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Smuggling and the Hawkhurst Gang

1. From this source (source A) we can learn why people smuggled at this time (18th century) because in source A it wrote ‘The common people of England in general fancy there is nothing in the crime of smuggling … the poor feel they have a right to shun paying any duty [tax]on their goods’. Smugglers thought that smuggling wasn’t a crime; in fact they thought they were providing a service (1747 – John Taylor, the keeper of New Gate Prison). The quote shows the important parts of evidence in the source why people smuggled at that time.

2. I think people studying this source should be careful because John Briggs (the writer of source B) is very bias against the smugglers. Here is reasons to support my answer ; ‘smugglers had in many areas assumed enormous proportions’ also, ‘over three million pounds of tea were imported illegally every year’ so this is likely not to be real, but put into his own words. It must also be acknowledged that this source of information written by John Briggs was written in 1996. This is likely to be second-hand information because the event happened in the 18th century and that was two hundred years ago there is no evidence to support where this information came from thus must be acted with caution.

3. From this source (source C) we can learn what people thought about smugglers here is some evidence to support my answer. It would appear the people generally had mixed views about the Smugglers: ‘Some people, indeed, regarded smugglers as rough criminals-and some of them, like the Hawkhurst gang, were just that. The Hawkhurst gang were not honest people and resorted to the most violent methods, terrorising the areas they were in. But most people had a sneaky sympathy and admiration for them’. Although most people recognised smuggling was wrong and a capital crime, many people were poor, they may have lost their jobs and needed work, and people did not want to pay higher prices for goods. This changed the attitudes of many of the people, especially when they were also being given goods by the smugglers or could purchase goods they wanted at a much cheaper price.

4. Source D comes from Sussex Smugglers written by “A Gentleman of Chichester” first published in 1749 and was a passage describing the events that took place. Source E comes from an engraving called “The Bloody and Inhuman Smugglers”, published in 1748, this showed a picture of members of the Hawkhurst gang throwing stones on the dying body of Daniel Chater (showing a brutal kill). Source D (and source E do not agree with each other about the Hawkhurst gang being harmless and kind bunch of men because source D writes about the Hawkhurst gang and portrays them to be friendly. Evidence from the passage indicates the smugglers walked through Fordingbridge with bags of tea and states Diamond shook his hand with him as he passed by.

However source E in 1748 illustrated a very different picture which was gruesome and graphic, showing members of the Hawkhurst gang throwing down stones on the dying body of Daniel Chater [an informer], whom they had flung into lady holt well. Chater, diamond’s friend from harvest time was due to give evidence against John Diamond, a member of the gang and this picture shows the brutal killing of Daniel Chater and how inhumane they can. Source E indicates these men used extreme violence and did not care about anyone apart from themselves; how can they be seen as ‘harmless smugglers’ when they carry out such brutal attacks? Source D does almost tell the reader that the gang would not hurt the villagers, but they would share some of their goods because the people have given them an audience as they paraded through Fordingbridge.

5. If I was studying smuggling in the 18th century than I would of chose to study source D because it explains the most amount of information than the other sources, because it explains when the Hawkhurst gang broke into the...
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