Series Information: AYRSHIRE

Strathclyde's Smuggling Story was the first Scottish smuggling book, supported by Scottish Customs & Excise Records both published in 1993. Since then the Ayrshire books have concentrated on the two areas: Kyle/Dundonald and Carrick, with Ballantrae as a major subdivision.

The Dundonald Smugglers Revisited

Research has continued since the publication of the Dundonald smuggling books: The Loans Smugglers and The Smugglers of Kyle in 2007 and Mathew Hay in 2008. This new volume updates the story. It includes David Dunlop's tobacco company and his bankruptcy. There is also more information about the Clone branch of the Dundonald smuggling families. It is published at the same time as the exhibition of the same title at Dundonald Castle Visitor Centre between Septmeber and December 2020.

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2020
ISBN 978-1-897725-34-4
A5 96pp paperback
£15.00


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Event

This book will be launched during the exhibition The Dundonald Smugglers Revisited at Dundonald Castle Visitor Centre between September and December 2020

Alexander Oliphant & Co: Smugglers, Entrepreneurs and Wine Merchants

Dr John Campbell, John Christian, William Logan, Gilbert McAdam, David McClure, George McCree, Alexander Oliphant and Robert Whiteside formed a wine company in Ayr. In the early days, they were accused of smuggling wine into their warehouse from the Isabella. But soon a regular legal trade developed from Europe. This book concentrates on the wine that was re-exported as part of Campbell's West India trade, Christian's Dominican trade and McClure's Newfoundland trade. The Pallas owned by McClure, McCree and Thomas Arthur carried wine to the headquarters of the British troops at Halifax, Nova Scotia. Several of the individual partners were deeply invloved in the smuggling trade. The year after the Pallas sailed to Halifax, McClure was fined more than £405, according to an 'English Bill' relating to his former smuggling activities with McCree.

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2020
ISBN 978-1-897725-11-5
A4 92pp ringbound
£5.00


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Event

This book will be launched at the Ballantrae Smugglers' Festival in August 2020

The Carrick Smugglers

This is the story of smuggling in the Carrick district of Ayrshire. It concentrates on the area to the north of Ballantrae, whose smuggling story was described in 2013. The Carrick story is dominated by the Brackenridge family of Dowhill [now a farmshop on the A77]. They were involved in smuggling before 1765 but it is only after the Isle of Man was taken over by the government that their activities expanded with bases at Money Vart near Glenarm in County Antrim and on the Island of Sanda. For many years they were untouchable. Their story includes the first reference to smugglers using a cave, hidden on a cliff face on Sanda, to store their contraband. This book includes other smugglers in the area who dealt in a wide range of goods, including salt from Ireland. It emphasises the distinctive stories which make each of these areas unique.

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2020
ISBN 978-1-897725-22-1
A5 128pp ringbound
£15.00


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Event

This book will be launched at the Ballantrae Smugglers' Festival in August 2020

The Tale of John McWhirter, merchant of Ballantrae, and twelve hogsheads of Tobacco

John McWhirter went out to Virginia in 1786, taking with him a selection of goods to be sold in exchange for hogsheads of tobacco. Some of this tobacco was imported legally at Port Glasgow or Greenock and then shipped to Europe where it would enter the smuggling trade. The rest went to his agents on Guernsey and from there straight to Ayrshire. When in Virginia, McWhirter contacted the Ayrshire company of John Aitken & Co., Virginia, which included William Brackenridge, while his friend Valentine Ferguson, also from Ballantrae was one of the clerks. The resultant debts were never settled.

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2020
ISBN 978-1-897725-25-6
A5 32pp paperback
£4.50


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Event

This book will be launched at the Ballantrae Smugglers' Festival in August 2020

Ballantrae's Smuggling Story

Page 61 of A Nest of Smugglers: Dumfries and Galloway 1688 to 1850 (2012) states that: the smuggling story of Ballantrae is so complex that it will be subject of a separate booklet. It was not anticipated that this booklet would appear quite so soon or that it would be in the form of a book. The Ballantrae Smuggler's Festival in August 2013, however, provided the necessary stimulus to pull together all the information available and to complete the research, where necessary. Why is Ballantrae's smuggling story so complex? The simple answer is: location. It lies between the two major smuggling areas of Wigtownshire: the Bay of Luce, dominated by the Mull and Clone Smuggling Companies and of Ayrshire: the Carrick Shore, where the Brackenridges ruled supreme and the Troon, home of Loans Smuggling Company. At the same time, the local people were perfectly capable of running their own smuggling ventures. The first references to Ballantrae boats at the Isle of Man are in 1716 and the salt smuggling from Ireland ended somewhat abruptly when the salt tax was removed in 1823. The book covers the ten miles of coast from Lendalfoot and Sand House (Carleton) Bay in the north to Currarie Port in the south. Several other locations are mentioned, including the farms of Ballachdown, Big Park, Chapman Craigs, Craignance [Craigans] and Little Shallockwreck and the inn at South Laggan.

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2013
ISBN 978-1-897725-20-7
A4 92pp ringbound
£7.50


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Note

Ballantrae's Smuggling Story was launched at the first Ballantrae Smugglers' Festival. Since then the school children of Ballantrae have produced two books describing their own versions of the smuggling story.

The Loans Smugglers

There are no less than twelve dissolute and dangerous persons, whose constant business has been to support their iniquitous trade of running goods ashore upon the coast of this Kingdom by force and have acted to the terror of the officers of the revenue and their assistants and it is highly to be suspected that some of them are outlawed in Ireland ... they are liable to be imprisoned and tried for the forcibly obstructing and hindering and resisting the officers in the due execution of their duty.

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2008
ISBN 978-0-9542253-7-7
A5 144pp paperback
£4.50


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Review

For anyone with an interest in the area, this is an enlightening book, not just because of the considerable number of the individuals mentioned, but for the vivid descriptions of the smuggling itself and its impact on the community. There are additional gems such as the descriptions of four male servants wanted in connection with a 1767 ambush on a customs official ... If on the other hand your ancestor was a customs officer, you'll read this book with a new appreciation of what his job entailed ...The Scots Magazine

Matthew Hay: Smuggler, Farmer, and Poisoner?

Matthew Hay formed part of the 2008 exhibition at Dundonald: Pills, Potions and Poisons. Accused of posioning his tenants, the Wilson family of Plewlands, by putting arsenic into sowens being prepared for their supper, he was hanged on Ayr Moor on Friday, 13 October 1780. This booklet uses the trial records to reproduce the daily events surrounding the poisoning and asks the inevitable question: was he guilty?

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2008
ISBN 978-1-897725-28-3
A5 32pp paperback
£3.00


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Event

Matthew Hay will be one of many smugglers included in the exhibition: The Dundonald Smugglers Revisited at Dundonald Castle in autumn 2020.

The Smugglers of Kyle

This booklet describes the activities of the Loans smugglers, David Dunlop & Co. through the people involved in this smuggling company.

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2007
ISBN 978 1 897725 19 1
A5 32pp paperback
£3.00


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Event

The Smugglers of Kyle will reappear in the exhibition The Dundonald Smugglers Revisited at Dundonald Castle in autumn 2020.

Strathclyde's Smuggling Story

Inspired by information found while researching for The Isle of Man in Smuggling History, this book covers the former Strathclyde regipon. The various 'smuggled' goods and their sources. the island storehouses of the Isle of Man, Sanda, Lunga and Rathlin and the smuggling coasts of Troon Point, Carrick and Culzean are described. A chapter on two merchants, George Moore and Alexander Oliphant, is foillowed by notes on the preventive service and comments on post-eighteenth century developments. In turn teh book inspired Scottish Customs & Excise Records.

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1992
ISBN 978 1 897725 02 3
A5 144pp paperback
£6.95


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Reviews

This is a compact, well-produced book with relevant maps ... The method provides a useful source for the historian and the book is enlivened by some illuminating anecdotes. Scottish Local History

Scottish Customs & Excise Records with particular reference to Strathclyde

The Customs & Excise records now available at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow and the Ayrshire Archives at Kilmarnock and at the Greenock custom house are decribed, using examples from the Strathclyde region to illustrate the information that can be obtained from these records. Over 130 ships registered at Greenock in 1786 are analysed and their stories traced through the subsequent shipping registers and the custom house letter-books of Greenock and other outports. Additional examples from these records are found in Strathclyde's Smuggling Story, The Smugglers of Kyle and Ballantrae's Smuggling Story.

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1992
ISBN 978 1 897725 01 6
A4 64pp paperback
£5.95


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Reviews

It should prove useful to the serious researcher as it provides a clear account of what records are available and how they may be used. Scottish Local History

This is an extremely useful publication ... which is essential to anyone intending to research into Customs records. The Kintyre Magazine