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Although it may at first seem a little strange to be including a section about local history on this site I just had to do it. I feel the history of a place is such an important factor when trying to ... Read More ...
From about 1750 onwards smuggling became formidable in extent, and by 1760 the legitimate tobacco traders were driven out of business. Shipping interests then turned to the bounty-fed herring fishery which soon became of importance to Dumfries.
Although smuggling reached astonishing proportions there does not seem to have been any propensity to engage in the lawless 'wrecking' that was such a feature of the time on the Cornish and Welsh coasts, and elsewhere.
The country-women played a very large part in the smuggling activities, gathering in large bands often 40-50 strong against the 2 or 3 helpless revenue officers. In 1761 it was reported by the Collector of Excise in a letter to the Board that after the withdrawal of 2 companies of Highlanders, the insolence and audacity of the smugglers had much increased; they were riding openly through the countryside in bands with upwards of 6O horses. Even when the officers had succeeded in confiscating a cargo, it was quite often the case that a large band, sometimes disguised, would attack them and hold them prisoners while the cargo was dispersed.back to top