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Coastal trade around the UK only became smuggling after the imposition of taxes . From the as early as the 13th century “Owlers” as they were known exported wool from the coast of Norfolk evading the duty demanded by the King and Exchequer . Trading across the North Sea with the European sea ports was so much quicker and easier than going over land by wagon and pack horse. Rural coastal communities saw them selves as “Free Traders” and “employed ” a huge amount of man power and thus were their own security, “Watch the wall my darling whilst the gentlemen go by”. The organisation of these large gangs of smugglers was no mean feat, and required near military control and command. The following is based on recorded fact and conversational supposition, the places and…
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