would perhaps be more appropriate. For smugglers were more often feared
and hated than celebrated. This list is by no means exhaustive. It simply
focuses on a few individuals and gangs who — through their skills,
success, brutality, or brazen defiance of authority — have achieved
legendary status. Clicking an underlined name jumps to the relevant
page in the Guide-Book.
of all southern smuggling gangs, the Hawkhurst gangs staged an armed
raid on nearby Goudhurst when villagers there defied them.>
locals as "the Blues" and led by the "Roaring Ransleys"
of Ruckinge, they could turn out hundreds of workers to land goods in
open defiance of the authorities.
Named for the Suffolk town where they were based, the 100-strong Hadleigh
gang fought a pitched battle with dragoons and customs men to recover
a captured cargo in 1735.
mob based on muddy Burntwick Island in the Medway.
villain" of Bomo who claimed never to have killed a man in the
course of his long career.
and cunning folk hero from Lymington who turned down Napoleon's request
to lead a French invasion force to England.
Cornwall smuggler who, like Michael Howard, had something of the night
most famous for the autobiography he wrote.
The Carters of Cornwall's Prussia Cove. Harry Carter wrote an autobiography:
you can read the full text by clicking here.
Nicknamed the "Rob Roy of the West", Rattenbury took to smuggling
after finding fishing too dull a career for his tastes. Jack's memoirs
are available by clicking here.
Dorset smuggler who earned legendary status for his tricks.
figure who became the model for Scott's character Dirk Hatteraick in
of sadistic and brutal violence should be required reading for anybody
tempted to romanticize smuggling.