Contraband is Landed, Hidden and Distributed
Smugglers preferred to land their cargo on dark,
moonless nights. On board ship the crew would scan the shore
for a signal to tell them when "the coast was clear" and
it was safe to approach the land.
When there were very few revenue men patrolling the
coast, the smugglers ashore might light a bonfire or use a lantern
to signal to the ship, but these signals were dangerous as they
could be seen by other people.
In 1816 a labourer from Burton Bradstock was sentenced
to 6 months hard labour in Dorchester Gaol for lighting a fire as a
signal to a smugglers' ship.
As smuggling became
more dangerous smugglers used a
lantern with a spout attached which could funnel the light out to
sea and could not be seen