either Alexander or Joseph, but he believed they were the men who had assaulted him. WILLIAMS, the waterman, to whom the boat belonged, swore that the prisoners were the men he had in his boat when he left the vessel's bow, but he could not swear they were in the boat when Paddy came in, nor did he see any violence offered to Paddy, although he heard him cry murder. Upon his cross-examination by Mr. Moorman, Williams said for aught he knew, some men might have come into the boat from the packet, but he could not tell. Mr. Moorman, in his address to the jury, commented strongly upon the want of any positive evidence against either Alexander or Joseph, and the Recorder, in his summing up, left the point to the consideration of the jury, who, after a short consultation, returned a verdict of Guilty against Charles Macdonald upon the first count, and Acquitted the other brothers. They recommended the prisoner Charles to the merciful consideration of the court, and he was sentenced to Six Months' Imprisonment and Hard Labour.



. On Monday se'nnight, the "Viper," tender to her Majesty's revenue cruizer "Sylvia," on the Penzance station, captured in the North Channel, a smuggling yawl-rigged boat, with 96 kegs of French brandy, and lodged them at the Custom-house, Bristol. This is the third seizure made by the "Sylvia," under the command of Lieutenant BREWER, and her tender, within the last twelve months.


On the morning of the 9th instant, 20 tubs of contraband spirits were picked up floating near Penberth Cove, by the coastguard men stationed at Mousehole; and on the following morning, about one o'clock, the riding officer of the same station, Mr. RENDLE, seized a cart with two horses, near Trengwainton lodge, in the parish of Madron, containing 20 tubs. The driver, who was on horseback, decamped; but after a smart chase, he was overtaken and secured, though not before a pistol was presented, which had the effect of bringing him to; his name was HENRY TRELOAR, of the parish of Gulval. The whole of the tubs seized were lodged at the custom house, Penzance, by the chief officer of the Mousehole station, Mr. VAVASOUR.



On Monday last, four seamen, belonging to a Norwegian vessel, in Falmouth harbour, were brought before the Magistrates, charged by the tide-surveyor of St. Mawes with having secreted tobacco and brandy on board the vessel, for the purpose of smuggling. They were remanded till Friday, to await the decision of the Commissioners of H. M. Customs.


On Friday last, LAWRENCE MAROLI, second steward of the "Liverpool" steamer, pleaded guilty to smuggling 49 lbs of tobacco, which had been found in his possession on the arrival of that vessel at Falmouth, on Monday, and was sentenced to pay the penalty of GBP100, or endure six months' imprisonment.

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On Saturday last, Mr. W. P. IAN, tide surveyor, seized a man named HENRY JAMES, in New-street, in the parish of Falmouth, with a bag of Cavendish tobacco upon his shoulders, about 30 lbs. On Monday, he was taken before J. S. Enys., Esq., who, after hearing the charge, remanded him until Monday next, to await the orders of the board of customs.


HENRY JAMES, the particulars of whose apprehension, with Cavendish tobacco in his possession, we gave last week, has been sentenced to Bodmin gaol for six months.


W.B 17 MARCH 1843 - SMUGGLING - 

On Thursday night, the 2nd instant, Mr. JAMES, the Comptroller of the port of Gweek, with his men, captured in Helford river, a vessel having on board 125 kegs of brandy, which have since been lodged in the Custom-house of Helford. The smugglers were also taken, consisting of one English and three French men.


W.B 17 MARCH 1843 - SMUGGLING - 

FALMOUTH POLICE. On Monday last, three of the crew of H.M. packet "Ranger" were charged with having attempted to smuggle a small quantity of foreign tobacco. They were fined 2s. 6d. each, and costs, and in default of payment two of them were committed to the town gaol for a week.

W.B 14 APRIL 1843 - SMUGGLING - 

On Sunday last, MR. DEASON with two men belonging to the "Sylvia," revenue cutter, stationed at St. Michael's Mount, lodged at the custom-house, Penzance, between two and three gallons of Foreign brandy, which they found in a prame belonging to the Norwegian brig "Petras," CAPT. HOUFFGUARD, now lying in the Mount pier. It appears that on Saturday night the prame, containing four Norwegians and two Englishmen, was rowed from the Mount across to Marazion beach, where the revenue men happened to be, and helped to haul the boat up the beach, when the foreigners went up into the town for the purpose of making some purchases, and during their absence, Deason found the above quantity of spirits concealed in a locker. The Englishmen say they were merely passengers across, and know nothing about the brandy. All the men were brought before the magistrates on Monday, when they were held to bail till Saturday next.



On Monday last, two seamen belonging to the "Swift" and "Crane" packets, were brought before the bench, at the Guildhall, Falmouth, charged with having some contraband tobacco and cigars in their possession. The case having been proved, they were sentenced to six months? imprisonment in the town gaol.



On Monday last, the house of JANE TOMS, whose husband was some time since sentenced to six months' imprisonment for smuggling, was searched by the Custom-house officers, of Falmouth, for concealed contraband goods; and, after some time, they discovered a kind of cave dug out under the ground-floor of the house, where was deposited demi-johns of spirit, cigars &c. Jane awaits the order of the commissioners.



On Wednesday morning, the 8th instant, Mr. KNYVETT, tide-surveyor, of Falmouth, in searching the schooner "Young Gipsy," of and for Newport, in ballast, found 27 lbs. of Tobacco, and one gallon of Geneva. The whole was owned by some of the seamen, and on being taken before the magistrates, two were summarily convicted and fined 1s. each with costs, and two were remanded.


On Saturday last, a man of the name of SCANTLEBURY was convicted at Fowey, before the Rev. JOHN KEMPE, and WILLIAM RASHLEIGH, jun., Esq., two of H.M. Justices, of smuggling 5 lbs of tobacco, and was fined GBP2


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W.B. 26 JULY 1844 - SMUGGLING. 

On Tuesday last, a woman named COURAGE, belonging to Falmouth, was seized on her way to Penryn for having contraband goods then in her possession, consisting of 3lbs of unmanufactured tobacco, and a gallon of brandy. She was examined before J. S. ENYS, Esq., and fined GBP 1, and in default of payment sentenced to seven days imprisonment in the county gaol.


FOWEY. On Tuesday, the 27th ult., 95 kegs of spirits (46 over-proof) and one keg of colouring, were discovered concealed in a willow garden at Coombhorn, near the harbour, by the preventive men stationed here, and brought to this custom-house. Each keg contains four gallons, and the whole, with the addition of water, would make 760 gallons of strong smuggled spirits, which, although it was manufactured in Scotland for the purpose, would have sold for connoisseurs at a good rate as "moonshine" from the land of Monsieur.

On Saturday last, Capt. DONALDSON, of the brig "Scio," was brought before the Revds. Messrs. TONKIN and HOCKIN, at the White Hart Hotel, Yale, when a charge of smuggling was preferred against him by Mr. O'NEAL, of the customs, who found five pounds of tobacco in his possession. It appeared, that the tobacco was secreted in a private drawer in the cabin, and on the master being questioned to whom it belonged, he claimed it as his property. The magistrates ordered him to pay GBP100, or in default of payment he would be committed to prison for six months. The board of customs, however, eventually let him off in the mitigated penalty of GBP5.



On Sunday, the 6th instant, the sloop "Velocity," of Fowey, apparently [...l?] laden entered Hamoaze, with her topmast carried away, bound for Tamar. As she passed up, she was observed by Lieut BELLAMY, of the Devil's Point Coast Guard Station, who sent two of his men on board her, with orders to remain till she was discharged, a precaution which is occasionally taken with vessels of her description. The "Velocity" proceeded as far as Craft Hole, and on Monday commenced to unload, the work being continued on Tuesday, and all appearing fair. However, on Tuesday night, one officer being below in his berth, and the other on duty on deck, the master and crew, with the exception of a boy, an apprentice, who was below, being ashore, a boat came alongside, and before the officer could give an alarm, a number of men came on board with their faces blackened, and instantly seizing the officer, bound his hands, and drove him below in the cabin, placing a force over the entrance; they then began to land a quantity of kegs which lay concealed under the coal in the hold, occasionally amusing themselves by throwing down the companion large pieces of coal on the officers, and by way of a finale, they pitched a keg of spirits down near the fireplace. If the keg had stove, there is every reason to supposed that the spirits must have set the ship on fire; indeed it is but fair to presume that such was the intention of these desperadoes. The last trip they intended to make from the vessel to the shore, their boat upset, and a number of the kegs were lost. The officers finding they were left alone in the sloop, came on deck, but too late to secure any of the party. Between 30 and 40 kegs were found in the hold or on the beach. The vessel was seized, and taken into Sutton Pool; and by order of the Board of Customs, the boy who appeared to have been no willing party to the illegal transaction has been discharged, and a strict look out is kept up for the master and crew. It appears by the boy's story, that on their return from Wales with coals, when off the Land's End, they took from a French vessel, which, no doubt, met her by previous arrangement, upwards of 100 kegs of spirits, and threw a portion of her cargo overboard to make room for them, stowing the contraband goods in the very bottom of the hold.

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W.B 11 APRIL 1845 - SMUGGLING - 

On Saturday last, JAMES HUGHSON, landlord of the Dolphin Inn, Falmouth, was examined before a bench of magistrates, upon a charge of smuggling. It appeared that early in the morning of that day week, one of the preventive guard observed a boat making toward the town pier from the harbour. He watched her, and saw Hughson and another man land, at the southern end, a large bag of tobacco, and a small lot of tea, about 30 lbs weight. Hughson then put the boat round to the northern part of the quay, and moored her. In the meantime, the officer secured the contraband goods, and took Hughson into custody immediately he quitted his boat. The other man escaped. The charge being fully proved, Hughson was fined GBP100, in default of which, he was sentenced to six months' imprisonment in the county gaol.


W.B 2 MAY 1845 - SMUGGLING -

 On Wednesday last, two seamen named TUCKETT and GREENSTREET, belonging to the "Petrel" packet, were examined before the Falmouth magistrates, upon a charge of smuggling. It appeared that the former had concealed or locked up in his chest 2 3/4 lbs. of contraband tobacco, and the latter 3 lbs., for which they were each sentenced to six months' imprisonment.


W.B 2 MAY 1845 - SMUGGLING -

CAUTION TO SHOPKEEPERS - On the 18th ultimo, two women and a man were apprehended and brought before W. CLEMENTS, Esq., magistrate of Wadebridge, charged with having sold to two shop-keepers of that place several parcels, stated to be smuggled tea and tobacco, amounting in purchase to the value of GBP5 and upwards. The parcels were covered with coarse wrapping paper, on the inside of which was a layer of about half an inch of the tea and tobacco, the bulk of the parcels being nothing but bags of sawdust. It is supposed the parties have carried on a long and profitable trade, and that the persons who have been duped by them have suffered the matter to pass in silence to prevent their names being made public as no little disgrace attaches to those who would thus deal in supposed contraband goods. Immediately on the facts of the case being communicated to the constables of Bodmin, a search was made for the parties, and after a most careful watch, Mr. R. HARRIS succeeded in capturing the females, who were committed to take their trial at the next sessions.


W.B 9 MAY 1845 - SEIZURE - 

That indefatigable and zealous officer, Lieut. BAKER, R.N., of Portloe, has been so fortunate as to make a seizure of one hundred and forty-three tubs of contraband spirits; and his men captured, after a desperate struggle, that notorious smuggler, COUCH, of Grampound, and another, equally notorious, belonging to Veryan.



Last week, RICHARD OLIVER, alias Darning Needle, an idle fellow of Liskeard, was taken into custody at Camelford, by the Excise officer of that place, for hawking diluted spirit in bladders, under pretense of its being smuggled. He was taken before the REV. S. CHILCOTT, and in default of paying GBP 25 penalty, was committed to Bodmin for three months' hard labour, where he was well known. A brother of this man was some time since committed from Camelford, for hawking tobacco under the same pretense.


W.B 4 JULY 1845 - SMUGGLING - 

On Sunday last, the schooner "Clara," Capt. POPHAM, of Bideford, arrived at Falmouth, from Marseilles, with oil cake; and upon being searched by the custom house officers, 20lbs. of contraband tobacco, and a small quantity of spirits, were found secreted, belonging to the captain. An examination of the case took place at the Guildhall on the following day, when the captain was remanded for a week, to obtain instructions from the Board of Customs. The captain's wife came to Falmouth on Tuesday to see her husband, and went on board for that purpose. Her surprise and grief may be imagined when she was told her husband was in prison.

On Friday last, Captain POPHAM, of the "Clara," whose case of smuggling we reported last week, was brought up for final examination. A custom-house boatman, named TRESTRAIL, proved to finding the 20lbs. of tobacco in a hollow space under a locker or drawer, which he considered concealed, and which was not entered in the captain's manifest. Mr. MOORMAN, prisoner's counsel, in cross-examining this witness, elicited that the drawer was not locked, that on many occasions on board other vessels he had seen small parcels of the same kind of tobacco, belonging to the crew, in various parts of the ship, but had not seized them. Mr. Moorman next contended that he was prepared to show that his client's case was one which came under the clause of exemption provided by the legislature, this very tobacco being really intended for the ship's use. Mr. Moorman then read the section of the act which exempts from forfeiture "all spirit, tea, or tobacco, really intended for the ship's use; and called several captains of vessels to prove, first, that the place where the tobacco was found was the usual place for keeping it on board similar vessels, and the quantity not greater than the necessities of the ship's crew would require. He likewise called Captain Popham's mate, who deposed that the captain was in the habit of serving out tobacco to the men, and that he kept it in that particular place, because his clothes occupied the drawers; and besides, to prevent the boy stealing it. The bench ruled that the clause referred to by Mr. Moorman did not apply to the case before them, inasmuch as the tobacco was not entered in the ship's manifest - a fatal omission. They, therefore, without any personal feelings against the prisoner, felt bound to fine him in the full penalty of GBP100, or six months' imprisonment; at the same time they would be glad to sign a memorial to the Customs' Board praying a mitigation of the fine.



On Saturday last, a boat and ninety-two tubs about 400 gallons, of o.p. contraband spirits, seized in a cove near Coombe Horn, were brought to the custom-house at Fowey. This spirit is white, with very [strong?] flavour, and that bad, but it would have been coloured to represent brandy, had the smuggler been successful. It is said that a number of persons were ready on shore to have carried all off in less than half an hour; but a preventative man being on the spot, saw the boat approach, fired his pistol as a signal, and was soon joined by his fellow, but not until the smugglers had bound him hand and foot, from which perilous situation he was relieved by his comrade.


On Thursday, the 21st instant, Mr. HENRY WILLIAMS, gunner of H. M. packet "Express," was brought up upon a charge of smuggling on board that vessel, the custom house officers having found concealed under his bed seven boxes of cigars, nearly 40 lbs. of Cavendish tobacco, and several bottles of brandy and wine. The case was adjourned until Monday to await the instructions of the Board of Customs, when he was again brought up, pleaded guilty to the charge, and was sentenced to pay a fine of GBP 100, and six months' imprisonment.

1846  TOP

W.B 12 JUNE 1846 - SMUGGLING - 

On Tuesday last, NICHS. TREGIDGO, was brought before the magistrates of Falmouth charged with smuggling. The day before Tregidgo was on board H.M.'s brig "Philomel," arrived that morning from Monte Video, endeavouring to sell shoes, and whilst there one of the Customs Officers, suspecting him, found on his person, upon searching, 1 1/4 lbs. of Cavendish tobacco. The magistrates disposed of the case by fining Tregidgo 20s.


FALMOUTH GUILDHALL - On Tuesday, BENNETTS under went his examination on the smuggling charge, which we gave last week. The indictment was confined to the spirit, which was one gallon and a half, and the charge being proved, he was sentenced to six months imprisonment, and to pay a fine of GBP 100. The quantity of sugar and coffee was too insignificant to form part of the charge.


W.B 10th July 1846 - SMUGGLING - 

Captain IVEY, of the brig "Majestic," underwent his examination on the charge of smuggling 9 1/2 lbs. of tobacco, on Friday last. The evidence proved that he had that quantity on board in a locker, and the magistrates had no alternative but to fine him GBP100, and in default of payment to be imprisoned six months.


W.B 24th July 1846 - SMUGGLING - 

JOHN WITHERS and SAMUEL WESTCOTT were charged upon the information of WILLI AM WYNHALL, a commissioned boatman of the coast-guard, with having a quantity of smuggled tobacco in their possession. The accused were seamen belonging to the Barque "Rosalind Castle," lying at Restronguet, in the Truro river, and on Sunday the 19th inst., they were seen by the coast-guard boatman to come ashore in the sip's boat, the second mate, GEORGE TOOGOOD, being also in the boat. When they reached the shore, the boatman observed the two men to be rather bulky about their persons, and walking up he asked what they had about them ? They said nothing, upon which he said he believed they had, and accused them of having tobacco. Afterwards, on searching them, he found two pounds of toba cco concealed on each of their persons. The magistrates fined John Withers in the mitigated penalty of 30s. and Samuel Westcott in the mitigated penalty of £2. George Toogood, the second mate of the "Rosalind Castle," was then charged with being on board the boat which brought the tobacco to land. It appeared tha t besides the tobacco found on the persons of Withers and Westcott, a parcel of about two pounds was afterwards discovered floating on the water as having apparently been thrown from the boat. The second mate, however, pleaded entire ignorance of the tobacco being in the boat, but notwithstanding his protestations he was fined 5s. The boat, which is worth £18, we understand is also to be forfeited. It did not appear that the captain or chief mate of the "Rosalind Castle" were at all cognisant of the proceedings of the men.


W.B 24th July 1846 - SMUGGLING - 

On Monday last, before the magistrates at Truro, ROBERT HAWKEY was charged upon the information of JOHN SCAPLEN STANSMORE, collector of custom s, with having 10lbs. weight of smuggled cigars in his possession on the 19th instant. The accused was remanded until Monday next, to afford time to communicate with the Board of customs.
W.B 31st July 1846 - SMUGGLING

ROBERT HAWKEY was charged upon the information of Mr. STANSMORE, collector of customs at Truro, with having in his possession ten pounds and a half of smuggled cigars. The accused had been remanded from the 20th inst. in order to communicate with the Board of Customs, and Mr. T[?] AVERY, comptroller of customs of Truro, now stated that an order had been received from the Board to press for conviction in the penalty of £100. Policeman FITZSIMMONS said that on Sunday, the 19th inst., he received information of a man having offered a box of smuggled cigars for sale at the Punchbowl, in Feock, at 6s. per hundred. He immediately went with the person who gave him the information, and on the road they met the man, who was carrying the box. He took him into custody, and sent for Mr. Stansmore, who came and seized the cigars in the Queen's name. Mr. J. S. Stansmore deposed that he received the box from the policeman; it contained cigars, which he apprehended to be smuggled, and therefore seized them. The prisoner, when called upon for his defence, said he bought the cigars of a woman in Falmouth market, and paid her the money, not knowing them to have been smuggled. He bought one thousand of them, and had since carried about the box quite openly. He had been working for the last two years in a malthouse in Devonport. In answer to the magistrates, the prisoner said he had no permit. He was then convicted in the full penalty of GBP100, and in default of payment was committed to prison for an unlimited period, until the Board should think proper to release him. The magistrates, it appears, have no power of mitigating the penalty under the 8th and 9th Victoria; but the prisoner was informed that he might petition the Board. It was stated, however, that he had once before offended against the customs' laws, in 1838, when he kept a malthouse in St. Issey, where eighteen gallons of smuggled brandy, besides malt, were seized.
W.B 31st July 1846 - SMUGGLING - 

On Tuesday last, Mr. GOODWIN, mate of the ship "Harvest Home," lately returned from Quebec, was charged before the magistrates of Falmouth with having had 13 lbs. of contraband tobacco concealed in his cabin. He was remanded until Saturday next, to await the instructions of the Board of Customs.



On Monday last, a seizure of tobacco and spirits was made on board H.M. packet "Penguin," at Falmouth, by Mr. CHINA, tide-surveyor. The articles were stowed in an empty water-tank in the hold, being about 160lbs. of tobacco, and eight gallons of rum. The crew were immediately called abaft, and separately questioned as to the ownership when one of the seamen called BENNETTS, admitted that the tobacco and rum belonged to him. He was subsequently brought before the magistrates, and committed to await directions from the board of customs.


On Friday last, Thomas BENNETT, captain of the hold in Her Majesty's packet brig "Penguin", was convicted of having concealed on board 161 pounds of tobacco, and upwards of eight gallons of rum, and was sentenced to pay a fine of 100 Pounds, and in default to be imprisoned six months.



On Monday last, Richard GILBERT and George ELLERY, master and mate of the "Happy Return", were brought before the bench, at Falmouth, on a charge of smuggling, and sued for the penalty of 100 Pounds each. W.J. GENN, Esq., appeared for the prosecution, and J.B. MOORMAN, Esq., for the prisoners. The charge arose out of a seizure of some small quantity of figs, raisins, macaroni, and candles, which the captain took in a boat with him on the 26th of November last, on his arrival from Lisbon, the amount of duty on which was about 9s. The master, Richard GILBERT, was first arraigned, and pleaded not guilty; but at the suggestion of his advocate he withdrew that plea, and pleaded guilty. The bench mitigated the fine to one quarter of the penalty incurred, as it was the first offence, and not an aggravated one. George ELLERY was then arraigned and pleaded not guilty. The witnesses deposed to having taken the prisoner and the master already convicted in a boat belonging to the ship, with the aforesaid goods; but the defence set up was that all the goods belonged to the captain, who had been punished for the offence, and that the prisoner had no other business than obeying his master's orders to go in the boat to row him ashore. The prisoner was then discharged.


1847 TOP



Lieut JOSEPH ROBINSON has been appointed to the Coast-guard at Cadgwith.

THE CUSTOMS - Mr. T. CORNISH, eldest son of Mr. CORNISH, Surgeon, of Falmouth, has received from the Treasury the appointment of Landing Waiter at the port, vice BOWSTEAD, resigned.



On Friday last, MATTHEW SHARROCK, a seaman belonging to the "Petrel" packet, was charged by the collector of Customs at Falmouth with having smuggled 53lbs. of tobacco, and other articles. The collector conducted the case on behalf of the Crown, and Mr. MOORMAN for the defence. It appeared by the evidence of Mr. CHINA, the tide-surveyor, that on the 21st instant he went on board the "Petrel" with a boat's crew of six hands, who proceeded to rummage the vessel, and found, in a water tank in the hold, 53lbs. of tobacco, which he reported to the commander, who called the two captains of the hold and questioned them about it, when WILLIAM DUNN said that Sharrock put the tobacco in the tank. Mr. Moorman, in cross-examination, elicited that Dunn did not say who put the goods in the water tank until he was threatened that it would fall on him, and he would lose his servitude of twenty years in the navy. Dunn was then called by the collector, and swore that he saw Sharrock put the tobacco in the hold. In cross-examination, he said he could not tell what time of the day it was when he saw it put there, he believed it was early in the evening and that it was dark. This witness behaved so improperly, making use of profane language, and being intoxicated, that the magistrates, in the absence of any other witness, dismissed the case.

W.B 19 MARCH 1847 - SMUGGLING - 

The schooner "Little Briton," Pentreath master, arrived at Penzance from Zante on Sunday last, with a cargo of fruit; and the Custom-house officers, on boarding her found concealed two pieces of silk, six boxes of cigars, two jars of olives, twenty-nine bottles, one keg, and three jars of wine, six bottles of Geneva, two bottles of brandy, one jar of rum, one pound and half of tobacco, and four decanters, upon which the duty had not been paid. The master and crew have been examined on the matter, and the case stands adjourned until instructions are received from the board of Customs.



The case of Captain PENTREATH, of the schooner "Little Briton," of Penzance, for smuggling, was heard before the magistrates at the Custom House of that port, on Monday last; and after a minute investigation the penalty of £100 was inflicted, or six months' imprisonment. The penalty was paid, and Capt. Pentreath will petition the board for a mitigation of its amount.



On Wednesday last, three Austrian sailors belonging to a barque of that country were brought before the Falmouth magistrates, charged with smuggling. The Custom-House boatmen, on searching the vessel, found upwards of 14,000 cigars, which, upon inquiry, were found to belong to the three prisoners, who were remanded for a week to await instructions from the Board of Customs.


During the past, and present week, the custom house officers at Falmouth have had their hands full of work, having made no less than seven seizures in different vessels. On Monday, Capt. WILLIAMS, of the brigantine "Kingston" was presented for having on board concealed upwards of 20 lbs. of foreign tobacco. The charge was Afully proved, and a fine of £100 imposed, in default of which the captain was sentenced to be imprisoned for six months. On the same day, the captain of another vessel underwent a preliminary examination upon a similar charge. On Tuesday, a sailor named JOHN SHAWGER was fined in a small amount for smuggling a pound of cigars. On Wednesday, to crown the whole, the captain mate, and crew of a Maltese vessel were examined and remanded to await instructions from the Board of Customs for having on board concealed upwards of nine cwt. of foreign tobacco.


On Tuesday, nine men, the crew of a Maltese vessel, were brought before the magistrates of Falmouth, and charged with smuggling. The custom-house officers found on board their ship upwards of 4 cwt. of cigars. They were remanded to await instructions from the Board of Customs.


On Friday last, the nine Maltese sailors who had been previously remanded by the Falmouth magistrates, were again brought up and severally fined GBP 100 each. In default of payment they were committed to the borough gaol for six calendar months, unless the fine be paid sooner.



On the 21st inst., EDWARD TOMS, and JANE his wife, were brought before W. R. BROAD, Esq., Mayor, and JOHN HILL, Esq., Justice, at Falmouth, on a charge of having illegally in their possession 42 lbs. of coffee, 27 lbs. of raw sugar, and a small quantity of brandy, rum, and manufactured tobacco. The finding of the goods was proved by the tide-surveyor of customs.


FALMOUTH - In consequence of the crowded state of the Falmouth town prison by the conviction of so many foreign seamen for smuggling, and the imprisonment of sailors for refusing to proceed to sea from various ships entering the harbour, the town council have memorialized the Secretary of State on the subject, and on Wednesday last seven of those who had been longest imprisoned were ordered to be discharged.

1848 - TOP



On Saturday last, at two p.m., the revenue cutter "Eagle," Lieutenant ALLEN, on the Penzance station, fell in with the French cutter "Diana," of Cherbourg, about forty tons burthen, off the Longships, and after an hour's chase, boarded her. She had a crew of seven Frenchmen and two Englishmen, and it is believed that her contraband cargo was thrown overboard during the chase. The captured vessel was brought into Penzance, and on Monday last, the crew were examined at the custom house, before the borough magistrates, and remanded until Saturday next to away the decision of the Commissioners of Customs.


 On Monday last, seven Frenchmen and two Englishmen, the crew of the French sloop "Anna," captured off the Longships by the "Eagle," revenue cutter, on the Penzance station, were charged before the magistrates at Penzance, with offending against the act for the prevention of ?smuggling. Mr. ROSCORLA was retained for the crown, in connection with Mr. BULLOCKS, of London; Mr. PASCOE appeared for the Frenchmen; Mr. LAVARS, of Plymouth, for the Englishmen; and Mr. R. MILLETT acted as legal adviser to the magistrates. EDOUARD POULAIN, a Frenchman, was first put on his trial. Mr. Roscorla said the information was to the effect that the prisoner was discovered on the high seas within one league of the coast of Cornwall, on board a certain vessel liable to forfeiture, under an act for the prevention of smuggling - the vessel not being square rigged, and having on board one of her Majesty's subjects, within eight leagues of the coast of Cornwall, being other than that part of the United Kingdom which is between the North Foreland on the coast of Kent, and Beachy heard, on the coast of Sussex, and from which vessel, part of the lading had been thrown overboard to prevent seizure. For the first such offence, every offender was liable to not less than six months' imprisonment with hard labour; for the second, nine months; and for the third twelve months. Several witnesses were then called. RICHARD BARNES, boatswain of the "Eagle," said - on the 5th instant, we were cruising off the Land's-end, at 2.30 p.m., and saw the "Anna," about a mile from the "Longships." The cutter made [Wall?], and I took the helm. The sloop altered her course from N.W. by "keeping away" and "luffing" - she did this three times to my knowledge. The revenue and custom house pendant were hoisted. We fired thirty muskets and two cannons, six pounders, to bring her to; she hove-to about the time the second gun was fired. Before the first time the sloop "luffed," we had been in chase about twenty minutes; and between the other "luffings," there was a lapse of about ten minutes. I was on board the "Anna" on the day of her capture, and found two pieces of bark on board; they appeared to have been fresh. I went on board in about an hour after her capture, and smelt a strong smell of liquor; the hatches were off, and the platform of the hold was quite wet - I should say by water having been thrown down. ROBERT GIBBS, a boy who was at the mast-head of the "Eagle" when in chase of the "Anna," said he saw the crew of the latter vessel amidships, close to the main-hatchway, stooping and rising for a quarter of an hour. The pump was near, but by their motions they could not have been pumping. When she luffed up, he saw a man heave something over the "lee quarter," and the water splash up - a tub thrown over for the purpose of taking up water, would not have produced the effect upon the water - it must have been something bulky. Directly afterwards the sloop "kept away" again. HENRY RICHARDS, a seaman on board the "Eagle," saw the crew of the "Anna" busily engaged. When he boarded the sloop he observed one man with the skin knocked off his hand, and the others were perspiring a good deal. WILLIAM NORRIS and HENRY HARDEY corroborated the preceding witnesses. JOHN ALLEN, Lieutenant of H.M. cutter "Eagle," deposed that the "Anna" was a mile from the Longships, and not more than two miles from the main-land. GEORGE KERKIN[?] another of the crew of the "Anna," was then tried, it being intended that the decision on the two cases should be taken as upon the whole. The other Frenchmen, however, refused to be convicted without a trial, so that the proceedings on all the cases lasted about eleven hours. The nine prisoners were eventually convicted and sentenced to six months' imprisonment with hard labour, in the borough prison.

W.B 12 MAY 1848 - SMUGGLING - 

A few months since, three men of the neighbourhood of Gulval, named WARREN, TRELOAR, and BOSENCE, were convicted, in London, of having been concerned in a smuggling transaction, and were each fined GBP 100, being allowed a certain time to pay it. One of the men has paid that sum, but the others were taken to the country gaol at Bodmin on Saturday last.


W.B 12 MAY 1848 - SMUGGLING - 

CAUTION TO MASTERS OF VESSELS - TREMBETH, master of the schooner "Success" of Fowey, has been committed by the magistrates of Sunderland, in default of the penalty of GBP 100, to six months imprisonment for having concealed in his cabin a few pounds of cigars and tobacco.

W.B. 11 AUGUST 1848 - SMUGGLING - 

In consequence of information laid at the Custom House, the stores of Mr. CHARLES WILLIAMS, coal and porter merchant, Harvey's Dock, Falmouth were searched, when six cwt. of coffee and about three gallons of rum were found by the officers.


On Tuesday night last, the pleasure-boat of G. P. FOX, Esq., built within the last three months, was unmoored and taken away. The men on board the night and day revenue boat, observed a craft answering to the description of the yacht, pass out of the harbour about eleven o'clock that night, and one of the pilot boats saw her in the morning about three or four miles to the southward of the Blackhead. It is supposed that the rogues who have stolen the boat intend to smuggle with her, and are gone to France to purchase a cargo.



On Tuesday last, JOHN FOWLER, mate of the schooner "William," of Bideford, with WILLIAM JENKIN, and GRIFFITHS ROBERTS, seamen, were brought before R. PEARCE, Esq., magistrate, at Penzance, on a charge of smuggling. The vessel, WILLIAM BRIMSMEAD, master, was bound from Nieupert, Belgium, to Bridgewater, with a cargo of wheat, beans, &c. MR. JOHN MATTHEWS, custom-house officer at Penzance, went on board the vessel just after her arrival on Monday last, and having seen the ship's "manifest," the captain, in reply to a question, said he did not know what the men had.
Mr. Matthews, with a landing-waiter named PADDY, and another officer called GROSE, then examined the men's boxes in the forecastle, and found they had each 3lbs or 4lbs of tobacco, which was said to be all they had. On going down, however, into the sail locker in the hold, three bags wee discovered concealed between the planks, containing 27 lbs. weight of tobacco. These were seized and shown to the captain, who called the crew, when Jenkin and Griffiths took up a bag each as belonging to them, and subsequently the mate claimed the other bag. The men were remanded to await communication with the Board of Customs, they being in the interim on board the "Sylvia," in custody of the collector.



On Monday last, PATRICK BULGER, a boatswain belonging to the "Royal Adelaide," of Fowey, RICHARD SMITH, master, was brought before the Rev. JOHN KEMPE, charged with having in his chest a quantity of tobacco. The defendant was on shore when the officer of customs came to examine the ship; the chest was unlocked and the tobacco uppermost within. The fact being admitted, the defendant was fined GBP1 and costs. The man received an excellent character from his captain for seamanship and sobriety.



THE SMUGGLING CASE AT PENZANCE - The three men remanded last week at Penzance, on a charge of smuggling 33 1/2 lbs. of tobacco, on board the schooner "William," have been liberated, it appearing, on communication with the Board of Customs, that as the ship was not bound to Penzance, the prosecution was ineffectual. The tobacco remains under seizure.

WILLIAM HILL and RICHARD COLLINS, two apprentices belonging to the "Royal Adelaide," of Fowey, were on Monday last brought before Mr. TREFFRY and the Rev. JOHN KEMPE, at the Town-Hall, Fowey, CHARGED BY Mr. JAMES BROWN, Collector of Customs, with having on board the said vessel concealed three pints of brandy and fifteen and a half pounds weight of Cavendish tobacco, the former being in a cask, capable of containing twenty gallons and upwards, and the latter being in a cask of three cwt. or upwards, the said vessel not being driven into port by stress of weather or any other unavoidable necessity. Mr. C. W. PEACH, coastwaiter, went on board on the 25th ult., with assistants and after receiving the master's manifest, &c., proceeded to rummage, when one of the seaman with him found the above-mentioned brandy and tobacco in a bag down forward between the ship's side and a piece of timber. The facts having been stated, with some suspicions to the Board of Customs, these two persons were selected from the ship's crew to be proceeded against. On the hearing of the case, [.....?] appeared somewhat severe in suffering the two youths to be selected, but after much questioning and some hesitation, William Hill confessed that the parcel was handed to hi, and he threw it where it was found, which, of course saddled him with the penalty. The two lads were committed for six months.


The master and crew of the barque "Good Intent," of Fowey, were on Friday the 8th instant, at Fowey Town Hall, brought before the Rev. JOHN KEMPE, and Mr. GRAHAM, county magistrates to answer to the following charge. The "Good Intent," it appears had a quick passage from Quebec to the port of Fowey with a cargo of timber, where she arrived on the 30th ult. CHARLES WILLIAM PEACH, coastwaiter, stated that with a boat's crew he boarded the barque on her arrival, when he and the persons with him proceeded to "rummage" the ship, and found tobacco, some in the forepart and some in the Lazerrette, &c., together with the men's allowance (which in this case is also forfeited) weighing 224lbs. The captain and crew were brought before a magistrate on Monday the 4th instant, and remanded to this day, when nineteen informations were exhibited against them, the whole amounting to GBP1,000, or 114 months (nine and a half years) imprisonment. By the collector of customs of Fowey on whose the case devolved, the captain was first charged, and pleaded "not guilty"; the collector of customs observed he thought the master laboured under the misunderstanding  of the case, as he was not charged with having any knowledge of the tobacco being on board, but with being on board a ship having tobacco not in a legal package of 3 cwt. at least, which subjected the ship to forfeiture. Several of the crew pleaded "not guilty," but the greater part pleaded "guilty of being found on board but without any knowledge of the tobacco." One pleaded "guilty," (the steward) who upon his confession, and the evidence of a Scotch lad, made it appear that the tobacco was taken on board by him, but with much privacy as he must have proceeded with in the landing the same at Fowey. It was observed by the magistrate, at the hearing of the case last week, that however he detested smuggling, this act was so stringent that they could do nothing to mitigate its provisions; their hands were completely tied, and if this was the law, the sooner it was got rid of the better. The unfortunate seamen were all convicted, and the inhabitants have memorialized Sir GEORGE GREY and the Board of Customs on their behalf.


1850 TOP

W.B 3 May 1850 - VESSELS LAUNCHED.- A cutter called the "Smuggler," of seventy tons, intended for the fruit trade, to be commanded by Captain R. LEGG, and considered to be a beautiful model, was launched from the building yard of Mr SYMONS, Penzance, on Saturday last.
W.B 17th MAY 1850 - SMUGGLING - 

On Friday last, two young women named ROSKILLY, were charged with smuggling, before Mr BROAD, may and Lieut HILL, magistrate at the Town Hall, Falmouth. Mr ??? appeared for the prosecution, and Mr GENN??? for the defendant. The first case was against the eldest sister, but the evidence failed, and the complaint was dismissed. The case against the youngest sister was then gone into. Witnesses deposed to searching the house and shop of the defendants, and on following Roskilly upstairs, one of the witnesses picked up a bag containing five pounds of Cavendish tobacco. There appeared some doubt as to the identity of the bag, but it was quite clear that tobacco was not such as was duty paid, and the bench convicted the defendant; as it was the first offence they mitigated the fine for �100 to �25. The money was about to be paid, but the young woman said it should not be done, as the informer would have half the amount; rather than that she would stay six months in prison. She was the committed.


W.B 24 MAY 1850 -SMUGGLING- 
 George SYMONS of Flushing, was brought before Mr ROGERS, one of the magistrates of Falmouth, on Tuesday last, charged with having two pounds of tobacco in his possession on Sunday last, as he was coming over the side of the "Penguin" packet. He was convicted in the mitigated penalty of �1, with 10s. costs, or one week's imprisonment. The fine not being paid, he was locked up.


 W.B 14th JUNE 1850  - SMUGGLING - 

SMUGGLING COMMITTALS. - To the Editor of the West Briton. Sir, - I beg leave through the medium of your paper, to call the attention of the public to the following case. Two persons named WHITSON and TREGEAGLE, were about the 14th of last month, taken by a revenue officer in the act of smuggling tobacco, and carried before the magisterial authorities at Truro, by whom they were convicted and sentenced to a fine of �100, or six months' imprisonment. Not having it in their power to pay the fine, they were consequently committed to Bodmin for the specified time, where they are at present, but from whence, I presume they may at any time be emacipated, by paying each �100 to the crown. So far, all the proceedings in this case are legal and in perfect order. But, an apparently singular anomaly attends the Administration of this sentence, which excites considerable surprise, at least, among persons unlearned in the law. These two men, now committed to gaol for the non payment of the above fine, are at present deprived of the comfort of writing to, or receiving letters, from their families and friends, or of being permitted to see any person, whether wife, parent, or any other relative, who might wish to alleviate their distress, by affording them that sympathy and solace, which it seems hard, and not consistent with the merciful stream of English justice, to deny to a prisoner, particularly when under sentence for a crime of minor turpitude. This afflictive prohibition of personal intercourse, or written communication with their families, it is understood they are doomed to endure for three calendar months! These persons are consequently debarred all knowledge of their personal and private concerns, and their families may be involved in irretrievable ruin for want of their advice and direction. Both these men having large families, their wives and children are exposed to an amount of suffering only required, one might suppose, in cases of high crimes, where, state necessity could alone justify the imposition of such a stone measure of punishment. Now the common impression, among the in legibus indocti, is that as they are only crown debtors, and the payment of a sum of money, would at any moment cancel their crime, and compromise their punishment, that therefore, any penal restrictions, beyond what are necessary for their safe custody, and the useful regulations of a prison would be unnecessarily harsh and such as Mr WYNDHAM would have designated, "a rigour beyond the law." It seems a novelty to the public, that men, convicted of mere finable offences, should be deprived of pen, ink, and paper, and bereft of the only comfort left them, that of seeing and communing with those most dear to them on earth, and be cut off from all knowledge of their household concerns at home! It naturally reminds us of the place, and the period, when letters de cachet flew round at the bidding of tyrants, and the Bastile swallowed within its cold and sombre recesses, the pale and murky victims of despotic vengeance. It savours of the tender mercies of the Star Chamber, and calls up the recollection of the holy inquisition. But this splenetic mode of punishment, Mr Editor, is not at all in harmony with the mild character of British justice, particularly for an offence, not considered malum in se, but which the law only places amongst the "mala prohibita." It has been held by writers on criminal jurisprudence, and more particularly by MONTESQUIEU and BLACKSTONE, that extreme punishments are by no means effectual in the prevention of crime. The latter says, that "punishments of unreasonable severity, especially when indiscriminately inflected, have less effect in preventing crimes, and amending the manners of the people, than such as are more merciful in general." - In the present improved condition of society, it is only the vitiated in taste, that seek to inflect vindictive penalties. It will furnish much satisfaction, Mr Editor, to many of your readers, if any gentleman, versed in law, will explain how far such a mode of punishing crown debtors is authorised by statute, or can in any mode be construed as being in unison with the general wisdom and humanity of the principles of the British constitution. I remain, yours respectfully, VINDEX. Dated June 10, 

W.B 2nd August 1850 - SMUGGLING. - 

On Monday last, Mr William MICHAEL, late master of the barque "Esther Frances," from Havannah, was charged before the mayor of Falmouth and Lieut. HILL and Mr ROGERS, justices, with having smuggled eleven and three quarters pounds of cigars in ten boxes. This was the man who (as was stated last week) was charged with attempting to poison his crew, but against whom the evidence was altogether incomplete on that charge, which was therefore dismissed by the magistrates. On the present occasion Mr TILLY appeared for the Board of Customs, and Mr GENN for the defendant. It appeared that the information that there were smuggled cigars on board, was given to BENNETTS, the constable, by the mate of the vessel, Robert DUNNAPACE. The witnesses examined in support of the charge were John SEDGEMEND, an extra man of the customs at Falmouth, E. Bennetts, constable, Robert Dunnapace, mate of the vessel, an apprentice on board called CLARKE, Mr HURST, tide-surveyor, Mr. SHELLEY, collector of customs, and a daughter of the constable. Mr. Genn cross-examined the witnesses, but the Bench considered the case proved, and fined the defendant �100, or in default six month' imprisonment. The fine not being paid, the defendant was confined in the borough goal.


W.B 2nd August 1850 - Obstruction  
On Tuesday last, Mr. E. Bennetts, constable, was summoned for obstructing a person in the preventive service, when discharging his duty. The matter arose out of the proceedings in the trial, against the captain of the "Esther Francis".



On Monday last, in consequence of some information communicated to them, the Custom-house Officers at Falmouth, made a search in several houses in the town. At the house of Mr. TOMS, they found three jars containing spirit and a small quantity of tobacco. At Mr. Pasco's in Webber-street, they took four boxes of cigars, but on examination they proved to be English and were accordingly returned to him again next day.


1851 TOP


W.B 24 January 1851 - SMUGGLING - 
On Monday last, JANE TOMS, was charged before Mr. TICKELL, mayor of Falmouth, and MR. R. W. BROAD, magistrate, with having smuggled a quantity of cigars, coffee, and spirits. Mr. GENN appeared for the board of customs, and MR. J. DOWNING defended the prisoner, who pleaded not guilty.
Mr. CHINA, the chief officer, stated that he went to the house of the prisoner in Mulberry-square, and on his going into the first room, he found twelve or eighteen empty cigar boxes, and the two produced, which had two pounds in them. In the second room he entered, he found nothing, but in the third room he found the bag of coffee now produced, which weighed 41 lbs. In the passage opposite the kitchen door he saw a small keg, and told one of his men to start the bung, which being done, he found it contained spirits.
The prisoner made no remarks about the cigars, but she said she had bought the coffee in small lots; she totally disowned knowing anything about the spirit, until the officer ordered it to be taken away, when she said it was some she had bought at Mr. CARNE's; it was one gallon and thirty-two parts of a gallon of brandy. The other officers corroborated this statement.
Mr. Downing cross-examined the officers as to the amount of duty payable on the quantity taken, which would only be about GBP 3. He endeavoured also to show that the brandy was some which had been taken by the officer in
September, and given back; and that prisoner's husband being now in prison for a lot of goods taken in September, she ought not be convicted. The bench considered the prisoner guilty, but the quantity being small, they mitigated the penalty to GBP 25, or six months' imprisonment. The fine was paid.


W.B 21 February 1851 - SMUGGLING - 

On Monday last, WILLIAM REDBOURNE, an American, and a seaman called SHELLY, two of the crew of the schooner "Copy," of London, were charged at Crotch's hotel, Hayle, before the Revds. URIA TONKIN and T. PASCOE, magistrates, with having smuggled seven and a half gallons of brandy. They were convicted and fined GBP100 each, and in default of payment were committed to the county gaol for six months. The charge was preferred by instructions of Mr. JAMES, Comptroller of Customs at St. Ives. Mr. PASCOE appeared for the prisoners.



On the night of Saturday last, about eleven o'clock, two or three waggon loads of contraband goods, were landed near St. Ives breakwater, and carried through the town to the eastward. One of the coast-guard officers, in attempting to stop one of the waggons, was knocked down and held by two men until the waggon was gone beyond reach. This act exemplifies the old proverb, "the more public the more private.," The smack called the "St. George" of Bristol, which was lying in the bay at anchor has been stopped by the officers of customs, in consequence of the name on her stern being partially hid, and the boat having neither name of captain nor vessel.


"SMUGGLING" at ST. IVES - SIR - Having seen a paragraph in your paper of last week headed "smuggling" and that a vessel named the "St. George," of Bristol, had been detained at the port of St. Ives by the customs, in consequence of the name in her stern not being sufficiently plain, I beg to inform you that I am the master of the above named smack, and that I brought her to anchor in St. Ives Bay, on Saturday morning the 31st of May last, for the purpose of taking in some baskets of fish, being at the time bound up channel. To my surprise, on Monday, she was brought into port by the custom-house officers and coast guard. The general belief in this town and neighbourhood is that one of the coast guard was rambling from a public house late on Saturday night, he fancied he met a waggon, loaded with contraband goods, and in his attempt to stop the waggon, was either knocked down, or from other causes, he fell under the waggon. This circumstance has caused the detention of my vessel, as at that time she was the only one in the bay. The vessel is still under an arrest, and I very much doubt whether I shall not lose the confidence of my employers, unless the business is thoroughly explained.
How far they have a right to detain the ship I am at a loss to conceive. Had this occurred in any other port, I should, with my crew, be in a state of great distress. I am a native of this port, and am in consequence thrown upon my friends for my daily bread. If you will favour me by inserting the above in your next week's columns, I shall ever feel grateful/
I am, Sir, your most obedient humble servant, JAMES WILLIAMS St. Ives, June 10, 1851 P.S. - The vessel has a four-inch letter in her stern, perfectly plain.

W.B 27 JUNE 1851 - SMUGGLING -

On Monday the 16th instant, the "St. George," of Bristol was released from the custody of H.M. Customs, by order of the board; but in consequence of a quantity of spirits having been crept up by the custom-house officers on the morning of Saturday last, she was stopped. A piece of chain, and the rope attached to the tubs, correspond with those on board the above named vessel.


On the 17th instant, before the mayor of Penzance, Mr. PEARCE, a charge was preferred by the collector of Customs at that port, Mr. BERESFORD against ROBERT TEED, master of the smack "Wellington," of Plymouth; JOHN SPILLER, the mate; and WILLIAM WESTLAKE MUTTER, and JOHN HALLET, the crew of the said smack, for having neglected to heave to on signals being made by her Majesty's revenue cutter, "Sylvia," and for destroying the cargo to prevent a seizure. Mr. FORWARD, commander of the cutter, deposed that he observed the smack on Wednesday off Padstow, harbour, about noon, standing E. N. E. at the time about seven or eight miles from the shore. He stood across to board her, but she altered her course and steered N. E. by N. While pursuing her he observed the man at the helm leave his post several times and go to the main hatchway apparently assisting the crew. When about a mile distant he hoisted the colours and commenced firing as a signal for her to heave to. He fired about a hundred times; and half an hour afterwards, when within a quarter of a mile she hove to. He boarded her in two or three minutes, in company with an officer and a boat's crew. On the hatchway being opened there was a strong smell of spirits. He asked the master to show his papers; also where he was bound to and where he came from? The captain replied, "from Exmouth, and was bound to Cardiff for coals." He searched her and found part of the ballast, which was sand, quite wet with spirit, which he believed to be brandy. One of the men found the hoop of a cask and part of the stave of a tub. The pumps were tried and the water was impregnated with spirit, which was discovered both by smell and taste. The impression of a tub was also observed in the ballast. The vessel had been seized and brought to the port of Penzance. About twenty minutes after witness boarded the vessel, they picked up a tub containing brandy; it was a two gallon tub, and was thirty yards astern of the vessel - there being none other with six miles of the "Wellington" and "Sylvia." The cutter cruised about, and two hours afterwards picked up eight kegs, of four gallons each, in the wake of the vessel. After other evidence had been given, the men were remanded until the following Wednesday, to await communication with the Board of Customs.


1853 - TOP

W.B 4 November 1853 - Smuggling - 

SMUGGLING. - On Thursday the 27th ult., Edward PHILLIPS, of Hayle, was charged by Mr. Thomas FERRING?? Collector of H.M. Customs, before the Rev. U. TONKIN, with having illegally landed from a foreign vessel a quantity of cigars, and was fined in the sum of 15s


1854 - TOP



The brigantine "Ono," Captain WILLIAMS, of and for St. Ives, from Quebec, put into Penzance roads last week through stress of weather, and was boarded by the Customs boat, when a small quantity of tobacco and spirit, belonging to the Master and Crew, was found concealed on board. The case was represented to H. M. Commissioners of Customs, who fined the Master in the mitigated sum of GBP20; the seamen, GBP5 each, releasing the vessel.


1855 - TOP


SMUGGLING - JOSEPHE BILBOD, a Spaniard, belonging to the ?NATUNNA,? was brought before the Mayor of Falmouth, on Monday last, charged with attempting to smuggle 37 lbs. of cigars. He was remanded until Friday next, to await the instructions of the board of trade.


W.B. 1 AUGUST 1855

SMUGGLING - A charge of smuggling was investigated at the Penzance Town Hall on Monday last. On the 11th instant the brigantine "Queen of the West" CAPT. TREGARTHEN, of Newlyn, anchored in Gwavas Lake. She had a cargo of oil from Messina, and lay there awaiting orders. Soon after the arrival she was boarded by one of the tide-waiters attached to the Customs of Penzance and two boatmen. In the evening a boat let the vessel for Newlyn, having on board Captain and Mrs. Tregarthen, and a seizure was made by one of the coast guard men.

A report of this occurrence having reached Penzance, early in the morning of the 12th, by the direction of the Collector and Comptroller, Mr. PHILLIPS again visited the vessel. He was accompanied by MR. J. BARRETT, comptroller and acting tide surveyor, MR., J.W. PADDY, and others. The stores were again produced and then a second search was made. A keg of wine seen the previous day, and seized by the coast-guard at Newlyn, was missing. In a locker underneath the steerage stairs was a cask containing eight gallons of wine and a jar with a gallon and a quarter of rum in it. Under the pan of the water closet, covered with straw, were four bottles containing half a gallon of cordials, and in a locker under a drawer of the master's berth were fourteen bottles containing two and a half gallons of Geneva. All these were at once seized.

An information was now laid by the Customs under the 236th section of cap. 107 of 16th and 17th Victoria. MR. ROSCORLA stated the facts of the case, and MR. R. MILLETT (for CAPTAIN TREGARTHEN) feeling that he was not in a position to controvert them, withdrew his plea of not guilty and a penalty of GBP 100 was imposed by the magistrate, MR. CARNE.


SMUGGLING - On Friday last, JAMES POMEROY, master of the "Catherine," of Brixham, was charged before the magistrates at Falmouth with concealing 4lbs. of tea and 1 1/2 lbs. of cigars. The Collector of Customs, Mr. ROSS, stated that as it was a trifling quantity, and he did not with to detain the ship, he would consent to the Bench summarily disposing of the case, which they did by imposing a fine of treble the duty, or GBP4. 4s. 6d., and 10s. costs. The prisoner seemed well pleased with this decision and paid the amount, saying it was the first time he was ever before any magistrate, and he would take care not to appear again.



SMUGGLING - On Monday last, a woman who acts as second stewardess of the "Drake" steamer, was brought before the bench, charged with having brought on shore about seven gills of gin. She was found guilty, and sentenced to pay the amount of treble the duty, and the costs.


1856 - TOP

W.B. 4 JANUARY 1856

FALMOUTH POLICE - On Wednesday, Captain HENRY NANCOLLIS, of the brigantine "Ann" of London, was charged before the mayor with smuggling and concealing three gallons of brandy. He was remanded for eight days, to await directions from the London Board of Customs. Three of his crew were summarily convicted; a seaman called DAVID WILLIAMS, was fined GBP 1.4s; WILLIAM WILLIAMS, GBP 1.11s.; and JOSEPH LEWIS, GBP 2.9s.; the fines were paid.


W.B 8 JULY 1856

SMUGGLING - A Spanish seaman, named JUAN BAPTISTA MALL MALLORA, was charged, before Mr. ELLIS, borough magistrate, on Monday last, with having smuggled articles in his possession, consisting of 45 lbs of tobacco, 40 lbs of coffee, and 4 ? gallons of rum. He was fined GBP 100, and in default of payment to be imprisoned six months in the borough gaol. The brig "Buona Mora" has been placed under detention by the Customs, the second Spanish vessel within a fortnight.

1857 - TOP


CHARGE OF SMUGGLING - At the Guildhall, Falmouth, on the 14th inst., before the Mayor Mr. BLIGHT, and Mr. ELLIS, magistrate, Capt. SOOSTE, of the Danish ship "Prince Adalbert," appeared to answer a Customs' information, suing for a penalty of GBP 100. The Collector of Customs at Falmouth appeared for the Crown, and Mr. TILLY for the defendant.

Henry James WEBSTER, tide-surveyor, said: On the 8th of January, after boarding the "Prince Adalbert," I asked Capt. Sooste as to his stores, and he told me he only had 3,000 cigars. On searching the cabin I found 175 more, which the chief and second mate had, and sealed them up. In the meantime Thomas PASKO had been searching in the fore-hold, and on my coming near he told me had just found a case, containing about seven boxes (23lbs.) of cigars. I at once asked the captain whose they were, when he answered "The crews'."

On asking the men, they said they belonged to the captain; again I asked the captain, who replied "they are my stores."
On being cross-examined by Mr. TILLY, the witness admitted that he boarded the vessel before she was at anchor. That on the discovery of cigars in the fore-hold he did not bring them to the captain for his inspection; nor was it till the second time of asking, that he described the case to the captain, when he at once admitted they were his ship's stores, and they might do their best. Witness declined giving any opinion as to the value of the cigars.

Thomas PASKO, tidewaiter, said: On rummaging in the fore-hold, I found an old case, containing 23 lbs of cigars. The mate told me they were the captain's. They were concealed amongst the cargo.

Cross-examined by Mr. Tilly: The cargo, composed of coffee, &c., was in bags and cases. The case of cigars was not under the cargo; never knew a box similarly placed to be intended for smuggling. The box was concealed by old rope and cases. Full twenty minutes before he found the box, which was loosely nailed down, an old rough case, which could easily be broken open. It would contain a great deal more than it then held.

Mr. Tilly then ably addressed the court, stating that the wretched trash, designated by the name of cigars, when produced, would utterly negative the probability of their being intended to be smuggled, and rested his defence on two grounds: - first, that the captain was in the port by unavoidable accident, being compelled to put in from the sickness of his crew, and that the vessel was not liable to forfeiture, by reason of having cigars in an illegal package; and secondly, that the cigars found were bona fide ship's stores, which had been used in the ship as such, and that they therefore came under the exemption contained in the 27th section of the Supplemental Customs Act, 1855, and the 214th section of the Consolidated Act; and called Mr. C. SCOTT, the boarding-clerk of Messrs. BROAD and SONS, who proved that the ship had received orders to proceed to London before she came to anchor, but that the captain was unable to proceed, in consequence of the illness of some of his crew, although the wind was fair.

Albert SWADGER, second mate, proved that the cigars found in the case were the remains of 12,000 cigars, purchased in Denmark three years ago, and had never been taken out of the ship, and were now reduced to 1,700, from being from time to time issued to the crew, and that they were placed in the fore hold, away from the others, because they had the worm. That the captain, before his arrival, had been on deck three nights, and about a day or two before they came to Falmouth, had given him orders to put all the tobacco into one place, to be sealed up by the custom-house officers. That the mate forgot it until they entered the harbour, when there was no time to attend to the cigars, as the custom-house officers boarded the vessel before the anchor was let go.

Mr. Tilly now ordered the cigars to be produced, when a large rough case was brought into court, loosely fastened, which, on being opened, was found to contain cigars of the commonest kind, in a wretched condition, and covered with worms. Edward LAWRENCE and Edward HAY, two of the seamen, corroborated the evidence of the preceding witness. Mr. A. SPARGO, chemist, carrying on a large trade in cigars, proved that the cigars in question were mere rubbish; that it would not be safe to keep them near other tobacco, for they would impart the worm, and ruin the whole. The Collector briefly replied to the case, pressing for a conviction. The bench, however, immediately decided that the defendant was entitled to an acquittal.

1867 - TOP



Part of the crew of the Maltese barque Wignacourt, were charged on Thursday, at the Town-hall, Falniouth, with smuggling tobacco, and remanded. On the officers of the St. Mawes Custom�s boat searching the vessel, they found 117 lbs. of tobacco and 14 lbs. cigars secreted. Some of the tobacco was made up in the form of life-belts and covered with canvas. A great quantity of cigars were found to be down the sides of the masts, but could not be got up, and an officer will probably have to go with the vessel to her port of discharge so as to obtain possession of them as the cargo is discharged.      


1887 - TOP



West Kerrier Petty Sessions - Wednesday - Before the Rev. A.A. Vawlrey (chairman), Capt. J.P. Rogers, R.A., and the Rev. A.H.M.. St. Aubyn.
Tobacco - Smuggling - John Nankervis, of Ruan Minor, pleaded guilty to having unlawfully in his possession several pounds of tobacco. - Mr. Manners, collector of Customs at Falmouth, prosecuted, and stated that he and the coastguard officers of the Lizard visited defendant's house, and told him they had suspicion of being unlawfully possessed of leaf tobacco. Defendant denied that he had, but on the house being searched, some sailor's pig tobacco was found under the bed. It was about ten pounds. It was stolen from the wreck of the "Suffolk." - Nankervis, who had nothing to say, was fined £5 2s., including costs.


1899 - TOP


W.B 12 January 1899 - THE SLOOP INN, ST. IVES.

The landlady [Mrs. Elizabeth Baragwanath] and her father before her occupied the house for nearly 50 years. She has its history at her fingers ends; back to the time of an old smuggler known only as Old Tubs He and another noted and daring smuggler, whom they always called Old Worms, and who had the command of the swag in Hickss court, are the best remembered characters in St. Ives, and many a well authenticated tale of savage conflict between Kings officers and St. Ives smugglers dates from Hickss-court, and the Sloop on the foresands. In and around the Sloop during election time congregated hundreds of fishermen; beer flowed like water. The red coat and cocked hat of an Exciseman were a red rag to an infuriated bull; party fights with fists, sticks, stones, and any other weapons coming to hand would throw Donnybrook into shadow. The most severe party fight ever known in St. Ives was on the 27th of March, 1820, when the effigy of one Tom Tucket was burnt in front the Sloop for the part he took in the return of Messrs. Evelyn and Graham to Parliament. The members were charged with bribery, but their election was confirmed by the House of Commons. About 700 men, boys, and women were all fighters together on the foresands, and great personal injury was inflicted.                               

In 1899, the Sloop Inn was a low, yellow-washed house crouched beneath a two centuries old slate roof with tiny dormer windows. Inside, was like the deck of an old 74 line of battle ships all beams and timbers, while upstairs, a four poster bed would fill the state-room; the others were smaller.]







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