Series Information: SCOTTISH CUSTOMS & EXCISE AND REGIONAL SMUGGLING

The six books in this series include two general books about Scottish Customs & Excise Records and four regional guides to 18th century smuggling history.

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 of Galloway and Clone Smuggling Companies and of Ayrshire: the Carrick Shore, where 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 in Ballantrae boats on 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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A Nest of Smugglers Dumfries and Galloway 1688 to 1850

Dumfries & Galloway’s Smuggling Story was published nearly 20 years ago. The subsequent technological revolution has meant there is now far more information available from online national archive and library catalogues to contact with descendants of the smugglers, their ship captains and the revenue officers, and other researchers.

This has made it possible to understand the complexity of the smuggling story of this area in greater detail. In fact, there is so much material available that several of the examples in this book have not ‘seen the light of day’ before – even in the lectures to the local history class at Castle Douglas.

It would be dangerous to claim that this is the definitive story: that could not be produced in a lifetime. The story is compelling, however, and in several instances far better than fiction.

The Smuggling Trade Revisited (2004) updated the Manx smuggling story. This book completes the task for Dumfries and Galloway.

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2012
ISBN 978-1-897725-18-4
A4 130pp ringbound
£20.00


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The Smuggling Story of the Northern Shores

Last in the series of Scottish smuggling stories, this book covers the area from Oban in the west to Montrose in the east, including the major Islands. Based on the contemporary eighteenth century records, including custom house letter-books for the outports and correspondence to or from 'smuggling' merchants in Kirkwall, Thurso, Wick and Inverness, the smuggling story is told once again from a 'They Saw It Happen' viewpoint. A diorama at the new (in 1995) HM Customs & Excise National Museum in Liverpool uses a story from the chapter on The Smugglers so helping to bring to life this exciting smuggling story. Pointers are given for other researchers interested in continuing the smuggling history of the area into the nineteenth century.

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1995
ISBN 978 1 897725 05 4
A5 212pp paperback
£7.95


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Family Histories in Scottish Customs Records

This is not another guide to genealogical sources. Instead it concentrates on one particular type of record - the Scottish Custom House Letter-books - showing the wealth of family history information that can be obtained from this source. The information provides details of the lifestyles not only of the revenue men and smugglers but also of the local community - the merchants, farmers, fishermen, mariners, constables, widows and children of officers and seamen - in fact anyone who for one reason or another came into contact with the customs officers. All the examples are from the Dumfries & Galloway records. This is a sequel to Scottish Customs & Excise Records and additional information is available in Dumfries & Galloway's Smuggling Story.

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1993
ISBN 978 1 897725 04 7
A4 92pp paperback
£10.00


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Dumfries & Galloway's Smuggling Story

Dumfries and Galloway's smuggling story is told through extracts from the custom house letter-books for the local outports and from the correspondence of a Manx merchant who supplied his customers with tea, brandy, rum and wine. Events are told from the viewpoint of several different participants - the smugglers, witnesses to their activities and the preventive men who spent their time trying, mainly unsuccessfully, to halt the flow of contraband both into the area and from there across the Border into England.

1993
ISBN 978 1 897725 03 0
A5 144pp paperback
Out of Print
See also The Smuggling Trade Revisited in the Manx Series.

The Smuggling Story of Two Firths

This book, covering the area from Montrose in the north to Dunbar in the south: the Firths of Tay and Forth, shows that there was a very active smuggling trade on the east coast of Scotland. The custom house letter-books surviving for ten of the outports in the area are used as a basis for the story to which are added extracts from the autobiographies of a seventeenth century customs officer and an eighteenth century smuggler, and from merchant letter-books. Local smuggling events are illustrated by contemporary maps.

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1993
ISBN 978 1 897725 06 1
A5 212pp paperback
£7.95


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Strathclyde's Smuggling Story

This book describes the history of smuggling in the Strathclyde region, based on information available from the custom house letter-books and the correspondence of both local merchants and their suppliers on the Isle of Man, including George Moore. It traces the types of goods smuggled, from their countries of origin to the consumer, and explains the fluctuating popularity of different goods. Descriptions are given of the people involved, both smugglers and preventive men, in the various parts of the region.

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


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See also The Smugglers of Kyle: An A to Z in the Dundonald Series & The Smuggling Trade Revisited in the Manx Series.

Scottish Customs & Excise Records with particular reference to Strathclyde

This handbook describes the Scottish Customs & Excise records available at the national and local archive offices and at Greenock custom house. Several examples from the Strathclyde region are used to illustrate the different types of information that can be obtained from these records. Over 130 ships registered at Greenock in 1786 are 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 and The Smugglers of Kyle.

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


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