"Smugglers on the Isle of Wight" Top 5 Page for this destination Isle of Wight Local Custom Tip by budapest8
Isle of Wight Local Customs: 34 reviews and 39 photos
Smuggling on the Isle of Wight
In Hampshire, the smuggler's job was made especially easy by the proximity of the Isle of Wight. The island had a well-developed trade in wool exports, and until the late 18th century, its coasts were only lightly guarded against the attentions of free-traders: any ship's master with sufficient navigational ability would have been able to slip into one of the island's bays or creeks with little risk of losing a cargo to the land-based forces.
A chase at sea was perhaps more of a risk, but in the early 18th century, the smugglers relied on their superior seamanship to evade the preventive forces. The south-east side of the island is fringed with treacherous rock platforms, notably Rocken End, and the risk of a wreck was not something that the master of a revenue cutter contemplated with pleasure. Any smuggler who knew a way through the rocks, and was prepared to ride out the ferocious south-westerly winds that batter this part of the coast was unlikely to be followed too far.
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