The extraordinary emergence of smuggling during the 18th and 19th century forms much of the history of the coastline of the British Isles, and the traditional image of the fisherman-cum-smuggler has intrigued historians and fiction-writers alike for decades. But how accurate is this traditional picture of the smuggler? In this fascinating history, maritime historian Richard Platt explores the captivating story of smuggling in 18th and 19th-century Britain, when high taxes led to a dramatic increase in illegal imports. As the "free trade" grew, smugglers openly landed contraband in full view of the customs authorities: columns of heavily-armed thugs protected the cargoes. Documenting every aspect of the smuggling industry, from the practical problems of stowing contraband and getting it to its final destination to the legendary hiding places and caves used to conceal goods until their sale, this compelling book will intrigue all those with an interest in the sea and its history, and shows how a small-scale trade that enjoyed widespread popular support grew into a vast and violent industry.
Publisher: The History Press Ltd