tall ships: smuggling: in fact and fiction
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Brandy for the parson, baccy for the clerk...' We have an image, mostly from movies and novels, of a tall ship riding gently at anchor in a moonlit, secluded bay with the 'Gentleman' cheerfully hauling kegs of brandy and tobacco ashore, then disappearing silently into the night shadows to hide their contraband from the excise men in a dark cave or a secret cellar. But how much of the popular idea is fact and how much is fiction? Smuggling was big business - it still is - but who were these