The demise of the smugglers

It could be argued that with the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte, came also with the demise of smuggling around 1885. For years England was putting all its attention military and political into defeating the old enemy and now with this issue solved they turned their "powder" on domestic issues with smuggling being the highest priority. The introduction of "free trade" being made a national policy signed the death warrant for the smugglers, not saying that small scale smuggling stopped, but the days for men like "Gulliver", Kingsmill" the writing was on the wall. The crazy days of the smugglers produced some amazing personalities and produced men who had amazing knowledge of seamanship and excellent in overcoming difficulties that presented themselves to them. Would they have been so successful without the willingness by many people to turn a blind eye to their activities, I doubt strongly , but what a time to live in! . Next time you're in old Poole at midnight, listen carefully, you never know you might hear carried by the wind "The Hawkhurst Gang" whispering about some booty.





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