Documents Relating to Local Smugglers

James Forde – Local Smuggler

Smugglers Account Book

The Pocock Smuggling Book

The Examination Of Charles Longhurst

Testament of Spencer Whiteman

Gillham Smuggling Notebook

Bexhill Museum Accession No. BEXHM : 2005.21

Provenance : Returned loan from Hastings Smuggling Adventure June 2005.

Description : 5 small accounting notebooks with stitched binding, again stitched together to make what appears to be a small book. Fragile overall stitching. coming apart at lower edge of spine. Last book is complete with blue paper marbled covers.

First book has loose back and front paper covers in pink marbled design. Written content on the inside of the covers of the first book is part of the overall content of the notebook. Handwriting varies from book to book and is almost all in ink.

In the first and third books, which have the specific smuggling content, the handwriting is generally legible and is distinguished by elaborately formed capital letters. In the other books the handwriting is more legible, being that of a tradesman.

Although the handwriting in the smuggling detail is similar in some ways to Stephen Brook’s, the capital letters are more ornate and the spelling is idiosyncratic, reflecting Sussex speech. There are signs of education of a certain quality in the past.

[Similar notebooks to these are to be found in the Brook Collection, such as Mr.Stephen Brook’s account for groceries etc. with H.Reeves 1826 to 1828 (BEXHM 1995.473/4); and Mr.A.S.Brook’s account with saddler, Henry Rich, for 1870 and 1871 (BEXHM : 1995.480/1 ).]

The following is a transcription of the Gillham smugglers  notebook.

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