This page quotes from a statement made by smuggler Henry Northcote. Northcote describes how John Rattenbury's smuggling ship, the Primrose, was caught by the King's officers: 'They sawed her in half, for they said nothing else would stop her.' It was alleged that Rattenbury later took revenge. 'I Knew Rattenbury', he explains, 'and have heard he cut the Officer up for crab bait, but he always laughed if it was thrown up at him'.
In another statement made by Robert Channon, the Sexton of Salcombe Regis, we read of a toll-keeper who informed against a smuggler. As a result, a procession went through three parishes carrying a burning effigy of the toll-keeper. As the author points out, this incident shows that 'a large number of people in the neighbourhood supported the smugglers.'
About Smuggling Days in Devon
This book describes the adventures and escapades of smugglers in 19th century Devon. Quoting from smugglers' diaries and from statements made by parish residents, these tales tell of smugglers hiding up chimneys, ships sawn in half, and the burning effigies of informers.