Transcript
 

(CUST41/42)

The King
Indicted for abstructing and wounding a Custom Officer in
against
the Execution of his Office
George Fellows

(text ommited)

The Case

Captain Pigram is commander of the custom Sloops Stationed at the Port of Rye for the Guard of the / Eastern part of the Sea Coast of this County and to prevent the exportation of Wool and Clandestinely / importing Tea Brandy and other prohibited and uncustomed goods - The 11:th of August 1737. he sent out one of / his Vessells with Mr: Swaine his Mate and about a dozen of his Mariners to Cruize along the Coast and coming to / an Anchor pretty near the Shore of a place called Pevensey Sluice about eight of the clock in the evening / Mr: Swaine sent James Levereau (who has a a deputation from the commissioners of the customs) and / Moses Longley Thomas Young John Carman and Michael Carosse four of his Mariners in their Small / Boat to row along Shore to the Eastward to intercept any Smuggling Vessells on the Coast - Ofof a place / called Cowding pound in the parish of Bexhill about an hour after high water they observed a Boat rowing / to the Shore from a Vessell - which lay so very near the Shoar that she would have been dry at low water - / - Levereau and his Men made directly after the other boat but assoon as the persons in her perceived them / they made of again to their Vessell and the other pursuing both boats came up to her side very near / togeather and some of the Custom house Mariners saw them throw baggs out of the boat into the / Vessell _ Levereau and the Mariners called out to them told them who they were and called the / Prisoner by his name and told him if they quietly Surrendred they Should be civilly used but the / Smugglers being 12 or 15 in number swore they should not come on board the Vessell and threw into the / Custom house boat large bowlder Stones which exceedingly bruized and wounded the men and one / of the Smugglers fired a Pistol into the boat loaded with Small Shott and one of the Shot corns went / through Levereau's hat - notwithstanding this opposition Longley and Carman got on board the Vessell and / Longley knock'd down one of the Smugglers and saw lying on the deck about ten or twelve baggs of Tea which / they believed was part of what had been thrown back from the Smuggling boat and looking down into the hold / of the Vessell saw her wings and partitions were full of Baggs of Tea which Smelled very strong - three of the / Gang seized upon Longley and by violence threw him over board into the Sea and afterwards attempted
to.

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To Strike him in the Sea water with handspikes or long Staves upon which Levereau begged that they / would forbear such barbarous usage and Longly
was hawled out of the Sea into the boat - three more of the / Smugglers likewise Seized upon Carman and Attempted to throw him into the Sea but he luckily catched / hold of the Ships rigging and from that fell into the Boat - Thomas Young Seeing Longley and / Carman had got on Board the Smuggling Vessell took a Cutlash in his hand in order to do the same but / one of the Smugglers with their boats mainyard knocked him down and cutt him in the Scull that he lay / insensible a considerable time and the Smugglers continuing to throw large Stones struck him with one of them on the left side near his ear and others Struck him on his Arms by which he was very much / bruized and it was thought he would have bled to death with the wound in his head before the / bleeding could be Stopped - the Custom Officers on this Violent opposition fired Several blunderbusses / into the Vessel but being overpowered by numbers were obliged to quit and return to their own / Vessell.