Author Topic: North Kent Smuggling Gang.  (Read 49 times)

Offline grandarog

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North Kent Smuggling Gang.
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2020, 12:44:09 PM »
As we all know Smuggling was rife along the North Kent Coast .Most of which was carried out by the North Kent Gang. These 4 men were Executed by Hanging at the Gallows on Penenden Heath ,Maidstone on the 4th April 1822.They had been convicted for “Assembling with firearms ,and assisting with landing un-customed goods.”
They were Daniel Fagg 1774-1822 . John Meredith 1796-1822. Edward Rolfe 1802-1822. And John Wilsden1775-1822. Some researchers at Rainham History Group and David Wood of Upchurch credit the incident occurred at Burntwick Island, Stangate Creek , at Upchurch. Stating 3 men were hanged and 15 Transported.
No doubt much contraband was landed there by the North Kent Gang but not in this case. Local legend has a tunnel from the Creek to the Crown Pub at Upchurch, dug to fetch the goods inland and store for distribution. Due to the nature of the land very doubtful one ever existed.
However after a bit of digging around the net I have established, they  werein fact  arrested and tried on the 22nd March 1822 following the Marsh Bay (now St Mildred’s Bay) Westgate, Margate ,incident on the night of  2nd Sept 1821. That night a Royal Navy Lieutenant and 2 Blockade Men were injured in a battle with the Smuggling Gang
They were sentenced to death and 15 others were sentenced to transportation to Tasmania for between 7 and 15 years. After the execution the 4 bodies were cut down and given to their relatives. The relatives had brought a wagon with them on which the bodies were carried to Canterbury. Later to be buried in un-consecrated ground of St Mildred’s Churchyard, Canterbury on the 7th April 1822 .
When I found the burials were at St Mildred’s I now wonder if “Marsh Bay” was renamed “St Mildred’s Bay” as a result of the Skirmish between Smugglers and The Blockade force that occurred there 199 years ago.

Credit for much to .https://www.margatelocalhistory.co.uk/DocRead/Jarvis%20Pictures/Taylor.pdf