For want of anything else to talk about besides the beautiful weather we’re having this week, I thought I’d simply pass on something from the Annual Register for 1816. The Annual Register was sort of like an Almanac, printing all the important events from the previous year. You can view this 1816 Annual Register on Google Books.
This is from the Chronicles section of the Annual Register, which gives important or interesting news events from each month. This is dated March 30 (because most of the other March articles were about shipwrecks, murders, and fires)
The following particulars of the Woolwich smuggling have been published in a morning paper —On the voyage home, a carpenter employed in securing the packages discovered the secret. Immediately on arrival he gave information at the Customhouse, but it was ten days more before the ship was inspected ; in the mean time much of the smuggled goods for certain persons were got away, and only those were left for men of less note. There were to the value of 7,OOOl. for one man, packed up as—”Return Congreve rockets.” There were many rare things which were got out of the way. In the mortars were laces, gloves, cambrics, etc. and in the tumbrils were claret, champagne, etc. Many people have long supplied themselves and friends with wine in this way, and their wives with finery. This is the only vessel which has been detected, but the trade has long and successfully been carried on to a great extent. The man who informed got about 1,000l.
Woolwich is in the borough of Greenwich on the Thames; it is about 3 miles east of Greenwich and 10 miles east of London, which goes to show that smuggling didn’t only take place in Cornwall!
Are you familiar with the Annual Registers? I have copies from 1810 to 1820 but if you can find them online you can search them so easily.