Sea & Smuggling

The following extracts are taken from the Smugglers’ Britain website by kind permission of Richard Platt, author of ‘Smuggling in the British Isles – A History’.

Smugglers’ customers 

Some of the contraband landed in southern England was consumed locally: tilling the rich soil a little way inland made many a farming fortune, and just as the squire demanded the best brandy, so too his daughters expected the best French lace. However, there is evidence that the smuggled imports often found their way to London: a trail of stories of smugglers’ hidden depots points to a cross-country highway that channelled goods from the coast to the markets in the capital. 

Amazingly, some contraband made its way to London from as far afield as West Dorset: in 1719 a merchant at Lulworth was importing cocoa beans at a time when there was a taste for drinking chocolate only among the smarter London set. Some contraband travelled long distances inland for different reasons. Cargoes of brandy landed in Dorset in the early 19th century were of such poor quality that they were virtually unfit to drink, and the kegs were carted a safe distance from the coast to undergo a further distilling process, before being sold in the town taverns.

Arish Mell

SY855803 2 miles E of West Lulworth

To the west of the marble workings of Purbeck, every point where there was direct access to the sea was pressed into service at one time or another. Worbarrow Bay was a popular landing spot, with Arish Mell beach in the middle especially convenient: one run there in 1719 was of spectacular proportions, with five luggers unloading together, and…

A perfect fair on the waterside, some buying of goods, and others loading of horses… there was an army of people, armed and in disguise, as many in number as… at Dorchester fair.

Nearly sixty years later, a local newspaper reported that…

A Dunkirk schooner landed… upwards of twenty tons of tea, in sight of and in defiance of the Custom House officers as they were mounted twenty four-pounders, which they brought to bear on the beach. The smugglers on shore carried it off in three waggons and on horses, except twelve hundredweight, which the officers seized, and carried to a public house at West Lulworth… but thirty or forty of the schooner’s people, well armed, followed after, and broke into the house, beating and cutting the people they found there in a cruel manner, and carried off the tea.

 


The following extracts are taken from the book “Dorset Smugglers” by Roger Guttridge

The contraband boom continued, reaching a level in 1719 which would have been unimaginable five years earlier. In one week in October of that year, there were two runs of unprecedented size, one at Worbarrow Bay on the Purbeck coast, the other further west near Bridport. The run at Worbarrow involved no less than five ships unloading simultaneously and an observer described “a perfect fair at the waterside, some buying of goods and others loading of horses, that there were an army of people, armed and in disguise, as many in number as he thought might usually be at Dorchester fair, and that all the officers in the county were not sufficient to oppose them”.

A report from the Weymouth Custom House in 1804 stated:

“The places for landing smuggled goods to the eastward of this place are Jordan Gate, Upton Mills, Ringstead Beach, Mupe, Arish Mill [Mell] and Worbarrow Beach. The three latter are the most noted places. It frequently happens that large vessels carrying from four to six or seven hundred casks land their cargoes at these places, which vessels do not belong to or are known to any in this part of the coast. This they carry off in defiance to the officers on the station ..and which … we suppose may amount to ten thousand casks annually …”

After a brief respite in the early 1830s, a final round of brutality and ruthlessness was unleashed in the Purbecks. Several coastguards were attacked and two were thrown over the cliffs to their deaths, one to the west of Lulworth, the other at Gad Cliff in the parish of Tyneham.

Smugglers Roll of Honour

Tyneham:

STICKLAND, William, fisherman, 1840, 26, smuggling, 6 months

STICKLAND, Thomas, fisherman, 1840, 23, smuggling, 6 months

Worbarrow

MOWLAM, George, fisherman, 1821, 40, smuggling, £100, 6 months

GALTON, James, labourer, 1822, 53, smuggling, £100, 1 year, of Agiston [Egliston] near Worbarrow

Probate – S

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S

Robert SCUTT died 24 April 1866

SCUTT Robert. 18 May (1866). The Will of Robert Scutt late of Baltington Farm in the Parish of Tyneham in the Isle of Purbeck in the County of Dorset Yeoman deceased who died 24 April 1866 at Baltington Farm aforesaid was proved at Blandford by the oath of William Shitler Hull of Druce farm in the Parish of Piddletown in the County aforesaid Yeoman the sole Executor. Effects under £2,000

Thomas House SQUIBB died 6 November 1939

SQUIBB Thomas House of 258 Great West-road Hounslow Middlesex died 6 November 1939. Administration London 20 January (1940) to Emily Louisa Squibb widow. Effects £791 3s 2d.

Mary STICKLAND died 29 December 1916

STICKLAND Mary of 2 Railway Cottages London-road Salisbury widow died 29 December 1916. Administration Salisbury 29 January (1917) to Agnes Louisa Mary Bowring (wife of Arthur Tom Bowring). Effects £217 13s 6d.

Priscilla STYLES (neé Phippard) died 24 April 1903

STYLES Priscilla of Worbarrow-in-Tyneham Dorsetshire (wife of Thomas Thorn Styles) died 24 April 1903. Administration Blandford 25 May (1903) to the said Thomas Thorn Styles coastguard. Effects £193 10s.

Thomas Thorne STYLES  died 2 June 1925

STYLES Thomas Thorne of Fairholme Northbrook-road Swanage Dorsetshire died 2 June 1925 at the Royal Naval Hospital Portland Dorsetshire. Probate Blandford 21 December (1926) to Minnie Martha Styles widow. Effects £1,357 15s 2d.

 

Stickland Family

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At least five generations of the Stickland family have lived in the parish of Tyneham, spanning the period from 1804 or before through to the forced evacuation in 1943.

The Sticklands had been fishermen and boatbuilders for generations and bore the reputation of being “able to do anything with their hands”.

Lilian Bond

Please click below to learn more about the Stickland family members named, their spouses and children and see many more images.


With special thanks to Fred’s grandson Jonathan Reid for his help in compiling these pages and providing images and to Melanie Jenkins, great great grand-daughter of Sarah Gover nee Stickland


Page last updated: 16 March 2020

Sea & Smuggling

The following extracts are taken from the Smugglers’ Britain website by kind permission of Richard Platt, author of ‘Smuggling in the British Isles – A History’. Smugglers’ customers  Some of the contraband landed in southern England was consumed locally: tilling the rich soil a little way inland made many a… Continue reading

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Probate – S

Home|Probate|A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M|N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z S Robert SCUTT died 24 April 1866 SCUTT Robert. 18 May (1866). The Will of Robert Scutt late of Baltington Farm in the Parish of Tyneham in the Isle of Purbeck in the County of Dorset Yeoman deceased who died 24 April 1866 at Baltington Farm aforesaid was proved… Continue reading

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Gravestone Images & Inscriptions – S

Smith Stickland WILLIAM LUSH STICKLANDDIED MARCH 19 1881AGED 65 Continue reading

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Stickland Family

Home|Families|Stickland|A-E|F-J|K-O|P-T|U-Z At least five generations of the Stickland family have lived in the parish of Tyneham, spanning the period from 1804 or before through to the forced evacuation in 1943. The Sticklands had been fishermen and boatbuilders for generations and bore the reputation of being “able to do anything with… Continue reading

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1881: Death of William Stickland

Tyneham On Saturday last this parish sustained a death the loss of a remarkable man, in his 64th year, named William Stickland born in humble life, of him it my truly be said: – “Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife, His sober wishes never learned to stray: Along the… Continue reading

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1881: Death of William Stickland

Tyneham

On Saturday last this parish sustained a death the loss of a remarkable man, in his 64th year, named William Stickland born in humble life, of him it my truly be said: –

“Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife, His sober wishes never learned to stray: Along the cool sequestered vale of life He kept the noiseless tenour of his way”

By his simple piety, strict integrity, courage and uniform civility he had endeared himself to all the neighbourhood.

His death will be universally lamented by all how knew him. By nature a sailor, he had been accustomed to the sea from his earliest childhood, and in early life he had been a leading spirit amongst the smugglers, who used to abound on this coast, to whom his dauntless courage and thorough knowledge of the coast were invaluable, and many were the hairbreadth escapes he had amid the heavy surf and darkness amongst the dreaded Kimmeridge ledges or the rugged rocks beneath Gad Cliff. He was the owner of a fine boat built by himself, and obtained his living as a fisherman. He was a keen observer of nature, his remarks upon the habits offish, sea birds and the peculiarities of the tides were always most interesting.

On the establishment of a Lifeboat Station by the Royal National Institution in 1868 at Kimmeridge he was at once chosen as the coxswain of the Mary Heape which office he held up to his death. In the terrific gale of December 8th 1872, the ‘Mary Heape’ was successful in rescuing 17 men, the crew of the German ship ‘Stralsund’ which had stuck on the Kimmeridge ledges, on which occasion the safety of the boat and crew was attributed to his clear head and steady had in piloting her through the heavy breakers. In recognition of which the Life Boat Institution awarded him an extra gratuity.

Every Sunday morning he used to be seen arrayed in his pilot jacket and hat well on the back of his head crossing the hill to attend the Service of his Parish Church, where also he was a regular communicant, and beneath whose shadow he now rests. How appropriate to him are the words of the beautiful hymn: –

‘The saints of God, life’s voyage o’er. Safe landed on that blissful shore, No stormy, tempest how they dread, No roaring billows lift their head, Oh, happy saints for ever blest, In that calm heaven of your rest’

Published by the Dorset County Chronicle, 24 March 1881

Kindly extracted from Dorset County Chronicle by William’s great-great-grand-daughter, Pat Andrews, who lives in Australia.