Smuggling was rife in Britain between the seventeenth century and the mid-nineteenth century, and smugglers have come to be highly romanticized as cheeky rogues, cunningly evading heavy taxes imposed by an overbearing government. In reality, many smugglers were prepared to use excessive force as often as they used cunning, and the officers whose job it was to apprehend them were regularly intimidated into inaction. The whole social hierarchy was riddled with those willing or compelled to help smugglers, and many a fortune was built on this illicit trade. Trevor May explains who the smugglers were, what motivated them, where they operated, and how items ranging from barrels of brandy to boxes of tea would surreptitiously be moved inland under the noses of, and sometimes even in collusion with, the authorities.
Smugglers and Smuggling
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC