Southwold Railway Trust Archive of Wenhaston

History Note #5: George Butcher, Smuggler

History Note #5: George Butcher, Smuggler
George Butcher was a notorious local smuggler

In 1855 an unsigned letter was delivered to the vicar, Thomas Greenwood, advising him that a certain man in the village had been smuggling for twenty-five years! It later transpired that this man was George Butcher. George Butcher was born in 1803 and owned a wherry, horses and carts and was at one time the landlord of the Harbour Inn at Southwold. It would seem that he landed his goods inland.

He lived at Hill House, at the top of Blyford Lane and was 52 when arrested and charged at Ipswich and gaoled there on 1st December 1855. He was described on the charge sheet as being 5 feet 4 inches high with a fresh complexion. He was married with two children.

He served a sentence of nine months, and after release, he carried on with his coal and seed business as shown by entries in White’s Directories.

One notes at the same time as Butcher’s trial, another man, Mr Foreman of Blackheath, was tried and also received nine months sentence for smuggling. Part of the same gang no doubt!