‘Laces for a lady, letters for a spy’ - Smuggling in the 18th & 19th century

Ref: C3747221

This course is currently full.
Join the waiting list to be notified if any places become available.

During the 18th century and the first half of the 19th smuggling was a major industry, particularly along the Channel coast, with smuggling gangs dominating life and influencing the behaviour of many. How and why did this industry grow up? Told using eye witness accounts of smugglers, preventive officers seeking to control the situation and other historic sources, we will consider first, the nature and extent of smuggling and what was smuggled, both into and out of the country, and secondly how the authorities sought and fought to gain control the trade and particularly the activities of big smuggling gangs.

Course aim

Smuggling, romantic rebellion involving a few barrels of brandy or big gangs dominating and even, at times, seeking to destabilise the economy. Which was it, or was it both? This course uses contemporary sources to examine the impact of smuggling.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • List the different commodities being smuggled into and out of the country and explain why different commodities dominated at different times.
  • Locate and use contemporary sources to describe activities both of preventive officers and smugglers and use same to locate activities in an area of your choice
  • Locate major centres of smuggling activity and explain why some activity was local and in other areas it was 'big business'.
  • Describe the ways in which the authorities sought to contain smuggling and why, in the 19th century, they were ultimately successful.

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

A map of the British Isles would be useful but is not essential

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

‘Laces for a lady, letters for a spy’ - Smuggling in the 18th & 19th century

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This course is currently full.
Join the waiting list to be notified if any places become available.

Waiting List Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our student privacy notice

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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