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Contraband Cargoes: Seven Centuries of Smuggling - Neville Williams

London, New York & Toronto: Longmans, Green & Co., 1959, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Good — in Poor Dust Wrapper. Unlaminated dust wrapper a little edgeworn and faded with heavier tanning to the spine which has a little loss at the ends. Boards faded at the spine ends. Leans slightly. Edges of the textblock heavily tanned. Text complete, clean and tight but a little age-tanned.

Signed by the author on the title page with a dedication to the first blank — unverified and reflected as such in the lack of premium. Contains: Black & white plates [10];

From the cover: “Seven hundred years of smuggling in Britain are covered in this unusual book on a little-known facet of history.

From the nefarious dealings in wool in medieval days, through the cloth frauds of Tudor times and the wholesale running of tea and spirits in the eighteenth century to the tobacco smuggling in the nineteenth, the story is enlivened with many anecdotes derived from historic documents, memoirs, and other sources.

The book reveals the corruption that used to pervade the Customs Service when even the highest officials could be bribed to turn a blind eye on the activities of smugglers; it tells too of the time when, in parts of England, the population of whole areas assisted in the concealment of contraband goods, and armed bands escorted convoys of smuggled tea and spirits from the coast to London, terrorising the countryside and fighting pitched battles with preventive officers and troops; and it describes the extraordinarily ingenious ways in which contraband goods have been concealed.

To the detailed account of contraband in Britain are added two exciting chapters in which the author glances at the world problems of smuggling in recent times: the traffic in opium with China, the slave traffic (‘black’ and ‘white’), the running of arms and liquor to primitive peoples (and the fantastic happenings during the period of Prohibition in the U. S. A. ), the trade in obscene publications, and the two best-organized rackets in international smuggling today — drugs and diamonds.

Contraband Cargoes is the fruit of widespread research, and makes an enthralling contribution to British social history.”


Size: 8¾" x 5¾". Red boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. [XIII] 301 pages.
£16.00