Life in 18th and 19th Century Shoreham

Newspaper Reports 2:-

One of the earliest reports (1751) was of two men dressed in mourning clothes driving their hearse from Shoreham who were apprehended by the Revenue men. On opening the coffin they discovered smuggled gold and silver French lace, Cambric (fine cloth)……. and tea!

The luck of the Irish – in 1778 seven Irish sailors had the misfortune of belonging to the crew of a ship embargoed in France. They managed to

escape in a boat and rowed for 24 hours all the way across the channel, luckily in a calm sea as their small boat was so heavily laden there was only six inches from the water line to the gunwales. They survived that only to be taken by the press gang as soon as they reached the Sussex coast. It gets worse – another man they confided in used the information to claim the bounty for each of the seven thus depriving them even of taking the option of ‘volunteering’ for the Navy and claiming their own bounty for themselves.

They were all put on board a naval tender at Shoreham containing other impressed men. On leaving the harbour for the guardship ‘Conquistador’ the impressed men overpowered the crew and some managed to escape ashore in the tender’s boats.  Of those, sixteen were recaptured leaving twenty-four that escaped.  Did the Irishmen make it too? With their luck you can’t help but doubt it!  


One Reply to “Life in 18th and 19th Century Shoreham”

  1. H.M.S. Lynne a 5th Rate of 32 guns building at Shoreham in 1796 at Edwardes yard behind the Bridge public house. Sent her 1st Leiutenant by a smack to the Thames river to press men. He kept a log book “Pressing in the river” from 06/02/1796 to 20/04/1796 when he arrived back of Shoreham taking a pilot inward delivering 40 pressed men. H.M.S. Lynne  launched inApril 1797 and 9 men deserted. After fitting out and many trials and tribulations in the river because of shallow water the pilot finally got her out on 06/08/1797.

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