9th May 2017
Smuggling on the North East Coast 1750-1850
Incendiary Letters and Iniquitous Practices: Smuggling on the North East Coast 1750-1850
A talk by Dr. Tony Barrow
7.00pm Tuesday 9th May HMS Calliope, Gateshead Quayside
Smuggling was endemic throughout the British Isles during the eighteenth century. It pervaded every aspect of Georgian society as reflected by Kipling’s well known poem…
“Five and Twenty Ponies trotting through the dark, Brandy for the parson baccy for the clerk.”
However, contrary to the romantic images of popular literature, smuggling was a dangerous business characterised by corruption as well as violence and revenue officers were frequently beaten and sometimes killed in their attempts to police it.
The hidden coves and deserted sandy bays along the coast of Northumberland and North Yorkshire were ideal for smuggling contraband tea, spirits and tobacco and fishing communities like Boulmer, Beadnell, Cullercoats and Robin Hood’s Bay were notorious for their connections with it.
Some commodities like whisky, salt and even coal also attracted Customs evasion before the advent of Free Trade, and smuggling was commonplace on the North East coast well into the nineteenth century.
This lecture tells the story of this once flourishing trade.
0191 281 6266