Author Topic: Capture of smugglers off Folkestone and subsequent riot in Dover - March 1807  (Read 230 times)

Offline stuartwaters

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I found this little gem in the Gazette while looking for something else:


Custom-House,
London,
March 12, 1807.


Whereas it hath been humbly represented to His Majesty, that on the Evening of the 7th lnstant, the Boats of the Tartar Cutter, in the Service of His Majesty's Customs, and of the Lively Cutter, in the Service of His Majesty's Excise, were feloniously fired on by the Crew of a Smuggling Lugger, with the name obliterated, then lying in Folkestone Roads, which was afterwards seized by the Revenue Officers, and her crew, consisting of Fourteen Men, taken out of her, and put on board the said Cutters, Seven of whom afterwards escaped from the Tartar, and Three were rescued from the Custody if the Peace Officers in the Town of Dover.


His Majesty, for better discovering and bringing to Justice the said Offenders who have escaped, is hereby pleased to promise His most gracious Pardon to any one or more of them (except the Master of the said Lugger, and such of her Crew as actually fired) who will discover any one or more of the said Offenders who have escaped, so that he or they may be apprehended and convicted of the said Offence.


And, as a further Encouragement, the Commissioners of His Majesty's Customs do hereby offer a Reward of TWO HUNDRED POUNDS to' any Person or Persons, (except as is before excepted,) who will make such Discovery as aforesaid. Just Reward to be paid upon Conviction of such Offender or Offenders by the Receiver General of His Majesty's Customs.


By Order of the Commissioners,


J. T Swainson



Things didn't end there and what followed was a demonstration of the power that the smuggling gangs held over ordinary people. The next Notice in the Gazette has more details.




Custom House ,
London,
March 12 , 1807 .

Whereas it hath been humbly represented to His Majesty, that in the evening of the 8th Instant, a very numerous Mob assembled in the Town of Dover for the Purpose of rescuing from the Custody of the Peace Officers several Smugglers, who stood charged with Felony ; and that although Proclamation was made by the Mayor of the said Town for the Persons assembled to disperse themselves, and peaceably depart to their Habitations, or to their lawful Business, upon the Pains contained in the Act made in the First Year of the Reign of King George the First for preventing Tumult and Riotous Assembly, yet the said Mob, consisting of several Hundred Persons, did not disperse until the Arrival of a large Party of Cavalry and Infantry, about Two Hours after the said Proclamation, and succeeded in rescuing Three of the said Smugglers, and severely assaulted an Officer and a Private of the Shropshire Militia, and an Officer of the Royal Miners; His Majesty, for better discovering and bringing to Justice the principal Persons engaged in the said Riot, and who, by not dispersing according to the said Proclamation, have committed Felony within the said Act, is pleased hereby to offer His most gracious Pardon to any one or more of the said Rioters, (except those who actually committed Acts of Violence,) who will discover any one or more of his or their Accomplices, so that he or they may be apprehended and convicted of the said Felony


And the Commissioners of His Majesty's Customs, as a further Encouragement, do hereby offer a Reward of TWO HUNDRED POUNDS to any Person or Persons, (except as is before excepted,) who will make such Discovery as aforesaid, such Reward to be paid on Conviction by the Receiver-General of His Majesty's Customs.

By Order of the Commissioners,

J. T . Swainson.
"I did not say the French would not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Admiral Sir John Jervis, 1st Earl St Vincent.