Between 1700 and 1850 smuggling became a huge industry in Devon, with the majority of Devonians active in it, profiting from it, or at least colluding in it. All social classes were involved. Clergymen and aristocrats were among the backers. None thought cheating the government of exorbitant taxes was wrong and smugglers brought to trial were usually acquitted by sympathetic Devon juries and magistrates. Smugglers were particularly active in Devon because there were so many sailors and fishermen who could assist. There was also easy access to France and the Channel Islands. In reality, “Free Trade” was far from romantic. Smugglers could be violent and ruthless. This talk attempts a balanced view of an illegal trade which long flourished in Devon despite the government’s best efforts to stamp it out – and was eventually defeated by the simple expedient of cutting duties on imported goods.
This is one of 17 local history talks I offer. For details, please visit www.roberthesketh.co.ukViews: 646 | Enquiries: 1
Formerly a teacher, I am a freelance writer and photographer with a strong interest in local history (my first degree subject). To date, I have published 45 Devon, Dorset and Somerset titles (see www.roberthesketh.co.uk) and written numerous illustrated articles for The Countryman, Dartmoor Magazine, Country Walking and other publications. I also contribute West Country landscape and people photographs to photographic libraries, see www.imageclick.co.uk. and www.picfair.com . Since 2002, I have been giving talks to local history clubs, Women’s Institutes, societies, U3A and Probus Clubs on Devon themes
Please contact me if you would like further details or to offer me a booking. All the talks are illustrated with high resolution digital images and last between 45 minutes and an hour, depending on what the audience wants. Questions from the audience are always welcome. I can supply the projector, projection stand and projection screen. To see my profile please visit my website www.roberthesketh.co.uk
Adrienne Hesketh (my better half) is a talented musician who also gives talks and live performance. She plays piano and recorder and her contact details are the same as mine. She has her own website www.adriennehesekth.com
Charges: £50 (£55 after 1/1/22) plus 30p per mile travel each way from Bovey Tracey.
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