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Customs and ExciseTrade, Production, and Consumption in England 1640-1845$
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William J. Ashworth

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199259212

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199259212.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 November 2021

Free Trade, Transport, and Concealment

Free Trade, Transport, and Concealment

(p.184) Chapter Eleven Free Trade, Transport, and Concealment
Customs and Excise


Oxford University Press

This chapter shows that the evolving English state was ill equipped to combat the dramatic rise in illicit trade that erupted onto the scene in the early 18th century. Seamen with customs commissions were encouraged to tackle smugglers by being offered one-half of the produce of the seizure at the subsequent customs sale. In 1821, a battle with the waterguard involving 250 smugglers took place. Although the combined force of the waterguard, riding officers, cruisers, and coastal blockade took its toll on smugglers, it was also costing too much money and blood. A committee set up to investigate the prevailing system concluded that it suffered from a lack of central control. The result was the assimilation of the waterguard back into customs. The term ‘Coast Guard’ was coined to describe the new amalgamation of representative forces.

Keywords:   smuggling, crime, anti-smuggling, revenue cruisers, Board of Customs, Coast Guard

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