This newspaper cutting from 1785 was pasted into the 'Advice to the Unwary' by the original owner. Five years after publication of the book, the subject of tea supplies and smuggling remained a matter of public and commercial interest and concern. The two items here are a response to complaints about the high prices and poor quality of tea. The Act to reduce duty on tea in 1784 should have led to lower prices. Poor quality, it is suggested, is a consequence of the tea being adulterated with 'improper ingredients' or kept in bad conditions while being smuggled. The Committee of Tea Dealers challenge the accuser, Mr Preston, to produce the evidence against them. Philip Constable, in association it seems with Mr Preston MP, announces the opening of two warehouses and swears to supply legal, unadulterated, real East India Company teas at low prices.
About Advice to the Unwary
'Advice to the Unwary', published in 1780, examines the economic and political consequences of the smuggling trade. As the book outlines, illicit trading had at that time made 'gigantic strides from the sea coasts, into the very heart of the country'. The author describes many of the damaging effects of smuggling, for example the unemployment among 'fair traders', such as silk-weavers and thread manufacturers, whose goods were unable to compete with cheap illicit imports; and the illegal trade of Geneva (or gin) which helped to cause widespread alcoholism throughout English society. He also emphasises the falling profits of the East India Company, which were to a large extent the result of smuggling.
The author sets out to remind his readers of the most recent (1779) Act of Parliament against smuggling. He hopes that if individuals are forewarned of the dangers of smuggling, 'the law will no longer be a dead letter or useless form, [and] a very powerful association may be formed, to watch the motions of smugglers of every denomination, and to inform against, and bring them to condign punishment.'