Customs, Tobacco and Smuggling in South-Western Scotland

Sybil Jack


If the act of union brought any benefit to Scotland, it benefitted the
smugglers and their associates for whom a wonderful new opportunity for
illicit enterprise opened up. It may also be seen to have benefitted all those
humble labourers who so wholeheartedly assisted the smugglers and obtained
from a day's work as much as they would have earned in a month's "honest"
work. This, if nothing else, must surely have stimulated trade through the
money dispersed into the pockets of the many. The different areas of Scotland
tended to have different specialities in smuggling. The south-west's
unimpeded access to the American colonies made the smuggling of colonial
produce, especially tobacco, its most convenient illicit industry.2

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